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 MADAOO7 on 5/12/2008 1:58:18 AM , Rating: 1
That is the most ridiculous and contradictory statement you could make. Let me get this straight. You were going to buy the real version, until they took steps to make sure you didn't steal it. DRM shouldn't affect you purchasing behavior. You can't say you are against DRM and against piracy. If you are against piracy, then you are buying the real thing, and DRM shouldn't affect that decision. It's as if you don't want to practice what you preach.

RE: DRM again
By mindless1 on 5/16/2008 4:16:10 AM , Rating: 2
Yes some would buy the retail version until the DRM makes it either less convenient to play or offensive to a potential customer.

For example, it has been several years since I have bought any games that I couldn't find a no-cd crack for. Any game I consider, I first hunt down the crack. No crack, no play the game because I will not go juggling discs around. Similarly I won't buy or play games that require internet validation continually - maybe when first installed but that is the limit.

I would never buy a game that limits how many times it can be installed or activated. My gaming system is a secondary one and if any change often that one would be it.

Basically, there's more to a game than just the few hours of play, there's also the incentives to those who respect our, the gamers, desires. I am even thinking seriously about foregoing games that require a no-cd crack for this reason, though frankly part of it may be that I just don't play games as much as i used to, these days it's more about wanting to run it just to feel I'm keeping up with state of the industry graphical eyecandy, some of them just look nice as if the gaming industry will be far ahead of most when we finally get to the point where systems are well endowed enough to support a truely immersive VR for RPGs.

"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov

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