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freddy91973
09-03-2006, 02:52 AM
I know this question has probably been asked and answered a thousand times but I cannot find it.

Is it true that Ubi has parted company with Starforce and all the new games will be a different protection system "Tages". If so does this include the long awaited Splinter Cell Double Agent??

quillan
09-03-2006, 07:18 AM
It's true that Ubisoft has parted ways with StarForce. They announced a while back that they would not be using that copy protection any longer. As to what copy protection they will be using now, I have no idea.

Woosy
09-03-2006, 07:38 AM
They have been using Securom by Sony as an alternative.

Brutusn
09-03-2006, 08:17 AM
The only thing I found negativ is that starforce isn't deleted when you delete SCCT iirc.

The rest I have no problems with starforce.

freddy91973
09-03-2006, 08:27 AM
I've got no problems with the companies using a protection system, it was just that whenever I had a Starforce protected game installed ie SCCT. Colin McRae Rally 2005 my pc would crash all the time, but when I uninstalled the game and used the correct program to remove the SF drivers from my pc I had no crashes at all.
I guess that I am one of the unlucky ones with a pc setup that SF conflicts with.
I take my hat off to UBI for puting the consumer first. 10/10 to UBISOFT http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Woosy
09-03-2006, 08:57 AM
I agree with you Brutusn, thats the only problem I have with Starforce too. The worry I have with SCDA is that when it comes out it's going to be pirated so much offline where most of the piracy happens.

Brutusn
09-03-2006, 09:05 AM
Companies don't get that every protection they make is hackable. The best protection is making the games cheaper, so more people that find 50 Euro to much will buy it for let's say 25 or 30 euro.

freddy91973
09-03-2006, 09:12 AM
Why don't UBI use something along the lines of what Half Life 2 done. [Steam] ???
That would stop all the pirating, wouldn't it ???

Woosy
09-03-2006, 09:44 AM
No it doesn't, before Half-life 2 was released it was on torrent sites same with most of their games, in the first week they banned something like 20,000 steam accounts then the following month another 30,000. Then some hacker created a program that allowed you to download all the steam games for free.

Brutusn cheaper games isn't the way, which is shown by Michael Russell's Blog (http://www.romsteady.net/blog/2006/07/games-hidden-cost-of-piracy.html) who is lead producer on SiN. We need more quality games, but at the same time a better preventive method. If you want cheaper games instead of paying 50 euro's use www.sendit.com (http://www.sendit.com) it's only 35 euros for SCDA.

The only way to protect games is using an obscure copyprotection, this is where Starforce excelled. It's complicated to hack for the most casual users who go to a computer fair or car boot sale, and all he/she does is copies the contents to their pc and starts playing the game. With Starforce people had to disable drives use virtual drives and alot more just to play the game it's alot of hassle. Hence why you can go to any computer fair in Birmingham or London and SCCT isn't there or any other Starforce game for that matter.

Online is a different matter people always find ways around it as thats the nature of the internet knowledge is king. Offline the knowledge isn't so readily available, so for the adverage users going to a crack website trying to get that file won't work with starforce, it's a little bit more complex then that.

Brutusn
09-03-2006, 10:11 AM
With any copyprotection the legal, buying, costumer is neukend up.

I love watching a DVD movie:

Put DVD in the lade
- Sees BREIN movie what says: don't copy bad boy.
- that takes so much time, and in the same time I could have started the film already.

And that over and over. In games it's not as neukend up. Only in the installation you have to type a long key, which can be made infinite once you know the algorithm. And you have to put the DVD in for the game. Check the game once with and after it you don't need it. It's possible but noone is doing it.

scworld
09-03-2006, 10:20 AM
The goal of copyprotection is to delay the cracking to cash in during the first few months after release. After that, a patch to remove it would be best, since after a few months, it'll be cracked either way.

And games without any copyprotection can be very popular. I think it was some RPG or MMORPG which did that.

I think Valve's system is good in theory.

Brutusn
09-03-2006, 10:59 AM
Oblivion.

WhiteKnight77
09-03-2006, 11:41 AM
StarForce doesn't completely prevent games from being hacked. Lockdown for the PC was hacked and available for download the very day it was released by Ubisoft. Granted, SF did slow things down in most cases, it wasn't foolproof. Fan backlash against SF is what ultimately caused Ubi to discontinue using SF. I personally had SC: CT returned to the place of purchase, unopened due to SF and got Roller Coaster Tycoon 3 in it's place. Ubi lost on that one.

One has to remember too, that not only is it that PC games are hacked or pirated, in Asia, console games are pirated more often than PC games and is the number one region for piracy.

Woosy
09-03-2006, 01:33 PM
The reason why Lockdown was cracked when it first came out is because they didn't use starforce on the demo executable, instead they left it untouched. It is then easier to reverse engineer the exe for when retail comes out, as the final one will be based upon the demos, for Starforce to work efficiently the demo exe needs to be encrypted with starforce.

Where as other game demos used Starforce on the demo executable such as SC: CT Colin Mcrae etc.. Those games took a while to crack.

I don't think other copyprotections is worth the money since it's so easy for many to bypass, when GRAW came out for PC people have had problems with Securom, it happens, I saw many trying to point fingers at Starforce. What you might not know though, is that when you install a securom game such as GRAW it installs a "rootkit" which is near impossible to remove.

But the strange thing about it no one complains about it, or that their virtual drive installs drivers such as deamon or Alcohol which also install rootkits to hide themselves from the copyprotection as they're blacklisted. So I really don't buy the driver being installed a problem, I think the only one is when uninstalling they don't remove.

DJ-SLEV3N
09-03-2006, 02:00 PM
The main reason I dont like starforce is because I cant mount the cd with alcohol 120% or Deamon Tools so I can run the game without the cd, I hate changing the disc's all the time to play different games.

Persian_v2.0
09-03-2006, 03:12 PM
I was just uncomfortable with the fact that it had full access to your system. Starforce was basically a trojan in my book. Plus, I couldn't burn CD's until I got rid of it.

Alderbranchh
09-04-2006, 05:05 AM
The thing that bugs me with starforce is that
Im not allowed to freely use the software I purchased like cant use my law-given right to make a safety copy for my own use, it conflicts with legally bought software and hardware.
And ofcourse the other issue that its not covered by the EULA (or even mentioned) which in some countries/states is against the law.


Originally posted by Woosy:
Brutusn cheaper games isn't the way, which is shown by Michael Russell's Blog (http://www.romsteady.net/blog/2006/07/games-hidden-cost-of-piracy.html) who is lead producer on SiN. We need more quality games, but at the same time a better preventive method. If you want cheaper games instead of paying 50 euro's use www.sendit.com (http://www.sendit.com) it's only 35 euros for SCDA.


I must agree with Brutusn really. Cheaper games is the way. I mean if you take countries where 50 Euros is a month salary and compare it with a country where it costs 1 days salary thats quite a big difference.
I think most piracy amount to that. Some simply cant afford it thus have to buy a bootleg or cracked/pirated version.

Also, piracy is a very much overrated issue.
A game WILL sell good if it is good (and affordable to a reasonable price). I mean just take star craft (or any other blizzard game) - 9+ million copies sold of star craft.
Not to mention there was a study during the Atari-era where Netherlands was the most piracy-infested country there was yet it also sold the most amount legit copies too.

I mean I for one can clearly say that I download games. Yes "PIRATE" it in order TO TRY it. If I like it I buy it.
I dont buy a car/bike without testing it. I dont buy a book with totally unknown content. etc Sure this sounds a tad cliché but its true.

What I do dislike when it comes to piracy and that I do consider the bad side of piracy is when ppl download it and arnt willing to pay for it even if they do like it. (and then ontop of that whine about not getting support)


Originally posted by Persian_v2.0:
I was just uncomfortable with the fact that it had full access to your system. Starforce was basically a trojan in my book. Plus, I couldn't burn CD's until I got rid of it.

Agree about the first
I had a system slowdown (around 15%) and my burnspeed was reduced to near nothing.


Originally posted by freddy91973:
Why don't UBI use something along the lines of what Half Life 2 done. [Steam] ???
That would stop all the pirating, wouldn't it ???

They are employing steam nowdays. Try the open beta of Dark Messiah for instance http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif
But still, im happy ubi dropped it. Made me buy Heroes 5. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Woosy
09-04-2006, 06:52 AM
Piracy isn't an overrated issue, not for game developers. They are now shifting the focus from PC to consoles as there is less piracy and bigger profit. PC users are their own worst enemy, eventually there will be less quality games around due to budget and profit margins.

Cheaper games doesn't solve the problem, did you read Michael Russell's Blog? They listerned to everyone and dropped the price of SiN to $20 thats ‚£10!! Thats as cheap as games that are in the bargain bin over here, eventually they will shift focus to consoles. Yet people still pirated his game as 0-day release. Same with Half-Life Ep1 $19 yet another 0-day release, quite disgusting really as they are cheap games.

There is far too many excuses out there ep1 was quality and had a low price point, whats the excuse for over a million pirated downloads? Splinter Cell Double Agent, looks like a top "quality" product. And it is resonably priced ‚£24.99 you can find it cheaper if you look around. Most retail outlets list SCDA as ‚£34.99 about 66 dollars, americans get it cheap. I buy my games on the net where there are bargain prices, why would I pay over the odds? Even the website I listed could save Brutusn 15 or so euros on SCDAand have the game delivered on day of release.

When SCCT came out here it was just ‚£17.99 thats $34 and many americans could of brought it from sendit.com for that price, over the net, by phone, fax or snail mail. Most people pay the 50 dollars and then complain about it, yet it is cheaper. I remember hearing people buying SCCT for $29.99 on release at that walmart place. So imho price isn't an issue unless you want to pay more, you do have the choice most of the time.

In some countries such as India games are only 10 dollars for new releases, yet people there still pirate them, even when they earn about 300 dollars a week, the poor areas probably couldn't afford that the higher living areas they can, and they pirate the games with a smile on their face.

WhiteKnight77
09-04-2006, 12:05 PM
Console piracy is bigger than PC piracy, especially in Russian and the Far East such as Hong Kong and Singapore. GameSpy's Console Piracy: Poking Holes in Good Systems (http://archive.gamespy.com/articles/july03/consolepiracy/) series of articles takes a good look at console piracy.

Alderbranchh
09-05-2006, 06:48 AM
Originally posted by Woosy:
Piracy isn't an overrated issue, not for game developers. They are now shifting the focus from PC to consoles as there is less piracy and bigger profit. PC users are their own worst enemy, eventually there will be less quality games around due to budget and profit margins.

Cheaper games doesn't solve the problem, did you read Michael Russell's Blog? They listerned to everyone and dropped the price of SiN to $20 thats ‚£10!! Thats as cheap as games that are in the bargain bin over here, eventually they will shift focus to consoles. Yet people still pirated his game as 0-day release. Same with Half-Life Ep1 $19 yet another 0-day release, quite disgusting really as they are cheap games.

There is far too many excuses out there ep1 was quality and had a low price point, whats the excuse for over a million pirated downloads? Splinter Cell Double Agent, looks like a top "quality" product. And it is resonably priced ‚£24.99 you can find it cheaper if you look around. Most retail outlets list SCDA as ‚£34.99 about 66 dollars, americans get it cheap. I buy my games on the net where there are bargain prices, why would I pay over the odds? Even the website I listed could save Brutusn 15 or so euros on SCDAand have the game delivered on day of release.

When SCCT came out here it was just ‚£17.99 thats $34 and many americans could of brought it from sendit.com for that price, over the net, by phone, fax or snail mail. Most people pay the 50 dollars and then complain about it, yet it is cheaper. I remember hearing people buying SCCT for $29.99 on release at that walmart place. So imho price isn't an issue unless you want to pay more, you do have the choice most of the time.

In some countries such as India games are only 10 dollars for new releases, yet people there still pirate them, even when they earn about 300 dollars a week, the poor areas probably couldn't afford that the higher living areas they can, and they pirate the games with a smile on their face.

Console-games are ripped even easier... I guess you havent seen the Console-isos and Emulators out there eh?

Yeah I read the blog but ive been around for quite some time and know most of his words are rants aswell. Sales do get affected by application of things as starforce... in a negative way. Games will be pirated always. Nothing can be done about it. Its been like that since the start of comp-gaming.
I mean had I the choice between buying a game with SF on 0-day compared to a year later without it id buy it later or most likely never since they applied in the first place.
Id actually pay to not have it there cause it limits my lawgiven rights as a legit user to use the program.

As for the pricing. We had a lad at a forum I visit frequently that wouldnt have been able to buy the game due to his low salary. That was even after he looked around. Another lad of the same forum actually bought the lad a game since he made what that lad made in a month in a day.
Kinda says alot on how bad it is.

Woosy
09-05-2006, 08:08 AM
Um, I do know about Iso's and I do know about mod-chips, the difference with pirated console games on the xbox is you cannot play them online, if you attempt to play them online your xbox is banned from ever going online again. For the less knowledgable user it means buying a new xbox, those online find away around the ban.

MS brought that system in after halo2 incident, which sneakily went online in the background in certain games to see if your game was legal, if not you box was perm banned, I loved it seeing peoples faces who paid little to nothing where I a honest user paid was priceless. Great system as it banned hundreds of thousands of xboxes running ilegal games, many complained their fair use and privacy was infringed, kinda like the software they where using.

Some companies have stop producing PC games altogether and have moved to console only simply they make more money on that platform and there is less piracy on their games, thats just how it is, their sales figures are up. More and more companies are finding it cheaper and more productive that route, less testing time only have to design around 1 type of hardware and right now, piracy is in the lesser form on the next-gen console. I've not seen an xbox360 game at a computer fair YET. Until mod chips come out for it and someone designs a way to crack them then yeah piracy will take off, the prevention is undercover police and children who rat on those piraters and put them out of business, where they can spend the next 3 years behind bars, Online this is a difficult task and one I think the Riaa and other company should stop presuing as there are far worse offline who make more then the top jobs in all of our country.

How cheap do you want games to be? $19 is cheap as they come any cheaper and the company designing the game won't even break even. Even buying it second hand on ebay or using trade ins you can find good prices. The most usual price for games is ‚£24.99 thats about $47 as I said above most places do sell games at a price of ‚£34.99 $66 they are down in most shops such as Game, Gamestation etc.. which sell second hand to brand new..

Starforce is a bad system for some fair enough. Here in britain it prevented hundreds of thousands of games being sold ilegaly at car boot sales and computer fairs, games are sold on a big scale at these places, they arn't sold at the corner by some bloke with a long black jacket. Due to the hassle with starforce, no pirate seller could give it to a user with simple instructions how to get it to work, which was the usual drag and drop to your pc and click .exe. Online this is a different story, there is more knowledgeable users and they find away around it. But there are far more offline buying games illegaly then those sharing online do the math at the real lost sales imho.

Just an example in Birmingham City not far from me, the police did a crack down. They found a warehouse producing 25,600 pirated PC games and DVD films within an 8 hour window, they where making millions, funny thing they never sold console games at their fairs. Even this Article (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/4886360.stm) one in London which was in the newspaper, said they where making up to 17,000 films and thousands of PC gamers per day!

What I would like to know what price point you think games should be sold at? $10 or $15, and what about the company making them should they be able to make a profit to feed? I personaly don't see a problem, over the past 12 years of my gaming life, games have come down in price from ‚£40 megadrive era to ‚£24 and even cheaperon the PC. The console games are far far more expensive then PC games being on average 10-20 more expensive. The excuses for pirating games are lame. Some say the games are too expensive so why pirate Hl2 EP1 which was cheap? Or that it's a bad game lol why would you pirate a bad game and then play it?

If it was a product like Maya for example which is $5,000 I could see what people mean about price, alot of talented 3D modelers in the Counter-Strike community and many other communities, you know straight off some have never paid for it due to price, some have got it from student discounts. I don't agree with pirating, I would agree that company should make a consumer product which is cheaper as the comercial product is far too expensive. But when it comes to games most places sell it at a reasonable price. You won't hear my 8 year old complain he can't afford an xbox360 game which are ‚£39.99, when he saves up his pocket money which he earns doing chores which could take weeks to buy, I never hear this game is too expensive come out of his mouth.

Alderbranchh
09-05-2006, 11:24 AM
Actually there is a way around all of that. I mean a Xbox is a PC in a different casing and reduced capabilities to use it fully.
Since Xbox has been fully overly hacked you can actually emulate your PC to show as a Xbox etc. for purposes of playing and you can do the same with the games http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

As for producing for consoles... well, that has its advantages really. I mean you know the specs you have to work with before you start... thats where PC-games fall behind as the devs there simply dont care and expect ppl to buy new rigs all the freaking time.
Thats why the sale-rates go down for PC games if anything affects it.

How cheap I want it... well affordable aka at a reasonable level depending on where its sold. I mean for me $20 or 30 Euro aint that much for a game.(I prefer talking in Euros really http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif )

Now first some facts:
Some will always pirate it for free
Some will buy bootlegs

What cant be countered is the first. The second can be countered by dumping of prices.

I mean what is the difference if you sell 2 Million copies for a 5 dollars profit per sale or 500000 for 20 dollars profit moneywise?
The win will be the exact same. Not to mention I guess those 2millions are more likely to attract even more potential buyers than 0,5 million...

As for your kid. Try giving him what eastern european or indian kids get for pocket money and I can assure you he will complain after a short while. Just cause you and I live comfortably in rich countries where the cost of a game isnt equal a month/weeks pay doesnt mean others dont have it like that. And its there bootlegs are most abundant and its there many millions of dollars/euros lie waiting ready to be harvested from the pirates that make a living out of it.

Oh and Starforce didnt prevent anything... it delayed it.
All you have to do is download the game, install it with the crack and voila you are set to go. You dont need to be very knowledgable to do that.

WhiteKnight77
09-05-2006, 11:58 AM
I agree, Starforce has helped to control piracy of PC games to an extent, but still, console games are the number one pirated piece of software. Why is that you ask? It's due to more consoles being out there for that task only compared to PCs for gaming. Sure MS has taken steps to ban people from playing online with modded boxes or hacked games, but that still does not mean the games can't be played. They are.

DRM & Piracy (http://playnoevil.com/serendipity/index.php?/categories/7-DRM-Piracy)

<A HREF="http://www.asiaweek.com/asiaweek/magazine/enterprise/0,8782,185606,00.html" TARGET=_blank>No-Fly Zones
Globalism and games don't mix in Asian markets teeming with counterfeiters</A>

The History of Console Piracy and how it affects You, The Gamer (http://www.pspcrazy.com/?page=Articles&action=showarticle&id=201)

As seen even in this last article, console game piracy has been going on since the SNES. Console game piracy is more prevelant in Asia and Russia as I have said before than other area in the world. The biggest reason why console piracy is more rampant than PC game piracy is the fact that while a console itself seems expensive, it is actually a loss leader item. Companies lose money on the actual console itself. The X360 was sold at $126 under what it cost to make her in the US. At $525 a cheap computer could be had, even if it didn't play any or many games.

Console makers make up their losses by licensing fees which translates to higher prices for you to pay for a game. There are no such licensing fees for PC games (well for NASCAR games there is now).

It's funny that you ask how much I am willing to pay for a game. I have no problem paying $50 for a game if it includes the disk, a printed manual, a key guide and comes in a box. If downloadable, I expect it for a cheaper price. The most expensive PC game I have was about $70. It is the Rainbow Six Collector Series and included 7 disks, a big strategy guide, a big box and all the manuals and key guides. Most PC games I have ran in the $30-$40 range and even then, I may have bought them on sale or at GoGamer.com for a lesser price than full retail.
I did buy a couple of console games when I actively played my PS1 prior to getting a PC and I paid up to $50 for em. Bit much for just a disk when I get so much more with a PC game. One reson why I looked for older, cheaper games instead of newer games. I never ran out and bought a PS1 game the minute it came out. Plus the fact, not all games interest me. I think I only bought 4 games for my PS1 though I have 2 I think it is (2 as gifts that were paid for).

Video game piracy is a problem, that is a fact, but it is the console game side that has the bigger side of the equation as console gaming is the bigger side of the market.

Woosy
09-05-2006, 01:24 PM
You can find games for 25 euros as I said SCDA is 36 euros right now, what do they cost usualy in euros? When SCCT came out on april the 1st here is was 28 euros which you could of brought it for on the online shop. Same with GRAW and Lockdown 28 Euros. it ships to the rest of the world with a small shipping fee.

Starforce was hard for people to crack it wasn't as simple as install the game install the crack not a year ago. People kept making deamon images and alcohol ones to get around it and it failed for months, the groups who crack games gave up for months then tried again failed and then eventually cracked it. The great thing about starforce everytime a patch comes out new in-game checks can be added to the exe which means crackers gotta start from scratch again, and it took time for them to egt up to 1.5. Some of the procedures I read where stupid like pulling out ide cables and so on, not as simple as you said, it is now though.

Dropping the price of games to match bootlegs would be around 7 Euros and financial suicide, anything higher and they will keep buying bootlegs. Then you have to think about how the company is ever going to earn a living or make future titles at that price point. I mean you have to agree HL2 Ep1 for 15 euro's is a fair price for singleplayer and hl2 deathmatch is it not? Any cheaper then that and the companies won't break even. It's ashame about those countries, but thats life, we arn't going to reducuce the prices of games film and other products such as Tv's and computer parts. In India mind you games there are a mere 11 euros, yet they buy bootlegs, in the rich part of India wage varies from 156 euros to 240 yet they still bootleg them hardly any legal sales there even there are legit games for a few euros more.

WK thanks for the link I'll give them a read.

znork
09-05-2006, 04:03 PM
my i join i so miss a good sf debate?

WhiteKnight77
09-05-2006, 06:08 PM
Sure Znork (how ever do you pronounce such a name anyway?). I can't tell you how elated I was when I recieved word from Ubi themseleves (I got an email from Europe about this) that I had to post it immediately. This was done a week before major gaming news outlets posted such news.

znork
09-06-2006, 12:57 PM
Tnx for letting me in! Well it was all consuming when it raged. But i have a smal feeling ubi did not learn anything from this. I still belive it had more to withe the unprofesional behavior of the sf people that it had to withe the principel aspect of the debate.

So let my just say i dont like CP progs at all, they dont give me added value when i buy the game. Infact i rerarly install the games i buy from the orignial cd!

But beforte the pro cp clan eats me up i understand that need for ubi to protect its investmen and i know for a fack that piracy his hurting them. This leads to games being pushed out early and not beeing that good. That is hurting us!

What i do find amazing is that ubisoft has this forum withe tons and tons of smart dedicated fans that they can engade in a debate. I belive if the engaded and talked to the fans they could get valubal feed back on how to fight piracy!

I have debated highe and low withe who ever is willing, including a producer but never has any of them seen the welthe of information on this forum.

Its like they are totaly blind to what they have her.

So to end up as i have said many tims now! This is a war between pirates (whice most people are from time to time) and publisheres. And bothe fans and publisheres are loosing. The only winer are the crackers and the criminals selling the pirated games.

Cp is not the soultion has not worked for as long as there has been Softwhere. So if its not worked until now what makes people belive it will work in the future?

Last point Trusted computer is not the end of piracy its just the end of windows!

Woosy
09-06-2006, 01:25 PM
They removed Starforce from all new upcoming titles, and they will get pirated on a huge scale, just means GRAW won't have a map pack.. The fact in Birmingham City where computer fairs are held, not small places, there are no Sarforce games being sold at major carboot sales or Computer fairs.

Games such as GRAW using Securom is though. Chipping console is illegal here with a new law, hence car boot sales and fairs it rarely happens now, people that buy or people who chip them get arrested by undercover cops. It is futile to try and catch those online sure, but prevention is sometimes better then the cure. Offline it's a priority and the police are doing a good job cracking down.

It may not give you added value, but for me it does and this is why... When I was in Uni and when I went to Lan events in England tons and tons of students and gamers had the game I was playing for free, it was a kick in the teeth. When SCCT came out no one could crack it was ace, at Lans there where no pirated copies either. Quite a few brought the game as it was cheap. So it may not give you value, for me and other honest gaming friends who hate people wondering around with free copies which we have paid good money for it is good value.

If you think copyprotection is totaly bad and we should totaly get rid of it altother, what should we do then just let people pirate stuff on a huge scale?

znork
09-06-2006, 01:52 PM
im sayint there must be an other way and some of the poeople her should be abel to cook somthing uphttp://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif