Ubisoft Patches Assassin's Creed 2 DRM, Allows Local Saves

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News Posted: Thu, Mar 4 2010 4:48 PM
There's two bits of Ubisoft news today, one of which we're still investigating. First up, the company apparently payed attention to the outrage of gamers who discovered the DRM in the PC version of Assassin's Creed II would throw them out of game without saving if they lost an Internet connection in a single-player game. AC2 won't be released until March 16, but the company has already issued a patch that will allow gamers to resume playing in the event of a connection break, rather than forcing them back to the last saved game. The second (and amusing) snippet of news is that Ubisoft debuted this new controversial DRM system with the release of Silent Hunter 5, only to have it allegedly cracked within 24 hours of launch. We're currently in the process of confirming this and will report back with our findings.



Ubisoft does get a point or two, however grudgingly, for acknowledging supreme customer unhappiness and patching its ridiculously penalizing DRM scheme but unfortunately neither the medical community nor gaming developers have ever found a way to patch stupid. Based on available evidence, we have no choice but to conclude that there are several high-ranking suits at Ubisoft afflicted with this serious condition. It doesn't matter if we're writing TPS Reports, downloading files, surfing the Internet, or playing a game—we (by which I mean, every human on Earth old enough to hammer their face into a keyboard) collectively HATE losing data or our place in it. This is why nifty features like autosaving documents, web browsers that can remember where you were, and resume download functionality were invented in the first place. It's why DVDs have scene selection, and tape recorders can rewind/fast forward.


Being nice to the librarian used to be much, much, more important. Not pictured above: The first severe beating of an individual over a dog-eared volume.

If you actually pause and think about it, humanity has pumped out a consistent level of nerdrage over losing our place for a pretty damned long time. The card catalog and Dewey Decimal System were simultaneously developed in 1876 (by two different people) because the previous library organization system consisted of throwing all the books into random heaps around the room and it was pissing people off. It wasn't thirty minutes after Gutenberg put his first book on display in 1440 that a disgruntled competitor invented the dog-ear.

The transition from scrolls to codices (books), which began in the 1st century, was driven partly by a desire to better organize, protect, and preserve data, and included the invention of both the bookmark and the index. We can trace this desire all the way back to the very first civilizations and even into prehistoric times. What did our forebears variously paint, chisel, or drag a lot of into geometric shapes? Rock. Why? Because it wasn't going anywhere. You can bet that when Khufu was watching the Great Pyramid rise from the Egyptian desert, he wasn't asking himself: "What happens if I lose my place?" Skip ahead 4,576 years (give or take a decade), and it's still Khufu's pyramid. This is why Khufu is sometimes surreptiously worshipped as the Lord of Saved Games (hieroglyphs drawn in Cheetos grease by caffeine-jittered hands depict him as an Egyptian Pharaoh in his prime, with a Legend of Zelda cartridge for a head.)

Somehow The Powers That Be at Ubisoft forgot this cultural imperative. We'd like to be the first to sincerely thank Ubisoft for doing the right thing and patching out this particular aspect of its new DRM system. We're still left asking the same question we did last week, however: Who, exactly, thought this was a good idea?
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JoelB replied on Thu, Mar 4 2010 6:38 PM

Gah, stupid page refreshes.

Why bother with DRM at all, especially if it gets cracked in the first 24 hours?

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Joel H replied on Thu, Mar 4 2010 7:07 PM

I suppose it makes them feel better.

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I love the Office Space reference. But seriously, I just can't seem to understand why Ubisoft is doing this (other than the obvious reasons). I applaud them for the patch, but DRM is just too dreadful to deal with already. 

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LOL Joel! Thanks for the update, I find it hilarious that the original DRM may have been cracked within 24 hours! I posted about this DRM a few weeks ago, so appreciate the heads up.

Now about the second half of the article...priceless!

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There is no point but a waste of money for them, they do this and it gets cracked  in less then 24hours so its like not having it in the first place. Those that buy this game will of course be most that want to play it and those others are the ones they are trying to stop but most likely they will get the cracked version anyways and in a way this is promoting them to crack it, it gives them a challenge :D

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Dave_HH replied on Thu, Mar 4 2010 7:58 PM

JoelB, what do you mean page refreshes?

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i think i have the same issue as him... My page refreshes at random times for no reason. I haven't cared of it because my post satys there while it refreshes so i just scroll back down and continue typing -.-. i think its only HH im not sure, i don't pay attention to it :D lol

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Xylem replied on Thu, Mar 4 2010 11:16 PM

Ubisoft has preplanned its loss!! Stick out tongue They should be better in realizing that they would get the DRM cracked anyways. Some people do not want to change!

@Joel - Dude, I understand ur page refreshes. There is a interval in with the HH page reload / refreshes automatically. Apparently, think its a feature to get the latest post and post below the last. But for people like us, who love to post large volumes, this is a pain in the *** (I made it * myself without using the word, coz just yesterday I came across a forum which would make them * Big Smile). Thankfully Firefox retains the un-posted text as well unlike Chrome Angry.

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Hmmm, and I thought it was an issue with my browser. It's a little annoying, but as long as the text isn't lost it doesn't matter.

@Xylem Thanks for the heads up on Chrome, will be avoiding using it with HH until the refreshing can be disabled.

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rapid1 replied on Fri, Mar 5 2010 2:18 AM

Ubisoft is STUPID as stated very clearly so it is easy to understand. I did not like them before any of this anyway so oh well big loss for me. As for the page refresh it started right after the daunting fist post copy paste monster, where it would delete our posts and copy paste the article as a post from us personally. This one is generally nowhere near as bad which is why you have not heard much on it I am sure Dave. You just have to generally scroll back down and continue typing, although sometimes it will blank you, it is not very common.

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Joel, because I enjoyed this post so very much, I sent a shortened copy of your rant to @Ubisoft over a series of tweets...I don't expect a response, lol.

 

Found the name of the group who cracked Ubisoft's DRM: Skid-Row

http://games.slashdot.org/story/10/03/05/027258/Ubisofts-New-DRM-Cracked-In-One-Day

 

Also, I found this from one of the responses to the above article, pretty funny:

Engineering hours building unbreakable DRM: $1.6M
Marketing devoted to managing customer hostility to new DRM: $800K
Lost sales due to customers boycotting your product: $2M
Having some wiseass kid from Sweden break your DRM on the first day: Priceless

 

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Xylem replied on Fri, Mar 5 2010 4:30 AM

@ Gibbersome- LOL Big Smile

 

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3vi1 replied on Fri, Mar 5 2010 7:38 AM

I can confirm seeing the same problem lately. I think one of the adverts or something must be forcing a periodic refresh.

It doesn't usually bother me when I'm using FF here on my Linux box, because it puts everything I was writing back in the fields - but it will cause you to lose everything if you're still on IE6.

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

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3vi1 replied on Fri, Mar 5 2010 7:57 AM

Too late, Ubisoft. Many of us already made up our mind not to buy (or pirate) this game for any platform thanks to the way you treat your paying customers. And apparently the only thing you showed the pirates is that getting games in that method makes them more friendly for the player.

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

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Dave_HH replied on Fri, Mar 5 2010 8:11 AM

Folks believe it or not, this is by design. If you leave a window open with our page on it for over 12 minutes (actually 13.3 mins now, since I just upped it a tad), it will refresh the page and rotate the ads. We set it at a nice long time so it wouldn't annoy but I just turned it up a little higher as well since at least one of you seemed to get annoyed by it. :)

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Dave_HH replied on Fri, Mar 5 2010 8:14 AM

And of course this functionality does not work this way in the forum, just on the main site.

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Oops, sorry Dave, didn't know that. I've gotten in the habit of opening several HH article windows at the same time, probably why I've been noticing it more often, lol. Thanks for the response!

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Yet Ubisoft won't admit defeat. They keep asserting that (1) Silent Hunter 5 was not cracked within the first 24 hours and (2) The pirated copies are incomplete (though they never mention what incomplete means exactly).

Neither of this seems to bother the thousands of people who have downloaded the copy of SH5 and are able to save offline...unlike the legit buyers.

http://www.gameplanet.co.nz/news/134590.20100305.Snippets-Ubi-denies-Silent-Hunter-5-cracks-STO-brouhaha-RDR-needs-polish/

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It's a shame to because it looks like a game that could be really fun. I refuse to waste my time or money on anything from Ubisoft if they continue to treat paying customers like this. The only people hurt by this junk is paying customers.

And it's not like I have a huge hatred for DRM, as long as it stays out of my way. I buy most of my games from Steam and that is a big DRM scheme, but it adds value to my games and doesn't get in the way of me playing.

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3vi1 replied on Sun, Mar 7 2010 6:12 PM

Thanks for the info Dave.

I have an alternate solution - load the input field in a separate frame. But, that would require redesigning the site to look like it was still 1999. Hehehe

Maybe the input button could open the comment entry box in another tab/window?

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

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