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Old 11-08-2008, 05:06 AM   #16
GlobalExplorer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdkbph
If SES uses the same DRM system in Jutland?... as much as I'm a big fan of naval history and wargaming going back 40 years, I'm out.
@jdkbhp:

1. I think your post sums up the situation better than anything else.

2. It was already stated Jutland is going to use the same system.

3. I am out, too, and will have no reservations to warn as many others as I can.

P.S. Here an important statement to those who are defending this, or other similar DRM systems, on the ground that "it works for them": You are just living for the moment. You enjoy your game today, but you have zero guarantee what will be tomorrow, sooner or later you will lose the ability to play or install it (see Bioshock, Mass Effect, Far Cry 2), practically wasting a lot of money (70$ in the case of Jutland), and you are just wagering on the fact that you will already have lost interest until then.
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Old 11-08-2008, 09:50 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by jdkbph
So very M$ like... wouldn't you say?
Look, i've got no love for Microsoft and their balsa wood Xbox 360s. Frankly the "WOW LOOK HOW I CAN WRITE MICRO$OFT LOL" thing is sooooo old.

Quote:
Bottom line:

- SES' home brewed DRM in Distant Guns sucks because it inconveniences legitimate users.
Yeah, i've heard of the horror stories from the previous game. If corporate DRM is bad home grown DRM is MUCH worse because tech support is pretty much non-existent.

Quote:
If SES uses the same DRM system in Jutland?... as much as I'm a big fan of naval history and wargaming going back 40 years, I'm out.

JD
I just won't care. Honestly who doesn't just crack everything they own these days? I've cracked every game I own and i've bought every one of them legally. It turns out i'm not a trained monkey, and think dev's and their CD identification bull can go to hell.

I really think developers are the ones who end up getting scammed by DRM, because it almost never works. They just don't think about that part really. All they care about are marketing buzzwords guys like SecuROM say to them at business meetings like "gauranteed sales" and "revenue". The thing is, most developers know DRM will always fail in the long run, they even know the fans will hate them for it. It's just that to them, the number of sales saved by DRM in the short term are worth it. Especially since most sales HAPPEN on or not long after release.
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Old 11-08-2008, 11:35 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptHawkeye
Look, i've got no love for Microsoft and their balsa wood Xbox 360s. Frankly the "WOW LOOK HOW I CAN WRITE MICRO$OFT LOL" thing is sooooo old.
Well, I'm old.... and that's what you get when that happens.

Quote:
I just won't care. Honestly who doesn't just crack everything they own these days? I've cracked every game I own and i've bought every one of them legally. It turns out i'm not a trained monkey, and think dev's and their CD identification bull can go to hell.
I hear you. But unless you're good enough to be able to crack it yourself, that might not work in this case. Believe me, after the second time I got locked out of a game I bought and paid good money for, you think I didn't think about that? Sure, I investigated the alternatives. And I did find a crack. The problem is the crack does not permit the auto-update feature to function. And as you may know, SES updates this game on a regular basis. I think the current revision is like the 30th update since the game was released. I think the crack has also been updated, but it doesn't happen on a regular or consistent basis.

If were a true pirate who did not pay for the game I could live with that. But I'm not.... I paid for it, and I want those patches.

My guess as to the reason the crack is not kept current is because, unlike the popular FPS shooters and RTS type games, there just isn't enough interest in a hard core naval wargame - free or otherwise - to make it worth their while. Which begs the question, why does SES bother wasting time and money on a super sophisticated DRM - time and money that could be spent making the game better - when all it really does is annoy legitimate customers to the point where they're out there b|tch|ng about it all over the internet!


Quote:
It's just that to them, the number of sales saved by DRM in the short term are worth it. Especially since most sales HAPPEN on or not long after release.
Well, if by sales you mean total revenue generated by a product or product line, I'd have to say yes and no. And this brings me to another aspect of SES' business model that I find... curious.

Consider Silent Hunter III. The game still sells 5+ years after it was released. Harpoon in all it's various flavors, all based on a pair of game engines 8+ years old, still sells. Why? Modders. Continuous development leading to enhancement and expansion of a product far beyond what a publisher would allow or a developer trying to make a living could afford to do on their own.

These afore-mentioned games - like many non-console type PC games these days - were released in a marginal (at best) state with regard to quality, accuracy, feature functionality, etc.. Yet they didn't just wither and die like so many others over the years. By leaving the data and the game engine configurations accessible, they left the door open for the user community to come in and clean up much of the mess for them. Whether this was foresight or dumb luck, the results speak for themselves. Not only have these games enjoyed a much longer shelf life that you would otherwise expect, but the interest level has been kept high enough that add-ons and sequels are (apparently) profitable as well.

In other words, the development effort that went into these games was still reaping reward for the publisher (or whoever held the rights) far beyond what might otherwise be expected because of mods and modders.

Contrast this with what SES is doing. They encrypt their data and configuration files. You cannot so much as change the text description of a gun from metric to imperial. I tried. The text file exists but it doesn't do anything. The real files are locked down.

They claim that they do this to preserve the integrity of MP. There are however, other more sensible ways to do this. And again, one might ask why even bother? As with the DRM argument, you're dealing with a different crowd here. These aren't a bunch of Mario Cart kiddies trying to score Xbox Achievements.

I suspect the real reason this was done was to specifically discourage modding. Based on some of the conversations we've had on this subject with the SES folks, you don't have to strain too hard reading between the lines to figure out they see modding as a possible threat to potential revenue streams.

The irony is they never did release any add-ons for DG... although the potential to expand and improve the game is certianly there. So again, all they've really accomplished here is to waste development time and money on another way to annoy their customers.

And now they're about to release Jutland...

Santayana might as well have been talking about these guys when he wrote Reason in Common Sense a hundred years ago.



JD

Last edited by jdkbph; 11-08-2008 at 11:40 AM.
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Old 11-08-2008, 12:28 PM   #19
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They're clearly dead set on maintaining an extremely paranoid DRM policy. It's probably because unlike most developers, they actually put a TON of time and effort into their game and need to make money off of it. I can understand that, but if in development of the game they dug themselves into a financial hole, well that's frankly their problem. Watching them try to make it everyone else's is just hilarious.

They should get some pointers from Taleworld on how to make cool detailed games without becoming manic depressive about it.

Last edited by CaptHawkeye; 11-08-2008 at 12:38 PM.
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Old 11-08-2008, 04:32 PM   #20
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I still don't see what all the commotion is about. As I say, my experience has showed no problems at all with the game or the DRM. I will acknowledge the fact that Jim isn't exactly the most diplomatic developer of all times, but I strongly suspect that there's a silent majority of players who've really not had much in the way of issues and are generally satisfied with support.

I welcome productive criticism of the system and pushing SES to change it, but I'm really irked at the whole "DON'T BUY IT" thing. Gee, thanks for killing people's interest in a rare, quality simulation that's already a very niche product to start with. Honestly, the ability to play a game that has simulation fidelity, gameplay and servicable graphics, which is well-supported and promises good multiplayer also, far outweighs the silly idea of "ownership". I paid $60 for Distant Guns two years ago, had nary a problem, and consider myself to have got many times more gameplay value out of it than the average X-Box game which, oddly enough, costs just as much.

Also, I find the idea that "because you don't own a hard copy you've got no guarantee you'll have it tomorrow" a bit ludicrous. There haven't been many (or any) major games that I know this actually happened to, for one; and secondly, this assumes that hard copies last, which is also highly untrue.
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Last edited by CCIP; 11-08-2008 at 04:36 PM.
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Old 11-08-2008, 06:10 PM   #21
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Like I said, in comparison to everything the game is offering I really don't care about the DRM. I'd rather encourage indy game development.

Last edited by CaptHawkeye; 11-08-2008 at 06:10 PM.
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Old 11-08-2008, 06:44 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CCIP
I still don't see what all the commotion is about. As I say, my experience has showed no problems at all with the game or the DRM.
That makes you part of the fortunate majority... many of whom seem to be too short sighted to realize that there really are problems here. Just because they haven't been affected yet does not mean it won't affect them at some point in the future.

Quote:
Gee, thanks for killing people's interest in a rare, quality simulation that's already a very niche product to start with.
You're shooting at the messenger.

It is a good game... I never said it wasn't... and I suspect Jutland will be as good, if not better. More's the pity that the developer is so paranoid, so stubborn and egotistical... not only to the point of being unwilling to listen to the voice of the customer, but all too willing to alienate them by making wild accusations and throwing temper tantrums in public forums.

Quote:
Also, I find the idea that "because you don't own a hard copy you've got no guarantee you'll have it tomorrow" a bit ludicrous. There haven't been many (or any) major games that I know this actually happened to, for one; and secondly, this assumes that hard copies last, which is also highly untrue.
I think you may have misunderstood the concern. It's not about the hard copy... it's a question of ownership vs a license to play. SES' position, as stated in the EULA, is that when you pay the $70 fee for the game you are not actually purchasing it, but only purchasing the right to install and play it on your computer... at the discretion and pleasure of SES. Meaning, if they judge that you have violated their EULA, they can literally pull the plug on you. For example, their EULA says you cannot resell the game, and this DRM system gives them the ability to enforce that, even if the legality is questionable. Here's an interesting thread on that subject.

There is one other aspect that I haven't yet mentioned, and that is what happens if SES gets bought out or goes belly up? L'Empereur assures us that it is his intention to "release the keys", so to speak, to all registered users should that happen. Nice thought... but is it realistic?

If somethng happens, say three or four years from now, will SES have your correct email address on file? Will they be able to contact you and every other registered user when they need to send you the files (or whatever) to make your game playable again after you upgrade to that shiny new computer system? But even if you assume that every registered user will be diligent about keeping their contact info up to date on SES' server, there's another problem with this idea.

Small companies often fold due to financial issues.... debt and cash flow mostly. When financial issues of that sort occur, disputes over company assets are not uncommon. What L'Emperuer is failing to consider, or neglecting to mention, is that these games, DG and Jutland, are in fact intellectual property owned by SES. As such the rights to those games, including the rights to those "keys" we've been promised, would most likely be forfeit to creditors... L'Empereur's good intentions notwithstanding.

Guess where that leaves us, the game "owners"?

How likely is this? I don't know... what percentage of small niche PC game companies have gone out of business or bankrupt over the years? But however you judge the risk, make no mistake that SES' policy in combination with their DRM system effectively places all the risk on the customer. I'm sorry but that just doesn't sit right wth me.

JD
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Old 11-08-2008, 06:52 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdkbph
There is one other aspect that I haven't yet mentioned, and that is what happens if SES gets bought out or goes belly up? L'Empereur assures us that it is his intention to "release the keys", so to speak, to all registered users should that happen. Nice thought... but is it realistic?
Not only is it not realistic, it is ILLEGAL. If a company/factory goes into receivership, you can't just give away all the buildings/equipment. They still belong to the bank. Same goes with the 'keys' to the software. They are still owned by the receiver/creditor. The act of giving it away would be illegal.
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Old 11-20-2008, 05:28 AM   #24
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Jim Rose today announced on gamesquad they have a "release candidate 1" and said release may be next week.

He also told they have streamlined their DRM.

Z.

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Old 11-20-2008, 08:26 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zakalwe
Jim Rose today announced on gamesquad they have a "release candidate 1" and said release may be next week.
Uh-oh, now this is really going to make some people wet their pants
They say next week, so I suppose we're going to see it just before christmas on Dec 24th
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Old 11-20-2008, 09:50 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zakalwe
Jim Rose today announced on gamesquad they have a "release candidate 1" and said release may be next week.

He also told they have streamlined their DRM.

Z.
If it actually works, no one will be happier about that than me. I want to buy this game... but only if it hasn't been poisoned by it's designer's paranoia. If this new "streamlined" DRM is finally able to handle a common scenario like a forced OS re-install (eg, due to a hard drive crash) without assuming I'm a pirate and breaking my game, then I'm in... whatever they're charging for it.

JD
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Old 11-20-2008, 11:59 AM   #27
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This is what Jim wrote:

"When Jutland ships (looks like it might be next week!), you will see teh 2nd generation of our License managemnt tech. It will streamline the move to a new PC. Also, it puts the re-authorization process squarely in the hands of the end user."

Z.
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Old 11-20-2008, 01:30 PM   #28
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We'll see how it is when it gets here. Ultimately I don't think i'll care until it threatens to set my computer on fire for failing the login attempt twice in a row. This game just looks too damn good. I'm even going to be a fanboy poser and buy the special edition of a video game for once. Why would I do that?
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Old 11-20-2008, 03:21 PM   #29
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If by "special edition" you mean the "Pro" version (vs the "standard" version) you might want to strongly consider doing that anyway.

The standard version will only come with a few canned scenarios and a 30 day mini campaign.

The pro version comes with all of the above, plus the full campaign (all of 1916 I think) and the long awaited full featured scenario builder (as opposed to the crummy battle generator thingie they put in DG).

That makes the Standard version a waste of time, IMHO. The Pro version is the real deal. The cynic in me guesses they were just afraid to throw it out there, naked-like, at a $70+ (USD) price point. The $50 version will at least get folks who wouldn't otherwise bother with such an expensive game to look at it. Then when the hook is set, they reel 'em in with the Pro version.

Sort of like what happens when you go to a car dealer with a Sunday paper ad in your hand...

:p

JD

Last edited by jdkbph; 11-20-2008 at 03:22 PM.
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Old 11-20-2008, 04:14 PM   #30
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If by "Pro" edition you mean my "special edition" then yes.

Really I can't imagine playing the game without Grand Strategy. No Naval game should suffer the ignomious fate of LINEARITY. Besides, I want to see what would happen if the High Seas Fleet was more aggressive and not "lets have this huge fleet and then never use it because Brits is still bigger".
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