Akrid's forum posts

#1 Posted by Akrid (1356 posts) -

You're the first pro digital person I've seen on these forums that hasn't touted features that don't actually exist given no word from Microsoft as eventual fact, so good on ya.

The thing is, I don't think the features gained specifically from DRM on the disc are worth it. Digital lending and selling can still happen - there's no reason it can't, because guess what, digital goods already have DRM on them. Microsoft would just have less control on when that lending stops - which they arguably shouldn't have control on in the first place, given we still have the right to let a friend borrow a game as long as they like. Even without 24 hour checks, they could still accomplish limited lending by simply timing the game-time, online or off. That would take some serious ToS breaking in order to circumvent, which I think is enough of a deterrent for most people. Digitally lending and selling being intrinsically linked to their 24 hour check is a falsehood, as far as I can tell.

The only things that seems legitimately lost to me is the game sharing thing - whatever that may or may not have been - and the ability to play without the disc you bought, neither of which persuade me personally. As for a promise for the "digital future", well, I've been living it with Steam for years now, and lemme tell you - not all that different from the good old analog past. Aside from no PC discs on my shelf, there's not been any sort of revolutionary idea that's made this DRM actually an added bonus. I mean, if Valve hasn't found some amazing way for DRM to directly work for and aid the consumer, I'm really not confident Microsoft could.

#2 Posted by Akrid (1356 posts) -

@azteck said:

@akrid said:

Here's the facts we have needed all this time!

@crunchypickles said:

If you read the licensing terms and the sharing plan ToS, it was more like "add 10 friends as secondary accounts under your control and allow two of them at a time to play the single-player portion of some of your games for a limited time." The game loan thing was restricted to "lend your game for up to 24 hours to someone who's been on your friends list for over 30 days." Used games were limited to one, and only one, license transfer. The person who bought the used game had no option to lend, give away, or sell it.

Thanks @crunchypickles, I didn't know this was known.

Sharing plan - Limited time demos.

Game loan - 24 hours, so when the system feasibly checks. I take this to mean that you can keep playing until your friend tries to play that game, or until the end of the day - whichever comes first.

Used games - ONE seller. ONE buyer.

Disregarding the fact that all those have been played insanely disingenuously by Microsoft, those are neat features (ignoring the used games bit).

That said, that sharing plan does not need always online to work in the slightest. Timed demos have been a thing for a very long time. The fact that you'd have to find someone to share it to you is actually an added inconvenience. So really the only added bonus here is that the disc can leave your home, and you can still play online for a good while.

I had no idea it was that restricted, outside of the one time license transferal. That is fucked on so many levels, I mean I had a friend borrow my 360 copy of Dark Souls for close to 6 months after I got it for PC, and have since gotten it back. That literally would not have been possible. Who thought that was a good idea.

He got his information from a pastbin that has no ties back to microsoft. You can believe it if you want but it is completely anonymous.

I didn't know where @crunchypickles found that stuff out. If I'd known, I probably wouldn't have even brought it up. It does not matter one lick though, because I already explained very thoroughly to you immediately prior to this pastebin information why it wasn't gonna happen anyway. If you don't agree with my reasoning, that's fine. In any case, this issue will literally never be resolved now, as Don Mattrick will take the truth to his grave. Could've been what you think it is and fuck over the entire industry accidentally, could've been something more reasonably awesome, could've been absolutely useless. We'll never know.

In any case, I'm tired of having my arguments cherry picked and leaving half of what I wrote unacknowledged, so how about this: You can continue being bummed out by Microsoft dropping your ideal console experience that somehow nearly sunk them, and I'll be happy they dropped their DRM for the good of the platform.

#3 Posted by Akrid (1356 posts) -

Here's the facts we have needed all this time!

If you read the licensing terms and the sharing plan ToS, it was more like "add 10 friends as secondary accounts under your control and allow two of them at a time to play the single-player portion of some of your games for a limited time." The game loan thing was restricted to "lend your game for up to 24 hours to someone who's been on your friends list for over 30 days." Used games were limited to one, and only one, license transfer. The person who bought the used game had no option to lend, give away, or sell it.

Thanks @crunchypickles, I didn't know this was known.

Sharing plan - Limited time demos.

Game loan - 24 hours, so when the system feasibly checks. I take this to mean that you can keep playing until your friend tries to play that game, or until the end of the day - whichever comes first.

Used games - ONE seller. ONE buyer.

Disregarding the fact that all those have been played insanely disingenuously by Microsoft, those are neat features (ignoring the used games bit).

That said, that sharing plan does not need always online to work in the slightest. Timed demos have been a thing for a very long time. The fact that you'd have to find someone to share it to you is actually an added inconvenience. So really the only added bonus here is that the disc can leave your home, and you can still play online for a good while.

#4 Posted by Akrid (1356 posts) -

@akrid said:

There's absolutely no evidence to show that they were intent on culturing a Steam-like eco-system outside of the fact that they had (even more restrictive) DRM. Closing the system does not equal lower prices, unless that's explicitly stated. Saying otherwise is plainly wishful thinking.

I'm aware that publishers set the price on Steam. As I said, Steam works by giving control. It just doesn't matter who sets the prices. Whoever is doing so knows that you definitely can't sell a game well at $60 on PC, and that you can barely sell it at $50. They're competing with "free" in piracy, and the only way out is cheap cheap cheap. That's the precedent that's been set.

Game sharing was never properly detailed. Some seem to be assuming that you can just share your game with 10 other friends, which, if true, really brings into question why they have such strict DRM policies primarily to combat basically the exact same thing. It just doesn't make sense for them to allow that kind of service. It seems like people are blowing this way out of proportion, and Microsoft

I don't know how you can in good conscience tell me I'm jumping to conclusions & being incongruous, and then make a ton of assumptions yourself. If you listen to Gabe talk about Steam, he says he doesn't think about Piracy at all, it's not a problem on PC to him & his platform is proving that. Games sell at low prices on Steam because it's the most closed platform on PC. Publishers price aggressively on closed platforms. This is the trend across every closed platform that exists. Whether it be Steam, smart phone app stores, or any such medium. That's why they price aggressively, not due to fear of piracy.

They had such a strict DRM policy because of the sharing functionality to begin with. They need to check to assure you weren't circumventing the system. If you had read about the policy before making an opinion about it you would know that, so please quit making assumptions.

He doesn't care about it anymore, but make no mistake, Steam was founded on the concept of piracy. That's the reason it exists. He doesn't care because he beat it.

I really don't see how I'm jumping to conclusions.

It's kind of a foolish thing to argue about this sharing thing at all, since almost nothing is known about it and so it doesn't actually mean anything. But regardless, a lot of what people continue to speculate that this "10 family members" game sharing was supposed to be is circumventing the system, but built right in. You mean to tell me that I can allow 10 of my friends to play my games? Great! But wait, you have this extremely restrictive system in place that makes sure I can't go to a singular friends house, hand them the disc, and let them "share" my game? What.

It makes zero sense. It's a massive leap in logic in so many ways, especially when they're being so incredibly coy of what game sharing actually is. If it really was the case that 10 friends can share games, they'd be touting it front and center. But instead, they don't, because that system simply will not work for them. Looking at it from the most important point of view, how does me sharing a single copy of a game with 10 of my friends sound to a publisher? Dire. Very dire. Like, twice as bad as used games dire. So that will not happen. It cannot.

You also can't wish that Publishers should get some money from used games and then turn around and support this supposed scheme. It's so much worse, because it's a feature and not a work-around.

If I'm misunderstanding what they've actually stated of their policies in some key way, please enlighten me.

#5 Edited by Akrid (1356 posts) -

@granderojo There's absolutely no evidence to show that they were intent on culturing a Steam-like eco-system outside of the fact that they had (even more restrictive) DRM. Closing the system does not equal lower prices, unless that's explicitly stated. Saying otherwise is plainly wishful thinking.

I'm aware that publishers set the price on Steam. As I said, Steam works by giving control. It just doesn't matter who sets the prices. Whoever is doing so knows that you definitely can't sell a game well at $60 on PC, and that you can barely sell it at $50. They're competing with "free" in piracy, and the only way out is cheap cheap cheap. That's the precedent that's been set. I don't think they're necessarily happy about that, but it's still a platform that some amount of money can be made on, and that closing of the gap has accidentally fostered a great relationship between consumers and producers on the platform.

Game sharing was never properly detailed. Some seem to be assuming that you can just share your game with 10 other friends, which, if true, really brings into question why they have such strict DRM policies primarily to combat basically the exact same thing. It just doesn't make sense for them to allow that kind of service. It seems like people are blowing this way out of proportion, and Microsoft really doesn't want to correct them because it's been the only positive thing being said for a long time now. It's the same as the argument about price points: Unsubstantiated, counter-intuitive, and essentially a non-factor until actually detailed.

Why Giantbomb deleted random parts of my comment I will never know.

#6 Posted by Akrid (1356 posts) -

Steam doesn't work solely on the premise that one copy = one user, although it certainly helps in crunching numbers. It works largely in part by giving developers extreme control over their games on the service. Assuming Microsoft was gearing up for a similar scheme is totally incongruous to what they've been showing of their hand thus far, with lack of self-publishing and their general disregard for the people who make - or even like - games.

Furthermore, digital sales sting retail, and Microsoft has a vested interest in not doing that - despite some evidence to the contrary in what they tried to do to Gamestop's model. If digital downloads dominate, hard copies will dry up on shelves as soon as someone at Best Buy realizes that they're totally outmatched. They've already got their shipments down to some insane science of ordering as few copies as possible. The change would happen overnight.

Digital and discs do not co-exist well, and if Microsoft truly want their feet in both, that means neither can have an advantage lest the other die out. They can't allow one to outstrip the other for at least a few years in order to accommodate the average user's expectations and understanding of how to buy games for their video-game box. The PC platform is the Wild West - nobody has to care about these things as long as it makes money for their own damn selves. It's not even comparable.

Even beyond a possible danger in breaking that status quo, the fact remains that Microsoft has an absolute monopoly on their digital marketplace, obviously. It does not behoove them to lower prices, because then they get lower dollars.The reason above all else that Steam's and GMG's prices are so low is because they are actively attempting to undercut each other and everyone else in order to induct consumers into their own special brand of PC gaming. They don't sell you NBA 2K13 for $0.99 because they don't want to charge you more. The idea that crazy cheap sales eventually equals more money is just not true when you compare to a highly profitable precedent of $60 like the consoles enjoy. They're working on an entirely different, markedly higher price scale that would make Newell salivate. Nobody wants to jeopardize that. Not the publishers, not the developers, not Microsoft. The idea that they'll "pass the savings on to you, the consumer" is never correct.

So given all this, I don't understand the disappointment some have had over this reversal. Yes, it's a bummer that publishers won't be able to make a bit more money off each hard copy of a game, it's mildly annoying for those who want their games digital, but all this wild conjecture around price points cannot be proven, is actively counter-intuitive, and thus was not lost today.

#7 Posted by Akrid (1356 posts) -

frankly frankly frankly

#8 Posted by Akrid (1356 posts) -

I try and keep my cool, and I think I usually do, but I can't help but be bummed out when a singular person brings down the whole team. Truth is, not getting angry at bad people in Dota takes a zen-like composure that I wouldn't expect of anyone. Because Dota is an inherently frustrating game. It gives you a false sense of control of a given match, and then it just takes it away as soon as you see "double kill" pop up on your screen. Each match is like a pick up game of soccer with strangers, only to have one of your team mates kick it into your own goal like 6 times. But then in Dota, they don't even understand why that's a bad thing. And then it makes you play that losing game for another 30 minutes. If you're at all into the sport, it's infuriating.

And yet I keep playing.

#9 Posted by Akrid (1356 posts) -

@andorski said:

I think a lot of this discussion is starting to get a little too heated. Can we all just agree that if you need more than a sentence in order to explain to a customer if he/she can play a game that they did not originally pay new for, you dun fucked up.

That's my fault for coming on so strong in the original post, so I deserve it. I got laughed at or ignored everywhere I posted my theory about this (by editors of sites, no less), so I had a hearty laugh and a bit of a big head when this report hit with what appears to be the exact system I assumed would be there.

It's a shame that the click driven media world has brought us to this point where controversy and page views takes precedence over actual reporting and fact finding. Same problem as politics, honestly.

I can sympathize with having to fight through peoples' narrowing mindsets, but you said it yourself - it was a theory until today, and even still from an unknown, unofficial source. The media aren't to blame for reporting what Microsoft has been officially saying and then officially redacting over and over. Assuming they're actually doing something reasonable when they're repeatedly directly saying they're not is giving them a lot more trust then they deserve.

Microsoft shouldn't have made people theory-craft in the first place. They really should have come on stage and said, "We're making our console work like Steam but with more discs", because really, that seems what this is shaping up to be. Instead, they decided to keep it short and vague for those tuning in on Spike who don't really care about specifics, and it's bit them back. Barring clarifying all these things that stretch into new territory in the first presentation, they should at least have had the answers to all these touchy questions fully loaded and ready to go, but they've seemed absolutely baffled when it's been brought up. I have little doubt that the new Xbox will shape up to be a totally reasonable console with totally reasonable policies, but it still shakes confidence when they screw up this much.

#10 Posted by Akrid (1356 posts) -

I picked it up again recently - spurred by seeing footage of Dark Arisen - and had a better time then ever with it. It has a lot of design quirks that I found hard to get past originally, but it's such a great, unique, and just plain brave game that eventually I learned to forgive.

It's the game that makes me excited for next-gen. It's just incredibly ambitious with it's 100% dynamic lighting and open world, to the point where they really scraped the ceiling of what current-gen can do. I'm hoping developers will feel free to be more daring in those sorts of aspects now that they'll have a little wiggle room. There's also a faint hope in me that games like this and Dark Souls light a fire under the right people and we get more crazy niche-but-surprisingly-not-so-niche things like them moving forward. They're good evidence that big companies are still willing to take big risks making quality crazy games.