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5 Years Later... Still No Year 2?


The13thRonin
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Yeah, for the intent of raising mostly random skills en masse, The Sphinx is most effective. I tend to only use it to attempt to unlock random skills, as it can be used for other things while doing so.

 

I go for very specific skills, though. (the direct magical ones) with only a handful of other common skills being used for the sake of clearing adventures and events. As a result of that, and the fact that I believe in perfect attendance, My characters are a fair bit... Inferior to some folks' characters. but I think (hope?) that my decisions will be justified at least partly going into future years.

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I doubt I'll make much use of the Sphinx on my Y2 export save since it's so unfocused these days. The sheer number of steps it hands out is nice when you're puttering around and aimlessly padding your resume late in the year but I usually get most of the unlocks I really care about out of the way through locations and adventures instead.

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Ditto.

 

There are some rather interesting skills that I find fascinating, but not interesting enough for me to spend the time and effort hunting down the manual way. In that case, the sphinx is nice for giving opportunities so long as you aren't aiming for anything specific.

 

In my last major save, here. I was able to do all of that without the sphinx. I may have used it a few times (It's been too long I can't remember exactly), but nowhere near enough to say I relied on it, so it most certainly is possible to get some crazy builds, and if you don't care about skipping classes, well, I think you'd probably be on par with some end-of-second-year students at the end of Y1 if you really pushed it. (albeit with some obvious skill differences.)

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Yea its great to give 1 company the ability to remove all your games from you ^^. Given my expirience with Desura and Impulse I was happy that I could actual back up most of my Singleplayer games in a way where I didn't need their starting client. When thinking how dominant Nokia was in the mobil phone market and look at them now I say Steam have no to small chance to have close down at some point years in the future and then? With all the DRM they build into the games there is no legal way to continue play them if the autentification stop to work, sure I think they told they will remove it once such a thing happen but I doubt the people who say that now still have control of things then.

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Agreed. And on top of that I personally can't stand the idea of needing some bloatware client installed, inevitably riddled with ads, outright trojans and whatever else the mafia dons over at Valve could squeeze in it, just to confirm that I am, in fact, allowed to play the off-line single-player game on the CD that a friend of mine, in this case, legitimately bought. I distinctly recall that not being a necessary ritual of wasted hard drive space, CPU processes and internet connection everything several years back, why should it be necessary now?

 

Of course that's until something stupid happens and the powers that be decide (or have decided for them) that actually I don't, and that off-line single-player game, which someone legitimately bought for me, needs to become a, what, $30+ coaster or something. Yes, Valve promised that they'd...I don't know, release keys or something? It doesn't matter. As soon as they trip someone is going to buy them out, buy off Valve's top brass to either leave or play puppet to their schemes because nothing and no one is immune to a large enough sum of money (see: Notch), redact everything Valve said about removing DRM when they fall and remake Steam into a money milking factory that even EA has never dreamed of. What are the customers going to do about it? Take their business elsewhere? Give up on all the games they bought, buy a library pass and take up reading as a hobby? Take the new overlords to court on charge of being really mean? People signed off actual ownership of their games when they fell for Steam's shiny discount numbers. What they get to play and for how long depends entirely on Steam and how long they last.

 

But hey, of course it won't all be bad news! Just imagine someone finally making Half-Life 3 or whatever it's called. Sure, it'll be a Destiny-esque MMO FPS with $50 DLC packs and P2W micro-transactions coming out of every digital orifice, because that's where the actual money is, but they might change the combat knife melee weapon to a crowbar if the fans cry loud enough! That totally makes it the Half-Life game that everyone wanted, right?

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Yeah, I was pissed when I bought a copy of portal at a gamestop, only to find out that it was just an installation disk for steam with an activation code. That's on the verge of malicious deception. I wasn't really surprised, though, merely disappointed.

 

If there hadn't been such a strong reaction against this sort of online microtransaction, DRM bullcrap, the current generation of consoles would have been tied to the internet with no physical media already. I expect the next generation will have it that way whether we want it, or not. We're at the point where the cloud is trying to take over, because that way, the companies retain full control of the information related to their games/movies/etc. because if they retain control, then they can charge to let you have access.

 

Here's a fun fact for you. Under the original provisions for copyright laws,(as according to the US constitution before the numerous amendments to copyright law) movies as old as Back to the Future would already be under public domain. By allowing massive companies to retain huge libraries of works for which requires very little upkeep to maintain, they have a powerful revenue stream which allows them the ability to crush the small guy.

 

This sort of thing has been happening with movies for a long time, and it's really starting to show with the video game industry as well. I think that the only thing that really will fix things is to allow a clean slate, but alas, there's too much money at stake, and behemoth corporations would then die out, which is counter to their own purposes.

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Reminds me of the Elite: Dangerous DRM...controvesty? Contravesty? I don't even remember the word. Take that as a sign of how jaded I've become. Anyway, the part where the design team went "always-online DRM is a thing" 23 months into their planned 24 month development cycle that started with the promise of an (admittedly limited) off-line single player. But of course that's not deceptive or false advertising or anything, that's buyers wasting money because they're not paying attention to the team saying "off-line single player will be a thing" and not knowing what that actually means.

 

It makes me wonder what Microsoft really could have accomplished if their own figureheads didn't blast their planned SpyBox's head off with an anti-tank rocket launcher, forcing their effective replacements to bail water (mostly on top of said figureheads) until they ended up with the XBone. Not that I paid too much attention to that, I gave up on consoles after the PS2 and Gamecube and rightfully so, but I have to wonder how much of that debacle was the reality of what the next "game console" was going to be and how much of it was outrage over messages posted on Twitter.

 

Yeah, 'bout that clean slate, I've pretty much been waiting for the next big crash for years now. Maybe this VR fad or whatever will crash, burn and finally trigger it. And pray to whatever God you worship for mercy if it does because rest assured, you'll need it.

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The lesson to take from that, Legate, is that the correct answer is to make GoG your base of operations. All the convenience of having everything in one place (well, practically nothing because money grubbers would die without their demonstrably non-functional DRM, but details), yet none of the risk of anyone going "lolnope you're hooked now gimme all your money or your games are goin' bye bye" because you can just take their game installers, burn it on a CD along with available patches, walkthroughs, other media and whatever else you desire to keep, and have that be the game disc that installs the actual game that you'd be hard pressed to find at retailers these days. Which is still a ridiculous step backwards compared to the old days, but at least it's not a spaceship's distance worth of backwards.

 

Speaking of, there was...off-hand mention of Academagia possibly maybe potentially hopefully coming to GoG in addition to Steam, yes? Would that include Y2, if so?

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Yeah, I would have to say that GOG is my favorite way of buying games. I keep all the installers from the games I bought from them in my archive. If I was ever going to re-buy Y1, it would have to be on a physical medium, or else a really easy installer like GOG provides.

 

Yeah, it is potentially risky, but I think simply keeping it cheap and simple would get you at least as many customers as you might lose through copying. A lot of people like and respect the honor system.

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The honor system I personally believe is something that children aged six or less can incorporate into their fairytales to make heroes (or villains) do stupid things without providing an adequately explained and rational reason or motivation, mainly because it's hard to expect that they've learned better at that point. Especially because in this day and age there's no honor among those who call others thieves any more than that there's no honor among those thieves. Less so, if anything.

 

Now convenience, however, is the great engine that keeps a business' wheels spinning. The fastest way to convince people to stop using your business is to punish them for doing so, and games are no exception. Bought this hard copy of a game on Steam or some other client-based thing? It's actually just an installer for a cloud-based client with a key that we're going to declare invalid two weeks later because the store actually bought them through Scandinavia instead of America, which is irrelevant anyway because as it turns out your internet doesn't work right now so I can't confirm that you legally own this hard copy of the game. Hope you learned your lesson about never doing that again! GOG? Here's a BS-free installer that you can burn onto a CD along with all the patches and whatever else you want for easy archiving and access, updates will be available whenever you've re-connected your internet though you're free to play with what you have in the meantime. Have fun!

 

If people don't copy from GOG it's because their site provides easy access to goodies (read: patches), and because that way you're never going to get a trojan or any other such nonsense. I.E., convenience. I don't expect the honor system to be much of a factor, at least in the grand scheme of things.

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What?

 

The honor system and convenience go hand in hand. If it is merely a fairy tale then maybe GOG should shut down because, by offering convenience, they are implicitly asking you not to do anything untoward with that convenience, on your honor.

 

But I guess that's too generous.

 

I know people are going to pirate that stuff regardless. GOG didn't have to make it easy to pirate, but they did, because of the honor system. It gives them, and not the pirates, the moral high ground, but then I guess morals are just fairy tales too?

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While I won't post links, all you have to do is type "gog" and "torrent" on google and be utterly astounded. They usually have multiple versions up for grabs in case a certain crack messes with your antivirus.or so. Its purely up to the honor of the person whether to pirate or buy it. Convenience and price helps make the argument, of course but it comes down to morals.

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What?

 

The honor system and convenience go hand in hand. If it is merely a fairy tale then maybe GOG should shut down because, by offering convenience, they are implicitly asking you not to do anything untoward with that convenience, on your honor.

 

But I guess that's too generous.

 

I know people are going to pirate that stuff regardless. GOG didn't have to make it easy to pirate, but they did, because of the honor system. It gives them, and not the pirates, the moral high ground, but then I guess morals are just fairy tales too?

That they do, which is why the idea works even though the honor system is something that a seven-year-old should be expected to have grown out of. GOG offers convenience that pirates can't offer in the form of assurance that their installers contain nothing that will make a virus-scanner flip tables (rightfully or due to false positives), easy access to patches, and/or that some rich white guy that corporate top brass bend over and made bark at their command is going to try and make a customer's life miserable with no regard for ethics or law (however ineffective those attempts might ultimately be). The promise of greater and continued access to that convenience, another thing that pirates cannot offer, is likewise a factor, if one less immediately noticeable. That's where morals come in.

 

Morals are a tool for manipulation, which is how GOG uses them. Mind, despite how that might sound they don't in a way that's inherently wrong. Because the convenience of continued access to convenience cannot be conveyed though single sales other than publicising the balance of one's bank account, which is most a unwise move for any business, they use morals as a tool on those who don't have or choose not to maintain a broad and sufficiently long-term viewpoint to see that single sales can and do secure the offer of continued access to convenience. And because GOG has not broken the idea (or expertly crafted illusion) that there is honor among those who call others thieves they're allowed to get away with it. It's a slippery slope, but so far GOG has managed to stand firm...at least as far as I have seen.

 

Tradition is what binds all that together, and tradition is something that most people don't question. That, I imagine, is the reason why piracy rates aren't orders of magnitude greater than they are currently. And why so much money is lost on digital dust and unworthy purchases. If people questioned offers more, they'd know better. And they'd know how badly they're being ripped off most of the time.

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  • 3 months later...

I came here for news about Year 2; sadly, none of that. Regarding Steam, though...

 

As much as I can't say I disagree entirely with what's been said about Steam, even as someone who's generally rather fond of it, I do feel the need to point out that not every game on Steam has DRM.

 

Steam does have DRM, yes (SteamWorks), but not every game has this. As such, if BCS released Academagia on Steam, they could choose not to use it if they didn't want to.

 

DRM-free games on Steam do require the client for the initial download, but once that's done, you're free to make a copy of the downloaded files elsewhere and you can launch such games directly, without going through Steam.

 

I just tried this with my Steam copy of Scheherazade, actually, and it worked just fine. This makes me suspect that if/when BCS brings Academagia to Steam, it will also be DRM-free.

 

As for them being bought out, EA tried that some years back, and failed. That's not to say it will never happen, but there is precedence for something like this almost happening and Valve not wanting anything to do with it.

 

Of course, that doesn't mean they'll hold out forever, but it does at least give some hope.

 

By their nature, Valve/Steam doesn't operate the same way as most "big companies".

 

For instance, there's Gabe Newell (Steam's founder/CEO) calling Windows 8 a "catastrophe" and wanting to "make sure that Linux thrives". You can see some of this in action with Steam Boxes and SteamOS being a Linux system (time will tell if that actually goes anywhere).

 

Valve/Steam may not be perfect, and their quasi-monopoly on digital gaming distribution might be slightly worrisome, but on the overall, I do believe that they mean well and that they're a force for "good" in the industry (at least for the most part; again, not perfect).

 

All this is not to say that I don't think Academagia should be on GoG; on the contrary. GoG is awesome (the closest thing Steam has to an actual competitor), and I'd very much like to see Academagia there as well.

 

It might be slightly more user-friendly to update games on GoG than DRM-free games on Steam if you're incredibly allergic to the Steam client, but not by much. In either case, you need an active internet connection (hard to get updates without one...) and to log into your account. The only difference is Steam's need of the client. If you're only using it for occasional updates, though, it's hardly a big issue.

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Steam does have DRM, yes (SteamWorks), but not every game has this. As such, if BCS released Academagia on Steam, they could choose not to use it if they didn't want to. DRM-free games on Steam do require the client for the initial download, but once that's done, you're free to make a copy of the downloaded files elsewhere and you can launch such games directly, without going through Steam. I just tried this with my Steam copy of Scheherazade, actually, and it worked just fine. This makes me suspect that if/when BCS brings Academagia to Steam, it will also be DRM-free.

Go figure that I only learn of this now. Still would rather not make a Steam account just to but the one DRM-free game, though. Don't trust them, and to hell with their client BS...

 

As for them being bought out, EA tried that some years back, and failed. That's not to say it will never happen, but there is precedence for something like this almost happening and Valve not wanting anything to do with it. Of course, that doesn't mean they'll hold out forever, but it does at least give some hope.

Just a matter of when either Valve's brass runs out of patience or EA's brass offers enough money. If Valve didn't sell, they weren't offered enough to buy out their patience. Nothing more.

 

For instance, there's Gabe Newell (Steam's founder/CEO) calling Windows 8 a "catastrophe" and wanting to "make sure that Linux thrives". You can see some of this in action with Steam Boxes and SteamOS being a Linux system (time will tell if that actually goes anywhere).

I read that as "I don't want to play second fiddle to Microsoft's giant wads of cash that could buy my chair out from under (me as opposed to the other way around, as it should be), so I'll instead put on the Linux hat and work towards getting my own platform of sycophants to support my rise to infinity money".

 

Valve/Steam may not be perfect, and their quasi-monopoly on digital gaming distribution might be slightly worrisome, but on the overall, I do believe that they mean well and that they're a force for "good" in the industry (at least for the most part; again, not perfect).

"Slightly" worrisome? And I'll admit they at least not as bad as types like Activision or EA and the like, but "good" isn't something any profit-dependant group can be.

 

All this is not to say that I don't think Academagia should be on GoG; on the contrary. GoG is awesome (the closest thing Steam has to an actual competitor), and I'd very much like to see Academagia there as well. It might be slightly more user-friendly to update games on GoG than DRM-free games on Steam if you're incredibly allergic to the Steam client, but not by much. In either case, you need an active internet connection (hard to get updates without one...) and to log into your account. The only difference is Steam's need of the client. If you're only using it for occasional updates, though, it's hardly a big issue.

Steam doesn't "need" a client, as GoG demonstrates. Steam "forces you to use" a client, because ad-riddled bloatware that stresses your internet and CPU to bring you the latest Steam-specific discounts for things you don't care about is "necessary".

 

Speaking of which, though, will Y2's updates and patches be available exclusively through GoG/Steam/what have you as opposed to just being there on the relevant Support/Updates (sub-)forum? I really don't want to have to do an install/uninstall dance with Steam and it's client every time I want a patch even if the game itself is DRM free. 'Course if Y2 will be on GoG that shouldn't be too much of an issue.

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