As for the rest. What happens when you can't agree. Stellaris is a long extended game which benefit from a controlled party, thus a central server setup is not particularly useful or viable. But who wants to go find social circles to form a game if you're only going to play 30 minutes, especially if you're going to play competitively. To even have the latter experience would require an out of game player league to even work. And the solutions to the problem I just stated, the use a centralized non-peer server as a searchable list, is nowhere even approaching the crap that is happening in Hitman, let alone trash like Denuvo. But, when you call them all DRM down to the single last action and declare them all unacceptable then you are saying that the server system Warcraft 3 uses is no different and no less damaging than Hitman locking off all aspects of single player progression.
It's a case-by-case basis, but unless you're making a massive online game, from a design perspective, offline multiplayer is a viable alternative the vast majority of the time, especially in games that already support a single-player scale to begin with.
There usually is no valid game design reason why you can't have one AND the other: A game that supports multiplayer on centralised match-making servers, but also support multiplayer via LAN or otherwise (if you want to keep things streamlined for max implementation simplicity), a self-hosted server (which you can run on a LAN ultimately).
The hurdle is purely technical: the above is hard, especially for small devs. It requires some abstract design considerations prior to implementation and not every devs is skilled at navigating those or even have the time to (in many games it seems, multiplayer is almost an afterthought after the single-player experience is fully fleshed out)
Platforms like GOG and Steam, who have the expertize and domain focus to take such considerations into account deliberately failed to. They created a lot of tooling to facilitate multiplayer integration into their platform, but they never bothered supporting a compatible drm-free alternative in paralell, because it is not in their commercial interest to do so.
And by doing this, they directly contributed to the decline of offline multiplayer.
All of a sudden, a dev who might otherwise have implemented a LAN functionality from scratch (either on release or as a later update if the game sales well) will end up using their libraries instead (to take advantage of the convenience, plus community leverage and all that) and never go back to implementing the offline alternative.
Your "call things as they are" is admirable, and that does mean you sometimes to make distinction between things that are not similar, unless you demand that Warcraft 3 should have only allow private lan hosting and never had a central game list at all, and to even attempt to do such is no different than what is in Hitman. I get frustrated seeing the false equivalence that isn't even necessary or helpful.
Except that they are. I'm telling you this as a long time software developer and someone who previously worked in a company making networking middleware for games.
Its more overhead for platforms to implement, but you can make it so developers can support both integrating into a proprietary platform as well as provide LAN and/or self-hosted support with very minimal effort from their part. However, platform owners simply will not go there.
You're nihilism on the subject of boycott it not shared. I don't even yet see a reason to boycott. I've made it clear my plan is to 1-star and refund any DRM locked game like Hitman as non-functional with clear information what is locked out and why it makes the game non-functional as advertised as a result on any game I come across, and be ready to not play that game as a result. I think not even pirating is more punishing then trying to crack the thing. It just means GoG has the more absolute faith I had in it before, and now requires me to do research before considering any purchases.
I think you may achieve something with boycott efforts provided it is not 180 degrees against the direction GOG wants to go.
If you want to go against potential money cows like Gwent, Galaxy or online transactions in their games, I'd say best of luck with that.
If you want them to clearly label what is what in order to avoid purchasing drmed stuff, I'd say you might have more luck there. The main obstacle to that at this point is the PR image that GOG created for itself.
First, a tangent:
I'll help you with the ownership thing. Did you sign a license agreement? Did you sign -anything- after purchasing like a EULA? Congratulation, you own the game in whole and in part. You may ignore any line that tells you that you may no copy/modify it, and may freely ignore any claims you don't own it. Unless you agreed to a lease at the very time of purchase, then it is -sold- to you, not -leased- to you. Most EULAs are filled with unenforceable garbage that would be thrown out of court without a second thought. Even Valve fucks it's own claims of lease agreement when it lets you sign independent license agreements. Can't agree to the state of how you own an item if you don't own it now can you?
EULA are a complete mess that should never have existed.
They should have followed the open-source model which tend to use a relatively constrained number of licenses that are culturally more well understood.
This is not a question of legal ownership.
They'd like very much to make it legal, but because we don't live in a dictatorship and people have rights, without drm, it is unenforceable and quite meaningless.
This is a question of function. Forgive me for the slight tangent but I like to fight that "you don't own your games" myth whenever I can.
The problem with hitman is they are selling a demo with an online subscription to download the full game, and what is promised on the store is not provided by the base price and DRM free. You are required constant online validation to operate as anything but the demo mode. That is false advertising and I entirely blame IO. I'm not happy that GoG has left this extremely abusable loophole, but IO's false advertising is my main focus. GoG should not be allowing this outright false advertising.
They finally crossed a line that people won't put up with with Hitman.
I think the line of how much content you can withhold before a freemium business model would become feasible (ie, the shareware experience) is blurry, but they seemed to have cross it here.
Most people who got the offline game for free would pay significant money it seems to have access to the online-only content, making the offline game the equivalent of a shareware.
I think we should push GoG to stop playing softball with people who are outright comiting a civil offense against them and us, but that's on them. If they fail it just shows GoG doesn't have the gall to stand up to people abusing them. A note for later sure, but it isn't a reason for a hard boycott of the whole store.
I'm not sure if its a question of gall, so much as a question of greed.
Galls would require standing up to someone who has some kind of power and/or hold over you. For example, standing up to your boss takes gall.
In this case, it is just that what their partner was offering was too tempting for them to pass (coupled with the fact that they miscalculated how much the community would push back... if they hadn't, they probably would have passed up on it).
I got more out of that when I though I would. Says quite a bit about the quality of your post, well spoken, I hope my long-winded response is just as well received.