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  1. #101
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Drake Sigar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    At the very least, you need to make two builds. One with steamworks enabled and one without steamworks enabled.
    Didn't we used to have one version which did both the jobs? There was a period between CD keys and the Age of Steam where the service came packaged with games in an entirely optional download. If at all possible, single-player boxed games should go back to that. For the digital version bought directly from Steam... I don't know, maybe after they ban your account they could e-mail links to all the games you bought and host them for one month, giving you time to save them elsewhere? I think once downloaded to your computer, the installation files for games on GoG don't need online connectivity to confirm anything.

    Just throwing out ideas. I know there's no motivation to actually do it, the Steam legion vastly outnumber those who take my view, and publishers couldn't be happier now they've got more control than ever.

  2. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post

    Any business reserves the right to refuse service to anyone so long as it does not violate any discriminatory acts: True
    Any business reserves the right to throw someone out/refuse to continue service if they become problematic: True, although I can't be arsed to look up the definition of "problematic" in this context, but I think we can all agree on "Making other customers deeply uncomfortable" and "Screaming hatespeech" as being fair examples.
    How did you jump from "refusing right to provide service" to "refusing right to continue providing service"? In the former case, there is no agreement entered into, express or implied. In the latter case, there is. You have your food and premises to dine in and the restaurant has your money.

    Depending on the terms of your agreement, they may or may not have to refund you your money: This boils down to the "it is a lease with a one-time fee" aspect. This is the harder spot to narrow down (assuming we ignore the fact that we all agreed to this, at which point it is already resolved :p), but that is why I brought up the examples of F2P terminating accounts or someone being banned from a gym they have a "lifetime membership" to.
    I don't recall any provision in any DD terms of service that come even close to saying the purchaser gets a refund in the case of termination.

    Also hamster: You DO realize they can still throw you out after you have paid, right? IF you don't believe me, start screaming hatespeech in a food court or something and see how fast they throw your ass out (even if you already paid for your chalupa).
    This is correct. They are not, however, allowed to throw you out for whatever reason they so please. The right to use the restaurant's premises is not a bare license granted gratuitously. Shit these days there are restrictions to terminate even bare licenses. But anyway, the terms of the implied license between restaurant and patron are basically common sense ones. You don't think that the restaurant is entitled to kick you out of your seat while you're eating for no reason, do you?

  3. #103
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drake Sigar View Post
    Didn't we used to have one version which did both the jobs? There was a period between CD keys and the Age of Steam where the service came packaged with games in an entirely optional download. If at all possible, single-player boxed games should go back to that. For the digital version bought directly from Steam... I don't know, maybe after they ban your account they could e-mail links to all the games you bought and host them for one month, giving you time to save them elsewhere? I think once downloaded to your computer, the installation files for games on GoG don't need online connectivity to confirm anything.

    Just throwing out ideas. I know there's no motivation to actually do it, the Steam legion vastly outnumber those who take my view, and publishers couldn't be happier now they've got more control than ever.
    But, like you said, that was before "the Age of Steam".

    And again, why should they go out of their way to help people they banned from the service? Especially considering that odds are it was for exploiting the service as a whole (Steam doesn't do "You're an asshole bans" if memory serves).

    Also, that would DEFINITELY need every dev to do a seperate build just for the people who have managed to get banned? ESPECIALLY if it is because they are no longer accepted customers. It is the definition of spending money on people who can't hope to give you more money back.

    And I disagree on publishers having more control than ever. If anything, they have less.

    Hear me out. From the late 486-era until the past few years, the only hope you had of making sales was word of mouth and/or retail. And only publishers stood a good chance at getting games on shelves. So publishers really did control everything. If they didn't like a game, they could just say "No, we won't distribute it for you" and it was over.

    Now? Now even Joe Schmoe the Indie Dev can get his game published on Steam through greenlight. And even if he can't get on Steam, he can just pay for some Amazon cloud hosting and do a "drm-free" release. And all he has to do to get the game out there is submit a press release or a preview build to a few gaming websites and MAYBE buy some adspace for cheap.

    Publishers are rapidly losing power. Hell, I think looking at the literary world shows the role publishers will take: Increasingly, self-published books are hitting the best seller lists (admittedly, for reasons of varying questionability). Published books are rapidly taking the role of a "premium" book. Now, writers have a choice: Self-publish, or try to get a publisher to pick them up and help promote the book and, more importantly, help EDIT the book. The former gives more freedom, the latter provides a safety net and VALUABLE feedback.

    Before immediately dismissing it as being a different field, I do suggest at least skimming a few author blogs. Harry Connolly's blog in particular has been a pretty good study at the benefits of self-publishing. Yeah, the guy is kind of bitter and somewhat broken after his awesome book series was largely ignored, but he is also pretty honest about things and definitely paints a world where there is room for both.

    So no, I don't think publishers are more powerful than ever. Quite the opposite.
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  4. #104
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Unaco's Avatar
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    SpaceChem model* is the one I always bring up (and it goes along with the GabeN philosophy on Piracy etc). An online connection is not required to play the game, but it does provide significant extras alongside the game. SpaceChem can be played offline, without connection, no problem. You miss out on Leaderboards, comparing your scores and solutions to friends and others, uploading your solutions, things like that. Play the game Online, and you get all of those things, access to social and community features, extra challenges and the like. There's an extra incentive to go online, make use of those features, but you don't have to. Also goes with the GabeN philosophy of making the legitimate, purchased version superior to any pirate version... Yes, you have to embrace the (always-)online connection DRM gubbins, but it in turn gives you some lovin' back. It's a mutual thing.

    Always-online isn't necessarily bad... except for maybe the Always part, but offering the base/vanilla game Offline gets round that. Online-DRM rather than Always-Online-DRM, with the DRM just covering those incentives and extra features. I think devs/publishers need to start coming up with and implementing these incentives, extra functionality from online play, social and community features etc.

    So, simply, the model is...

    offline = game.

    online = game + other stuff.


    *I don't know how strictly SpaceChem actually follows the model, but it works as an example.
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  5. #105
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hamster View Post
    How did you jump from "refusing right to provide service" to "refusing right to continue providing service"? In the former case, there is no agreement entered into, express or implied. In the latter case, there is. You have your food and premises to dine in and the restaurant has your money.
    Like I said. Go to any restaurant where you pay before you eat (generally cafeteria-style places). Give money, get your food, and start screaming profanity and hatespeech. See how long it takes to get thrown out even though you have "your food and premises to dine in and the restaurant has your money".
    They will not be refunding you, and if they don't have doggie bags, don't expect to keep your food.



    I don't recall any provision in any DD terms of service that come even close to saying the purchaser gets a refund in the case of termination.
    And neither do I, but people in this thread have been arguing it so I felt it worth a mention.


    This is correct. They are not, however, allowed to throw you out for whatever reason they so please. The right to use the restaurant's premises is not a bare license granted gratuitously. Shit these days there are restrictions to terminate even bare licenses. But anyway, the terms of the implied license between restaurant and patron are basically common sense ones. You don't think that the restaurant is entitled to kick you out of your seat while you're eating for no reason, do you?
    And publishers and distributors aren't either. If they said "You are mExican, we don't serve your kind", you are probably going to be the proud owner of Steam in a few years.

    The blanket agreement covers the same ground as the blanket "We refuse the right to service you" crap. I suggest applying "common sense" to both.
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  6. #106
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    You're all doing very well at being civil. I don't think I've even seen anyone accuse someone else of lack of reading comprehension yet. Carry on.

  7. #107
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Drake Sigar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    Also, that would DEFINITELY need every dev to do a seperate build just for the people who have managed to get banned? ESPECIALLY if it is because they are no longer accepted customers. It is the definition of spending money on people who can't hope to give you more money back.
    The build wouldn't be for banned customers so much as those who don't want to be forced into subscribing to a service, don't want DRM, don't have reliable online connectivity, etc.
    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    And I disagree on publishers having more control than ever. If anything, they have less.
    Perhaps I should rephrase and say they have more control over their own products than ever, to the point where the customer's basic rights have been all but extinguished. SecuROM, online activation, limited activations, forced subscriptions, online passes to remove content from second-hand sales, timelocks, it's almost an act of desperation really. Over the industry as a whole, you're right - they're losing power. Nowhere near enough to make them obsolete, but there are more and more viable alternatives cropping up recently for developers.
    Last edited by Drake Sigar; 29-01-2013 at 04:46 PM.

  8. #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by arathain View Post
    You're all doing very well at being civil. I don't think I've even seen anyone accuse someone else of lack of reading comprehension yet. Carry on.
    That and I could be pruning the shit out of this thread already, and you wouldnt have found out ;D

    Either way, I think we need to go back to discussing if "sometimes on" is a bad thing, because for example thats how I perceive my steam right now.
    I dont have problems with offline mode, and I buy most of my games online anyway, except when theyre cheaper on amazon.
    I dont feel threatened by any features that require internet, because I know there is an equally active community around that cracks steams security on a daily basis. Thats also why I think piracy is a necessary element in digital goods.

    Of course, why piracy at all, why not supply this feature from the get go?

    Well its always a financial reason, but it's not a customer hate one. Some people that make those decisions are very afraid of software sharing, others concentrate on services like steam because it brings them a huge coverage and revenue.

    Not that many really want to snare customers into buying more shitty superficial addons.
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  9. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    Like I said. Go to any restaurant where you pay before you eat (generally cafeteria-style places). Give money, get your food, and start screaming profanity and hatespeech. See how long it takes to get thrown out even though you have "your food and premises to dine in and the restaurant has your money".
    They will not be refunding you, and if they don't have doggie bags, don't expect to keep your food.

    The blanket agreement covers the same ground as the blanket "We refuse the right to service you" crap. I suggest applying "common sense" to both.
    For the hundredth time, the blanket statement has absolutely nothing to do with what you're saying.

    Ok, common sense, then? So that's an admission that the clause is too wide as it stands?

    But even interpreting the clause "right to terminate upon the sole discretion of the [DD]" to read as "right to terminate on reasonable grounds" is still very vague. What would constitute "reasonable"? Reasonableness tests are a hallmark of English Law but here we are talking about a contract, not tort. There is a meaningful difference between formulating a reasonableness test for negligence vs. reasonableness for "right to terminate". Indeed reasonableness goes to the heart of the matter in respect of rights and liabilities. On the other hand, contract is about a meeting of minds - contractual intention. As such, reasonableness in this context is used to infer the intention of the parties which was mutually agreed upon entering the contract. Can you see the difference? In the former case, the test is the reason behind the law. In the latter case, it is used to infer the state of the mind of the contracting parties. Pretty damn hard to do considering the myriad of contracts, commercial background, and so on. This is why in contract law, clarity is a requirement.

    It also turns the concept of good consideration into a joke. What's more likely to happen is that the clause would be completely severed from the agreement. Clear, concise terms that adequately describe the rights and obligations of both parties is what we need. Not "duuh we will take for granted that they will act reasonably even though they say they are entitled to do anything they want." Because then we wouldn't need contracts at all. Just faith.

  10. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuantaCat View Post
    That and I could be pruning the shit out of this thread already, and you wouldnt have found out ;D
    I had allowed that as a possibility, but you know, sometimes someone should say something nice. If you are, then go you. Nice work.

    I think sometimes-on is a fairly obvious necessity for the features that Steam offers, and it's a compromise that I'm perfectly happy with.

    I don't know if I agree with Gundato that gamers are getting a fantastic deal for their Steam purchases (although I think that's a legitimate perspective), but I think it's easy to discount how convenient the basic functionality of Steam (and similar services) really is. Download my stuff whenever I want, with no more faffing about with discs and keys? Automatic patching? I love it. I don't want to go back. I acknowledge that there is a real risk of losing access at some point, but you know, I'll take the chance.

  11. #111
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hamster View Post
    For the hundredth time, the blanket statement has absolutely nothing to do with what you're saying.

    Ok, common sense, then? So that's an admission that the clause is too wide as it stands?
    ...
    I've been saying that repeatedly. It is wide because it makes things easier on all involved. The exact same reason the blanket statement in a restaurant is wide.

    On the other hand, contract is about a meeting of minds - contractual intention.
    Like I said, the intent is "I give you money, you give me service. Don't be a dick" and "You give me money and I give you service. Don't be a dick"

    It also turns the concept of good consideration into a joke. What's more likely to happen is that the clause would be completely severed from the agreement. Clear, concise terms that adequately describe the rights and obligations of both parties is what we need. Not "duuh we will take for granted that they will act reasonably even though they say they are entitled to do anything they want." Because then we wouldn't need contracts at all. Just faith.
    No, the EULA (I am hesitant to call it a "contract" as the legality is dubious) is just a way to reinforce the good faith agreement while protecting the service provider from having to service a problematic customer. Yes, it has lots of legalese that may or may not hold up in a court of law (there is definitely precedent to support it, as i have demonstrated, but if it is legally binding is still anyone's guess)


    Quote Originally Posted by arathain View Post
    I don't know if I agree with Gundato that gamers are getting a fantastic deal for their Steam purchases (although I think that's a legitimate perspective), but I think it's easy to discount how convenient the basic functionality of Steam (and similar services) really is. Download my stuff whenever I want, with no more faffing about with discs and keys? Automatic patching? I love it. I don't want to go back. I acknowledge that there is a real risk of losing access at some point, but you know, I'll take the chance.
    To provide a bit of clarity:
    What I have been saying is that if we view it as a lease (which it is), then it IS a great deal. Fifty-sixty bucks for "lifetime" access to just about anything is a good deal. OF course, once you factor in how it is distributed, your personal value might change.
    As an example: I absolutely LOVE Splinter Cell Conviction. Yeah, it is different from CT, but it is still really fun and is a great take on the concept. But the always-on ubi-drm pisses me off. So the underlying game is easily worth 40-60 bucks in my eyes, but the DRM meant that I wouldn't pay more than 20 dollars for it (ended up getting it for 15 bucks, by the way).

    But yeah, it is a matter of weighing the costs and benefits. Buying a movie on a new media type is a risk because you don't know if that type of media will have long-term support in a decade (or even a few years). Buying a digital product on any service is risky because you don't know if that service will be around long term.

    But the thing people forget: Buying any GAME is "risky" in that you have no guarantee that the software will work in a few years. Why? Hardware and software changes. There is a reason that GoG is loved by many for the simple fact that they get all the old games we love working on modern OSes with minimal hassle. I would wager money that the vast majority of the older gamers here have re-purchased at least one game from GoG for ease of use.
    But if you "owned the game forever" as has been posited (and is technically not true to begin with...), why are you re-buying it anyway?
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  12. #112
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    Putting a specific dollar/pound/insert-currency-here value as part of any discussion is inviting an unsolvable morass of a debate. You get to decide whether something is worth the price for you only and for no one else.

    I suppose I would argue, though, that with digital delivery offering perfectly flexible pricing, and with the availability of competing service providers, that game prices are tending strongly towards a hypothetical true market value, for what that's worth. It's been very interesting, anyhow. I'm loving it, personally. Patience gets me big discounts on titles that I don't feel compelled to buy immediately.

  13. #113
    Lesser Hivemind Node Shooop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unaco View Post
    An online model that works
    That's what I want to see from future games - it's OK to be offline, and no one will take away the entire game if you're an idiot just the mutliplayer bit. But being online just means you get more out of the game. It's not a requirement but an option that's rewarding to some people.

    And cloud-saving does work to an extent like this gundato. I can play it offline, and connect later to cloud sync. It's an option instead of a requirement and that's what's ideal. We just need the DRM cut off from the rest of it.
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  14. #114
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    I'm bringing back this thread due to the various SimCity discussions going on, since they seem to all degenerate quickly into namecalling and nonexcellence.

    So Simcity is DRMed to the sky, what is the issue, exactly, though? That they lied about *needing* their always online features? Or that it simply is?

    The point has been brought that it should simply be classified as an MMO or social game (ala facebook games), especially since it lacks complexity and is meant for an online (social media) market.

    Discuss!
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  15. #115
    Lesser Hivemind Node Shooop's Avatar
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    It's twofold:

    1) It's always-online DRM which as everyone with critical thinking skills agrees is a horrible idea.
    2) It was a blatant lie when they said the online bit was a necessity for allowing the game to run. There was absolutely no other reason to make the game always-online except for DRM purposes as an insider claimed and someone 's just now proven.

    Basically, EA went about doing this in the very worst way that is humanly possible. Making a system that's fundamentally broken, and then lying about it being a requirement.

    John comparing anyone who is doing their best to deflect the criticism of this incredibly awful move on EA's part to the people of 1984 is not hyperbole - they are doing everything in their power to refute objective truths.
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  16. #116
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Drake Sigar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuantaCat View Post
    So Simcity is DRMed to the sky, what is the issue, exactly, though? That they lied about *needing* their always online features? Or that it simply is?
    The main issue seems different for everyone you ask. It can be that the SimCity franchise couldn't go online-only and remain SimCity because this directly contradicts the focus of the game almost as much as the multiplayer mode in Spec Ops: The Line or a co-op mode in a horror game. Maybe it's the atrocious online MMO-level technical problems for a non-MMO game that everyone saw coming. It could be the temporary removal of features like Cheetah mode. Or perhaps it's more about the PR blunders.

    The whole thing is like a Matryoshka doll. As you open another layer you're thinking "surely this has to be the last one", but it isn't. There is another layer of idiocy beyond that. And beyond that. And perhaps even beyond that.

  17. #117
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    Steamworks is so stupid. I remember buying boxed copies where you had the option of linking your CD key to your Steam account, which would link them permanently. Steamworks should be an option. I'd rather put up with CD checks than having to log into Steam every time I want to play a game.

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