Hey, Runic, mind telling us some specifics about the DRM on TL2's direct digital download version?
In particular, could you address each of the criteria below?
In my opinion, the following types of DRM are unacceptable:
- 1. DRM that alters the operating system, including:
- Modifying my hardware drivers (f--- you, starforce! );
- Modifying my OS files;
- Hiding files somewhere on my system outside of the obvious and clearly-named directory I installed it to (f--- you, trymedia! ); and
- Hiding registry entries outside of an obvious and clearly-named directory (unless the OS itself requires an obscure location), for example fake CLSID entries.
- 2. DRM that is not completely removed when the game is uninstalled. It is unforgivable to leave behind any files or reg entries. (f--- you, securerom )
- 3. DRM that runs certain kinds of background tasks:
- Any background task that tries to run on start-up, or at any other time when the game itself is not running, is unforgivable.
- Any background task that tries to examine/monitor/modify/delete/terminate any files or processes outside of the game itself is unforgivable. (Querying the OS about the OS/hardware through the OS's standard API is acceptable.)
- Any other kind of background task will be met with extreme skepticism and distaste, even if it's not one of the two unforgivable types above.
- 4. DRM that requires the physical disc to run, unless I can make a backup copy of the disc. (I actually wore out my D2 expansion disc...)
- 5. Except for games that are inherently online-only anyway (such as MMOs), DRM that:
- Requires a constant internet connection; or
- Depends upon the operator of some server (ex: Steam) remaining in business indefinitely in order for the game to run.
- 6. DRM that is going to prevent me from re-installing the game if...
- ...Without warning, a lightning strike toasts my hard drive and several hardware components, so I need to make a fresh install on a modified hardware setup (and this happens a dozen times during the course of my interest in the game); or
- ...Without warning, a lightning strike (that's better at its job then the previous one) completely reduces my PC to slag, so I need to buy a whole new PC (and this happens a dozen times during the course of my interest in the game)
- 7. DRM that malfunctions and leaves the game inoperable. (Examples: Disc check that just doesn't work on some hardware; "Packed"/self-modifying executable that gets corrupted easily.) Since malfunctioning DRM means that a customer doesn't get what they paid for, the error tolerance here is pretty near zero.
So, what's TL2's DRM going to look like on the direct digital download version? Is it going to live up to my hopes of not being unacceptably invasive?
(Mostly I'm looking for a response from Runic with this thread, but everyone else can feel free to comment on how I'm being unreasonable to demand this degree of noninvasiveness from DRM; or that I've forgotten to include some form of unacceptably invasive DRM on my list; or all DRM is evil; or the world needs strong DRM because online pirates are a bunch of communist fascists with WMD out to destroy Mom, America, and apple pie; or whatever else you happen to be thinking.)
(On a side note that you can tuck away for future use with the TL-MMO: I think you should imitate Guild Wars' DRM because their system is just about perfect for games that are inherently online. Boxed and direct download purchases come with a "CD Key" (well, "Key," since the physical media is a DVD and the direct downloads don't have physical media). During account creation, you enter the Key and the client sends it to the server for authentication. The Key gets bound to your online account rather than your computer, so you can play the game from any computer. This is about as close to uninvasive as DRM can get, and also pretty hard to circumvent. (Cracking the client is impossible since there's no authentication code there to crack. Sandboxing the client and spoofing its environment are similarly pointless. The only viable attack I can think of is a crypto attack to find a keygen algorithm.))