Bioshock vs the Wooden Table



  • From www.pcgamer.com --

     8/22/07 - DRMShock

    By Dan Stapleton, Senior Associate Editor

    Yesterday began as a joyous day. By the whim of the mailroom gods, my copy of BioShock was the first to arrive at my desk. After I finished dancing around the room rubbing it in everyone's face, we needed to install it on a DX9 and a DX10 machine to compare.

    "But wait," I said. "This product requires activation. What if, by installing it here, I cripple my copy and am unable to play from home? "So Greg called the 2K support line and talked to a support rep, who told him that it would be fine as long as we uninstalled the game before installing it on another machine. Ok, that's fine... a little annoying considering the game also has a DVD check to make sure the disc is in the drive, but I can handle that.

    So we installed on one machine, then uninstalled and installed on another with no problems. So far, so good. I got in about an hour of play time, but I do the majority of my game playing at home, where I've got my heavy-duty gaming rig set up, so I was really looking forward to bringing it home with me. I uninstalled the game from my work machine and happily headed home...but when I got there and went to activate, I was stopped dead by a failure message that informed me I'd installed with this code one time too many. What... the... $%~&!

    Ok, still not a disaster. I've had this happen with Windows XP before—all I have to do is call the number in the manual, read off the reactivation request code supplied by the activation wizard, and they'll give me an unlock code. Well, not so simple in this case—the support number for the US listed in the manual didn't work, giving me a "We cannot connect your call at this time" message. So I called the Canadian number, which went through. After four minutes on hold, I was told that the only way they'd unlock it is if I take a photo of the disc and the manual and email it to them. Wow… even Microsoft doesn’t make you do that.

    Having now jumped through all their hoops hours ago, I’m currently
    waiting for 2K to get around to allowing me to play my legitimate copy
    of the game on the system of my choosing. Meanwhile, the pirates who
    cracked Windows Vista’s activation in a matter of days are already at
    work on the game, and I sincerely doubt that the BioShock copy
    protection wall will still be standing a week from today. And while
    those pirates play their ill-gotten games without a care, those of us
    who came by our copies legally will have to put up with draconian
    obstacles that will then serve no purpose whatsoever. Well done 2K,
    well done indeed.

     Sweet zombie jesus.



  • Wow, like no one is ever going to post a photo of the manual and disc on the web somewhere for people to use any time they need to re-activate their fake copy...



  • I'm glad I bought it over Steam. No DVD to put in the drive, no activation issues. Just pure, raw Bioshock.



  • Actually, the Steam version has the exact same activation issues as the DVD version. Unless they've patched it out already.



  • How so? Bioshock undergoes no installation process, and it has no uninstallation process. How would this activation thing even work?



  • @GettinSadda said:

    Wow, like no one is ever going to post a photo of the manual and disc on the web somewhere for people to use any time they need to re-activate their fake copy...

    I think they'll start getting suspicious the third or fourth time they see the same manual/CD picture.



  • Steam released an update last night that fixed that.



  • @Carnildo said:

    @GettinSadda said:
    Wow, like no one is ever going to post a photo of the manual and disc on the web somewhere for people to use any time they need to re-activate their fake copy...


    I think they'll start getting suspicious the third or fourth time they see the same manual/CD picture.

    Then they'll require you to send along a picture of your face and some unique identification like your credit card number.



  • Not to mention a newspaper to show that it was taken recently.



  • @matthewr81 said:

    Not to mention a newspaper to show that it was taken recently.

     Or a photograph of a captcha on the 2k games website so that they can verify it.



  • Vista wasn't cracked well. One crack stopped the 30-day trial version timer (and often started it again), and it's already removed automatically with Windows Update. Another emulates an OEM BIOS which allows simplified activation. And a third one is a 400Mb vmware KMS server image which works only with Vista Business and Enterprise. And the BIOS emulation crack appeared MONTHS after Vista went gold in November 2006 (or do you think crackers waited to buy the official box?) The point is that noone cracked Microsoft's Activation since it was introduced back in 2001. In comparison, Autodesk and Adobe products usually get hacked in 1-2 weeks.

    I usually install a nocd crack for all games I own. After all I paid for the thing and requiring to insert the DVD each time I play the game is really inconvenient, especially if I'm running the game on a laptop.



  • @zlogic said:

    Vista wasn't cracked well. One crack stopped the 30-day trial version timer (and often started it again), and it's already removed automatically with Windows Update. Another emulates an OEM BIOS which allows simplified activation. And a third one is a 400Mb vmware KMS server image which works only with Vista Business and Enterprise. And the BIOS emulation crack appeared MONTHS after Vista went gold in November 2006 (or do you think crackers waited to buy the official box?) The point is that noone cracked Microsoft's Activation since it was introduced back in 2001.

    After it was ripped out of winxp with such ease, Microsoft decided to spend more money (millions) on attacking their users this time around. It should not be overly surprising that the early fixes were crude. Also, who really wants to run Vista?



  • Exactly my thought. Who in their senses would want to run Vista?! I would not use it even if it was given away for free...



  • Nah, just make a 3d scene, add some random lightning, scenery and camera position and you can pump out non identical "photos" faster then they can ask for them.



  • Cyberlink do a similar thing with PowerDVD. I'd lost the manual and with it the product key. Looking on their website I discovered that you could request a new product key by scanning the installation disk and emailing it to them. I'd like to point out that there's nothing on the disk that makes it unique to me - no individual key or anything - so there'd be nothing to stop me scanning it a few times and giving the scans to my friends to get them all perfectly legit product keys...



  • @Mark said:

    so there'd be nothing to stop me scanning it a few times and giving the scans to my friends to get them all perfectly legit product keys...

    I'm still trying to figure out why you'd need to scan the disc multiple times!



  • For the record, the fix to remove this nonsense was released on the 25th. That means that by spending money on creating this insane annoyance, 2K have gained a space of four days where copying is impractical. That time is now over; the annoyance will remain for all legitimate users for the rest of the game's lifespan.

    Having trouble seeing why anybody would want to buy it. It works better if you don't. 


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