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Any good game needs anti-piracy measures. However, just putting in an ordinary anti-piracy screen or warning/error message would be boring. I'm thinking of something creative, such as the game seeming to work at first, until you try to launch something and it ends up immediately exploding. Other ideas:Craft will just not work at all, craft will lose all control except for throttle at a random time, overheat temperature would be much lower, craft would not spawn but kerbals would spawn in a secret location with an anti-piracy message, etc.

Does anyone have any other ideas?

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Tie the physics delta-time to an exponential equation that triggers after about ~5-10 hours of normal game-play, and begin increasing the speed until the user's computer either crashes or the frame rate is in the single-digits. This could also be tuned to allow the speed increases to occur slower or faster, or even decrease the speed instead of increase.

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18 hours ago, SomeoneWhoLikesTrains said:

Any good game needs anti-piracy measures.

[citation needed]

Do I need to remind you that KSP-as-is doesn't have any anti-piracy measures?

Any anti-piracy measure requires the program to figure out whether it is a legal copy or not. The methods to do so are, in varying degrees, intrusive (cf. XPC rootkit) and/or disruptive (enter word from manual, can't play offline). I do not like that.

 

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No. There's no such thing as a 'clever' anti-piracy method. One way or another it ends up punishing the paying customer instead of those who eventually find ways to circumvent it anyway. Just no.

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Actually, KSP was originally meant to be deliberately free of any such DRM methods.

The reason for this is simple:  DRM systems don't stop piracy. 

Instead, they just aggravate legitimate users by assuming anyone who plays could be stealing the game - Whereas the first thing a hacker does to pirate a game, is to remove that very source of aggravation.  Effectively, aggressive DRM means pirates can offer a superior version of your product for free.

 

That was the original reasoning behind KSP's much simpler and perhaps more effective approach, of simply making sure players understood the small-scale nature of the developers back then, and hoped they were conscious enough to reject illegal copies with the awareness that they'd be hurting the people who are working to finish their new favorite game.

This reasoning seems to have proved correct, or at least close enough so that no DRM arrangement was ever seriously considered thus far (that I know of)

 

This was all before T2 took over, and most likely makes zero difference nowadays - Large corporations have similarly large rules, and those cannot be bent by little things like "good sense". If their board of directors say there has to be DRM in all their titles, then who could ever argue?   The fact that it doesn't really do anything to achieve what it claims, doesn't really come into the executive decision making process.

 

My personal theory is that players who seek "cracked" versions of a game would never have become legitimate users anyways if such weren't available.  Those who do so are often teenagers, not unwilling to pay, but more often than not, fully unable to do so.  They do not have credit cards, and learning how to hack software in binary form just might be easier than asking mom and dad to let them buy something.   

So whether they succeed or not, that copy of the game would never have been sold in the first place.  To the average piracy-seeker, the alternative is not a legal purchase, If they can't find it for free, they look for something else instead.

That's my own opinion anyways, and probably it goes against the "politically correct" corporate train of thought. 

 

Still, don't get me wrong:  I do NOT mean to condone or excuse software piracy, but I understand what drives a kid to seek out such a thing, having been that age myself once. They'd have never bought the game instead of trying to get it some other way.  It's not that they don't want to pay, they often simply can't.

 

 

That's why DRM doesn't work.  Hopefully, T2 is clever enough to save themselves the trouble and cost of such a pointless thing. 

 

 

 

Edited by Moach
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1 hour ago, Moach said:

This reasoning seems to have proved correct, or at least close enough so that no DRM arrangement was ever seriously considered thus far (that I know of)

The EDU version of KSP uses DRM. Perhaps more understandable in that context as piracy is particularly rampant in edu settings, and not just (or even mostly) by students. 

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although i am a fan of "creative" anti-piracy concepts, in practice all anti-piracy stuff requires verifying its not pirated, and thus required DRM which is one thing i absolutely hate in anything that isnt pretty much exclusively multiplayer (which has to be connected to net anyways so who cares). 

 

I really love the fact that KSP is one of those games that ican buy legit and just use how i want, copy it to different drives, keep old versions around, mod the living crap out of it if feel like it, ect.  That is unlike many other great games, all of the DRM ones ofc i had to install hax for since i refuse to be forced to connect to the internet when playing non internet games (good example would be steam stuff, i have quite a few SP only steam games which i have no desire to run steam during gameplay even though i own them all legit, i dont support or do piracy, but i also wont have my SP games require internet to run).  As for stuff like serials, well i dont really care aslomng as it doesnt require internet, besides being spotty connection where i live, id rather not have anything phoning home as im somewhat a privacy nut (theres a reason i have all 3 of my firewalls set to block KSP from connecting to anything as i dont agree to analytics spyware, and since its singleplayer only i dont see the harm in blocking all connections).

 

That, and DRM doesnt even work, pretty sure that every game out there has been pirated by someone and im pretty sure that 99% of pirates would just never play the game had there not been a pirated version available (most are likely kids with no income)...

Edited by panzer1b
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On 8/3/2020 at 2:45 PM, SingABrightSong said:

Crypto miner. Stolen copies of the game should steal resources from the user as recompense :cool:

Why not be up front about that as a valid way to pay for the game?  Once you've paid the price, the miner goes away.  A little popup console could tell the player how much the game is slowing down because of the miner and how many more hours of play with the miner at work they still have to play (at current exchange rates; no promises) before they get an unbridled version.  

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Only anti-piracy I'll accept is the one from Silent Service where you identify which page of the manual the a ship silhouette is on.

Not just like that using Kerbal ships I mean literally steal the anti-piracy method from the old game.

Edited by mattinoz
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On 8/3/2020 at 12:08 PM, SomeoneWhoLikesTrains said:

Any good game needs anti-piracy measures.

Many developers and publishers (CD Projekt springs to mind) would disagree.
The ~150 DRM free games I have purchased on GOG.com in the last few years would disagree.
 

3 hours ago, mattinoz said:

Only anti-piracy I'll accept is the one from Silent Service where you identify which page of the manual the a ship silhouette is on.

While considerably less obnoxious than most modern DRM, that's still punishing legitimate owners.

Should legit customer have to rummage around looking for a manual whenever they want to play? They may have lost their hardcopy, what then?
A pirate on the other hand will simply open that .nfo file they got with the download, or crack the game to remove the check altogether.
Annoying and ineffective. Just like all DRM.
Trying to make digital goods un-copyable or un-shareable is like trying to make water not-wet. Stop already, it's futile.


The only anti-piracy measure I will accept is making a game worth buying.
Treat me like a customer rather than an adversary, show me your real product instead of hype and trailers, and I'll quite probably give you money for it.

Fail to release a demo or shareware version and I have no way to assess the product before purchase, so I'll probably assume the worst.
Include spyware or malware and treat me like a criminal from day one, I'll go out of my way to not give you a cent.

Whatever I refuse to spend on DRM infested games will go to the FSF and Defective By Design instead.

 

WRT the game discussed here: If KSP had DRM, I would definitely not have bought it.
If KSP was released by Take Two, with all their predatory behaviour and spyware, I almost certainly would not have bought it.
If KSP had not released a demo, I probably would not have bought it.

Squad, whatever their other faults, did at least release an honest game, and they treated their customers like human beings rather than presuming we're all a bunch of thieves. So I bought their game.

Between the analytics, the EULA changes, and Take Two's massacre of Star Theory, my buying KSP2 is looking very unlikely at this point.

 

Edited by steve_v
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On 8/3/2020 at 2:04 PM, Moach said:

... the first thing a hacker does to pirate a game, is to remove that very source of aggravation.  Effectively, aggressive DRM means pirates can offer a superior version of your product for free.

The first thing I do with ALL my (legitimately purchased, mind you) games with DRM is find a no-DRM patch.

Though I actually don't buy any games with DRM anymore.

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20 minutes ago, BigFatStupidHead said:

The first thing I do with ALL my (legitimately purchased, mind you) games with DRM is find a no-DRM patch.

Unless you're talking about official first-party patches, which are IME rather rare, the problem is that in many jurisdictions (i.e. US Code 1201 and the infamous "anti circumvention clause" ), removing DRM or enabling others to do so is radioactively illegal.
It's insane, it's morally indefensible, but that's how screwed up copyright law is.

To add insult to injury, the only way to get many defective "AAA" titles to run in WINE on GNU/Linux is to circumvent the DRM...

Edited by steve_v
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With DRM there are no new ideas under the sun. Well, there are when new technologies mature. So let's run the list of stuff that I've encountered over my computer life that spans two centuries:

-"feelies"/merch based
- install media based
- physical media based
- serial number
- activation based
- "check-in" based (including constant connection and occasional phone-home)
- dongles, heh heh heh dongle [*facepalm* - ed.]
- software based

I'm not against DRM. I understand where the desire for comes from. But, I also understand the arguments against it. Though some of them are weaker than others, the determination of which shall be left as an exercise for the reader. I favour a light touch style of DRM. There has been much said, in great depth said about DRM. The research of which is left as an exercise for the reader.

Back in the early days media was expensive. You'd drop 15-20$cad(1983) for a box of ten disks. Sure, it's half the price of a game. But, you also needed the copying software, which could be difficult to find. Then you needed to know somebody that had a copy and was willing to share. It was often faster and easier to flip burgers to earn enough to buy it than to track down a copy. There was DRM then, either based on the disk itself, based on feelies included with the game, or a serial number. Higher end software used dongles, or its usability was tied to specialist equipment. There was the early precursors to the internet around back then. But, it was a similar, and additional problems, you had to find a BBS that had what you were looking for, wasn't long distance, and that nobody picked up the phone while you were hunting or trying to download it.

These days it is easier to find and get. Though finding a clean source, and clean supplemental software can range from tricky to difficult depending on the software and how deep you're willing to dive. So we ended up with the software based DRM which caused more problems than it solved. And the "check-in" based which varies from every few weeks to once a second or so.

As a side note, one game fired a clear shot at piracy. They released into the piracy channels a slightly tweaked version that rendered the game unwinnable through a slight change in game mechanics. The change was something that clearly, and drily funnily, pointed out the pirates when they complained about the problem.

Well where does this leave us, aside from an eternal tension?
1. Tolerance of DRM is like salt. Somebody can't stand even a little bit. Others are in empty the shaker territory.
2. Regardless of philosophical arguments we are stuck with DRM in some form.
3. If it is to be added the less obtrusive and the higher the fault tolerant the better.
4. Buy the merch.

 

 

 

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One of the issues with DRM, is the fact that most of them requires a connection to launch the game. That was an issue with Ubisoft DRM for instance, where you needed to go online for games that have no online functionality. Yes, internet connection is almost ubiquity nowadays, but it does not means it is. Or that it's cheap and affordable for everyone. Or that there is cases where, even if I have internet access, I still wanna play offline (in a train or a plane for instance).

If you do not have a DRM which requires to be online, then the DRM is basically just an encryption key that will be leaked / found at some point, making the DRM useless.

If you have a DRM that is more active (like scanning the entire computer, trying to figures out if it runs in a debugger and stuff like that), then you enter the realm of what Sony did try circa 2005, where they deployed spyware and viruses in their Audio CD (if you inserted it in a computer, it basically installed a rootkit on it. I'm not even joking) which raises serious security and privacy issues. As well as interesting cases such as: what if this DRM mechanism consider this other concurrent DRM mechanism as a tool of piracy?

So, DRM is either dangerous for security and privacy or ineffective.

And I'm not even sure it had an impact on piracy, while I think it had a negative impact on sales.

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13 hours ago, mattinoz said:

Only anti-piracy I'll accept is the one from Silent Service where you identify which page of the manual the a ship silhouette is on.

Not just like that using Kerbal ships I mean literally steal the anti-piracy method from the old game.

Crap.  Got to run by my parents and grab my manual.

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14 hours ago, steuben said:

Tolerance of DRM is like salt. Somebody can't stand even a little bit. Others are in empty the shaker territory.

I can't imagine anyone who has been burned by StarForce or XCP would have much tolerance of any kind of DRM, yet the industry just keeps poisoning the well. Surely it must be obvious by now that consumers don't like rootkits and kernel-mode drivers, and yet we have Denuvo.

Any faith I might have once had in software DRM is long gone, the bridge is ash. Vendors cannot be trusted, and I simply will not put up with it any more.
I've been burned by online activation as well - if the use of goods (not services) that you paid for is later revoked by a licence server going down, that's flat-out fraud. You bought it, the seller relinquished control at point of sale, they don't get to remote-brick it.
I might be inclined to tolerate physical media or dongle checks, assuming such media doesn't equate to planned obsolescence through wear and tear, or serial keys, assuming such can be recovered when inevitably lost... But nobody is using those.

The game industry is still using is rootkits and online-only activation. So I'm still vehemently anti-DRM.

For anyone claiming that software is rented rather than sold, and so always-online remote bricking is acceptable, you might benefit from reading this.
 

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5 minutes ago, stibbons said:

fun thought exercise.

A "fun thought exercise" is proposed on how to introduce something many here are strongly opposed to in the first place, and you expected a positive reaction? Really?

Whatever the original intent, "anti-piracy methods" cannot be discussed without considering implementation, and that leads unavoidably to DRM.
DRM, being the antithesis of "fun", leads to where we are now.

The very first sentence in the OP is "Any good game needs anti-piracy measures". I for one consider that borderline flame-bait, and am not at all willing to engage in "fun" discussion on such a fundamentally flawed premise.

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DRM sucks, imagine if for ksp you had to always be online, even though the game is single player, that is one of the worst methods but making people be online to open the game is another one(steam does this, I beat that crappy DRM, moved ksp out of steam folder(not to kill DRM but because of auto updates and the fact I use mods)

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