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Starforce on Beta probably means Starforce on Retail...
Published on March 24, 2006 By iTZKooPA In PC Gaming
Update: Another user has received the following response from the SaveHeroes.org team:

From: Admin@saveheros.org

I am only going to state this once... get it to your "team".

We at SaveHeroes.org did not create our petition to stop development or inclusion of StarForce. We do not condone the invasive procedures used by StarForce, but that was never our intent, and WILL never become our intent. Please stop sending these emails to us. They fall on ears that are not interested in hearing the same thing over and over.

This is the third letter of this kind. Any more letters and I will have no choice but to proceed with legal remedies under the anti spam acts.

So it appears that they don't understand that a) we are asking for their support and we are going after the same goal, making sure that the newest installment sells well. By the OVERWHELMING response to this post and the post running over Ubisoft's forums you can see that Starforce will definitely have an impact on sales.

End Update.


As many of you may have heard the people over at SaveHeroes.org managed to help get the newest Heroes of Might and Magic delayed in order to assure a successful relaunch of the franchise. While I was researching some information on the story I came across a few links detailing that the Beta of the game already had a copyright system, Starforce. Upon hearing this I began to worry, not because I was afraid the title was gonna suck, instead I was afraid the retail version would also have Starforce.

I am one of those people who not only hate malware, but who loves trying to get the most from his hardware. So the idea of installing one of the draconian DRM scheme to be able to play software that I legally own is appauling to me. So appauling in fact that I have joined the effort to boycott any title that uses the technology. Until now there was no big name title that I wanted to play that was enforcing the technology so I had no worries. Things have changed, and I plan on doing something about it.

Below is an e-mail that I sent over to admin@saveheroes.org in hopes of getting that community to stand up against Ubisoft again. If you feel the sameway I do about Starforce and DRM practices in general I would advise you to copy+paste (feel free to edit it if you wish) and send over your own copy to SaveHeroes.org. If anyone would like to join me in my cause an e-mail to Ubisoft directly should also be prepared incase the folks at SaveHeroes.org aren't interested in this new cause.




To Whom it May Concern,

First off I would like to congratulate the team at SaveHeroes.org for helping Ubisoft realize that the title needed more time. I have been a fan of the Heroes of Might and Magic franchise since the beginning and am happy that the new owner is willing to give the franchise the time it deserves to be developed. But there is a different problem with Ubisoft's approach to the franchise. The company has decided to release the game with the StarForce copyright protection system.

You may have heard something about the the use of StarForce since they have had a few bouts of bad press, most recently evidenced by the company linking to torrents of pirated copies of Galactic Civilizations II, and claiming that the developer WANTED people to pirate their product.

The reason I am writing to SaveHeroes.org is in hopes that you may once again rally the troops, this time against the use of Starforce. Although Starforce has been shown to be effective in stopping or slowing piracy it has also been shown to have detrimental affects to user's PCs, both software and hardware wise. With so many other 'good,' non-invasive DRM products available, including Securom, Ubisoft has no reason to stick with Starforce.

Many security and tech blogs, including the respected Boing Boing, have labeled the product as malware due to its invasive procedures. BoingBoing also has details, including screenshots of how this system can cause havoc to CD/DVD drives, rendering them useless. The products newest iterations even can have BIOS level access, effectively giving the company ABSOLUTE control over a user's machine.

During the initial push to save Heroes your community was formed because it was afraid that a bad installment of the franchise would doom it. With the use of Starforce, and the current boycott of any games that use the technology, a sluggish performance is still possible.

I implore SaveHeroes.org to at least look into the idea of starting another rally. For the Heroes community and for gamers around the world who want to stop being hampered by this kind of draconian technology. I for one am a boycotter of Starforce and will not buy the game if it is released this kind of protection scheme, even if it is a title or franchise that I love. As I said there are many other options out there for Ubisoft to use that don't have the same detrimental effects. It is also worth noting that Starforce is being investigated as part of the Sony/BMG Rootkit class action lawsuit. If the suit is found in favor of the people then Ubisoft and other companies that use the technology could lose millions.

You can find additional information on the topic at the Wikipedia entry and various other places on the Internet. I hope to hear back from you soon either way.



Thanks for your time,

-Name


Comments (Page 1)
on Mar 24, 2006
I will NOT buy Heroes if Starforce is used
on Mar 24, 2006
Feel the same way man, send over your email, it'll take you 5 minutes!

EDIT: They have asked us to STOP e-mailing them. Instead I will be e-mailing the individual fansites to see if they will help.
on Mar 24, 2006
Neither will I.
on Mar 24, 2006
Neither will I (please note mine is a personal opinion and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Stardock or its various divisions).
on Mar 24, 2006
HOMM5 was the only other game I planned on buying this year. I will not buy it SOLELY because it uses Starforce. It is not worth it to put my computer at risk just to play a game.
on Mar 24, 2006
Ofcourse, I also don't trust Securom, but there are a million other copy protection schemes that they can use.
on Mar 24, 2006
There's $50 I'm gonna save. Not gonna buy any game that has Starforce in it. I HATE STARFORCE.

But what can you expect from a Russian company. They couldn't build subs that don't sink, they can't build planes that can't fly right and they can't write software. Sure, they created the AK assault rifle, great work there btw, but its because its a simple machine. Anything more complicated than basic math and they mess it up.

If anyone at Starforce is reading this, its Vessel, not Wessel.
on Mar 24, 2006
I will not even consider it if they use Starforce.

on Mar 24, 2006
HOMM5 was the only other game I planned on buying this year. I will not buy it SOLELY because it uses Starforce. It is not worth it to put my computer at risk just to play a game.


This is precisely what I was about to write. I have Civ IV, GalCiv II and I planned on adding HoMM to my gaming diet. No way now. The first two games are enough to keep me busy anyway, buts its a shame since I loved HoMM3.

on Mar 24, 2006
I personally don't buy any starforce games either -- anthing that installs 0th ring drivers and increases privelages of other processes is a rootkit in my opinion, pure and simple.
on Mar 24, 2006
I'm not buying it, either. Someone needs to get the word out to the HOMM fans so that none of them wind up having to buy a new computer just because they wanted to play their new game.
on Mar 24, 2006
they can't build planes that can't fly right


Those damn Ruskies!
on Mar 24, 2006
Well if you feel that strongly about it. Why not just download it AND buy it. You get the game, they get their money, and you don't have to deal with starforce...
It's win win.
on Mar 24, 2006
My note is on the way now. Will also try to contact Ubisoft. What a shame, since I loved the original HOMM series, especially HOMM3
on Mar 24, 2006
sorry guys but they dont care.

Here is the response I got from them.

From: Admin@saveheros.org

I am only going to state this once... get it to your "team".

We at SaveHeroes.org did not create our petition to stop development or inclusion of StarForce. We do not condone the invasive procedures used by StarForce, but that was never our intent, and WILL never become our intent. Please stop sending these emails to us. They fall on ears that are not interested in hearing the same thing over and over.

This is the third letter of this kind. Any more letters and I will have no choice but to proceed with legal remedies under the anti spam acts.

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