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thewood

Jutland from Strorm Eagle Stuidios

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I just bought this yesterday and it is a great game. Unfortunately I have to give fair warning about its DRM system. It requires initial activation (like eLicense), but then requires that your system contact their server every seven days or it shuts down your license. You then have log back on and reactivate on their server.

There are all kinds of issues with this in places I travel. It basically means on my two and three weeks trips to some parts of the world, I won't be able to play this game. When I bought it, I thought it would be like SES's Distant Guns, which requires only the initial activation.

But thats not the worst. I upgraded my video driver after an hour of play in Vista. I turned UAC off and then on to do this. This seems to have screwed up the DRM and I can no longer play because SES's server is asking for me to reactivate my game, but it then tells me I already have an active game. I am now coming up on 24 hours with no access to a game I paid almost $60 for.

SES has had almost no response to me. They have no forum or contact info. They have no email to support. They randomly reposnd to stuff on the gamesquad forums. Support is all through a ticket system on their website. Since my problem started, I have had one brief response to my ticket to try to reactivate and then nothing.

For the hour I played, Jutland is a great game, but I would strongly recommend not buying it until they straighten out the DRM system.

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Finally got the game working and felt I should clean up loose ends. Here is the response I left on their support serve:

"It worked this time. As I have said, it seems to a great game, potentially one of the best I have ever played. But this polling DRM is leaving a bitter taste in my mouth over it and keeps me from really giving an enthusiastic endorsement.

I have worked for years in factory automation and most of those large companies went to polling or dial home periodic activation and abandoned them years ago. They abandoned them because of support costs mostly, but also because of customers really hating it. They almost all use HW dongles of some sort or one time activation. And these are SW packages costing 10's and 100'of thousands of dollars.

I think SES is setting itself up for failure on this one. Unless you set up round the clock support, you are going to keep finding yourself in this situation.

Thanks for your help, I really do appreciate what you guys are doing. I don;t want you to fail."

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It requires initial activation (like eLicense), but then requires that your system contact their server every seven days or it shuts down your license. You then have log back on and reactivate on their server.

Uh, what? That's completely ridiculous. So every time you're on holiday, swamped by work and not playing, or any other mundane reason, you have to jump through hoops to appease SES? No thanks.

And indeed, what blackbellamy said.

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The idiots are going to lose more dollars in lost sales than they would of if they would of just put a simple serial number activation and let the bit of piracy that would of occured anyway happen.

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The sad part is this is a great game. I think it could be the best naval wargame ever, with just a few things added. The DRM issue, as well as the pi** poor attitude of the guy handling a lot of the communications is really limiting thier market. Real WW1 naval grogs shouldn't pass it up. If they're not that passionate about the subject, the above issues will keep most away.

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-1 sale here too. I held off buying Distant Guns when their Demo had a phone home DRM thingie too. That they have taken it a step further is not the smartest move ever.

They seem to be overly concerned about piracy. Sure, it's bad and costing them money, but seemingly a siege mentality has set in where they are obsessing over it to an unhealthy degree. I hope they get over this obsession quick, the system appeals to me greatly.

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When you consider how easy it is to make duplicate board games like Monopoly, Cluedo or games like Yahtzee you see that once you get to a price point the rip-off element is negligible.

If they had the wit to write-off the sunk costs and just make money on duplicating CD's with an incorporated digital guide then they could be making money. They also could ask for further "donations" based on people's gratitude that they had persevered - and would be attending to patchs and improvements.

Incidentally the writing in donation scenario also means you can reward the most loyal with the bonus goodies/patches etc. : )

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On the up side, weekly rechecks means that if your computer dies you don't lose your authentication. Just wait a week and it wil deactivates itself.

Also I would imagine that in the event the company dies they will remove the DRM, that is what every other company does.

It would be real pain if you move around with sporatic internet access but for me at home it's ok with constant internet.

I would imagine that if they think it's costing them too many sales they'll kill off the weekly checks, EA did it with Spore and I think Bioshock got rid of it too.

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Also I would imagine that in the event the company dies they will remove the DRM, that is what every other company does.

As discussed numerous times, this isn't possible.

If the company goes bankrupt, it does not have control of it's assets. The assets are administered by a person who has the responsibility to re-distribute as much as he/she can to the creditors.

Giving away company assets that might be worth money, and in this case the game is the only company asset, in that situation is a crime that can get you into jail.

It's the same as your hardware store going belly up. Somebody else auctions off the tools and pays the creditors from it. If you give the tools to all your friends right before you lose control you are facing jailtime.

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Microsoft had plans to disable the DRM servers for their old Music store - and warned users that they would lose the ability to copy their .WMA files to a new system (or more precisely, to license them there).

Only after much stink did they agree to run the servers a few more years, meanwhile users are advised to burn to disk and rip again their huge collections so they can have DRM-free MP3s.

This is what DRM is - the constant risk of losing your paid-for content. That's why I'm avoiding Black Shark and FSX so far, which also require online activation.

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Microsoft had plans to disable the DRM servers for their old Music store - and warned users that they would lose the ability to copy their .WMA files to a new system (or more precisely, to license them there).

Only after much stink did they agree to run the servers a few more years, meanwhile users are advised to burn to disk and rip again their huge collections so they can have DRM-free MP3s.

This is what DRM is - the constant risk of losing your paid-for content. That's why I'm avoiding Black Shark and FSX so far, which also require online activation.

I think you mean Wal-mart, not Microsoft.

To be honest, the old Storm Eagle scheme wasn't too different from Battlefront's. But of course Storm Eagle had to be worse better and "upgraded" us to the 7-day re-auth thing.

The sad part is that the pirates seem to have no problems with any of this, they download a version that is pre-cracked and never calls home...

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I'm not going to say "now I'm not buying this game", because I can't honestly say I would definately buy it in the first place. But, since I actually live in Jutland, I figured I ought to buy it. :D

But online verification every 7 days, that's just stupid.

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There are now other people having the problem of being locked out of activation after driver upgrades. They are spending more support time on the DRM thing than on real game issues at this point.

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The problem is that you can't anchor an application inside Windoze, it has no provisions for it. So whatever you randomly pick to grab on to, you lose when it gets replaced. Which happens all the time on OS updates, driver updates, service packs etc.

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This could be the greatest game ever and I'd never buy it with such intrusive DRM. I hate to say it but I hope that this firm loses its shirt on sales over this scheme and makes an example of itself to others.

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I actually bought it - the DRM is unusual but I figured I could live with it. Thewood's experience with the driver upgrade is worrying (and there's some others i think who have reported similar issues now I think) and I guess they may need to do some tweaking if it's stuffing up with driver upgrades.

I haven't had any issues (touch wood) with it. There's a lot of confusion about the DRM and I think most people who are considering buying it have a faulty understanding of how it works (it doesn't phone home every 7 days and you don't have to re-register it if you haven't played for a week - as long as you are connected to the internet, it will contact its home server to verify your licence at the same time it checks for updates, when you start it up. Only if it hasn't been able to verify your licence for 7 days will it stop working. If the next time you fire it up, you're connected to the net, it'll start as normal I believe).

It's a pretty cool game - very deep and immersive and complex. I'm enjoying it.

smith

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I took a punt on this game too. Game play is good but I've only really scratched the surface. DRM is fairly seemless as described but I had a few niggles to get the game running (upgrade sound card drivers).

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Only if it hasn't been able to verify your licence for 7 days will it stop working. If the next time you fire it up, you're connected to the net, it'll start as normal I believe).

That's the problem if you have it on your laptop and are travelling for several weeks or more without internet access you effectively lose your ability to play the game after 7 days.

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I took a punt on this game too. Game play is good but I've only really scratched the surface. upgrade sound card drivers).

I too am toying with the idea of getting this.I have downloaded the demo and am trying to get my head round this.Any one know of any help sites out there?

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With the current balls-up with the international data pipes being cut in the Med. relying on getting connections does seem making yourself hostage to fortune.

To be honest on practical grounds it seems to me buying the product rewards the DRM system and will encourage them and others if they feel it is a success to continue the idea.

I have never bought DRM'd music and I certainly would not buy anything this restrictive on my enjoyment. Sometimes you have to make a stand against cr*p ideas.

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