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PC Games (Games) Upgrades Entertainment Games

UbiSoft Blocks Virtual Drives With Raven Shield Patch 152

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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  • 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.
  • 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:so use a crack (Score:4, Informative)

    by strangel ( 110237 ) <strangel@@@antitime...net> 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.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 10, 2003 @10:58PM (#7686447)
    "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.
  • Irregardless? (Score:5, Informative)

    by wrenkin ( 71468 ) <alex.cooke@utorontoCHICAGO.ca minus city> on Wednesday December 10, 2003 @11:07PM (#7686501) Homepage
    Irrespective, or regardless. Pick one.
  • Call of Duty as well (Score:2, Informative)

    by Murrow ( 144634 ) on Thursday December 11, 2003 @01:06AM (#7687200)
    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.
  • Re:so use a crack (Score:2, Informative)

    by Goldberg's Pants ( 139800 ) on Thursday December 11, 2003 @02:38AM (#7687611) Journal
    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 and Securom do the same thing.

    I would not buy from ANY company that used protection like this.
  • by one4nine4two ( 683126 ) on Thursday December 11, 2003 @05:59AM (#7688247) Homepage
    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 and very underrated game. As long as it works as intended, wherein I paid for the game and never got the Fade messages, I have no issues with it.
  • Re:What's Next (Score:3, Informative)

    by Firehawke ( 50498 ) on Thursday December 11, 2003 @03:10PM (#7692090) Journal
    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.

Each honest calling, each walk of life, has its own elite, its own aristocracy based on excellence of performance. -- James Bryant Conant