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PC version of Mania delayed till August 29th... #FuckDenuvo

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2 hours ago, Mister X said:

So everything was just fine and dandy for me until the update happened, now my antivirus has flagged sonicmania.exe as a high security risk. I'm guessing this is because of Denuvo, then? 

Antivirus programs tend to take no risks when classifying files they can't scan properly. Given Mania's executable is encrypted (and has a complex proprietary self-decryption into memory), that's likely the case.

Though, why it's only flagging it now, I dunno :P

1 hour ago, CleverSonicUsername said:

An anti-virus flagging a fan created Sonic game? Just like Sonic 2 HD!

~How authentic~

And it'd be pretty much the same reason, too, obfuscation of code!

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On 8/31/2017 at 9:13 AM, Neon Zephyr said:

Got an email reply to my SEGA support complaint. Basically a link to this page:

http://www.sega.com/denuvo

This feels super condescending to me...

I got the same response.

The fact that they had to add a FAQ addressing concerns about Denuvo implies that this is a big enough problem for them that they're in panic mode. We need to keep the pressure up, it's important not just for Mania but for Forces and other SEGA titles in the future. It's important to let SEGA know that this is not okay.

Just going to go through some bits here:

Quote

News broke this week that Sonic Mania PC will feature Denuvo Anti-tamper tech to help prevent piracy of our game.

This wording is deceptive, implying that news about Denuvo broke before Sonic Mania released on PC, and not after. SEGA gave us no information that Denuvo was going to be used with the game beforehand.

Quote

There’s a large amount of misinformation around about the tech and how it will works with Sonic Mania, so here’s a quick Q&A to help explain.

And I'm sure there is, but that doesn't mean that there aren't legitimate concerns when it comes to Denuvo. And SEGA addresses absolutely none of those here.

Quote

It is very much the case that this tech will be entirely automatic and unnoticed to the vast majority of players, but if you have concerns please do read on.

This right here speaks as to why something like Denuvo is incredibly problematic. Yes, in theory Denuvo, is something that's unnoticeable to most people when it works right. But that also is because Denuvo does absolutely nothing for the end consumer as well. And when it doesn't work, it serves to inconvenience to player, which there is absolutely a precedent for.

Contrast that with Steam for a moment. Yes, Steam is also DRM, but it's also a service. It's a social media platform, a highly cost-competetive storefront, a cloud service for backing up games, so forth and so on. I notice Steam when it does it's job, but that's because it's also doing something for me. Steam somehow manages to be less invasive than Denuvo, while also being highly convenient.

Quote

Will Sonic Mania require you to be always online?

No.

The game will require initial online authentication via Steam during installation. At this point Denuvo will also automatically authenticate.

You can then decide to play in offline mode if you wish.

Other games sometimes need to be always online, but this isn’t a Denuvo or Sonic Mania requirement and doesn’t apply to this game.

Here's where they aren't telling you here, and that's Denuvo will still require you to be periodically be online, or it will lock you out of your games regardless. Yes, Denuvo will allow you to play offline, but only briefly.

 

 

Can you upgrade your PC hardware without any problems?

Yes.

Depending on the upgrade (CPU, mainboard or major OS update), it is likely that Denuvo will need to validate your PC again, which will happen automatically once you start the game. It may also be the case, depending on your upgrade, that Steam might need to validate your PC again anyway. So you would need to be online at that moment.

Regardless, if you upgrade your PC hardware in any manner, we would always recommend you go online anyway and download the latest drivers from your manufacturer’s website in order to ensure the best performance from the game.

Aww, isn't that nice reminding you to remember to always update your drivers? It's almost like they care.

And yes, they aren't kidding here. Denuvo is literally a rootkit, it actually ties itself to your hardware. And it's particularly fickle here as well, if you toggle hyperthreading, overclock your CPU or RAM, or anything of the sort it will lock you out.

When people talk about Denuvo being Malware, this is exactly the sort of shit they're talking about.

 

Does Denuvo limit the max number of times I can install the game on different PCs?

No.

You can install your copy of Sonic Mania on as many PCs as you like under your Steam account.

The only limit is on the number on PCs you can install on in any 24 hour period. This is limited to 5 PCs.

There might of course be an unusual reason you would want to install the game on more than 5 PCs in a day, but we hope in that case you don’t mind waiting a couple of hours. This is obviously an important measure to help us prevent the spread of a pirated version of the game, so hope you appreciate that with this understanding you help us make more games in the future.

I can think of a couple.

Any case, SEGA's just trying to position a minor inconvenience like this as Denuvo not being a big deal. They're right, fringe cases like this aren't a big deal. But again, it's an inconvenience with no gain to the end consumer. It's all because SEGA is paranoid of piracy, and it completely overlooks where Denuvo IS a big deal.

Ironically, I think that they've lost more money from infuriating their consumers than they would have to piracy. Ah, what a shame.

 

Does Denuvo cause HDD or SDD (Hard drive) problems?

No.

There’s a misconception that Denuvo writes data (or encrypts data) to and from hard drives continuously. It doesn’t. You can read more at the Denuvo FAQ here: http://denuvo.com/#page-4

 

Will Denuvo affect the performance/FPS of the game?

The FPS is unaffected by Denuvo. During development care was taken to ensure the performance impact was minimised and optimised to keep the game running smoothly.

I'm doing these both at the same time, because they're actually related.

In case you're wondering why, Denuvo basically is during run time encrypting and decrypting data. The concern is, is that this eats up CPU power and causes an excessive amount of writes to where-ever it is where the game is installed.

Denuvo denies the latter, stating that it does that in-memory, and I'm inclined to believe it. There wouldn't be a good reason to write the unencrypted data back to storage.

However, that doesn't change that this DOES eat up a lot of CPU power, and that isn't wrong: look at the case of RIME: https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2017/06/crackers-say-denuvo-drm-caused-slowdown-on-rime/

While this may not necessarily manifest as performance issues, this does cause games loading A LOT longer. I've noticed this in previous Denuvo games such as Doom (that game would load FOREVER before it patched out Denuvo, and I noticed this with Mania as well.

Going between acts in Mania causes the game to pause as it has to decrypt the next stage.

It's not a big deal in Mania's case, because it's such a small game, but that is a testiment of how problematic Denuvo is.

And here's the sticking point. None of the actual major issues with Denuvo were addressed here. Here's my two:

What'll happen to the game when Denuvo goes out of business?

Denuvo requires the end user to be online so it can periodically check with their servers as to whether the game is legit or not. Okay. So... What happens if those servers go away?

Here's the answer: the game's permanently unplayable unless there's a crack. This has happened before, there's a lot of games that thanks to dead DRM services are just not available any more.

What if a non-Windows user wants to play the game?

The answer is, they can't. Denuvo automatically blocks out WINE, and that makes it flat out impossible for non-Windows users from ever playing the game.

Denuvo limits the audience that can even so much as play the game in the first place. Nevermind anti-consumer, this is just out-right anti-business.

 

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1 hour ago, GOAT said:

So this DRM thing...Can someone explain to me how this negatively affects me. It's definitely upsetting to see all the outrage. 

Me as well. So far, I don't get how has it affected my playing experience.

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3 hours ago, GOAT said:

So this DRM thing...Can someone explain to me how this negatively affects me. It's definitely upsetting to see all the outrage. 

 

1 hour ago, BlueFlare said:

Me as well. So far, I don't get how has it affected my playing experience.

This is from an instalment of The Spin which I'm not allowed to post yet.

 

"By now we should all know that Denuvo is an anti-piracy tool, it's used to help authenticate genuine copies of software in order to try and discourage people from obtaining pirated copies of a game and buying the game legally.

That's one side to it... there is another side which is not as pretty. Denuvo is a very intrusive thing, it is very difficult to completely remove from an installed system and some people even claim it's not possible to completely remove it without performing some very deep cleaning on your system, which you really shouldn't need to do for a game which is barely 300MB in size.

Technically, Denuvo demands that PC Gamers effectively 'check in' whenever they start the game to verify their copy of the game is legit, however, should the user change their system in some way, either by changing some of the hardware or other tinkering, Denuvo will require the user to 'check in' again. It effectively binds them to the anti piracy service, they constantly have to 'prove' they own the game even if they have done previously.

In it's current form, if for whatever reason, the back end tech which Denuvo uses to work is disabled, or the company behind it stops support, the software it's installed onto will not work anymore unless a hack/crack is found for it or the developer/publisher decides to completely remove the DRM from their game, which as we saw for Games For Windows Live, would likely only happen to very popular titles which still see a lot of life.

For lesser popular titles, this can doom legally owned copies of a game.

But some of the more serious problems, unless Denuvo is implemented correctly, it can completely shut down the game for working, or provide problems with performance from legitimately bought copies, effectively harming the final product.

Denuvo also limits how much modding can be done to the game. Given the history of Sonic Mania, this is incredibly ironic.

So that should probably give you some idea as to why Denuvo is disliked by a lot of PC Gamers, it actually harms their games more than it benefits them even though they legally bought the software."

 

Bonus thoughts: 

If you play a game with Denuvo check in and it works fine. Then Denuvo' s back end stops working. You CANNOT ever mod your PC or change any of the hardware otherwise your game will stop working and you will be unable to check in.

Given how Denuvo is being cracked quicker and quicker, anyone who pirates games is now more than willing to just wait it out. 24 hours for Sonic Mania. 8 hours for Life Is Strange.

With all the problems with Denuvo. Ask yourself. Which is the superior version of the game? The one you legally buy. Or the pirated one which is removed?

 

 

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17 minutes ago, Mayor D said:

Given how Denuvo is being cracked quicker and quicker, anyone who pirates games is now more than willing to just wait it out. 24 hours for Sonic Mania. 8 hours for Life Is Strange.

I'm sorry, but that's outright false. The only thing that was removed in 24 hours was the "always-online" check. As it stands, there's still no pirated version of Sonic Mania, and it's been almost 4 days since release.

And no, I'm not defending Denuvo, I still think it's bad and a waste of money, but "24 hours" is a misinformation.

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3 minutes ago, Bobnik said:

I'm sorry, but that's outright false. The only thing that was removed in 24 hours was the "always-online" check. As it stands, there's still no pirated version of Sonic Mania, and it's been almost 4 days since release.

I was under the impression it had been.

I saw lots of people claiming that it had been cracked and that it only took 24 hours. Sources of this were on neogaf and Twitter all pointing to the same site.

 It either way.

It went from being "Uncrackable"

Then it got cracked in 3 months.

Then it got cracked in 15 days.

Then it got cracked in 24 hours... sorry

 8.

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Just now, Mayor D said:

I was under the impression it had been.

I saw lots of people claiming that it had been cracked and that it only took 24 hours. Sources of this were on neogaf and Twitter all pointing to the same site.

 It either way.

It went from being "Uncrackable"

Then it got cracked in 3 months.

Then it got cracked in 15 days.

Then it got cracked in 24 hours... sorry

 8.

Life is Strange apparently had the unprotected exe file, so that's the reason it got cracked really fast. Which makes money spent on Denuvo even more of a waste for them lol.

I guess people got confused because the data file that contains all sprites, music etc. got ripped to shreds in 24 hours. That most likely means that the data file wasn't protected with anit-tamper. The exe file looks to be still protected. Again, if it wasn't, I would've seen a lot of Mania pirated versions on different torrent sites.

 

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1 hour ago, Mayor D said:

I was under the impression it had been.

As far as I''m aware, there is no such crack yet. If there was, I'd be on top of it. I paid for the damned game, I should own it, and I shouldn't be treated like a criminal.

I'm no Stallmanite, but damn if I'm going to let a game be made unplayable because of some dumb executive decision.

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Supposedly, Denuvo-laden Unity games are easier to crack than others. And no, Mania hasn't been cracked yet.

 

By the way, just as a preemptive warning to y'all, I would tread very lightly while discussing piracy (i.e. don't encourage people to pirate the game, don't talk about pirating it yourselves, don't say where you can find cracks, etc.)

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On 31/8/2017 at 6:13 PM, Neon Zephyr said:

Got an email reply to my SEGA support complaint. Basically a link to this page:

http://www.sega.com/denuvo

This feels super condescending to me...

Got the same response yesterday. I told them I was an unhappy customer because they keep denuvo. 

By the way, if anyone is interested, yesterday I managed to play Mania in my PC with my original Mega Drive 6 button controller, through the Mayflash usb adapter. It's not officially supported, but if you download and configure xbox360ce, it's detected as an xbox360 gamepad. It feels great playing this with a Mega Drive controller :)

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Soooooo apparently the one way to somewhat circumvent Denuvo phoning home in Mania is if you have the original files of the game, pre-patch and online-only, and download a modified .dll file from a certain source that allows the game to be played in offline mode without activating Denuvo at all. I saw this post on NeoGAF that confirms it, and thanks to my paranoid self I backed up the game's files before Sega patched the game themselves.

According to this post, the patch now enables Denuvo at all times even while offline, so every once in a while you're gonna have to sign back online to authenticate your purchase. Not so with the day-one version of the game and the modded .dll I obtained; I've been playing offline since Thursday and haven't had to re-authenticate once since.

That's pretty much what I've been doing lately; I disabled auto-update so that I wouldn't get the official offline bugfix Sega provided a day later. So, basically, I'm able to play the game offline indefinitely without ever having to authenticate with Denuvo just as long as I don't update, which blows but what can you do.

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3 minutes ago, Mayor D said:

Ho! Ho!

 

Ho! Ho!

I don't know if they actually meant to post it at such a great timing, because the game apparently got cracked recently.

Now I REALLY hope they remove Denuvo.

EDIT: Oh crap, they posted it 6 days ago lol. My bad. But my point still stands

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Sega games on GOG would be really nice but I strongly doubt it'll ever happen. Moreso now that they're bedfellows with Denuvo. As far as I'm aware, the only Sega game on GOG is Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap, but that's only because they have copyright of the original game, they had zero involvement in the remake.

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Well we ruined Mania's PC launch.

We ruined our reputation as a PC developer 

But all that money we spent for 7 days of protection from the pirates.

Was completely worth it!

 

That is how it will go down when they review their launch right?

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Sorry, but it serves them right that the game got cracked. I have CE Mania for PC that I'm afraid to download thanks to this stunt from SEGA. It seems like Denuvo is really bad, and with all the horror stories about it circulating around, I just don't know what to do. It feels like a punishment to paying customers. I am appalled at how rude and condescending those emails with the Denuvo info from SEGA sounded. What salty dingus wrote that?

Way to completely botch Mania's PC release in every way, SEGA. Never again will I buy PC SEGA games. 

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I understand WHY companies do it, but at the same time I don't understand why they do it. I can't think of a single game that has ever evaded being cracked regardless of which bedfellow companies use to protect it, which in turn costs them a pretty penny to license the protection software I'm sure. Sure the time period it's protected for "might" help protect some percentage of sales revenue, but in the end the people that don't want to buy it won't, they know it will be cracked, it's just a matter of time. If you can make it, you can break it right?

Now I'm not supporting stealing, not at all. What I'm pointing out is that people like GOG (whose Tweet was amusing) clearly make a decent take on their releases, they have formed a whole service around it after all, their game releases being DRM free, they even gift back any excess money lost due to local currency pricing, which they sadly lost the battle with but still managed to find a way to make the user come out on top. Because of this user friendly way of operating they have gained a LOT of support and respect from the community. While not foolproof, nothing is, it does seem to have an impact as their releases don't seem to get pirated nearly as often as others. Which you would think odd when they have no DRM to protect them. With all the negative press, the potential grievance it can cause paying customers, and essentially letting the pirates get the better version of the game, as well as how well GOG has turned out for CD Projekt you would think companies would have dropped this form of one week "protection" ages ago....

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21 minutes ago, Flame Lance said:

Sorry, but it serves them right that the game got cracked. I have CE Mania for PC that I'm afraid to download thanks to this stunt from SEGA. It seems like Denuvo is really bad, and with all the horror stories about it circulating around, I just don't know what to do. 

From what I've heard, a bunch of stuff people say about Denuvo is based on unproven stuff. In fact, there's proof that at least one of said things is false. 

https://t.co/JUzbWx4x1P?amp=1

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On 9/2/2017 at 3:49 AM, Sean said:

Supposedly, Denuvo-laden Unity games are easier to crack than others. And no, Mania hasn't been cracked yet.

 

By the way, just as a preemptive warning to y'all, I would tread very lightly while discussing piracy (i.e. don't encourage people to pirate the game, don't talk about pirating it yourselves, don't say where you can find cracks, etc.)

Yeah, just as a disclosure, I don't advocate piracy. At all. Support the developers any way possible, it's what keeps them making games.

But I'm not going to tolerate Denuvo either. I paid for the damn game, I should be able to enjoy it, no matter what.

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