Man, you really are an asshole. You can't comprehend that opinions different from yours might have some basis given the world we live in. Pity.
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Tech support perhaps, although I would have thought most people would Google first to try to fix any issues. As for servers used for achievements and multiplayer features, nope. Most Steam-cracked games basically work by permanently enabling online mode (as far as the game's concerned), hence the servers aren't touched. Just... trust that I know this.
As for bad reviews, I have yet to see a good game get a swath of bad reviews (enough to have a measurable impact on the overall review score of say Metacritic) for issues related to the pirated version.
Companies fail all the time. Even gig ones are not immune to destruction. For this reason, I don't like not having control over the content I pay money for, with the chance that it'll be taken away from me arbitrarily. It's not emotion, not really - it's ensuring long-term security of my purchases. If anything it's you who's using emotion, as if inserting profanity makes your point any better. I'm disappointed you see DRM as still being considered necessary. Nothing's going to change if it's still accepted as a necessary part of gaming business.
Do you actually know this for a fact though? I'm aware Steam's the largest digital distribution platform on the PC, but anyone who bought the game anywhere other than GOG is a fool, because apart from being DRM-free the GOG version also contains a shitload of extra content (music, videos, art, etc) that's not available with the Steam version I believe.
As a side note, too many games are only released through Steam nowadays, which is a damn shame. At least games like the Witcher are sold at GOG as well (with said extras), which goes to show the value of having choice in where you can get your games.
Seems to have worked out for the guys who made the Witcher series. They're in the process of making their third game, and all of them are available without DRM. Also seems to have worked out well for the guys who made the Penumbra and Amnesia horror games. Both groups are indie developers, but their games are class so they must be doing something right.
It doesn't matter how many people are pirating your game. All that matters is how many people are BUYING your game. If you somehow manage to prevent people from successfully pirating your game, that does not automatically mean they'll buy it. More than likely they'll just move onto pirating something else. So the only real reason for getting fussy with the number of people pirating your game is because you're getting annoyed with people having fun at your expense for free, which I tend to understand. But since Steam is already cracked quite easily (and hence any games which are on it), the distinction is, for the most part, moot.
That is true, yes. But DRM is basically controlled over the Internet, whereas copy protection was traditionally based on something more physical and local. Furthermore, since your rights are "managed" (hence the acronym), the vendor has the power to mismanage depending on how things are going (servers are down, etc), whereas traditional copy protection doesn't have that issue since once you have the game, that's it as far as the vendor's concerned.
So DRM = copy protection, but copy protection
From what I can tell, the most common response to that is "well, if Valve goes under and I can't find any way to play my Steam games anymore, by that time I'll probably be bored of the games anyway. The games are often so cheap, I'll have gotten my money's worth out of them by then anyway."
Which seems rather short-sighted and a waste of gaming art and history.
Casual copying? What we've got now is by far the easiest method of obtaining games for free than we've ever had. You no longer need to find someone with a physical disc to obtain games for free any longer - we've got torrent sites where you pick whatever your heart desires from a very long list, download the game, copy the files from the crack folder which will no doubt be included on the ISO, then off you go. The only real investment in knowledge is in the setting up of a torrent client - which is trivial these days particularly with something automatic like uTorrent.
The level of skill in knowing and undertaking the acquisition of pirated games is very low these days. It's a pretty casual-level task from what I can tell, all it takes is knowing how to do it in the first place, which anyone who's partial to the exercise can Google for anyway.
In other words, don't bother with trying to block "casual piracy" if the DRM has the potential to cause problems for those who are paying you money for the real deal anyway.
Aye, given Steam has been out for long enough it doesn't halt the creation of cracks one bit (crack one Steam game, you've cracked them all). Though I doubt there are cracks for Steam games on Linux yet. If that ever happens, you KNOW the year of the Linux desktop has arrived.
RMS is a fucking dickhead. I don't care about those GPL-obsessed idiots - I'm just looking out for long term protection of the content I buy. Valve are nice nowadays, but who's to day they won't become greedy and act like dicks (EA) in the future? If I can buy games DRM-free, I can walk away from a vendor if I choose not to want to have anything more to do with them, and can still keep the games. Right now, that's not possible short of cracks.
Please hairfeet, I like you. I know you're going on the attack because you've had to deal with dickheads for years on Slashdot, so believe me when I say I'm not trying to be obsessive or zealotry. I sincerely believe DRM is not necessary in this day and age, and I don't see how wanted to stay far away from it is such a crazy notion. But I won't get angry with anyone for wanting to use Steam. It's a great platform, minus the DRM of course.
I should also add that I'm writing this while being rather tired, and I have no idea who Kate is.
You're probably confusing DRM with copy-protection. There's a difference. The difference being that DRM can end up revoking or blocking access to the content you paid for, whereas copy-protection in said years would have basically ammounted to a serial code, or a code wheel, or checking the CD during startup (*). All of which CANNOT BE TAKEN FROM YOU KATE unless through physical means, which ain't gonna happen. But if Valve goes kaput, or Steam's offline mode fails during an extended net outage or whatever, you can't play what you bought. But you can with copy protection in the forms which were present in your listed years. That's the difference.
(*) I'll give you that CD checking was stupid, as you have to ensure the disc was still in good condition which would never happen over time, plus drives would often misread and fail to pass the check, and making backups of the disc would often fail since the deliberate errors introduced to authenticate a legitimate disc wouldn't be transferred. But Internet-based checking to me is not a good alternative.
I have spent close to $1,000 on Simcity franchise over the years
How?!? There's only so many SimCity games out there...
There are some games sold on Steam with zero DRM and can run completely independently of the client, but the number of DRM-free games vastly pale in comparison to the total number in Steam's catalogue. Plus you won't know it's DRM free unless you buy it, or someone's found out and posted the info somewhere, since this fact isn't displayed anywhere on the game's respective Store page.
I'm only pointing this out before someone else argues that Steam does have DRM-free games. Yeah it does, but it's hard enough to know what they are and since it's not common enough, it's just easier to assume they all do. And for this reason I don't use Steam... but that makes me something of a weird outsider with PC gaming, which I'm happy with.
It's not rocket surgery.
Shit, I'd LOVE to have some rocket surgery!