Why I hate Star force! *rant*


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#21 Nutguy

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Posted 27 October 2005 - 02:12 PM

Quote

Only people with underspecced or conflicting hardware, or improperly maintained software get problems.

Yeah, right... and when the improperly maintened software or conflicting hardware comes from Starforce as the above links seem to indicate then what? That's the users problem too I guess.

Mine is actually a case where (this particular) copy protection has had the opposite effect. It didn't prohibit any illegal use of the game, it actually prevented a possible buyer from acquiring it legally. I was two steps from buying the game but hesitated and didn't go through it cause of the bugs and the chance it might not be displayed properly on TFT screens. Starforce is strike 3 for ALTAR. Too bad...

I really didn't have any beef with Starforce until I read the above links. I've actually installed legal copies of such games (as well as the Aftershock demo) on my system but after what I've read I'm going to find that removal tool and get Starforce out of my PC.

#22 csebal

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Posted 27 October 2005 - 07:16 PM

Nutguy, on 27th October 2005, 2:12pm, said:

Yeah, right... and when the improperly maintened software or conflicting hardware comes from Starforce as the above links seem to indicate then what? That's the users problem too I guess.

Mine is actually a case where (this particular) copy protection has had the opposite effect. It didn't prohibit any illegal use of the game, it actually prevented a possible buyer from acquiring it legally. I was two steps from buying the game but hesitated and didn't go through it cause of the bugs and the chance it might not be displayed properly on TFT screens. Starforce is strike 3 for ALTAR. Too bad...

I really didn't have any beef with Starforce until I read the above links. I've actually installed legal copies of such games (as well as the Aftershock demo) on my system but after what I've read I'm going to find that removal tool and get Starforce out of my PC.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

So you didnt buy the game? Now what? Your loss, sorry. It is a great game, and with some bugfixes, it'll even be better. Starforce caused no problems for me, just as it causes no problems for the majority of users you never hear about. What you hear is the desperate cry of the few unlucky, who get conflicts, and the few desperate 'leechers' who are unable to download it from the net because of the protection.

If it would have been out sooner through piracy than through retail channels, i would have downloaded it. Instead of that, i bought two copies. Now thats two bought versus the one you didnt. Can you see a pattern there?

People should finally get a hang of this: starforce and the like are born becuase some people use completely illegal means to STEAL from the developers. Would you like your work to be stolen for example? I doubt it, so im sure you would take steps to ensure it is protected against theft. Let's all be honest. Starforce does an excellent job in that. I havent seen a single recently released starforce protected game, that was cracked 'properly'.

If someone thinks that they've sold less copies with starforce protection than they would have done without it.. well go figure. I'm sure publishers have exact figures on sales, and if starforce wouldnt have better statistics than regular or unprotected games, then they would simply not go for it.

#23 Pete

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Posted 27 October 2005 - 07:57 PM

Really, you've got more chance of the game being incompatible with your hardware than having a problem with StarForce.

Try the demo. If you don't like it, uninstall it and it'lluninstall StarForce. Where's the problem?
May your terror missions always be infested with Chrysalids.

#24 Nutguy

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Posted 27 October 2005 - 08:09 PM

Loss? Maybe, or maybe I'll spend my money on something equally good that won't bugger my PC or maybe even be a complete waste of money (TFT screen problem). Instead seems like I'll wait a bit and buy Civ 4.

You bought two copies... Good for you and good for ALTAR. Now maybe you can buy a few hundred more for all those people who seem to be boycoting Starforce and then ALTAR will be even more happy. In the meantime I'm not thrilled about the possibility, however remote, of having my PC deep fried.

On the copy protection discussion. I'm with you on legallity and rights and stolen work, just mine is a different take from yours. I buy my games legally and of course I wouldn't be happy if someone stole my work. But I wouldn't protect it in a way that could damage or cause unwanted problems on the property of legal buyers.

Edit: @ Pete. No problem here. I did try the demo, liked it as far as I saw, but from what I've read I'd rather buy something else. In the meantime I've already uninstalled Starforce.

#25 Lurker

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Posted 27 October 2005 - 10:19 PM

Quote

Really, you've got more chance of the game being incompatible with your hardware than having a problem with StarForce.

Try the demo. If you don't like it, uninstall it and it'lluninstall StarForce. Where's the problem?

--

Two problems that I know of.  If StarForce wipes out your hard drive, then you can't uninstall.  Others have reported that their DVD drive disappeared after installing StarForce and they couldn't get it back after uninstalling StarForce.  That's a problem.  They had to reformat their hard drive to get their DVD drive to work again.

Which leads to the second problem, there is a rumor or a belief that not all of StarForce goes away after running the StarForce uninstall.  There have been people who have uninstalled Aftershock, and who then reinstall, and the StarForce doesn't ask for the CD key the during the second install, which leads many people to believe that the StarForce didn't completely go away during the uninstall process.

Thus, people come to the conclusion, whether rightly or wrongly, that StarForce prevents itself from being completely uninstalled and that StarForce is therefore a 'gift that keeps on giving.'

--

I have been thinking about buying another hard drive, buying a copy of System Commander so that I can dual boot XP, and buying a copy of Ghost so that I can copy my hard drive to the new drive, and then setting it up so that I boot to either one drive or the other.  On one drive I put StarForce and Aftershock, and on the other drive, the newer higher capacity drive, I leave it pure.  Then see what happens.  Will the StarForce jump drives, if System Commander makes it so that one drive can't see the other?  I doubt it.

But . . . there have been numerous reports that the people who are currently having problems with StarForce, the latest versions of StarForce, are the people who have more than one drive in their system, more than one hard drive or more than one DVD or CDROM drive.  So, if I put in a second drive and try to isolate StarForce, it sounds like I might actually be creating one of the situations in which StarForce messes everything up.

Like I said, or tried to say, the problems are subtle and hard to prove and hard to convince yourself that you might indeed be witnessing real problems.  Everybody gets different results.  And, I certainly don't want to chastize anyone who comes up with the opposite conclusion, because I can see how they might indeed come up with different results.  There are plenty of reports from people who are having absolutely no problem with StarForce.

And, then there are those who are actively boycotting StarForce.  Is their boycott making a difference or getting anyone's attention?  So many questions, and not enough answers.  A boycott of StarForce is a solution or an answer, but will it work?  As far as I know, it will only work if you refuse to install StarForce on your system, to begin with.

--

EDIT:  And, thank you Pete for letting us vent  or 'rant' as the title says.  I always feel that it is good to be informed.

#26 Lurker

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Posted 27 October 2005 - 11:10 PM

Kernel, on 27th October 2005, 1:25pm, said:

Toms Hardware Guide recently posted an article about copy protection in General and on Starforce.
http://www.tgdaily.c...ates/index.html

The "reply" from Starforce is rather interesting and funny.
http://www.star-forc...ml?c=256&id=658

I find the EULA part interesting. Basicly it says "Our copy protection drivers don't cause any problems, but if they do, you can't blame us for it."
No I'm no legal expert, but as far as I know, such EULA are illegal in the UK, and maybe Europe.

Edit: I just found this site that summerises UK Law and EULAs: http://www.kevinboone.com/eula.html

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



That review on Tom's Hardware is an informative review.  Those guys know about hardware.  But, I can see how the StarForce guy might be biased against such a review.  :(

Thanks for replying Kernel.  I was sincerely curious as to what the 'signature of the beast' really looked like.

I thought that the response from the StarForce guy at the StarForce thread on the Altar Forum was a bit flippant.  They don't care or take any responsibility for those machines that they wipe out.  You get that feeling quite a bit from them.  But, then again, it might only be my personal interpretation of the evidence.  Still, in one thread, the StarForce representatives say that they don't know about any problems, yet in another thread, the StarForce people actually admit that there have been problems.  But of course, they assure us that there are no problems now, even though users are still reporting problems, even now.

http://forum.ufo-aft...topic=865&st=45

Like you say, kind of funny.  And, I say that it's all rather confusing.  Still, nothing gives you that warm and fuzzy feeling quite like having your hard drive erased or having your DVD burner disappear or having your Nero or some such stop working. :(  Gotta laugh about it -- it makes you feel so small and powerless and insignificant, sometimes.

#27 Hellb0und

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Posted 08 November 2005 - 03:29 AM

Some people here know me from these and other forums although i have not been very active in any of those forums due to work.

Now sit back because this is problably going to be long...

About Starforce

First thing i want to say is:
I WILL NOT BUY Aftershock until an official patch is released to disable STARFORCE, and to enable us to play the game without the fear of getting our PC all messed up (Software AND Hardware).
This goes for any other games that even mentions Starforce.

I have too many legal software and hardware installed on my machine that i use for my work, to even consider the possibility of some damage. Damage i have witnessed on others.
Even if it only caused me to install windows again, it's a pain in the ass spending almost 2 days installing all the drivers for my hardware and installing all the software i need again.

I don't own any game with Starforce v.3xx, i do have some with Starforce v.2.
But my neighbour recently bought Splinter Cell 3: Chaos Theory (it uses Starforce version 3.4.71.19), installed it and played it for a few hours... all good... until the next reboot.
His DVD burner was F*****, and it was now only recording and reading CD's at really slow speeds, EVEN after a total HDD format and installing XP again (with my borrowed DVD-RW drive) his drive still didn't work properly.

I was able to "save" his DVD-RW drive only by searching the net for a possible solution... had to download the firmware of his DVD-RW drive, and flash the bios of his DVD-RW drive with the downloaded firmware.

After all this... guess what, he tried the Aftermath demo because i said it was good. Same thing all over again! I guess Starforce doesn't like his DVD drive...



Quote

Only people with underspecced or conflicting hardware, or improperly maintained software get problems.
WRONG!
My friend's PC(very similar to mine) runs everything fine. Doom3, Far Cry or HL2 on max details at 1280x1024 (LCD) average 90 FPS means anything to you?

I run anti-spyware programs, anti-virus and system registry cleaners(and backup registry) at least once a week. I will not have software i don't want on my PC thanks.

So unless i am sure that Starforce will not F*** up my system(software and hardware) i will NOT buy any Starforce game... sorry.


Really... READ THIS:
The War on Game Pirates
and this
Joystiq

This is a quote from one of these links.. can't remember wich one... I've read so much about this these past few weeks that i'm going insane.

Quote

If developers and publishers are going to insist on copy protection, then Unreal Tournament 2004 is the way to do it. The initial release was protected. After the first couple of patches, they removed the protection entirely. Right down to you not even needing the disk in the drive. THAT is how to treat the consumer properly and I will gladly buy future versions of UT, simply because they've shown they respect the consumer.


I own UT, UT2003 and UT2004. And i was a happy puppy when i could finally play UT2004 not needing to have the DVD on the drive with a official patch. My UT2004 DVD is now inside it's case on a shelf WHERE IT BELONGS! Not getting ruined from the constant switching of media from the drive each time i want to play a game.
I LOVE EPIC Games!

I've seen people on other forums compare Steam from Valve (HL2) with Starforce. Nothing could be further from the thruth.
HL2 CLEARLY states you need an internet connection to unlock/validate the game(only once) even if you buy it on a store.

EDIT:
I forgot to add, you HAVE to install Steam and have an account to even begin installing HL2 or any other Steam game.

I paid for a Silver Package(i don't need all the extra crap that comes with the Gold package) through Steam with my credit card, one month before HL2 was released. I had the entire game downloaded to my HD weeks before the game was unlocked to play.

The final version of HL2 was only pirated weeks after the game was out, NOT before.
I do not need any CD or DVD on my drive, and Steam includes a BACKUP feature so i can burn it on CD's or DVD's. Starforce and other so-called copy protection software prevents this on the games that is "protecting".
Remember those crappy audio CD's that wouldn't play on a PC drive? I'm having flashbacks...

As long as i don't forget my Steam username and password, i'm safe. I can even install HL2 on several PC's, but only one can be logged on Steam at a time.
I get at least 1 update / bug fix or whatever a week, new maps for HL2 DM, CS: Source, DOD: Source and new levels for HL2 like The Lost Coast 2 weeks ago.
All this without the need to look for a website to download a patch or a map, and most require you to subsbcribe... screw that!
I have also recently bought the game Rag Doll Kung Fu through Steam, couldn't be happier. It is patched when needed and more features will be added soon... all through Steam.

Remember a cool FPS called SiN? SiN Episodes is going to be released through Steam.
I will buy it.

Steam is the way to go.
I LOVE Valve!


It is MY RIGHT to make backups of my legal audio/video/games CD's or DVD's.
(At least in most of the EU) We already pay a tax for each recordable media we buy (CD-R/RW or DVD-R/RW), FOR WHAT?


For me, ANY software that prevents itself or any other software from running on a perfectly legal copy of Windows and with a perfectly legal copy of the software in question, and has even the slightest possibillity to disable/damage Hardware (even if only on a software/bios level) should be ILLEGAL.
This is a crime, just like if someone came into my home, robbed my legal CD's or DVD's or destroyed my Hardware. Same difference.



===============================================================================

To finish my post (or rant if you will) read this quote from a post of the user Soulcommander on the UBISOFT forums:

Quote

Today Oct 25 2005 I received a very LONG distant phone call from Aaron McKenna, the gentleman that did the article on Starforce Copy Protection. Seen here:

http://www.tgdaily.c...n_game_pirates/

He called all the way from Ireland to the heartland of the USA.

He is a very nice gentleman and we spoke about many things in regards to the gamming community. Aaron told me he wrote Dennis at Starforce after the Starforce article was posted here:

http://www.star-forc...ml?c=256&id=658

Aaron has given me permission to post an email that he sent to Dennis Zhidkov of Starforce. Dennis is the man that posted the article that upset many in the gamming community that I referred to in this post at the beginning. I found Aaron McKinna's response to be very much the feeling of some of us that read the Starforce article that Mr. Zhidkov posted on Starforce's web site.

Aaron sent Dennis the following email. Which again I have been given permission to post this day OCT 25th 2005 by Mr. McKenna:


Dear Mr. Zhidkov,

Aaron McKenna here - I was the author of the piece to which you refer, and I find some interesting points of discussion in your letter.

First off, allow me to introduce myself. I am not, as you perhaps seem to be inclined to believe, a videogame pirate. I am a journalist who, at the time of writing that, was also working for such publications as PC Format, PC Gamer (UK) and the Games Developer Magazine.

I think, Mr. Zhidkov that you have misinterpreted much of that which I have said. In the opening paragraph, referring to Doom III, I was pointing out the ineptitude of copy protection measures on the game and the impact

which this can have on the videogaming industry. I would point out to you that a similar opinion piece at the time can be found in PC Gamer UK, which is a much respected videogames magazine.

In terms of "delighting" in pirates successes, I think that you again misinterpret me. The point of my article from beginning to end was to point out the damage which piracy is doing to the videogaming industry, the

currently and previously ineffective methods used by videogame publishers to protect what, as you rightly say, is theirs and the increasingly militant copy-protection systems which they are, understandably to a degree, now introducing.

I would not ask for your company PR line on the reliability of StarForce (among other systems), or its interference with machines. As I say, I have worked in the videogames industry as a journalist for quite some time, dealing with videogames on a daily basis for review. Myself and my peers have come across many games with StarForce, among other systems, installed and as much as one or two problems might be considered circumstantial evidence against the system, consistent and regular problems following the same patterns I would view as concrete beyond reasonable doubt.

The problems which myself and my peers have experienced on a variety of platforms across a variety of games and over a lengthy period of time whilst using your system cannot be put down to "ghosts".

I appreciate however that as a member of the company which produces this software you won't be joining myself or my peers in condemning it any time soon.

The biggest irony with such systems that I have found is that they fail, in the most part, to do their job. You and I both know that the aim of any protection software is to delay pirates for the critical first few weeks of the games time on shelves. It would be technically unfeasible to prevent totally and permanently any "cracking" of the software, but we are content with holding the pirates at bay for a time.

The problem with systems such as the one produced by your company is that it doesn't do this - Silent Hunter III for example, from Ubisoft, came with StarForce and yet the game was cracked and available for download by pirates around the same time as the game was reaching retail outlets.

The most ironic thing of all in this is that games that are cracked come without the software which causes so many problems.

The one thing I would ask of your company and others is that you stop putting your hands over your ears and refusing to listen to those experiencing these problems, and admit that StarForce is a faulty copy protection system. Whatever you may say about the quality of your system, thousands of forum posts from average users and the experiences of professionals who deal with videogames, computers and StarForce on a regular basis cannot be totally written off as folly.

Thank you for your time and your letter,

Aaron McKenna


STARFORCE RESPONSE:
Dear Sir,
Thank you for your response!
I respect your opinion.
Sincerely,
Dennis Zhidkov

Oh, and if you run into a problem you think is caused by Starforce, don't bother to post on the Starforce forums because your thread will be locked and/or your post will be erased a few minutes later.[/b]

Ok,
i think i let it all out of my chest... now flame me if you want, i know i'm right.

#28 Lurker

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Posted 11 November 2005 - 12:07 AM

It's spreading:

http://www.usatoday....rs_x.htm?csp=24

Now it's not just StarForce, it's SonyForce, too.  ;)

--

My wife loves StarForce.  She sees that huge list of computer games that I won't be buying, and it makes her all excited and giddy inside.

Of course, that's yet another reason why I hate StarForce.   ;)

#29 Rugster

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Posted 11 November 2005 - 11:01 AM

The starforce removal program does NOT remove everything from the drive. Or from the registry. The only way to by sure that its removed is Fdisk!!

As for dvd/rw/cd/rw and other hardware problems.

My USB 2.0 pendrive worked fine before i installed Ufo:Aftershock Now it doesnt work at all. And my new Usb 2.0 pen wont work on my computer either. Pen drive is a JOGR 2mb.

The old pen a 2mb pen is rendered completely useless. Won't work on college ones either...

I've tried reinstalling the usb 2.0 drivers but it just wont fix. £65 worth of hardware.

Dvd rom - Fortunately, Asus has a flash hardware driver available for my Asus DVD E616P3 drive, this allowed me to force an update onto the drive that starforce had overwritten with its own shit drivers.

After the install of Ufo:Aftershock i was unable to view dvd movies or play cds. I also assumed at first that the starforce software had ruined my copy of PowerDVD xp4 which was crashing, but since i've found out that the software was crashing because the dvd wasnt working correctly. As soon as i flashed the dvd with its drivers (more uptodate than the previous ones) the dvd now works perfectly. Movies and Cds play perfectly and my copy of PowerDvd xp4 works fine.

Cd rom - This however has faced a similar fate as my usb pen... totally gubbed. Before install of ufo:as worked fine, in fact i'd burned a cd of photos only hours before i installed Ufo:as. However i cannot find a flash patch for the Asus CRW5232AX cd rewriter. And its still useless. It reads Cd's wont play music cds very well and wont burn anything at all. Sometimes it starts a burn then find an error.. and halts. Often crashing the computer.

£35 worth of hardware.

I've tried switching the crw to my other pc but it still wont work properly.. however the cd rom, which isnt a rw from my other pc works fine on this one.

So i have 1 working drive. I think the cure for this is simply down to the hardware drivers installed. If you only have a software driver available you're screwed.

Still havent figured out how to fix the Usb 2.0 problem. My new drive is seen in the drives window but when i try to open it, i get message "please insert drive f:" Pen works fine at college tho. Kind of a waste buying a pen i cant transfer college stuff to my pc with.

Looks like i wont be buying Sony BMG music cd's anymore either...

Looks like i have no choice but to backup what i can as i can, and fdisk the Sata Hard disk and reformat.  Problem is of couse if i do this i wont be able to play Ufo:as as this means i will probably loose my ability to use my usb pen.

Btw heres the reply i got from Starforce Customer Support.

********************
Hi!

This is verry interesting thing. Bud i never have any problems with Starforce. I test this game as many other games with starforce and games without starforce. And i never have any problems with video playing and others software run.

I thing you use some ilegal program that broken some windows registers.

I use and test too some ilegal copies of games and programs because i work for anti piracy police. Never have problem only so that many ilegal games and programs have (spyvare, viruses and some other registry damaging worms.)


Sincerely.
Petr Jindra
Reklamace a technická podpora
CENEGA CZECH s.r.o.
Naskové 3
150 00  Praha 5
Tel: 257 189 545

***********************

I have no illigal software on my computer of any kind. I've never purchased or installed pirated software, music or movies of any kind ever. The only virus's i've ever had which number about 5 in 10 yrs... were either from malware (emails) or other downloads.

My pc is protected 24 hours by Norton (i know its not particularly good) Av and Firewall and i also used Ad-Aware Se (which is probably better than Norton on all accounts).

....Noticed someone else posted on Steam used in Half Life 2, its because of Steam that i've only played HL2 once to completion and never installed it again. What a dreadful piece of software.  I had to get an adsl connection just to get the garbage software to patch hl2 properly.  I definately wont be buying HL3 or any Steam supported games in the future either.

Just in case someone reads the bottom of my post.

UFO:AFTERSHOCK bugs aside...and theres certainly a few of them... Starforce not-with-standing. Is a game to buy. It has depth to it that most software companies faint at trying to accomplish. Overall i'd give Ufo:As 80% Could have done with a few little things and certainly with a few taken out. But it is definately a good buy. And well worth it.

#30 Rugster

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Posted 11 November 2005 - 11:33 AM

csebal, on 27th October 2005, 8:16pm, said:

Your loss, sorry.
Starforce caused no problems for me...
Just as it causes no problems for the majority of users you never hear about....

What you hear is the desperate cry of the few unlucky, who get conflicts, and the few desperate 'leechers' who are unable to download it from the net because of the protection...

Two things i hate in life. Thieves and Fanbois.

The top three lines are typical fan bois responces.

The bottom two are typical insults from an ignorant twat who obviously can't come up with an intelligent responce to a post.

As for thieves (or pirates) i got 2 fists and 2 size 15 feet for them...but they already know that.

Btw, the last company i worked for, was full of people who bought pirated computer software on a regular basis. Vis Entertainment Software...yeh..you guessed it.. they develope computer games...

What a stupid world we live in...but then some people don't object to buying a mobile phone off a guy in the street...just as likely as they are to step over the unconscious body next to him..

#31 Pete

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Posted 11 November 2005 - 05:26 PM

Frustrating as it may be, can we try and keep it fairly civil here please, or the thread will be closed.

Your response which you said was from StarForce support was actually from Cenega (says so in the email you quoted there) which is even more shocking, Cenega saying something like that - suggesting you've got illegal programmes on your machine isn't exactly what you want to hear from the game publisher's support team.

I'd sugest you try contacting StarForce, but from what I read this results in fairly unhelpful comments - still, it's worth a shot just to hear what they say.
Their website is here: http://www.star-force.com/

EDIT:

Totally unrelated, but I just read this from the StarForce homepage on an article about piracy. They seem to be a little anti-Russian unles I'm missing something? Did I read this wrong:

Quote

"Tell me who your friends are..." New

The way the idea of this article occurred to me is bizarre on one hand, but very usual on the other. The usual thing is that I ran across an essay on the internet and thought I wanted to respond to it. The odd thing is everything else about it. I wouldn't be so surprised if this article was written by a Russian and posted on some hackers' forum. But to see it in a respected American online magazine was a shock!
Read more...

Does this guy know that all the best games at the moment are coming from Russia/Europe? Evidently not...
May your terror missions always be infested with Chrysalids.




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