When pure isn’t pure

By on April 29, 2009 4:23:07 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

Frogboy

Join Date 03/2001
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There is a website called Reclaim your game that purports to be an anti-DRM site.  I received an email today from a user that includes a link to an article on that site arguing that Stardock can no longer be considered DRM free because Demigod requires a user create an Impulse account (UserID and password) to logon and download updates to Demigod.

I would happily respond there but their site requires me to create a Prism forum account (UserID and password) to logon to make posts and I just can’t abide by such anti-consumer DRM…

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April 29, 2009 7:00:07 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Hi Brad

My name's Kathleen, I run the site and I tried to contact you weeks ago on the Stardock forum to answer some questions we had. If I would have been able to get hold of you and get the questions answered one way or another, we wouldn't have had to remove your games and none of us would now feel as ambivelent as we do. And it was done with great regret, because almost every single person who works on the site loves your games and usually owns one of them.

Firstly, we were trying to work out whether Goo constituted a DRM, but as you referred to it yourself as a DRM in a previous blog post here, we took you at your word. If you now feel it's not  DRM, I'd love to hear what makes you now consider Now, as all of the other content in that section uses no copy protection or DRM of any kind, your content no longer fitted in that category and we ahd to remove it. If we get to the point we've got more straightforward copy protection games listed, we would be able to put those games back.

In relation to the privacy concerns, this is a legitimate issue. Severl people on my forum expressed the same concern. A good chunk of people out there get very worried about what happens to their personal details when they share them with a company.

And in relation to the people who expressed a concern about the necessity of creating an account, I am yet to encounter a website that feels comfortable with random strangers being able to post wherever they like. It's also not a very safe idea. Aside from the work we're doing with Byteshield, our major work involves helping people getting SecuRom off their games. We've been doing that for about a year now, and some of the people we get on our forum are finding their feet with pcs and are not very confident. They do NOT need some spammer making their life difficult.

Regards

Kathleen

http://reclaimyourgame.com/

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April 29, 2009 7:16:02 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

I believe some DRM is draconian (Spore...Mass Effect)

now impulse and steam got it right.

put your key in there and you're verified and it updates your games automaticly for you, if you ask me thats awesome.  not to mention, you can just download them whenever you want.

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April 29, 2009 7:16:34 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

@saraswati

You realise none of Stardocks games actually use GOO?

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April 29, 2009 7:20:26 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Oh, and Phalnax? Maybe try spelling your alias correctly before you start trying to talk like a big boy. Thanks.

HAHAHAHA!!! Maybe ask if I spelt it that way on purpose before you point fingers,,,

Here's the story:

Back in the days of Age of Empires I...there was the Phalanx unit....and its a Greek Formation I know....so that's how I thought it was spelled....mind you, I was only 10 around then...so the wrong spelling stuck and I use it many user names...(I'm 18 now)

Who's laughing now?

-PhalNAx

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April 29, 2009 7:37:00 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting Phalnax811,


Oh, and Phalnax? Maybe try spelling your alias correctly before you start trying to talk like a big boy. Thanks.
HAHAHAHA!!! Maybe ask if I spelt it that way on purpose before you point fingers,,,
Here's the story:
Back in the days of Age of Empires I...there was the Phalanx unit....and its a Greek Formation I know....so that's how I thought it was spelled....mind you, I was only 10 around then...so the wrong spelling stuck and I use it many user names...(I'm 18 now)
Who's laughing now?
-PhalNAx

 

Heh...I kind of figured it was something like that. I can empathise...in my earlier years I used to think hitzer was spelled (and pronounced) howTIzer.

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April 29, 2009 7:43:27 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Brad has a valid point when mentioning the anti drm crowd. DRM isn't anything new especially in PC gaming. It's just moved from the honor system/local key authorization to other methods which have a very sound valid reason to exist if you bother to look at global software piracy rates. DRM for the most part has been a huge benifit for gamers rather than something negative like quite a few make it out to be. Any game requiring a cd key to install or function you can remove from your list of "drm free" games and since that has been the standard for well over a decade the whole "drm is evil" cry of "legitmate" consumers usually falls flat on it's face.

 

Keep up the good work Brad.

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April 29, 2009 7:44:37 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

So, basically, Reclaim your game would NEVER want to be a member of any club that would let someone just like them be a member.

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April 29, 2009 7:59:49 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

Hi Brad.

I´m Inspector SwitchBlade, Prism Maintenance Admin. You said in your blog that you did receive an email today bla bla bla I´m good and RYG suck ass, oh yeah.

What you didn´t say is that you received a few polite mails from Kath 2-3 weeks ago. We asked about Goo, if it is a DRM or not, and some questions about privacy.

We wanted to conclude if your GOO is gonna be a data mining system like Steam, for what I´ve heard, GOO will be no more than an "expansion" of Valve´s DRM.

You want to make fun of us when you are the one who rudely ignores our mails? fine. But outside of your fanboy base, everybody will look at you like an a**

We are looking forward to put you in the white list again. But you´ll have to stop drinking whisky in the mornings and deinflating your ego.

ah!

And one last thing! transparecy. Silence is bad.

Regards

Sblade

 

 

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April 29, 2009 8:03:09 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

Quoting Haree78,


@saraswati
You realise none of Stardocks games actually use GOO?

Quoting Haree78,

@saraswati
You realise none of Stardocks games actually use GOO?

Hi Haree

We had a long conversation on our forum trying to work out what Brad was using for Demigod and we made posts on the Stardock forum trying to work it out. All that we could definately work out was that Demigod was now requiring online activation, and as the games in our DRM free section don't have any form of copy protection or DRM at all, we can't include it anymore. We have lots of people who come visit us from communities that have very bad experiences with DRM and their idea of DRM free is no DRM at all. They would feel very betrayed and upset with us if we applied different rules to Stardock than we do to every other gaming company.

We WILL be changing things though. We'll be working towards a system where we grade and rate the DRM. However it's going to take some time to work it out, it has to be done very seriously and with a lot of consideration. I will mention that any of you guys that want to offer serious help in this process are welcome to join in.

I just want to address the privacy point a bit more extensively. We don't have an issue with what Stardock does with their own customer's details within their own company. The only place we have a concern relates to people's private details being shared with other companies. Especially in Australia where I come from, what happens to your private details is a HUGE concern.

Purple Paladin, I have YET to meet that many smf forums that lets a guest post, especially considering what you tend to let in as a result is a truckload of spam. That's not the way to end up with a good forum. Our forum is actually a very friendly and happy place, a clearing house for information from a lot of different gaming companies and a group of friends. You'd be just as protective of your own home base.


Kathleen

http://reclaimyourgame.com/

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April 29, 2009 8:04:17 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Perhaps Stardock does not want a "truckload of pirates" any more than you want a "truckload of spam".  Perhaps not even having an activation in a game is not the way to end up with a good gaming community.  SD's games ARE their home base, and I'm sure if you made games (which, btw, cost a HECK of a lot more time & money than your forum), you'd be just as protective of them are you already are of your own fourms.

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April 29, 2009 8:09:59 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Posting in Epic thread.

 

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April 29, 2009 8:13:22 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Heh...I kind of figured it was something like that. I can empathise...in my earlier years I used to think hitzer was spelled (and pronounced) howTIzer.

Haha it's all good.

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April 29, 2009 8:19:33 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting PurplePaladin,


Perhaps Stardock does not want a "truckload of pirates".  Perhaps not even having an activation in a game is not the way to end up with a good gaming community.  SD's games ARE their home base, and I'm sure if you made games, you'd be just as protective of them are you are in your fourms.

PurplePaladin I was as appalled about what happened with Demigod as everyone else, especially considering that it looks like a good, well constructed game. That's their call.. Everyone has to make their own decision.

 

But as much as we love Brad and Stardock (and we do) it doesn't mean we're going to not question anything he does. It's our right as customers who want to look at buying the game to feel safe buying it.

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April 29, 2009 8:24:58 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Goo I think would be DRM, but its an optional thing. Nothing Stardock has put out uses it, including Demigod.

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April 29, 2009 8:25:20 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

In my opinion, total lack of DRM is not a prerequiset for awesomness. It dosen't matter to me wether or not stardock is on the DRM free list or not, the games will still be good.

 

Samurye.

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April 29, 2009 8:27:56 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

sigh

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April 29, 2009 8:30:25 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

can anyone say "hypocrites?"

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April 29, 2009 8:36:54 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Demigod does not require online activation...   If it did we wouldn't have all the pirates stealing the game.   You only have to go online to get updates from Impulse.   Unless you bought the digital version of the game, then yes *gasp* you have to login to download it.

 

Clear enough?  

 

That said, the point Brad was making was even if all you had to do was to log in and make an account it is no worse than your site which requires the same thing.

 

As far as I know, Stardock isn't anti-DRM, they are anti-customer-unfriendly DRM.   The DRM scheme Stardock uses is they give tons of free updates to their paying customers and those updates are not available to pirates.

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April 29, 2009 8:45:07 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

I think the people from their site posting here just don't get it.

If having to register your account to gain access to the online portions of the game is DRM, then their site is DRM as well. They are hypocrites because they require from their users what they want noone else to require from their users.

Furthermore, an internet website goes BELOW even a private company when it comes to measuring credibility and respect to the user's privacy. Any day of the week I would give sensitive information to an american company before giving it randomly on the internet. Companies act under the law. Websites don't.

 

For your information, there are quite a few forums that does not require login and work flawlessly without spam. These forums all have one thing in common: they did their own code for the forums. You did not. Because of this, the user now has to pay for your poor choices. Your argument that there must be logins on forums is completely moot, because it is absolutely not true. Either way it is highly nonsensical of you to argue for DRM, essentially putting yourselves in the boots of say EA Games.

Here's an idea for your website by the way: instead of putting games into predefined categories, just put at each game what kind of DRM they contain, with a link to proof. Then you can rate the different types of DRM with scores if you want to create an overall "DRM score" of the game (for example: installs rootkit: 50 points - requires cd in computer: 10 points). If you wanted it really advanced, you could let each user set their own points for each type of DRM.

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April 29, 2009 8:47:17 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

I am probably the biggest anti-DRM advocate out there and I can safely say Impulse is NOT DRM. Software DRM is code that is injected into the game itself to make it resistant to copying. Demigod doesn't have any of that. I use NOD32 Anti-Virus that has NO DRM and is a great low-footprint product. They protect the integrity of their product by using a username/password from within the program to download updates. Nothing fancy, nothing sneaky but it works.

I have no problem with developers that force the use of a 'license' to gain updates for their product. Users would probably have to create a user account anyways if they wanted statistic tracking for their unique avatars, so you can't even argue it is an inconvienence.

Disk based DRM however is a horrible inconvienence that has plagued gamers for years. Forcing a paying customer to find a bloody CD everytime they want to play a game they purchased is insulting. Fortunately Stardock games don't suffer from this fate.

 

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April 29, 2009 8:57:29 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Lawl , owned

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April 29, 2009 9:12:20 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

We had a long conversation on our forum trying to work out what Brad was using for Demigod and we made posts on the Stardock forum trying to work it out. All that we could definately work out was that Demigod was now requiring online activation, and as the games in our DRM free section don't have any form of copy protection or DRM at all, we can't include it anymore. We have lots of people who come visit us from communities that have very bad experiences with DRM and their idea of DRM free is no DRM at all. They would feel very betrayed and upset with us if we applied different rules to Stardock than we do to every other gaming company.

So, basically, you make a bunch of uninformed assumptions and then, based on a completely artitrary "DRM free" criteria that you can't even agree on one meaning of, decide to take swift action in the name of justice.

Great, that's very professional of you.

By the way, do feel free to point out those "posts on the Stardock forum trying to work it out", because of the several very long GOO threads running after the announcement, there was ample explanation on Stardock's intentions for it and that Stardock's own games would not use it.

So, yeah, you guys were pretty much owned and called out on idiocy.

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April 29, 2009 9:13:11 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Epic

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April 29, 2009 9:24:39 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

Quoting Heavenfall,


I think the people from their site posting here just don't get it.
If having to register your account to gain access to the online portions of the game is DRM, then their site is DRM as well. They are hypocrites because they require from their users what they want noone else to require from their users.
Furthermore, an internet website goes BELOW even a private company when it comes to measuring credibility and respect to the user's privacy. Any day of the week I would give sensitive information to an american company before giving it randomly on the internet. Companies act under the law. Websites don't.
 
For your information, there are quite a few forums that does not require login and work flawlessly without spam. These forums all have one thing in common: they did their own code for the forums. You did not. Because of this, the user now has to pay for your poor choices. Your argument that there must be logins on forums is completely moot, because it is absolutely not true. Either way it is highly nonsensical of you to argue for DRM, essentially putting yourselves in the boots of say EA Games.
Here's an idea for your website by the way: instead of putting games into predefined categories, just put at each game what kind of DRM they contain, with a link to proof. Then you can rate the different types of DRM with scores if you want to create an overall "DRM score" of the game (for example: installs rootkit: 50 points - requires cd in computer: 10 points). If you wanted it really advanced, you could let each user set their own points for each type of DRM.

 

Actually, your idea for how to 'grade' DRM is pretty much exactly what we're going to do.

 

Annatar : Nobody is saying "Oh avoid them now!" or "Don't buy their games!" at all. We don't just tell people to buy ONLY DRM free games. Like I've already said, most of us are rather avid gamers who go well beyond the limited confines of 'Absolutely NO DRM', which in the case of the forum means nothing...no serial numbers, no activations, nothing at all. That's just one little piece of the puzzle, though, and we talk about (and play) a lot of games that go outside the confines of that.

Was that post that Brad linked to maybe a bit alarmist? Yep, I'd probably agree with that. Was that intentional? I don't think so. It's regrettable that it came off that way, but I highly doubt that that was the idea behind it.

Was it 'professional' of us? Well, seeing as none of us IS a professional games journalist, no...no it wasn't.

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April 29, 2009 9:36:43 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Hi Brad.

I´m Inspector SwitchBlade, Prism Maintenance Admin. You said in your blog that you did receive an email today bla bla bla I´m good and RYG suck ass, oh yeah.

What you didn´t say is that you received a few polite mails from Kath 2-3 weeks ago. We asked about Goo, if it is a DRM or not, and some questions about privacy.

We wanted to conclude if your GOO is gonna be a data mining system like Steam, for what I´ve heard, GOO will be no more than an "expansion" of Valve´s DRM.

You want to make fun of us when you are the one who rudely ignores our mails? fine. But outside of your fanboy base, everybody will look at you like an a**

We are looking forward to put you in the white list again. But you´ll have to stop drinking whisky in the mornings and deinflating your ego.

ah!

And one last thing! transparecy. Silence is bad.

Regards

Sblade

I've never received any emails from you. Other people do not seem to have a problem contacting me as I get a lot of emails each day.  I cannot ignore an email I did not receive.  

Using Outlook's search, I found no emails from "Reclaim your game".

I received an email from one of our users regarding the article on your site and linked to it.

As for how I will be perceived versus you, I will let your own words speak for themselves.

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