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From Dust does have Ubi DRM afterall

From Dust does have Ubi DRM afterall

Ubisoft has silently reneged on promises to remove draconian DRM from the PC version of From Dust.

Ubisoft has silently backtracked on a previous pledge that the PC version of From Dust, which was delayed until after the release of the console version and quietly released in the midst of GamesCom 2011 in Cologne, would not feature Ubisoft's DRM.

As reported on RPS, users are in uproar on Ubisoft's official forums, with the game apparently suffering from a spate of technical issues too.

Despite Ubisoft originally claiming that users would only need to sign in once to register the game, the PC version of From Dust actually requires a constant internet connection.

On top of that, the PC version of the game lacks any graphical settings, is without anti-aliasing and is locked to 30FPS, according to reports.

Ubisoft has amended posts on the official forums to reflect the reality of the situation and is advising users to contact Customer Support if they have problems.

Check out our review of From Dust on consoles to see that we didn't like the game anyway, then let us know your thoughts in the forums.

Check our GamesCom 2011 news hub for all the information from Cologne this year.

Here's a look at what the fuss is all about. Well, the game over which the fuss is all about:

26 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
AlexB 18th August 2011, 22:56 Quote
Yep. I'm having weird lockups, bugs etc too - and it always fails to sync my savegames. Awesome. :(
The_Beast 18th August 2011, 23:53 Quote
I was going to buy it but I'm thinking twice now


Edit: I think this was in the other From Dust thread.

Steam offering From Dust return/refund
http://lo-ping.org/2011/08/18/steam-offering-refund-for-ever-sold-copy-of-from-dust/
Roskoken 19th August 2011, 00:04 Quote
**** You Ubisoft
Elton 19th August 2011, 00:23 Quote
I've always wondered how someone could sue for potential profits. It would be like me suing the 91 Freeway (if you live in Cali, you'd understand) for preventing my buisness from having more potential profits because people don't have the time to go to my store due to traffic.

Or suing the guy across the street from me for doing the same thing for stealing my potential profits. Or suing people who do the same service that I do for free/lowered price.

They're suing competition for being competitive??

All sarcasm aside, this is a pretty **** move, and while DRM is necessary, a CD-Key is usually (and probably) the most effective way of piracy prevention, no need to tether everyone to yourself, just use a CD authentification. The legit sales won't be too bothered and the pirated versions would lose out pretty badly.

Or just lock the game via updates. Updates check for a specific file and allows it to update from there. Something simpler eh?
Sloth 19th August 2011, 00:45 Quote
Just bought this last night on Steam, glad to know I can get a refund. Fun game, terrible DRM (even though it has little impact on me personally).

Worst part is, between Steam's built in online activation and the provided CD key it's already more pirate proof than Uplay.
8 Bit Charlie 19th August 2011, 01:20 Quote
I held off to get the pc version of this, it seemed like it should've been a better fit. Shame it sounds like they botched it. I hope they sort it out.
Madness_3d 19th August 2011, 01:49 Quote
It's not like I expected at all. It's covered in the stupid Ubisoft DRM stuff, the front menu text looks pixelated and made me think the resolution was wrong, so I went to check the settings and couldn't find any visual quality settings other than res which was correct. No AA options, will try to force it later. Started a game and found mouse controls a little clunky, slowly acclimatising but will see how that goes. Played for a bit and then quit, when the game closed the Ubi DRM window was there "syncing savegames" and it took minutes. Nothing wrong with my internet, it just took forever. Going to look for a configuration tool outside the game but haven't found one. Feels like an Effortless console port. Shame.
AstralWanderer 19th August 2011, 07:43 Quote
Heh - UPlay, "the DRM that dare not speak its name".

Given Ubisoft's past antics, I do wonder that people still buy their products. Companies that go to this level to inconvenience customers are hardly going to bother about things like quality gameplay. Treat them as the software industry's equivalent of a drug addict - prepared to tell any lie to finance their next fix - and you'll avoid disappointment. :)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sloth
Just bought this last night on Steam, glad to know I can get a refund. Fun game, terrible DRM (even though it has little impact on me personally).
You may wish to check that link further - many refund requests are being turned down. Even if you do have a legal case (e.g. under UK law) Valve are under no obligation to respect it since they have no UK/EU presence (so no UK/EU court ruling could be enforced).

That leaves the option of a credit card chargeback for the item in dispute as a last resort - but Valve have a nasty habit of terminating Steam accounts (and blocking access to every past purchase) in response.
Jezcentral 19th August 2011, 11:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sloth
Just bought this last night on Steam, glad to know I can get a refund. Fun game, terrible DRM (even though it has little impact on me personally).

So, you're enjoying the game, and the DRM doesn't affect you..... Why would you want a refund?
Woollster00 19th August 2011, 12:18 Quote
Wow let's see how long it takes me to pirate this game with this amazing drm that's supposed to stop me it's so stupid why do they do it all they is put me off ever buying a game from them.
Denis_iii 19th August 2011, 13:45 Quote
o well, will purchase it on steam when I don't have to logon to unisoft or create any account etc etc and don't have to be always conencted...so never most likely.
DXR_13KE 19th August 2011, 14:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woollster00
Wow let's see how long it takes me to pirate this game with this amazing drm that's supposed to stop me it's so stupid why do they do it all they is put me off ever buying a game from them.

It has already been cracked and has something like 1728 Seeders and 1700 Leechers on TPB and it is already up on cyberlockers since 16.08.2011...
AstralWanderer 20th August 2011, 06:51 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Denis_iii
o well, will purchase it on steam when I don't have to logon to unisoft or create any account etc etc and don't have to be always conencted...so never most likely.
To be fair to the devilUbisoft, they do have a number of older games available DRM-free on GOG (such as Far Cry and the Heroes of Might and Magic series). I wouldn't hold my breath waiting on this though, it's likely to take a while...
serial_ 20th August 2011, 16:50 Quote
The game does not require a constant internet connection. It does require you to be online when you sign in, and that's it. If you don't believe me start a game and unplug your ethernet. Then enjoy playing for hours without being desynced.

Freaking gamer ragefest over nothing. Who doesn't have broadband internet these days? If you're raging on the internet about the game making you authenticate with Ubi's servers, I fail to see your "problem." And the lack of graphical settings? That's not a Ubisoft thing, since lots of games are like that, and Ubisoft generally has decent to very good options. For the pile of crap the story in it was, FarCry 2 had great graphics options, I never had to force anything through cp or anything. Same can be said for any of their AAA titles. However, the lack of any real settings may be worth a -1 to the game's rating.

I just think it's pathetic that the PC gaming community hears the word "DRM" and is suddenly up in arms without knowing wtf their talking about.

The game requires you to be online to log in, but to say it requires a constant internet connection is talking out of your ass.
impar 20th August 2011, 17:22 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Originally Posted by serial_
The game does not require a constant internet connection. It does require you to be online when you sign in, and that's it.
Yep. Everytime you want to play. Ubisoft initially said "one-time only activation", not "phone home every time you want to play the game".
Ubisoft lied.
AstralWanderer 21st August 2011, 00:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by serial_
The game does not require a constant internet connection. It does require you to be online when you sign in, and that's it...Freaking gamer ragefest over nothing. Who doesn't have broadband internet these days? If you're raging on the internet about the game making you authenticate with Ubi's servers, I fail to see your "problem."...
Ever considered what might happen if Ubisoft's Internet connection fails or their servers fail to cope with demand? It's not been that long since the Playstation Network outage so you should surely be able to figure that companies are not "always online".

And what happens when the game hits the bargain bin? Ubisoft will no longer be making money on it so will have no incentive to spend money on continual activation (and read Shamus Young's Authorization Servers article on why there's unlikely to be a DRM-removal patch once the game is more than 2-3 years old).

Now maybe you're the sort of gamer who's yet to build up a collection of cherished games and therefore has never considered replaying something purchased more than 2-3 years ago. The key point about activation systems like this is that you can't expect to - they are tied to the publisher and will die when that publisher goes - or decides to cancel support (see the Two Worlds activation thread for an example of the problems purchasers have run into, for a 2007 release).

"Activate when you play" raises other problems like privacy (the company can collect data on where and when you play), inability to play when offline (e.g. ISP problems, playing on a laptop with poor wireless/3G reception or on a tightly secured network blocking activation traffic) and loss of access if the company close your account for "breaches", real or imaginary, to their TOS (as Electronic Arts did a few times).

The question shouldn't be about a "gamer ragefest over nothing" but why anyone would pay (presumably) hard-earned money for something almost guaranteed to give them grief in future - especially when every such doormat serves as encouragement for other control-freak publishers to follow suit.
impar 23rd August 2011, 10:57 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Ubisoft to remove online authentication requirement in From Dust on PC

Ubisoft has decided to completely remove all traces of online authentication in the PC version of its downloadable title From Dust.

The issues for From Dust began when a now deleted forum post on the publisher's official site noted that online authentication was only required one time, and players would be free to play the game offline at any time in the future. In reality, the game actually requires online authentication every time the game is loaded.

Though Shacknews contacted Ubisoft for a comment on this situation, the only response offered was a post on the game's official forum that cites the original DRM "misunderstanding" as the reason for the decision to remove From Dust's online authentication:
...
AstralWanderer 23rd August 2011, 11:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by
Sounds like good news - probably best given Ubisoft's past record to wait until the patch is actually released though. ;)
impar 24th August 2011, 12:34 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Originally Posted by AstralWanderer
You may wish to check that link further - many refund requests are being turned down.
Link:
http://lo-ping.org/2011/08/18/valve-to-offer-refund-for-every-sold-copy-of-from-dust/
Its Steam, they have a way of doing the right thing.
AstralWanderer 24th August 2011, 12:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by impar
Its Steam, they have a way of doing the right thing.
Not always though it's good to see this case turning out better.

Edit: according to RockPaperShotgun's article, Valve's change of heart has been at Ubisoft's request. So credit should go to Ubisoft here, not Valve.
impar 24th August 2011, 13:04 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Originally Posted by AstralWanderer
Not always though it's good to see this case turning out better.

Edit: according to RockPaperShotgun's article, Valve's change of heart has been at Ubisoft's request. So credit should go to Ubisoft here, not Valve.
It kind of makes sense that Steam only accepts to refund if the developer\publisher agrees. RealTime Worlds didnt.
AstralWanderer 24th August 2011, 13:21 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by impar
It kind of makes sense that Steam only accepts to refund if the developer\publisher agrees. RealTime Worlds didnt.
Retailers are the ones with the legal responsibility of providing refunds when the product sold isn't up to scratch (certainly in the UK thanks to the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982) and they then seek redress from the manufacturer.

So whether it "makes sense" isn't the issue - people buying from Steam have a contract with Valve, not Ubisoft, and it is Valve that should be taking the initiative when they sell a product that is mis-described. Here they didn't.

When a manufacturer goes bust (as with Realtime Worlds/APB) and fails to provide the contracted service, the retailers have to claim compensation from the company liquidators, and bear the loss for any shortfall. That's the risk of doing business, and one justification for the (often significant) margins retailers charge on products.
impar 24th August 2011, 13:53 Quote
Greetings!

You have the same problem with the limited activations DRM, even if you bought the game in Steam you need to contact the publisher to get more activations, Steam cant help you.
AstralWanderer 24th August 2011, 18:10 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by impar
You have the same problem with the limited activations DRM, even if you bought the game in Steam you need to contact the publisher to get more activations, Steam cant help you.
If a product doesn't work, isn't as described or doesn't last a reasonable length of time, then your legal rights as a (UK) consumer lie with the retailer, whoever they are.

Limited activation (or any online) DRM doesn't really fall into this category as long as it is disclosed prior to purchase. The situation here though was misdescription and Valve only "doing the proper thing" when prodded by Ubisoft.
impar 24th August 2011, 23:40 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Originally Posted by AstralWanderer
If a product doesn't work, isn't as described or doesn't last a reasonable length of time, then your legal rights as a (UK) consumer lie with the retailer, whoever they are.
Remember the price differential issue between € and £? Steam is not located in UK or Europe so, probably, the laws you quote dont apply to them.
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