Ubisoft online services platform - WTF?

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Ubisoft online services platform - WTF?

Post by fng_thatoneguy » 27 Jan 2010 19:52

Sorry to come in to a new thread with such a rage :grmblz:, but Ubisoft has already pissed me off enough to boycott their games over the Prince of Persia: Epilogue platform exclusivity debacle (97 pages of rant threads from Ubisoft's ridiculous decision.)

I find out today that Ubisoft will release a new "online services platform" which all future Ubisoft games will be distributed through (which no doubt includes TrackMania 2 -- PLEASE Florent and/or Alinoa come tell me it isn't so...) which will require a constant internet connection to play.

I'm sick and freaking tired of the big publishers pushing we paying customers around and dictating when and how we can play the games we pay for. It seems Ubisoft enjoys driving customers away, and I'm not alone... if you peruse the Ubisoft forums for other upcoming games (like Silent Hunter V) you'll see that many other gamers are upset about this too... and many are talking boycott. I hope this time they'll speak with their wallets instead of merely sounding off in forums, because until Ubisoft sees by a lack of money that we're not going to put up with their criminal treatment of paying customers, they'll keep on doing the same unbelievable things to make our gaming experience as horrid as possible.

From what I've been reading, your computer not only has to be connected at the time you launch the game, but during the entire gaming session, as it will make repeated "phone home" attempts to whatever Big Brother servers they've got set up.

There is an item in the FAQ that suggests it may have a fail-safe for if the internet connection is disturbed/terminated during a gaming session, but even if that's true, you'll still have to be connected to launch the game.

When will the madness end? I don't want to boycott Ubisoft anymore when TrackMania 2 comes out... it's one of the greatest racing game franchises ever made, and I want to support Nadeo... but I cannot support Ubisoft in this decision, or any of the other stupid decisions they make that hurt their loyal paying customers.

One thing I've always loved and admired about TrackMania United Forever is that Nadeo doesn't restrict me from playing if I'm on a LAN segmented off from an internet connection, or better yet, on a sole computer, by itself, not connected to anything. I can play how and when I want, and that is the way it should be.

So again, I beg of Nadeo to come tell us that we will be able to purchase and play TrackMania 2 without these ridiculous restrictions. I want to play this game desperately, without being penalized for being a legitimate paying customer.

How does everyone else feel about it, and can Nadeo shed better light on if we'll be affected by this for TrackMania 2?
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Re: Ubisoft online services platform - WTF?

Post by Trackmaniack » 27 Jan 2010 23:50

I agree with you one HUNDRED percent. This just makes my blood boil...it's bad enough that there only a few games out there anymore (TM, World in Conflict) that allow you to scale graphics back enough to run on my somewhat less than top-of-the-line PC...and couple that with my worse than dialup nets that are powered by satellite--look up WildBlue--and this just makes me mad. If they integrate this feature into TM2, I'm sorry, but I will NOT be buying it. We should get a poll going in here--I know that I simply canNOT be the only person that's going to have an issue with this...if we get enough people, maybe Nadeo will get Ubi to let them do Trackmania THEIR way...and not Ubi's way...
I further think that Ubi really has NO idea what really goes on in a gamer's head...I mean--whether you have fast Internet or not--if I read you right--I'd never taken a full look at what this system was like--but even if your Internet has a "burp" during gameplay and dies, then it's byebye game. That's simply unacceptable. And I'm pretty sure that there are several other Trackmaniacs that will not be happy about this--and considering that Trackmania has THE largest playerbase of any online game, EVER, Nadeo has the largest voice to potentially back them up. Come on, racers! Don't let this just pass you by--Whatever your specs are, make Ubi pay for this IDIOTIC decision!
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Re: Ubisoft online services platform - WTF?

Post by jamie_macdonald » 28 Jan 2010 09:48

i doubt this system will not have an "offline mode" as with steam and other "download managers"...

least wait till you see it till you complain ...or expect the worst and panic ...up to you but i wouldnt think they (ubi or nadeo) would be that dumb personally ^^

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Re: Ubisoft online services platform - WTF?

Post by fng_thatoneguy » 28 Jan 2010 09:57

jamie_macdonald wrote:i doubt this system will not have an "offline mode" as with steam and other "download managers"...

least wait till you see it till you complain ...or expect the worst and panic ...up to you but i wouldnt think they (ubi or nadeo) would be that dumb personally ^^
I guarantee Nadeo wouldn't be that dumb, as you said... Ubi on the other hand, well, look at their past history. :)
Did you read the FAQ from the link I gave? I'd like to know your thoughts after you've read through that list. Most of it sounds Steam-esque, which is even more odd since they already distribute their games via Steam... so if this new platform of their own offers the same benefits as Steam, the only difference being the stranglehold and dominance of requiring you to be connected to the internet, then I'm seeing a serious lack of benefit... only a downgrade.

One word. Control. (Or greed... take your pick.)

There is no benefit to be gained by this kind of control. Remember the good old days when you could buy a game and play it how/when you wanted, not when the publisher deems you worthy of doing so?
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Re: Ubisoft online services platform - WTF?

Post by jamie_macdonald » 28 Jan 2010 10:14

I actually used to beta test for ubisoft, their history you mention for me was a history of good communication, interaction with the testers and a ncie lot of developers.

used to do mgprs2 network latency tesing with em. back then they were fine... untill they show me otherwise i would presume least that they and nadeo together will fit "hand in hand".

i might be wrong but i dont have a time machine i can only go on experience... and this for me with both nadeo and ubisoft is good experience so far.

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Re: Ubisoft online services platform - WTF?

Post by fng_thatoneguy » 28 Jan 2010 10:49

jamie_macdonald wrote:I actually used to beta test for ubisoft, their history you mention for me was a history of good communication, interaction with the testers and a ncie lot of developers.

used to do mgprs2 network latency tesing with em. back then they were fine... untill they show me otherwise i would presume least that they and nadeo together will fit "hand in hand".

i might be wrong but i dont have a time machine i can only go on experience... and this for me with both nadeo and ubisoft is good experience so far.
Right on... I'll admit being jealous of you having such good experiences.

My lot has been quite different as of late. I will agree that Ubisoft has fantastic developers... they've put out great games for a long time... games I've very much enjoyed buying and playing. Especially so when they weren't laden with nasty DRM (they're not the only ones) and before the times they decided to delve into the DLC arena, playing platform exclusivity games with once happy customers (again they're not the only ones now)... Personally I don't like where the entire industry is going, but Ubi and EA sure seem to have a knack for being at the forefront of it.

I'd love to go back when I knew I could pick up an Ubi game off of the shelf and just play it without worrying about having to go double/triple check if I'm going to be able to play it at all, much less know I can pick it back up in a few years and know I can still play. I still have tons of those.

The reason I'm picking on Ubi is because they're decisions are going to affect my TrackMania world soon, and I'm not happy at all with the direction they're taking. If you're happy with being dictated to how/when you can play your games, then more power to you I guess. Enjoy living under publisher rule... I'll have none of that, thanks.

The other reason is, with Prince of Persia 2008, they really seemed to be taking the antithesis approach to where the rest of the industry seems to be heading. I remember many of my friends freaking out when we found out PoP would be DRM free... and many bought the game even if they didn't like it just to support that move. That seemed somewhat like a staged setup, however because the PC version was released long enough after the console release to have most die-hard fans already owning it on the console; which resulted in poor PC numbers. To hear that they're still just as focused (and more so now) on tightening the DRM grip... I'm thinking more and more the non-DRM PoP was done simply because they ran out of time/resources to get the DRM in. Who knows... the point is, they had a +1, then botched it by pulling the DLC mess and now this... that all on top of the StarForce mess from years back. Again, not feeling like a good track record... so I'm glad you've had better experience.

It would be nice if you could pull some strings and get us more info, being as you have ties with them in the past. :3

Thanks for sharing your thoughts...
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Re: Ubisoft online services platform - WTF?

Post by Tom.CZ.73 » 28 Jan 2010 15:55

I don't know what you are so upset about. This seem like system which could make piracy much more dificult and bring some advantages for users. And that what we, paying customer, want, right ?

I see that some of us migh not have stalbe internet connecting which could cuase troubles while playing but mayority us of do.

I am just concerned about hacks which are aparently much easier to make for games without DRM

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Re: Ubisoft online services platform - WTF?

Post by jamie_macdonald » 28 Jan 2010 16:18

yup also here i have no problems with DRM ... they are allowed to protect their software from non paying people.

But being trackmania .. and as its history suggests the main protection would be online account based and for offline mode .. serial based (as it allways has been). i dont see this changing much regardless of the delivery method of the game itself.

steam is full of pain in the butt workarounds due to the way it works .. i still use my TMUF among other games through that because i am extremely lazy hehe.

if i find out anything to the contrary of course i will post up but i am gong to presume that all will go well ... and them moan like mad if it doesnt "when and if it happens".

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Re: Ubisoft online services platform - WTF?

Post by Trackmaniack » 28 Jan 2010 16:27

Tom.CZ.73 wrote:I don't know what you are so upset about. This seem like system which could make piracy much more dificult and bring some advantages for users. And that what we, paying customer, want, right ?

I see that some of us migh not have stalbe internet connecting which could cuase troubles while playing but mayority us of do.

I am just concerned about hacks which are aparently much easier to make for games without DRM
Well, my gripe is not about saving data online, medals, race times, etc...but the fact that this new system apparently is a Big Brother system of sorts in the fact that it will make you be constantly connected as you play, and if you go offline, then the game shuts off. I have NO internet access at all at home right now--and it may remain that way for the forseeable future--for a great many number of circumstances.
And if that is the case, then I won't be able to play TM2 at all...
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Re: Ubisoft online services platform - WTF?

Post by Tom.CZ.73 » 28 Jan 2010 16:33

@Trackmaniack: I understand your reason. Unfortunately big comapanies will try to protect their investments untill piracy at PC drops to reasonable "rate". TMf is protected well enough but other titles are not.

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Re: Ubisoft online services platform - WTF?

Post by EntropicLqd » 28 Jan 2010 18:00

I saw this a few days ago.

Any system that requires you to be connected to the Internet just to play the game is simply a "non-purchase" for me. STEAM can be pretty inconvenient with their on-line activations; but even they let you have an off-line mode. And I absoloutely refuse to use their "STEAM Cloud" for my save games. I'll keep things locally thanks.

I did chuckle at this one in the FAQ though.:
What happens if the server crashes on weekends or at night? Will there be 24/7 support?
Yes, Ubisoft provides 24/7 support on servers.
To be brutally honest, 24x7 support does not equal 24x7 availability. That's a particularly misleading piece of spin.

I work with high availability systems (that need to be available 24 hours a day, every day of the year), and I really cannot see Ubisoft forking the amount of money it costs for the resilient power supplies, network ingress points, switches, servers, disk arrays, and data centers to ensure that their services never go down.

And with the best will in the world its not always possible to upgrade a service component (CPU patch, software upgrade etc) without a full outage.

The only thing that really breaks my heart is that all the sheeple complaining about it will go buy the games anyway. Checkout the STEAM boycott group for the latest CoD.

[id]Edit:[/i]Oh yeah, forgot to mention. Those people pirating your games are not your customers and probably never will be. PC piracy will stop right about the time people stop releasing software for PC's. This is all about killing the second hand market in games one platform at a time (something that the games manufacturers want to do for consoles as well; expect titles to be tied to console accounts real soon now).

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Re: Ubisoft online services platform - WTF?

Post by tcq » 28 Jan 2010 18:45

If this system will be used and you need to be permanent online, then i won't buy TM2. Even if i had so much fun and playing TM since 2005 non stop -_-

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Re: Ubisoft online services platform - WTF?

Post by fng_thatoneguy » 28 Jan 2010 20:27

This is about principle. Do companies have a right to protect their intellectual property? Sure... but not at the expense of the paying customer. There is a big difference between DRM software that only interacts with their own software and crap that messes with your machine in other ways and affects other software.

A big for instance is when Command & Conquer 3 was released with SecuROM 7.x and would keep the game from launching if the user was also running SysInternals' Process Explorer.

It's not up to a game publisher to decide what I do and don't run on my machine, and it's not up to them how/when I play a game I purchase from them... I've paid for my license, get the freak out of my way.

Until I ever see a real report with real numbers that suggest a company has ever recouped money from pirates, and even more so, gained enough back from that move to overcome the debt incurred in implementing the crap, and the cause of lost business due to frustrated users that have been bit by it... then I won't believe that DRM is useful to anyone.

Pirates will be pirates. They weren't paying to begin with, they won't pay after having DRM in it... they'll crack it themselves or wait for someone else to crack it for them. All DRM does is punish the paying customers and frustrate to no end.

It was one thing when it was CD keys and other things that weren't so intrusive, but they've got to be pushing the legal envelope nowadays with as invasive as some of them are.

Companies have released games without DRM and still been successful (Sins of a Solar Empire, anyone?) -- so stop punishing the paying customers and get back to focusing on releasing kick-A games that we want to continue to support (and also be able to play on our timelines, both short and long-term.)

Otherwise, we'll just have to sit back and wait til Good Old Games releases the games we love... so we can go back to enjoying them the good old fashioned way.

I wish jamie_macdonald was accurate in assessing that Nadeo would be left alone to continue to do things their way, but since Ubisoft is assimilating them into the collective, and has said that all future Ubisoft titles will be released through this platform, I'm thinking not. :(

I agree with the "sheeple" comment... people need to start putting their money where their mouths/keyboards are... if we are ever to send the message that we won't support these insane DRM schemes, we have to speak with our wallets.

I want to support Nadeo in all they do... TrackMania is huge in my life right now, and has brought countless hours of fun... We're going through efforts right now to put it on the Utah map... since it doesn't get advertised in the United States very much. We've made mousepads for our team and will be making T-shirts and all as well... we're having an awful lot of fun fighting for top spots in our group on the Solo ladders, and having a great time in Multiplay. So the last thing I want to do is not support Nadeo for their fantastic products...

Which is why we need to get Ubisoft to get rid of this crappy Big Brother mentality, so we can ensure that we get to continue enjoying TrackMania (and even other great Ubisoft game franchises like Prince of Persia, Beyond Good & Evil, Assassin's Creed, etc.) on our own terms...
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Re: Ubisoft online services platform - WTF?

Post by TStarGermany » 28 Jan 2010 22:17

guys guys, calm down

usually i get angry when i read about companies that try to rule the world by becoming data mining hogs and trying to force their silly ways on people at home.

this time, i'm a bit more relaxed, for a few reasons...

this ubisoft OSP (is anyone else reminded of the film robocop?) affects peoples' freedom too much when using their applications on their pcs.

A) ubisoft will quickly receive the corresponding answer, both in terms of general hate towards the company and in terms of declining sales.

B) there are legal state departments in the eurodisney burocracy who love to justify their own existences by targeting bad company practices like these.

C) there will of course be a "self defence" solution published over the internet quickly after the technical details of the system become available.

all in all, this OSP is an anachronistic attempt to gain a little piece of world domination, covered up in flowery marketing jibberish:
bound to fail, as all the other ones. over the years, the users have learned to defend themselves very well.

nevertheless, it always ashames me, when i see company people trying to abuse their usual marketing blah-blah to sell something as obviously unwanted and useless to the people...

the king will be dead, long live the king.
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Re: Ubisoft online services platform - WTF?

Post by otmb;ripbox » 01 Feb 2010 18:16

I think this service need to be questioned very seriously by both Nadeo and the Player..... its a good thing in a way because of the achievement award ect but i know soon i may have no internet or no permanent internet should it would be against me at that time, not for on-line play but solely for single player off-line mode.... if i have no internet i can not activate the game and how can i play solo.... if i make an activation from a connection but have to make a reinstall later where i have no internet how do i reactivate... i don't wish to have to ring a support line for an activation key or other such
If a person can not activate said game due to no internet or other then this would force a player bad enough to seek activation cracks or other.... if the activation cracks are made then the protection that has been put into the game along with all the money spent on copy protecting the game then go to waste.....
I am a big fan of Trackmania and i wish to support Nadeo in future developments "BUT" if i have to activate the game on-line to play even solo I WILL seek a pirate version that is pre activated or other even knowing this would hurt Nadeo sales since i like Trackmania that much and would want to play TM2 but i would not be willing to pay for it to just become an expensive coffee coaster

Nadeo NEEDS to consider their own copy protection they made after startforce... it worked well and kept Players off line that did not produce a genuine key
This is all that matters..... solo can be played by many (gives those with limited coins a chance to try something new) but on-line can only be played by those who purchased a genuine key, those who already know trackmania and those who got to try before they buy......

I think you "Nadeo and you "THE PLAYER" need both to read and study the ubisoft forum discussions forum ans listen to those who are not happy..... explain and act!

http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/ ... 098728/p/1

Edit: Side note to Nadeo..... bare the old expression "he who giveth taketh away"
We giveth you the community that made you popular but remember we are the community that can taketh away
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