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Always on DRM *cough* Sim City *cough*

When you actually ARE "entitled"

By on March 6, 2013 2:48:10 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

Vamphaery

Join Date 01/2007
+5

You know how the industry keeps labeling people "entitled" whenever they take any issue whatsoever with what it's doing? Well this form of always on DRM that Sim City is using - you know, the reason why many who bought the game can't play it at this moment - is an example of why people take umbrage.

Everyone understands that companies have the right to, and a need to, protect their property as well as do the best they can to ensure sales. That's normal, expected, and accepted. But when you pay for a game, you ARE "entitled" to be allowed to play said game. Especially when their own people not 24 hours earlier go into interviews and talk about how the servers have been stress tested and are ready for launch. Those interviews aren't just innocent, excusable interactions with fans and media personnel. They're ADVERTISING.

When you advertise that your servers are ready for launch, and people pay for the game partially on the basis of that advertisement, they ARE "entitled" to get what they think they paid for. This is why always-on DRM gets such a bad rap, and why people don't understand and don't accept being called "entitled whiners" by the industry they love and want to support in exchange for gaming experiences they desire.

Meanwhile, pirates manage to crack these forms of DRM in short order. So it doesn't do a lot to deter piracy, and only really causes an inconvenience for paying customers. If it's not going to deter piracy more than an activation key, then why not take a hint from companies like Stardock, and just use activation keys? Stardock's philosophy seems to be that more intrusive forms of DRM don't protect them more than activation keys do, and they *shock and gasp* would rather not INCONVENIENCE THEIR PAYING CUSTOMERS. I know. What a radical concept, right?

That's why they get the kind of loyalty that ensures that many will ride out buggy launches like Elemental, and still be around when they finally fix the game and release something like Elemental: Fallen Enchantress. And they are only one example of companies who treat their customers right and get their loyalty in return. EA: please take note.

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March 6, 2013 3:30:06 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

But when you pay for a game, you ARE "entitled" to be allowed to play said game.

This is patently not true. Industry standard is to include ToS where any blame is removed from the company for servers being unavailable for any reason.

When you advertise that your servers are ready for launch, and people pay for the game partially on the basis of that advertisement, they ARE "entitled" to get what they think they paid for.

Again, not true. They are "entitled" to get exactly what they paid for, not what they think they paid for.

 

While it is nice to place blame on EA for shitty always-online DRM, it was a well-known fact that it would be in. And those releases never ever (ever) go smooth. So ultimately, the customer is to blame for buying the piece of shit game and not understanding how the service will work.

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March 6, 2013 3:40:02 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

I respect your opinion, but that's the kind of apolgist excuse that empowers them to do things like this. I don't care what the technical and legal reality is. If I pay for something there is a reasonable expectation that it will work. Period. I patently reject any argument to the contrary, and I will never, ever accept any argument to the contrary.

Legal =/= right. I do however agree that consumers continually agreeing to buy these games are directly responsible for the proliferation of these practices.

It being the norm and to be expected now =/= right either. People should exercise better judgment, but the companies doing it cannot be exonerated from all responsibility. That just isn't right.

We're talking about Sim City of all things. A staple of PC gaming for decades. And people can't even play single player and have to wait in a queue like it's an MMO. Seriously. Come on now. Acceptance of this is unthinkable to me, frankly.

EDIT: This will probably sound stupid to most here, but I just found out Percy Pringle aka WWE's Paul Bearer (former Undertaker's manager) just died. A very kind man in real life and like many I'm very sad now, so I don't want to get into a protracted argument about the videogame industry. I respect everyone's opinions and am going to head to bed now and leave it at that. Peace.

 

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March 6, 2013 5:36:18 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

This is an automatic no buy for me outside of MMO's.  And I don't play MMO's.

 

This is also why companies like EA and Ubi haven't received my business in over a decade now.  It would be beneficial to the gaming consumer if those companies went under.

 

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March 6, 2013 6:27:21 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I avoided titles with online DRM like the plague until one that I couldn't resist came on the market (Damn you Anno2070!!). Unfortunately I had the worst experience with it as the server was down more times than I can remember turning my game into a reduced functionality 'demo' so to speak. Because of this the expansion pack received the middle finger from me and no matter how tempting a title it may be I will never purchase any games that support always on DRM.

Why companies continue to put punishing DRM mechanics for their paying customers eludes me. Maybe I'm the only one that didn't return after I was bitten once. I don't know.

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March 6, 2013 9:36:58 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I bought SimCity last night and immediately had some difficulties due to it's online nature.  I'm not usually one to bitch (really i'm not), but it does seem like a headache for a system I don't want to use (playing with others).  I logged on, tried to make a city, and it pretty much said, "no, try later".  So I exited out, tried a different, more populated server, and then magically the game started with a tutorial and worked.  Minor inconvenience but still would be nice to have the option to play offline and not worry about their servers overloading.

 

I don't think I would be so bothered by always on online bullshit, if their fucking servers actually worked as intended.

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March 6, 2013 10:59:13 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I could be wrong, but I think Heavenfall's point was, it is our (the customers) fault because we keep buying games with these damn DRM methods. The only way to really stop companies from putting those invasive types of DRM in, is to NOT buy the game at all!

I apologize to HF if that was not his point, nonetheless it is my opinion.

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March 6, 2013 11:35:57 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

It was indeed my point, I am not apologizing for EA but the fact is, if we don't stop buying the games then they'll keep doing it. If you don't like the product in front of you, do not pay for it. Paying for it only to complain is ridiculous.

I got burned on Settlers 7. I got burned in Anno 2070. I got burned on Diablo3.

In fact, every (non-mmo) game I bought with always online DRM burned me. So now, I do not buy them. If people can enjoy the games with that inside, more power to them but I think it is a stupid business decision to force such decisions for the product because CLEARLY it alienates a segment of customers.

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March 6, 2013 11:49:05 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I wish I hadn't bought it.  I should have known better, shit, I did know better. 

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March 6, 2013 12:09:43 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting Lord Xia,

I wish I hadn't bought it.  I should have known better, shit, I did know better. 

 

Same here Xia but ... you have to admit ... once you get in game it is a heck of a lot of fun to play. (provided it doesn't dump you.)

 

Only server currently stable enough to rock out on for house seams to be Europe East 1.

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March 6, 2013 7:15:02 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Lord Xia,

I wish I hadn't bought it.  I should have known better, shit, I did know better. 

Ouch, I'm sorry to hear that i was quite disappointed when i found out that the game was a wreck. While Tropico 4 doesnt replace sim city with all the DLC it's pretty fun.

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March 6, 2013 7:20:11 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting boshimi336,


Quoting Lord Xia, reply 8
I wish I hadn't bought it.  I should have known better, shit, I did know better. 

 

Same here Xia but ... you have to admit ... once you get in game it is a heck of a lot of fun to play. (provided it doesn't dump you.)

 

Only server currently stable enough to rock out on for house seams to be Europe East 1.

 

I can't admit it yet, I've only been able to play it for 10 minutes.  Can't get on now.

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March 6, 2013 9:16:22 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

then why not take a hint from companies like Stardock, and just use activation keys? Stardock's philosophy seems to be that more intrusive forms of DRM don't protect them more than activation keys do, and they *shock and gasp* would rather not INCONVENIENCE THEIR PAYING CUSTOMERS. I know. What a radical concept, right?

Umm, isn't Steam a form of online DRM, which SD is using to distribute Rebellion?

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March 6, 2013 9:28:11 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

Well I'm back.

Firstly, apologies to Heavenfall if I misinterpreted the intent of your post. You have to admit, your wording could easily be construed as taking the entirety of the blame off of the shoulders of the companies pushing these models and placing it on users completely. But as I said in my response, I agree that people supporting such practices are directly responsible for their proliferation as well. Of course the reason that is the case is because the vast majority of gamers, even on PC, have zero interest in or knowledge of how the industry works, and simply buy what they want without complaint so long as the game is fun for them. Those who oppose these practices are only a vocal minority. So if companies never pushed these practices, the silent majority wouldn't know the difference and we wouldn't have to suffer because of it.

Quoting myfist0,


Umm, isn't Steam a form of online DRM, which SD is using to distribute Rebellion?

I wasn't aware Stardock was requiring Steam for games it publishes now. That's very disheartening. Though, Steam doesn't seem to suffer from server capacity failures that completely bar access to games, I can see it happening and that is something I oppose.

Question: Do Steam games require you to be online at all times? Or do you just need to have signed in at the launch of a game? If you lose your connection after that does the game tell you you can't play? If so, that's atrocious. (That's what's happening with Sim City.)

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March 6, 2013 11:15:04 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

You have to be online to install and you have to be online to switch to offline mode. I have heard that if you lose your connection while playing, it switches to offline mode, but I cant verify that, and have read people still have problems with it with a lot of games.

Biggest issue I have is Steams TOS, read it, you will be shocked at how far they help bend you over before ramming it to you.

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March 6, 2013 11:23:54 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting myfist0,
Biggest issue I have is Steams TOS, read it, you will be shocked at how far they help bend you over before ramming it to you.

Wow, no dinner, no hand shake, no lube. And I guess flowers is out of the question huh...?

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March 6, 2013 11:25:53 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting G_Bison,
Wow, no dinner, no hand shake, no lube. And I guess flowers is out of the question huh...?

hehe, thanks for the chuckles 

 

I posted this b4 and here it is again

Like:
http://store.steampowered.com/subscriber_agreement/

6. USER GENERATED INFORMATION

"User Generated Information" means any information made available to other users through your use of multi-user features of Steam or to Valve or its affiliates through your use of the Software or otherwise. User Generated Information may include, but is not limited to, chat, forum posts, screen names, game selections, player performances, usage data, suggestions about Valve products or services, and error notifications. Subject to the Valve privacy policy referenced in Section 1 above, as applicable, and except as otherwise specifically addressed in any Subscription Terms or Rules of Use, you expressly grant Valve and its affiliates the non-exclusive, irrevocable right to use, reproduce, modify, create derivative works from, distribute, transmit, broadcast, and otherwise communicate, and publicly display and perform the User Generated Information and derivative works thereof in any form, anywhere, with or without attribution to you, and without any notice or compensation to you of any kind. For any content for which you take advantage of cloud storage provided by Valve, you grant us a license to store such information for you, and you represent and warrant to us that you have sufficient rights in such content to grant us this license. You acknowledge and agree that we may place limits on the amount of storage you may use.

C. NO GUARANTEES.

NEITHER VALVE NOR ITS AFFILIATES GUARANTEE CONTINUOUS, ERROR-FREE, VIRUS-FREE OR SECURE OPERATION AND ACCESS TO STEAM, THE SOFTWARE, YOUR ACCOUNT AND/OR YOUR SUBSCRIPTIONS(S) OR ANY INFORMATION AVAILABLE IN CONNECTION THEREWITH.

C. Termination by Valve.

Valve may cancel your Account or any particular Subscription(s) at any time. In the event that your Account or a particular Subscription is terminated or cancelled by Valve for a violation of this Agreement or 
improper (<-- WTF is that    ) or illegal activity, no refund, including of any Subscription fees, will be granted.

 

Adding "(<-- WTF is that     )" to that could be 'improper activity', GoodBye

EDIT: or check out the steam forum, there was a bunch of posts about their TOS, the moderators closed them all and stated only a curtain thread will be allow to discuss the TOS, then they close that thread.

EDIT2: I am also on limited bandwidth, so these 'developers' are essentially making ME pay to prove I am not a pirate, and making ME pay so they can collect and share any and all information about me. Well, fuck that.

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March 7, 2013 12:03:10 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Haven't bought it for precisely the reason discussed in this thread. If the DRM issues are worked out, in another 6 months to a year I will check out the price, and almost certainly buy it. But in the meantime I can use my money more wisely, and not cast it as a vote for such shoddy tactics.

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March 7, 2013 1:16:02 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting myfist0,
I am also on limited bandwidth

And this is the part that I don't understand, before the steam requirement, you just go to wherever and buy game, get home and boot her up, bar any problems. And have a grand ole time. Now, guys like myfist0 who have bandwidth caps, having steam to download is cost prohibitive in some cases, especially if you go to verify who you are just to play a single player game.

Why not charge a little bit more for the CD-ROM's. This way, people will have a choice versus the only option of going to a 3rd party just to get permission to play a game...

Sorry for ranting but me and Stant, who has been screwed by Steam. Are maybe literally the only ones who don't play Rebellion because of Steam...

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March 7, 2013 1:33:47 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

FE with Steam doesn't require Steam to be running to play, only for updates.  Hopefully that will be the same with FE's expansion.  Mind you, if I could have the expansion without any Steam requirement, I of course would take it, and would prefer that they always provide a No-Steam option for single player games.

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March 7, 2013 2:23:47 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting myfist0,
have to be online to switch to offline mode.

This is actually no longer true. Now if your internet connection goes, it can go into offline mode without you being online, and you can still play your games.

Granted, I'm sure you need to reconnect to steam servers eventually, but it really helps those with unstable internet connections or those on trips away from internet access.

I now only oppose Steam for being a monopolist with its steam works policy. As a platform I think most of the evils that I used to hate it for as a user have mostly been fixed.

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March 7, 2013 3:34:53 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Heavenfall,

Again, not true. They are "entitled" to get exactly what they paid for, not what they think they paid for.

In most European countries this is not true. People are "entitled" to get what was reasonable to expect to get according to the product type, packaging and advertising related to the product. If the product is something different you are eligible for a refund upon return of the purchase. This applys also to games and licenses and your right for refund/returning cannot be taken away by forced contract.

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March 7, 2013 7:52:27 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

http://www.theatlanticcities.com/arts-and-lifestyle/2013/03/simcity-5s-multiplayer-blues/4860/

 

A big vanilla-flavored scoop of excerpt:

 

"On December 14, seven Maxis developers hosted an "Ask me anything" thread on Reddit. For public figures from President Obama on down, the AMA is a surefire publicity generator. But it can backfire, too. The top-rated comment on the thread, which clocked over a quarter-million page views, was a compendium of 81 users (the text limit had been reached) attacking the game’s Internet requirement. "Deliberately preventing players from saving their cities offline," wrote one, in one of the less profane remarks, "is insulting to a long-standing, dedicated and loving fan-base that deserves more respect."

 

"The uproar – AMA turned WTF, as TechDirt put it – was only partly SimCity’s fault. Perhaps nothing stokes more fury in the gaming world than the restrictive licensing of games, of which the “always-on” Internet requirement is, so far, the most extreme example. Traditionally, games -- whether on CD, cartridge, or hard drive -- have been possessions that could, once purchased and properly maintained, last for several decades. SimCity 5, by contrast, is a service that remains dependent on its provider.

 

"Typical complaints are as follows: Remote play (for soldiers, say, or travelers) is impossible. The technology is an impediment aimed at stopping piracy rather than a feature. If Electronic Arts, which owns Maxis, goes under or cuts support to the servers, the game and its history cease to exist. (EA has a reputation for abandoning server support after a few years.)

 

"Online play touches a deeper nerve, too: the paranoia among PC gamers that single-player games – like the legendary SimCity 2000 – are slowly being phased out. Frank Gibreau, the president of Electronic Arts, once boasted that he was leading the push to eliminate single-player gaming. "I have not green lit one game to be developed as a single-player experience. Today, all of our games include online applications and digital services that make them live 24/7/365." He later walked back that statement, but could not quell the concern that social play is encroaching on a medium enjoyed, as often as not, as an escape."

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March 7, 2013 8:37:46 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I have a question for those who play games that are dependent on a company's servers (I don't play multiplayer games and I have actively refused to give EA and Activision any of my money for about the past nine months because of their incessant focus on the multiplayer aspect of games while neglecting the single player aspect-No Mass Effect 3 for me). If the company has turned off the servers, have they provided a way for the player to still enjoy all portions of the game (like enabling LAN play)? Or is the gamer out of luck?

 

Speaking to the larger issue of how PC gaming has changed and my response to it; I now choose to vote with my dollars. With very few exceptions, no more pre orders from me. I will buy a pre order only if the company has a strong track record of providing quality games for my tastes (Valve or Bethesda with FO and TES), if they are mostly independent and/or trying to fill a niche (I may be wrong, but I feel like most of the present day ills we as gamers face are due to publishers), so small studios like SD (FE is a big work in progress, but I do think they are trying to create [a] game[s] that appeal to a small, but viable market and that is appreciated), the makers of Xenonauts, Wasteland 2, companies that make flight simulators, etc get my support.

 

I also will be VERY wary of PC games that cost more than $49; especially big publisher cross-platform games. It is not because I am cheap; if I like a game, I will get it and all it's DLC in a heart beat. It is because there used to be a $10 difference between console and PC games due to the licensing fees the publisher had to pay the makers of the console to have the game distributed onto the consoles; these days, I see so many games that cost the same on all platforms. It is particularly galling when the PC port has reduced controls to accommodate the consoles (I'm not a huge eye candy person) and I still have to pay the same for the throttled experience of the console. PC gamers are a smaller market these days. I get it, but PC gamers don't need to be taken to the cleaners just because we aren't as strong a market segment. I am VERY glad that FE was priced under $50, iirc.

 

As I mentioned, I vote with my $$$; I don't go to boards to complain about the lack of games with a single player focus or how multiplayer is ruining gaming. If SimCIty (a game I would like to play) is taken off-line and gamers are allowed to play it without being connected to the servers, even if it happens five years from now, I will buy it (in five years). If not, then I will focus my gaming money and time somewhere else.

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March 7, 2013 9:52:02 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting flagyl,

I have a question for those who play games that are dependent on a company's servers (I don't play multiplayer games and I have actively refused to give EA and Activision any of my money for about the past nine months because of their incessant focus on the multiplayer aspect of games while neglecting the single player aspect-No Mass Effect 3 for me). If the company has turned off the servers, have they provided a way for the player to still enjoy all portions of the game (like enabling LAN play)? Or is the gamer out of luck?

 

Depends on the company and the game. One of the major complaints I've read about Simcity 5 is that you can't play the singleplayer game without connecting to the servers after a specific period of time. Otherwise, you'll lose all the progress you've made.

 

From another piece, this time from VR-Zone:

 

"While fans have known from the beginning when SimCity 5 was announced that having a persistent Internet connection was going to be a requirement in order to play the game, we didn't realize just how much of a requirement it was going to be. When word first leaked about this it was thought that the connection requirement would only be for the multi-player portion of the game however thanks to a recent AMA (AskMeAmything) on Reddit with the game developers we found out that this will apply to even the single player portion as well.

"One of the questions in the reddit thread asked the developers in regards to the connection restriction was what about players who were "experiencing connection problems" while playing the game. In other words would the game still be playable if the player's internet connection goes down and then reconnects. he response from the Maxis developers only added fuel to the fire when they said that players would be allowed for as long as their game state could be preserved and remained within a time period of "minutes". What this really means is that players who lose their connection for anything longer than "a few minutes" would be in danger of losing any game progress."

 

 

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March 7, 2013 10:02:11 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Lets take a great single player classic, shrink it, make it multiplayer and always online. That is certainly a great idea.... I wish I could have been at that meeting. 

 

1. There is no SimCity. Its SimSmallTown. I dont care about simulating every citizen. This is not the sims. I want a city that chockes on its own size and make me rethink. I want a city that is very difficult to construct due to money problems, traffic, unemployment and so on. From the videos that I have seen, there is no game, its just waiting a few moments and then you have the money for your next project.

 

2. Multiplayer. Its a joke. Suddenly getting flooded by criminals, pollution or whatever because some immature teenager likes to wreck havoc. Oh, so fun. 

 

3. The cloud/always online. No saving and going back if you put your road in a place you didnt intend, no reload if you accidentally razed a building. Not that you really need to as you will have to raze constantly due to size limitation anyways. Save games going the way of the DoDo due to hiccups in the system. Waiting in que to logon for playing a single player game.

 

XCom was a rebirth to be proud of (though the game is not perfect) - SimCity is a joke...

 

I just had to say this... move on...

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