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Sims 2 Blocked by CD Copying Software

Zonk posted more than 10 years ago | from the sims-or-cds dept.

PC Games (Games) 180

bairy writes "EA says The Sims 2 will refuse to run if you have Nero, CloneCD or Roxio's EasyCD installed on the same PC. Although they link to a patch to bypass this, a lot of people are upset by this."

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misleading (3, Informative)

Scottarius (248487) | more than 10 years ago | (#10300707)

The original post is a little misleading. the software isn't blocked by cd burning software... it conflicts with cd emulation software, which is a compltely different thing. CD Emulation just happens to be included with a lot of cd burning software but can usually be disabled without uninstalling the program.

Re:misleading (4, Informative)

(H)elix1 (231155) | more than 10 years ago | (#10300776)

Except in this case, just having it disabled is not enough. Got to be removed before Sims 'no longer has a conflict'.

DOOM 3 as well! (3, Informative)

antdude (79039) | more than 10 years ago | (#10301245)

I had this problem with DOOM 3 as well because I had an old version of CloneCD installed. Its emulation feature was disabled as well. A lot of people [google.com] experienced this problem.

Re:DOOM 3 as well! (1)

chrish (4714) | more than 10 years ago | (#10304421)

Doom 3 worked fine on my system, with the latest Daemon Tools installed. I used a CD image (created using BlindWrite5, IIRC) too, so I wouldn't have to dig the CD out of my desk to play.

That's BS and you know it (3, Insightful)

billybob (18401) | more than 10 years ago | (#10301601)

the software isn't blocked by cd burning software... it conflicts with cd emulation software

HA.... you're joking right? You think this isnt intentional on Maxis' behalf?? Give me a break. I can see why they would say it's just a conflict, so they try not to piss as many people off, but it's funny that anyone would actually buy that excuse. It's intentional and you know it. :P

Re:That's BS and you know it (2, Funny)

Curtman (556920) | more than 10 years ago | (#10303753)

I can't wait to see how Transgaming takes care of this, or if they will be unable to make the thing run in Linux. Will it refuse to run if the loopback driver is present? Or will there be another game title that runs better in Linux than it does in its native Windows environment. :)

Re:misleading (4, Insightful)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 10 years ago | (#10301715)

it conflicts with cd emulation software

No it doesn't.

It says it conflicts with cd emulation software. It really detects cd emulation software and refuses to run. They try to make it sound like there's an overlap in resource utilization, or an incompatibility of some sort, but it's a lie. They just don't trust you.

Furthermore, disabling the emlation functionality doesn't solve the problem, since they're not actually checking that, they're just checking for the existance of registry keys associated with certain programs. Doom 3 and Thief 3 did the same thing. You have to uninstall it, or the software won't run. In fact, with Doom 3, uninstalling didn't even work if you had a ligitamately registered copy of CloneCD, because it left a registry key behind with your license number, so you had to delete that registry key manually. Or, download the no-CD hack so you don't have to spend ten minutes uninstalling, registry hacking, and rebooting every time you wanted to switch from playing a game to doing something productive.

Re:misleading (4, Insightful)

Alizarin Erythrosin (457981) | more than 10 years ago | (#10302715)

When will companies learn how fucking retarded it is to do something like that? What about the lay-person who likes to game but doesn't know much about the inner workings of the computer? Will they want to uninstall the cd burner software? Call EA support, and bitch at them!

Pissing off your customers is not a sound business model. Its sad when you have to crack a game just to run your legitimate copy.

Re:misleading (1)

WarlockD (623872) | more than 10 years ago | (#10303189)

I had the same problem with Doom3. I found out though, that if I reinstall daemon tools and change the name of the driver, doom3 didn't have a problem with it anymore.

Luckly I don't have CloneCD, or it would of been one of those "FUCK YOU ID" problems.

Starforce 3 (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 10 years ago | (#10304923)

Is it Starforce 3 copy "protection" that they added to the game (which, btw, installs driver-level software to do its dirty work), or is it a different widget causing these problems?

Roxio's EasyCD? (5, Interesting)

sgant (178166) | more than 10 years ago | (#10300759)

Um...that came with my wife's Gateway machine. It's not like we copied some "l33t" CD copy program hack. It fricken CAME with the machine!

What up? Then they list a patch that will bypass it anyway? What up? Why did they even include it in the first place?

Again, what up?

Re:Roxio's EasyCD? (1)

DarkZero (516460) | more than 10 years ago | (#10305171)

Um...that came with my wife's Gateway machine. It's not like we copied some "l33t" CD copy program hack. It fricken CAME with the machine!

More than 90% of PCs sold in North America come with this software right now, as well as the vast majority of burners. If a PC has a CD-RW installed (I've seen ONE in a retail store that doesn't and I don't believe Dell or Gateway offer many online), then it comes with something to use it, usually Nero, EasyCD, or a similar program.

In roughly two to three years, blocks like this simply won't be practical, because absolutely no one would be able to install the software without problems.

Re:Roxio's EasyCD? (1)

wo1verin3 (473094) | more than 10 years ago | (#10305227)

The headline is incorrect, Roxio's Easy CD is not affected. The actual article [custhelp.com] states emulation software such as... ROXIO

The only emulation software from Roxio is packaged with their european product called WinOnCD which has a portion that mounts disc images as drives, this doesn't affect most people.

This is why I play console games. (5, Insightful)

Godeke (32895) | more than 10 years ago | (#10300762)

I'm a developer and as such I use some of the more obscure tools: including CloneCD (I have a library of my MSDN subscription CDs imaged on my server, for example). I back up to CD, so I have CD burning software on my machine. This isn't the first game where someone decided they know what is good for my machine better than I do. "You want to *use* your machine: then don't buy our game!" they say. I have learned my lesson: I don't buy your games. How exactly does that help your bottom line?

From the discussion board it appears it took two days for a NoCD crack to become available. How does *that* help your bottom line: you have people returning the game (rightfully so, many will have no clue why you want to cripple the computer just to play a game, even if they know *how* to cripple it) and yet the pirates didn't even skip a beat?

Nothing but bad press and bad customer service. Yes, the consoles are protected, but they are protected in a way that doesn't break the game and doesn't require gutting my machine's functionality to get there.

Re:This is why I play console games. (4, Insightful)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 10 years ago | (#10300816)

the only winners are the companies selling this snakeoil(it's snakeoil, since it doesn't really do anything better than the cd checks before it because it got cracked in an instant) to publishing companies.

customer loses and the publisher loses.

And this is one of the reasons ... (1)

dalangalma (514344) | more than 10 years ago | (#10302413)

And this is one of the reasons why the PC game industry is hurting. The fact that the only good online distribution system for games is to pirate them, and the fact that more and more games work well only after applying some sort of crack... they're shooting themselves in the foot.

Re:This is why I play console games. (1)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 10 years ago | (#10304283)

Everything's copiable if given enough time. The only reason why people copy less console games is because of the console life span. PC games, once purchased can be kept forever. And it only runs faster and faster as you keep buying new PCs.

Umm... not exactly true (running faster on new hw) (1)

BoomerSooner (308737) | more than 10 years ago | (#10304783)

Try Thief or Thief II on Windows XP.
Try any DOS game (Terra Nova, Syndicate Wars, Crusader, Madden '98 damn that was a fun game).
Try Baldur's Gate (anything over directx 8.1 kills it).

I have 3 old machines specifically for video games only,
no internet and no patches.
1 Pentium 133 with DOS 6.22 & Win95
1 Pentium III 450 with Win98 SE Direct X 3? Maybe 2 whatever Diablo came with.
1 Pentium III 933 with Direct X 8.1 (Original Baldur's Gate)
1 Pentium IV 2GHz with all the latest bullshit (note: Norton Antivirus will shit it's pants if you have a Radeon 9800 and patched to SP1, it has since been fixed though).

The only reason I never chuck old systems is it's fun to play the old stuff from time to time (Ultima III on my Apple //e is painful, how the hell did I ever type on that POS keyboard!!!!)

Xenix on a 386 is kind of cool too.

I cannot wait to build my new Athlon 64 3500+ (2.4GHz?)
I'm waiting on a G5 Powerbook for my next laptop purchase unless IBM comes out with a AMD 64bit Thinkpad.

Re:This is why I play console games. (1)

Godeke (32895) | more than 10 years ago | (#10304883)

Um, that's seems backwards. I still have a Super NES, and it works great. Meanwhile, my DOS games and many of my Windows 98 games won't run on my XP box.

Additionally, people *don't* buy "less console games": the PC market has been surpassed in volume and dollar share by console games. Or had you not noticed the shrinking wall of PC games in your local shops? The anemic PC game magazines of late?

Things like this type of "protection" for the PC game crowd simply mean that even less PC games are sold as people (like me) figure out they plan on punishing you for your work needs if you buy their product.

I have several games I was *never* able to play, nor return because of the "open box" policy. I'm not dismantling my work environment to suit the PC game manufacture: either make it compatible with my hardware, as is, or lose a sale. Sadly, they have already lost my sale: I looked at it at Cosco yesterday and passed on it, planning to read reviews. Thank goodness I did!

Why? (4, Insightful)

johannesg (664142) | more than 10 years ago | (#10300794)

What's the point of not allowing CD emulation? If you have a legal copy of the game I don't see why you shouldn't be allowed to play it from an emulated CD, and if you do not have a legal copy the crack will take care of it anyway. So what are they trying to achieve?

Re:Why? (2, Insightful)

ChaosDiscord (4913) | more than 10 years ago | (#10301463)

What's the point of not allowing CD emulation?

The same point as all modern PC game copy protection: to delay access to cracked copies. While emulation has many valid uses, it's likely that most CD emulators are used to play illegal copies of games. Disallowing CD emulation makes it harder, increasing the window where it's easier to buy the game than to get a working illegal copy.

I still think it's scummy (It's not their business what I run on my PC. There are valid uses for such software.), but that's the reasoning. Given the complexity of getting a CD emulator installed and working, I don't think it's worth the work, but that's the state of the world.

Re:Why? (4, Insightful)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 10 years ago | (#10301819)

uh, the window was exactly couple of hours or something along those lines. well, actually the warez version was available WELL BEFORE THE GAME WAS AT RETAILERS, reducing the window to zero. not only that but it would have been for some customers easier to just warez the game than buy it(in which case the whole setup is on it's head already, the "works everywhere" warez version being available *earlier* than the retail version and with *less hassle* - that's just insane of the publisher).

there's no valid _good_ reason.. there's valid reasons to buy this snakeoil(from companies that actively push it to publishers), but they're not good reasons. and now most new computers that come with a cd burner(read: all) have burning software that comes with such emulation so you're automatically asking for trouble, especially with such high visiblity title as sims 2 that will be copied no matter what and be tried by *legimate* customers on wide array of different computers.

(not only that but actually there's a spesific warez release just to be played using virtual drive... )

Re:Why? (1)

johannesg (664142) | more than 10 years ago | (#10302463)

Ah wait, now I get it: this is to stop those people who have a reasonably modern PC and a highspeed internet connection, but no CD-burner, nor any friends with CD burners. Both of them.

Well, I'm sure it is worth the inconvenience to thousands of paying customers to stop these curiously equipped, friendless pirates from pirating...

Not just emulation (1)

rmarll (161697) | more than 10 years ago | (#10302546)

It's not just CD Emulation software. It's the CD mastering software that comes preinstalled on just about every PC sold these days.

CloneCD Current Version is Directly Causing Issues (4, Informative)

Necromancyr (602950) | more than 10 years ago | (#10300807)

Having CloneCD installed (the current version as of this posting) is one of the biggest issues people are having. Simply changing the Reg Entry for CloneCD allows you to run the Sims no problem - of course, you have to change it back for CloneCD to work correctly.

Basically, it's checking for a registry entry. That's it. Very effective. :/

DOOM 3 has this problem too! (2, Informative)

antdude (79039) | more than 10 years ago | (#10301200)

I had an old version of CloneCD installed and had to uninstall it. :(

Re:CloneCD Current Version is Directly Causing Iss (2, Interesting)

GreenKiwi (221281) | more than 10 years ago | (#10303271)

How long before CloneCD has the ability to change where its reg keys are located. That might fix this problem. well, at least be a hack around it.

so what (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10300826)

daemon tools works fine

Re:so what (2, Interesting)

jasonmicron (807603) | more than 10 years ago | (#10301095)

Daemon Tools and Alcohol 120% both work fine. I have them both installed. I also have Nero installed and it works. I don't understand this "report".

Re:so what (3, Informative)

MachDelta (704883) | more than 10 years ago | (#10301149)

Only certain versions of Daemon tools work. I've got 3.46, and it works perfectly, but i've heard reports of older versions being blocked.

Well that does it (-1, Redundant)

MarsDefenseMinister (738128) | more than 10 years ago | (#10300899)

I wasn't going to buy the game before, and now that I hear this I have decided not to buy the game, yet one more time.

Ironic (5, Funny)

DeadBugs (546475) | more than 10 years ago | (#10300902)

I heard that people that have Doom3 and Unreal Tournament 2004 installed are refusing to install Sims 2. (no matter how much their girlfriend complains)

Re:Ironic (1)

dougmc (70836) | more than 10 years ago | (#10301400)

(no matter how much their girlfriend complains)
Wrong attitude, man!

Were they smart, they'd buy her her own computer (this part is not optional, but it's not really expensive anymore), and a copy of the Sims 2 and get her interested in it. Why? Because if she's busy playing Sims 2, that means you can play UT2004, D3, HL2, etc. uninterrupted.

Alas, it tends to mean that nobody is downstairs doing the dishes, but that's the price of progress ... at least she's not dragging you to a play or something.

Re:Ironic (1)

Soul-Burn666 (574119) | more than 10 years ago | (#10302061)

That's the wrong attitude. How about this?
"I'll install Sims2 for you, but every time you want to play it, you'll have sex with me."

Re:Ironic (2, Funny)

Phexro (9814) | more than 10 years ago | (#10302642)

That's probably prohibited by the EULA.

Either that, or it's contingent on you giving "certain rights" back to the publisher.

What really gets me is this... (5, Insightful)

Dark Nexus (172808) | more than 10 years ago | (#10300950)

Reading through the posts, I come across a post from someone at EA responsible for the board (or support in general, I'm not sure which), in response to one customer who got so annoyed they returned the game:

There is no conspiracy of silence. I've seen posts from people running Nero and CloneCD who aren't having problems with the game and those that are. We can look into it, but I don't have any answers for you today.


And murronrose, since you returned your game, that means that you are no longer a product-registered owner of the game. Which means you shouldn't even be using this BBS... I'm most likely going to have to remove your posting priveledges if you don't cancel your account yourself.

-MaxoidLucky

Check out The Urbz - Sims in the City
The next great game from Maxis!
http://www.theurbz.com


Absolutely wonderful customer relations... "You have a complaint, so instead of trying to fix the problem and get a few customers back, we're just going to remove you from this board and pretend it never happened."

Re:What really gets me is this... (2, Insightful)

Vaevictis666 (680137) | more than 10 years ago | (#10301041)

Do notice though, that the account was not removed, murronrose and MaxoidLucky got into a dialogue, and murronrose is working at documenting solutions.

Re:What really gets me is this... (3, Interesting)

hambonewilkins (739531) | more than 10 years ago | (#10301048)

murronrose basically responds like that. However, murronrose backs down and says (essentially) "I like Maxis, please don't kick me off the board" and offers to buy the game again.

Looks like the threat worked. To the rest of us, it looks like AWFUL customer service!

Re:What really gets me is this... (1)

hibiki_r (649814) | more than 10 years ago | (#10301085)

Yep, really poor customer relations. He does have a point though: It is possible to be running Nero's disk image software if you are using the CD version of the game (as opposed to the DVD version). I've been running it fine with no problems w/o having to use a nocd patch.

I really see no point of this kind of copy protection though: The warez guys had the game online at least 3 days before it hit stores. Casual copiers using crappy disk image programs will not get past more primitive copy protection mechanisms, and anyone inbetween will just get a nocd crack from the usual sites. They are only hurting paying customers... again.

Re:What really gets me is this... (1)

jafuser (112236) | more than 10 years ago | (#10301726)

"really poor customer relations"?

That's putting it mildly.

This moves EA down a notch from my "I refuse to buy anything from them" list to my "Friends don't let friends buy products from fucktard companies" list.

Let's see how long before they get on my currently empty "Register an anti-company website and document all their stupidity" list.

Re:What really gets me is this... (1)

MasterRyu (794783) | more than 10 years ago | (#10304885)

Well, as long as they have the Madden Franchise, they might just franchise. Gotta love those "Players" featured celebrities who only play Madden and NBA Live and consider themselves hardcore. Gimme a break...

Re:What really gets me is this... (1)

CarrionBird (589738) | more than 10 years ago | (#10301331)

Looks like they're taking customer service lessons from SOE.

Re:What really gets me is this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10302926)

Absolutely wonderful customer relations... "You have a complaint, so instead of trying to fix the problem and get a few customers back, we're just going to remove you from this board and pretend it never happened."
Um, no... "You have a complaint, and we're looking into it as feebly as we can. Oh, by the way, you have to own the game to post on here, and look, you no longer own the game. Pay attention to the rules."

Re:What really gets me is this... (1)

Dark Nexus (172808) | more than 10 years ago | (#10303280)

Yes, because threatening someone who has a valid complaint with the rules is such a WONDERFUL way to win them back as a customer. While yes, they would have been well within their rights to get rid of him based on that, it would look very, very bad to most people reading it.

Just because you CAN do something, it doesn't mean you SHOULD.

Read on for humor (1)

MMaestro (585010) | more than 10 years ago | (#10304942)

EA's customer relations gets better later on in the thread.

As I said, I've seen this issue and we are looking into it. Can we solve it today? Nope. But I am here and I do hear you.

But... didn't you just threaten to ban the guy?

if there's a fix you will be able to read about it.

Wait, so EA expects CASUAL gamers who have trouble playing the game to monitor their website to see if they fix the problem? If you were talking about a hardcore community like the Half-Life community or /. community I'd understand, but The Sims's community? Uh uh, not happenin.

Re:What really gets me is this... (1)

badasscat (563442) | more than 10 years ago | (#10305035)

Absolutely wonderful customer relations... "You have a complaint, so instead of trying to fix the problem and get a few customers back, we're just going to remove you from this board and pretend it never happened."

Well, it brings up another issue too - which is whether or not he's actually been "unregistered" by EA. Are they going to delete his name/address/phone number/email address from their records, and give him verification that they've done so? If not, then I can't see how they have the right to revoke his posting privileges - he bought the game, he gave them the info they asked for, and they're probably not going to give it back to him.

So not only are they incompetent, not only are their copy-protection mechanisms idiotic, but their registration practices are apparently unethical too. It may be a minor point in the grand scheme of things, but it just busts my nuts whenever I see a company like this act so cavalierly with your personal info.

Stupid (1)

TrafficGeek (217056) | more than 10 years ago | (#10301114)

This has got to be one of the most stupid copy protection mechinsizmes that i've ever heard of.

1. It's trival to remove/install software in windows
2. At least some people don't do cd copying on thier main computers and instead have a pc that is just for backing up stuff.

State it in the System Requirements (5, Insightful)

meanfriend (704312) | more than 10 years ago | (#10301195)

If a company wants to take such stupid measures with their games, go ahead, but let me know *before I buy it* so I know which lousy products not to waste my $$ on. With most store policies regarding open box returns (ie. dont even think about it) they owe it to the consumers to notify them if something that has become quite common on modern systems may prevent the game from running.

Don't all games have a little section of the box indicating the system requirements? Like:

1 Ghz CPU
Direct X 9 video card
1.2 GB free Hard Drive Space
NO Installed CD emulation software: (eg: Nero/Alcohol/CloneCD)

If they did something like that, then consumers would have no complaints. Sales may tank, but that should tell them something too...

And no fair adding emulation detection code in a patch like Ubisoft tried with Raven Shield. (It was retracted quickly after a good backlash from the users)

Re:State it in the System Requirements (1)

NetDanzr (619387) | more than 10 years ago | (#10301844)

Same companies already do that. For example, if you check Stardock's The Political Machine box, you'll find something similar in the hardware requirements. Others, however, treat this as a trade secret. Actually, that was the exact excuse of Dreamcatcher, whenever they removed posts on their forums that identified their games protected by a similar system.

Re:State it in the System Requirements (1)

Mike Hawk (687615) | more than 10 years ago | (#10301956)

Expect to see just that. Also, expect to see MSRs begin to say "Except Laptops" or "Laptops aren't supported" or "Except mobile chipsets" or something to that effect. Lots of conflicts brewing. Its definitely fun to watch.

Re:State it in the System Requirements (1)

Holi (250190) | more than 10 years ago | (#10303238)

SOE Did that to me I lost support for Everquest once they found out I was playing on my Laptop. It was enough for me to cancel my account. Hell I payed my subscription and nowhere did it say my system was unsupported. Not only that but my problem was completely unrelated to any hardware issue (I had a character stuck in a zone that had issues). But it pissed me off enough so I demanded a refund of my unplayed time and canceled my account.

Pffft... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10301252)

Why do they even bother anymore... a fully cracked version of Sims 2 was available via torrent before most places had the game in stores. People who WANT to copy the game illegally will do so. The only thing game companies do by adding crappy copy protection is annoy legitimate customers.

Killing PC Games Market (3, Insightful)

blueZhift (652272) | more than 10 years ago | (#10301257)

This is just lovely! Just another nail in the coffin of PC games. The usual sort of system setup woes are bad enough without the game publisher intentionally causing pain in the name of copy protection. The average user is not going to even try to figure this out, they'll just return the game. And given the large presence of casual gamers in the Sims demographic, that could be a lot of returns.

Yeah, I know most casual gamers probably wouldn't have CD emulation software installed themselves. But a lot of people share the computer with others who might have installed who knows what, especially kids. The Sims 2 scheme is just a recipe for disaster, which still won't stop the real pirates anyway! I won't be buying this for my PC, but I might check out Sims for Xbox which is going for $20 these days and got pretty good reviews.

Re:Killing PC Games Market (1)

rmarll (161697) | more than 10 years ago | (#10302528)

Not so fast. Most pc's I've seen in the last few years are sold with Nero or some other cd making software installed.

Similar protection on Madden 2005 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10301261)

I had a similar experience with Madden 2005, and posted about it here: http://www.hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=809182&p age=1&pp=30 [hardforum.com]
The too long/didn't read version is that for Madden, at least, you don't have to uninstall Alcohol 120%, just set virtual drives to zero. I still find this an obnoxious and intrusive invasion on how I want to use my computer to play for a game I purchased legally. As I said in my parent post in that thread: I'm all in favor of 'normal' cd-checks, but this goes a step further. It only infringes upon the rights of legitimate users, not those who pirate.

That's weird (4, Interesting)

thelenm (213782) | more than 10 years ago | (#10301300)

That's weird... I went out and bought a DVD writer so that I could play the Sims 2 DVD edition (oh yeah, and my wife wanted it for making DVDs too). The DVD drive came with a bunch of Nero programs for creating DVDs, which I installed. Then I installed Sims 2 with no problems. I wonder why I didn't see this issue?

Re:That's weird (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10302551)

The EA board claims *some* people aren't affected by this but judging by the number of posts of people saying they are affected (and the lack of people replying to say they aren't) I think it's safe to say most with software like nero are.

Re:That's weird (1)

CaseM (746707) | more than 10 years ago | (#10304017)

Because it's upset mostly when it sees CloneCD, not Nero's ImageDrive.

Not the only one (5, Interesting)

hawkbug (94280) | more than 10 years ago | (#10301416)

Have you tried to play Far Cry yet? The game came free with a brand new video card I bought, the eVGA Nvidia Geforce 6800, and after I installed it and then patched it to version 1.1, it refused to load. It said something about detecting drive imaging software on my machine, and it said it would not load until said software was removed. I can't tell you how much that ticked me off. So, rather than uninstall the cd copying software because I NEED IT FOR LEGIMATE PURPOSES, I simply found a crack for the program I legally own, and was forced to use it. It's just wrong. There needs to be a class action law suit, I'd even help spring for the lawyer.

It's sad and funny (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 10 years ago | (#10304700)

The funny thing is the Crackers and their target audience are the ones who won't have problems with this.

Whereas as we can see, the legitimate users are the ones having problems.

It is common for some legitimate users to resort to using cracked versions because they just _work_better_ for them. Say you're a sysadmin for a small/midsized company with 100-200 pcs, and you have the legit licenses for software for all the PCs. Often using Cracks (and a few corporate keys) and a custom compilation "installer cd/DVD" is a lot more convenient than carrying around 10 CDs and 200 different keys. You have _paid_ for all the licenses, so ethically I don't see why not.

Sure in some countries they have laws which allow/encourage companies to legally limit you to using the software only if you uninstall Nero and Clone CD, bow down and worship the Manufacturers, sacrifice your first born etc etc. But I think those laws are ridiculous.

I bet more than one legit user has given up and said "F*ck this, why pay them for this?".

I know some "Unauthorized Distributors" provide a far far better level of support for the money they get per game.

In contrast: look at the support on the official Sims2 forums:

"And murronrose, since you returned your game, that means that you are no longer a product-registered owner of the game. Which means you shouldn't even be using this BBS... I'm most likely going to have to remove your posting priveledges if you don't cancel your account yourself.

-MaxoidLucky"

Works like a charm (4, Informative)

Dark Lord Seth (584963) | more than 10 years ago | (#10301432)

Currently got "The Sims 2" up and running -- Illegally. Works fine with CD-burning tools. Mounted the images with the latest version of Daemon Tools, installed it and can play it just fine as well. ( It is currently running in the background ) It even works fine with Nero still installed, though for the record it SHOULD be noted that this version of Nero is an OEM-handicapped version taht came with my Plextor burner. Won't burn anything on any other burner. Maybe it won't conflict because I use CD-drive emulation software? Don't know. Bottom line is, this protection is MASSIVELY uneffective. A large site that I frequent has counted at LEAST 10k hits so far on people who downloaded the game. Works fine for the majority of them, let's assume 80%.

Personally, I really like the game though. I'm not going in depth on that; this ain't no damn review. Suffice to say, I'm going to wait a few years, then pick up the fully patched and complete game ( What EA calls expansion packs ) on 2 DVDs for EUR 29,95 in 2006. Untill then, I'll just hobble about with this pirated version. :)

Useless waste of time and money (4, Interesting)

Bonewalker (631203) | more than 10 years ago | (#10301439)

I just want to know who the genius is that thought this was a good idea?

"Let's make the game more difficult to play with a pirated version which will prevent about 0% of piraters from playing the game illegaly, and prevent about 75% of legitimate users from easily playing the game after they have paid us their hard-earned money. Sound like a plan? Good, get on it. I expect to see large ROI numbers by next week."

Just another example of why copy protection loses (5, Insightful)

Stevyn (691306) | more than 10 years ago | (#10301464)

This is another example of how copy protection does little to stop piracy, but pisses off honest customers for no reason. I'm sure if a crack isn't already up, it will be soon. It's the same situation with Windows activation. The customers who bought the software honestly deal with the hassles while the people who downloaded it illegally won't have to worry. It's like the audio CDs that restrict use on windows machines, but downloading MP3s lets you do whatever you want. It's like paying for songs off music distribution services gives you a product that is more restrictive than if you went on Kazaa and downloaded it.

One of these companies arguments against piracy is that you get a better experience if you're honest and buy the product. However, for these protection schemes, I fail to see how things are made easier or better.

Re:Just another example of why copy protection los (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10302005)

The crack was available with the warez release, well before the time the game reached the retailers.

Re:Just another example of why copy protection los (4, Informative)

Marc_Hawke (130338) | more than 10 years ago | (#10302007)

Almost all games now-a-days come with the requirement that the CD be in the drive. UT(99) was like this. I wrote in to Epic, and the publisher (GT Interactive) and complained, and listed 5 legitimate reasons why that requirement made it impossible for a valid customer to play the game.

Epic, the developer said it was a requirement forced by the publisher. The tech support for the publisher actually pointed me at www.gamecopyworld.com to download the 'NoCD fix.' (That was good customer service. :) )

In other news, when Tribes 2 came out it didn't have a CD check. However, it also flat out didn't work on a great number of PCs. And, on the PCs where the game actually worked, the online component (the whole game) was in very poor condition, and many of the features simply 'weren't in yet.' There was a massive public backlash and a mass 'returning' of the game to the retail outlets.

In the first patch, they implemented a CD-check. The reasoning..."Our retail partners are concerned with the large amount of returns they are getting on this game, and they feel it's because people are simply copying it to their harddrives because there was no CD-check."

Sure..it has nothing to do with the game simply NOT WORKING!!!

But I've guess we've seen that kind of attitude before in different industries. (RIAA)

It's none of their damn business... (3, Informative)

Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) | more than 10 years ago | (#10302141)

What I have on my hard drive. I have three different sector editors as well as CD copy software. Are they going to scan for the editors, because I might use them to edit their executables? If I buy a program, I expect it to run with whatever I have on my hard drive. If there are conflicts with common software, I expect the publishers to fix it and issue a free patch. I definitely don't expect them to be scanning my registry for keys that they think might indicate that I might be thinking about maybe making a perfectly legal backup copy of my legally purchased software. There are a couple of RTS games coming out this fall that I'm interested in buying, but if they have this bullshit in them, they'll go right back to the store, or never be purchased if I know ahead of time.

reminds me of another situation (2, Insightful)

bigbigbison (104532) | more than 10 years ago | (#10301588)

It is interesting that this situation is similar to the ways that anti-virus and anti-spyware products detect bad stuff. I wonder how long it will be before cd imaging products have to adopt some of the sneakier ways of hiding their presence that spyware and viruses use?

Hmmm. (1)

Bombcar (16057) | more than 10 years ago | (#10301680)

Interestingly enough, all Mac games I've tried have played just fine with an image.

I have a laptop and I don't like carrying around the CDs.

I'm becoming more and more certain that the people pushing this are the companies selling "Copy Protection."

Re:Hmmm. (1)

hai.uchida (814492) | more than 10 years ago | (#10303174)

Which ones? I've had quite a few not work without the actual CD in place... Leaving me, of course, to use cracks... Call of Duty comes to mind immediately, as well as Warcraft and NWN. It's a horrible protection scheme, by the way. Having to keep the CD in place as a "key" to play the game is IMO intrusive and a pain-in-the-ass. CD's scratch, they take time to load and switch, and, most of all, they wear down the drive... Optical drives are usually the first thing to go in a computer, and since I rely heavily on being able to burn DVD's for work I'd rather use the Superdrive as infrequently as possible.

Re:Hmmm. (1)

Bombcar (16057) | more than 10 years ago | (#10303283)

NWN and SimCity 4 so far.

Both work just fine using images created by Disk Tool Thingy.

Future anti-infringement measures: (5, Funny)

base3 (539820) | more than 10 years ago | (#10301688)

The Sims 3 will refuse to run if any of the following are true:
  • Suprnova is bookarked in IE
  • .NFO is associated with any text editor
  • A debugger is installed
  • An IRC client is installed

Re:Funny post, but Insightful? (1)

whataboutMike (787504) | more than 10 years ago | (#10304361)

I think the author of this post meant to be sarcastic... rather than make a profound point.

Re:Funny post, but Insightful? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10304533)

I mod up funny posts with "Insightful" or "Underrated," since "Funny" upmods don't count--but the downmods when some humorless git uses "Overrated" do.

~~~

Pointless (0)

Satertek (708058) | more than 10 years ago | (#10301724)

Wow, I thought publishers couldn't get any more ignorant. CD protection in no way stops piracy, even someone with dosn't know much about computers can google "play sims 2 without cd". It's just a huge annoyance.

Now EA has gone and done this, making you actually uninstall software to play their game. I'm just glad I decided to stop buying or playing EA games long ago.

I havn't read any of the other comments yet, but if anyone brings up pirating, this has nothing to do with it. No company has ever made a CD Key/Lock/Security that someone hasn't found a way around (except for online authentication) so I don't see how this is any way helping to stop piracy, ahh its pointless I'm just gonna stop typing (lol...)

Anyone actually encountered this problem? (1)

Xxanmorph (654953) | more than 10 years ago | (#10301907)

I have The Sims 2 and I also have both Nero and Clone CD installed. I haven't had any problems. As far as I'm aware there's nothing special about my copies of those programs, I wonder what's different.

It ain't the first and won't be the last (4, Informative)

spyrochaete (707033) | more than 10 years ago | (#10301928)

True Crime: Streets of L.A. [truecrimela.com] for PC did the exact same thing. Wouldn't load until I removed Daemon Tools and CloneCD. It wouldn't even tell me what the offending software was! Like one poster above, I just cracked the software.

P.S., if you use a No-CD crack in The Sims 2, you can't change flooring! Double whammy!

You know it's a sad day when you start missing those Monkey Island code wheels!

Re:It ain't the first and won't be the last (1)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | more than 10 years ago | (#10303300)

> You know it's a sad day when you start missing those Monkey Island code wheels!

Ah, the good old days of the XOR data file, which was byte-code interpreted.

Kids these days with those new-fangled CD emulation tools. Back in my day we had un-photocopable paper and we liked it!

--
The evolution & "supposed" pre-ancient history of man is a crock.
One of the many proofs that intelligent pre-historic civilizations existed long BEFORE man's ancient civilizations...
1. Progression of "apparent" history of "man" [toyen.uio.no] - Hominidae is 3 millions years old
2. Geological Time Frames perspective [talkorigins.org]
3. A machined 3D relief map 120-million years old in a 1-ton stone, with inscriptions. [pravda.ru] WTF?!

Re:It ain't the first and won't be the last (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10304548)

a new version of the crack was released yesterday that fixes that problem. it was the whole Build mode that was affected though, not just flooring. oops :)

i bought the game too but it wouldn't run on my system. i returned it to the store, got my refund, bought a bottle of rum, and downloaded the Alcohol images of the game discs. they seem to work fine :)

Out of touch with reality (1)

ratiocinator (813600) | more than 10 years ago | (#10301985)

This makes me laugh. Genius probably thought that there piece of paper on the wall means hes 'educated'.

Seriously though, that kind of management shouldnt even be allowed to run a lemonade stand.

Hmm (0, Redundant)

zeno_2 (518291) | more than 10 years ago | (#10302115)

I have the nero suite installed on my machine.
I have Daemon-tools installed on my machine.

Sims2 runs just fine =)

The moral is... (4, Interesting)

RotJ (771744) | more than 10 years ago | (#10302171)

The moral of this story (and any other stories detailing CD protection idiocy) is to always download the NoCD crack for any game you own. This bypasses any stupid annoyances caused by misguided copy-protection software, as well as saving you the trouble of having to insert your discs whenever you plan on playing a game.

Re:The moral is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10304762)

But whenever the game gets patched the nocd crack gets broken... too much like hard work.
It's better to only buy games that you know don't mess you around. Or wait till the game is old and the patches have stopped coming, then you'll only need one crack and you'll save money.

No emulation (1)

superultra (670002) | more than 10 years ago | (#10302454)

So I guess in 10 years, when my Sims CD is scratched due to normal wear and tear, EA will remain in existence as a company and provide me - free of charge - a replacement CD, whenever I ask?

Re:No emulation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10303672)

Just like Volvo will let me have a new car when my current is scratched and old...

Re:No emulation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10304088)

That's the dumbest goddamn analogy I've ever read, unless you are hiding some tech that allows Volvos to be duplicated for almost no cost, and Volvo is only licensing, not selling, their cars. Posting AC so the world doesn't know IHBT.

~~~

Ex-customer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10302569)

This is enough to make sure I never buy the game - patch or not. When will the entertainment industry realize that I am not going to pay them money to tell me what I can and can not do with my computer system?

Too bad too. I own the Original Sims and 5 of the expansion packs. I really enjoyed the game, but I'll play nothing but FreeCiv before I sponsor a company to push me around.

Maxis Represenative Responds: Fuck Off, Customers. (5, Insightful)

EllF (205050) | more than 10 years ago | (#10302650)

My goodness. I was reading the BBS for the game, and there is one individual who purchased the Sims, found it to be inoperable on the system that he uses to do photo editing and digital video work, and returned it to the store with an explanation. He then posted, trying to get Maxis to do -something- -- he is apparently a longtime customer as well as a polite, well-spoken fellow.

Here's the Maxis represenative's response: "There is no conspiracy of silence. I've seen posts from people running Nero and CloneCD who aren't having problems with the game and those that are. We can look into it, but I don't have any answers for you today. And murronrose, since you returned your game, that means that you are no longer a product-registered owner of the game. Which means you shouldn't even be using this BBS... I'm most likely going to have to remove your posting priveledges if you don't cancel your account yourself. -MaxoidLucky"

That's unbelievable. You don't threaten your fucking customers when they're justifiably angry because you released a ridiculously broken product. Fuck you, Maxis.

Re:Maxis Represenative Responds: Fuck Off, Custome (2, Insightful)

base3 (539820) | more than 10 years ago | (#10302885)

I hope for Maxis' sake that this is an overzealous "volunteer" moderator and not an employee. If it's an employee, he should already be looking for a more suitable position for someone so surly--perhaps the parking lot attendant profession.

No Duh (1)

UltimaL337Star (641853) | more than 10 years ago | (#10302815)

"a lot of people are upset by this." They really should just point that link back to this thread.

Brand Name Computers? (2, Insightful)

Twintop (579924) | more than 10 years ago | (#10302980)

So, if someone buys a computer from Dell/HP/IBM/Gateway/etc. that comes with pre-installed burning software, they can't play? I can see the protests now. The Sims might have been the best selling game ever, but with stupid copy protection B.S. like this, The Sims 2 will be lucky if it is the bestseller of the year.

When will they learn... (2)

hai.uchida (814492) | more than 10 years ago | (#10303233)

There is one, and only one copy protection scheme that is truly effective-- registering online with a serial number.

I've played quite a few games acquired... Not so legitimately. None of them had a copy protection scheme that couldn't be easily bypassed. But with the better games-- Star and Warcraft, Call of Duty, Unreal, etc. I paid full price for copies so I could play multiplayer online. AFAIK there's no way to "hack" Battle.net so that you don't need a unique and registered SN.

This is the direction developers should turn. No copy protection at all on their games, let us copy our disks for backup and do full installs and put the game CD's safely away. If the game is good, we'll want to play online and you WILL get your money.

Re:When will they learn... (1)

colk99 (315674) | more than 10 years ago | (#10304325)

yes this is why I went out and bought doom 3 just for the serial number I dont know what protection it uses but I have no problems with the disk images and I really hate putting cds in

Re:When will they learn... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10304692)

Negative!

I, for one, refuse to be 'chained' to the internet or have to support a modem to use software that I have legitimately purchased. There are undoubtedly many other people who will refuse to give up their rights to anonymity, or allow access to their computer, for the sake of a copy protection scheme.

Will the parent company be around in a couple years to "Grant" you access to your software when you reinstall? Don't bet on it bud! Will the company "Grant" you access to your software when they have discontinued support for it or it's intended OS? Don't bet on it bud!

Take Microsoft for example: Windows XP and the lovely Windows Product Authorization crap. When Microsoft discontinues support for XP in 2K6, 2K7, whatever... will they still "authorize" your copy of XP when you reinstall? Don't hold your breath, especially if they can sell you (a.k.a. force you to buy) a new OS through deprecation, they'll

Soft protection schemes are NOT the answer.

NO PROTECTION IS the answer.

Lowering ridiculous software prices is the answer.

Cutting out the greedy middle-men (EIDOS, EA, RIAA, MPAA) will lower costs globally. That's the answer.

Greed sure isn't.

Re:When will they learn... (2)

hai.uchida (814492) | more than 10 years ago | (#10304912)

Read my fucking post. I'm not talking about registering Photoshop online. I'm talking about accessing multiplayer games via legit serial numbers (like Battle.net, which I clewarly mentioned.) Two totally different things. Idiot.

WHAT?! Outrageous!!! (1)

Lisandro (799651) | more than 10 years ago | (#10303663)

What's next?! Game publisher houses deciding what we can and cannot have installed? Games that dele... oh wait, it's The Sims.

Sorry, my bad.

Cry Babies! (1)

TheBot (806046) | more than 10 years ago | (#10304073)

I have both Nero and Acohol 120%, yet I have no issues with The Sims 2. So, uh, whats the deal?

This Is Nothing New For EA (1)

Dr. Wu (309239) | more than 10 years ago | (#10304246)

Several years ago, back in the days of System Shock 2 and Ultima 9, EA pulled the same thing with their CDSafe or whatever software they used to prevent copy protection.

I bought System Shock 2, and then was unable to play the game because it refused to recognize my CD. I called EA (toll call by the way) and spent 45 minutes talking to a technician. After having me explain the issue, even down to reading the serial number off the CD ring, they came to the conclusion that my CD burner (my only drive) was not compatible with the copy protection. Their recommendation, to go out and by myself a new drive.

Which lead me to a hack site, where I happily downloaded an illegal crack to allow me to play the game. I called them back to point out that it was ridiculous that as a legitimate owner of the game, I was prevented from playing it by EA's own copy-protection, which was broken minutes after the game was released. Not surprisingly, they failed to see the irony.

When Ultima 9 came out, I had the same issue. Since the cracks were slower to come around, I bit the bullet and bought a new CD drive. That was the last EA game that I have purchased.

Now I'm a happy owner of a Mac, PS 2, Xbox, and GameCube, and the only reason I even have a PC is to play FF XI. Which, thankfully, is not an EA game.

Copy protection only hurts the actual owners, not one company has devised a successfully copy-protection scheme. Nothing has come even close in the recent years to the nearly-successful copy-protection on the old Atari 8-bit systems (which required a Happy Chip to be installed in the actual disk drive to copy games, because they used variable disk-speeds to generate uncopyable errors on the floppy disk). But now, it's pretty much pointless. Save your time and money, copy protection hurts your bottom line more than it helps it.

Dr. Wu
"Is there gas in the car? Yes, there's gas in the car"

Re:This Is Nothing New For EA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10305021)

I had the same problem with my copy of Max Payne 2.
"I'm sorry, your CD Burner is not compatible."

Bullshit.

So, I did a little googling, and downloaded a no cd crack. Works like a charm.

Boy, this takes me back... (2, Insightful)

bluemeep (669505) | more than 10 years ago | (#10304538)

There's been worse copy protection schemes. Anybody remember having to type word 36 on page 16 of the manual before being able to start a game? And then discovering your Mom threw it out months ago? Then that bastard Timmy who sat across the lunch table from you wouldn't let you borrow his copy because he was still mad you lost the Victoria's Secret he swiped from his Dad's closet?

Yeah, I hated that.

didn't RTFA (1)

ShecoDu (447850) | more than 10 years ago | (#10305271)

some days ago I downloaded the sims 2 with a torrent I got from SuprNova.org [slashdot.org] , I have Nero Installed, Alcohol 120% [alcohol-software.com] and CDClone installed... I heard the game has a CD protection when the image is mounted with nero image drive, but I mounted the .CCD image with alcohol 120% and it works just fine.

I'm sorry, I didn't RTFA and I don't know if the torrent came pre-cracked (which I doubt, they usually come clean and include a crack in another directory anyway)

The game is not a huge upgrade compared with the original game, the only difference is the 3D environment, the personal aspirations, a *slightly* improved AI and a few space related fixes. (still can't place objects in diagonal walls)
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