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Magnitus: ...For example, you care about Devotion and I don't really. Similarly, I care about multiplayer and from what I read in your post, you probably don't care about it that much.
Multiplayer is a more complex issue - there are certainly examples of DRM-free multiplayer where players can set up their own servers. However there are two cases where this becomes impractical. The first is with MMOs (containing hundreds or thousands of players) where you really need a server farm, located in or close to an Internet exchange. The second is "competitive multiplayer" (which can cover pretty much everything) where cheating (or rather, detecting/preventing it) becomes an issue - this typically needs invasive snoopware (such as PunkBuster) which is itself DRMed to the hilt. So "100% DRM-free multiplayer" is a far more difficult goal than "100% DRM-free singleplayer".

As for this forum's feedback issue - there is a relevant wishlist item:

https://www.gog.com/wishlist/site/remove_reputation_from_forum
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AstralWanderer: Multiplayer is a more complex issue - there are certainly examples of DRM-free multiplayer where players can set up their own servers. However there are two cases where this becomes impractical. The first is with MMOs (containing hundreds or thousands of players) where you really need a server farm, located in or close to an Internet exchange. The second is "competitive multiplayer" (which can cover pretty much everything) where cheating (or rather, detecting/preventing it) becomes an issue - this typically needs invasive snoopware (such as PunkBuster) which is itself DRMed to the hilt. So "100% DRM-free multiplayer" is a far more difficult goal than "100% DRM-free singleplayer".
I think you are missing one of the main reason why "DRM-free multiplayer" is "more difficult" than single player and it is simply that a majority of peoples don't want it.

And it's not like DRM-free where most peoples don't care, here it's the case that most actively do not want it, at least not as replacement. They want convenience, they want to select somebody from their friend list and automatically invite him/her without having to care at all about starting a server, fiddling with IP address, opening port or anything.

So DRM-free multiplayer cannot be an alternative to non DRM-free one, it's has to be an extra, Devs have to provide the standard server based multiplayer and, if they have the will and resources, implement on top of that a LAN version or some other alternative. That's IMHO the main reason why it is a dying breed and why Gog never cared about it.
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Gersen: I think you are missing one of the main reason why "DRM-free multiplayer" is "more difficult" than single player and it is simply that a majority of peoples don't want it.

And it's not like DRM-free where most peoples don't care, here it's the case that most actively do not want it, at least not as replacement. They want convenience, they want to select somebody from their friend list and automatically invite him/her without having to care at all about starting a server, fiddling with IP address, opening port or anything.

So DRM-free multiplayer cannot be an alternative to non DRM-free one, it's has to be an extra, Devs have to provide the standard server based multiplayer and, if they have the will and resources, implement on top of that a LAN version or some other alternative. That's IMHO the main reason why it is a dying breed and why Gog never cared about it.
I agree with this. In today's society, online muktiplayer is mostly for bragging rights (completely ruined with no "anti-cheat system), competitive fun (completely ruined without anti-cheat and account verification), or cooperative fun across the globe (made easier with centralized matchmaking servers). Not saying no one wants to play DRM-free coop or competitive, but most people playing games today demanded leaderboards and anti-cheat to keep their online interactions as fair and as simple to set up as possible.
Post edited October 20, 2021 by paladin181
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Gersen: ...And it's not like DRM-free where most peoples don't care, here it's the case that most actively do not want it, at least not as replacement. They want convenience, they want to select somebody from their friend list and automatically invite him/her without having to care at all about starting a server, fiddling with IP address, opening port or anything.
I'm sorry but this doesn't make sense. Yes, setting up a server is going to be more involved - but this is a feature, not a requirement so why would anyone object to it?

What you seem to be talking about is match making which can be done completely outside of any game via a website (old timers may remember services like WON or GameSpy) or a specialised client (*choke* Galaxy *gag*).
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Gersen: I think you are missing one of the main reason why "DRM-free multiplayer" is "more difficult" than single player and it is simply that a majority of peoples don't want it.

And it's not like DRM-free where most peoples don't care, here it's the case that most actively do not want it, at least not as replacement. They want convenience, they want to select somebody from their friend list and automatically invite him/her without having to care at all about starting a server, fiddling with IP address, opening port or anything.

So DRM-free multiplayer cannot be an alternative to non DRM-free one, it's has to be an extra, Devs have to provide the standard server based multiplayer and, if they have the will and resources, implement on top of that a LAN version or some other alternative. That's IMHO the main reason why it is a dying breed and why Gog never cared about it.
Its a circle that reinforces itself.

Its a hassle for devs, because they don't have the tooling to do it easily.

Its a hassle for players because they also don't have the tooling to do it easily (if the app is friendly, setting up a server on a LAN is not complicated and if its packaged the right way, setting up a server on the internet among a handful of popular cloud providers is not that much more complicated).

All it would take is for one platform provider to implement it in their tooling.

But ultimately, I don't think they have much of a drive to implement that vision because that would involve conceding some control. Its more lucrative to lock multiplayer down in a centralised cluster of machines that you control.

PS: Its also worth noting that LAN multiplayer doesn't take a great deal of technical know how. You can figure out your ip with a single command and for simpler setups, the game can even provide the player with his ip.
Post edited October 20, 2021 by Magnitus
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AstralWanderer: I'm sorry but this doesn't make sense. Yes, setting up a server is going to be more involved - but this is a feature, not a requirement so why would anyone object to it?
It was an example of things most peoples no longer wants to do, for better of for worse, peoples want to be able to play online with two or three click max and without having to configure anything. Offer them anything more complicated than that and they will reject it.
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Gersen: It was an example of things most peoples no longer wants to do, for better of for worse, peoples want to be able to play online with two or three click max and without having to configure anything. Offer them anything more complicated than that and they will reject it.
And some people want to play at home with friends and family. A lot of gamers in their late 20s and onward will have a spouse and children they'll want to play games at home with.

Its says something about society when it is simpler to play with strangers across the internet than at home with your kid.
Post edited October 20, 2021 by Magnitus
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Magnitus: Its a hassle for players because they also don't have the tooling to do it easily (if the app is friendly, setting up a server on a LAN is not complicated and if its packaged the right way, setting up a server on the internet among a handful of popular cloud providers is not that much more complicated).
LAN play is mostly dead nowadays, I used to do LAN parties years ago but today nobody wants to drive, dragging your gaming PC along, just to play with friends for a couple of hours, peoples do it online.

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Magnitus: But ultimately, I don't think they have much of a drive to implement that vision because that would involve conceding some control. Its more lucrative to lock multiplayer down in a centralised cluster of machines that you control.
I don't really think it's a question of "control", for EA or Ubi probably yes, but I doubt most Indy or smaller devs really care about forcing peoples to play online, it's more a question of return on investment, is it worth spending time and money creating, testing, maintaining a whole toolkit that support both online and LAN when 99% of your customers will never uses the later.

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Magnitus: And some people want to play at home with friends and family. A lot of gamers in their late 20s and onward will have a spouse and children they'll want to play games at home with.
Yes and usually those peoples do it via Steam using the family share feature.

IMHO the only way to have something "DRM-free'ish" for multiplayer would be if Gog (or let's be crazy Steam, it's already what the goldberd emulator allows) someday release the server code of Galaxy as open source and allows peoples to create third party servers for it. But given Gog rather slow progress with infra development I wouldn't expect that any time soon even IF they ever plan to do it.
Post edited October 20, 2021 by Gersen
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Magnitus: Its a hassle for players because they also don't have the tooling to do it easily (if the app is friendly, setting up a server on a LAN is not complicated and if its packaged the right way, setting up a server on the internet among a handful of popular cloud providers is not that much more complicated).
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Gersen: LAN play is mostly dead nowadays, I used to do LAN parties years ago but today nobody wants to drive, dragging your gaming PC along, just to play with friends for a couple of hours, peoples do it online.
There's been a pretty significant resurgence from virtual lan networks and direct join, even good ones with some file sharing protection. You're not wrong that it's largely forgotten, but longer or more intricate games like common 4x games would benefit from it. Most people also would be fine using a direct join like Minecraft does(just without the DRM login requirements) When most people refer to lan, they refer to any kind of direct join.

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Magnitus: But ultimately, I don't think they have much of a drive to implement that vision because that would involve conceding some control. Its more lucrative to lock multiplayer down in a centralised cluster of machines that you control.
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Gersen: I don't really think it's a question of "control", for EA or Ubi probably yes, but I doubt most Indy or smaller devs really care about forcing peoples to play online, it's more a question of return on investment, is it worth spending time and money creating, testing, maintaining a whole toolkit that support both online and LAN when 99% of your customers will never uses the later.
It's all speculation onto actual intent. When you put malicious intent without hard proof, your the one being malicious. But as I said it's more likely this. Even in the Hitman DLC, it was mostly IO trying to be lazy and just hide it away so they didn't have to put money into developing anything even after years past it's initial release and beyond all desire to support it's online functions. Though depending on game this can just be a lazy excuse, or something more substantial.

I brought up Warcraft 3 a few times, but without lead servers to "run" the maps and ensure there's no viruses before downloading, it be cake to just start pumping viruses into a mass of computers at once. Mind you, Warcraft 3 has better security than that, but an indi company might not be able to make that.

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Magnitus: And some people want to play at home with friends and family. A lot of gamers in their late 20s and onward will have a spouse and children they'll want to play games at home with.
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Gersen: Yes and usually those peoples do it via Steam using the family share feature.

IMHO the only way to have something "DRM-free'ish" for multiplayer would be if Gog (or let's be crazy Steam, it's already what the goldberd emulator allows) someday release the server code of Galaxy as open source and allows peoples to create third party servers for it. But given Gog rather slow progress with infra development I wouldn't expect that any time soon even IF they ever plan to do it.
They might not be able to due to legal standards and protection as well as security concerns. A lot of things that keep illegal distribution at bay might run afoul of law. It's why WoW doesn't allow personally run servers, it open up damage to their own trademark and distribution rights to knowingly allow it. and need I remind people what happened in TF2 after the source code was released. We're -still- dealing with bots a little, even if things are -much- better now.
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mastyer-kenobi: They might not be able to due to legal standards and protection as well as security concerns. A lot of things that keep illegal distribution at bay might run afoul of law. It's why WoW doesn't allow personally run servers, it open up damage to their own trademark and distribution rights to knowingly allow it. and need I remind people what happened in TF2 after the source code was released. We're -still- dealing with bots a little, even if things are -much- better now.
No, Blizzard doesn't allow it because Blizzard as an entity is the worst, most anti-consumer companies there's ever been and is entirely about total iron-grip control of their properties and consumers (at least in this industry). They established court precedent that completely fucks up ALL computing that uses the Von Neumann architecture (which is all computing basically). They established that loading from disk into RAM to execute constitutes a "copy" for copyright violation purposes. They established that modding requires permission of the original software maker! They reinforced the concept of "click-wrap" agreements! They company has done irreparable harm, not only to the industry but to the whole US legal system!
Post edited October 20, 2021 by mqstout
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mastyer-kenobi: They might not be able to due to legal standards and protection as well as security concerns. A lot of things that keep illegal distribution at bay might run afoul of law. It's why WoW doesn't allow personally run servers, it open up damage to their own trademark and distribution rights to knowingly allow it. and need I remind people what happened in TF2 after the source code was released. We're -still- dealing with bots a little, even if things are -much- better now.
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mqstout: No, Blizzard doesn't allow it because Blizzard as an entity is the worst, most anti-consumer companies there's ever been and is entirely about total iron-grip control of their properties and consumers (at least in this industry). They established court precedent that completely fucks up ALL computing that uses the Von Neumann architecture (which is all computing basically). They established that loading from disk into RAM to execute constitutes a "copy" for copyright violation purposes. They established that modding requires permission of the original software maker! They reinforced the concept of "click-wrap" agreements! They company has done irreparable harm, not only to the industry but to the whole US legal system!
WoW has been doing this since the very start of it's existance, as does every other MMO on earth. It is well documented the host of legal issues with openly allowing public competition and distribution of your product. this is not an issue of parody. Not to mention what unleashing your source code, even old code, to people can do, once again I refer back to TF2. This has been the case since day 1, back when Blizzard had no connection to Activision. Please stop trying to catastrophize and demonize. Declaring your target someone worth of being entire beyond all redemption and merit to this extreme is just outright malicious.

Now about this supposed precedent. Not only do I not believe you, this does not answer the question of when and under whose management. They are likely not the same people I mentioned above, not that it matter all that much. This is nothing more than ad hominum. Activision and/or Blizzard(pending on the time of this supposed case) does not write law, nor have any power in deciding it. Nothing I said is reputed by this.

As an addition, the made up bullshit that half-assed legal teams make up in a desperate attempt to win regardless of actual legal wrongdoing is not my concern. Even if a single court said once the such an assanine and stupid statement like loading a game into a ram is a case of an instanced unique copy, it would run contrary to all known law regarding property in any concept. And yes, we do have property laws regarding non-physical items. It's called licensing, we have had it since before computers. sorry, but im not buying into your fear-mongering.
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Zero_Yielding: Gog is a two bit amateur (...)
You quote like an amateur.
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mastyer-kenobi: spew
0: It's an entity, but not a "someone".
1: Look up Blizzard vs MDY. It's a famous case and was written about a great deal.
2: You act like the Blizzard side wasn't the LARGER entity when it merged with Activision. It was.
3: Regarding "ad hominum", there's a relevant famous quote from Princess Bride about this. I will leave it to your exercise to locate.
4: Removed for my own sanity.
5: I hope I remember not to reply to you further and regret having done so. I forgot you love circular arguing and being sesquipedalian for no good reason. I'm not even sure why you're here other than trying to pick nits and boil blood?
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Gersen: LAN play is mostly dead nowadays, I used to do LAN parties years ago but today nobody wants to drive, dragging your gaming PC along, just to play with friends for a couple of hours, peoples do it online.
Depends on the game you play, but you can use laptops.

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Gersen: I don't really think it's a question of "control", for EA or Ubi probably yes, but I doubt most Indy or smaller devs really care about forcing peoples to play online, it's more a question of return on investment, is it worth spending time and money creating, testing, maintaining a whole toolkit that support both online and LAN when 99% of your customers will never uses the later.
I'm not talking about the developers themselves, but rather the stores that establish permanent gaming platforms (GOG, Steam, etc).

With Steam, its pretty much par for the course, but given where GOG came from, it was somewhat disappointing.

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Gersen: Yes and usually those peoples do it via Steam using the family share feature.
Interesting to know, though those many of us don't use Steam.

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Gersen: IMHO the only way to have something "DRM-free'ish" for multiplayer would be if Gog (or let's be crazy Steam, it's already what the goldberd emulator allows) someday release the server code of Galaxy as open source and allows peoples to create third party servers for it.
Yes, exactly.

I see 3 possibilities (in order of how much work they want to put in the open-source realm):
- They open-source Galaxy (probably under some strong copy-left license or otherwise a Server Side license like Mongodb or otherwise a non-commercial creative commons)
- They open-source a subset of Galaxy under the above license (personally, I'd be thrilled just to have the multiplayer)
- They release the protocol specs for the multiplayer part of Galaxy and let the community come up with an implementation

The only additional effort beyond the above would be to modify the client binding library to allow for a custom server endpoint (at least for the multiplayer part).

Honestly though, when it comes down to it, even if they could support it for free with zero effort on their part, I don't think they really want a drm-free self-hosted alternative to their centralised servers. I think they have some future business plans that depend on them having an iron-grip on the online ecosystem that Galaxy enables, including multiplayer unfortunately.
Post edited October 21, 2021 by Magnitus
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Fun update related to GoG's success. The recently release of Inscription had an error in it's initial upload which made it's release version impossible to download. Even the GoG launcher couldn't download an offline backup. So I went to the website, downloaded the offline installer, and was able to install it day 1 rather than having to wait until it was fixed. It was fixed within 12 hours of my report as well and updated correctly