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Thread: It's Beta Time!

  1. #101
    Developer Hoverdog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Asmodai View Post
    You know Steam runs on Linux now, with all the same DRM capabilities.
    Yup, Steam EA will have both Linux and Mac builds.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs89 View Post
    Hey, i dug through some pages of this thread, but im not sure if i understood it correctly. So currently there is a beta avaible via steam, if i sign in here: Request Beta Access, right? I did this a few weeks ago (at least 2) and received a confirmation email that my data was correct, but so far i didnt get any further info in how to obtain the steam version. Did i miss something, are the keys still being distributed and i only need to wait?
    Sorry to bother with this question but i couldn't find an answer in the forums so far =/

    P.S: I backed Spearman level in a second kickstarter campaing if im not wrong. (Sorry its been awhile and i irregularly checked back here, so it could be confusing things with second kickstart ect.)

    best regard
    Fuchs
    Every backer that selected Steam as their platform of choice (or replied to the email if he selected GOG/wastelands) will automatically be able to redeem a key tomorrow.

    So this is an either-or situation and we have to chose either Steam or a DRM-Free version? We cannot have an early access Steam version and a DRM-Free version after Worlds of Magic is released?
    Yes.

  2. #102
    Archmage of the Outer Ring jamoecw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greybriar View Post
    So this is an either-or situation and we have to chose either Steam or a DRM-Free version? We cannot have an early access Steam version and a DRM-Free version after Worlds of Magic is released?
    steam does have DRM free games. those games can be launched from their steam folders on your computer (without launching steam). it definately isn't as elegant as gog.com, but it is there. during steam's early years it made a lot of effort to present itself as having good DRM so as to keep the AAA publishers happy, once the market shifted away from their antics they have been trying to present themselves as having both (and failing btw).

    i really hope they aren't adding in DRM just for the steam build. the reason they are making you chose is that they need to give a cut to which ever you use (so if you use both, then both get a cut from your purchase, and thus WoM gets less money for development). personally i like gog's distribution method better (you have a choice about whether or not to install game breaking patches for one), but since i have it on steam i am fine with just having it on steam.

    edit: currently the steam version does use the steam DRM.
    Last edited by jamoecw; 09-04-2014 at 08:30 PM.

  3. #103
    Sorcerer Greybriar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamoecw View Post
    steam does have DRM free games....
    No. If someone has to install Steam in order to play a game, it is NOT DRM-Free.

  4. #104
    Moderator Asmodai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greybriar View Post
    No.
    Yes, there are a rare few (typically indy games) that are DRM free on Steam. One example I know of is Divinity: Original Sin.
    Quote Originally Posted by Greybriar View Post
    If someone has to install Steam in order to play a game, it is NOT DRM-Free.
    This is true. As noted though you do not have to install Steam in order to PLAY the steam version of Divinity: Original Sin for example.
    You could install steam, download the game, delete all the steam executables and libraries, and then launch the game and it would still run. An easier test would be just to exit Steam and then run the game and check your processes to make sure the game didn't start steam back up... it doesn't. Either way the game functions fine without steam and is thus is in fact DRM free.

    This is the exception rather than the rule though. The vast majority of games do indeed require Steam to be present in order to run at all.

  5. #105
    Sorcerer Greybriar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Asmodai View Post
    Yes, there are a rare few (typically indy games) that are DRM free on Steam. One example I know of is Divinity: Original Sin....
    Anytime it is necessary to install 3rd party software before a PC game can be played, it is NOT DRM-Free.
    Last edited by Greybriar; 09-04-2014 at 09:21 PM.

  6. #106
    Moderator Asmodai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greybriar View Post
    Anytime it is necessary to install 3rd party software before a PC game can be played, it is NOT DRM-Free.
    Well by that definition I guess no digital distribution service is DRM free.
    Even GoG you have to install a web browser go to their site, you have to create an account with them, and you have to acquire the game (via code, credit card, etc.) and download it via that account before the game can be played.

    With Divinity: Original Sin you could theoretically copy the contents of the game directory onto a flash drive and take it to a computer that doesn't have steam and it should work just fine. (possible exceptions being things such as registry keys or shared libraries missing but NOT any sort of Steam dependence.) Steam is therefore not DRM as it is not in any way managing your right to use the game. You could pirate the heck out of the Steam version if you were so inclined. In this case Steam is just functioning as a content delivery service, a digital storefront not DRM. Again though this is EXTREMELY RARE and the vast majority of games released on Steam DO use it as DRM.

  7. #107
    Sorcerer Greybriar's Avatar
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    A game I purchased from GOG.com would not run on my Windows 7 PC. GOG's technical support could not resolve the problem, so I copied the game download to a flash drive and installed the game on my Windows XP computer where it worked just fine. My Windows XP machine is not connected to the internet. That's about as close as you can get to being DRM-Free with online purchases.

    Even though Steam's DRM is not used by some games (newer Paradox titles come to mind), you still have to use Steam to get the game activated and that is DRM in my book. What if I purchased a retail boxed game in a brick and mortar store? DRM-Free should mean that I can install the game I bought and play it without ever having to go online. No 3rd party software, no DRM, no copy protection of any kind.

    As you noted, Asmodai, most times these days "DRM-Free" isn't actually DRM-Free and it really burns me up when we gamers are considered so gullible that we don't know the difference.

  8. #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by Asmodai View Post
    Even GoG you have to install a web browser go to their site, you have to create an account with them, and you have to acquire the game (via code, credit card, etc.) and download it via that account before the game can be played.
    Installing a web browser, for which many free (as in Free Software) alternatives exist, and which is a standardized and open protocol you can even reimplement yourself in a dozen of Python or a mere hundred of C lines, is not comparable to having to install a specific proprietary software using a proprietary and opaque protocol.

    It's a both a difference in terms of ethics, but also in terms of actual freedom of the user. I often download my games from GoG using wget in a "screen" on a server. Setups like that are possible when you're part of an open ecosystem, using standard protocols, like GoG, but not when you're part of a fenced garden like the Steam (or Apple) worlds.

  9. #109
    Moderator Asmodai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kilobug View Post
    Installing a web browser, for which many free (as in Free Software) alternatives exist, and which is a standardized and open protocol you can even reimplement yourself in a dozen of Python or a mere hundred of C lines, is not comparable to having to install a specific proprietary software using a proprietary and opaque protocol.
    and this has absolutely nothing to do with DRM. You can argue that a proprietary software distribution system/digital storefront is a bad thing but that doesn't make it DRM. DRM is Digital Rights Management, it has a specific meaning. Despite what Greybriar might believe you can't just change the definition to whatever you want. Hey, that thing growing in the ground over there with leaves and branches and stuff... that's a lake in my book.
    Quote Originally Posted by kilobug View Post
    It's a both a difference in terms of ethics, but also in terms of actual freedom of the user. I often download my games from GoG using wget in a "screen" on a server. Setups like that are possible when you're part of an open ecosystem, using standard protocols, like GoG, but not when you're part of a fenced garden like the Steam (or Apple) worlds.
    We're actually on the same side here. I hate Steam as well, I posted in this thread to see if there was going to be ANY non-Steam beta at all as a beta backer... even if coming much later than EA (which STILL hasn't been answered). The response told me an email was sent out to allow me to change my distribution to Steam to get EA to which I responded I absolutely do NOT want a Steam version of the final game. I DO want a GoG version of the final game specially because even if the Steam version of Worlds of Magic were DRM free (which it doesn't appear to be anyway from what jamoecw said) I don't want to support Steam with my money. All that being said though it does not change the fact that it is factually incorrect that all Steam games have DRM. The VAST majority do but it IS possible to download some games on Steam that you can then throw on USB keys or whatever and move around and require no Steam presence at all in order to run. They are in fact DRM-free, even if bought from what you may believe is an Evil proprietary storefront they're still DRM free. They do NOT manage digital rights.

    If a new company comes along and makes a propriety software client that for some reason developers choose to release their software through it is NOT automatically DRM. Now maybe you think it's evil because it's proprietary, maybe I even agree with you on that point but its form of evil is NOT DRM at that point. If the games you download from it can be copied around and run even when the storefront software is removed they are DRM-free. There is no rights management going on. Again the propriety store may still be "evil" for other reasons but DRM would not be one of them in this case. Steam CAN (but rarely does) function like this.

  10. #110
    Archmage of the Outer Ring jamoecw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greybriar View Post
    A game I purchased from GOG.com would not run on my Windows 7 PC. GOG's technical support could not resolve the problem, so I copied the game download to a flash drive and installed the game on my Windows XP computer where it worked just fine. My Windows XP machine is not connected to the internet. That's about as close as you can get to being DRM-Free with online purchases.
    gog being smaller tends to care more about the happiness of their customers. so in your case had you wanted a refund (say if you didn't own an XP machine), the probability of gog giving you one is higher than steam. i had a friend that bought shogun 2 through steam, logged over 120 hours. then it got patched with a patch that broke the game (failure to launch sometimes, other times crash at launch). a lot of people had this issue, and the tech support guys (not steam people mind you) kept blaming other things other than stuff they did. finally i went and found a cracked copy that worked (single player only, which sucks as multiplayer campaign was the key selling point of the game). it worked on his system, the only differences between that and the steam version was steam, and the patch. after a few months (7 since the problem first was reported) after i pointed out where the problem most likely was, i posted what i found out due to the cracked copy (of a game he already bought, twice as he hoped going to a brick and mortar store would bypass steam). this earned me a lifetime ban from their support forums months (3) after the post was made (i'm not the only one to get banned like this too). given that it is considered not to be piracy in the US or the UK if you legitimately bought the game to get a cracked copy it wasn't exactly advocating piracy (as per forum rules, and if they checked me i have the game as well). they finally owned up to them being the ones that broke the game (a patch that takes an average of 20 minutes, with no indication that it is doing anything, and should it get disrupted for any reason you have to remove and reinstall the whole game), that being said he hasn't received a refund, and the game hasn't had any sort of patch or fix to correct the issue to this day.

    my parents own a store, my grand father owned a store. the reason stores exist is to act as an interface between the customer and the company that makes the product. if an issue occurs with a product, it is the store's job to find a fix for it. most stores forget this and think they are just a distribution point for goods, but if that were the case mail order would have put brick and mortar stores out of business prior to WW1 (and is why internet stores are so popular today). with steam having a 70% market share (last time i checked) of all game sales in the world, anything it does or fails to do probably can't be fixed just by going to a competitor. so failing to step in and offer a refund to people that got screwed by the patch when sega/CA decided not to support its customers (not to mention other companies that this has happened to) means that anytime you buy something on steam you may not get what you paid for, with no real recourse.

    that has been my only negative experience with steam. though it is my only experience in which steam had to juggle my interests with a major producer's. given that it was obvious that there was a problem, steam never went to bat for the customers (remember this wasn't an isolated incident). this tells me that when the chips are down steam will take the money and run, but are nice enough otherwise. given that steam could have offered to simply give a pre patched game in addition to the patched game and made everyone happy, and given that when gog did start to have issues due to some games it had that they fixed the issue out of their own pocket (http://www.gog.com/news/getting_back_to_our_roots), i can safely say gog is a far better company to give your money to. i can also say that when the developers take care of the customer steam works great. steam is a great service (with some flaws), and the company is not bad. gog on the other hand is a good service (no multiplayer support and such though), and a great company. great and not bad isn't as good as great and good.

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