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Michaloid
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So, when i was logging on my account to play i thought of a possibility. Sometimes when internet goes down, and i want to play this game offline, i cannot, due to the game needing to be logged to an account to be able to play. So my suggestion is to maybe make a launcher or another way where people that tempoarilly or don't have access to the internet to be able to play singleplayer no problem. Sorry if this sounds stupid.

Edited by Michaloid
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Being able to play single player offline is the bare minimum. At least you can set up a server on your own computer, so even if the game's central servers go down and this website explodes and never comes back, you can still play online with your friends.
Perhaps there's a way of doing this and I'm just missing it.

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So actually you are also half right; I "logged out" and tried to launch the game, and there is no way to authenticate your user ID and play at that point.  But I don't know how long an authentication lasts; I've never had to re-log except when switching machines. So a few days at a time at least?  As long as you occasionally had internet you would in theory be fine? Unless you wanted to switch PCs or log in at a friends house or something and didn't have internet at the time... Could be frustrating. Not sure how to get around it without putting a "pirate me" sign around the game's neck though.

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That's a good point, but not being able to play games offline can really turn off people who may have bought the game otherwise. Probably not that many people, but still some. I'm not sure how to get around it either, but an optimistic point of view would be that piracy might lead to more exposure which leads to more sales. Hopefully the game's good enough that people try it and want to buy it? Given how much more impressive it is than Minecraft, its current price is pretty reasonable, too.

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Given that it requires internet to acquire the game at all, and physical copies of PC games are non-existent nowadays I think as long as the online DRM isn't "always on" (like this one isn't) then it can be reasonably assumed that people who can get it can also occasionally authenticate. Does this game do it similar to minecraft? Not that I know how Minecraft does it, but I've only rarely been stopped from playing and only for a few minutes at a time when "authentication servers" went down. Even without internet my games boot up fine; I rarely have to relog.

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I personally think the game should allow you to play singleplayer when not logged in, only multiplayer strictly requiring you to be logged in. Sure, it does make the game easier to pirate, but the current protection is probably also not really that secure. Most people want to play multiplayer anyway, so even when people would share their copy with their friends (which they arguably could already do when they both share one account), there would still be a strong incentive for them buying their own copy.

Plainly said, Vintage Story would just be a better product if it were DRM free. Even if the authentication services went down one day, you could at least still play the game. GOG has shown that DRM-free doesn't lead to more piracy, so I don't really see why this DRM-lite we currently have is even necessary for singleplayer.

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Naw I agree with doing it this way; heck I think this way might be a bit too loose. We, the people who love and support this game are not in a position to really feel how severe pirating might be. If the game never authenticated AT ALL then you would only need one copy for several simultaneous log-ins and while they couldn't do multiplayer, they COULD do LAN, which is all people would need to gerry-rig a phantom private pirate server add on.

I think it's important we encourage the game to stay protected so it can stay profitable and keep getting worked on. The devs absolutely deserve a living wage for all their work, and besides, without SOME form of authentication and unique identifiers it would be impossible to whitelist/blacklist worlds, even totally private ones on private virtual LANs.

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2 hours ago, Jessica O. said:

Naw I agree with doing it this way; heck I think this way might be a bit too loose. We, the people who love and support this game are not in a position to really feel how severe pirating might be.

It's not like the current system has kept people from pirating the game though. I'm in no way supporting pirating, but these measures do little to prevent it.

2 hours ago, Jessica O. said:

If the game never authenticated AT ALL then you would only need one copy for several simultaneous log-ins and while they couldn't do multiplayer, they COULD do LAN, which is all people would need to gerry-rig a phantom private pirate server add on.

LAN is still multiplayer and should still require authentication. I'm strictly talking about singleplayer.

 

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6 hours ago, Tyron said:

You can log in once, then block auth.vintagestory.at in your hosts file and the game should run just fine forever. Your local login session does not expire.

That's good, but it should probably be a bit more accessible for the average user. 

Also, piracy is awesome. I wouldn't have found, or purchased this game, if it wasn't for it. I know I'm not the only one, either.

Edited by l33tmaan
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4 hours ago, Erik said:

I'm in no way supporting pirating, but these measures do little to prevent it.

I'm afraid this is a non-argument; I mean, first you've got a measurement in here, (the word "little") but it's just an amount you made up. For all we know there'd be two, three, or TEN times as much piracy without authentication. We can't just go making up what feels about right involving a hypothetical and then using that as actionable data. Besides, even if you're guess is correct does that mean the case is that harm reduction is unimportant here? That if we can't do something enough we shouldn't bother with any reduction at all?

 

4 hours ago, Erik said:

LAN is still multiplayer and should still require authentication. I'm strictly talking about singleplayer.

A good compromise, perhaps if the game had to call out to the authentication server when "Open Game to LAN" was selected it could be done. I can see an argument for solo play being free and multiplayer requiring pay... But honestly, this genre does tend to have a fair share of people who play exhaustively for a short burst, see all the content, then move on to the next fresh discovery, and I want the Devs to get their $20 for those people too, who are also most likely to pirate.

I do know pirating does a tiny bit of good, often functioning as a demo of the game. But I wonder if perhaps they couldn't just release a demo to solve that? Take out multiplayer and world generation and ship the game with one or two pre-built 1000 x 1000 block worlds that contain most content. Just have every demo copy use the same User ID for the player so they can't crack it into a multiplayer version somehow perhaps...

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2 hours ago, Jessica O. said:

I'm afraid this is a non-argument; I mean, first you've got a measurement in here, (the word "little") but it's just an amount you made up. For all we know there'd be two, three, or TEN times as much piracy without authentication. We can't just go making up what feels about right involving a hypothetical and then using that as actionable data. Besides, even if you're guess is correct does that mean the case is that harm reduction is unimportant here? That if we can't do something enough we shouldn't bother with any reduction at all?

There are apparently already cracked versions of the game available, which means the protections have been successfully bypassed. That means that the protection will have no effect at all on the number on people who will pirate it, since the version they will download will have that protection disabled anyway.

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14 minutes ago, Erik said:

will have no effect at all

Only if the cracked version is just as easy to find and universally considered as just safe as the authentic version. People who lean the small little ins and outs of safely pirating games take it for granted that complete newbies don't know where to look, and have dealt with falling prey to malware. This makes it a less than universally attractive option, some people who have $20 just don't want to deal with trusting some peer-to-peer torrent, or new website on the internet.

Yes, for *people who understand pirating* the protections are doing nothing; that's what understanding the ins and outs of pirating is about, and even more stringent protections on other games fall into your "may as well not even be there category." (and yet they are! hmmmm) 

But for the general public at large, they do help incentivize purchasing the game. Never mind people who take a total lack of DRM as tactic permission to never pay or "donate" or plan to after they play a while, or next paycheck or whatever, but never get around to it.

Authentication costs money to do; No one would do it if it was actually useless; I get that you personally have a knowledge set that allows you to step outside the common box, but to claim that just because it's easy for you, that the protections are useless for you, means they're UNIVERSALLY useless, is naïve.

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1 minute ago, Jessica O. said:

Only if the cracked version is just as easy to find and universally considered as just safe as the authentic version. People who lean the small little ins and outs of safely pirating games take it for granted that complete newbies don't know where to look, and have dealt with falling prey to malware. This makes it a less than universally attractive option, some people who have $20 just don't want to deal with trusting some peer-to-peer torrent, or new website on the internet.

But that is true for any pirated version, no matter the original protection or lack thereof. The only thing that becomes more likely with singleplayer needing no authentication would be people giving their friends copies, which already requires a genuine purchase and the friends would be likely to still buy the game to play together.

22 minutes ago, Jessica O. said:

But for the general public at large, they do help incentivize purchasing the game. Never mind people who take a total lack of DRM as tactic permission to never pay or "donate" or plan to after they play a while, or next paycheck or whatever, but never get around to it.

DRM doesn't incentivize purchasing a game, I'd actually argue that the lack of DRM is more of an incentive to purchase a game (as shown by the success of GOG). There is also a study commissioned by the EU that claims that video game piracy may actually increase sales (https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2017/09/eu-study-finds-piracy-doesnt-hurt-game-sales-may-actually-help/), so saying that no DRM would hurt the games sales is an assumption with actual evidence against it.

45 minutes ago, Jessica O. said:

Authentication costs money to do; No one would do it if it was actually useless; I get that you personally have a knowledge set that allows you to step outside the common box, but to claim that just because it's easy for you, that the protections are useless for you, means they're UNIVERSALLY useless, is naïve.

Authentication is absolutely needed for a functioning multiplayer experience (or else everybody could login as an admin), but for singleplayer I see little need. I'm not proposing turning Vintage Story essentially into a free to play game, I just think that singleplayer should work without authentication to make the game playable in an offline environment and in a case when the authentication servers might be down. Downloading the game would still require authentication as would multiplayer including lan.

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13 hours ago, Erik said:

The only thing that becomes more likely with singleplayer needing no authentication would be people giving their friends copies,

That's functionally identical to someone taking that first copy for free... If their friends don't have to pay to try the game, why would they? Like I said, Pirating is not universally easy for everyone, hence everyone doesn't pirate, hence some people are MORE (even slightly counts here) compelled to pay, and some would pay where they otherwise wouldn't. Besides Vintage story has a generous refund policy; there's little risk in not getting your $20 back if you hate the game after a day.

 

13 hours ago, Erik said:

and the friends would be likely to still buy the game to play together.

Only with an extra adjustment to make LAN require authentication, which as I said would be fine, but I guarantee people would bitch about it since the purpose of LAN in the first place is low-latency is multiplayer without internet.

 

13 hours ago, Erik said:

so saying that no DRM would hurt the games sales is an assumption with actual evidence against it.

Literally the sub-line of the title is, "Results suggest a positive effect, but there's a huge margin of error." and if you actually read the article we get to this bit: "points out a number of caveats for this headline number, not least of which is a 45-percent error margin that makes the results less than statistically significant (i.e. indistinguishable from noise)." The final line of the article is: "The counterintuitive finding that sales likely increase as piracy goes up should be taken with a grain of salt, but it can't be dismissed entirely."

What I guess from this is, that there might be SOME cases where piracy has helped, but I doubt that's a trend since there wasn't any statistically significant result. For games you play, beat and never revisit? Definitely a bad time. Games like Minecraft, and Vintage story where people play A LOT and servers are a big draw? I could see the argument, but you're not the one taking the risk here; it's the Developers that would be losing out if the risk goes pear-shaped. I still maintain that Vintage story's very light authentication is a good compromise that works.

 

14 hours ago, Erik said:

I'm not proposing turning Vintage Story essentially into a free to play game,

Assuming this was another way to say "Game with no DRM" Since we aren't talking pricing models, but about the presence of DRM and the effect it has on people paying, I'm glad you came around; I was still operating off an earlier statement of yours to the contrary where you said, "Plainly said, Vintage Story would just be a better product if it were DRM free.

 

13 hours ago, Erik said:

I just think that singleplayer should work without authentication to make the game playable in an offline environment and in a case when the authentication servers might be down. Downloading the game would still require authentication as would multiplayer including lan.

Good news, that's what it already is! We have to manually tweak a .JSON but I bet it would take all of 5 minutes for a modder to make a mod that adds a /command to the game that does it for us! Heck, maybe they could get fancy and add a button.

At the very end of things it comes down to the WHY; Why don't you want DRM and how does that weigh against what the developer, who did all the work, risks? We don't and can't have that hypothetical data, and we absolutely should not pretend to be experts about it; even that study you linked, admitted to be one of the best structured and more exhaustive, couldn't come up with an answer after all. 

If the game had a demo like I mentioned above, does that solve the issue of pirating to try before you buy? Or is it just the anxiety of feeling like your game can be taken away? Because the latter is not only very rare, but also already taken care of with Vintage story's current set up actually!

Anyway I didn't mean to have a large discussion about DRM in general, I just meant to say that I think Vintage Story's Authentication is great as is and does not need to be pared down in anyway; It's already super forgiving and basically does the offline play thing, so you can already share your copy with a friend for them to try it out.

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