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Warez? Dead.
November 27th 2004, 02:08 CET by Ashiran

It started noticing it about half a year ago. More and more often warez games showed up on the grid that were nuked. Or in other words, not working as they were supposed to. And this trend seems to be gaining in power.

The reasons why it's happening are various. Foremost is the "Must release first!" sentiment that seems to be going around in the scene. Bad cracks or overly complicated ways to get it to work are ever more common. I mean look at Half Life 2. How many different versions of that game were released? Three? Four? And does one of them actually work now without banning your ass? Haste makes a sloppy job. And it shows. Things like that don't exactly inspire confidence in the userbase.

Furthermore once a game is released in warez form every other group will stop trying to release it. If it turns out to be a nuke nobody else is going to step up to release it (unless it's an AAA). And the recent "forced disbanding" of several well known high quality warez groups isn't helping the cause either.

So in a way the software security buffs got what they wanted, not because their measures are so great (I have no doubt HL2 will be cracked well and completly) but because the warez scene has turned into a dog eat dog world. In the past the hassle was solved by the crackers. Which explained warez large popularity. But now it seems that hassle is merely passed on to the consumers. And when warezing becomes too much work, consumers will stop doing it.

I'm quite sure the warez scene will continue to exist but not nearly on the scale it does today.

*stirring*
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#1 by yotsuya
2004-11-27 02:08:37
I *heart* free stuff.

"God gave you a brain because he wants you to think."
I wear my sunglasses at night.
#2 by E-ph0nk
2004-11-27 02:09:47
http://www.electrophonk.be
I tend to agree.
Also, while most didn't like Microsofts activation method, it inspired steam/half life's and will be common in the next few years.

Activation isn't foolproof, but it sure makes it a lot harder to mess with it.

#3 by UncleJeet
2004-11-27 02:12:04
I using Windows were a fraction as much as as playing Half Life 2 is, I wouldn't have minded Microsoft's activation system.

#4 by E-ph0nk
2004-11-27 02:13:22
http://www.electrophonk.be
That post is broken Jeet, and you know it.

#5 by Shadarr
2004-11-27 02:15:50
shadarr@yahoo.com http://digital-luddite.com
I haven't noticed this, but I'm not really a warez monkey.  What I see happening with things like Starforce and Steam is that in order to disable the invasive copy protection on a legal copy, you have to download the whole warez copy rather than just a nocd crack.  That creates a disincentive to buy the legal copy at all.

Online activation and validation is a great scheme, but it only works for online games.  For a single player game like HL2, all it did was delay the inevitable.  Maybe that's enough, but I doubt it.  And if people had to deal with all the Steam shitfuckery on a game that wasn't as fun and polished as HL2, it would probably kill them in word of mouth.  Imagine if, on top of being buggy and unbalanced, a game also took 6 hours to authenticate.  It would create a bad first impression that would not be wiped away by the gameplay (as happened with HL2) and consequently very negative word of mouth.

UAC! Fuck yeah!
#6 by E-ph0nk
2004-11-27 02:21:00
http://www.electrophonk.be
It didn't just delay the inevitable.  Most people whom I know who NEVER BUY A PC GAME - got Half Life 2, because it wasn't available on the day of release by the warez scene, and as it turns out, the version that got released first results in being kicked off steam (thus losing all the valve software you purchased, but this is a discussion by itself) - and valve seemed to have some other tricks in their sleeve, like AI not responding and some key-elements in the game not working on the warez copy.

And the long waiting time for activation wasn't there if you pre-loaded the game using steam - it took you about 8 minutes if you waited till midnight.  I still remember waiting on IRC for the first crappers to load the game.

#7 by E-ph0nk
2004-11-27 02:21:54
http://www.electrophonk.be
Those same people were laughing when they were playing a cracked version of doom3 a week before my copy arrived through mail.

#8 by m0nty
2004-11-27 03:10:03
http://tinfinger.blogspot.com
I'm still pissed off about Defender of the Crown being too hard. It gave you no chance!
#9 by m0nty
2004-11-27 03:10:19
http://tinfinger.blogspot.com
Damn English.
#10 by Your Friend
2004-11-27 03:11:05
I think what HL2 accomplished was more than enough.   While there might be HL2 cracks out there that work, I'd have to assume there is virtually no "casual" piracy of the title going on.  The diehard pirates willing to wait weeks and deal with 4 or 5 suspect releases are probably a lost cause as far as a sale goes anyway.

Comment Signature.
#11 by McBain
2004-11-27 04:15:45
Well, if PC gaming is dead anyway, warez would have to die with it, right?

www.dailyhowler.com is the single most important website that Americans should read every day.
"The dreams in which I'm dying are the best I've ever had."
#12 by Squeaky
2004-11-27 04:17:50
#11 McBain
Well, if PC gaming is dead anyway, warez would have to die with it, right?

What, you mean all those warez'd xbox and ps2 games on suprnova are fakes?

Heavens, it appears my wee-wee has been stricken with rigor mortis. - Stewie
I'm catching up to Ergo!
#13 by McBain
2004-11-27 07:12:09
What, you mean all those warez'd xbox and ps2 games on suprnova are fakes?

Of course not, obviously this topic is talking about warez'd PC games.  Console warez is a whole nother kettle of fish.  Requiring online activation of console users would be anathema, and besides you can mod chip your way out of just about anything.

www.dailyhowler.com is the single most important website that Americans should read every day.
"The dreams in which I'm dying are the best I've ever had."
#14 by Sgt Hulka
2004-11-27 07:30:06
Quantam Leap was a great show.  That Bakula.. What can I say?   WOW...

100% Hulka Post - Now with Lemon Scent!
#15 by Squeaky
2004-11-27 09:15:59
Sid Meier's Pirates! is hella fun.

Heavens, it appears my wee-wee has been stricken with rigor mortis. - Stewie
I'm catching up to Ergo!
#16 by McBain
2004-11-27 10:08:14
Yarrr matey!

www.dailyhowler.com is the single most important website that Americans should read every day.
"The dreams in which I'm dying are the best I've ever had."
#17 by Squeaky
2004-11-27 10:28:19
Yo, ho! Yo, ho! A Sid Meier's Pirates! life for me

Heavens, it appears my wee-wee has been stricken with rigor mortis. - Stewie
I'm catching up to Ergo!
#18 by G-Man
2004-11-27 10:48:20
Ashiran's Thread? Dead.
#19 by UncleJeet
2004-11-27 11:34:45
It's fun, but I wouldn't go so far as to call it hella fun if, in fact, I ever actually used such a lame trendword.

#20 by Ashiran
2004-11-27 12:19:19
I'm surprised it got voted in at all.

Besides, it's not really a hot topic anyway. Except that the whole warez scene dieing thing might be another cause for the whole "PC gaming? Dead." thing.

Nihil nequeo.
#21 by Gunp01nt
2004-11-27 12:49:44
supersimon33@hotmail.com
And the recent "forced disbanding" of several well known high quality warez groups isn't helping the cause either.


But the place of Fairlight et al have been taken by such groups as Reloaded and Emporio. The supply of warez really hasn't been slowed much by the demise of a couple of release groups.

Re: Steam
On one hand it really gets the job done for Valve, but on the other hand Valve is taking too much of a liberty with the power they've got. The blocking of Steam accounts that had legitimately purchased keys tied to it is not something that inspires confidence in Valve's motives or their handling their power in an acceptable way. For one thing, I now know for damn sure I will never purchase a Steam license for any game.

A lot of people warez for varying reasons. I warez because ever since I paid a 100 guilders for Tiberian Sun, I'll be damned if I ever buy a game sight unseen again.

Would you like to supersize or... BURN FOR ETERNITY?
#22 by Your Friend
2004-11-27 14:47:20
I have no problems with Valve's Steam actions.  Damn warez monkeys got what was comin'.  My only remaining gripe with the Steam model, now that Valve has worked out the majority of the technical problems they had early on, is that there will need to be some consolidation of the future Steam-like services that I'm not sure the developers and/or publishers of the world would be willing to do up front.

Essentially, I fear that now HL2 has proved the Steam model, every developer under the sun will now develop their own Steam-like application and they'll all expect me to run their Steam-alike as a constant background process.

Fuck that noise.  It works for one app, maybe two, but that's the limit, fellas.

Comment Signature.
#23 by Dumdeedum
2004-11-27 15:16:46
http://www.dumdeedum.com
I suspect Scott "Burrito" Miller was probably right in his blog when he said they'd be best splintering Steam off into a separate company, it'll be hard enough to drag publishers into the new age without huge conflicts of interests sitting in the way.

#24 by Charles
2004-11-27 16:20:16
www.bluh.org
On one hand it really gets the job done for Valve, but on the other hand Valve is taking too much of a liberty with the power they've got. The blocking of Steam accounts that had legitimately purchased keys tied to it is not something that inspires confidence in Valve's motives or their handling their power in an acceptable way. For one thing, I now know for damn sure I will never purchase a Steam license for any game.


If you own HL2, you have a steam license.  Everything you buy from Valve now will force you to register on Steam, and that leaves you at their mercy if they decide to ban your account.

I do think that they are going too far with the account banning and such though.  I agree with locking people out of steam for abusing steam, that's just to be expected.  But if anything, that should disallow people from playing online, but their apps should still work as standalone and function as they were purchased.  On top of that, if it's true that valve was monitoring torrents and banning accounts based on that... well, that's just stupid.  That would be like MS checking your key to see if you are using pirated windows when you use windows update, and then disabling your copy.  They don't do it, and there is a good reason why.  And shit, they have a direct right to do it!

But that would be crossing a line, and Valve has crossed that line.  I'm pretty sure there are going to be repercussions.

And you know, I'm looking at Steam, and it would be a huge goddamn failure if it were any other company.  Valve has the benefit of being Valve.

Do-Re-Mi-Fa-SO-LONG-FUCKER!
#25 by zimbardo_ugly
2004-11-27 16:21:58
zimbardo_ugly@hotmail.com
I'm puzzled as to why they insist on Starforce for HL2 DVD when you can copy their Steam version just fine and share it around. We actually tested it - I gave my copy to some friends, they activated them for offline play and after that I changed my password to prevent them from fagging up my account. When the patch comes out, they can simply authenticate once more. So Valve's (and VU's) message seems to be consistent and clear - Steam means less hassle and faschism for everybody when compared to standard distribution.

Rot-corpse Sumatran art amuses proctor.
#26 by zimbardo_ugly
2004-11-27 16:34:44
zimbardo_ugly@hotmail.com
#24 by Charles

On one hand it really gets the job done for Valve, but on the other hand Valve is taking too much of a liberty with the power they've got. The blocking of Steam accounts that had legitimately purchased keys tied to it is not something that inspires confidence in Valve's motives or their handling their power in an acceptable way. For one thing, I now know for damn sure I will never purchase a Steam license for any game.


I agree with your general vibe, but when you accept their EULA you accept that they don't even have to reveal their motives for banning your account. It is, however, a dangerous game they are playing here with consumer loyalty - just when they seem to have produced something good in Steam, they go and act like spoiled children in power and demonstrate its dark side.

Rot-corpse Sumatran art amuses proctor.
#27 by Your Friend
2004-11-27 16:35:37
The copy protection to use on the CD/DVD release is usually the decision of the publisher (VU, not Valve), so the discrepancy isn't really that puzzling.

Comment Signature.
#28 by zimbardo_ugly
2004-11-27 16:54:10
zimbardo_ugly@hotmail.com
Yes, you may have noticed I realized that by the end of my post. But it started with a puzzle.

Rot-corpse Sumatran art amuses proctor.
#29 by UncleJeet
2004-11-27 17:47:19
Is it just me, or does anyone else get the feeling that the Lemony Snicket books and movie are just riding Harry Potter's coattails?  Also, Jim Carrey??  *cringe*

Maybe they're not cash-in books, I dunno.  I glanced at one or two of them in the bookstore, and they looked very much like it at a glance, thuogh.

#30 by Charles
2004-11-27 17:58:27
www.bluh.org
EULAs are bullshit until such a time as the entire thing is written in plain english, start to finish.  No one should have to puzzle out legalese before deciding whether or not to accept something.

On top of that, you can't read the EULA on software until it's too late to return it.  Which makes it double bullshit.

Do-Re-Mi-Fa-SO-LONG-FUCKER!
#31 by E-ph0nk
2004-11-27 18:02:49
http://www.electrophonk.be

Sony warns of major glitch in Holiday 2004 Demo Disc

SCEA alerts public that playing the Viewtiful Joe 2 demo will erase memory cards.
Over the past few weeks, members of the PlayStation Underground--Sony's US fan club--have been receiving copies of the Holiday 2004 Demo Disc. One of the premier demos on the disc was for Viewtiful Joe 2, which arrives on the console December 7.

Unfortunately, gamers eager to sample the cel-shaded beat-'em-up were in for a very nasty surprise. That's because the demo contained a glitch which will erase all saved games on the memory card or cards currently inserted in the console. Considering many PlayStation 2 owners are currently shooting their way through Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, which takes at least 40 hours to finish, the glitch sparked an uproar among PlayStation Underground members.

This week, Sony acknowledged the glitch via a mass e-mail to PlayStation Underground members. Besides conveying the corporation's "sincerest apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused," the e-mail also suggested that gamers "please remove your Memory Card(s) from your PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system before you load the Holiday 2004 Demo Disc." Speaking to GameSpot, a Sony rep clarified the situation further, saying, "You can play all of the demos including VJ2 as long as you remove the mem cards."


Imagine a PC demo with this kind of "glitch"....

#32 by Hugin
2004-11-27 18:22:10
lmccain@nber.org
#29 by UncleJeet

Is it just me, or does anyone else get the feeling that the Lemony Snicket books and movie are just riding Harry Potter's coattails?  Also, Jim Carrey??  *cringe*

Maybe they're not cash-in books, I dunno.  I glanced at one or two of them in the bookstore, and they looked very much like it at a glance, thuogh.


Nah, the Lemony Snicket books have a palpably different sensibility than the Harry Potter books.  They're closer to Gorey or Road Dahl, more black humor, more subversive.

The movie is probably benefitting from the success of the Potter movies, in terms of studio internal business shenanigans, but from a creative point of view, they're a pretty distinct entity.
#33 by jjohnsen
2004-11-27 18:32:55
http://www.johnsenclan.com
A working copy of HL2 wasn't on suprnova the day it was released.  I'm sure that justifies anything Steam means in Valve's eyes.  When was the last time you can remember not seeing a pirated copy that works before it was in the stores?  As for warez being dead, I downloaded copy of Vampire to try out, I was pretty sure it wasn't my cup of tea, but wanted to give it a shot.  The whole process to get it working was so difficult that I gave up and I'll buy it for $20 off Ebay in a few months.  It may have just been the rip I got, but I've heard of many problems with the Vampire rips.  

I remember reading an interview with some Activision guy that said if copy protection could stop a working copy from getting on the net for a week, they'd feel like they succeded.  From the problems I've read about the HL2 and Vampire warez, it sounds like they got that much time.

Actually, the liberalism of the media - as a general thing - IS a major fallacy. What the media is, is a whore.  -LP
#34 by ProStyle
2004-11-27 18:34:10
http://prostyle.deviantart.com
It is, however, a dangerous game they are playing here with consumer loyalty - just when they seem to have produced something good in Steam, they go and act like spoiled children in power and demonstrate its dark side.

Meh. Personally, I was very dissapointed in their lack of reaction to the hacked CS:S Beta aquisitions and the same process then being used for HL2. I wouldn't say this is some penultimate dark side if you will, as you perceived it the action seemed to erode consumer confidence. However, it was the total opposite for me. I thought to myself, finally - good for them. 20,000 accounts isn't something you just blow your nose at in the morning, and I found their inaction less comforting than the outright banning. They obviously have very clear cut data on who is and who isn't using this kind of stuff, and they brought the hammer down. Comparing that to the actions of a "spoiled child" is rather ridiculous. I hope they continue to do the same thing, even if it boils down to someone installing a third party OGC hack. Ban those fucks, from all your games. I dont care if they spent $200 on 4 titles - they've crossed a big line.

Fabricated like the word absurditive
#35 by Charles
2004-11-27 18:34:25
www.bluh.org
jjohnsen:  Anything with starforce takes usually at least a week.

Do-Re-Mi-Fa-SO-LONG-FUCKER!
#36 by Charles
2004-11-27 18:36:22
www.bluh.org
I hate to say it... but endorsing what Valve is doing is a slippery slope.

Do-Re-Mi-Fa-SO-LONG-FUCKER!
#37 by zimbardo_ugly
2004-11-27 18:36:49
zimbardo_ugly@hotmail.com
#33 by jjohnsen

I remember reading an interview with some Activision guy that said if copy protection could stop a working copy from getting on the net for a week, they'd feel like they succeded.  From the problems I've read about the HL2 and Vampire warez, it sounds like they got that much time.


The fuck? Vampire doesn't even require a crack and the warezed version (Alcohol image for the first CD and plain ol' bin/cue for the rest) was available the moment it was out.

Rot-corpse Sumatran art amuses proctor.
#38 by ProStyle
2004-11-27 18:38:48
http://prostyle.deviantart.com
Charles, if you mean to imply that I should be worried about my games becoming disabled - I'm not. Ever.

Fabricated like the word absurditive
#39 by Charles
2004-11-27 18:39:37
www.bluh.org
So, you've never even done so much as used a no-cd crack?  Good for you!

Do-Re-Mi-Fa-SO-LONG-FUCKER!
#40 by yotsuya
2004-11-27 18:40:50
I was totally anti-Steam, but now seeing how it works, and having experienced it, I think it's a great idea. I just wish the prices of the games were cheaper, since there's no physical media.

And I have no problem with what Valve is doing. Imagine, a company going AFTER the priates and people using illegal copies of their software. Why not? You better believe those people would think again before trying to pirate a Valve game.

"God gave you a brain because he wants you to think."
I wear my sunglasses at night.
#41 by Charles
2004-11-27 18:45:31
www.bluh.org
So... does this mean that when you buy the retail version, and your drive isn't compatible with their copy protection, you can return the game for a full refund?   I mean, you won't be able to use a no-cd crack, they'll kill your ability to play the game if you do.

Do-Re-Mi-Fa-SO-LONG-FUCKER!
#42 by zimbardo_ugly
2004-11-27 18:46:45
zimbardo_ugly@hotmail.com
Yot, I too love how hassle-free Steam is and how it lets you buy one license per an infinite number of players (as long as it's single-player). But I bet if they banned your account for just vaguely using torrent on your PC, you'd be pissed as well. It's just doesn't seem like a good policy to do that.

Rot-corpse Sumatran art amuses proctor.
#43 by yotsuya
2004-11-27 18:48:07
Well, honestly Charles, I haven't had that problem with games I've purchased. Then again, the last game I purchased was UT2K4 (from Best Buy for $29.99. no less!). That's why I like the Steam model now.

"God gave you a brain because he wants you to think."
I wear my sunglasses at night.
#44 by Charles
2004-11-27 18:49:25
www.bluh.org
I've had a few games that didn't like my drives, even though I've had far far more games that worked fine.  

Honestly, I'm more miffed by the fact that they have protection on the cd on top of steam, for the retail version (even though I bought on just steam).

Do-Re-Mi-Fa-SO-LONG-FUCKER!
#45 by ProStyle
2004-11-27 18:49:42
http://prostyle.deviantart.com
So, you've never even done so much as used a no-cd crack?


Along that same line of thought Charles, wouldn't that be the majority of video game consumers?
Steam has done a great thing in terms of increasing accessibility to titles of that nature. You don't have to look for the right versions of patches anymore, install them in specific orders, etc. All your game shortcuts are in consolidated menus, legacy support is integrated, etc. Hell, I didn't even have to drive to a store or sign for a package. It's hard for me to discount all of that, especially by simply going into conspiracy mode about how Valve is The Man - with a switch to turn all our accounts off.

Fabricated like the word absurditive
#46 by yotsuya
2004-11-27 18:49:46
But I bet if they banned your account for just vaguely using torrent on your PC, you'd be pissed as well.

The issue here isn't vaguely using torrent, it's using a pirated copy of a Valve game. If they banned accounts that had torrent software installed on the computer, that's a different issue, but that's not what they're doing.

"God gave you a brain because he wants you to think."
I wear my sunglasses at night.
#47 by jjohnsen
2004-11-27 18:49:50
http://www.johnsenclan.com
The fuck? Vampire doesn't even require a crack and the warezed version (Alcohol image for the first CD and plain ol' bin/cue for the rest) was available the moment it was out.

I don't knwo what version everyone else was getting, but the one I downloaded wouldn't work when I followed the .nfo to the letter.

Actually, the liberalism of the media - as a general thing - IS a major fallacy. What the media is, is a whore.  -LP
#48 by E-ph0nk
2004-11-27 18:50:51
http://www.electrophonk.be
Afaik, and based on the posts by valve personal at the steampowered forum - only people who used a certain serial number that was included with the warez release got banned.

#49 by Charles
2004-11-27 18:53:21
www.bluh.org
Along that same line of thought Charles, wouldn't that be the majority of video game consumers?


Oh, so it's okay if you can't play a game because of a stupid copy protection issue.  Great!  Glad you are okay with the next title that won't work for you.

Do-Re-Mi-Fa-SO-LONG-FUCKER!
#50 by yotsuya
2004-11-27 18:53:46
Even to piggy back what MCorleone had posted earlier, I was going to physically re-install HL, but on a whim I just typed in my CD code number from the back of my CD, and I had immediate access to HL AND Opposing Force. You can't beat that for convenience.

"God gave you a brain because he wants you to think."
I wear my sunglasses at night.
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