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Old May 7, 2008, 01:31 PM
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Default Spore and Mass Effect to Require Occasional Re-validation

Is it just me, or are game companies actually getting more clueless as the days pass? It has to be the case, because I am seeing it with my own eyes. Remember the massive uproar when BioShock shipped with SecuROM? Or how about when the company announced that the sequel would include even more hardcore copy protection?
According to Shacknews, two companies who still haven't found that clue are Electronic Arts and BioWare, as both Spore and Mass Effect PC will feature SecuROM as well. But it's better! Depending on what the developer sets, the game will require an Internet connection to verify with their servers in order to re-validate your serial key. You know, in case it somehow got leaked onto warez networks or torrent sites.
I am not sure how I can put this in a professional manner, so I won't. Whoever decided on this is a complete idiot. Someone whose pupils are shaped like dollar signs. Someone who has apparently never bought a PC game themselves.
Did SecuROM help prevent BioShock from being pirated? Hardly. In fact, it was released to torrent networks before the game's actual street date. The exact same situation occurred with Crysis. Despite its check at the game start-up for a legal CD, crackers still did their thing. Who benefits? The pirates. That's who. Who's inconvenienced? The legal consumer. That's who.
One might be quick to say "who cares?", but it's the fact that companies continue to make things difficult on the legal consumer that's frustrating, when it's clear no ground is being gained in ridding piracy. Am I annoyed that I have to keep my Crysis disc near our benchmarking rigs all the time? Yes, sure. But even that beats this forthcoming method of doing things.
What about those who don't have Internet? What happens if someone's Internet goes down when they want to play? What happens if EA's or BioWare's authentication servers go down? What happens ten years down the road when those authentication servers no longer exist?
You save yourself the hassle and go download the pirated version of the game, that's what. After all, that's the easiest way to enjoy your legally bought games nowadays.

"After the first activation, SecuROM requires that [Mass Effect PC] re-check with the server within ten days (in case the CD Key has become public/warez'd and gets banned)," said French in a post on the BioWare forums. If customers do not come online after ten days, the game will cease to function. "After 10 days a re-check is required before the game can run," added French.
Source: Shacknews

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Old May 27, 2008, 10:05 PM
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Smile No re-authentication for Mass Effect

Quoted from Mass Effect - Bioware website FAQ:

Q: Did BioWare and EA change their mind on requiring that the game be re-authorized every 10 days?

A: BioWare has always listened very closely to its fans and we made this decision to ensure we are delivering the best possible experience to them. To all the fans including our many friends in the armed services and internationally who expressed concerns that they would not be able re-authenticate as often as required, EA and BioWare want you to know that your feedback is important to us.

Q: If the game isnít going to require an authentication every 10 days, will it ever require re-authentication?

A: Only if the player chooses to download new game content.

BTW is anyone planning on playing the PC version other than me? DLing from Direct2Drive.
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Old May 27, 2008, 10:16 PM
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I'd have to look closely at the hardware activation requirements first.

There was some talk when this first came out about only being able to activate it on 1 or two hardware configs. For folks (like many of us... :) ) who change their hardware out frequently this means that their legally purchased game will no longer work or will require re-activation by the software producer much the same as our OS does.

If they want to do this they need to use a system similar to what Napster currently uses which allows use on 3 different hardware configs, with an option to remove a config to allow for upgrades to hardware.
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Old May 27, 2008, 10:36 PM
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Quoted from same site FAQ as above:

Q: How many installations will SecuROM allow from my copy of MEPC?

A: Since SecuROM has nothing to do with the installer, you can install and uninstall on the same machine over and over again without any problems. SecuROM also allows you to activate the game on 3 different machines.


Q: Q: What happens if I exceed 3 activations?

A: Your first 3 activations will still work, but any subsequent activation will not work.


Q: What happens when Iíve reached the maximum # of computers for my game and I need more, say due to theft of computer, computer crashes, etc?

A: EA customer service is on hand to supply any additional authorizations that are warranted. This will be done on a case-by-case basis by contacting customer support.


It doesn't sound like it will be as onerous as an OS install. I'll let you know how the install goes after the DL (requires around 30 GBs of HD space).
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Old May 27, 2008, 10:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by misterlarry View Post
Quoted from same site FAQ as above:

Q: How many installations will SecuROM allow from my copy of MEPC?

A: Since SecuROM has nothing to do with the installer, you can install and uninstall on the same machine over and over again without any problems. SecuROM also allows you to activate the game on 3 different machines.


Q: Q: What happens if I exceed 3 activations?

A: Your first 3 activations will still work, but any subsequent activation will not work.


Q: What happens when I’ve reached the maximum # of computers for my game and I need more, say due to theft of computer, computer crashes, etc?

A: EA customer service is on hand to supply any additional authorizations that are warranted. This will be done on a case-by-case basis by contacting customer support.


It doesn't sound like it will be as onerous as an OS install. I'll let you know how the install goes after the DL (requires around 30 GBs of HD space).

This is exactly my concern.

In the last 12 months I've had 5 different CPUs running on the same motherboard so I'd be in the "call EA customer service" line-up waiting for somebody to decide whether or not to give me a new activation code. Unlike OS activation which is done by machine telephone, I'd be stuck waiting for some non-existant customer service rep to answer the phone.... no thanks. :)

(If anybody is interested... E6420, E6400, E6600, E1200, Q6600 :) ).
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