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UbiSoft Blocks Virtual Drives With Raven Shield Patch 152

Posted by simoniker
from the virtually-annoyed dept.
Thanks to EvilAvatar for their story discussing UbiSoft's new patch for PC stealth action title Rainbow Six 3: Raven Shield, which "checks PCs for ANY clone or virtual drive programs and then fails to launch the game if such devices or programs are found." The article explains: "What this has, in turn, done is disabled thousands of consumers who use programs like Daemon Tools, CloneCD or Alcohol 120% from playing their UbiSoft games even if they have their own physical CDs in an actual drive." The writer is furious, pointing out: "Irregardless of what the virtual drives or virtual clone programs on your system are for, you will not be able to play Raven Shield with patch 1.5 unless you remove them completely off your system", and wondering whether this action is allowed under the EULA for the product. There are also similar discussions on the official UbiSoft forums for the game, though many sympathize with UbiSoft's anti-piracy efforts "telling you that in order to use the product you have to keep the CD in."
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UbiSoft Blocks Virtual Drives With Raven Shield Patch

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  • so use a crack (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    that's what they're for, isn't it?
    • Re:so use a crack (Score:4, Informative)

      by strangel (110237) <(ten.emititna) (ta) (legnarts)> on Wednesday December 10, 2003 @10:27PM (#7686276) Homepage
      if you use a crack, you modify the checksum of the .exe...which alot of game servers check when connecting to play online. I don't know anything about this game, but I know that BF1942 does it.
      • So does Warcraft 3 now (it never used too), which sucks as the latest Securom won't load on my system, so I can't play without a crack, but can't play online with a cracked exe... Yeah, thanks Blizzard. I've always liked Blizzard, but I won't be buying any future products. I'm sick of companies using "security" measures that do nothing to prevent piracy, but screw over people who paid for the product.

        As for not working with virtual drive programs etc... This is not new. Supposedly some versions of Safedisc
        • The ironic thing is that these security things severely limit the life time of a game. After the release of the game there is a peak in online game play. A few months after there's only the usual clan nuts left (no offense but for the casual player that totally sucks). All the people who bought the game have likely bought another game and the people who used the crack can't play online anyway. As a consequence I am very selective in what I buy.

          Games like quake (I & II) and doom took off because of ille
      • Re:so use a crack (Score:4, Interesting)

        by mystran (545374) <mystran@gmail.com> on Thursday December 11, 2003 @05:33AM (#7688148) Homepage
        You just need a crack that in addition to going around the virtual drive checking routine, replaces the routine which replies to servers query of the checksum, either returning the correct (original) checksum it it's static, or using the unmodified binary to calculate the checksum.

        While this is a bit harder to do than just jmp:ing over the checking routine, there's no fundamental reasons why you would have to return the real checksum of the binary. It's just more work for the cracker.

        Actually, even adding something like PunkBuster there to do the checksumming doesn't help. There's no reasons why ANYTHING on your computer could be trusted by the server. It's just a matter of adding yet more things that must be cracked before the game works.

        That said, this whole thing is ridiculous. What's the point of playing games on PC if you have to search for the stupid CD. Game makers that try to force one to do this are just trying to kill the PC gaming. Those people that can't use virtual drives have most likely already gone to consoles.

    • by servicepack158 (678320) on Thursday December 11, 2003 @12:46AM (#7687097) Homepage
      I thought most EULA's allow a person to make backup copies. It's legal to make/keep back up copies of software you purchased. I would think this control is improper. Granted they uses these imaging products to make illegal copies too, but that shouldn't prevent a user making legit backup copies from playing online.
      • Mod parent up.

        I've thought about this, too. It seems like a blatently hypocritical policy. On the one hand, you have game EULAs that allow you to make a backup copy. At the same time, you have copyright protection schemes that try to prevent you from making that copy. This seems like something the courts could take up, honestly...

        In the end, though, the effect is to shut out casual copiers (i.e. legit backups) while doing nothing to hinder the truly dedicated (who will used cracks and stuff anyway).

        Does
    • indeed. This is total bullshit. because of some bugs with my DVD drive's drivers, Raven Shield would ignore my CD in the drive and I wound up HAVING to use Alcohol's virtual drive feature in order for the game to run at all.

      Now they're telling me that my work around is evil and I have to crack the game just to play it?

      I bought the fucking thing and I've yet to play the game without having to do something sneaky with the CD detection scheme and it doesn't look like I will.

      go to hell, Ubisoft.

  • Not a problem (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Txiasaeia (581598) on Wednesday December 10, 2003 @09:50PM (#7686032)
    Safedisc and whatnot have been doing this for sometime now. Daemon Tools will release an update that will bypass the blacklist and all will be merry.
    • Re:Not a problem (Score:4, Interesting)

      by gl4ss (559668) on Wednesday December 10, 2003 @09:53PM (#7686058) Homepage Journal
      afaik they're only been checking the name of the virtual device, not actually checking if the programs are installed and refusing to run if they are.

      • Thats not what the (rather hysterical) article implies, but if its true you can already trivially bypass this in later versions of Daemon tools.
    • Re:Not a problem (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ctr2sprt (574731) on Wednesday December 10, 2003 @10:19PM (#7686215)
      And I'm sure there's a no-CD crack out already. This sort of move really baffles me; I don't see what UbiSoft could possibly hope to gain. Clearly the only users who will be affected by it are those who bought the game, as those who didn't are already using cracks: they have no need for virtual drive software. The only reason for ever using virtual drive software is convenience, and the convenience can be appreciated both by legal and illegal users of the game.
      • Re:Not a problem (Score:3, Insightful)

        by KronicD (568558)
        Exactly, all these companies purchase copyprotection such as safedisc because of macrovision's (and other companies) marketing hype about "protecting your investment" and such... Then the marketing droids get quite exited about this idea, oo another "feature" to make sure our consumers only get a "high quality product" and not some "pirate copy" by mistake... These people have no idea how things actually work.

        Look at windows xp for example, product activation... a very annoying feature that you have to liv
    • I have bought so many Ubi products over the last few years this is a real insult to people who dont pirate. My next Ubi purchase is going to support Daemon tools. That is a great application I need to ue occasionally. Ubi is just alienating customers.
  • the usual deal.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gl4ss (559668) on Wednesday December 10, 2003 @09:51PM (#7686040) Homepage Journal
    the users who paid get screwed.
    and patching daemon tools won't take that long.

    theres shitloads of other programs though as well. like nero(which iirc has nowadays a virtual drive of it's own. and comes pretty fucking standard on all pc's that have a burner).

    nice move. you just crapped yourselfs ubi! why do you even except people to have their cd's in the drives? when you know that you can't trust that. most games just have keys for limiting online play to legit customers, much more effective and less annoying for the users.
    • by Zeio (325157) on Wednesday December 10, 2003 @10:53PM (#7686422)
      I agree. I cracked GTA Vice City and GTA Liberty City and I bought them both. The frigging CD-check bullshit would clam up the game in mid-M16-shot. So fucking annoying. This crap encourages cracking. In fact, if it weren't for the crack, I would have had a shittier gaming experience.

      Apparently UbiSoft and Macrovision, which I believe makes SafeFuckDisc, have had a major falling out. Several corporate and Academic pundits have all said : don't waste shareholder money on copy protection. The tow words that close together are a misnomer.
      • I've had similiar experiences in some games. Civ 3 (granted it's a "wussy" game yes :P) would check for the CD in my drive every 5 minutes and in the process, would freeze all processes in the game up for a few seconds. Quite annoying with how often it checked for the CD. I finally just ripped the ISO with Alcohol and mounted that as a virtual drive. Works fine now (At the time I couldn't find any no-cd cracks, now I see them all over for it).

        If it weren't for that, I probably would lit the CD on fire befo
        • I finally just ripped the ISO with Alcohol and mounted that as a virtual drive. Works fine now.

          I do this with every game I buy. I started doing it with my kids' games, when I got tired of them scratching the fscking CDs all the time. Rip 'em and leave the CDs on a shelf, out of reach. Worked like a charm. Then I found just how freakin' convenient it was for my own stuff. A single click mounts the appropriate CD and fires up the app. I bought a 120G drive for my file server just to store ISOs on.

  • FADE (Score:5, Informative)

    by pcbob (67069) on Wednesday December 10, 2003 @09:58PM (#7686088) Homepage
    FADE system, used by Codemasters (Pro Race Driver, Colin McRae Rally...) does the similar thing, and considers virtual drive software to be a sign of piracy and degrades the game slowly if it detects something fishy.
    • Re:FADE (Score:5, Insightful)

      by grotgrot (451123) on Wednesday December 10, 2003 @10:06PM (#7686131)
      Does anyone have a list of companies doing this sort of thing? I am a daemontools user. I buy all my games. I got sick and tired of switching CDs. I got annoyed having to buy new copies when old CDs got scratched.

      Given how many PC and console games there are out there, and how much time I have, I think I will just avoid these companies.

      But I need a list of who to avoid ...
      • Re:FADE (Score:3, Insightful)

        by BrookHarty (9119)
        I've been using no-cd patches for years. Started when the cdrom spin up would pause the system, a horrible pause ruins a nice fragging experience. Still need a legit cdkey to play online, so its not piracy.

        I wonder, how many legit gamers have to use "freedom" utilities to play games normally? I hate lugging all my cd's to a lan party, when you dont know what games people are going to be playing.
    • Hopefully these systems will come back to bite their game publishers in the ass.

      Anyone who encounters such clandestine anti-piracy systems probably will consider the game to be buggy or slow and will blame the developers for being inept and selling a POS.

      I hardly see how such a system would encourage that person to purchase the game (assuming he is even a pirate at all), and if anything works as negative advertising, since that person has the potential to badmouth the game to his friends.

      Brilliant.
    • How exactly did FADE work anyway?

      I know it degrades the game, but in what way? Lower quality graphics? Artificially reduced framerate?

      How gradual was the process?
    • by hyphz (179185) *
      As far as I'm aware, nobody ever actually managed to get FADE to activate (even when deliberately trying to). Certainly there were never any descriptions as to what it did. It was bad enough that when somebody posted a screenshot with "Original disks do not fade" showing up on it, people on the associated forum of that site thought that the screenshot was a hoax.

      A rumor was that FADE actually stands for "Fear And Doubt Engine" and was created purely to make pirates paranoid about whether or not their gam
  • How long until the developers of these programs change the application signature that Raven Shield looks for?

    Or some other 3rd party discovers a way to hide them?

    This patch will only be a short term problem, as other virtual drive programs are written or the existing one's modified to avoid the issue.

  • EULA (Score:5, Informative)

    by NetDanzr (619387) on Wednesday December 10, 2003 @10:17PM (#7686201)
    Ubi's EULA is one of the most restrictive in the industry, which is why I don't buy their games anymore. Unlike other large publishers, such as Infogrames, which routinely include the permission to make a single backup copy, UBI expressly forbids making backup copies, modifying the game, creating and distributing "unauthorized levels and/or scenarios", and many other things. While I am aware that EULAs may not have a legaly-binding power, I personally would feel bad if I didn't follow something I agreed to, which is why you won't find any recent game released by UBI Soft on my computer.
    • Re:EULA (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Danse (1026) on Thursday December 11, 2003 @02:17AM (#7687540)

      Kinda sucks since I was gonna pick up Raven Shield from Gogamer.com since they have it for $25. Instead, I emailed UBI to let them know that I changed my mind because they pulled this crap. Would be nice if other people would email them as well and let them know you're pissed about this. Maybe they'll get the message if enough people do this. Worth a shot anyway.

    • IANAL, but I don't think a "no backup" clause is enforceable, at least in the US. If you look in Title 17, Chapter 1, Sec. 117 [cornell.edu] ("Limitations on exclusive rights: Computer Programs"), it says making an archival copy (I assume this must mean backup) is not a violation of copyrights.

      Notwithstanding the provisions of section 106, it is not an infringement for the owner of a copy of a computer program to make or authorize the making of another copy or adaptation of that computer program provided:

      ...

      (2) tha

      • You are right, and I, too, believe that the no-backup clause goes against the US copyright law. However, I'm the kind of person who'll follow the rules he agrees to, no matter how stupid. I reserve the right to agree or disagree with said rules, but once I agree, it's over for me. But that may just be me...
        • Well done! You've just earned yourself a perpetual place in the Corporate Shafting Room! Please bend over and a representative will be along to service you soon.

          Maybe if you realised that these "rules" are unilateral, non-negotiable attepmpted modifications of previously completed contracts (the initial sale) implemented against the spirit, and sometimes the word, of law by corporations intent on providing the least entertainment and utility for the most inconvenience, you'd start to understand that it's p
          • Maybe if you realised that these "rules" are unilateral, non-negotiable attepmpted modifications of previously completed contracts (the initial sale) implemented against the spirit, and sometimes the word, of law

            Well, that's something I really don't realize. It is my belief that these rules are negotiable. You can always say "no" to those rules, and I take great pleasure in doing so. It saves me a lot of money, refusing to purchase software from companies that apply rules that I don't like, such as UBI

  • by cgenman (325138) on Wednesday December 10, 2003 @10:22PM (#7686235) Homepage
    Keeping a CD around is a real pain. They get lost, they get scratched, they require storage in a binder, and as games copy themselves to the HDD now anyway, they are totally unnecessary. I can store maybe 40 retail games on a HDD, and can play any of them at any moment. Feel like a round of Worms? Boot. Feel like a game of Empires? Start it up. It's that kind of instant gratification you get with consoles, and it should be even faster on a computer. But it isn't. Despite checking my valid registration code on their server when connecting, they still require a crack to run without flipping through 40 pages of CD's looking for that safedisk. U.N.N.E.C.E.S.S.A.R.Y. Don't make your paying clients lives a pain, just to protect against a group of people who aren't going to pay anyway.

    My impulse game of choice is Typing of the Dead. Why? It copied itself to the hard drive nicely, and has played solidly every since. Except for the fiasco of pressing F4 to quit, it has performed admirably... like something I own, not something I'm borrowing for money.

    Come up with a better copy protection scheme, or come up with a better customer.

    • "It's that kind of instant gratification you get with consoles, and it should be even faster on a computer."

      And ironically, you have to use CDs for consoles.
      • Yeah but the consoles don't run slower due to use of the CD/DVD disc...
        • As an owner of a modified Xbox, I cringe whenever I play games off the disc. Playing of the hard drive is a much more pleasant experience. The loading times are reduced DRAMATICALLY, scene changes are almost instantaneous, no studdering at all. So in the end, the Xbox users who willingly violate the EULA get the better gaming experience. Whether or not they actually paid for the game(I have a gamefly subscription so I don't have to buy games anymore, I just rent and usually stick with a game while cycling t
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 10, 2003 @10:23PM (#7686248)
    What developer in their right mind would use a program like Fade?

    Fade may stop pirates from playing your game, but if a screen doesn't pop up saying "this game's performance has degraded because..." then the users will assume that your game is BUGGY, or SLOW, and tell their friends, and people online, that the game sucks.

    Look at all the bad press Doom 3 has gotten because of the demo that played poorly. And people know that's an unfinished E3 demo never intended for public consumption! I'm sure a lot of people are concerned now that Doom 3 will run poorly on their system and will not rush out to buy it. I know I'm worried.

    Now extend that to your ACTUAL game performing poorly on someone's system. They're not going to assume that it runs crappy because it's a pirated copy. They're going to assume it runs crappy because the game is written poorly.

    And those same people who pirate the game, may just decide that they want to purchase the full game later on down the road because they want cutscenes and music that the pirated version of the game stripped out. But if the game runs crappy, you'll lose those purchases!

    Stuff like Fade will NEVER work FOR you and INCREASE purchases of your game, because of how it works. Only a system which pops up an error window and says the game won't run because it is pirated would have a chance of working.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      "And those same people who pirate the game, may just decide that they want to purchase the full game later on down the road because they want cutscenes and music that the pirated version of the game stripped out."

      Dude, what year are you living in? Pretty much 100% of warez releases today are full ISO copies with nothing taken out and the only change being a crack applied to the executable to get around copy protection.
    • All the Fade message says is "Original games do not fade." It pretty bluntly states right there that you did not purchase the game, so you shall be punished.

      If the Doom 3 pseudo-demo turns anyone off, it will be those who won't purchase the game anyway. When id releases a real demo it will be a huge deal to those even remotely interested in PC gaming. The real demo will be the real litmus test to those on the fence.

      But my defense of Fade may be biased, since I feel Operation Flashpoint is an incredible an
  • by Kris_J (10111) *
    This will split the userbase and generally annoy paying customers. I run a virtual drive system so I don't have to keep my Chessmaster 8000 discs out where they can get lost, so that's exactly what UbiSoft's new patch can do, get lost.

    Anyway, there will be a NoNoVirtualCD patch out by the end of the day.

  • IRREGARDLESS is not a word.
    • Dead right - glad someone else gets annoyed by assholes who can't speak their own language.

      "Regardless" = "without regard to"

      So I suppose "irregardless" would be "with regard to"? Who knows? And more to the point, which asshole came up with that corruption of the word in the first place, bcos they deserve to be killed with a sharpened dictionary! ;-)

      Grab.
    • It's been used in the United States for nearly 80 years. It's been in use a lot longer than most words we use every day. It's also present in many American dictionaries. American English, International English and British English are not the same language any more than Scots is the same as English.

      Further more, language evolves; some people are simply too short sighted to comprehend that the purpose of language is to allow communication. The use of 'irregardless' vrs. 'regardless' does not impede that purp
      • Anyone who tells people how to spell, or tells people that they shouldn't tell other people to spell like the parent should be modded offtopic (you can extend that to my post as well, but mine at least has humor :P ). In any case, irregardless is not a word. Your points in trying to make it a valid word are poorly thought out. People have been using double negatives for longer than 80 years, that doesn't make it correct. Words like bling-bling are in some dictionaries too...who cares! If it says in the
        • I do love they way you managed to completely contradict your own arguments in your own defense, what a novel form of argument!

          Did you really write that all yourself, or did you bribe an 8 year old to do it for you?

          Just kidding, I'm sure you wrote that yourself, it displays all of your usual vitriol (worthy of any 13 year old).

          I'm loathed to think your a graduate of the American education system - I'd hate to think that your countries education system was so far down the toilet that resorting to repeating
          • Hmm, so I take it you are pro-izzle?

            Way to go with the personal insults...it sure backs up your arguments:) I am impressed that you would go read all my past posts, you must have a lot of time on your hands. I really don't think my posts are "angry (and rather ignorant) young male behavior". Actually, yours comes off much more angry than any of mine (but you are probably old and female?). I apologize for using "who cares" twice...that was excessive, but I didn't really go back and check what I wrote
  • by actor_au (562694) on Wednesday December 10, 2003 @10:55PM (#7686432) Homepage
    Game companies treat everyone that buys their games like thieves, but the real thieves just crack it, never patch the game and then laugh loudly at the poor bastards that had to spend extra money on a product to subsidise the thieves.

    Its not the companies fault for the main part because for years the idea of free games have been a part of the gaming world and now they have the ability to fight back they are, its just that their means are insane.

    The major strength of PC games is that they install straight to the HDD, making them easier to access, in theory, than console games which require a disk, the fact that I have to give up a few precious gigs for each game (gigs that could be used for important things like porn or mp3s or pornographic mp3s) and the image files that take up even more space os that my CD doesn't get damaged(because even though they protect it so you can't copy it thye won't give you a new one if you do somehow damage it).

    Valve and iD have the right idea, you don't need the CD in the drive to play it, just the CD-Key to play over the net.

    I wouldn't mind if they made it so that for the first two or three patches they kept the check-cd in but after that got rid of it, because having to have a CD in the drive to play a game over the net becomes annoying and after a while it just gets ejected and eventually forgotten.
    • Valve and iD have the right idea, you don't need the CD in the drive to play it, just the CD-Key to play over the net.
      What about single-player games?
    • Game companies treat everyone that buys their games like thieves, but the real thieves just crack it, never patch the game and then laugh loudly at the poor bastards that had to spend extra money on a product to subsidise the thieves.

      They treat everyone like thieves to protect against casual copiers. If it were trivially easy to copy games then everyone would do it. Instead just the warez kiddies do. Adults have money to buy games, so they're not the ones targetted by this. And I'd say many (not a

      • Not in the schools around where I live. Kids there run businesses where they sell pirated games to other kids. Why bother trying to work out how to crack Game X where you can buy it for a couple of bucks from Johnny down the corridor at lunch time? And once one kid gets a pirated copy with cracks, every 12 year old can do "casual piracy". And these are respectable private suburban church schools. The protections they are putting in aren't stopping kids from pirating them either. It's just helping set
        • Pretty much any game worth playing will have a no-cd crack on somewhere like gamecopyworld.com.
  • I know I'm being redundant, but the more voices crying out in horror, the better right?
    Here's my situation, just as an example. I only have 1 optical drive. I don't want to keep my 1 drive filled 24/7 just because I want the game to actually RUN when I start it up. But if I take it out of the drive and put it back in all the time, it's GOING to get scratched up, and you can't make a backup of it. If you crack some games, they won't run online, even with a valid CD key. So, I make an image of the CDs that I
  • Pointless (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Datasage (214357) <Datasage@[ ]worl ... m ['the' in gap]> on Wednesday December 10, 2003 @10:58PM (#7686449) Homepage Journal
    I can understand the plague of piracy but that affects all creative fields.

    Using technological solutions to block piracy will just inconvenience legal users of the software. Those who want to pirate it, will reguardless of what protection is used. There is no copy protection that cannot be broken. Its just that some schemes take longer than others to break.

    Although the DMCA outlaws reverse engineering. But like any law its only effective if one chooses to follow it. Those who want to pirate the product, certainly wont.

    I would say the best solution is make games cost less then $50-60. Dont adjust prices for piracy. All your doing is making the legit users pay and encouraging more piracy due to high costs. Electrontic diribution can cut costs, but the price should reflect that.

    Thats enough for now.
  • Of companies that I will NEVER buy a game that they make, but I will do all that I can to download them if they look interesting. They will never get money from me again.
    • Umkay (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Mike Hawk (687615)
      Quite the closed circle you've created for yourself there. So no matter what, you aren't going to buy a game? I have a feeling you never did. What is their incentive to change? Or did you just prove them right, that they need to take steps to combat privacy? Your stance is counter-productive at best. Its posts like this that the industry points to and says, "See, we have to do these things, and we need more laws to protect our IP."

      But come clean, you haven't purchased a game since 1998. Be honest.
      • "But come clean, you haven't purchased a game since 1998. Be honest."

        Actually your wrong, last game I bought was Call of Duty. Nice theory but your wrong. Make a good game and don't use stupid protection mechanisms that impact legit users and people will buy your stuff. Treat all users like they are criminals and people won't buy them. Its as simple as that. But you obviously are like the game developers...you just don't get it.
      • So no matter what, you aren't going to buy a game? I have a feeling you never did.

        I own Splinter Cell. I will NOT be owning Splinter Cell 2.
  • Irregardless? (Score:5, Informative)

    by wrenkin (71468) <alex.cookeNO@SPAMutoronto.ca> on Wednesday December 10, 2003 @11:07PM (#7686501) Homepage
    Irrespective, or regardless. Pick one.
  • by sreeram (67706) on Wednesday December 10, 2003 @11:30PM (#7686600) Homepage
    These dumbass companies seem to have forgotten what a CD is all about (same goes for RIAA). They seem to think of a CD as proof of something - ownership, legitimate copy, etc.

    It's not. It's just a distribution medium. Like floppies, analog tapes, radio-over-airwaves and other media, it's just a convenient means of getting the game/goods from them (the publishers) to us (the consumers). Once the goods have been delivered, forget about the medium already!

    When the medium becomes outdated or cumbersome, people will look to other media. It is stupid (and ultimately their ruin) to try and lock us into their media of choice.

    RIAA should accept that ftp/file-sharing and the Internet in general are more convenient media for music delivery. Stop forcing CDs on us. Learn to deal with the new delivery mechanisms.

    Equally well, UbiSoft should also accept that the huge hard-disks we have are more convenient to store games and game images. Stop forcing CDs on us.

    I personally find it extremely inconvenient to keep swapping CDs in and out (I play many games). I have only one physical CD drive, but I can have many virtual drives! Not to mention that the hard-disk is MUCH faster than a CD drive.
    • Once the goods have been delivered, forget about the medium already!

      Exactly. And it's not really stopping piracy, either, because pirates who download ISOs and "play" them through DAEMON Tools also have CD burners, which they can in about 1 minute produce a CD which will allow them to still play the game with this patch.

      I don't have any Ubi games myself, so I'm not sure how valid this suggestion is, but here's a potential workaround for those people who absolutely have to pirate:

      1. Download VMwar

      • This won't work with the versions of VMWare/VirtualPC I've tried. Those programs (atleast earlier versions of them) indeed does support CD images, but only the most basic ones of them, namely ISO images and bin/cue files. This works fine for applications and operating systems, that generally don't have any CD protection schemes, but for almost all games nowadays you've got to use a more advanced imaging tool like Alcohol or CloneCD, and I don't think any virtual machines support those kinds of images yet.

        (
        • This won't work with the versions of VMWare/VirtualPC I've tried. Those programs (atleast earlier versions of them) indeed does support CD images, but only the most basic ones of them, namely ISO images and bin/cue files. This works fine for applications and operating systems, that generally don't have any CD protection schemes, but for almost all games nowadays you've got to use a more advanced imaging tool like Alcohol or CloneCD, and I don't think any virtual machines support those kinds of images yet.
          • Actually, you connect the VM's virtual drive to the ISO; DAEMON Tools does not have to be running on the Host OS or the Guest OS.

            It's done in the second menu item (Edit, I think) and the first choice (Change Virtual Macine Settings, I think). Select the virtual CD-ROM on the left side, and on the right it can either map to one of the physical CD-ROMs in the machine, or to an ISO.

            There was one CD for which I couldn't get a valid ISO from Undisker, so I used Nero to create a .NRG file (basically the same

        • (See my reply to the response to you, I explain how I use it at work.)

          Why do you say ISO and bin/cue files are "the most basic"? What does Alcohol or CloneCD create that is more advanced, and what's the difference? Undisker does most everything for me (except if memory serves Office XP with SP2, which I had to use Nero for; see my other post). But if another tool is superior I'd like to know about it. Thanks!

          I agree that VMware isn't really designed for games; it was an example which I know a lot ab

  • Sure it's in m-w.com but they recommend that regardless be used instead.
  • Call of Duty as well (Score:2, Informative)

    by Murrow (144634)
    Call of Duty from Activision/Infinity Ward has this problem as well. You can see on their support site here [custhelp.com] their recommendation to shut down both Alchohol and Clone CD's virtual drives. This was indeed the necessary fix to get it to run on my machine.
  • by McCarrum (446375) <mark@limburg.gmail@com> on Thursday December 11, 2003 @01:16AM (#7687258)
    I use CloneCD to create images of any CDs I purchase - and for quite a few reasons.

    1) Ease of use: mounting/unmounting CDs via HD is so much easier
    2) Asset Protection: CDs are delicate things, double so with 5 kids
    3) LAN Parties: I will *not* take my CDs to a LAN Party
    4) Price: Game CDs are more expensive than additonal HDs
    5) Laptop: I have a laptop - and can choose between 2 batteries or 1 battery and CD

    But, these reasons don't mount up to the suits in UBI. Indeed, this sounds like something which some PHB has thought up and pushed through. In all seriousness, the measures used by groups like Valve work - these do not. They've lost (yet another) customer. It's a wealthy market out there people, vote with your cash and walk away.
  • What's Next (Score:3, Funny)

    by sirsampson (48252) on Thursday December 11, 2003 @01:55AM (#7687445)
    We detected a CD Burner in your system, that _could_ be used for piracy, you can't play our game.

    Now where did I put my radar detector detector.
    • Re:What's Next (Score:3, Informative)

      by Firehawke (50498)
      Surprise, surprise, such a protection scheme DOES exist. They detect whether the CD is in a burner or not by using a media type check command that can tell whether the disc is a burnable one or already burned. If the media check gives ANY result, you're running it from a burner and therefore it fails the protection.
      • If the media check gives ANY result, you're running it from a burner and therefore it fails the protection.

        That's not a very good idea. Most new computers *only* have a cdburner.
  • Join the warez community and stay one step ahead through the use of cracks, while saving money (optional).

    Seriously, expecting people to hold onto a cheap, easily damaged piece of plastic for over a year without letting them make a copy of it is stupid. Whats even more stupid is that most gamers tend to keep the CD in the CD rom drive when they don't have a reason to change discs. To top it all off, a heavy gamer (more than 2 hours of gaming -a day-) will virtually toast their CD due to the amount of time

  • This is not true (all you have to do is close it): "Irregardless of what the virtual drives or virtual clone programs on your system are for, you will not be able to play Raven Shield with patch 1.5 unless you remove them completely off your system."
  • by dtfinch (661405) *
    I hate games that require the original CD to be in the drive. I own all my CD games, but I'm not in a rush to buy new games from the manufacturers who care more about piracy than user satisfaction. My cd-rom drive sounds like a jet engine whenever it has to speed up, and CD's don't last forever. Some games go even further and ask for a serial code to be entered each time they're played, like the voyager elite force holomatch. That's just wrong. They didn't advertise those "features". That's not what I paid
  • required: 1x jello jigglers mold ingredients: 1x Raven Shield CD 1x Prince of Persia: Sands of Time 1x Shadowbane 1x Uru microwave on high for 3 minutes until desired liquidity is reached. pour into mold let cool. wrap in colored cellophane, place in appropriate packaging material and ship to: 3200 Gateway Centre Blvd Suite 100 Morrisville, NC 27560, USA
  • This is beyond pointless because we all know this will be cracked and patched before it is even released. Legit users get annoyed, warez d00ds use the crack and nullify the protection entirely.

    What really irks me is that they insist on having the CD in the drive, yet it is absolutely not required because they install 3-4 fricken' gigs of uncompressed crap to my hard drive and never read off the disc again. Console games don't need a hard drive and yet they seem to be surviving quite well. So the reasoni
  • legitimate uses. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by solidox (650158)
    cd emulation programs have very good, legitimate uses. for example, i have quite a lot of sample cds (for music production), to swap them in and out every time i wanna grab 1 sample off them would be a real pain in the arse, so i just have them all bin/cued on my hdd and use them through daemon or alcy. for this game to refuse to run on machines with these programs installed is absurd. if you have a lot of games (legit or otherwise) then swapping cds in and out all the time is gunna be a pain, also cds get
  • I'm not sure what they're trying to achieve with this, really. At the risk of re-stating what's already been covered, all they do is irritate legitimate owners of the game. Anyone with a "pirate" copy will have a no-CD patch thus rendering the whole exercise futile, and it just means that people who bought the damned thing have to run the risk of losing or damaging their CD, or maybe even burning out their CD drive. Will UbiSoft replace damaged or lost CDs free of charge? Will they replace any CD drives bu
  • Flight Simulator 2004 does something similar, right out of the box. If I have CloneCD tray running, FS2004 won't run, even with the CD in the drive.
    • Holy FSCK! I just tried to run FS2004. I haven't played in a few months, but today it wouldn't run, even with clonecd not running. I tried everything, and in order to get it going, I had to uninstalled CloneCD. The game WILL NOT PLAY with CloneCD on the hard drive, even if CloneCD tray is not running.

      Somehow FS2004 has updated it's own copy protection, or else some other application has installed some kind of safedisc update on my machine. Ouch...
  • I stopped playing this game when Ubi stopped supporting the single player experience. I don't care about multiplayer - just a few thousand moaning, whinging, swearing 15yo's with no decorum. I wanted to see some serious issues fixed in the way your team-mates interact in single player. I haven't seen anything of the kind since the release early this year, hence I don't play it any more.

    And when I *did* try and play it on a LAN (with legit copies) I had to keep disconnecting the firewall just to get the ser
  • Just make the game CD bootable, running a custom Linux distribution, with the game executable replacing /sbin/init, and make the game executable check that its PID is 1, so that you can't take it run it on an ordinary Linux system.

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