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Magister Lajciak

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Everything posted by Magister Lajciak

  1. EA is only shutting down the multiplayer servers, you can still continue to play the game as a single player title. That seems like a pretty obvious risk when you buy a game for online features. MMO's shut down as well. MMOs do shut down as well - one of the main reasons why I don't play them. I agree with you that it is an obvious risk that when you buy a game reliant on online authentication to install or play. That is precisely why I don't buy all such games and seek to warn others about the risk. The above should be a good illustration for why I don't trust the 'we will keep the servers up' arguments. This is one of the things I have been concerned about since the debut of the online authentication (or worse... always online) DRM, but even I didn't expect them to shut down servers so quickly after games' release. You are right that it is the multiplayer parts of games that have been impacted thus far. This points to the dangerous trend of using online-only multiplayer as a form of DRM and deliberately excluding LAN for that purpose that is becoming so popular these days. That's why if a game featuring both multiplayer and singleplayer modes is reliant on the internet for multiplayer (or some other feature) but not for single player, I evaluate the game as if it were single player game only (or as if it lacked the online feature) when I am deciding whether to buy it or not. Sure, their new system is far preferable to their old one and I support their move to DRM-free music. That doesn't change the fact that they did cut support for their previous customers who bought DRMed music (though they did give them time). My point is don't let this happen to you with games! The companies will find lots of reasons to cut their DDRM servers. Perhaps they will switch to a different type of DRM that doesn't need them or they will decide that using them for older games with insufficient (for them) player bases is uneconomical, or they might release new versions of a game and will want to incentivize migration to it, or they might simply go bankrupt. The reasons are manifold. Just to clarify, however, I am not opposed to DRM. I am merely opposed to DRM that requires some sort of external contact with the publisher/developer/third party after I have already purchased the game - hence, my opposition to online activation and other online-reliant forms of DRM. I have no problem with disk checks. Even my SecuROM signature that apparently indicates dislike of SecuROM is only true for those versions of SecuROM DDRM that have become online-reliant - I have no problems with other versions of SecuROM or even with new versions of SecuROM when its online activation features are disabled (e.g. I believe NWN 2 uses SecuROM 7, but thankfully it does not utilize the online activation part of the DRM). Well, Ubisoft is purposefully trying to screw us (unless you think they are implementing this system by accident and not on purpose ), but not out of malice towards us. It is more like disregard for what we think driven by their fear of second hand sales and day 1 piracy. Hence, their screwing us is a byproduct of their policy, but their policy is deliberate. The key is to make them realize that it will not pay financially if they disregard our preferences on this issue. This is done by not purchasing the games that implement these systems, spreading awareness of what's happening and letting Ubisoft know about our opinions/purchasing decisions/reasons. Well, thanks! I appreciate the support. I am not going to campaign as hard against this as against EA decisions in 2008/2009 (and EA has thankfully learned after the backlash and now implements sensible DRM... disk checks), simply because I don't care sufficiently about Ubisoft titles (except for the games I mentioned that they hold rights to), but all who are opposed to Ubisoft's move certainly have my passive support, boycott participation (when it becomes relevant and Ubisoft produces titles I care about) and perhaps even active support occassionally.
  2. Even better, if Ubisoft ever decides on a whim to flip the switch to off on their website, you'll never be able to play said game again. Raithe's reasons were all reasonably likely, while yours is highly unlikely. I don't believe Ubisoft is run by Doctor evil and he's just waiting to flip a switch for destruction. Neither is the EA run by Doctor Evil (though BioWare is run by two doctors ), yet: http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2010/02/17...nquest-servers/ Here are the 'Service Updates' (games reliant on servers EA is shutting down) from EA: http://www.ea.com/2/service-updates It doesn't exactly inspire confidence in online authentication and indeed any other DRM that relies on any kind of connection to the publisher/developer after the game is purchased. Indeed, this great potential for losing the game I have purchased (and I consider it HIGHLY likely, as evidenced by this, by EA's shutdowns of NWN DLC, by shutdowns of music DRM servers by giant companies like Walmart and Microsoft,...) is one of the reasons why any game, no matter how good, that requires any connection to the publisher/developer after purchase is on the automatic no-buy list for me. For games, where only the multiplayer relies on being online (games that have deliberately excluded LAN to make you rely on the online systems of the publisher/developer), those make it to my no-buy list if it is the multiplayer part of the game I am after, but not if the single-player part of the game is the reason why I want it.
  3. Well, Ubisoft has now certainly lost me as a customer, as this is by far the most draconian DRM (DDRM) scheme I have heard of for games. Ultimately, their decision will only impact me slightly, since I only buy their games infrequently anyway. Indeed, the last one I remember buying from them off the top of my head was Tribes of the East and there aren't any games I know about in their pipeline that would interest me. They do hold the rights to Might and Magic games, though, which I would be interested in, particularly if they made Heroes of Might and Magic VI, but I guess I will just have to forego those games if they choose to make them. Oh well... It seems that this is becoming a repeating pattern, just the company changes. The EA has tried this in 2008 and 2009, but the huge public backlash has prompted the company to eventually back off from the policy. Kudos to EA for that, since their decision to return to disk checks as their DRM of choice (plus DLC as their supplemental DRM) has enabled me to buy Dragon Age, an excellent game, which I would have certainly boycotted if it had online activation. I must say that I am getting a bit tired of having to research each game to see what type of DRM it has before I can buy it though, as the information is not available in game reviews. Sometimes I am tempted to just find a different hobby altogether and give up on gaming, but for the moment I am still a PC gamer (I have no intention of switching to consoles - it is either PC or a different hobby for me).
  4. Results for Round 1 of the RPG Superstar Competition are being announced today: http://paizo.com/rpgsuperstar
  5. They said they will add it eventually, but it might take a while to do so.
  6. Dark Sun was my favorite official setting for D&D back in 2E AD&D days. It is an awesome setting, but as far as I am concerned and as an avid PnP fan, 4E is probably irredeemable at this stage - not even Dark Sun could get me to convert at this stage.
  7. Digital distribution of games presumably has lower costs than distribution through retail stores. The servers and the bandwidth, of course, are not free, but nonetheless, I would think the costs are substantially lower than having to make the DVDs/boxes, ship boxed copies of games to retail stores and paying for all that retail space. The costs of digital copies of games, however, do not differ much if at all from the costs of games bought at retail stores, allegedly not to undercut the still important retail sales channels. I am wondering, however, if developers/publishers get a larger share of the profits from digitally-distributed games than they get from games sold in retail? It would be nice if more money made its way back to the developers and publishers to recoup development costs of games, but I have not heard any indication as to how much of the cut is taken by the digital-retailers like Impulse, Steam or D2D. Anybody has thoughts or better-yet information (even if approximate) on the matter?
  8. Hello Michiell! On another note, on the Paizo board, there are currently interesting discussions on the implementation of Psionics into the game.
  9. Sounds like you had a lot of fun! I create my own worlds and run my own adventures, so I have not DMed any of the Pathfinder ones, but I do keep hearing good things about their adventure paths. Supposedly, Paizo is one of the best, if not the very best, adventure publishers.
  10. Thanks! That solved the problem. I must have hit it somehow by mistake.
  11. I don't know whether I pressed something by mistake or whether these boards have changed format, but suddenly threads only show the original post starting the thread and one post at a time. There is a tree-like scheme to chose the posts from. Regardless, I find the new system to be terrible - clicking on each post to read it is a major nuisance. I suspect there is some function to change it back the the old format or to expand all the post in the 'tree' (and hopefully to set that up as the new default). Can anybody guide me as to how to do so? Thanks!
  12. Yeah, I am well aware that gaming is moving to microtransactions, subscriptions and online models. This has been coming for a long time and the transformation is already well under way. The aim is to transform entertainment software from a product into a service that people pay for recurrently. I don't like it and will resist it as long as possible, hoping for delays in the implementation of the new model, but I do know it will come full force sooner or later and probably sooner rather than later. At a point where it no longer becomes tenable to get games I am interested in as a product (one I can store, install and play without reliance on external servers/parties), I will quit computer gaming as a hobby and move onto something else. That day is coming inexorably closer with each passing month, but before it comes, I will enjoy the last hurrah of product-based gaming, such as the core-game of Dragon Age.
  13. There is a real difference, but the statistics are somewhat deceptive. In Slovakia, many people say they are religious by default, because their family was religious and because the Church has a history of resisting Communism in Slovakia, but less so in the Czech Republic, so in Slovakia ties with the Church are considered as a badge of honor by some. These people are often not religious at all. Throughout nominally Christian Europe, religion doesn't hold much sway. Even in the countries that are exceptions, such as Poland, there is religious belief, yes, but the extent to which people actually follow religious prescriptions is limited. Consider, for example, that Poland has one of the lowest total fertility rates in the world (pretty much the same as Slovakia, Czech Republic, Italy, etc. - religion seems to have no effect either way on them) - so much for the "go forth and multiply" of the Church teachings...
  14. Thanks - so that means I will be able to come back to the area, right?
  15. I am doing the Broken Circle quest and am having serious inventory issues. Being shut in the tower means I cannot simply leave to sell my items to a merchant. I have fully packed all four of my characters with gear and have even resorted to giving them weapons/equipment that is different (to take advantage of the stacking of the same equipment) even if it is inferior, but alas that is not enough. I have reached the fourth floor of the tower and have no more inventory space. I have found one chest where it might be possible to store stuff and would leave some simply lying on the ground - but will it be possible to return to this area to pick it up later as well as to get stuff I store in the chest?
  16. I have also heard it's not worth it. Supposedly, Warden's keep has perhaps 20 minutes of content (a few rooms). The core game, by contrast, is definitely worth it!
  17. I do think some legislation to protect workers is a good thing, but preventing companies from firing workers would be suicidal for the economy. If I owned/ran a company with potential growth prospects that require hiring new people to realize, I simply would not hire anybody if I knew that I could not fire them if things didn't work out or some sort of crisis hit that could drive me to bankrupcy (which would incidently lead to the firing of all the workers in the end, since the company would be no more) if I didn't downsize. I would instead stay small and forego the potential benefits of expansion in order to avoid this huge risk. Companies cannot afford to keep unnecessary workers (even if they have become unnecessary due to external conditions, such as a general economic crisis) on a long-term basis or they will fail. Temporarily, workers can be kept underemployed for the sake of preserving morale/image/skilled employees, but this cannot usually go on for a long time. State-owned (or private but subsidized) companies may be able to preserve employment artificially, but only at the expense of explicit or implicit subsidies from the government. Still, employees do deserve some protection - it is a matter of balance. Note: EA just reported a significant loss in the last quarter. Just to illustrate how large a loss it was - on an annualized basis it would be more than 25% of its entire market capitalization. Therein, I guess, is the explanation for the layoffs.
  18. That is correct. While I did get to experience some of the "early" romance type stuff with Leliana (which I thought was interesting), I definitely don't know the details of it farther down its path. Hmm, that gives me an idea. Perhaps one way would be to try to develop a romance with Leliana first and then switch to Morrigan later thus getting to experience also the interesting Morrigan romance end-game content that has been referred to by you and Azure (of course, it could be that Leliana also has interesting end-game romance content [could somebody who has done the Leliana romance confirm or deny that?]). The above plan poses only one problem, namely that I have already sort of started the romance with Morrigan. Then again, perhaps the game doesn't quite recognize it as a fully fledged romance yet. Does anybody know at what point the romance 'officially' begins to be a romance in terms of how the game views it?
  19. The game comes with a disk check. You're free to omit purchasing DLC if you have concerns about it's future accessibility. Though The Stone Prisoner is free if you buy the game new. i know that, but as i said, it was 3 reasons why i did not preordered this game, with all the experience with EA games released last year, it is very logical decision to wait for the confirmation of the DRM included... at least for people who are concerned about mandatory online activations... I am one of the people very concerned about mandatory online activations, but luckily Dragon Age does not have them on the retail version, so I was able to purchase it. The game does have them on DLC, but buying the game as if the DLC didn't exist is still well worth it - there is a lot of content in the core game. It is a very good game - I do recommend it and am pretty sure you would enjoy it.
  20. Thanks for the answers! Hmm, you saying Morrigan has some interesting stuff at the end of the game sounds intriguing and makes me wonder if I should just stick with Morrigan, though I wanted to experience as much of the content as possible and although Leliana would probably be a better fit for my goody two shoes character (yeah, I simply cannot play evil... and I love happy endings...). I presume that having not played with Leliana, you don't know if she also has some interesting stuff at the end, right? (BTW: I am loving this game! The BioWare folk have really outdone themselves. Oh, and also there are no stability issues I have experienced at all - I guess the delay allowed their Q&A department to really nail it this time.)
  21. I have some questions about the romances with Morrigan or Leliana. 1) Which romance would you say has more content or is just generally better? 2) a) Is it possible to romance Morrigan first and then switch to Leliana after that romance is 'complete'? 2) b) If the above is possible, is it still achievable to maintain a friendly relationship with Morrigan after ending the romance with her and switching to Leliana? Thanks!
  22. For those interested in the state, this was in Ohio. I do have an ID from my country and that is the one I took with me when I went there for the third time and they finally sold me the game (or maybe it was just that there was a different guy at the counter, he, he). Generally, I don't carry it around though. I usually carry my student ID and most places have no problems accepting that. Perhaps I just look too young to be trusted to be of legal age, but I don't think I look like some sort of immature teenager. Oh well, I certainly won't dwell on it - maybe the calories burned to get the game will help to make up for the hours I will sit in front of the computer playing Dragon Age and munching on unhealthy snacks. I just found it weird, hence my comment on the boards. P.S. As DeadlyNightshade pointed out, some of us like hard copies. Actually, I would have no problem with getting digital copies (it would certainly be convenient to pick up), if it weren't for the need to activate them upon each installation, but that is for another topic...
  23. Actually, from what I have played so far, I think it is an awesome game.
  24. I wanted to pre-order Dragon Age at Gamestop a while back and they refused to do it, saying that they can only put me into the database to pre-order the game for me if I show them a state ID (which being a foreigner in the U.S., I don't have). Fine, so I came back after the game was released for the PC and they refused to sell it to me, saying again that I have to have a state ID, this time using the fact that the game is rated as Mature as the reason for this. I am doing my Ph.D. in the U.S. and I, therefore, had my university ID with me in both cases, but that was insufficient for them. Also bear in mind that I am in my late 20s and although it is possible that I look younger than my age (I wouldn't know), I surely don't look like some sort of teenager below 18. The third time around I came with my passport and they finally sold me the game. Gamestop is 1.4-2 miles away from where I live and I don't have a car, so have to walk there, so because of this, I walked more than 10 miles to get a copy of Dragon Age...
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