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KiwiVenge
03-04-2005, 11:25 PM
We have been discussing whether SH3 is actually going to be using Starforce anti piracy software.
And if so, is this something that is acceptable.
I am willing to admit my knowledge on starforce is quite limited, but that does not necessarily mean I should not be cautious about allowing it on my PC.
Please, more opinions on all this would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you ahead of time for any info you have to add.
And I do apologize for having to make a new thread about this, but in the 'System Specs" thread there is only responses from people all wondering what is up. Hopefully this thread may find someone in the 'know'

JG27_Arklight
03-04-2005, 11:54 PM
I don't have any issues with StarForce.

My DVD-RW, burning software, internet, and computer still run great.

Whether SF is acceptable is a moot point this late in the game.

http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

kilrathi36
03-05-2005, 01:11 AM
First of all people who go around these protections already found ways for all of these including st3. The problem I believe with specifically Starforce 3 is that causes problems to legit users, I can look up more later but I believe that's the case.

macker33
03-05-2005, 01:14 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by kilrathi36:
The problem I believe with specifically Starforce 3 is that causes problems to legit users,. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

That doesnt stop microsoft and their smelly activation key.

Bulwark_
03-05-2005, 01:35 AM
For those of you who haven't seen the protection posts in the system requirments thread, there's a good article to read. Thank BlitzPig for the link.
Starforce article (http://www.broadbandreports.com/shownews/48427)
I'd prefer not to have Starforce install hidden device drivers.
http://img99.exs.cx/img99/326/starforce5gw.jpg

BobV_07
03-05-2005, 01:52 AM
Another thing you can do as well is take some time and do a google search on starforece and I'm sure you will find all the info. you could want and more. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif I'm not at all worried about it because I have it on my pc right now. Enigma: Rising Tide uses it. Its not giving me any greef.

http://adjunct.diodon349.com/photopoint/0037/0046.jpg

KiwiVenge
03-05-2005, 02:02 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by BobV_07:
Another thing you can do as well is take some time and do a google search on starforece and I'm sure you will find all the info. you could want and more. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif I'm not at all worried about it because I have it on my pc right now. Enigma: Rising Tide uses it. Its not giving me any greef.

http://adjunct.diodon349.com/photopoint/0037/0046.jpg <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yes, a search would be a good way to find out as well, but I wanted to throw this out there and see what people here think of it as well. That, and this is a place to start to get a discussion going so at least one gaming company will see what the masses have to say about it.

OKane77
03-05-2005, 02:10 AM
Hello every one Ive been reading this forum for over a half a year. (from the great life boat debate to the Spanish invasion) but i feel i must speak up on this! most of you probably already have starforce and don't know it. try this. go to control panel then system then the hardware tab then device manager use the view tab(or something like that) and click show hidden. then look somewhere neer the bottom of the list VOILA
Starforce has been on many games that i know from reading these for a long time. know that u guys play. games like IL-2. Enigma rising tide. any how search the net for a list of games its quite large.
and by the way I'm not saying what they say about starforce is a lie I'm just saying for 99.9% of you all its probably a not a problem. see if you have it if you do post here and let others know it has not caused any problems for you. i don't want to see SH III lose any sales because of this big scare about starforce Ive been waiting for this game since it was announced

KiwiVenge
03-05-2005, 02:15 AM
Not on my machine, I just re installed windows because some spyware made it's way into my registry, and upon removal corrupted it.

BobV_07
03-05-2005, 02:29 AM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by KiwiVenge:
Yes, a search would be a good way to find out as well, but I wanted to throw this out there and see what people here think of it as well. That, and this is a place to start to get a discussion going so at least one gaming company will see what the masses have to say about it.[QUOTE]


Yeah, I like that. But, I also understand the companies that make these games. I dont plame them for wanting to protect there hard work. And for now starforce is the best way for them to stop piracy. But, is it going to help boost sales? NO! What I dont like about it is that I cant make a backup copy which we all have the legal right to do just that. I would love to know how to get around starforce and be able to create backup copies of my software. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/51.gif


http://adjunct.diodon349.com/photopoint/0037/0046.jpg

ParaB
03-05-2005, 02:30 AM
I've had games with starforce and encountered no problems. When I uninstalled those games I uninstalled the starforce drivers with the tools provided on the official webpage.

Again, no problems at all.

BobV_07
03-05-2005, 02:36 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by KiwiVenge:
Not on my machine, I just re installed windows because some spyware made it's way into my registry, and upon removal corrupted it. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


You should use Ad-Aware to remove spyware. Spyware Blaster is also a good one to use with Ad-Aware. I would also highly recomend Antivir ant-virus software. And a good fire wall is something you should be running as well if your not.


http://adjunct.diodon349.com/photopoint/0037/0046.jpg

BobV_07
03-05-2005, 02:38 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by ParaB:
I've had games with starforce and encountered no problems. When I uninstalled those games I uninstalled the starforce drivers with the tools provided on the official webpage.

Again, no problems at all. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


Yeah, I think its a couple of rare cases that gets the hysteria going.

http://adjunct.diodon349.com/photopoint/0037/0046.jpg

KiwiVenge
03-05-2005, 02:42 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by BobV_07:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by KiwiVenge:
Not on my machine, I just re installed windows because some spyware made it's way into my registry, and upon removal corrupted it. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


You should use Ad-Aware to remove spyware. Spyware Blaster is also a good one to use with Ad-Aware. I would also highly recomend Antivir ant-virus software. And a good fire wall is something you should be running as well if your not.


http://adjunct.diodon349.com/photopoint/0037/0046.jpg <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Adaware, a symantic removing util and Spybot did not get it off.
And yes, I am now running with an internet security program with firewall etc.
Before that was only XP firewall.
But to call being careful about what you install on your PC as hysteria is a bit unfair. I don't feel hysterical about it, I just dont want some lame software to piggy back in with a game I am paying for. Would rather give my money to a company that does not use it is all.
That, and I think what is going to happen is it will promote piracy and no-cd cracks. Not something that is good for anyone. But it is getting hard to blame someone who buys a game, removes the starforce, and no-cd cracks it to prevent starforce from staying on.

ParaB
03-05-2005, 02:49 AM
And, quite a few people out there are not really THAT knowledgeable when it comes to PCs.

A friend of mine told me how Starforce apparently had messed up his whole system. He read about it on a gaming forum and was convinved SF was the source of all his troubles. When I came over to take a look at his system I found several trojans, viruses, browser hijackers, and a couple of DOZEN adware/spyware proggies on his systems...

And did I mentioned that his DirectX files were corrupted due to disk errors?

After fixing his system (which took me about four hours), installing a firewall, anti-virus software, firefox, adaware, spybot, new drivers and DirectX his system was running just fine.

And he didn't have any problems with Starforce either anymore...

http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Not to say that Starforce doesn't cause any problems at all on some systems, but there's a good deal of hysteria involved in this whole debate.

KaosxMeach
03-05-2005, 06:35 AM
I been playing Silent Storm for ages and never noticed any problems and that game is supposed to install Starforce alongside the main program.

I am more worried about SH3 not working on my computer cos of the CD burner I have. How do I fix it or get a refund if it don't install/run?

I pre-ordered and 29.99 is a bit much to pay for a ship recognition book without the game to use it with http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

BlitzPig_Rivet
03-05-2005, 07:07 AM
Well i've said my bit elsewhere so I won't repeat myself here. All I will say is that there is no reference whatsoever to Starforce on my machine and it's going to stay that way.

ParaB, I agree with you that most problems on peoples machines are due to the viruses, adware etc. issues you mentioned. It's certainly the case with most of the machines I am called on to repair. This is usually because the only protection they have is an anti-virus program that was already installed on the machine when they bought it and they probably haven't even bothered to update it either.

However, there's no getting away from the fact that Starforce (whatever version) has some rather dubious qualities compared to other copy protection products.

I am a firm believer in the "prevention is better than cure" philosophy, and that being the case, I'd rather not take the chance if I can help it. Over cautious? Maybe, but that's just me.

The SH3 development team have put a lot of hard work and dedication into giving us the product we want, and I certainly do not want to see them lose sales because of this issue. IMHO, it's just a bad choice of protection by whoever was given that responsibility.

You will have to excuse me now. I've just had a phone call from someone who's PC won't get past the post screen.http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif. Yep, really.

Philipscdrw
03-05-2005, 07:52 AM
My gosh. Starforce is already installed on my PC! That means I don't need to find out if no-cd files are legal under UK law...

wolfh2o
03-05-2005, 08:05 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by BobV_07:What I dont like about it is that I cant make a backup copy which we all have the legal right to do just that. I would love to know how to get around starforce and be able to create backup copies of my software. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/51.gif <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yes, that's the part that makes me angry aswell. I've had starforce on my computer for several months and had no problems whatsoever.

Shan_Hackett
03-05-2005, 08:27 AM
I also have Starforce on my system - until this subject arose i was oblivious to the copy protection drivers on my system.

While i have no problem with software companies protecting their work, this debacle over starforce led me on a search of the software i own, for this particular copy protection software, and to my horror -or rather supprise.
half of all the gaming software i own, has Starforce in one version or another.

Thankfuly Starforce does not appear to be doing any deprimental damage to my system, that i'm at least aware of.
I do have third party firewall, spybot, adware, anti-virus, anti-brower hacker, and anti-key hijacker programs installed and running 24/7, and there has been no conflicts, damage , hacks, of any kind, and i must have had Starforce installed for years.

BobV_07
03-05-2005, 08:50 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by KiwiVenge:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by BobV_07:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by KiwiVenge:
Not on my machine, I just re installed windows because some spyware made it's way into my registry, and upon removal corrupted it. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


You should use Ad-Aware to remove spyware. Spyware Blaster is also a good one to use with Ad-Aware. I would also highly recomend Antivir ant-virus software. And a good fire wall is something you should be running as well if your not.


http://adjunct.diodon349.com/photopoint/0037/0046.jpg <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Adaware, a symantic removing util and Spybot did not get it off.
And yes, I am now running with an internet security program with firewall etc.
Before that was only XP firewall.
But to call being careful about what you install on your PC as hysteria is a bit unfair. I don't feel hysterical about it, I just dont want some lame software to piggy back in with a game I am paying for. Would rather give my money to a company that does not use it is all.
That, and I think what is going to happen is it will promote piracy and no-cd cracks. Not something that is good for anyone. But it is getting hard to blame someone who buys a game, removes the starforce, and no-cd cracks it to prevent starforce from staying on. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>



No, no, no! I wasn't calling you hystarical. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_razz.gif What I meant was that there supposably has been some cases where starforce has caused some problems and THAT started the hystaria over starforce. Silly http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif


http://adjunct.diodon349.com/photopoint/0037/0046.jpg

TonyPiech
03-05-2005, 09:06 AM
O'Kane77 states in part:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Starforce has been on many games that i know from reading these for a long time. know that u guys play. games like IL-2. Enigma rising tide. any how search the net for a list of games its quite large.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Well I checked my device manager to see if Starforce is on my computer because I'm running IL2/FB/AEP/PF (the merged version) and I didn't see Starforce listed in my hidden Non-Plug Drivers. I don't believe that IL2 uses it. Starforce is apparently on the Demo for Lock-On Flaming Cliffs which caused a series of negative threads in that Forum. If anyone knows for certain that IL2 has Starforce, let me know, and were exactly does it exist, again, I can't see it on my system.

Damm, I was eagerly awaiting the purchase of SH3, but now,... I just don't know if I'm going to buy it or not. Is there anything "offical" from the Developers or Publisher that Starforce will be included with the Sim? It's really not nice of them to be silent and put some copyprotection and spyware on your computer without telling us. I don't mind copyprotection of some sort, but spyware is not nice.

erikkai66
03-05-2005, 09:53 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Bulwark_:
For those of you who haven't seen the protection posts in the system requirments thread, there's a good article to read. Thank BlitzPig for the link.
http://www.broadbandreports.com/shownews/48427
I'd prefer not to have Starforce install hidden device drivers.
http://img99.exs.cx/img99/326/starforce5gw.jpg <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Thanks! By posting this, I know I already have Starforce on my computer. It's not an issue with me, as my computer runs very fast.

banzai_alex
03-05-2005, 10:03 AM
Ive never had a game with Starforce... now that i know wat it is, i have to ask something: With a very tight firewall and such will it still be possible to block the installation or something? I have Norton Internet Sec. and the Virus protector with Firewall enabled.

erikkai66
03-05-2005, 10:36 AM
The way I understand it is that Starforce only has issues with some DVD+/-RW drives.

Firewalls will not affect it, like they will affect online play.

The software is automatically installed upon installation of the game.

To make sure your system doesn't slow down, defrag your hard drive, run **** cleaner and clean up your registry and make sure you have the latest drivers for your audio and video card.

Oh, and yeah, max out your system IF you can.

Antrodemus
03-05-2005, 11:21 AM
Ah ****. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_mad.gif

I thought I'd finally found a gaming forum that wasn't blighted by anti-Starforce BS, until this thread reared its ugly head.

A.

KiwiVenge
03-05-2005, 11:42 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Antrodemus:
Ah ****. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_mad.gif

I thought I'd finally found a gaming forum that wasn't blighted by anti-Starforce BS, until this thread reared its ugly head.

A. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Sorry to of ruined it for you. It is easy enough not to read the thread, as the content should of been obvious by the subject title. There was no doubt that you would find pros and cons being listed.

KiwiVenge
03-05-2005, 11:52 AM
A post from Minumum Specs thread I thought was informative and worth posting here as well.

Quote
You're welcome Bulwark. What irks me most about the whole thing is that after you uninstall the application that installed sf in the first place, sf still remains behind affecting your machine. Broadband reports state that a third party utility is needed to remove Starforce completely. Unfortunately the link appears to be broken.

Third party? Hmmm, it seems like the makers of Starforce don't want you to remove their software once it's on your machine.

However, I did find a so-called removal tool from Codemaster's site. Here's an extract from the site:

Download: StarForce Removal Tool
File Type: Utility
File Size: 16.7 Kb

Date Uploaded: 13 September 2004

Description
This tool provides automatic uninstallation of StarForce drivers and removes all StarForce registry keys from the system.

Technical Description
Unzip the file then double click on sfclean.exe to remove Starforce from your PC.

Well, apparently it does not do exactly what it says in the description. Here's an unwitting victim's comments from the following link:

http://club.cdfreaks.com/lite/t-97861-p-3.html

"After completely uninstalling ToCa Race Driver 2, rebooting, then running the "StarForce Removal Tool" from CodeMaster's own website (put there because of this scandal) and then rebooting several more times and re-running the removal tool, the virus remains..."

Hmm, so it appears we can forget the sfclean.exe method then.

Never fear. There is another removal tool. It's called sfdrvrem.exe. Hooray all our problems are over - but wait.........

It appears that this removal tool is developed by, er, the developers of Starforce itself. Umm ............. here's the link.

http://www.onlinesecurity-on.com/protect.phtml?c=55

Again it makes for interesting reading, but ask yourselves this - would you trust a company who developed a nefarious piece of software that sneaks its way onto your machine (designed not to be removed), to supply you with a reliable removal utility?

It still doesn't look good does it?

In this world of software piracy, I understand completely the need for software houses to try to protect their work. They are producing a sellable product. Software pirates are stealing it. It's theft plain and simple. However, when the "protection" extends to damaging sh1te like SF it is the honest, legitimate purchasers of the product that uses SF who are made to suffer the consequenses, not the pirates.

Something stinks there don't you think?

We definately need clarification on whether SH3 uses Starforce protection or not. Please, anything but Starforce.

BlitzPig_Rivet

End Quote

banzai_alex
03-05-2005, 12:00 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by erikkai66:
The way I understand it is that Starforce only has issues with some DVD+/-RW drives.

Firewalls will not affect it, like they will affect online play.

The software is automatically installed upon installation of the game.

To make sure your system doesn't slow down, defrag your hard drive, run **** cleaner and clean up your registry and make sure you have the latest drivers for your audio and video card.

Oh, and yeah, max out your system IF you can. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE> Ty, i defrag my hard drive evry month or so, so hopefully i wont have a problem. I still dont get one thing though: When i saw this i went scrambling into devices saying to myself: Starforce; i will kill you if i find u. Well i didnt. But i did on other things notice that u can turn them off. Wat happens if u do that?

Bulwark_
03-05-2005, 12:02 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by OKane77:
most of you probably already have starforce and don't know it. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
No I don't have it, thankfully.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by BobV_07:
What I dont like about it is that I cant make a backup copy which we all have the legal right to do just that. --
Yeah, I think its a couple of rare cases that gets the hysteria going. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Always the first compaint when it comes to making copies of software. I've never had to make a backup copy of any of my software. And I wouldn't call it hysteria. For me, there's certain software I don't like installed on my computer. Especially when it's discrete.

And nothing against anyone here, but if you're just finding out now that you have Starforce on your system, even if it causes you no hitches that should still tell you something.

KiwiVenge
03-05-2005, 12:57 PM
What is starting to make it annoying is no one will even tell us if it is indeed included with SH3.
If it is, we are going to find out sooner or later. If I am not told, I will cancel my pre order until I find out.
If you do not know, just say so.
If it isn't, make more money and tell us!
Makes one scratch his head if the situation is that SF is on the game and they won't admit it.
Who you trying to fool and why?
Also, if it is, how about telling us something like "Yes, starforce does come with the game, but you have nothing to worry about because we would not use it if it cause problems. And in the unlikely event that it does we will refund your money. We will also provide a starforce uninstaller that will remove all traces of SF."
That way you still get you sales from us who do not like the idea of SF being put on our pcs.

Antrodemus
03-05-2005, 01:07 PM
FFS, when did it become the obligation of software companies to tell people what protection is being used, before the thing is even released?

BTW, you do realise that if you continue this ridiculous crusade, you'll be missing out on many more games in future? Or are you willing to continue spiting yourself, simply on the word of a few biased, jaded, bedroom crackers?

A.

KiwiVenge
03-05-2005, 01:13 PM
As to your obligation comment, I figure if software that I do not want on my computer gets put on by the game installer, and not removed by the games uninmstaller, that they have an obligation to tell me.
As far as missing out on games, they will stop using starforce if we stop buying games that use it.
There are plenty more anti-copy software out there, and new encryption methods on the way that leave nothing on your pc.

Antrodemus
03-05-2005, 01:22 PM
They do tell you - on the box. Again, they have no obligation to say anything beforehand.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>...they will stop using starforce if we stop buying games that use it. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Is that right? So why then, even now, almost a year after the anti-starforce forum page you linked to, have we now moved onto version 3 or 4 of Starforce? Answer : it's a success. It may not stop the pirates, but it does its job in stalling the cracking of games for that crucial first few weeks after release, which is when the bulk of sales are made, or aimed for. Yes, it can cause problems for a small percentage of users, but so has almost any other protection method ever devised.

...and as I've said on many other forums regarding this subject, the reason Starforce doesn't automatically uninstall when you uninstall the game it came with, is that it's probably going to be used in the next game you install, if not by another already installed. Nothing sinister, just simple logic. Something that seems to escape the minds of the majority of anti-SF whiners.

A.

KiwiVenge
03-05-2005, 01:27 PM
As for the idea of leaving it on your pc so the next game can use it does not float with me. They will gladly includ starforce with the games that use it, and install it every time too. No need to leave older versions on people's pcs.
And look, no need to get insulting.
If you consider people who do not agree with your views as whiners, lets end it here.
I was hoping for a discussion.

Antrodemus
03-05-2005, 01:30 PM
What is there to discuss??? No-one even knows what protection is being used!

Feel free to carry on believing the worst - I'll just go and enjoy the screenies, the chat, and err.. oh yeah, all my other SF-protected games that have caused me absolutely no problems whatsoever...

...oh, and it was awful convenient of you to ignore this : "...if not by another already installed" as another perfectly viable reason for it not being uninstalled.

A.

KiwiVenge
03-05-2005, 01:38 PM
Ok, sorry about 'ignoring' that, I did not do it on purpose.
And you are correct, I never thought of that. But that is assuming you want it on there in the first place, which I do not. So by stating that 'other games may be using it' does not (to me) have any validity to the discussion of 'should it be there in the first place'.

Edit: Maybe include a SF uninstaller with each game. One that does not do its job when a simple game uninstall is done, but is there if you want to get rid of it after any games that use it are gone.

Antrodemus
03-05-2005, 01:53 PM
Fair enough mate.

What I just don't understand though, is why people have such a fundamental dislike of something so transparent (in normal everyday PC usage)?

Initially, when Starforce was in its infancy, it was unstable, it was untrustworthy, and it was undoubtedly untested, and the company paid dearly for that, (and still are, due to threads like this), but they have strived constantly to improve the software, and have provided an uninstaller, which works on most systems, doesn't on some, and most definitely doesn't work properly on systems where the user has employed the use of such gems as "Starf*ck" or whatever it's called now.

Strange, eh? How some people go to the length of creating entire websites & forums to preach the "Starforce is the anti-christ" gospel, and yet have no quams about installing an unverified, untested cracking regime, which is even trickier to remove. LOL.

(BTW, that wasn't aimed at you!) http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

A.

KiwiVenge
03-05-2005, 02:02 PM
It is good to hear from someone like you. So have you ever tried to remove it, and did it remove alright for you?
I guess I rather be safe than sorry, and a I said before, not hearing any reassurance from UBI as to the harmlessness (hey, we are all aloud to make up words aren't we?) of SF.
Let me know I will get my money back if I happen to be one of those few that have unintended problems with it, tell me they will assist my in every way possible to get it off my system if it slows it down alot or does anything untoward (like not uninstall).
Is this unreasonable? If so, I best not put it on.
And for the record, I do not use and virtual drives or anything like it.

BobV_07
03-05-2005, 02:04 PM
Hey, theres updates out there! Drop the starforce thing for awile. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif


http://adjunct.diodon349.com/photopoint/0037/0046.jpg

KiwiVenge
03-05-2005, 02:07 PM
Heh, no worries BobV_07, I am still keeping up with the updates.
Believe it or not, I do want to be able to put SH3 on my machine.

BobV_07
03-05-2005, 02:09 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by KiwiVenge:
Heh, no worries BobV_07, I am still keeping up with the updates.
Believe it or not, I do want to be able to put SH3 on my machine. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


Oh, ok. just making sure you knew about the updates being posted by our fellow forum buddies that have got back from there day @ Ubisoft. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif


http://adjunct.diodon349.com/photopoint/0037/0046.jpg

Antrodemus
03-05-2005, 02:26 PM
Lol

Yeah Bob, I've been bouncing between here & Subsim all night, keeping up to speed with the reports, and juggling this thread among others... http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

KiwiVenge, I'm actually a bit concerned about the fact that SF doesn't like the presence of v-drive software, although as far as I know, it's only an issue if the software is actually running at the time, and the image(s) are mounted. The reason is that I use "Alcohol-120" to mount 4 CDs of a language course I'm currently studying, and I'd hate to have to revert to swapping CDs as a result, but if I have to, I guess SHIII will be taking precedence over my Japanese studies for a while... http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

lol - forget that last paragraph - it's only just dawned on me that already I have the 4 CD images mounted, and my Starforce protected games are running fine!

A.

BlitzPig_Rivet
03-05-2005, 03:24 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Antrodemus:
Strange, eh? How some people go to the length of creating entire websites & forums to preach the "Starforce is the anti-christ" gospel, and yet have no quams about installing an unverified, untested cracking regime, which is even trickier to remove. LOL.

(BTW, that wasn't aimed at you!) http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

A. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


I do hope it wasn't aimed at me. I don't preach gospels either, I don't hold thoelogical qualifications http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif. All I did was to inform people of other sources of information and to make of it what they will http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif.

Incidentally, as for v-drive software I can't comment on it's behaviour with SF but I can say that my Pacific Fighters cd "contains technology intended to prevent copying that may conflict with some CD-RW, DVD-RW, and virtual drives."

The section in quotes is straight from the manual. I haven't got the time just now to find out exactly what protection is employed but I can tell you it is not SF.

Indeed it did not like virtual drive software. At the time I had both Alcohol 120% and clone CD installed. Neither were running. I uninstalled clone cd and tried PF again. This time it installed without a problem. It did not have any issue at all with Alcohol 120%. I guess you'll just have to try it with the SF flavour of protection.

Also in Alcohol 120% there is an option to set the number of virtual drives to zero - in effect uninstalling them from your machine. You could always try that. if that works then its just a matter of switching the thing on and off as you need it.

Regards
BlitzPig_Rivet

dvdWildsau
03-05-2005, 03:49 PM
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-tongue.gif
not a single Ubi Game uses "StarForce"

and Ubi is not in this list of its Customers

http://www.star-force.com/customers/index.phtml?category=9&category=9&type=2

example: Playboy The Manision Savedisk 4
Heritage of Kings: The Settlers Save disk 4

Pacific Fighters Savedisk 3.2

all Ubi Games and all without StarForce http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/10.gif

I think SH3 will come with Savedisk 4, like the other Ubi Games

JG27_Arklight
03-05-2005, 03:52 PM
SHIII has gone Gold.

SHIII is finished.

SHIII will not be put on hold to change the copy protection.

Therefore, this thread is ****ing useless.

Antrodemus
03-05-2005, 03:53 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>I do hope it wasn't aimed at me. I don't preach gospels either, I don't hold thoelogical qualifications <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Nah.

Well, not unless you do run an anti-Starforce website and use the aforementioned StarF*ck thingie, thereby negating any valid, "I wouldn't touch any game that uses this invasive cr@p! I'll just nuke it with this err... other invasive cr@p, with which I have no legal comeback should it do anything nasty", argument. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

A.

wolfh2o
03-05-2005, 03:53 PM
And it appears that it likely doesent have Starforce.

Antrodemus
03-05-2005, 03:55 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>SHIII has gone Gold.

SHIII is finished.

SHIII will not be put on hold to change the copy protection.

Therefore, this thread is ****ing useless. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Amen.

..but I'm glad the flames died down.

A.

KiwiVenge
03-05-2005, 04:15 PM
Thread is not useless to me, I am learning lots about the topic.
That, and still debating about whether I am actually going to install SF3 if it indeed has SF on it.
Those who do not want to discuss it need not to. I will happily join you in other threads you enjoy posting at. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_cool.gif

JG27_Arklight
03-05-2005, 04:18 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by KiwiVenge:
Thread is not useless to me, I am learning lots about the topic.
That, and still debating about whether I am actually going to install SF3 if it indeed has SF on it.
Those who do not want to discuss it need not to. I will happily join you in other threads you enjoy posting at. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_cool.gif <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

If you want to read about StarForce then why not do a search on the web?

Why start a topic about it in a game forum for a game that might have it that is already finished? No amount of complaining will get them to change it now. This isn't a downloadable add-on for LOMAC. A long thread about it wll change nothing here.

KiwiVenge
03-05-2005, 04:23 PM
Because I want to find out
A) Does SH3 even come with Starforce at all
B) Seeing how this is the place to do that, I might as well find out about SF while I am at it.

Is that bad?

JG27_Arklight
03-05-2005, 04:31 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by KiwiVenge:
Because I want to find out
A) Does SH3 even come with Starforce at all
B) Seeing how this is the place to do that, I might as well find out about SF while I am at it.

Is that bad? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Doing an advanced search would have shown that nobody here knows.

I don't even know if UR knows.

KiwiVenge
03-05-2005, 04:35 PM
Well, I thought it was worth a shot. Advanced search or not, does not mean this question is unanswerable by someone here.

BlitzPig_Rivet
03-05-2005, 06:31 PM
Thanks for that link dvdWildsau. I took a look at that customer list but noticed that Codemasters is not included. At least one of their games (Toca Race Driver 2) has been cited as using SF. Whether they are still a customer or not is not clear.

This begs the questions:
1) If Codemasters still use SF why are they not listed in the customers list?

2) If Codemasters are still using SF and are not listed, then how many others do not appear on their list?

I do hope you are right regarding your last statement.

That said I think that there is now enough information floating around on this forum for people to form their own opinions from now on.

Antrodemus, thank you for your reply. No, I don't do either of those things, so I guess I'm in the clear http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

I do recommend that you try my earlier suggestions regarding Alcohol 120% if you experience any problems. It may work, it may not, but if it saves a lot of grief uninstalling and re-installing etc. every time you want to switch between programmes, then it may be worth a shot.

Regards
BlitzPig_Rivet

BobV_07
03-05-2005, 06:36 PM
Here's a nice artical I read about starforce for those that are paranoid, oops I meen CONCERNED about it. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif Its a bit lengthy but full of info.

Here is the source for my quote.
http://www.firingsquad.com/features/starforce_interview/default.asp

[QUOTE]In recent months there's been an increasing awareness and alarm over StarForce copy protection. It's actually a driver that installs itself with the games that come shipped with it, and originally it didn't uninstall when the game was uninstalled. There are many panicked reports about "StarForce disabled/fried my USB flash scanner/ATA drive/CD drive". Having lived through several internet panics like this - from the V-chip through CD keys to Senator Joe Lieberman's bills on game sales to minors - and generally having participated on the wrong side of them - I was skeptical. I've learned that if there's one thing that the internet is good at, it's spreading rumors and unnecessary hyperbolic panic. Like I said, I was part of that myself in earlier times.

So, rather than simply jump aboard the panic wagon, we decided to get the word straight from the horse's mouth. Here then is our interview with Abbie Sommer of StarForce.

Introduction
FiringSquad: Hi Abbie, could you tell us about StarForce the company? When was it founded, and how did the company get the idea to develop driver-level copy protection?

Abbie Sommer: StarForce was founded in 1998. Complete story about the company can be found here: http://www.star-force.com/index.phtml?category=8&type=5. The development team and parent company is based in Moscow. We have offices in Beijing China and in San Francisco California, as well as representatives stationed all over the world. If you have specific questions, please ask.

About drivers, the technology built into StarForce to prevent reverse engineering and anti-emulation has been around since the beginning, installing drivers is part of the technology. StarForce has many different products that can be configured in different ways. It is up to the publisher to choose a configuration with or without drivers depending on the level of protection he prefers.


FiringSquad: What advantages does a driver-level copy protection utility offer over other methods of copy protection?

Abbie Sommer: The drivers are what prevents the use of kernel debugger utilities such as SoftICE, Cool Debugger, Soft Snoop etc. Also the drivers prevent emulators from spoofing a drive, and thwart burning tools such as Alcohol 120%. StarForce implementation requires no physical modification of the disc, or the equipment that molds the discs, so this method is a clear advantage to publishers because it gives them the flexibility to use just about any plant they wish. This is a limitation of some of our competitors€ products, which require not only special hardware, but also expensive software add-ons for test and diagnostic equipment.


FiringSquad: How is StarForce more effective than some of your competitors, and what does it do to remain effective?

Abbie Sommer: We are more effective because it is harder for crackers to reverse engineer StarForce protected games. We have a proven track record of games that have been on the market and still not cracked. If the most advanced features of our system have been used it takes a lot of a cracker€s time to churn out that crack. Plus some of the cracks are so big, very few will bother to go through the pain to get them to work, e.g. would you want to sit through a 500 mb download and have to sort out thousands of files? To remain effective, we constantly monitor the crack sites and when a game is cracked we study it and modify our code if needed, small fixes are often done weekly and major fixes perhaps monthly. It depends on the circumstances.

How it works
FiringSquad: Why is it necessary to include StarForce on game demos, such as "D-Day"?
[AD]

Abbie Sommer: For a very simple reason; if a demo goes out with unprotected code, when the time comes for a pirate to try to crack a released game, he or she can refer to that demo to find clues which can be used to crack the game, if the demo .exe closely resembles the final product.


FiringSquad: Uninstalling games that use StarForce, such as TOCA Race Driver 2, Broken Sword 3 and Silent Storm apparently doesn't remove StarForce. Was this simply an oversight by game publishers/developers, or a necessary part of the copy protection process?

Abbie Sommer: The fact that they remain was something that no one predicted would be such a contentious issue. Going forward, we are encouraging all publishers to include the SFdriver cleaner utility into their un-install scripts. There are a tremendous amount of residual files that get loaded onto on a system without our knowledge when we load a program, be it a game, a movie or music player, video or sound card drivers etc. Far more than the average person realizes. Now that we hear the dissatisfaction about it, we have taken steps to fix it, the publishers are too. We also have the tools posted on our website for anyone to download. http://www.star-force.com/index.phtml?category=200&type=5 BTW, we are not the only CP provider who loads drivers; it is a common part of several protections.


FiringSquad: Has the StarForce removal utility posted by Codemasters complicated matters, from your perspective? Perhaps by giving pirates another weapon?

Abbie Sommer: The tool has not complicated things at all, in fact it has helped! I don€t think the pirates can use it to their advantage, because without those drivers, the protected application will not run. Removing the drivers does no harm except the copy protected game will not run until the drivers are re-installed.


FiringSquad: There's an uproar among segments of the game community that StarForce is installed without user approval. Is this a potential legal concern for your company?

Abbie Sommer: There is no legal concern because before a user loads a game, he or she has agreed to accept the conditions of the end-user licensing agreement, typically known as a EULA. These are also known as click and go, or click and accept agreements. When you accept, you are saying I will load this game or application at my own risk, and have read and understood the terms. Or there will be a disclaimer that protects the publisher from damages of any kind due to their products€ use. Our product is licensed to our customers, and becomes part of their product, so the user by accepting the terms, is giving approval.

StarForce problems?
FiringSquad: There have been complaints that StarForce interferes with serial ATA drivers, RAID drivers or USB utilities. Now we haven't had problems here at FiringSquad with StarForce, certainly nothing like "StarForce has killed my USB card reader/messed up my SATA drive" but is there the possibility that StarForce can interfere with some legitimate hardware and software? It's possible that would-be pirates are badmouthing it due to their frustration, but certainly there's some truth to the problems.

Abbie Sommer: Glad to hear you haven€t had any problems, truthfully very few people do. Our code has never been more stable or compatible. We get a minuscule amount of emails reporting trouble in proportion to the quantity of protected game discs that have shipped. In the past we did have a few problems with USB driver conflicts, it was fixed and publishers were advised to make patches to update the protected games. I think you are correct about the outcry; some of the forum posters are using the driver controversy as a means to vent their frustration at not being able to make a 1:1 copy of the game. This is not the first time, and it won€t be the last. I know that gamers often reply on help from forums to get a problem solved, but when it comes to copy protection issues they really should contact the publisher or us to get accurate information.


FiringSquad: In an industry when copy protection is often effective for only hours after first being released and usually games are available to pirates from distribution channels or shady press members a week before they appear on store shelves, how does your company plan to remain ahead of the game?

Abbie Sommer: Good question. The demo issue is a perfect example of how we are trying to help prevent the games from getting put onto P2P networks before or on the day of release. We also have a product that can protect a CDR, which is a great way for a publisher to protect press review copies. Lastly, we€ve even entered the download market with a new product activation system called ProActive. So, if a publisher wishes to provide his or her customers with an alternative purchase method, they can use it to protect their downloadable titles. Our sales guys are stressing the need to protect all versions of the game prior to release in order to protect publishers€ revenue. Implementation of a good protection for a game (demo, review copies, etc) needs to be thought of months before release, not weeks, to be truly effective.

Gamer rights
FiringSquad: Have you done any studies, or are aware of any, on the effectiveness of StarForce? While the BSA likes to exaggerate the economic side of piracy by assuming that every pirated game would be a sale, it is no doubt a major part of the reason why PC game sales lag behind consoles. How much extra time does StarForce give a game before it's cracked, and would you care to guess at the economic advantages of that delay for the publisher?

Abbie Sommer: We haven€t done any official studies, other than know for a fact we have protected many titles this year alone that are still not cracked. It is up to the developer to put forth as much effort as it takes to install a great protection and the payoff is obvious. I don€t have any specific numbers to share, but economic advantages can be significant. Let me give an example: if a publisher decides to protect a much anticipated title and uses our protection, and a user gets frustrated by not being able to make a 1:1 copy of a friend€s copy of the game, and winds up buying that €˜must have€ game, vs. waiting for a no-CD crack, the publisher will recoup his investment in the protection technology after only about 300 or 400 of those users go out and buy that game.


FiringSquad: There's a growing feeling among the hardcore community, or rather the legitimate owners of games in the hardcore community, that they're being punished for being legitimate owners of games. Not only do they have to go through the hassle of swapping CDs now that CloneCD et al. are being detected by various copy protection mechanisms, but they're paying for the copy protection that prevents them from having those freedoms by paying for the game. Do you think this is a fine line that game publishers are walking, or simply another case of oversensitivity about rights, like the V-chip affair in TVs was?

Abbie Sommer: If a gamer buys a game and has difficulty getting it to run, they should contact the publisher and provide as many details as possible up front in the initial email. If the problem has anything to do with our copy protection and a publisher's support team can€t solve it, we freely give advice and try to work out their problem, often working directly with the end-user to speed up the process. Regarding not being able to use CloneCD, our protection won't work because it must see the disc before it will allow the game to run. This is common for disc based protections. About the fine line, when you buy a game and install it, typically you are licensed to use it on a single PC at a time. Taking a disc out, or putting a disc in a drive takes less than a minute. When the game is not being played, a user can use CloneCD again.


Conclusion
[AD]
FiringSquad: With even hardware solutions such as those on the PlayStation 2, or the combined hardware/authentication method used on the Xbox via Xbox Live! being cracked by pirates, is there hope for such an open platform as the PC?

Abbie Sommer: I have an Xbox and recently added a PS2 to my collection of gizmos. I like that the game play is cut and dry on consoles- you don't have to shut down a bunch of programs to play a game, as on a PC. Also a game won't suddenly shutting down if you run out of system resources, or not be able to play at all because of a video driver conflict. But PC games are more portable, it is easier to take a laptop with you on a trip, than an Xbox. Regarding how the ripped console games can be played, as I understand it, if you mod one of those units, you nullify the warranty, and in some cases can€t play online, or will get blacklisted if you attempt to play with a copied game. Is there hope for the PC as an open platform? I think we have to wait and see and watch the numbers €" e.g. sales of PC games vs. sales of console games. I confess I€ve been playing my consoles more and more lately, however I love RTS games, and the ones I love €" Rise of Nations, Command and Conquer Generals, Age of Mythology, are not getting ported over to consoles anytime soon, so I will switch back and forth as long as I want to play them.

I would like to close with this comment - I love to play games, and so do most of my colleagues. We listen to the frustration of the community and so do the publishers and together we are working hard everyday to make improvements. Unfortunately due to the prolific amount of piracy all over the world; copy protection is a necessary part of the publishing process, we have to live with it, and I don€t think it is going away. We encourage and welcome constructive feedback. I€ll be reading your forum; if anyone wants to contribute I look forward to it.

FiringSquad: Thank you for your time, Abbie!


Now for some personal opinion:

Maybe it's time we re-evaluate the sub-culture we live in. Yes, gamers are young, rebellious and generally have libertarian anti-establishment characteristics. However, when our very hobby is being threatened through the actions of not just a few, but many of our fellows, perhaps we should take a long hard look at what is and is not acceptable. We can see the over-developed sense of entitlement every day. Flaming publishers, developers and their spokespeople simply because their vision for their game is different from what we want is just one symptom of this entitlement. I believe piracy is another. Just what entitles anyone to copying a game for free?

Yes, invasive copy protection sucks and probably contributes somewhat to the popularity of CD cracks and even outright piracy - but let's face it, publishers aren't stupid. They likely think long and hard before deciding whether it's worth paying for copy protection and irritating the very customers they're trying to court. The irresponsible behavior of gamers is forcing publishers to take more drastic measures to protect their investment. Yes, they're trying to make money off us, but that money is used to make more games. The very games we enjoy. We have to take responsibility for our actions. Does anyone actually believe if there were no copy protection, game sales would increase?

PC games will never go away, but if the market keeps shrinking due to the increasing ease of piracy - through the proliferation of CD burners, DVD burners and broadband internet connections - then the number and quality of games will almost certainly decrease. Without a big market there can be no big budgets. No Doom 4, no Far Cry 2 and no Half-Life 3. Without a big market, the size of niche markets will also shrink, so we'd be even less likely to see FreeSpace 3 or another Fallout game. The fact is, though the number of computers is vastly greater than ever before, and their longevity - their ability to play modern games long after the PC was sold - is increased, PC game sales have been dropping at an alarming rate.

Now I'm not saying you should go stooge and turn your dorm fellows or roommates in for stealing games, but peer pressure is a wonderful thing. You wouldn't think it's cool, rebellious or even acceptable to beat up an old lady on the street, even if she was once rich and glamorous. And given the declining health of PC publishers, they are the old ladies of the business world right now. Think about it.

We hope you've enjoyed this FiringSquad exclusive. [end quote]

http://adjunct.diodon349.com/photopoint/0037/0046.jpg

erikkai66
03-05-2005, 06:37 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by banzai_alex:
Ty, i defrag my hard drive evry month or so, so hopefully i wont have a problem. I still dont get one thing though: When i saw this i went scrambling into devices saying to myself: Starforce; i will kill you if i find u. Well i didnt. But i did on other things notice that u can turn them off. Wat happens if u do that? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I assume you mean turning off starforce...don't do that. It'll screw up games you MAY want to play. Turning off hidden drivers is a "NO-NO" as this really could get your computer hopping mad. That's why hidden drivers are hidden.

When in doubt, rely on the old addage, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

KiwiVenge
03-05-2005, 06:53 PM
Thanks BobV_07, that is the first bit I have seen where support for SF has been presented.
Seeing them say they will help with any problems is great.
Oh, and 'bite me' with your 'paranoid' comment http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_razz.gif
hehehehehehe

BobV_07
03-05-2005, 10:20 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by KiwiVenge:
Thanks BobV_07, that is the first bit I have seen where support for SF has been presented.
Seeing them say they will help with any problems is great.
Oh, and 'bite me' with your 'paranoid' comment http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_razz.gif
hehehehehehe <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/59.gif Raaaarrrrr! Hehehe. You welcome. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

http://adjunct.diodon349.com/photopoint/0037/0046.jpg