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Old 04-18-2008, 11:47 PM   #81
Char Ell
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Oh yeah!!! BioWare announced today that Bring Down the Sky will be a free download to those who purchase Mass Effect for PC and register on BioWare's website.

I would have been fine without this or if BioWare would have offered it as a $5 download but hey, free is even better!
I can only imagine the howls of outrage from the Xbox 360 players though.


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Old 04-19-2008, 02:55 AM   #82
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Bloody hell. That's not cool.

I guess I'll keep waiting.


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Old 04-19-2008, 06:03 AM   #83
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Char: It doesn't cost any money to get it on 360 if you're an x-box live member. It costs achievement points, which you get by playing through the game anyway.


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Old 04-19-2008, 06:49 AM   #84
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Originally Posted by Jvstice
Char: It doesn't cost any money to get it on 360 if you're an x-box live member. It costs achievement points, which you get by playing through the game anyway.

No, I think it costs Microsoft Points, which are completely different from Gamerscore points and DEFINITELY cost money. Unless of course, someone can convert your Achievements into virtual cash, then that would be friggin' awesome!
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Old 04-19-2008, 07:39 AM   #85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JD-Rom
Unless of course, someone can convert your Achievements into virtual cash, then that would be friggin' awesome!
QFT. So it would.


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Old 04-19-2008, 11:03 AM   #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JD-Rom
No, I know it costs Microsoft Points, which are completely different from Gamerscore points and DEFINITELY cost money. Unless of course, someone can convert your Achievements into virtual cash, then that would be friggin' awesome!
fix'd

When i just got my xbox it though you could buy things with your achievements point, why else have them ? But ohh, so wrong i was.
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Old 04-26-2008, 12:33 PM   #87
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For those that are interested, BioWare announced yesterday that MEPC will be available for purchase and download from the EA Store.

Personally I still prefer to buy the box so I'll be picking MEPC up from one of my local brick-and-mortar retail outlets.


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Old 04-28-2008, 12:14 PM   #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Char Ell
For those that are interested, BioWare announced yesterday that MEPC will be available for purchase and download from the EA Store.

Personally I still prefer to buy the box so I'll be picking MEPC up from one of my local brick-and-mortar retail outlets.
$49.95, U.S. Amazon and Best Buy are offering it for $49.99 and Game Stop is offering it for $39.99. Seems you should get more of a discount for purchasing it electronically than 4 cents and it definitely should not be higher. There wasn’t anything great about the special edition or the booklet for the Xbox360 version so buying it from EA is no big deal, but I too will pick up the PC version at a brick-and-mortar shop and with Game Stop’s price it will most likely be there.


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Old 05-04-2008, 09:10 PM   #89
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BioWare has made it known on their forums that Mass Effect for PC will feature SecuROM.
Quote:
Mass Effect uses SecuROM and requires an online activation for the first time that you play it. Each copy of Mass Effect comes with a CD Key which is used for this activation and for registration here at the BioWare Community. Mass Effect does not require the DVD to be in the drive in order to play, it is only for installation.

After the first activation, SecuROM requires that it re-check with the server within ten days (in case the CD Key has become public/warez'd and gets banned). Just so that the 10 day thing doesn't become abrupt, SecuROM tries its first re-check with 5 days remaining in the 10 day window. If it can't contact the server before the 10 days are up, nothing bad happens and the game still runs. After 10 days a re-check is required before the game can run.

- Derek French, BioWare Technical Producer
Some PC game players are not happy about this but IMO this is something we're all going to just have to deal with. Publishers aren't just going to sit back and watch their games get stolen. They're either going to stop publishing for PC altogether or they're going to try various things until they find a method that will greatly reduce or eliminate the piracy problem. It's unfortunate legitimate users have to suffer as a result.


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Last edited by Char Ell; 05-04-2008 at 09:24 PM. Reason: added missing portion to quote
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Old 05-05-2008, 05:55 AM   #90
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Char Ell
They're either going to stop publishing for PC altogether or they're going to try various things until they find a method that will greatly reduce or eliminate the piracy problem. It's unfortunate legitimate users have to suffer as a result.
The problem with this sort of scheme is that it's usually only legitimate customers who have to jump through the hoops and suffer the extra annoyance in the long run. The pirated versions tend to remove the copy protection entirely, usually with better performance as a result.

Bioshock had something similar in place, requiring online activation. Took the crackers a week to figure out how to remove the protection, then they had a hazzle-free version available for download, while legitimate customers still have to jump through hoops to play the game we've bought. So these kind of schemes will at most give the developers a week or two to compel those who need to have the game Right Now to buy rather than pirate it.

My main beef with online activation of games is longevity. What happens when, for whatever reason, the online activation server isn't there anymore? The game becomes unplayable. This might not be a problem for most people, but I like installing old classics and giving them another play-through years after they were released. You can hope the developers have the decency to remove the copy protection in the last patch before they drop further support for a game, but only a small minority do this service for their customers, in my experience (Ionstorm with Deus Ex and Firaxis with Alpha Centauri comes to mind).

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Old 05-05-2008, 06:56 AM   #91
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^^^
Don't forget that Bioware itself removed the disk check in the final patch(es) for NWN, which could be a good sign.


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Old 05-05-2008, 08:44 AM   #92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stoffe
My main beef with online activation of games is longevity. What happens when, for whatever reason, the online activation server isn't there anymore? The game becomes unplayable. This might not be a problem for most people, but I like installing old classics and giving them another play-through years after they were released. You can hope the developers have the decency to remove the copy protection in the last patch before they drop further support for a game, but only a small minority do this service for their customers, in my experience (Ionstorm with Deus Ex and Firaxis with Alpha Centauri comes to mind).
You aren't the only one with this concern. Others have already expressed similar sentiment in the thread I linked to in my previous post. This is what Mr. French had to say in response:
Quote:
Quote:
Quote: Posted 05/04/08 00:03 (GMT) by darthviper107

That's ridiculous. To have it require activation every 10 days, what happens in the future if the servers go offline for some reason? (out of business, decide not to support it or whatever)
Then we would release an update that removes this.

Quote:
Quote: So that means that if I wanted to play the game again in 10 years that it might not work because I can't activate it?
No, because either the servers will still be running or an update would be released to remove the system.
Hope that makes you feel a bit better about MEPC's anti-piracy feature. I don't even go to pirate/warez sites so I know very little about what the hackers can do. But since I read so much about the piracy problem on PC I think I'll pay more attention to how soon Mass Effect gets hacked after release, just so I can see how this works.


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Old 05-05-2008, 12:27 PM   #93
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I was looking forward for that game but now it looks like I won't be playing it.

This system won't stop piracy whatsoever. Also, other than the longevity concern (which has been addressed by Mr. French) this method also raises privacy issues. As someone who has always purchased my games in a legitimate way, I'm getting fed up by that "Big Brother" attitude. I can live with an initial authentification check (I think that falls within what's reasonable) but I really don't see any justification for this every 10 day check. Where, when and how often I play a single player game, on what hardware and whatever other data they are collecting isn't anyone's business. I'd take the CD check over that anytime.

I'm not too fond of that 3 activations limit either...I hope that it will at least be well explained on the box. When I travel I always reinstall games on a different laptop...and very often there's no internet connection where I go.

I don't think that treating customers like criminals and placing such limits on the use of a product after it has been legitimately purchased is really going to help PC gaming...
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Old 05-05-2008, 12:33 PM   #94
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The reason why MMO's sell so much is because of their activation key and how the company behind the MMO can ban illegal keys/users. I don't really know how that works, but isn't it possible to implement that sort of security in SP games?

Either way, good try of BioWare, but I'm pretty sure that it won't last long and won't stop the illegal downloading of the game.
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Old 05-05-2008, 03:28 PM   #95
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It dosen't work in singelplayer games because you won't play multiplayer. If you remove the whole authentication from a game you can't play multiplayer. MMOs copy protection only work because you need to be multiplayer to play them, case in point: it's easy to get a pirated singleplay version of WoW.


Checking out seems not to do much.
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Old 05-06-2008, 12:05 AM   #96
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth333
I was looking forward for that game but now it looks like I won't be playing it.

This system won't stop piracy whatsoever. Also, other than the longevity concern (which has been addressed by Mr. French) this method also raises privacy issues. As someone who has always purchased my games in a legitimate way, I'm getting fed up by that "Big Brother" attitude. I can live with an initial authentification check (I think that falls within what's reasonable) but I really don't see any justification for this every 10 day check. Where, when and how often I play a single player game, on what hardware and whatever other data they are collecting isn't anyone's business. I'd take the CD check over that anytime.

I'm not too fond of that 3 activations limit either...I hope that it will at least be well explained on the box. When I travel I always reinstall games on a different laptop...and very often there's no internet connection where I go.

I don't think that treating customers like criminals and placing such limits the use of a product after it has been legitimately purchased is really going to help PC gaming...
Hmmm.... So what about buying MEPC and then getting the hacked .exe so you can play the game whenever, wherever, and on whatever hardware you want? Just a thought.

Though probably better suited for a separate thread, I've read a lot of complaints about copy protection on PC games. The only real solution I've read is that publishers shouldn't use any copy protection at all, like Stardock did with Sins of a Solar Empire. IMHO this isn't a solution that publishers are going to accept. One only has to look at the music industry for an example of how that strategy doesn't work. Publishers want people to buy their game if they're going to play it. How do publishers/developers achieve their goal of only allowing legitimate installations of their PC games to be played?


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Old 05-06-2008, 12:22 AM   #97
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What if you bought the game legitimately but then downloaded the hacked version?

EDIT: Didn't see your post, Char Ell...


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Old 05-06-2008, 02:47 AM   #98
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I know I am not supposed to discuss this, but can't you just purchase it legally and then use a no-CD crack to bypass the security?

Btw, I understand if this post gets deleted because I am talking about something illegal.


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Old 05-06-2008, 02:56 AM   #99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth333
I was looking forward for that game but now it looks like I won't be playing it.

This system won't stop piracy whatsoever. Also, other than the longevity concern (which has been addressed by Mr. French) this method also raises privacy issues. As someone who has always purchased my games in a legitimate way, I'm getting fed up by that "Big Brother" attitude. I can live with an initial authentification check (I think that falls within what's reasonable) but I really don't see any justification for this every 10 day check. Where, when and how often I play a single player game, on what hardware and whatever other data they are collecting isn't anyone's business. I'd take the CD check over that anytime.

I'm not too fond of that 3 activations limit either...I hope that it will at least be well explained on the box. When I travel I always reinstall games on a different laptop...and very often there's no internet connection where I go.

I don't think that treating customers like criminals and placing such limits the use of a product after it has been legitimately purchased is really going to help PC gaming...
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Old 05-06-2008, 02:56 AM   #100
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You are the third person sugesting that, and cracking games you already own isn't ilegal.


Checking out seems not to do much.
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Old 05-06-2008, 02:59 AM   #101
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I'm sorry mur'phon, I didn't notice the 2 other posts about hacked executables. I just woke up, so I hope you can forgive me


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Old 05-06-2008, 07:09 AM   #102
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Im pretty sure it's illegal. I did a discusion thread about that way back, and someone throw up a paragraph that said something about you not allowed to have a cracked exe. But that's maybe is diffrence from game to game
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Old 05-06-2008, 10:12 AM   #103
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Char Ell
Hmmm.... So what about buying MEPC and then getting the hacked .exe so you can play the game whenever, wherever, and on whatever hardware you want? Just a thought.
As much as I was eager to play that game, I won't buy and won't play it as a matter of principle...as for the hacked .exe, any discussion about the circumvention of security measures is a no no here

Quote:
Originally Posted by Char Ell
How do publishers/developers achieve their goal of only allowing legitimate installations of their PC games to be played?
If regularly monitoring my own use of the game is their solution (and using that info for god knows what other purposes), then they lost me. There's got to be some balance between privacy, fair use and copyright protection. Users have rights too. When pirates get a better gaming experience than the legitimate users, we have a problem.
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Old 05-06-2008, 10:33 AM   #104
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I'd rather have them use StarForce then SecuRom, atleast StarForce doesn't require an active internet connection to validate the game.


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Old 05-06-2008, 01:12 PM   #105
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But starforce have this nasty habbit of sometimes causing your computer to crash, so I'm not bying anything with it on. Besides, once Stardock turned down an offer from SF to have them "protect" Galactic Civilizations2, SF raved on about how they where helping pirates, and then linked to pirated versions for the game............


Checking out seems not to do much.
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Old 05-06-2008, 01:17 PM   #106
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There are different SecuROM solutions. Not all of them require a constant check with the server: http://www.securom.com/solution_discbased_drm.asp

As an example, Oblivion, Kotor, Jade Empire and numerous other games used SecuROM too.
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Old 05-07-2008, 09:42 AM   #107
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth333
As much as I was eager to play that game, I won't buy and won't play it as a matter of principle...
Fair enough. As for myself I don't think I would let the principle get in my way on this one. Since my gaming PC is connected to the Internet though I don't expect I'll need to even go there with MEPC. I didn't have any problems with BioShock so I don't expect I'll have any problems with MEPC either.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth333
If regularly monitoring my own use of the game is their solution (and using that info for god knows what other purposes), then they lost me.
According to Mr. French the only data that will be transmitted to EA's SecuROM servers is the key and a hardware signature. I'm thinking the date needs to be in there somewhere as well.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth333
There's got to be some balance between privacy, fair use and copyright protection. Users have rights too. When pirates get a better gaming experience than the legitimate users, we have a problem.
Indeed, but I was looking for a solution that met the criteria you provided. Providing more detailed criteria for a successful solution doesn't equate to the solution itself. Of course it doesn't seem like anyone has a great or even good solution for the problem now does it? Hence the reason why I said legitimate users are made to suffer while developers and publishers try to find a way to only allow legitimate users to play their PC games. In other words devs and publishers are having to experiment with methods of dealing with the piracy problem.

What I believe you're pointing out is that whatever anti-piracy measures publishers choose to implement in their PC games have to be acceptable to their paying customers. You don't find this method acceptable and while I don't agree I do respect your decision to not purchase MEPC as a result.


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Old 05-07-2008, 10:50 AM   #108
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Char Ell
According to Mr. French the only data that will be transmitted to EA's SecuROM servers is the key and a hardware signature. I'm thinking the date needs to be in there somewhere as well.
If at some point someone finds out what the packets that are sent contain and the info is truly limited to what Mr. French indicated I might reconsider my decision (but I don't think it will because I dislike a system where I have to constantly prove my innocence and the 3 activations limit which I think meet normal consumers expectations of the use of such a product) .The thing is that I have a hard time trusting Sony (SecuROM) with that due to some past events (XCP fiasco anyone? the MicroVault USB stick?) and the fact that they don't seem to hesitate to use that info for marketing purposes too (see the report in my post above, pages 50 - 52, well 60-62 in Acrobat reader). They ask us not to use copied software and yet they don't seem to care much about their own legal obligations and the individuals' rights when it comes to "protecting" their products...

In any event it is interesting to read the perspective of CD Projekt's VP of PR & Marketing on the DRM and piracy issues: http://www.tomsgames.com/us/2008/04/...ekt_interview/

Edit: and Stardock's CEO opinion: http://draginol.joeuser.com/article/...racy_PC_Gaming
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Old 05-09-2008, 08:45 PM   #109
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Well D3, you should be somewhat pleased to note that the objecting voices of the disenfranchised have been heard. Jay Watamaniuk announced earlier today that MEPC will no longer require the game to re-authenticate with EA's SecuROM servers every 10 days.
- MEPC will require a one-time activation with EA's SecuROM servers after installation and before the game can be played.
- MEPC will still be limited to 3 activations per game copy. EA support will need to be contacted for additional activations.

I'm still trying to determine whether or not reinstallation of MEPC on a PC using the same hardware configuration as it was when MEPC was originally installed constitutes an additional activation.


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Old 05-09-2008, 11:48 PM   #110
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"MEPC will still be limited to 3 activations per game copy. EA support will need to be contacted for additional activations."

- If they remove the limit, I'm sold. I refuse to call anyone in order to be able to play the game. I have no need for a game that will stop working when I change enough parts in system, or when I reformat my drive a few times. Maybe they should start calling it MEPC OEM (they would have to lover the price, though ).
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Old 05-10-2008, 04:59 AM   #111
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I knew Bioware would listen to their fans, I bet EA was the one who wanted the copy protection system in the first place.


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Old 05-10-2008, 05:05 PM   #112
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This isn't so much about Mass Effect, but more of a rant about gameprotection in general.

I started to think alittle about this with gameprotection, and came to the conclusion that there isn't any profit, whatsoever in having protection. They can only lose customers, not gain any. Let's see it this way. It will take max a week before gamecrackers release a working game, without the protection. And a week is a pretty naive number, it usaly just take a few days.

Do you think people that was going to download the game, will go and buy the game instead just because they need to wait a few more days ? The answer is no, they will wait those extra days, then download it and play it without the gameprotection. And what about those buyers ? They will suffer with the activation things and other stuff the gameprotection does. And in some cases, people that was sure they would buy the game won't do it because they feel it's not worth all that trouble or other reason (One of this people is Darth333). So the conclusion of this is that they only lose customers, not gaining.

But then people say, but they are protecting the first days of sales. But that is wrong, because those people that downloaded still woulden't buy it. See the above argument
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Old 05-11-2008, 02:39 AM   #113
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All this talk about ME makes me want to fire up my 360 and finally finish my third game... playing on hardcore and sitting on level 54... trying to hit level 60... long story

so I take it there is a addon for it coming? cool and who cares if it costs money I think I have 600 MS pts sitting there doing nothing so what's another 3000 or what not...

lets go!
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Old 05-11-2008, 06:47 AM   #114
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Old 05-11-2008, 07:19 AM   #115
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That the 10-day check was removed is definitely good news, though I'm still pissed off with the 3 installs limit. I'm not going to call EA to get additional installs.

I'm not sure I get this game, even though I was looking forward to playing it for months.
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Old 05-11-2008, 08:13 AM   #116
Scatter
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what's this ten day check and three install limit stuff?
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Old 05-11-2008, 08:49 AM   #117
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Bioware and EA wanted to ship Mass Effect with a new SecuRom protection, which requires an active internet connection to validate the game each 10 days. Alot of people became pissed by it and ranted on the official forums. Bioware and EA removed the 10 day revalidation, but they didn't remove the 3 times install limit.

If you want to know more about, check the official Mass Effect PC Forums.


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Old 05-11-2008, 09:02 AM   #118
The Sith'ari
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stingerhs
very nice, but its rather pointless for me since i already have the game for the 360. still, at least it will be easier to snipe and pull of headshots by aiming with the mouse. i just wish Bioware was going to add something more to the PC version aside from an improved/optimized GUI (as stated in the announcement). if there's some nice mods out there, i'll probably pick it up eventually, but otherwise, its a rather moot point for me.
I read from somewhere that the biggest difference's gonna be the ability to issue individual commands to squad members.

From 1up.com :

"Perhaps the most welcome change in the game is the ability to issue separate commands to individual squad members. The 360 version limited players to issuing a single group command, causing both backup members to behave the same. This made little sense when your party consisted of, say, Wrex and Tali -- the former being a powerful melee meat-shield type, while the later is a fragile hacker who specializes in sniper rifles and other ranged attacks. Regardless of how you issued their orders, that particular group configuration would never perform optimally, as one or the other would be placed in a position that made poor use of their skills. That won't be an issue in the PC version, as you're now free to send Wrex or Ashley charging into battle while fragile support types like Tali and Kaidan can hang back and fight more cautiously."
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Old 05-11-2008, 05:30 PM   #119
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Think only time i used the squad attack was in "Bring down the sky" at the minefield. Those snipers on the other side of the field annoyed me when i tryed to navigate the mines, and then i notice my squad didnt set of the mines ^^
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Old 05-12-2008, 12:18 AM   #120
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth333
Nice article; I think this guy's on to something.


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