Is this the future of video games? >:(

I, belatedly, just started playing Starcraft 2. I have no real complaints about the game, but I HATE with the fury of the thousand suns the way they force you to register it.

Given my choice in hobbies, I know that pirating is a big deal not just in the video game industry, but in many other technology related industries as well. But surely there must be a better way to protect your game/movie/music/program than forced registration?

For those of you who don’t know, when you buy SC2 and install it, you can’t play it without a account. That’s the company’s own website used to link their many games so you can play vs. other people over the internet. It used to be optional. I have the orignal Starcraft, unregistered, with no BNet account and I can play it just fine. However, with SC2, you are not allowed to play the game before you register and add the game to your existing cache of games that you own.

Not only that, but patches are also forced on you, like an MMO. Even if you have no interest in playing against other people, when you start the game, an automatic window appears and forces you to download any new patches that are available for the game. If you don’t want the “fix”, too bad, you are forced to download it anyway! No canceling or postponement option is available either. The only way I’ve found to not be forced into this is when my internet was down and the game, after a loooooooong delay, allowed me to play without connecting to the internet. I wish I could have tested that trick when I installed the game because I don’t really give a shit about Achievements and rather play it offline against the computer.

I remember when something similar happened years ago with another big name game, I think it may have been Half Life 2. There as in SC2, there was a forced registration and online requirement that unlocked the game. It was cracked pretty quick of course, but there was such a huge uprising on the internet that the company bowed to the outcry and stopped doing that shit. No idea if they’ve quietly slipped that back in.

I understand the need the protect a product that you might have spent the last 14 years working on, but I think the forced aspect of registration is too damaging to the product as a whole. Not only are forced patches, server accessibility, and registration a way to combat pirating, but it gives companies seemingly unlimited access to a product that you bought and is yours legally. This isn’t a car where using it has to be registered with the government. This is a private company deciding that they will dictate the terms in which you will use their product after it has left their factories. Maybe some of you think that’s right, but I don’t.

BTW, there’s probably a lot of hacks and mods that I could install to alter this game to get rid of the annoying parts, but my point is that there shouldn’t have to be an illegal backdoor third-party program to let you use a product on it’s own without meddling from the company.


Patches = good, IMHO. Specially since many add features to the game.

Also you can play the game without registering if you want. You won’t get battlenet achievements, but that’s about it.

Really? Then I must say they’ve certainly taken pains to make it seem like you can’t play without it. The instruction book says that one of the first things I have to do is register. Even when I did so, I couldn’t figure out how to play it until I read that I have to add the game to my cache. Then I get hours of forced patch download with nary a button anywhere to cancel that shit.

I’ve played a lot of games and still own many old ones, and it’s rare that a game is unplayable without a patch. I resent the forced nature of it. There should be an option menu that asks whether you want to look for a patch or not, not an automatic popup. Some of us don’t care that much.

I know very little about video games. But what’s the situation if you don’t have an online connection? Let’s assume you’re a strangely particular luddite who owns a computer but not an internet connection.

I dunno. People on rural wireless. LANs. Canadians who pay $2/GB.

Definitely need to register and connect at least once to play SC2.

I don’t know. That’s why I’m pissed. Even if Blizzard had created SC2 with such an option, I didn’t see any easy way to locate and utilize that option.

AFAIK, you’re out of luck, period.

“Broadband Internet connection” is listed under the minimum system requirements.

I actually had a bit of pain with Starcraft 2 myself, since I keep my gaming computer offline. (It’s also where I freelance edited movies and part and parcel of my agreement with the company was that I could edit from home, as long as the computer wasn’t on any network.) So I had to essentially disable my editing harddrive, plug my smartphone into the computer and give myself a two-minute internet connection to let SC2 verify it’s connection before I closed it and turned the internet back off.

Royal pain in the ass.

That said, at least Ubisoft quietly smothered the Assassin’s Creed 2 DRM that required a constant internet connection - in a game that was pure singleplayer. AC2: Brotherhood requires activation, true, but not continuous.

I grit my teeth and bear it, but it’s still disheartening to think that people playing pirated games doesn’t have to deal with this shit.

Which is why I bought no less than three copies of the Witcher 2, two as gifts and one for myself, from CD Project at, which sells legal games - with no DRM.

Believe it or not, this is one of the reasons I have declined to purchase StarCraft 2. registration is, as I understand it, mandatory. So I am voting with my dollars. I realize that this is strictly symbolic, because Blizzard has more money than Scrooge McDuck and more loyal zombie followers than most major sports teams, so they need neither me nor my dollars, but hey, I’m sticking up for what I believe.

I was almost certain that registration was optional and only required for multi-player. Isn’t there a “Guest” account you can use at login without having to worry about registering?

There might have been a one time only game unlock, though I can’t recall for sure.

I agree that registering is starting to get stupid. I’ve got a Steam account, a direct 2 drive account, an impulse account, and battlenet account, an EA account, a Bioware account… it’s getting a bit ridiculous.

Games for Windows Live is similarly crappy from what I’ve read. Some games are starting to require you to have your saved games on the Windows Live “cloud.” Even for single player games. People generally say they have no problem with it, but WTF?!?

Several games I’ve wanted to buy but the ridiculous requirements keep me away. Like GTA IV for example, it keeps going on sale for $5 but I’m not touching it. And Asscreed 2.

I’m pretty sure you have to register it once before it will let you play, but after that you can just log in as a guest and play the campaign offline.

I actually strongly prefer one time online activation as opposed to a CD check. As for the poster that keeps his gaming computer offline. My god man!? What do you do with patches? Are you forever shuttling USB sticks back and forth? I can’t imagine playing games anymore without having the latest patches/drivers/Windows Updates.

Is there any Windows live games that solely work through the cloud? I know a lot of them won’t let you save unless you are logged in but that’s usually a local save that is then uploaded to the cloud.

I got the game for Christmas. Over Christmas, I was at my mom’s house, with essentially no Internet access. I wanted to immediately try out my new Christmas present, but got absolutely nothing but an error message that said I needed to be online to install it.

Not necessarily. For example, patches completely changed the way Dawn Of War plays by introducing individual unit caps (on top of the population cap), maxing the turrets a player can drop at 4 (seriously, FOUR. To cover the whole map.) and generally modifying every aspect of the game.

This was done because multiplayer players bitched and moaned about balance, but it also applied to the single player game whether you liked it or not. It wasn’t so bad though - if like me you like building ridiculous, self-sufficient defense networks for the AI to smash into, or if you wanted your entire popcap to be taken up by fukken dreadnoughts you could just not install the latest patches, which only modified the game balance anyway (all major bugs had been corrected at this point). No problem. No such luck with SC2, or for that matter with any Steam game where you forget to turn off auto updates.

That’s the problem with automated patching: sometimes it fucks around with your game in ways you don’t care it to. Patches that remove bugs are always good. Patches that tweak existing game features, or add new ones aren’t always so idyllic.

I totally admire this, even though there’s no way I’d follow suit. Rather than whining that the people who made a product didn’t make it exactly the way you wish they had made it, you decline to purchase it. We’re not talking about life-saving medicine or basic foodstuffs, people; we’re talking about a frippery, a luxury. If you don’t like the frippery, buy some other frippery. If enough people agree with you, the folks making the frippery will change it.

In this case, you acknowledge that you’re in a tiny minority. True, you have to phrase it in insulting terms about the people who disagree with you, but at least you acknowledge their existence. :slight_smile:

More bitching:

I know I’m not the only one without super high speed internet access. Which is why I don’t like that even console games are getting into the whole patch-happy fixes. My PS3 is not connected online. That means I don’t get PSN, I don’t get Home, I won’t be able to access Qore, or get patches or additional downloadable content for my games.

To be honest, I’m fine with that. At least for now, a PS3 title gives you enough content to justify the $50-$60 price tag. But given that things seem to be shifting towards all online all the time, I’m afraid of the day when I won’t be able to play my store bought PS3 games without some kind of firmware update for the PS3 itself. It’s already close. I’ve read in the dark recesses of the internet about games released today that won’t work on the first generation PS3’s, or even later models that will only work once you get online and download updates. I couldn’t tell if it was true, or a possible dire version of the future. I know that Nintendo updates it’s consoles and handhelds so that older versions of the chip that lets you download games won’t work on the updated consoles, but I was hoping that’s only Nintendo being Nintendo

They have an entire country! South Korea might as well be renamed Starcraftopia

To be fair, I’m NOT talking about people who don’t care about SC2’s online registration when I say “loyal zombie followers”. I’m talking about all the people who bitched about it when it was announced and then showed Blizzard exactly how much weight was behind those words - i.e. none in most cases, since they went right out and gave them their money anyway. (“Stop! Or I’ll say ‘Stop’ again!”)

Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I’m NOT a massive StarCraft fan. I did play rather a lot of it back in the day, but I didn’t jump out of my chair and pump my fist in the air when SC2 was announced either. (Though I did occasionally check back on the website to see the new units as they announced them.) I probably wouldn’t have bought it day 1. I certainly wasn’t going to order the Special Extra Expensive Bonus Edition with Flash Drive and Artbook. But I was definitely going to buy the game. Now my plan is to wait and see if maybe by the time they get done releasing the compilation pack they’ll undoubtedly do of all three games, maybe they’ll have come around on the registration thing. If not, well, whatever, I have plenty of things to occupy my time.

Something of a false dichotomy, there. I’d prefer to have no DRM at all, or if one is to use online-verification DRM, to make it something a little more tolerant of occasional offline play, like Steam uses. “Must have an internet connection every time” DRM is certainly a point against Starcraft. It’s just not enough of a point against it to outweigh all the points for it, in my opinion.

I agree wholeheartedly. Much as I disliked the DRM, I still stood in a queue for the midnight launch and have played through both campaign and the online services for a triple-digit number of hours. And, frankly, it’s been the only interesting RTS (outside the Total War series) that’s been released for the last 4 years.