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Comment: Re:Brand un-value (Score 1) 137

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#48478611) Attached to: Ubisoft Apologizes For Assassin's Creed
It doesn't help now that 'brands' aren't just a sticker on the box. They increasingly (getting to the 'alarmingly frequently' and likely heading toward the dystopian future of 'forever, across every platform!') also tell you what (terrible) online 'service' you'll have to create an account for and what god-awful launcher/store/spyware/'social' clusterfuck you'll be forced to install.

If it were just about the label on the box, I'd be cautious about EA, and really cautious about Ubisoft; but hey, if the reviews end up actually being good, or a friend recommends it, or even if it initially sucked but was patched back to health, I'd be willing to agree that they've done better than usual and give it a try.

Now that everyone wants to have their own distribution platform and monetize the social friendscape and so on, though, that's less of an option. Ubisoft game that looks interesting? Well, "U-Play" sure as hell doesn't. No sale.

Comment: Re:Bugs are DRM (Score 1) 137

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#48478573) Attached to: Ubisoft Apologizes For Assassin's Creed
I'd certainly only want the ones who appear to have grown out of illicitly releasing games into the underground(or, at very least, agreeing only to release other people's games, not the one that they are working on); but aside from that little issue, "Voluntarily grovelled through game binaries and assets stripping out DRM and poking various things in exchange for nothing more than amusement and possible recognition" sounds like a pretty promising set of qualifications.

Comment: Re:Fix it? (Score 1) 137

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#48478233) Attached to: Ubisoft Apologizes For Assassin's Creed
The ghastly plague of pre-orders certainly feeds the cynical pump 'n dump of lousy, unfinished, games; but I'd be interested to know how the incentives for fixing work out:

Can you reverse the plunge of a really buggy launch by fixing it? If so, how quickly and how completely do you have to have a fix in place?

Is a bad launch effectively irreversible; but a solid patching effort can make a substantial difference in 'second-run' sales in the $20-$30 versions and 'Gold' re-release-with-DLC versions?

Is the game effectively tainted permanently; but 'they fucked up; but then they eventually fixed it' a memory more likely to get you to pre-order the sequel than 'they fucked up, then did nothing'?

Ideally, of course, they'd fix it because it's the right thing to do (and some of the humans involved in the game's production might even feel that way); but I doubt that the publisher, as a corporate colony organism, gives a damn about that, so it'd be interesting to know where the money is when it comes to fixing or not fixing a game.

Comment: Re:Bugs are DRM (Score 1) 137

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#48478193) Attached to: Ubisoft Apologizes For Assassin's Creed
I'd still be annoyed at having to re-buy it because the CD and all the patches didn't work correctly; but (as someone who lost their CD fair and square, by good old fashioned incompetence and disorganization on my part rather than theirs) I think it's fair to note that GoG thankfully has this one, and it was worth my $6.

Comment: Re:Unexpected technical issues (Score 4, Insightful) 137

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#48478127) Attached to: Ubisoft Apologizes For Assassin's Creed
Let's put it this way: When a game doesn't suck publishers generally don't embargo reviews until 12 hours after release...

Even games that end up releasing in pretty dubious shape often manage to score fairly positive pre-launch press through some combination of assurances that 'those little issues won't be in the final version, just see the promise!' and the degree to which the reviewer depends on the goodwill of the publisher for future access, so if reviewers aren't allowed to talk about it even after it is on the shelves, you might want to run away. Maybe pick it up for $20 a year from now, if they actually do fix it.

Comment: Re:Bugs are DRM (Score 1) 137

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#48478075) Attached to: Ubisoft Apologizes For Assassin's Creed
The difference is obviously academic if nobody actually does it; but do the various auto-updaters of today attempt to resist, by some DRMish means, archiving of updates as they are received, such that you could either do an offline 'replay' of each update against a retail copy, or preserve a final working version(depending on whether updates are delivered as replacements or as deltas)?

I assume that consoles do, if only because consoles are extremely touchy by nature about anything going in or out(aside from maybe DLNA streaming and such) without being explicitly blessed; but I don't know about the PC side. Have updaters been sucked in to the wonderful world of DRM, or are they still mostly an honest-if-sometimes-incompetent download and patch utility?

Comment: Re:Unexpected technical issues (Score 4, Insightful) 137

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#48478041) Attached to: Ubisoft Apologizes For Assassin's Creed
I suspect that this was not the cause of the failure to find the raging pile of bugs in the PS4 and XBox One versions, since there isn't much hardware variation among released models.

Much more plausible (if still an example of terrible testing practice) with any bugs in the PC version that can be linked to a specific GPU driver version or the like. Even there, though, PC gamers(of the type interested in new-release action games) may not have the newest hardware; but tend to be fairly good about updating GPU drivers and DirectX runtimes.

Comment: Re:All or nothing (Score 1) 72

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#48477767) Attached to: Researchers Discover an "Off Switch" For Pain In the Brain
It might not work in young children (see also 'congenital insensitivity to pain' and the unpleasant self-inflicted/accidental injuries that children with it wrack up); but as a now more or less mentally competent adult I'd really be in favor of replacing pain with something more informative and less painful. Maybe SNMP.

Comment: Re:Shyeah, right. (Score 2) 275

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#48464367) Attached to: Is LTO Tape On Its Way Out?
The orbital mechanics can get a bit tricky; but interplanetary distances open the possibility of reviving good, old-fashioned, delay-line memory...

Just think of how much data you could keep in-flight if you just replaced Pluto with a nice orbital mirror and told your vendor "GIVE ME AN XFP MODULE OF TERRIBLE POWER."

For real archiving, of course, you'll need to look at siting your mirror outside the solar system for a longer round trip.

Comment: Re:Shyeah, right. (Score 1) 275

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#48464335) Attached to: Is LTO Tape On Its Way Out?
I have to imagine that some sort of materials engineering geekery involving carbon allotropes and platinum group metals could be even more durable, while also having better data density and looking like they were pulled right out of some sci-fi memory core; but it's pretty hard to argue with a storage medium you can make from mud that gets more durable when the assholes one ziggurat over decide to burn your civilization down...

Comment: Re:Hotel minibar (Score 1) 82

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#48461441) Attached to: A Toolbox That Helps Keep You From Losing Tools (Video)
The designated-place concept is borrowed from aviation(though usually it's just cutouts/silouettes, no sensors) where 'losing a tool' is a minor problem; but 'leaving a tool inside the engine' is a potentially lethal problem.

It requires a certain amount of fiddliness; but it is undoubtedly better organized than a simple 'in box/not in box' arrangement.

There is no royal road to geometry. -- Euclid

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