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Print 79 comment(s) - last by mindless1.. on May 16 at 4:38 AM

M.E. takes a hint from E.T. and decides to phone home more regularly

While Xbox 360 gamers have been able to enjoy Bioware's action-RPG title Mass Effect -- and all the innuendo and controversy surrounding it -- since November 2007, PC gamers will only receive their first taste of Commander Shepard's interstellar adventuring and Captain-Kirk-esqe taste for alien romance later this month.

That is, assuming their computer can not only meet the modest system requirements, but also remain connected to the Internet for the mandatory authorization check that occurs upon installation and every ten days thereafter.

That's right, fellow PC gamers -- it seems that the complaints and furor that surrounded Bioshock's irritating activation scheme have been taken as a "how-to" rather than something to be avoided. Bioware marketing employee Chris Priestly has posted the grisly details on the official Bioware forums, and it isn't pretty for those who only have sporadic connectivity:

Q: What happens if I want to play MEPC but do not have an internet connection?
A: You cannot play MEPC without an internet connection. MEPC must authenticate when it is initially run and every 10 days thereafter.

Q: What happens if I install and activate MEPC with an internet connection, but then do not have an internet connection after 10 days? Can I still play MEPC?
A: No. After 10 days the system needs to re-authenticate via the internet. If you do not have an internet connection you will not be able to play until you are reconnected to the internet and able to re-authenticate.

The discussion thread on the Bioware forums has grown rapidly, with several members voicing their distaste to various degrees of subtlety -- some even openly declaring that they will pirate the game rather than buy it, simply because it will be less of an inconvenience.

In addition to the game routinely phoning home, the SecuROM copy protection will also enforce a limitation of three "activated" installations of the game -- any copies installed beyond this will require a phone call to EA Support. For those who recall the server issues during the initial launch of Bioshock, EA has addressed this with no small amount of confidence:

Q: There were some problems with authentication servers for games like BioShock. Is EA ready for the influx of MEPC players? Will we be able to play our games when we get them home?
A: Yes, EA is ready and we are confident there will be no server problems. EA has assured us that they have their authorization systems and customer support staff in place and ready for the launch of Mass Effect for PC. Anyone having issues with getting the game activated will be able to contact EA Support and get their problem resolved.
Gamers of the world will have to wait until May 28th to determine if EA remains true to their word, or if they will be forced to eat them.


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RE: DRM again
By gramboh on 5/7/2008 4:23:55 PM , Rating: 5
For me, the 'convenience' is knowing whether or not the integrity of my PC is being compromised by DRM (remember early StarForce?). I have no problem paying for quality titles, and I do, but I am not going to install something that might compromise my PC.

If I am able to buy it and use a crack from the warez version to remove the authentication (since it's single player only) I will do that, as I do with most games since I hate putting the disc in the drive.

Downloading a 4GB torrent at 1mbyte/s doesn't take very long either.

I have no problem with online authentication (e.g. simple check of key against db) but if there is anything more, especially limiting the number of installs, that is ridiculous.


RE: DRM again
By darkpaw on 5/7/08, Rating: 0
RE: DRM again
By gramboh on 5/8/2008 2:13:55 AM , Rating: 2
Sure it's possible, but believe it or not the cracking groups do what they do for 'pride' and 'respect' in their scene. If they installed a trojan/rootkit etc. via a crack their releases would be blacklisted, it's highly unlikely but yes, it is possible.


RE: DRM again
By robinthakur on 5/8/2008 8:35:13 AM , Rating: 2
Actually if anyone's using vista that won't happen with UAC :) I've actually never come across a virus/trojan etc in a warez crack. Common sense is all that's needed. Anti-virus, firewall and ensure that the crack comes either with the release or from somewhere 'well-frequented' (in the absence of being able to say 'reputable')


RE: DRM again
By darkpaw on 5/8/2008 11:43:43 AM , Rating: 2
Firewall won't do anything if they're smart enough to use the same port out as the game EXE normally would. Virus scanners are generally behind the curve on catching much of anything that isn't mass distribution. Finally, most of the people that use these things wouldn't have the slightest clue their system was taken over.

Smart attackers don't run crap that is obvious and crash the system. It's pretty much been my experience that most people that whine about how unreliable Windows is are the same people that download and install absolutely anything without question.


RE: DRM again
By kondor999 on 5/8/2008 12:46:24 PM , Rating: 2
You have obviously never actually seen or downloaded a cracked release. I've *never* gotten a trojan, virus, etc from any cracked release from a *reputable* group. It's all about knowing where to go.

In many ways, I hate what these guys do (it will destroy PC gaming) - but they are good at it, and they have pretty amazing integrity when it comes to ensuring the quality of their "product". Go figure...


RE: DRM again
By 4wardtristan on 5/9/2008 4:35:15 AM , Rating: 3
backing up what your sorta saying for a bit of your post...

i believe that alot of the time (high 90%), malware is common sense.

dont open that "birthday_card.exe" attachment that your uncle sent you

dont download "J.T - cry me a river.mp3" that is 64kb big

for that matter, dont install any p2p program what so ever etc.

dont click on "congratulations! you are the 14124124124124124th unique visitor! click here to win a exorbitant amount of money!"

follow common sense and you will lead a long and prosperous OS install.

yes i know this is completely unrelated and whatnot but its a rant.

/rant


RE: DRM again
By Nik00117 on 5/10/2008 4:22:38 PM , Rating: 2
I agree, this kinda copy protection is going too far. What If I install it on my laptop, and i'm on a trip without internet acess and 11 days later I wanna play it?


RE: DRM again
By omnicronx on 5/12/2008 8:50:19 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
You have obviously never actually seen or downloaded a cracked release. I've *never* gotten a trojan, virus, etc from any cracked release from a *reputable* group. It's all about knowing where to go.
And thats when you realize, these 'reputable* groups do not distribute their own software!!! Unless you have drump/topsite access(barely exists anymore), or you know someone else has access, then you have no idea how many channels it went through before getting to you.

Sure back in the day when everyone downloaded their games right off MIRC and then it filtered out, you were much less likely to get some sort of malware or virus, but today you really have no idea where it came from, or who got their hands on it before it reaches you.


RE: DRM again
By omnicronx on 5/12/2008 8:44:28 AM , Rating: 2
I don't know why you were rated down but you are right on the button. I have had access to scene rips and games for years now, and even I do not trust every release I have downloaded. You are much much more likely to have some kind of malware or spyware of some sort installed on your computer using pirated content then any DRM scheme. If you think otherwise, then you have something coming. My guess is download 20 games, at least one of them will result in your computer being part of somebody's botnet =P


"This is about the Internet.  Everything on the Internet is encrypted. This is not a BlackBerry-only issue. If they can't deal with the Internet, they should shut it off." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis

















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