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Dragon Age 2 DRM explained

Dragon Age 2 DRM explained

Dragon Age 2 on PC will have DRM that requires players to 'check in' online to play.

Electronic Arts and Bioware have explained how the DRM will work on the PC version of upcoming fantasy RPG, Dragon Age 2.

There will be two different versions of the game for PC - a retail and a digital version, according an explanation from BioWare's Chris Priestly via the official forums.

The digital version of Dragon Age 2 will make use of Valve's Steamworks DRM system and nothing else, basically meaning that it will function like any other Steam game.

The retail version, however, will have a different copy protection method. Bioware has confirmed that there will be no install limits or disc checks, but there is an online check that limits the number of PCs that can install or run the game within a set period of time - capped at five PCs every 24 hours.

The retail version of Dragon Age 2 will also require players to sign in to an EA account to verify ownership every time they install the game.

While the retail version of Dragon Age 2 is playable in an offline mode, players will be required to login and authenticate the game after 'a select period of days'.

Bioware has confirmed that, while release control software will be installed as part of this process, this software does not use SecuROM, is used only for checking the validity of the install and will automatically uninstall itself once the release date has passed.

Check out our Dragon Age 2 preview for more details on the game itself, then let us know your thoughts in the forums.

35 Comments

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Tattysnuc 1st February 2011, 12:35 Quote
Sounds fair enough.... Bit of a pain having to verify each install, but for me that's only once or twice for a game (determined by the number of times I rebuild the OS usually)
Mraedis 1st February 2011, 12:35 Quote
So you can play offline, provided you log in online once in a while?
Jewels 1st February 2011, 12:36 Quote
All versions (retail or digital), apart from Steam's, use this form of DRM, and it's apparently more lenient than Steamworks.
Unknownsock 1st February 2011, 12:37 Quote
Don't see the problem with this, although I'm sure we'll get a few goons in here whining regardless.
GravitySmacked 1st February 2011, 12:37 Quote
I've seen worse. My main worry with all the DRM games come with these days is what happens if I want to play that game in 10 years time.
mpr 1st February 2011, 12:47 Quote
Don't forget after a single authentication via Steam, you can switch to offline mode permanantly (or until you buy anew game or need a patch etc...)
REMF 1st February 2011, 12:57 Quote
bit of a shame, it appears they have changed the retail DRM system from what they did with the original DA, which as explained by this guy was relatively benign:

http://jedibeeftrix.wordpress.com/2010/03/20/drm-in-pc-games-%E2%80%93-how-to-get-it-right-and-what-ubisoft-did-instead/

still, at least there is a relatively un-obnoxious steam version.
r3loaded 1st February 2011, 13:08 Quote
EA appear to be using their brain...unlike a certain Ubisoft.
memeroot 1st February 2011, 13:18 Quote
the original da was pirated to pieces though
TWeaK 1st February 2011, 14:10 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mpr
Don't forget after a single authentication via Steam, you can switch to offline mode permanantly (or until you buy anew game or need a patch etc...)

I've heard Steam's offline mode actually requires you to log in every once in a while as well. Not sure how often either of these systems needs a connection, but I think they're both much of a muchness. Doesn't really affect me nor most other people on here - just about all of us have always-on connections - but I don't see myself boycotting this like I did with Ubi games. Not that I'm planning on buying DA2, mind..

One other thing, I think there's something in there about EA having some backup plan for if they go under or the servers are taken down or hell freezes over. Props to them.
Grimloon 1st February 2011, 14:15 Quote
Even if you get the Steam version I expect the EA log in will be required as soon as you add DLC to the game, as per DA at present.
the-beast 1st February 2011, 14:19 Quote
Bugger, thanks a lot EA. Since my gaming PC is not connected to the internet (No point as I don't play multiplayer and my connection is crap anyway) this is going to be a major headache.

What was wrong with just a disc check that DA1 used?
Fizzban 1st February 2011, 14:59 Quote
I don't have a problem with it. Sounds pretty reasonable actually. I already have an EA account that I use, so it won't really be any different than what I do already.

Quote:
Originally Posted by the-beast
Bugger, thanks a lot EA. Since my gaming PC is not connected to the internet (No point as I don't play multiplayer and my connection is crap anyway) this is going to be a major headache.

What was wrong with just a disc check that DA1 used?

I wouldn't worry about it. I'm sure there will be a crack out the same day it releases (certainly within a week). Just buy it, then search for a crack, and bosh, sorted!
eddtox 1st February 2011, 15:09 Quote
Sounds reasonable, tbh - although I do hate having to sign up for yet another account :/. Still, a much better proposition than some others I've heard.
the-beast 1st February 2011, 15:19 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fizzban
I wouldn't worry about it. I'm sure there will be a crack out the same day it releases (certainly within a week). Just buy it, then search for a crack, and bosh, sorted!

Sounds like the easiest solution to me, still don't like EA's insinuation that were all criminals first and customers second.

After the 5 install limit was revealed on launch day for Dead Space 2 I kind of feared that EA had lost the plot with DRM again :(
Kúsař 1st February 2011, 15:45 Quote
It's not draconian DRM but Witcher 2 is still a lot better bargain than this. CD projekt knows how to value their customers...
Tokukachi 1st February 2011, 15:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mpr
Don't forget after a single authentication via Steam, you can switch to offline mode permanantly (or until you buy anew game or need a patch etc...)

Both times i've tried using this (when I've moved / known i'm going to be without a net connection) its worked fine for 1 or 2 days then demands i go online, so from my experience it's next to useless.
Yslen 1st February 2011, 16:39 Quote
This actually sounds pretty good, not too intrusive. Of course it'll be cracked by pirates before the game is even launched, rendering all the time and money they spent on the system completely pointless, but that's true of any DRM.

edit: regarding steam offline mode, I used it for months at a time while at uni, to play half life and portal without being able to connect steam.
gilljoy 1st February 2011, 16:40 Quote
the fact there isnt really any particular intrusive DRM does sound quite good.

mite concider switching to the Steam version although I've currently got the signature version pre-ordered and I dont think I can get that on steam
sear 1st February 2011, 19:03 Quote
And another reason not to get the game, if the rest of the painfully stupid and annoying design decisions they've made haven't been enough.
2bdetermine 1st February 2011, 19:07 Quote
Heck, I just bought DA1 Ultimate edition retail box for $30 (not a fan of digital copy) and this is what new games should be costing since they're selling to the mass.

When you can't solve the problem, don't try to inflate the problem instead of looking for other solution.
Veles 1st February 2011, 19:41 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by memeroot
the original da was pirated to pieces though

And this one will be too

Why don't they just use steam as well for the retail version like most steam games do?
the-beast 2nd February 2011, 10:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Veles
Why don't they just use steam as well for the retail version like most steam games do?

Because that's even worse. If you have gone to the trouble of buying a retail copy its most likely because you do not have a decent enough internet connection for Steam or you dislike the Steam DRM.

I praise EA for keeping the Steam integration only on the Steam version. Its a pity their non-Steam DRM is so crap and short sighted though.
Natso 2nd February 2011, 12:55 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by the-beast
If you have gone to the trouble of buying a retail copy its most likely because you do not have a decent enough internet connection for Steam or you dislike the Steam DRM.

It could also be that retail copies are often cheaper than the Steam version.
REMF 2nd February 2011, 16:13 Quote
"Because that's even worse. If you have gone to the trouble of buying a retail copy its most likely because you do not have a decent enough internet connection for Steam or you dislike the Steam DRM."

Agreed, i liked the system used in DA1 precisely because the disk copy allowed me to play the game completely independent of internet access if that was my desire/need.
adidan 4th February 2011, 08:54 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by the-beast
If you have gone to the trouble of buying a retail copy its most likely because you do not have a decent enough internet connection for Steam or you dislike the Steam DRM.
I've pre-ordered a retail copy because I love the smell of a new game in the morning...
Fizzban 4th February 2011, 20:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by adidan
I've pre-ordered a retail copy because I love the smell of a new game in the morning...

This. There's nothing wrong with my connection. I have 50meg and I get the full bandwidth of it. I just dislike Steam. But even if I didn't dislike Steam I would always want an actual copy.
adidan 4th February 2011, 21:10 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fizzban
I would always want an actual copy.
Yup, I like looking at shelves of games the same way I like looking at shelves of books. It may just encourage me to pick an old favourite off from time to time.
Fizzban 6th February 2011, 20:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by adidan
Yup, I like looking at shelves of games the same way I like looking at shelves of books. It may just encourage me to pick an old favourite off from time to time.

Couldn't agree more mate. ;)
adidan 6th February 2011, 21:11 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fizzban
Couldn't agree more mate. ;)
+rep for being a sophisticated chap. :D
impar 12th March 2011, 10:48 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:

Dragon Age II features hated SecuROM, despite previous EA claims

When BioWare announced the DRM restrictions for the PC version of Dragon Age II, many gamers sighed with relief at the exclusion of the infamous SecuROM DRM. But even though the game's forums specifically noted that it "does not use SecuROM," it looks like the widely loathed DRM scheme was included anyway.

According to a report from consumer advocacy site Reclaim Your Game, as spotted by Destructoid, the PC version of DAII not only contains SecuROM, but also fails to mention this information to the consumer in any form.
adidan 12th March 2011, 11:26 Quote
You know what, I couldn't care less. As far as I was aware there was DRM on the PC version unless you bought it from the gaming site linked to the Witcher.
impar 12th March 2011, 11:50 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Originally Posted by adidan
You know what, I couldn't care less.
Yep, some people dont mind being lied to.
adidan 12th March 2011, 12:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by impar
Yep, some people dont mind being lied to.
TBH, I didn't really pay much attention and I don't really care so I don't feel lied to. Mind you I reformat quite often.

That said, looks like they didn't learn from the previous legal action against them.
impar 12th March 2011, 13:18 Quote
Greetings!

Steam version seems to also have Securom:
http://social.bioware.com/forum/1/topic/141/index/6194280/25
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