Dragon Age: Observations - DRM

Written by Stuart Thomas on Thu, Dec 3, 2009 2:38 PM
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(Dragon Age: Origins was just too much game for me to review in one sitting. Here's part one of my series of observations on the newest fantasy RPG from Bioware)

Ye tale of the Darke Ritual of Magicke

In the past times, all was chaos. The world was a tumult of gamers, devs, and publishers, who over the centuries became united through the power of games. Then came the pirates, mysterious creatures of the blackest energy who could subvert any and all games to their dark will. The pirates took the finest games and in their infernal forges did create pirated 3.5 inch disks, which they then flogged at car-boot sales and down the pub. And the world was consumed by war, as the devs and the publishers stood together with the pure-hearted gamers against the forces of the pirates and those gamers who had fallen under their spell.

The forces of good created many weapons to fight the pirates. First were the code wheels and the dongles. Some hires armies of mercenary legal gnomes to defend their games, but the pirates vanquished all defences and sundered the new games as they had the old.

Finally, the forces of good came together to forge a new, terrible weapon to destroy the pirates and their fallen thralls once and for all. This was the Darke Ritual of Magicke – The DRM.

Legend does not tell of the effectiveness of the DRM, whether it was successful or not, but the plague of pirates that still haunt the Great Web suggest that it was not. But once unleashed, the DRM became impossible to control. It turned on all gamers, those pure of heart as well as the minions of the pirates, and threatened to eat all games.

I was one such gamer. My serial code for Dragon Age: Origins was stout and true, yet the Fell Aegis of the DRM deflected my honest and legitimate attempts to pierce its veil.

For millennia, I struggled through dark times, recruiting a small but dedicated band of EA customer service dwarves, but even their studies of the half-remembered ceremonies of clearing my Java cache and reinstalling it failed. I was close to despair, and it was only through my attaining of EA Customer Service Tier 3 (+2 Dexterity, +1 Strength) that I was finally equipped with a fresh serial code, one that allowed access (after a few more tweaks both by me and by EA).

So this tale has a happy ending. But so many do not. My millennia was actually about two and a half weeks, but the moral of the story I will leave to you. I was one of the heroes, and I felt like one of the villains. It was only through perseverance (and significant personal rage) that I finally triumphed.

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