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What Modern Games Are DRM-Free? 630

IceDiver writes "I used to be an avid PC gamer. However, I have only bought 1 game in the last 18 months because I am sick and tired of the problems caused by the various intrusive, and sometimes damaging DRM schemes game publishers insist on forcing upon their customers. Once burned, twice shy! The EA announcement that upcoming releases will include SecuROM, along with verification requirements and major restrictions on installations left me wondering which recently released or upcoming games (particularly major titles) are being released without DRM? Are there any? How has DRM affected your game purchasing? Will EA be negatively affected by their DRM decision?" The ongoing DRM controversy was stirred by the recent launch of Spore. We discussed the public outcry from Amazon's reviews (which were subsequently taken down and then re-posted). EA's response to the outcry was to say that only one percent of accounts tried to activate the game more than three times, which is the limit without help from their customer service. Meanwhile, their efforts to find a "balance" between preventing piracy and not hampering legal users may not have been as successful as they hoped. According to Forbes, a P2P research firm found that illegal copies of Spore had been downloaded over 170,000 times already. So, is it time to create a whitelist for game publishers and developers?
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What Modern Games Are DRM-Free?

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  • by Lord Byron II ( 671689 ) on Friday September 12, 2008 @11:34PM (#24987025)
    I wasn't about to ask permission from Microsoft to use something that I bought and paid for. Since then, I've personally converted three non-techies from Windows to Linux. These companies never stop to think of the sales they lose by trying to stop each and every last instance of piracy.
  • Re:The answer... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ustolemyname ( 1301665 ) on Friday September 12, 2008 @11:42PM (#24987091)
    Let's see... DRM doesn't work, and discourages legitimate customers... while those who pirate the game don't even notice (as it's been removed). Pirates obviously don't care about DRM, as it doesn't affect them. Asking them to care is pointless.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 12, 2008 @11:45PM (#24987107)

    The game publishers here are cowards and scared. Even if the "public outcry" makes them finally rid us of DRM, they will find even more scary things to throw on our harddrives. The only solution I see is for the big companies to realize these two rules: Rule one, games will be pirated; rule two, publishers can't change rule one.

    On the other hand, rainbows exist, why not miracles?

    Actually, publishers can change rule one.

    All they have to do is make their game rely heavilly on Internet content for much of their game logic, requiring a monthly subscription to have an account activated.

    Take World of Warcraft, for instance. The game itself is essentially free -- at least here in Europe the cost of the game itself is the same as the montly subscription cost -- and the game comes bundled with a 30-day subscription.

    As far as I know there are no DRM measures in World of Warcraft. There is an anti-cheating module, designed to detect and stop third-party software, but whether that can be called DRM is debatable. And even if it is DRM, it's for a good cause.

    I for one applaud publishers like Blizzard and the many other publishers out there who, instead of trying to prevent the physically impossible act of copying bits, actually find new viable business models to base their software around.

  • Re:The answer... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 12, 2008 @11:47PM (#24987117)
    Hai you're doing it wrong. YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND.

    The vast majority of people are not stealing fucktard. All those people complaining about DRM own it... they paid for it and the real issue is that they are treated like criminals.

    DRM is like showing a commercial about how movie piracy is bad while you're sitting at the theater. It only annoys the honest and does nothing to those who are not.

    Basically, DRM discourages people from buying legit software since cracked software has that shit removed.... I'm glad I could teach you something today.
  • by compro01 ( 777531 ) on Friday September 12, 2008 @11:50PM (#24987139)

    Losing DRM is a good first step to achieving WINE compatibility. I've seen a good many games where they will work perfectly on WINE, except the stupid DRM system some moron decided was necessary.

  • it should matter. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DragonTHC ( 208439 ) <Dragon.gamerslastwill@com> on Friday September 12, 2008 @11:51PM (#24987143) Homepage Journal

    I'm not exactly using DRM as a selling point when I buy a game. It affects me, but I have security software which can prevent the DRM from doing harmful things to my computer.

    I buy a lot of games, and I honestly don't think the DRM is effective.

    Scenario #1: you bought the game and enjoy it. your friend wants to play the game without buying it. You can't copy the CD and have him play thanks to the DRM. or can you?

    Scenario #2: you don't want to buy a game, but you still want to play it. You can't download it from the Internet thanks to DRM. or can you?

    in both scenarios, DRM is useless. in #1, you can download a NOCD crack from the Internet and make as many copies of the disc as you want. In #2, the game has already been released by some cracking group without DRM before the game even hits the stores. Is harrassing paying customers really helping to gain more paying customers?

    DRM doesn't even deter casual gamers who would copy their own disc. Since the game has been cracked before it's even released, that DRM scheme is a waste of customer money.

    As I see it, this harmful middleware just eats into profit margins. Companies who make products like securom and starforce rely on the fear and ignorance of publishers to sell their harmful software. Who is to say these companies don't have their own agenda in installing their harmful and mysterious software on unsuspecting machines?

    Since we don't fully know what the software does, nor do they allow us to know, isn't it safe to assume it's malicious?

  • Re:The answer... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF ( 813746 ) on Friday September 12, 2008 @11:54PM (#24987167)

    I think what we have to do, as a community, is stop bitching at the game developers, and start bitching out the dirty bastards who steal games and ruin it for the rest of us!

    Why? People stealing games (are you talking about shoplifting?) don't harm me. Companies that add DRM do, because they are making my purchases harder or in some cases impossible to use. As for people who make illegal copies of games (copyright infringement), well they're mostly not affected by DRM, so my opinion is that DRM's purpose is probably not to stop them from doing so, or if it is it is completely ineffective so there is no point to it anyway.

    Seriously, hardly any breath is spent on criticising these leaches[sic].

    Likewise few people spend time on Slashdot criticizing people who embezzle millions from large corporations, because very few of us suffer because of such behavior.

    If it becomes socially unacceptable, people will stop doing it so much.

    Yeah, sure. It is publishers and their lobbyists that are harming me these days. Just recently they passed a law to use my tax dollars to prosecute their dubious and unconstitutional civil lawsuits. That's much, much worse than anything a copyright infringer has done to me.

    Right now, stories like this just work as justification for more theft.

    What does this story have to do with theft? Do you even know what theft is?

    You wouldn't copy a car. You wouldn't copy a handbag. You wouldn't copy a television. You wouldn't copy a dvd. Downloading pirated games is copying. Copying is against the law.

  • by Ash-Fox ( 726320 ) on Friday September 12, 2008 @11:54PM (#24987177) Journal

    What about Angband []?

  • Re:The answer... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by JebusIsLord ( 566856 ) on Friday September 12, 2008 @11:55PM (#24987181)

    Thats some great justification, buddy. Glad you can sleep okay. Their art isn't YOURS to give away - if you believe as you do, then just play the open source games and stop being a self-centered prick.

  • Re:The answer... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by iminplaya ( 723125 ) on Friday September 12, 2008 @11:55PM (#24987183) Journal

    I'm the first person to voice this (unpopular) view.

    No you're not. It pops up like an annoying ad everytime the subject of DRM or copyright comes up. And it's lame. GNAA is a better read.

    Fuck I hate this site sometimes.

    Click here [].

  • by bistromath007 ( 1253428 ) on Friday September 12, 2008 @11:55PM (#24987187)
    What DRM in Portal? Steam is the only thing with a DRM scheme I don't hate. It's a part of the industry where I know indie devs have a chance, and my money is going to the artists, and there's always good deals, and most importantly it always works, period. If you had a problem with Steam, I'd put money on it being because you did something wrong. But even if you did, Valve tech support is great so... I don't know this whole complaint is just alien to me.

    ...The DRM on Portal. *scratches head*
  • EA Spindoctoring (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sibko ( 1036168 ) on Friday September 12, 2008 @11:58PM (#24987209)

    EA's response to the outcry was to say that only one percent of accounts tried to activate the game more than three times, which is the limit without help from their customer service.

    Spore has been out for 8 days, and that's if you count the early release in Australia. In 8 days they've had 1% of their customers install Spore enough times as to be unable to play the game.

    Bullet, meet foot.

  • Re:The answer... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 12, 2008 @11:59PM (#24987217)
    Dude, as much as I hate DRM, I hate people like you too. Steal it if you want to, I don't care but call it like it is.

    Don't tell me you really need Spore so bad that you have to dl it without paying for it. You know the deal, they made a game and to play it you have to pay for it. If you don't want to, don't, but also, don't make up shit about art and culture. It cost the same as a meal at a nice restaurant or a couple of cases of beer. How about you skip a few bags of weed and pay for your art and culture.
    Or steal it and stfu... just as long as you stop feeding people bullshit.
  • by FoolsGold ( 1139759 ) on Saturday September 13, 2008 @12:08AM (#24987261)

    Why? It's easier to get a pirated copy and continue using the same knowledge set of skills, techniques and software than it is to totally convert to another operating system.

    There's a reason XP is still pretty popular on the torrent sites.

  • by tukang ( 1209392 ) on Saturday September 13, 2008 @12:17AM (#24987327)
    They treated you like an animal and that's what you became
  • Re:The answer... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 13, 2008 @12:19AM (#24987345)

    Yes it is.

    If I pay for something, I expect to have full access to it any time and any place. Depending on where I am, I may not have internet access or the ability to place a phone call or I may not want to do those things simply because they are inconvenient. If a company's DRM prevents me from using my legally purchased software in any way, then I will not buy from them and I will encourage others to do the same.

  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Saturday September 13, 2008 @12:21AM (#24987363) Homepage

    It's no longer acceptable for games to need administrator privileges to install. That's a holdover from the Windows 95/98/ME era, and should have disappeared with Windows XP. With Vista, there's no excuse for it.

  • Re:The answer... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by smolloy ( 1250188 ) on Saturday September 13, 2008 @12:24AM (#24987373)

    So a company spends a ton of cash to develop a cutting edge game, and you think you have the right to access it for free just because you label it as "art" and declare that their "art" doesn't belong to them?!?

    I'm no fan of DRM, but I just can't take this argument seriously. They developed it, they paid people to code it, shouldn't it be possible for them to reclaim their expenses (and then make a profit)?

    If you want high quality, cutting edge games to continue to be produced, then there has to be a method for the producers to get paid for it. Why else would they do it?

    If you remove the financial motivation to produce games, then games will not be produced. Is that what you mean by "good for society"?

    Man, my karma's gonna suffer for this, I just know it...

  • Re:The answer... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ZeroFactorial ( 1025676 ) on Saturday September 13, 2008 @12:25AM (#24987383)
    So when we have an oppressive Orwellian government, we should blame the criminals for forcing the government into taking away EVERYONE's freedoms?
  • by mxs ( 42717 ) on Saturday September 13, 2008 @12:26AM (#24987387)

    ... and they claim this as a POSITIVE attribute ? One percent of accounts ALREADY hit the 3 installation limit ? This game has been out for ~a week. One week, and already one percent of the customers are plagued by this DRM-scheme (some percentage of which will already have gotten customer service responses akin to "buy a new one" by the helpful customer representatives, as has happened with "Mass Effect").

    After just one week, legitimately bought copies of the game stopped working for these people.

    What will the stats be in 10 weeks ? 6 months ? Five years ? Can YOU offer up proof-of-purchase for all your games after 5 years ? Good on you. Should you have to ?

    I find it pretty telling though that EA considers 1% for this timeframe to be a good number.

  • by ozmanjusri ( 601766 ) <> on Saturday September 13, 2008 @12:26AM (#24987389) Journal
    most importantly it always works, period. If you had a problem with Steam, I'd put money on it being because you did something wrong.


    Steam is annoying as hell and frequently stops me using [] games I own.

    I paid money for that game so I own it. When I double-click on the icon, it is not a "request" for it to run. The game is fully installed, and doesn not need to be connected to Steam to run. Cracked versions work without the DRM-enforced waits.

    If the game does not start immediately, every time, it is broken.

  • Re:The answer... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 13, 2008 @12:27AM (#24987395)

    Halo was the last time SecuRom hurt me. It doesn't work with the CD/DVD drives that I own. After submitting my info to the developers of SecuRom (as they ask) they said that they might develop a patch for it some day.

    Can't return the software, as it's been open and works fine on the store machine. So I'm out $$ because of DRM. I will not buy another DRM protected software again.

  • I'd have threatened to take them to small claims court for selling me a defective product. It's not your problem that someone stole your key... why the fuck should you pay ANYTHING else for the product you legitimately owned?

  • Solution is simple (Score:2, Insightful)

    by unity100 ( 970058 ) on Saturday September 13, 2008 @12:35AM (#24987439) Homepage Journal
    stop trying to sell games from the max price you think market can handle.

    these prices are determined by BA graduates, and many of them are incapable of incorporating the fact that digital goods are not like physical goods, which are what current economics understanding has been built on in the last 300 years.

    a game costs a few millions to create, but it takes no more than 0.0001 cents to reproduce, even if you use a cd. if you go for internet distribution, reproducing costs are much lower.

    if companies started to sell their games from everyday prices like $10, $15, they would find that games has a much higher marginal returns allowance, and there are many people who would shell out $10 bucks for a download from internet to take a peek at a game they wont play for long, JUST to have it on their hard drives in case they may wanna play it later.

    instead, they are trying to push the MAX that anyone can justify, $60-70. and voila - its NOT working.

    if they went the proposed route, neither they would have to worry about piracy, nor they would have to deal with the costs of customer support.

    we need a radiohead for gaming sector, thats certain now.

    and for this, we have to do as much as possible to evade bad practice companies like EA.
  • by nschubach ( 922175 ) on Saturday September 13, 2008 @12:36AM (#24987447) Journal

    Impulse is DRM. DRM as it is defined is any electronic form of verification of ownership. If you don't have Impulse, you cannot run the game.

  • by Jorophose ( 1062218 ) on Saturday September 13, 2008 @12:40AM (#24987473)

    DRM is DRM, period.

  • Re:The answer... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by The End Of Days ( 1243248 ) on Saturday September 13, 2008 @12:40AM (#24987477)

    Free entertainment is not a requirement for life in any fashion, sane or otherwise. The fact that you really, really want it has no bearing on the necessity at all. Your lack of impulse control doesn't make you a freedom fighter.

  • Re:The answer... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by bistromath007 ( 1253428 ) on Saturday September 13, 2008 @12:47AM (#24987505)
    You won't die, but you won't be human, either. You go look at how some children who "don't like to read" are doing sometime.

    Not all games are art. Nobody's missing anything important in their lives if they never played Counter-Strike. But some demonstrably are important parts of modern culture, and as such, they need to be a part of our common experience, the same as literature and film.

    ...Wait, is that it? I bet it is, isn't it? We just need an analog for the good shit for this argument to be accepted. books:literature::movies:film::games:??? Find that word and I bet the media snobs will be just rushing to donate to public gaming funds. XD
  • by jmorris42 ( 1458 ) * <`gro.uaeb' `ta' `sirromj'> on Saturday September 13, 2008 @12:47AM (#24987507)

    > It's easier to get a pirated copy and continue using the same knowledge set of skills,
    > techniques and software than it is to totally convert to another operating system.

    Kid, I have some bad news for you. If you are worried about your 'skills' you needn't worry because you obviously aren't earning your living from them. Otherwise you would know how stupid you sound. Try installing that piratebay copy of XP in a work environment and watch what happens. First disgruntled ex employee that is, ya know clueful enough to listen to the radio or read a magazine, sees that 1-800 get revenge AND a cash reward hotline to nark out pirate copies and your employer is in a world of pain and you are out of a job.

    Of course this isn't a problem in your bedroom/dorm but this is the time to upgrade your skills for the world of tomorrow... where with a little luck Microsoft won't be a monopoly anymore.

  • by bigstrat2003 ( 1058574 ) * on Saturday September 13, 2008 @12:49AM (#24987515)
    He shouldn't have to.
  • Re:The answer... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by bigstrat2003 ( 1058574 ) * on Saturday September 13, 2008 @12:58AM (#24987571)

    Yes, it makes you a shill.

    No, it doesn't. It makes him someone with sane views on art. This makes him rather different from many people on this site, who have insane views on art.

    Art belongs to the artist who created it, for the lifetime of the artist. When the artist dies, then you can claim that his/her work belongs to the greater culture. Not before. Any less than that is infringing upon the artist's freedom, and is 100% unacceptable.

    Sane life depends on free culture.

    That's not true in the least. We get along just fine these days without forcing artists to make their work available to the public. Some do that, and that's great, I applaud them for their selfless contributions to our well-being. Others don't, and that's great too. They have to eat, just like me, and I have no issue with kicking back a little to enhance my quality of life. We have lots of great culture being developed RIGHT NOW, even though we don't engage in the deplorable practice of forcing artists to do certain things with their work.

    Forcing artists to make their work free to all is basically one step shy of slavery. They do the work, it is under their terms that you benefit from their work. You don't get to dictate it to them.

  • Re:The answer... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mex ( 191941 ) on Saturday September 13, 2008 @01:15AM (#24987683)

    DRM is not about pirates, it's about killing the reseller market for games.

  • by plasmacutter ( 901737 ) on Saturday September 13, 2008 @01:22AM (#24987743)

    you forget that game sales follow a diminishing return chart, eventually plateauing and sliding back the way they came.

    He's more or less accurate, unless you want to run a day by day time-series regression to create a forecasting model for a bloody internet forum.

  • Subject (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Legion303 ( 97901 ) on Saturday September 13, 2008 @01:26AM (#24987757) Homepage

    Spore's DRM was so effective that the cracked version was leaked only *3* days prior to retail. The game companies are making progress!

  • by nschubach ( 922175 ) on Saturday September 13, 2008 @01:29AM (#24987777) Journal

    Galciv 2. The DVD/CD (whatever, I don't remember) doesn't require validation unless you want to patch it because it has a manual key process. This doesn't mean the games is TOTALLY DRM free. It just means that they put the DRM on the disc and the process of putting in your key is the Digital copy protection. I bought the Stardock version of GalCiv and was told that I would need to pay extra to get the hardcopy version of the game, and I would not be allowed to patch the bugs without using the Stardock software to validate my copy. This all started because I assumed it was a DRM free copy, so I copied all the files to my laptop to use it on vacation. I found out that I needed the Stardock software to validate my copy on the other machine. That IS the definition of DRM.

    The game does have DRM on it. Saying that the game is COMPLETELY DRM free as the company and people are saying is false. It's like saying that your house is totally key free just because you don't put the key in the door to open it. You may not use it (knowingly), but it's there.

  • Re:The answer... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lendrick ( 314723 ) on Saturday September 13, 2008 @01:45AM (#24987873) Homepage Journal

    As a legitimate customer, it is NOT MY FAULT that other people are stealing the game. Let's say you're person A, and you're with person B and person C. Person C does something that pisses off person B. Person B can't reach person C, so they hit you instead.

    Person C may be a douchebag, but your immediate concern is that person B just hit you, and you DIDN'T DO ANYTHING WRONG.

    Games will be pirated. DRM punishes legitimate customers. The pirates shouldn't goddamn be the ones to get the better product. Paying customers should.

    As things currently stand, pirated software ...
    * is a bitch to install
    * might not play successfully
    * could come with a rootkit

    In contrast, legitimately purchased software ...
    * is a bitch to install (don't you love those 40 character CD keys?)
    * might not play successfully (if you can't connect to the internet to validate the damn thing, god help you)
    * and might come with a fucking rootkit.
    * costs 50 bucks

    Pirates will always have to use work-arounds to get software to install and run. Pirated software will always have a risk of carrying a rootkit. Legitimate software need not have these issues.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 13, 2008 @01:48AM (#24987895)

    While I agree with your statement 100% I can honestly say that I have never had that problem.

    I have 24 games installed via steam and have never had a game refuse to run or even take noticeably longer when offline vs online.

    I've never actually seen the dialog in your linked picture come up on any of my 5 machines.

    As far as DRM, I think steam is pretty benign as well as being pretty handy, when I added my account to my new laptop, I left it on overnight then lo & behold come morning all my games were installed & working. I did have to adjust screen size in the various games but overall it was a good deal easier than having to slap around the install CDs for 24 games.

    Just my $.02

  • by log0n ( 18224 ) on Saturday September 13, 2008 @01:48AM (#24987897)

    (in that order)

    I don't buy or play PC games. When I do any gaming it's on the 360 so none of this stuff is an issue.

    But this time.. I bought the game mainly because of a very cool special I was able to catch on the Hist Channel - went into both the tech and also the lore/idea behind it. Wasn't familiar with Spore until this. Saw all of the negative pub on Amazon before I purchased.

    I've opened the original (just so it can't be returned/exchanged when I'm done - that's wrong) but I downloaded and am playing the cracked version. I've done it this way to 1) support whoever needs to be financially supported (not paying and then playing is plain stealing), but also 2) hopefully send a message to someone somewhere (even if it ends up just being to me) that DRM/limited activation is the more evil of two evils. I'm not a gamer (tho WOW ftw) and I've got no problem next time just keeping my cash and doing without.

  • by FoolsGold ( 1139759 ) on Saturday September 13, 2008 @01:49AM (#24987903)

    Let me put it another way. Why give up a system where you can fly across the GUI, knowing precisely where everything is and have become totally accustomed to doing things quickly because of this knowledge, to another system where you basically have to relearn a large portion, JUST because of something trivial as the activation of XP?

    Now in a work environment, of course you're not going to resort to a pirated copy. But then again, most businesses are prepared to pony up the cash for a site license, and Microsoft takes care of businesses with the corporate versions which do not require activation in the first place. Microsoft aren't stupid in this regard. Since the businesses keep using Windows, there's nothing lost with the home user getting the pirated copy.

  • Re:The answer... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by CSMatt ( 1175471 ) on Saturday September 13, 2008 @02:03AM (#24987961)

    Art belongs to the artist who created it, for the lifetime of the artist. When the artist dies, then you can claim that his/her work belongs to the greater culture. Not before. Any less than that is infringing upon the artist's freedom, and is 100% unacceptable.

    The founding fathers seemed to think otherwise. []

  • by rk ( 6314 ) * on Saturday September 13, 2008 @02:09AM (#24987995) Journal

    Maybe because some of us actually like to learn new things and stretch ourselves. And compared to learning a musical instrument or making fine cabinetry with hand tools, not at all difficult.

    "Why learn a new GUI?" when did Slashdot become Yahoo groups... *mumbles* damn kids on my lawn again.

  • by Digital_Quartz ( 75366 ) on Saturday September 13, 2008 @02:13AM (#24988017) Homepage

    Well, assuming you're a twisted marketing/accounting guy...

    As with most DRM schemes, I think there's an ulterior motive here, and I think that's to kill the second hand market. Most people are unwilling to buy games with activation second hand, and most stores are unwilling to even take them for trade or sell them.

    Remember, the difference between Digital Rights Management and plain old copy protection is that DRM is about restricting your rights, and in this case they're taking away your right of first sale, plain and simple.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 13, 2008 @02:39AM (#24988187)

    I offer services to about a dozen small businesses and most of them have at least a few computers with Vista. I also agree from time to time to help their employees with their personal computer at home. Basically, I installed and somewhat manage well over a hundred Vista systems.

    My experience : I never really had difficulties getting Vista machines to work on mixed networks and I never saw what you described. In fact, I am recommending Vista over XP as it makes my job a bit easier. I'm not saying that you're lying, but maybe the problem is not the one you think.

  • by jagdish ( 981925 ) on Saturday September 13, 2008 @03:13AM (#24988359)
    Ok who modded this insightful? Steam IS the DRM. Why should I connect to the Internet to play a single player game like portal? I like valve and their products, but I hate steam. there is always the question that what would happen to the game if the company shut down
  • by rk ( 6314 ) * on Saturday September 13, 2008 @03:14AM (#24988367) Journal

    Fill disclosure - I use Vista and actually LIKE Vista. I chose it specifically because it suits my needs more so than Linux, so if you wish to disregard my opinions based on this fact, and the fact I do not subscribe to the typical Slashdot groupthink, I'm fine with that. :)

    Nothing wrong with running what you want. I like Linux and OSS, but I'm no zealot. My Linux box and my WinXP box, like Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder, live side by side in perfect harmony on my desktop. :-) In a couple weeks, MS is giving me a free copy of Vista Ultimate, and I figured I'd install that too. I have a Mac OS X laptop too. They all have things I like and scratch different itches.

    As to what's better, learning how and using, I guess that's a subjective question. As a software engineer, for me, the two are essentially the same. If I don't know an OS but use it, it's just a program loader. But that's just me.

  • by shish ( 588640 ) on Saturday September 13, 2008 @03:19AM (#24988391) Homepage

    and most importantly it always works, period.

    Unless you're on a university campus with outbound firewall; then, even if you have the physical CD, you can't even play single player :-/ It also apparently does some funky network stuff which breaks VPNs and SOCKS-tunneling apps. The only way I found to make it run was to set up a VPN on a second box and use that as the gateway...

    If I'd have known that it'd be that much hassle, I would have just torrented it -_-

    Valve tech support is great so

    Since when? During the above I tried to find out WTF they'd done to break VPNs and tunneling, and the only response I could get was "VPN software will prevent the Steam client application from accessing the Steam network.", over and over again :-|

  • by bdenton42 ( 1313735 ) on Saturday September 13, 2008 @03:29AM (#24988455)

    As for his question, World of Warcraft is DRM free, and the upcoming WOTLK is also supposed to be free of it too!

    I guess that count as a particularly major title :)

    Not sure how you can say that World of Warcraft is DRM free. You are required to pay a periodic licensing fee and authenticate every time you try to use the software. If you have not paid your licensing fee the software will not operate. That is a form of DRM.

  • by RogerWilco ( 99615 ) on Saturday September 13, 2008 @05:56AM (#24988989) Homepage Journal

    As a WoW player, I was rally happy that they went after Glider, as it's only purpose is to cheat.

    This bnetd thing, I don't know, might be ok, might not, but give it's purpose of being able to play net games with hacked versions, I can see why Blizzard would go after them. It's only logical that any company will try to protect against illegal use of their software.

    I haven't looked at the freeCraft thing, if it's just a Warcraft II clone, cleanroom implementation, then I think renaming it would have solved the problem. I don't think Blizzard can claim to own the RTS genre itself. Trademark protection requires that you go after things that try to use a similar name for a similar product, so Blizzard needed to also take action here.


    All in all, there might be reasons not to like Blizzard, but I really don't think any of the reasons you mentioned are valid, unless you want to cheat, want to use an illegal copy of their games, or think that Blizzard should to defend its trademarks.

  • by oddfox ( 685475 ) on Saturday September 13, 2008 @06:23AM (#24989085) Homepage

    That's a good question, and I guess when it comes down to it I don't endorse it but I don't frown upon it either. People manage to get private WoW servers, I think that's cool and fine, but obviously Blizzard doesn't. My experience with them was less than satisfactory though, personally. Too much lag and not enough players, and it's easy to see why. If you want a free MMO, there are plenty to choose from anyways from my viewpoint.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 13, 2008 @06:36PM (#24993967)

    What DRM in Portal?

    Steam is DRM.

    If you had a problem with Steam, I'd put money on it being because you did something wrong.

    Screw you. Because that guy had problems with Steam and you didn't, he's probably at fault? Well I'm glad your experience has been so pleasant that you can think that. But Steam is most definately not perfect. Yes, it's on average better than SecuROM style DRM schemes. Yes, fewer people have terrible experiences wrestling with it. That doesn't mean it's perfect. It doesn't even necessarily mean it's good.

    (captcha: contempt)

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