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Ubi PC Titles To Require Online Authentication

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Posted

So we will likely see this with GR4 PC (assuming there is a PC version). Thoughts?

http://au.pc.gamespy.com/pc/the-settlers-7.../1063391p1.html

Last year, Ubisoft head honcho Yves Guillemot mentioned that the company was "working on tools that will allow us to actually decrease tremendously the piracy on PC." Ubisoft is now launching this proprietary new system to manage its PC gaming community, starting with making its PC games accessible through Ubi.com accounts.

In the past Ubisoft has been derided for its use of the controversial StarForce digital rights management application. Ubisoft's new platform takes an approach that tackles many of the typical criticisms of DRM. You'll be able to run your games without a disc in the drive for authentication, and you can take advantage of unlimited installations.

"If you own a hundred PCs, you can install your games on a hundred PCs," said Brent Wilkinson, Director, Customer Service and Production Planning at Ubisoft.

One very interesting benefit of this new account management system is how it handles save games. Your saves will be stored remotely on Ubi servers, allowing access to your game saves on any machine. Steam offers a similar service for select games, but this will be available for the majority of Ubisoft's PC titles.

Ubisoft's new DRM platform will debut in the Settlers 7 Fileplanet beta.

So what's the downside? Since authentication is now handled through your Ubi.com account, you'll always need to connect to your Ubi.com account to authenticate before playing. While it's hard to conceive of PC gamers being stranded without an Internet connection, those situations do come up, particularly when traveling.

We asked about the potential backlash to this authentication platform requiring an Internet connection. "We think most people are going to be fine with it. Most people are always connected to an Internet connection," Wilkinson replied.

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Posted

Yep, GR4 for sure will be using this.

Here's a FAQ on the new system.

What are the key elements of this platform for PC gamers?

Although a permanent online connection is required, this means that a CD/DVD is not required to play the game after installation. The protected game can be installed as many times and on as many computers as you like. Saved games are also synchronized online so the user can continue playing from any location with the game installed.

How many players can the server system support?

There is no limit to how many players can play at the same time. For each title, we carefully study the demand and allocate servers accordingly. We will also of course allocate back-up servers in order to be able to respond to fluctuations in demand. Ubisoft provides 24/7 monitoring of its servers.

How many computers can I install the game on?

There is no limit to the number of computers on which you can install the game. However you can only play with your individual Ubisoft account on one computer at a time.

Can I play my game from another computer?

Yes. As long as the game is installed on the PC, you can play from any computer and your Ubisoft account will recognise your last saved position as well as automatically save any updates.

I am in a strict environment with lots of firewall rules etc. Can I still play the game?

If you can access the Internet from the computer, you can play the game.

What if Ubisoft decides not run these online services in the future? Will my game stop working?

If any service is stopped, we will create a patch for the game so that the core game play will not be affected.

What will happen if I lose my Internet connection when I play the game?

If you lose your Internet connection the game will pause while it tries to reconnect. If the Internet Connection is unable to resume you can continue the game from where you left off or from the last saved game.

Will I need to be online the whole time when I play the game? Including for single player?

Yes. You will need to have an active Internet connection to play the game, for all game modes.

Will this platform use unique keys?

Yes. Unique keys are verified throughout this system.

Will this affect the performance of my PC?

No. The services that we offer run only when you start the game and there are no background services.

Do you have to be a member of Uplay to use this service platform?

This system requires you to have a Ubi.com account. A Uplay and a Ubi.com account are the same. You don't need to use Uplay to use this service platform, but if you wish to do so, it's very simple.

Do you plan to implement this system on home consoles?

This system is for PCs only.

Will this system be available for every Ubisoft game?

Most upcoming Ubisoft PC games will make use of this system.

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Posted

So potential issues that will prevent you from playing your game.

Your internet goes down.

The Ubi Servers crash.

The Ubi Servers go offline for maintenance.

Quite a bit of scope there for issues.

Having said that, isn't this the same system Relic uses?

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Posted

I do applaud Ubi for taking into account it's past criticisms and coming up with something not too draconian. Still, I have to question the lack of being able to play games offline if a gamer wants to, after all, Steam allows a gamer to do just that. Ubi has plenty of server downtime and their forums are rife with complaints of the servers being down. How do they intend to keep said servers from going down on a regular basis?

Also, Ubi seems to have a change of heart in allowing us to install the game on any number of PCs at the same time. This is compared to the limited installs and revocation rules with FarCry 2 (I believe there is one other game Ubi released that had similar restrictions).

One question I have is, if we already have an account or are a member of the Ubi forums, do we use the same log in name and password to log in via the games?

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Posted

One question I have is, if we already have an account or are a member of the Ubi forums, do we use the same log in name and password to log in via the games?

I think that's answered in the FAQ above.

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Posted (edited)

How many players can the server system support?

For each title, we carefully study the demand and allocate servers accordingly. We will also of course allocate back-up servers in order to be able to respond to fluctuations in demand. Ubisoft provides 24/7 monitoring of its servers.

Translation: "For each title, we carefully study how little money we can get away with spending on server operation/maintenance. The critical parameter is how many of you gamers we can get away with ####ing off at any one time without suffering an internet-wide PR trainwreck."

Can I play my game from another computer?

Yes. As long as the game is installed on the PC, you can play from any computer and your Ubisoft account will recognise your last saved position as well as automatically save any updates.

Translation: "We ripped off this silly argument from Steam: We know perfectly well that 99.9% of you play each game on only one PC, and the last 0.1% is perfectly capable of installing the game if you happen to use another PC. OK, not our most brilliant argument, but hey, we have to come up with something to make this ###### look good.

What if Ubisoft decides not run these online services in the future? Will my game stop working?

If any service is stopped, we will create a patch for the game so that the core game play will not be affected.

Translation: "We also challenge you to find anything in the EULA or anywhere else that legally commits us to doing this. Remember: We don't make money off you playing our games, we make money off you buying our games. Why should we throw money at making a patch for a game that isn't on the store shelves anymore?"

What will happen if I lose my Internet connection when I play the game?

If you lose your Internet connection the game will pause while it tries to reconnect. If the Internet Connection is unable to resume you can continue the game from where you left off or from the last saved game.

Translation: "Your internet connection better be rock steady or you'll have a lot of replaying to do."

- - -

*sigh*

I'm now at the point where a game only gets on my PC if it doesn't require the disc in the drive (and certainly not constant online connection). Blame Ubi; They spoiled me with Ghost Recon: Once installed there was no use for the disc except if a reinstall was required at some point. Ubi even allowed multiple (up to four, I think) players to play on LAN from a single copy. Which was jolly nice of them and not something I feel I was entitled to.

Fortunately, other companies have realised how futile and counterproductive these DRM schemes are, so it's not like there is any immediate shortage of vendors that are happy to take my money and don't treat me like a criminal.

Not that this is of any concern to the actual software pirates.

(Post edited for forum rules compliance)

Edited by krise madsen

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Posted

:bs: My gaming PC has no net connection and I think that's nothing but a thorn in the backside for someone that's only interested in playing SP!!! :wall: Looks like the offline single only player is heading down the S#@* Outta Luck road. :angry:

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Posted

Wow, this is bad news. Even STEAM lets you run games in offline mode...

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Posted

We are the condemned. (PC Gamers) :lol: Bunch of horse baloney if you ask me. I guess dedicated servers will be out then? :shifty:

Not fair to be restricted to internet access only for SP, but not really an issue is it these days? UBI servers are not reliable, LAN obviously out of the question, this is dubious.

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Posted

What will happen to new Ubi games that are also sold on Steam? If this ends up anything like the headache with some games with Microsoft's Game For Windows Live (and other) DRM schemes that are also sold on Steam it will be a nightmare fraught with issues, and long waits for patches... What's more is it's likely some games Ubi will buy and/or publish will end up under multiple DRM systems -- what then?

Bohemia Interactive has a good approach of per platform/distribution DRM, where only relevant rather then stacked DRM methods are applied for lower drag, better performance and fewer end User headaches. But I think Krise Madsen has nailed it: large and publicly traded game Publisher/Developers are not in business for anything but making money -- and the cheapest, fastest, and dirtiest method that's licensable that will separate people from their money is where they'll go -- that many big Publisher/Developers are already spending far more on marketing and advertising then actual development is pretty blatent hint of where things are headed.

If there's no off-line mode even for SP play that's going to be a real stinker/deal-breaker for a lot of people that is just as sure to hurt Ubi's bottom line with more of the same 'punish the paying Customer, and reward the Pirate' that does little to help an increasingly estranged Audience... On a related 'Steam' note does anyone know the answer to this question re. the Steam Server Browser & Ghost Recon?

:unsure:

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Posted

That Kills it for me. :angry:

Over the years I have had so many problems with viruses, worms and such causing me to have to flush the whole toilet, lose all my games and start over that I now have a dedicated gaming computer that never sees the Internet.

:nono: Until UBI drops this bonehead idea I will NEVER buy another UBI game. :nono:

So OK. now I need some help from my fellow Ghosts. You all know the kind of game I like. I would appreciate some suggestions for other games I can spend my money on.

(a very ###### off) OldGhost.

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Posted

People already learned their lesson after Bioshock and Mass Effect. This just goes to show how backwards Ubisoft has finally become. Besides, even Bioware had to scrap this "must always be online" scheme before release. Ubisoft sure has balls (or just titanically stupid) if they think they can pull this off.

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Posted (edited)

This is just ' über '- soft stupid.

But they can have their stupid piracy system for my part of it turns out to be a

run and gun game.

GET IT INSIDE THOSE BRAINS..........

DELIVER A GOOD GAME AND IT WILL SELL !!!!

DELIVER CRAP AND IT WILL GET COPIED EVEN MORE !!!!

Why invest in a game that you're only partial interested in, to game 3hours???

I'd RE-BUY GR in a heartbeat !!!! if u r addicted to a game , you buy it its as

simple as that.

I even bought GRAW, go figure :)

Why cant they make it simple like this:

"you buy it, you phone or mail a nr , they check your code, the store where u bought it and you get on a list and log in the game with your email adress or whatever or they provide u a key or whatever , but LEAVE GAMERS THE ###### ALONE when they wanna game"

We're NOT waiting to be dropped outta the game cause of a server fault right in the middle of a COOP MATCH or TOURNEY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

grtz

-M-

Edited by mordred

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Posted

Looks good, i hope they can eliminate piracy with this technology, i have a game that uses a similar protection, Rise of Flight, it works just fine.

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Posted

Looks good, i hope they can eliminate piracy with this technology, i have a game that uses a similar protection, Rise of Flight, it works just fine.

While I can appreciate the sentiment. For several months I was unable to afford internet service and BF 2 would not work offline. (I got it Direct2Drive.) Needless to say this was infuriating as I paid for the game and found it insulting that I should have it revoked from me as long as I was without internet. Eventually, after much searching I found a solution by using a [Thing that should not be spoken of here] , but why the hell should I be forced to go through such stress? Oh, they did fix this in their 1.5 patch. (5 years after release.)

Though it's no small argument that the stealing of pc games has contributed a good amount to the diminishing of the PC market. Just the same, it's no reason to treat the whole lot like thieves.

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Posted

One thing that was brought up on one of the Ubi forums was console piracy and how Ubi suffers from head in sand syndrome (I actually said that bit) when it comes to that. I even did a quick search via TPB for PoP torrents and found that the top downloads were for the PS2. Ubi wants PC gamers to buy games while totally ignoring the piracy of games for other platforms. Go figure.

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Posted

One thing that was brought up on one of the Ubi forums was console piracy and how Ubi suffers from head in sand syndrome (I actually said that bit) when it comes to that. I even did a quick search via TPB for PoP torrents and found that the top downloads were for the PS2. Ubi wants PC gamers to buy games while totally ignoring the piracy of games for other platforms. Go figure.

Console piracy doesn't really impact the market of home console owners in a meaningful way. Most of the people who go out and buy xbox360s don't know how to modify them. The people who do aren't the people microsoft is trying to sell the console to, or the people ubisoft is trying to sell games to. Piracy eats up a huge % of the market share that companies are banking on buying their PC games, whereas it has a nearly meaningless impact on the people that companies are expecting to buy their console games.

There is definitely console piracy, and there are definitely some lost sales from it, but it isnt financially crippling on consoles like it is on PCs. Ubisoft doesn't care how often their games get pirated, they care how much money they lose from piracy. On the PC, it's considerable. On consoles, it's negligible. That's the difference.

Anyway, this news is hilarious and ridiculous. I can't imagine ubisoft will stick to this very long.

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Posted (edited)

This is a deal breaker for any game that includes a SP campaign/component.

____

We think most people are going to be fine with it.
Famous last words. It would be interesting to poll their study group on this question, if they had one in the first place. Edited by NoQuarter

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Posted

I guess we will have to keep the modders busy building mods for GRAW2 forever!

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Posted

Hmmm not sure i'm in favour of this at all, anything where you increase the length of the chain is just asking for trouble, if your internet goes down you cant play, if their game servers go down you cant play, if their login servers go down you cant play. Thats just too many things with a possibility of going wrong, they messed it up with RVS when their login servers were playing up many years back and the "free" addon they gave away still cant be played online due to UBI not putting the key servers back up.

http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/8...62/m/4891043286

With that game being as old as it is you'd have thought they'd have patched it to not need the keyservers now but they'll probably wait till the last 2 playing terrorist hunt stop logging in before they wipe the login servers and forget about making a patch for a game that nobody plays.

As for the console piracy not hitting as much as pc piracy i'm not 100% convinced on that either, I thought Microsoft made a loss on the xbox consoles and raked in the money from games sales, if thats the case they must take a bigger cut from the games publishers to cover those costs so the publisher gets a smaller amount of profit, I know Mr Gates didnt stump up any cash towards my PC so the publishers make more off my pc sale than for an equivalent console sale. This could be complete crap but I have been to bed since I read about it ;) so if it is a load of cobblers please feel free to correct me.

The pirates will get around it, i've no doubt about that, if the sneaky buggers can get around the protection in VBS1 then ubi's offering will be no problem and the only people who will suffer are the honest gamers who buy the game and come up against a chain of possible problems that could fail at any point.

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Posted

Well............this news is in no way suprising to me,and I'm kinda at a loss for words ( not really,just can't post/say what I liked to,because there'd be a lot of cussing)

Krise M summed up and posted my thoughts in a civil way.

So,all I'll say is............. I dont' care if GR4 turns out to be a true sequel to GR1 and is the best game ever made ( IMO,and I doubt THAT ever happening in the first place)........I AINT BUYING IT.The reasons why, have already been posted.

Thank you UBI,for shooting yourself in the foot.

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Posted (edited)

Wow, this is bad news. Even STEAM lets you run games in offline mode...

Are you sure about that?????

Let me tell you a little story

I have STEAM versions of HL1 and HL2... back in 2007 before my deployment I had this great Idea

Gee, I'm going to download my steam games to my laptop so I can play them in IRAQ

I dont have to worry at all since there is an offline mode and I don't have to carry

my CD's/DVD's

The offline mode did work for a maybe 4 or 5 months but one day I came from work and guess

what happened? I got a message saying something like this: You need to connect to steam to play

this tittle in offline mode not one but all of them got locked out, so there I was, in IRAQ

with no internet connection and 8 steam games taking space in my laptop, I was so P2#$ OFF

from that day on I swore I would not buy another STEAM game and don't get me started on what

happened to a few soldiers in my unit with EMPIRE TOTAL WAR

Rise of Flight have the same online 24/7 system you can go to their forums their servers go down

from time to time and that means you can't play your game

With UBI game support track record this could be trouble for legit customers, those that get games

by other means are going to be playing their games and without internet connection

Edited by Sgt. Atoa

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Posted

The pirates will get around it, i've no doubt about that, if the sneaky buggers can get around the protection in VBS1 then ubi's offering will be no problem and the only people who will suffer are the honest gamers who buy the game and come up against a chain of possible problems that could fail at any point.

Well said. Definitely reflects my sentiments on this issue.

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Posted

Rise of Flight have the same online 24/7 system you can go to their forums their servers go down

from time to time and that means you can't play your game

You cant compare Neob and UBI.

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Posted

Rise of Flight have the same online 24/7 system you can go to their forums their servers go down

from time to time and that means you can't play your game

You cant compare Neob and UBI.

I can't compare them but the servers go down, not every day or every month for that matter but again they do go down sometimes and that means that even if it's for 30 minutes I can't play the game at that period of time

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