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PC Games (Games) Upgrades Entertainment Games

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 on Wednesday December 10, 2003 @08:50PM (#7686031)
    that's what they're for, isn't it?
  • Not a problem (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Txiasaeia (581598) on Wednesday December 10, 2003 @08:50PM (#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.
  • the usual deal.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gl4ss (559668) on Wednesday December 10, 2003 @08:51PM (#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.
  • Re:FADE (Score:5, Insightful)

    by grotgrot (451123) on Wednesday December 10, 2003 @09:06PM (#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:Not a problem (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ctr2sprt (574731) on Wednesday December 10, 2003 @09:19PM (#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.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 10, 2003 @09:23PM (#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 Zeio (325157) on Wednesday December 10, 2003 @09:53PM (#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.
  • by actor_au (562694) on Wednesday December 10, 2003 @09:55PM (#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.
  • Pointless (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Datasage (214357) <DatasageNO@SPAMtheworldisgrey.com> on Wednesday December 10, 2003 @09:58PM (#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.
  • by avalys (221114) on Wednesday December 10, 2003 @10:02PM (#7686472)
    "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.
  • by WhiteBandit (185659) on Wednesday December 10, 2003 @10:06PM (#7686496) Homepage
    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 before I was able to discover how buggy Civ 3 actually is. :-X Hehe. But regardless, it is a more enjoyable game experience. Things load faster, when you play multiple games you don't have to worry about switching CD's all the time. Don't have to worry about getting your cd case stolen at a LAN party, etc.

  • by sreeram (67706) on Wednesday December 10, 2003 @10:30PM (#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.
  • Re:FADE (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BrookHarty (9119) on Wednesday December 10, 2003 @11:15PM (#7686921) Homepage Journal
    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.
  • Re:FADE (Score:4, Insightful)

    by grotgrot (451123) on Wednesday December 10, 2003 @11:26PM (#7686988)
    I also daemon tools on my laptop when I travel. I really don't want to drag the original cds around and potentially lose them.
  • by servicepack158 (678320) on Wednesday December 10, 2003 @11:46PM (#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.
  • Re:Not a problem (Score:3, Insightful)

    by KronicD (568558) on Thursday December 11, 2003 @12:14AM (#7687244) Homepage
    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 live with if you buy the product legitimatly (excluding corporate versions), however when you get a nice pirated copy all that horrid protection is removed and you get a peice of software that doesnt try to stop you from using it (ok maybe windows was a bad example).

    The LEGITIMATE users are the only ones who end up getting screwed, the people who have pirate copies never even notice the protection because its all been removed before release.

    So once again legitimate paying users are left with a barely useable product and the pirates can actually play the game.

    Good Going UBISoft
  • by McCarrum (446375) <mark.limburg@gLI ... m minus language> on Thursday December 11, 2003 @12:16AM (#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.
  • Re:EULA (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Danse (1026) on Thursday December 11, 2003 @01:17AM (#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.

  • Umkay (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Mike Hawk (687615) on Thursday December 11, 2003 @01:45AM (#7687633) Journal
    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.

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