1. #1

    Question (PC) The state of DRM on modern PC games?

    It has been a while since I've had the time or money to pick up any PC games, but was thinking about picking up a few soon (Farcry 3, XCOM: Enemy Unknown, a few more) and so I was wondering what the situation currently is with DRM for PC games.

    Do most games nowadays require you to be always-online and connected to some service (Steam, UPlay, crap like that) to play at all? Or are you still able to play offline? This is an important issue for me, as I'm stuck out in the middle of nowhere with horrible internet and terrible data caps that make such things... inconvenient, to say the least!

    I can't be the only one that is sick of all the crap foisted on us in the name of DRM on modern PC games - I like being able to pick up a 5, 10 year old game, install it and that be it, without needing to register for half a dozen different services, be online while playing, and so on. Does the trend of ever-more invasive DRM look like it will continue for PC games, or is there hope on the horizon that the companies will get it through their thick skulls that it just serves to annoy their playerbase?

    Basically, what I'd like to know is... what's the current state of PC game DRM and how much of a pain in the ass is it, since I've been out of the loop for a while. Any info would be most welcome, thanks!

  2. #2
    I'd say that it hasn't got any worse recently but not sure if I can say it's got any better, the vast majority of non-mmo games I've bought in the last few years have been on Steam so it's hard to tell.

    One experience I've had recently that would annoy people who dislike DRM is Anno 2070, bought it on Steam but still have to open Uplay (and keep it open) to play it through Steam. I know they've tried to push the online gameplay to the forefront for 2070 but in the past I've played Anno games almost exclusively singleplayer, pretty much the same level of asininity as Diablo3 DRM for me.
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  3. #3
    Warchief Vayjir's Avatar
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    Well Xcom is tied to steam so you need atleast a one time connection to verify your copy then you can play in steam offline mode if you can get it to work a lot of people have problems getting it to work proberly.

    Uplay have currently got a offline mode aswell but what i have heard not every game works with it just yet.

    Sadly not many games that dont have DRM now days apart from Indie titles.

  4. #4
    Afaik, most games on Steam can be played in offline mode. If you have any specific games in mind, googling them + DRM will answer your questions.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by kuku2 View Post
    Afaik, most games on Steam can be played in offline mode. If you have any specific games in mind, googling them + DRM will answer your questions.
    This is a good idea.

    If you want to be kind of shady almost every game that requires a net connection or CD to play has been cracked to not require those things. I'm not telling you to do that or that you even should, just pointing out that those options are readily available.
    Get a grip man! It's CHEESE!

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Ragnarsson View Post
    It has been a while since I've had the time or money to pick up any PC games, but was thinking about picking up a few soon (Farcry 3, XCOM: Enemy Unknown, a few more) and so I was wondering what the situation currently is with DRM for PC games.

    Do most games nowadays require you to be always-online and connected to some service (Steam, UPlay, crap like that) to play at all? Or are you still able to play offline? This is an important issue for me, as I'm stuck out in the middle of nowhere with horrible internet and terrible data caps that make such things... inconvenient, to say the least!

    I can't be the only one that is sick of all the crap foisted on us in the name of DRM on modern PC games - I like being able to pick up a 5, 10 year old game, install it and that be it, without needing to register for half a dozen different services, be online while playing, and so on. Does the trend of ever-more invasive DRM look like it will continue for PC games, or is there hope on the horizon that the companies will get it through their thick skulls that it just serves to annoy their playerbase?

    Basically, what I'd like to know is... what's the current state of PC game DRM and how much of a pain in the ass is it, since I've been out of the loop for a while. Any info would be most welcome, thanks!
    DRM = old school DRM vs Steam and Steam wananbe vs no DRM at all

    no DRM = indie games and vintage games
    "old school" DRM (my own term) = SecuROM and similar.
    Steam and Steam wanabe (Origin, Uplay).

    In recent years I play almost exclusively on Steam. Beside a light DRM (you need to get online and login at least once a month to validate Steam account, I "lent" many games to my friends this way), Steam brings you benefit of social networking (chat/community/forum/item market for certain games) + mod hosting + automatic updating + online store (cant stress this enough esp. if there is no retail store where you live like my place) + game library for managing and in case you want to re-download a game without original discs. With its much improved stability, Steam benefits outweight its cons and I have absolutely no reason to hate it. In fact quite a few games are now Steamworks, you HAVE to install Steam client on top of it to play whether you want it or not.

    Cant say the same for other me-too platforms like Origin and Uplay though. Uplay is downright a disaster, so much that I will never play any single Ubisoft game after Anno 2070. Origin is no better, its as stable as a girl in her period. Worse, its online store refused my credit card for no apparent reason (their CS couldnt fking help either).

    P/s: you can turn off automatic update for Steam if you want, no hassle.
    Last edited by kronpas; 2013-01-09 at 03:23 AM.

  7. #7
    Titan Adam Jensen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kronpas View Post
    Cant say the same for other me-too platforms like Origin and Uplay though. Uplay is downright a disaster, so much that I will never play any single Ubisoft game after Anno 2070. Origin is no better, its as stable as a girl in her period. Worse, its online store refused my credit card for no apparent reason (their CS couldnt fking help either).
    Never had issues with Origin, but then I only use it for Mass Effect.

    As to Steam, I hated it at first, but I've grown to love it. Generally you don't need Steam to launch the game, nor do you need to be on line and its a great client for finding sweet deals.

    If a video game developer removed tumors from players, they'd whine about nerfing their loss in weight and access to radiation powers. -Cracked.com

  8. #8
    You will encounter issues if play multiplayer online games such as BF3 like I do. But it might be Battlelog and BF3 master server, or both. EA needs to double its effort if it want to be fully prepared for the next gen, where digital distribution is everything.

  9. #9
    you don't have to be always on to play most single player game from steam, uplay or origin.
    Obviously, to play multiplayer, you have to go through their plateform (steam for CoD, CS, TF), origin for fifa, battlefield, uplay for far cry, splinter cell, assassin creed.

    I think they are exception, a few ubisoft game haven't been upgraded to an offline play (i believe anno 2070, not sure)
    The only single player i am certain needs a always online is Diablo 3.

    I do not mind the always online per se, i am always connected anyway, but what i don't like is
    - not being able to play if my connection goes down or when i'm away from home
    - not being able play if game server are down (error 37) this is the worse.
    - being affected with lag or disconnect issue while playing SP game

    I like the activate once, play offline current strategy of the DRM, wish diablo 3 would follow this.

  10. #10
    The Humble Bundle provide DRM-Free games (that can be tied to your steam account). Good Old Games is also a great place to get games DRM free, especially older ones, though a few new ones are there too, like Witcher.

    DRM is here to stay, and is only going to get worse for the console. PC gaming (through steam and its very light DRM) is really taking off, with things like controller support and HDMI connectors on gfx cards things like local co-op (portal2 & castle crashers!!!) have really taken off and hopefully soon vs games (Tekken, SF, Soul Edge) will come along too. Steam's "Big Picture" and steamplay/steamworks social side is really amazing.

    One of the more recent success stories has to be Dark Souls. It was great on the console, and when ported to the PC it was done REALLY badly. But luckily for us, the Modding community took up the challenge and I have to say, with DSfix and the added textures and other graphical tweeks, the game is far superior on the PC than on console (using xbox controller ofc).

    So, in summary, Steam's commitment to provide a better gaming experience, the Indy scene providing DRM-free games and the ability to mod games is making the PC _the_ way to play games as they are meant to be played.

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