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March 29th 2002, 10:15 CET by Bailey

Recently, Jedi Knight II: Outcast, went gold. Slightly less recently, JK2:O was distributed widely over the warez and P2P systems. While I appreciate Raven as a development group, I have to ask if LucasArts is going to remove their collective head from their collective ass at any immediate juncture.

Hot sticky warez scenes and new games get along like a house on fire. This is, quite assuredly, an uncontested and assured fact. So the question begets itself: while the single player experience cannot be copy protected, (short of Black&White-esque spyware narcing you out to the nazis at Lionhead) the multiplayer experience, more often than not, works quite well with CD-keys, online registration, and all that song and dance. No problem. Moreover, when a game is being developed on an engine/license that is well known for being quite reasonably secure online (i.e. the Q3 engine in this particular case) there really doesn't seem to be any particular reason that the game shouldn't incorporate the strengths and overcome the weaknesses of it's predecessors.

So the question is, why are a few thousand people jedi-ing it up on the Zone days before JK2:O hits the shelves?

To reiterate, I like Raven. I really do. They make some funky games. And I have a passion for LucasArts which burns back to the Dark Forces/Sam n' Max days. But I find myself completely unable to sympathize with either party when their collective clusterfuck/game is distributed to tens of thousands of people a week before the boxed product is even in stores. This is akin to the whole fiasco surrounding Rune, a game which was on the warez scene in gold format an entire month before it was in stores. At which point, the staff posted on the forums about how it was stealing bread from the mouths of their children. Pardon me for saying so, but it's a bit frigging late to whine about the cows wandering off when you intentionally left the barn door unlocked and wide open with giant flashing neon signs screaming "BOVINE EGRESS" to one and all. Why would LucasArts not opt for some sort of security, CD-key, copy protection, of any kind whatsoever? Why would anyone throw away a good chunk of the profits for the past year or so of their hard work? Justify Episode One!

The only immediate answer I can come up with is this: Everyone is stupid but me.
Home » Topic: Meh

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#1 by Charles
2002-03-29 10:17:55

#2 by Ashiran
2002-03-29 10:18:40
Everyone is stupid but me!

Bite me. No I'm serious, bite me.
#3 by Charles
2002-03-29 10:19:18
But I digress...

CD Protection = TEH USELESS SHITE,  CD Key = the good way to not piss people off.

Why they didn't use one, is faaaaaaaaar beyond me.  Maybe they've 'seen the light' or something equally stupid.  Or have some hidden trick up their sleeve.  

Either way, JK2 is gonna have some issues with this.

#4 by jafd
2002-03-29 10:20:55
So, what are the reasons for not having a demo? Here's some possibiilties:

1) The publisher just can't afford one.
2) Too busy working on a patch to afford a demo.
3) Diabolical scheme to get sales from people who wouldn't buy the product if they were able to examine the flaws beforehand.
4) They don't want to "spoil the surprises" that the full game offers.

Uhm... anything else? Oh, please, someone come by and educate me, I'd really like to know. Thanks.

#5 by Max
2002-03-29 10:22:18
There's no demo because they know everyone's just going to warez it anyway because they didn't protect it at all.

Everyone but you, I mean. Did you get your tin box yet?

#6 by Charles
2002-03-29 10:22:52
And as my first attempt to perform a thread hijack, I give you this!


#7 by Bailey
2002-03-29 10:29:56

You sir, are the new hijack nazis.

You are making my being drunk at one in the afternoon a less pleasant experience.
#8 by Paul
2002-03-29 10:30:47
I like demos.. It says a lot about the game, usually.

Paul A. Bullman, Board Certified Crapologist.
#9 by Bailey
2002-03-29 10:31:54
I think we should all go back to using those horrible code-wheels or the red sheets of paper with which you needed colored plastic to read the symbols correctly. Lordy, those were awful.

You are making my being drunk at one in the afternoon a less pleasant experience.
#10 by Max
2002-03-29 10:34:06
LucasArts should've protected JK2 with a Little Orphan Annie Secret Decoder Ring. We'd at least get some Ovaltine that way.

#11 by Rambar
2002-03-29 10:38:46
So it's LucasArt's fault the game was pirated?

Yeah.  That makes sense.

#12 by jafd
2002-03-29 11:25:45
Max, no. After playing an hour or so of Q3 last night, I suddenly began to seriously, seriously question the wisdom of spending sixty bucking fucks on a game that I'm primarily interested in for the online multiplayer. ph34r, d00d.

At this point I'm thinking that I will probably travel forward in time and buy the game when it is $30, and patched at least once. Then I'll come back and be ready in time for tomorrow.

Judging from the word-of-mouth that I'm getting, if there were a demo, I would have loved it. So, look at it this way, if I pay $60 for a game with a demo, then if I buy a game without a demo, I should pay less, since I'm getting less of an experience. Right?

#13 by Bailey
2002-03-29 11:27:39

The point is that the blame falls to LucasArts that the game is not protected in any way, shape, or form. I'm not sure which nether orifice you pulled your take on the topic out of, but I'm willing to venture a guess.

The fact is that you'd have to be blissfully ignorant of your fellow human beings to assume people will not steal from you when you leave the bank vault doors wide open and swinging in the wind. People dig on the free swag.

The question is why would anyone be so very obtuse? And that is the sum of the statement.

You are making my being drunk at one in the afternoon a less pleasant experience.
#14 by Buccaneer
2002-03-29 11:28:18
Rambar, #11: After you watched the Hamster Dance long enough, everything makes sense.
#15 by Ashiran
2002-03-29 11:40:33
Is it not so that they can't enforce copyright if they have taken no precautions whatsover to protect that copyright?

Bite me. No I'm serious, bite me.
#16 by Post-It
2002-03-29 11:45:30
Ummm...go look at this (Flash required) right now. Like really seriously. I had heard the audio portion over a year ago but the animation adds a whole new dimension to it. Don't pull it up in front of people who are politically correct.
#17 by jafd
2002-03-29 13:07:12
Interesting. How topical. I now have "ghettodilta5.swf" sitting on my desktop, playing over and over in my IrfanView freeware player with Flash plug-in.

Is that so wrong?

Anyhoo. I certainly don't object to there being no CD-check on JK2; CD-checks are crack-stupid, yo. However... no CD-key for online play? On a Q3-engined title, the same fucking engine that almost pioneered the CD-key system?

On a title that allows people to use lightsabers against other people? That doesn't have a demo?

This may actually count as proof that Lucas really is wholly out of touch with <50% of his fanbase. I mean, yeah, Jar Jar for kids, oh-kay, I can sort of believe that. But...

making "Rebel Fighters" the picture of heroism for many people;
making glowing swords the weapon of choice for many people;
then telling many people that, "okay, yeah you can finally have that in a marginally acceptable technically realistic environment, but you gotta pay first, before you can even get a taste of it, because we're the LucasArts Empire and we say so"... well, whatever.

Either they are stupid, stupid, stupid, or they're just being really nice to everyone, while simultaneously reducing their development and bandwidth costs... I mean, demos are just so passe now, right?

At any rate, I find this debacle to be more entertaining than whatever single player story the game provides. Since I heard today that the versions of the older Jedi Knight games that come in the Limited Edition are not some kind of tricked-out W2K-friendly versions, well, screw the LE. I'll go troll bargain bins and find JK1, which I never played, while I wait for a) a patch, b) a demo, c) that lightsaber keychain to show up on Ebay, d) my Donkey to finish up.

Meanwhile, I have Wizardry 8 waiting for me. Ahh, life's too good.

#18 by jafd
2002-03-29 14:42:39
At least I can get it cheap now. Fine. I won't steal it.

Then again, now I really know why there isn't a demo.

I don't care to fill the website up with stupid text (right now, anyway), so I won't paste the whole deliciously stupid email advert I got, urging me to "Defy Lord Vader! Buy Jedi Outcast!" Talk about jumbo shrimp, for pity's sake.

#19 by Darkseid-D
2002-03-29 14:55:22


(office safe, not porno, amusing, military hardware, accidental, no deaths, no gore, no bloody, no nudity, no edited for televions)


Never argue with an idiot, theyll drag you down onto their level, then beat you with experience.
#20 by Matt Perkins
2002-03-29 14:57:37
I agree with Bailey (it hurts to utter these words), no protection is just plain wrong.  But...  maybe Lucas Arts doesn't care?  Maybe the 10,000 (by your guesstimate) pirated copies, they just don't think will affect sales...  I don't know, but to put nothing for protection, it definitly hints at not caring about the warez action.

Just your average curious bastard.
#21 by Warren Marshall
2002-03-29 15:19:10
I was shocked to see no copy protection at all.  My only guess is that Lucas Arts paid Raven enough to make it worth their while to piss away sales and that LucasArts is doing an experiment of some kind ... can a game do decently without protection?  I don't think it can, but we'll see.

I am a magnificent three toed sloth.
#22 by Gunp01nt
2002-03-29 15:39:08
On a title that allows people to use lightsabers against other people? That doesn't have a demo?

They uhmmm... owe you nothing :D

"I'm not sleeping with a junior high-schooler, I have a life sized doll that looks just like one."
#23 by EvilAsh
2002-03-29 16:17:49
They may believe that enough star wars hardcore fanboys will want to buy the collector's edition and that will offset the pirated copies.

I have been reading all over from jk owners and from what I have read so far alot of people got the collector's edition.
#24 by Warren Marshall
2002-03-29 16:28:14
That would never offset the piracy.  The collectors edition would have to be several hundred dollars to even begin to make a dent.

I am a magnificent three toed sloth.
#25 by LPMiller
2002-03-29 16:28:19
plenty of games have no protection, or only a cd check - which is as good as not having protection.

But I will agree, on an A title, not doing the CD key thing is just stupid.

The Suns rays are made up of many atoms.
#26 by EvilAsh
2002-03-29 16:33:22
um The Sim's has a cd-key but no server authentication. Cd-key doesn't mean jack if you don't have server authentication.
#27 by Neo-Reaper
2002-03-29 16:39:26
Perhaps by not having CD-Key protection, and thus increasing the number of people playing online, it will make multiplay look more favourable to those buying the game...

"Dream of me... and maybe, just maybe, this nightmare will end."
#28 by Neo-Reaper
2002-03-29 16:41:19
um The Sim's has a cd-key but no server authentication. Cd-key doesn't mean jack if you don't have server authentication.

Yah, I think we're referring to the multiplayer aspect of games only. As of yet there is no decent way of protecting single-player.

"Dream of me... and maybe, just maybe, this nightmare will end."
#29 by Darkseid-D
2002-03-29 17:16:38
*whistles nonchalantly and skuffs sole of shoe on ground*

I _did_ try to tell you that they werent putting any protection on it, and all the warez monkeys would be all over it, but got shot down saying it would have to have a protection key.

ah well, next time people might actually read my posts...


Never argue with an idiot, theyll drag you down onto their level, then beat you with experience.
#30 by Tom Cleghorn
2002-03-29 17:16:52
Well, if it's deliberate... so be it. It's their choice. What's 10k times $40 to Lucasarts anyway? ;)
On the other hand, nobody seems to have put forward the idea that it could be a manufacturing oversight. At a guess, it's perfectly feasible that beta copies, which quite often get leaked on to the warez scene (remember the Q3A IHV test?) wouldn't have any kind of protection on them.
If it's an error, then, unfortunately, I'm sure Raven will get hurt by it (and, less unfortunately, Lucasarts will too... but who cares about them? They're evil corporate assholes, right..?)
As I said above, if it's deliberate, then god knows why they'd do it, but they're fully entitled to make their own decision on that kind of thing.

Hey, maybe there's some insidious hidden protection that causes your monitor to operate as a manure synthesiser, and explode, showering you in shit, if you get caught without a legit copy...

Hit me - I'm wasting valuable time.
#31 by Tom Cleghorn
2002-03-29 17:17:43
*casts Ray of Anti-Smug-Bastard +69 at Ds*

Hit me - I'm wasting valuable time.
#32 by LPMiller
2002-03-29 17:37:09
according to gamecopyworld, your source for no cd hacks, Jedi does have a No CD Check.

which is becoming oddly common of late, as Bridge commander does the same thing; neither requires a code or uses Safedisc. Why 50 dollar games would not use Safedisc at least, while 20 dollar games like Serious Sam do, befuddles me.

I mean, a 20 dollar game is less likely to get warezed anyway. It could be though that the cost of safe disc just isn't worth it, considering how easy it is to defeat with a 100 dollar lite on burner and either clone cd or cdmate, and yet is pain in the butt for normal users if their CDROM drives choke on reading the legit disk because of the protection.

The Suns rays are made up of many atoms.
#33 by Duality
2002-03-29 17:41:46
jafd: They wouldn't release a demo because it wouldn't contain a keychain!

I'm still mezz'ed by this keychain! :D
#34 by Gunp01nt
2002-03-29 17:44:28
They wouldn't release a demo because it wouldn't contain a keychain!

couldn't they ship a temporary keychain with the demo, that evaporates after 30 days?

"I'm not sleeping with a junior high-schooler, I have a life sized doll that looks just like one."
#35 by coda
2002-03-29 18:10:16
a game like that wont need a demo to convince people to buy it - it is star wars and that alone is merit enough for thousands of people to get it.

Wanna be adored? Go to India and moo
#36 by Rambar
2002-03-29 18:40:27
It may have been ignorant or foolish for LucasArts not to use the quake3 cd-key system but that still isn't an excuse for people to steal it.  "Hey this game has virtually no copy protection!  THAT MEANS IT'S FREE!"

The rumor I heard was that they didn't want to pay for the auth system.   Pure rumor though. :)

#37 by Ergo
2002-03-29 18:50:19
What would be interesting to see is JK2 sell a bazillion copies despite having no copy protection. I wonder what the industry response would be?

Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, he'll sit in a boat all day drinking beer.
#38 by Neale
2002-03-29 18:55:45
From the id technology page:

An added benefit of the QUAKE III Arena license is that it also includes our CD key security system for piracy prevention

So if the CD key stuff comes with the engine, then why remove it. The only additional expense that I can see them incurring isthe costs of running an authentication server. Surely that's small change to the mighty Lucasarts?

Eradicators! -
#39 by jafd
2002-03-29 19:05:02
I _did_ try to tell you that

Eh? I do read your posts, Ds (even the white space! honest!), and I don't recall you talking about this issue, at all. Can you tell us which thread, at least, if not which post?

On this board, right?

As of yet there is no decent way of protecting single-player.

And, there never will be. Save for some kind of ultra-draconian .NET kind of game, which I can see happening at some point, but given the tenacity of a) geeks and b) gamers, I can just see them haxx0ring the whole thing and creating another server system to plug into. /shrug.

I really see this no-no-cd-check thing as being a big step forward; CD-checks do nothing but piss people off and/or make them laugh. I can't grok the abscence of multiplayer online authentication, though, seems like a total natural.

The rumor I heard was that they didn't want to pay for the auth system.

Doesn't that come part-and-parcel with the Q3 engine licence? Or, is it that they didn't want to pay for the administrative costs, maintaining an auth server and issuing keys and whatrot? What... is Lucas suddenly working on tightening his belt?

The more I consider the issue, the more it makes very little sense to me. Which means that I'm all done considering the issue, as over-analysis of a circumstance that I know very little about, accomplishes very little.

One thing that really sticks out in my mind, however, is that Rescue on Fractalus was the first LucasArts game, IIRC, and was also the first retail game product to "hit the warez scene" in a big way. (Or, perhaps since it was tangentially a part of the Star Wars phenom, it got reported on more attentively.) What exactly is it, that LA has figured out for themselves after all these years of being so popular with "rebel scum"?

"Hey this game has virtually no copy protection!  THAT MEANS IT'S FREE!"

Heretic II has 'virtually no copy protection' either... in fact, most games don't have cd-key online authentithithy-cation. UT, for example.

What's the difference in this case? Oh, yeah, Sabers. Witness the frothing.

#40 by jafd
2002-03-29 19:07:15
Doh, thanks Neale.

Crikey, hasn't any of the drooling webjournalos asked the question of them yet? Where's m0nty when you need him??

#41 by yotsuya
2002-03-29 19:36:30
Well, the issue here is, it Lucasarts or is Raven responsible for the game? Did LA just sell the license to the game, and it's all Raven from there, or what?

Arizona Diamondbacks 2001 World Series Champions
#42 by dsmart
2002-03-29 19:38:49
Thread hijaak in not adjust your monitors....

Who's your daddy?!?!

It's not everyone telling me it can't be done that bothers me. It's them interrupting me while I'm doing it!
#43 by jafd
2002-03-29 19:39:28
My understanding is that LucasArts is wholly responsible, and Raven iss "just" the hired gun.

I have the game now. It is pure Raven-love, very much evolved since their most recent efforts, with a bunch of semi-stupid elements that a) could only have been approved of by Lucas, and b) really, really make me feel like I'm in a Star Wars movie. Which I can only assume is the intent, so in spite of how deleriously stupid some parts of it are, I'd still call them "successes."

Someone cut me a check, and I'll write a review. Nyahh nyaah nyahh.

#44 by jafd
2002-03-29 19:39:52
That's not a hijack. That's a p1mp.

#45 by Duality
2002-03-29 19:41:00
Worst.  Segue.  Evar.

Screenshots are all well and good, but I really need the actual product to get a real good indicator of how it looks. :>
#46 by Duality
2002-03-29 19:41:49
jafd: Did you get plain one or suparfun keychain edition?
#47 by chris
2002-03-29 19:42:58
If they're going to release "special edition games," the least they could do is fucking put something remotely worth paying extra money for in the box.

A "collector's tin" and a keychain do not justify a $20 price increase. Give me a documentary on the making of the game. Better, give me commentary tracks that can be played while I'm playing the game... designers talking about what they were trying to accomplish with the levels, artists talking about how much of a bitch getting the animations right for the Rancor was... whatevs.

Stop expecting me to pay extra money for useless baubles that will rapidly find their way into a desk drawer, never to be seen again.

Blizzard's special editions are vaguely close to what a special edition game should be like.

Duality - you coulda bought the regular edition, and gone out and found a lightsaber keychain for like two bucks. :P

#48 by jafd
2002-03-29 19:43:44
Plain, of course. I still have my wits about me.

#49 by jafd
2002-03-29 19:45:50
Yeah, what chris said. If the included copies of the earlier games were some well-supported W2K-enabled loving, then, yeah, sure, worth the money.

But a hunk of plastic and some copies of games that are freely available in bargain bins across the world... for 20 bucks? /groan.

#50 by crash
2002-03-29 19:48:11
first comment: i thought copy protection was in the bailiwick of the publisher, not the developer.

second comment: safedisc and safedisc2 are stunningly easy to get around. not that i'd know personally--i don't have those skillz--but i've watched, and it actually takes less time, in some cases, to burn a cd with safedisc2 than without. how bizarre is that.

third comment: i don't have the manual for jk2 handy, but i could swear i read (in it yesterday) the sp and mp games in jk2 were like separate executables or something. struck me as odd that you wouldn't start the mp game from the sp menu or whatnot. is this the case or no? if it is indeed the case, it explains much.

that's about it for now, though.

- if you can laugh at it, you can live with it.
- "Hey, how 'bout this: fuck you." -LPMiller
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