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(PC Magazine)   An open letter to EA: I farking told you this would happen   (pcmag.com) divider line 379
    More: Asinine, SimCity, copy protection  
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13306 clicks; posted to Geek » on 08 Mar 2013 at 2:02 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-03-08 11:54:03 PM
Anybody mentioning the BBB needs to realize that the bigger a company is, the less the BBB will do to it.  If they're Fortune 500, the BBB will bend over and kiss their asses.  Only the little fish get policed.
 
2013-03-08 11:56:06 PM

Foxxinnia: ZeroCorpse: And thisis why I think the Ouya will have a solid chance this year. If developers make a game like Sim City, offer a large chunk of it free-to-play, and don't fill it with DRM crap, they'll be way ahead of EA.

Just think Sim City players: You could have spent that $60 toward a new $99 console with games that won't f♥ck with you like EA does. NOW do you understand why supporting the Ouya and open development of games is a good idea?

Yeah I'd love to buy a stationary cell phone that can only play games that I can already play on my PC.


It's going to be a lot more than that. Your cell phone has to maintain background processes, deal with a battery limitation (meaning less power to the CPU/GPU), deal with a form factor and heat limitation (again, can't run flat-out), and has games that are designed without physical controls in mind. It probably can't run games from external storage aside from an SD card, either.

People act as if the OS being Android-based means only casual games are going to be available. The reason cell phone games are usually casual games is because of the form-factor and power limitations of the phone/tablet; Not because the operating system is incapable of running games that are more complex. It isn't even going to be connected to Google Play. It's a whole different system, with a focus on gaming, which means more power can be used to make games run great and be more demanding than any current cell phone could handle. Sure, the CPU is the same, but there's a huge difference in how hard they can push performance because of the AC adapter, better cooling, and greater storage capacity.

The Ouya is capable of handling games that are somewhere between PS2 and PS3 in terms of complexity, graphics, speed, effects, etc.  It will also run Plex and XBMC. It handles HD video with no problems (which puts it a step above the Wii, actually). It is completely open, which means developers don't have to jump through a bunch of hoops and deal with some big company telling them how to market, encode, protect, or sell their games. You can connect an external hard drive to it and have as much storage space as you'd like for games, video, etc..

These are a bit more interesting than casual games, and they're just launch titles.
http://youtu.be/omFNaeQoD7E
http://youtu.be/o-cVSFyWVHc
http://youtu.be/ShRM6TotVe4
http://youtu.be/gqxEaiXKLxk
http://youtu.be/ngac4Dq8qb4

Even games that aren't yet optimized for it look pretty damned good.
http://youtu.be/Tq83J1NIqQ8

Benchmark info:  Pushing 5000 moving sprites in 1920*1080 @60fps on the OUYA.
The console's fan did start to whirl after a while :)
Asus' Nexus 7 ate around 4000 animated sprites in 1280*768 @60fps with same base code, so the OUYA is performing 25% better with even more resolution.
The Tegra3 inside the OUYA is a quad core T33, 1.6Ghz on four cores, 1.7Ghz on one core (1993.93 BogoMIPS per core
http://youtu.be/x-7B_hsr5as

Yeah, you can play games on your PC. So can I. But sometimes you want to play a game elsewhere. Sometimes your PC is busy rendering something, or being used for another purpose, and you want to play a game without a fuss. No, it's not a PS4. But it's $99 and it is completely open.

That last part is the whole point. We're here all biatching about EA, and then when an open console comes along, people all biatch that it's not "powerful enough" or that it won't have "real" games. The games look real enough to me, and the thing seems to have enough power to make the games look good and play smoothly. Will they have a bajillion light sources and all the newest graphical tricks? No, but some of the best games didn't-- Even this generation.

If you want to skip it, that's cool. I just think that if people want to see EA shiat their pants then supporting an open console would be a step in the right direction.  When a situation like Sim City comes along, you just KNOW there will be Ouya developers that see the gap and move in with a game that DOESN'T fail. And let's face it: Sim City doesn't require all that much power to be awesome. The Ouya will crush games like that without breaking a sweat.

But by all means, keep letting big companies bend you over with closed systems, though, if that's what you'd prefer.
 
2013-03-09 12:00:37 AM

The Bestest: EA will kiss everyone's boo-boos and make it better by giving anyone who bought Simcity a free EA game.


ah for the days when a consumer could expect HIS MONEY BACK when he got the ol' bait and twist

Those were the days.

They also used to have these things called Class Action lawsuits, but corporate America has all but killed them off entirely. Besides, wouldn't you prefer a nice friendly arbitration?

"Sorry we farked you in the ass. We are willing to offer you your choice of a lollypop or ice cream to make up for it. We feel this is both an acceptable concession and reimbursement."
 
2013-03-09 12:01:46 AM
'bait and switch' even

damn I'm off today.
My fingers are Bill Murray tossing his golf club all fark-it style.
 
2013-03-09 12:02:30 AM

ZeroCorpse: The Ouya is capable


Vaporware. The word you're looking for is vaporware.
 
2013-03-09 12:05:05 AM

MurphyMurphy: ah for the days when a consumer could expect HIS MONEY BACK when he got the ol' bait and twist


Ah the days when people didn't put their nuts in a vice and complain when someone turns the screws.

/NAM for Sim City 4 supports curved roads.
//And the maps are big enough to use them.
///Fixes all sorts of problems with the game really.
////And it still works, because there is no server to connect with.
 
2013-03-09 12:05:11 AM

Incontinent_dog_and_monkey_rodeo: Anybody mentioning the BBB needs to realize that the bigger a company is, the less the BBB will do to it.  If they're Fortune 500, the BBB will bend over and kiss their asses.  Only the little fish get policed.


Well, they are a toothless entity turned lobbyist group. They side with whoever pays them.

Don't let their non-profit status fool you, that just means they ship the money out the door (spend) the second it comes in.
 
2013-03-09 12:05:56 AM

jso2897: I'll believe it when I see it. Those "projects" may look "promising" to you - to me, and a lot of other folks, they don't. You can hack a games code, but you cannot populate a server with content you do not have or possess the tools to produce.


There are multiple examples of fully-functional server emulators for games, including MMORPGs, which would be more complex than something like SimCity.  Essentially these emulators are simply reimplementing server code.  It's time consuming to be sure, but there are many examples of groups that have taken that time and done it before.
 
2013-03-09 12:07:01 AM

fluffy2097: /NAM for Sim City 4 supports curved roads.
//And the maps are big enough to use them.
///Fixes all sorts of problems with the game really.
////And it still works, because there is no server to connect with.


I still rock simcity2k. I played 4 vanilla long ago and it didn't take. I probably still have it somewhere, maybe it's time to give it a second chance?
 
2013-03-09 12:07:11 AM

MurphyMurphy: MrEricSir: MurphyMurphy: MrEricSir: Look dude, I hate DRM too. But the problem here isn't DRM, it's that EA is completely incompetent.

No they aren't.

They will fark up whatever they want, what they won't do is stray from their hard-line stance. In their book, if they keep pushing this drm shiat eventually people will just swallow it (and they may be right).

Unless you're saying they intended for the servers to suffer a massive blackout that prevents people from paying a game they just paid $60 for, I'm not sure what you mean by asserting that they're not incompetent. That just doesn't make any sense.

Incompetence suggests they were simply unprepared for the launch fallout.

I'm telling you, they knew exactly what would happen. There was nothing incompetent about it.

Months before your new video game didn't work, they had meetings and detailed cost-benefit analysis that showed it would cost more money for them to have platforms in place to support the heavy user load than it would to just roll out a much lower cost solution.


Having worked in the software industry for a number of years, I can assure you that it's just incompetence. Software engineers cost money, so the more time you focus on quality the less time you'll spend cashing checks. These are very simple trade-offs. The people who run EA aren't evil, and they are not involved in a conspiracy*. They simply do not care about quality.

And why should they care? Not caring about quality has worked damn well for them the past 10 years. A corporate executive doesn't need any kind of fancy math to tell you to stick with what already works. That's just common sense.

(* Well, not this conspiracy, but in fairness I should point out that EA has mastered the art of avoiding taxes. Romney looks downright honest compared to them.)
 
2013-03-09 12:11:19 AM

MrEricSir: Having worked in the software industry for a number of years, I can assure you that it's just incompetence. Software engineers cost money, so the more time you focus on quality the less time you'll spend cashing checks. These are very simple trade-offs. The people who run EA aren't evil, and they are not involved in a conspiracy*. They simply do not care about quality.

And why should they care? Not caring about quality has worked damn well for them the past 10 years. A corporate executive doesn't need any kind of fancy math to tell you to stick with what already works. That's just common sense.

(* Well, not this conspiracy, but in fairness I should point out that EA has mastered the art of avoiding taxes. Romney looks downright honest compared to them.)


Did you just disagree with me, and then agree with me?

Are we talking past each other or is there a subtle point you're making that I'm not seeing.

You said it yourself, they don't care.
That's not incompetence, that's indifference.
 
2013-03-09 12:17:23 AM
mooseyfate: /taking recommendations on older games I should play, btw

I just finished Knights of the Old Republic. Never played it when it came out, got it from Steam for $2.50 (on sale) and I loved it. Granted, there is a major bug with the movies, in that I had to disable them when I flew to a different planet so the game wouldn't crash. That was annoying, but other than that I had fun.

If you want to go even older school, GOG has the Quest for Glory series and the Baldur's Gate series. And if you've never played the Baldur's Gate games, you really need to. I also recommend Planescape: Torment, also on GOG.

While it's not that old a game, I'm really having fun with Orcs Must Die. I got the series pack from Steam (again on sale) and that's just fun. If you like Tower Defense and killing Orcs, you'll like it.
 
2013-03-09 12:18:35 AM

Mazzic518: The Stealth Hippopotamus: Played for 3 hours last night and really enjoyed it. Now I haven't logged on to see if it's still there, but I dont care. It's my first city and it's on a really small map with only 2 other players so I dont plan to mess with it for too long.

That and I had to play with base graphics because I needed a better graphics card for the shiny stuff.

That card is sitting in my car right now, so happy.

It might work better in your computer


Ever think my computer is rigged up in my car?
 
2013-03-09 12:25:27 AM

MurphyMurphy: Incontinent_dog_and_monkey_rodeo: Anybody mentioning the BBB needs to realize that the bigger a company is, the less the BBB will do to it.  If they're Fortune 500, the BBB will bend over and kiss their asses.  Only the little fish get policed.

Well, they are a toothless entity turned lobbyist group. They side with whoever pays them.

Don't let their non-profit status fool you, that just means they ship the money out the door (spend) the second it comes in.


^ So much this. BBB is more dishonest and bigger crooks than EA will ever be.
 
2013-03-09 12:25:27 AM

soporific: If you want to go even older school, GOG has the Quest for Glory series and the Baldur's Gate series. And if you've never played the Baldur's Gate games, you really need to. I also recommend Planescape: Torment, also on GOG.


Torment is the best RPG, hands down.  Really big damn shame it never got a sequel, though the ending on it was very well done.  Amazing story either way.
 
2013-03-09 12:28:13 AM

soporific: I just finished Knights of the Old Republic. Never played it when it came out, got it from Steam for $2.50 (on sale) and I loved it. Granted, there is a major bug with the movies, in that I had to disable them when I flew to a different planet so the game wouldn't crash. That was annoying, but other than that I had fun.


That sucks, I was playing that this yesterday morning and I'd drop to desktop but all I had to do was click on the program again and viola, fullscreen cutscene starts playing.

Windows 7 here, not sure if you're using a dif OS.

I did use uniws (and recommend it), maybe that actually made it more stable?
 
2013-03-09 12:28:50 AM

The Stealth Hippopotamus: Mazzic518: The Stealth Hippopotamus: Played for 3 hours last night and really enjoyed it. Now I haven't logged on to see if it's still there, but I dont care. It's my first city and it's on a really small map with only 2 other players so I dont plan to mess with it for too long.

That and I had to play with base graphics because I needed a better graphics card for the shiny stuff.

That card is sitting in my car right now, so happy.

It might work better in your computer

Ever think my computer is rigged up in my car?


Sweet
 
2013-03-09 12:29:47 AM

Mike_LowELL: So stop with the narrative that console and computer video game players will continue to shovel the same shiat into their throats, because they're not, and they're doing it in large enough numbers that the results are going to be catastrophic.


It doesn't matter whether or not people buy the games - it only matters that the suits who run the companies tell each other they will. They will just loot there own companies as they fail, and move on to new jobs in some other industry. Why should they care what some raging nerd whose money they already stole thinks?
They'll be far away and doing something else when the pigeons come home to roost anyway.
 
2013-03-09 12:33:49 AM

MurphyMurphy: MrEricSir: Having worked in the software industry for a number of years, I can assure you that it's just incompetence. Software engineers cost money, so the more time you focus on quality the less time you'll spend cashing checks. These are very simple trade-offs. The people who run EA aren't evil, and they are not involved in a conspiracy*. They simply do not care about quality.

And why should they care? Not caring about quality has worked damn well for them the past 10 years. A corporate executive doesn't need any kind of fancy math to tell you to stick with what already works. That's just common sense.

(* Well, not this conspiracy, but in fairness I should point out that EA has mastered the art of avoiding taxes. Romney looks downright honest compared to them.)

Did you just disagree with me, and then agree with me?

Are we talking past each other or is there a subtle point you're making that I'm not seeing.

You said it yourself, they don't care.
That's not incompetence, that's indifference.


We are talking about the same thing, but at the same time we aren't -- you've made it sound like a series of intentionally nefarious acts on the part of EA's executives.

I don't think we can blame the executives because they're just doing the same shiat they always do. If we expect different outcomes that's our fault. It's the people who managed the project who dropped the ball by not load-testing the servers enough, and it's the customers' fault for buying this and other EA products.
 
2013-03-09 12:38:57 AM

MurphyMurphy: soporific: I just finished Knights of the Old Republic. Never played it when it came out, got it from Steam for $2.50 (on sale) and I loved it. Granted, there is a major bug with the movies, in that I had to disable them when I flew to a different planet so the game wouldn't crash. That was annoying, but other than that I had fun.

That sucks, I was playing that this yesterday morning and I'd drop to desktop but all I had to do was click on the program again and viola, fullscreen cutscene starts playing.

Windows 7 here, not sure if you're using a dif OS.

I did use uniws (and recommend it), maybe that actually made it more stable?


Yeah, also Win7. But this was through Steam and there was no easy workaround except to disable movies, and I didn't have uniws. Still, it was quite fun.
 
2013-03-09 12:53:52 AM

The Bestest: EA will kiss everyone's boo-boos and make it better by giving anyone who bought Simcity a free EA game.


Will they actually be able to play this one?
 
2013-03-09 12:55:00 AM
Don't know what everyone's complaining about.  My pirated copy works just fine.
 
2013-03-09 01:07:09 AM

Teiritzamna: 1) EA can eat a dick, mainly because they were bad at DRM, not because of the DRM itself.

2) looks like another thread where people front the old false choice:

I can either (a) get X unlawfully, or (b) get X lawfully but with lots of annoying things attached (DRM, Cable TV to wtach HBO show, trailers, commercials, etc.).

This of course forgets the key third choice:

(c) i can go without.

I just find it really funny that in every one of these threads there is the sense that people are entitled to a thing in exactly the way they want it.  If they cannot buy it exactly the way they want it, they will obtain it unlawfully.  That is not a justification . . . its not even really an excuse. 

If you think EA sucks, you can not buy EA's products.  You have that right.  And if enough people do that, EA will either fold or will need to do what people want.  There is, however, no moral justification for saying EA's policies are dumb, so i will unlawfully obtain their product.


There are myriad moral justifications for the scenario you mentioned. There are few (currently) legal justifications for doing so.

Take some time to research the concepts upon which you choose to pontificate; otherwise, the language you so hamhandedly dribble from your shapeless, sphinctoid mouth will serve only to drown you in the oily stench of your ignorance.

TL;DR Equating legality with morality is an inequity even retarded children know to avoid.
 
2013-03-09 01:22:31 AM

MrEricSir: We are talking about the same thing, but at the same time we aren't -- you've made it sound like a series of intentionally nefarious acts on the part of EA's executives.

I don't think we can blame the executives because they're just doing the same shiat they always do. If we expect different outcomes that's our fault. It's the people who managed the project who dropped the ball by not load-testing the servers enough, and it's the customers' fault for buying this and other EA products.


Unless we have insider info from EA, we can only speculate as to whether this was due to poor testing and preparation or if engineering knew they wouldn't have the hardware to support the initial influx that most certainly will subside in a matter of weeks.

I respect you've worked in the industry, I've never worked in the gaming industry but I've been working with networks and servers on a small and large scale for some time and I see both situations more frequently than I'd like.

... the end result is the same, pissed off customers and a business that pays only lip service instead of offering full refunds. And this is the rub. No matter how they got to where they are, it's how they deal with it moving forward that counts, and no refunds means "fark you, we got ours".

I would point to their decision to refrain from even deploying an Asian server to their "yeah, we don't care enough to spend the money on hardware when we'll make the same either way" .. but I'm beating a dead horse.

I don't think 'massive conspiracy' is the right word for it, that's a bit of dismissal by semantics.

When you talk of an entity of EA's size and market share it's much sillier to insinuate that the corporate ladder folks and investors waiting for their pay-off are all as dedicated to providing you a good experience as the art guys and coders where many truly go to work to create a work of love and not just to make a dime (though they aren't doing it for free :P).

You might call me silly and say it's just a conspiracy theory, I'd say you haven't sat in enough rooms with big mahogany tables and heard what VPs and stock holders say when it's "bullet meets the meat" discussion.
I say indifference over incompetence because I'd bet my wallet that right now their discussions are rife with talk of 'realistic asset expenditures' and 'manageable customer expectations' and I'd just as easily bet it's not the first time they've had this discussion.

Do you hear them saying "wow we screwed up, we're deploying more servers and have all hands working on it"? No. And you won't, because they won't. They'll find a way to make it work with the people they have and the money they've already spent, or you won't get to play until load goes down. Not unless their experts tell them they risk a likely $ value impact in the future that's greater than the cost of throwing money at the immediate problem. This is business 101.

That covers conspiracy. As for nefarious, people expect better. Some do consider it nefarious, along the lines of a bait and switch. And what makes it so is the mea culpa b.s. pr statements instead of just giving customers the refunds they are rightly owed.
 
2013-03-09 01:34:47 AM

Holographic Shimmering Pork: There is, however, no moral justification for saying EA's policies are dumb, so i will unlawfully obtain their product.


The beauty of a discussion about morals is, the topic is completely relative and abstract.

If you wanted to make a correct statement, you'd either need to replace your usage of the word 'moral' with 'legal', or simply add the words "in my opinion" somewhere in there.
 
2013-03-09 01:34:58 AM

MurphyMurphy: Do you hear them saying "wow we screwed up, we're deploying more servers and have all hands working on it"? No. And you won't, because they won't.


http://www.ea.com/news/a-simcity-update-and-something-for-your-troub le

I don't really have a dog in this fight, I won't be getting Sim City, but in that post they say they screwed up and have deployed more servers.
 
2013-03-09 01:42:23 AM

Yuri Futanari: MurphyMurphy: Do you hear them saying "wow we screwed up, we're deploying more servers and have all hands working on it"? No. And you won't, because they won't.

http://www.ea.com/news/a-simcity-update-and-something-for-your-troub le

I don't really have a dog in this fight, I won't be getting Sim City, but in that post they say they screwed up and have deployed more servers.


Fair enough, though as that is a PR statement it's got a good chance at being a load of horse hockey.

There isn't any real info provided outside of "In the last 48 hours we increased server capacity by 120 percent" which could mean any number of things (including nothing). I doubt it means they just unpacked enough servers to double their farm... but maybe.

....or maybe one of those experts I mentioned told them "we are definitely going to take it on the chin if we don't throw money at this problem" :P
 
2013-03-09 01:48:22 AM
Someone  actually liked Diablo 3? Sad.

That game was terrible. Total disgrace to the franchise.
 
2013-03-09 01:52:18 AM

Satanic_Hamster: Torment is the best RPG, hands down. Really big damn shame it never got a sequel, though the ending on it was very well done. Amazing story either way.


This aims to be a sort of spiritual successor to PS:T.  Not by the same team, but some of the people they have in the project were creators of the Planescape setting for AD&D that Torment was based on.
 
2013-03-09 02:07:28 AM

Yuri Futanari: MurphyMurphy: Do you hear them saying "wow we screwed up, we're deploying more servers and have all hands working on it"? No. And you won't, because they won't.

http://www.ea.com/news/a-simcity-update-and-something-for-your-troub le

I don't really have a dog in this fight, I won't be getting Sim City, but in that post they say they screwed up and have deployed more servers.



Nope, I was definitely wrong on at least that part.

It appears they did add multiple servers, 8 servers across 5 global regions.

Who knows how many physical boxes that is, but likely many. As many know, "one server" in this business is usually a whole cluster of them forming one logical entity.
 
2013-03-09 03:15:08 AM

mongbiohazard: scottydoesntknow: rufus-t-firefly: In fact, my new Mass Effect 3 DLC just installed.

So I know a lot of people felt burned by ME3, and I hated the ending just as much as anyone (more numb to it now), but the "Citadel" DLC is awesome. It's nothing but pure fanservice, and that's what makes it great. It's the ending that people wanted, but at the same time there's no way they could've put it in the main game. This is DLC done right.

I was soooooo excited for ME3. And I figured I'd give Origin a shot because I like a free market and competition is essential to the free market. Then I got EA'd.

I had bought the game, but they also offered DLC for sale on farking LAUNCH DAY. Not only that, but the DLC was content that absolutely should have been part of the main game. On top of that - despite having stated numerous time before that you wouldn't have to - you had to play the multiplayer they had tacked on in order to unlock all the possible conclusions to the game.... which was the SECOND launch day crass cash grab - being that multiplayer had a whole other system for you to pay even more money for in-game content that they were trying to force you to participate in.

So yeah... that was the first and last time I buy a game through Origin. I'm also happy to avoid EA games in general when I can.

Steam for the motherfarkin' win.


I am not a gamer. I still would have bought this, but DRM + can't play offline + limited size + price tag= eff no. I bet EA had non gamers counted in projections and I doubt I'm the only one.

Last games ive played were Steam sales via the SO and World of Goo. The latter especially ... I played that with 2 kids in a dentist waiting room while we waited for my SO / their Mom to get out of surgery. No wifi. It was awesome fun.__
 
2013-03-09 05:25:06 AM

MurphyMurphy: The Bestest: EA will kiss everyone's boo-boos and make it better by giving anyone who bought Simcity a free EA game.

ah for the days when a consumer could expect HIS MONEY BACK when he got the ol' bait and twist

Those were the days.

They also used to have these things called Class Action lawsuits, but corporate America has all but killed them off entirely. Besides, wouldn't you prefer a nice friendly arbitration?

"Sorry we farked you in the ass. We are willing to offer you your choice of a lollypop or ice cream to make up for it. We feel this is both an acceptable concession and reimbursement."


I think lawyers killed the effectiveness of class action lawsuits. Bunch of people sue apple over their kids' in-app purchases (which, really, the parents should have properly secured the iphones to require a password when buying anything, but I digress) and apple gives them a $5 Itunes gift card (and shiatloads of money for the lawyers).

I'm not saying lawyers are evil. But Class Action bullshift doesn't do anything but enrich one group from another's suffering. HOW IS THAT HELPING?
 
2013-03-09 05:57:45 AM
EA ruined Ultima Online.
EA created the pedo creepshow that was The Sims Online
EA ruined what should have been the best MMO in history, Warhammer Online.
EA ruined a sure-bet hit in Star Wars: The Old Republic

I won't buy another game that is made by a company owned by EA, and usually won't buy a game that is in any way associated with EA, unless it is really damn good (see The Secret World, made by Funcom but published by EA). I will avoid giving them money in every way possible, because I hate them that much. After all of their previous failures, plus Blizzard's recent failure with always-on DRM in Diablo III, it was pretty easy to see how the new Sim City game was going to go. The only thing that surprised me was how many people seemed surprised by EA's complete failure.
 
2013-03-09 06:05:52 AM
As someone who tried selling software only to have it pirated and generally crapped upon by the people who were happily using it for free - I'm pro-DRM.  I made more money from my software when I was getting 100 hits per month and selling 3 copies than I did when I was giving it away, getting 10k hits per month and dealing with the huge amounts of crap from ungrateful users who couldn't be bothered to read the three sentences unnecessary to understand how to use the damn thing.

And even then, I'd get nasty e-mails from users complaining about my forced ads that appear after the FIFTH time they ran my program.

Then you find that someone has taken the time to remove the forced ads.  I'm averaging .3 cents per user (not THREE CENTS, but ZERO POINT THREE CENTS) but no, that makes me a greedy fark - so screw me, pirate my software!

People are jackasses.  And I know that with an radiance the size Fark has - a handful of people are going to respond and say, 'No, not me, I support stuff I like by buying it', believe me, you are the tiny, tiny minority.  Most people will greedily take everything you give them, with no appreciation, and only demand more.  Write a free piece of software, give it away free.....and they'll demand that you also provide customer support.  They'll even demand features.  Not even request.  People are stupid, lazy, and greedy.  If they can pirate it easily, they will.  If they don't have to pay for it, they won't.

Businesses want to make money.  Businesses love DRM and always-on and downloadable content because it makes them money.  It's MORE WORK to make a game that is always-online and host servers and deal with all the issues that go with it.  It's more complex to develop, takes teams of people to support.....why do they all seem to desperate to find ways to do it?  Because it works.  Pirating a single-player game is trivial.  It takes one bored guy with a deep love of x86 asm to bypass the CD-Key check and upload it.  Compare that to the endless amount of work people have put into creating private WoW servers (that all suck and are perpetually behind the live servers).

As for the butt-hurt customers; I agree with them.  It sucks.  But it sucks because people are d-bags.  In a world of d-bags companies need to be d-bags to.  After two weeks, the game will be up and running fine.  If you purchased it at release, they've already got your money and, just like the PSN going down or WoW going down - as much as everyone complains *AS SOON* as it is back up and running, everyone shuts up and plays the game.  A tiny, tiny fraction of people bitterly swear to never buy a game from XYZ again.  That fraction of people is many times smaller than the would-be-pirates who purchase the game.  And as more and more game companies move to this model - any big name game is going to be 'off limits' for those types of people.
 
2013-03-09 06:21:56 AM

Mike_LowELL: Oh, and to all of you dipshiats pulling the "THEN DNO'T BUY THE GAME U ENTITLED ENTITLEDS" horseshiat narrative:

[www.gamesetwatch.com image 450x450]

[www.gamesetwatch.com image 480x258]

They aren't buying the games.  And 2012 ended up down a total of ten percent for both digital and physical sales.  These are the worst numbers for the video game industry since the second crash thirty years ago.  So stop with the narrative that console and computer video game players will continue to shovel the same shiat into their throats, because they're not, and they're doing it in large enough numbers that the results are going to be catastrophic.


The charts tell barely any of the whole tale. There is a lot going on there - like the Guitar Hero bubble, the Wii Fit craze, etc, that drove people to the retailers who otherwise wouldn't go. NPD - the source of those charts - does not track digital distribution. Now there's the rise of the indie, and the huge move to digital distribution, the PC is emerging as the dominant gaming machine again in the face of underpowered console next-gen offerings, etc.

There's value to be gained from NPD's data, but it only scratches the surface - that surface being that B&M retail is trending down since 2009. Is it that people are bored by AAA games? Is it that we're seeing a receding to baseline sales after the "non-"gamer bubbles plus an end-of-life console cycle? Throwing charts around and saying "the video game industry is crashing!!!!!" is not really a complete analysis.
 
2013-03-09 06:21:58 AM

MrEricSir: Look dude, I hate DRM too. But the problem here isn't DRM, it's that EA is completely incompetent.


No, it's DRM.  The game is designed around it.  That EA can't even manage to TRY and get their DRM correct is incompetent.

But seriously, without the stupid, unnecessary, ridiculous requirement that you save your game into the "cloud" every five minutes (a bullshiat DRM 'strategery') - this game would work.

So go fark yourself, EA shill.
 
2013-03-09 06:27:31 AM

Lsherm: MrEricSir: Look dude, I hate DRM too. But the problem here isn't DRM, it's that EA is completely incompetent.

No, it's DRM.  The game is designed around it.  That EA can't even manage to TRY and get their DRM correct is incompetent.

But seriously, without the stupid, unnecessary, ridiculous requirement that you save your game into the "cloud" every five minutes (a bullshiat DRM 'strategery') - this game would work.

So go fark yourself, EA shill.


I guess understanding how software actually works makes you an "EA shill" on Fark. Should I try to be more reactionary and gullible from now on?
 
2013-03-09 06:33:50 AM

Lsherm: MrEricSir: Look dude, I hate DRM too. But the problem here isn't DRM, it's that EA is completely incompetent.

No, it's DRM.  The game is designed around it.  That EA can't even manage to TRY and get their DRM correct is incompetent.

But seriously, without the stupid, unnecessary, ridiculous requirement that you save your game into the "cloud" every five minutes (a bullshiat DRM 'strategery') - this game would work.

So go fark yourself, EA shill.


Calm down, Sonny. Competence  can be defined as the ability to effectively do what one is endeavoring to do.
The people who run the big game publishing houses are not trying to make good games. They aren't even trying to make money. For the sort of people we allow to run our large business institutions these days, it ceased to be about money a long time ago - in most cases, it's about feeding their massive egos.
They will ride their failing businesses into the ground, insist that it is someone elses fault, and move on to their next job, where they will be hired BECAUSE they are an arrogant sociopath, rather than in spite of it.
American society, in fact, is failing because we have made the arrogant sociopath our role model for "success", and we should not be surprised by the ever-increasing waves of failure that are engulfing us.
 
2013-03-09 06:39:11 AM

Holographic Shimmering Pork: There are myriad moral justifications for the scenario you mentioned. There are few (currently) legal justifications for doing so.


Alright, what might those myriad moral justifications be?

Holographic Shimmering Pork: Take some time to research the concepts upon which you choose to pontificate


I've spent over five years on the subject, but i do believe that one doesn't stop learning. So, if you could be a bit less obtuse in your objections and make an actual argument, it is possible that I could be convinced of a different view.

Holographic Shimmering Pork: otherwise, the language you so hamhandedly dribble from your shapeless, sphinctoid mouth will serve only to drown you in the oily stench of your ignorance.


You seem to be a bit, um, angry?  I mean you are evocatively angry, which i suppose is better than the baseline, but i do have to wonder who micturated into your breakfast foods?  However, this is the internet, and as, without actually engaging in dialogue, you launched directly into insult, i assume under GIFT, that your style is to be abrasive and insulting in an attempt to keep people off balance/gain much needed attention.  Thus, alas, i figure that instead of reasonable discussion, you shall respond with further gibbering bile.

Holographic Shimmering Pork: TL;DR Equating legality with morality is an inequity even retarded children know to avoid.


As someone who prefers utilitarian style law-and-economics models of jurisprudence, and as someone who is a giant nerd for Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., I would completely agree that there is no - and should be no - direct equivalence between legality and morality.  However, on the Venn diagram of legal, moral, and ethical there is usually a lot of overlap.  Now, it is true that morality is often subjective, so as noted, you may have a different line on why you think this is a morally justified.
 
2013-03-09 07:44:41 AM

BafflerMeal: lousyskater: pxlboy: I felt that way about Dead Space 2. There was no need for a multiplayer PvP option; there just wasn't. It's not an FPS and it doesn't play like one.

Hopefully DS3 will be better. The drop-in/out co-op seems kinda neat, though.

Dead Space 3 was to Dead Space as RE5 is to RE4.

Is that Cecilius or Kelvin?


I think you mean Kevin.

/ Pet peeve
 
2013-03-09 08:18:18 AM
If your game requires always being logged in and you can't manage something as simple as setting up a few servers? You deserve to go down in a raging inferno. Of course if you're forcing players in a single player game to always be online, you are so stupid you'll probably bring yourself down in a burning inferno.
 
2013-03-09 09:32:05 AM

MrEricSir: Lsherm: MrEricSir: Look dude, I hate DRM too. But the problem here isn't DRM, it's that EA is completely incompetent.

No, it's DRM.  The game is designed around it.  That EA can't even manage to TRY and get their DRM correct is incompetent.

But seriously, without the stupid, unnecessary, ridiculous requirement that you save your game into the "cloud" every five minutes (a bullshiat DRM 'strategery') - this game would work.

So go fark yourself, EA shill.

I guess understanding how software actually works makes you an "EA shill" on Fark. Should I try to be more reactionary and gullible from now on?


You understand how software works, but you completely miss the point that the software is failing because of a DRM decision.

So maybe next time you get some sense.
 
2013-03-09 09:45:01 AM

MurphyMurphy: Besides, from a pure cost-benefit standpoint... why spend the massive amount of money to KNOW you will be able to support a highballed guess at anticipated user load on release day? What if you spend too much and buy too many servers (which you most certainly will have to do)? That's money wasted in 6mos when user load is 40% of what it is now.


Because any company who has a brain knows that they can take the other 60% in 6mos and use them to reduce the overhead for the next farking game.  Even if they spend another 10-30% to up the hardware a bit, it's hardware that's already bought and paid for, so they can get the capacity of those servers for free or at deep discount because they already own the hardware.

If these 6 month old servers are suddenly "Obsolete", fine.  Obsolete is relative.  Relegate those servers to clusters to support older games and offer a new expansion pack, or stuff them to the gills with drive space and cluster them into SAN.
 
2013-03-09 09:50:55 AM

Virtual Pariah: I think it goes to show that the gaming industry has become so paranoid about piracy that it's destroying itself.

I very rarely want to give Apple it's due, but they have shown that you can curtail piracy by making the purchasing process less painful than the process to steal the material.
You never will get rid of all thieves, some people are just wired that way. But their numbers can be minimized pretty easily.


This failure has nothing to do with piracy. No website you visit offers itself in source code form so you can use it offline whenever you want. There is a feature benefit to an "always connected" piece of software to the user. There is a production benefit to software like this for the maker. The Web is proof that the "always connected" model is perfectly viable.

You just have to have the capacity for it. EA's IT arrogance is what brought this launch down. They should have gone with a cloud provider instead of running their own servers. Was it for the "cost savings" of 30% or so hosting their infrastructure on-premise? Was there some bad technical decision that prevented them from taking advantage of the cloud? It's impossible to say from the outside, but software-defined infrastructure hosted with a provider like Amazon or Rackspace would have made this problem disappear. Why didn't they do it? Only their internal IT staff knows for sure.

I'm guessing they don't have automated deployment, and the "learning curve" of going to the cloud was too much for their shiatty IT guys.
 
2013-03-09 09:58:55 AM

mooseyfate: /taking recommendations on older games I should play, btw


Looking at my list, obviously some you may have already played, and some might not be a genre you enjoy:

Paradox Grand Strategy (Hearts of Iron 2 or 3, Europa Universalis 2/3, Victoria 1/2, Crusader Knights, EU: Rome) - take a bit of getting used to, but massive depth and the flexibility to play and nation rather than being limited to a few options (depending on your computer the older ones may be more appropriate - the newer ones tend to have better UIs and are easier to play, but are not essential. Simpler but still good variants on the same theme are Making History 1/2 and Gary Grigsby's World at War

Civilization obviously (IV is my preference, 3 and 5 are both decent)

Master of Orion 3 (2 is also good) - note for MoO3 you need all the fan patches and probably one of the big mods - I think raspberry was the one I used most. Galactic Civilizations 1/2 and Space Empires IV/V are also pretty decent variations on this sort of game, for really old school Ascendancy was great (although probably need the AI patch and not the easiest thing to get running if you are post-DOS, obviously DOSBOX required but also need to mount the disk and so on)

UFO Aftermath/Aftershock/Afterlight - good updates of UFO/XCOM Enemy Unknown. Afterlight is the best balanced in my opinion, Aftermath is mostly good up until the aliens all have rocket launchers, although the unclear line of sight in enemy ships is also annoying, Aftershock has annoying base building mechanics. UFO Extraterrestrials Gold is another similar game that works quite well along the same lines.

Vampire Bloodlines - great 1st person RPG with a lot of atmosphere and story rather than being a stat/gear game - the abandoned hotel scene is particularly good

Freelancer - great open Elite type game with a reasonably large universe, main criticism is that the missions are lacking in variation

Railroad Tycoon 3 - I prefer this to RRT2 because it is more a large scale economic sim based around trains, rather than the previous version which more revolved around micromanagement of routes, loads and signals

FTL: Faster Than Light - not an old game, but very much in the style - it is a bit like a modernized version of EGA Trek - manage your power, crew, shield and weapons to defeat opposing ships and travel the galaxy

Panzer General/Allied General, etc. - classic hex based war game (there are also others such as Fantasy General, Space General but I wasn't so keen on those despite liking Fantasy/Scifi). There are also lots of free games in this mould of course (Battle for Wesnoth and so on), as well as updated versions - Domination, Massive Assault, Fantasy Wars, Elven legacy, etc.

Homeworld/Cataclysm/Homeworld 2 - one of the few RTS games I liked a lot, one key being carrying over forces from level to level, rather than starting with a blank sheet again, although it does mean if you get trashed in one level and barely make it through you can't finish the game unless it is really early on

Majesty - the other RTS style game I like, although the indirect control of the heroes can be frustrating at times

Torment Planescape is a great isometric RPG with a good storyline (with the same engine/style but not as good of course you have Baldurs Gate, Icewind Dale, Neverwinter Nights, etc.)

Imperialism 1/2 - nice turn based grand strategy games with turn based combat

Jagged Alliance 2 Gold - squad building turn based tactical combat

Titans of Steel Warring Suns/Metal Brigade Tactics - both good turn based Mech combat games

Mech Commander 1/2 - squad building RTS style Mech combat. Steel Empire used to be a favourite in this sort of genre, but it is difficult to get the action part to run at a workable speed even with playing with DOSBOX settings (the strategy part is decent, but not enough to play on its own really)

Demigod - not all that old (although cheap already), but quite good semi-RTS/action game

Alien Shooter 1/2/R/V, Zombie Shooter 1/2 - good top down action shooters with huge gobs of stuff to gun down with exponentially more insane weaponry as you go on, good for a break from more serious strategizing

Altitude - fun little side scrolling biplane jousting game (with capture the flag, death match and soccer missions). Booster Trooper is a more recent game but similar sort of mechanics (just as a jet pack enabled soldier instead of a plane)

Patrician 3 (and probably 4 although I haven't played that version yet) - build up a shipping business, develop industries, and try to become popular/powerful. Sort of a renaissance era Ports of Call

X2 (and X, X:BTF, X3, etc.) - sort of updated Elite games, but you can build up fleets of automated craft, build lots of space factories, etc. Not the sort of game you can just pick up and play occasionally though, it is pretty in depth and complex (X3 might be better, haven't been able to commit the time to try playing it properly yet)
 
2013-03-09 10:15:21 AM

mccallcl: This failure has nothing to do with piracy. No website you visit offers itself in source code form so you can use it offline whenever you want. There is a feature benefit to an "always connected" piece of software to the user. There is a production benefit to software like this for the maker. The Web is proof that the "always connected" model is perfectly viable.


Horseshiat.  Chrome OS and Office 365 Live both let you do work if you aren't online.  Hell, gmail will cache your emails offline and then send them when it gets connected.

This failure has everything to do with piracy.  You can keep insisting that it doesn't, but you'll have to get increasingly more ridiculous about it.
 
2013-03-09 11:42:30 AM

Fark_Guy_Rob: As someone who tried selling software only to have it pirated and generally crapped upon by the people who were happily using it for free - I'm pro-DRM.  I made more money from my software when I was getting 100 hits per month and selling 3 copies than I did when I was giving it away, getting 10k hits per month and dealing with the huge amounts of crap from ungrateful users who couldn't be bothered to read the three sentences unnecessary to understand how to use the damn thing.

And even then, I'd get nasty e-mails from users complaining about my forced ads that appear after the FIFTH time they ran my program.

Then you find that someone has taken the time to remove the forced ads.  I'm averaging .3 cents per user (not THREE CENTS, but ZERO POINT THREE CENTS) but no, that makes me a greedy fark - so screw me, pirate my software!

People are jackasses.  And I know that with an radiance the size Fark has - a handful of people are going to respond and say, 'No, not me, I support stuff I like by buying it', believe me, you are the tiny, tiny minority.  Most people will greedily take everything you give them, with no appreciation, and only demand more.  Write a free piece of software, give it away free.....and they'll demand that you also provide customer support.  They'll even demand features.  Not even request.  People are stupid, lazy, and greedy.  If they can pirate it easily, they will.  If they don't have to pay for it, they won't.

Businesses want to make money.  Businesses love DRM and always-on and downloadable content because it makes them money.  It's MORE WORK to make a game that is always-online and host servers and deal with all the issues that go with it.  It's more complex to develop, takes teams of people to support.....why do they all seem to desperate to find ways to do it?  Because it works.  Pirating a single-player game is trivial.  It takes one bored guy with a deep love of x86 asm to bypass the CD-Key check and upload it.  Compare that to the endl ...


I tend to disagree with you, also as someone who once sold independently-developed software (now I'm working at a large software company).  Donationware and freemium software treated me better financially than trying anything more draconian.

Piracy didn't bother me for the reason it also didn't bother early Microsoft - when you're small and obscure, the #1 thing you need to make money is exposure.  Yes, it's better that people buy my product instead of pirating - but it's also better that people pirate instead of not using it at all.  Word of mouth was my primary source of spreading product awareness and pirates have mouths just like everyone else.  Nobody buys software without first knowing about its existence, and piracy is pretty much the cheapest form of advertising.

I also actually liked that I was getting feedback about usability and features from a larger group of people.  Even feedback from people who didn't pay is valuable at establishing patterns of complaints - if a hundred people say that feature X is nonintuitive, maybe I need to redesign that feature for improved usability.  Improving the quality of the product also leads to more revenue in the long run; when you are relying on word of mouth rather than controlled ad campaigns, your only control over the message is in the quality of the product - a hundred people satisfied with your software will spread a very different word of mouth than a hundred people disappointed.
 
2013-03-09 12:02:24 PM
I really hope this is a nail in the coffin for Origin. Mass Effect 3 on Steam already pls.
 
2013-03-09 01:07:00 PM

Tommy Moo: Girion47: Yeah I have no interest in this game.   Off to pirate it!

Just out of curiosity, is that even feasible? Has someone already hacked the source code and released a version that doesn't ping EAs servers for license permission?


I see 2373 seeders for it this very moment.  I'm not at all interested in it, even for free, but DRM does nothing to stop piracy.  Ever.
 
2013-03-09 01:13:35 PM

Sum Dum Gai: Donationware and freemium software treated me better financially than trying anything more draconian.


I was just thinking EA is ending up with piracy problems for the same reason Adobe has them, the cost of the software. Photoshop has been pirated like crazy for years because it's so expensive that even people who really need it have a hard time justifying the price. Now you have games that sell for $60 and another couple hundred if you want all the stuff that makes the game fully playable. There's a limit to what people will pay before they go off to pirating. The best DRM EA could have at this point is kill DLC stuff, just have everything in the initial release of the games or as part of regular free patches and work on their pricing structure.
 
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