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Tuesday, February 28 2017 @ 04:08 AM PST

Troubles continue for Denuvo

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It seems like only yesterday that Denuvo's DRM (copy protection) technology was unbeatable. The best software cracking teams in the world seemed ready to throw in the towel.

But Denuvo's glory didn't last long, and games 'protected' by Denuvo are being cracked increasingly quickly. Recently, Resident Evil 7 was cracked within five days of its release.

So Denuvo has joined the ranks of all other copy protection software, in that it: a) doesn't prevent 'protected' games from being copied; b) causes a lot of problems for people who purchase 'protected' games legitimately; and c) costs game developers a lot of time and money, both for the Denuvo technology and for related technical support.

Denuvo responded to the Resident Evil 7 cracking news by saying that five days of protection is better than nothing. But a simple cost-benefit analysis shows that using Denuvo (or any other DRM technology) to protect a game is always going to cost more than can possibly be saved.

Adding to Denuvo's misery is the news that their corporate servers were recently breached, and private email archives published. It must be fun to work at Denuvo these days.

Update 2017Feb22: Techdirt points out that the alternative to using annoying, counter-productive DRM is to make games that are actually good, and make them moddable, like Quake, which still earns money for ID Software, twenty years after its release.

jdrgaming.com is now secure by default

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As of January 25, 2017, traffic to and from this web site is encrypted by default. That means there is no longer any possibility that someone can see your password in plain text as you enter it.

New IP address for all game servers

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At about 2am PST today (2017Jan16), my Internet Service Provider (Shaw) changed my WAN IP address. This happens from time to time because of the type of service I use.

The IP address for all JDRGaming game servers is now 24.80.14.52. Server lists will gradually update, but you can usually hurry things along by clicking an 'update' or 'refresh' button in game clients.

I've updated the alerts at the top of the home page to show the new IP address.

If you have any trouble connecting, please use the 'report a problem' link below the TPU Status box.

TPU stats have been reset

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It's a new year, so the stats for the TPU BF1942 server have been reset. Stats for 2016 are now available by clicking the appropriate link from the list in the sidebar: 'Statistics' links to the current year's stats, '2016' links to 2016's stats, and so on.

Sisko won the points race again in 2016, but Wingslinger wasn't far behind.

A Christmas gift from Nintendo

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Nintendo has formally apologized for all of its anti-customer activity and vows to do better in the future.

Just kidding. No, Nintendo must have realized that it hadn't recently reminded us all just how much it hates us (the people who keep them in business - for now). Their latest move is to go after people who modify Nintendo ROMs to add new content.

I think there are just too many lawyers around. They are desperate to find work, or simply justify their high salaries, and convince dim-witted and ignorant executives to pursue these counter-productive and sad initiatives.

Atta boy, Nintendo. Figure out who loves you the best, and then break their hearts.

Minecraft 1.11.2 released

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A new version of Minecraft was just released. Version 1.11.2 fixes a few bugs and adds some new features:

  • Added rocket-propelled elytra flight
  • Added Iron Nuggets
  • Added Sweeping Edge enchantment for swords
  • Changed the attack indicator to hint when you should attack

Minecraft 1.11.1 was released just before 1.11.2, but bugs were found in that version, and 1.11.2 fixes those bugs.

The JDRGaming Minecraft server is now running version 1.11.2, and the Minecraft page on this site has been updated with the most recent information.

Battle of Britain: help for the Axis

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A TPU regular recently suggested that the Battle of Britain map was unwinnable by the Axis. Certainly the TPU version of the map makes an Axis victory more difficult: the Allied factory and all five of the radar towers - all of which must be destroyed - respawn after a brief delay.

Still, I was certain that Axis victory was possible. But I was wrong. Checking TPU's map stats, I found that of the 854 rounds played on the BoB map, exactly zero had been won by the Axis.

Accordingly, I adjusted the map setup to make things easier for the Axis. The factory still respawns after a few minutes, but the radar towers do not.

It's not a squadron of Spitfires, but I think the Luftwaffe will find the going a bit easier now, in the skies over London.

Denuvo downturn

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Until a few months ago, the software copy protection technology (aka DRM) known as Denuvo was considered uncrackable. Now, games 'protected' by Denuvo are being cracked within days of their launch. And game developers are starting to dump the technology as a pointless waste of time and resources.

The game developer Playdead recently removed Denuvo from their popular game Inside, presumably so that it could be sold from the GOG web store, which doesn't sell DRM-encumbered games.

Bethesda has also removed Denuvo from the 2016 release of Doom. The Denuvo protection for Doom was defeated very soon after the game was released. According to at least one source, Denuvo effectively offers its customers a refund if a protected game is cracked within three months of its release. That may be what happened here.

Update 2016Dec20: Denuvo has responded to the media attention by saying that they don't offer refunds. But that's just semantics; not having to pay for something that normally costs money is just a proactive refund. Also, Techdirt weighs in. And again.

Fallout 4 review

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Game developer Bethesda has a history of making great games. But there's a darker side to their efforts: all of their games are buggy as hell. Of course, that's never stopped them from inflicting their work on the public.

Fallout 4 is no exception to this historical pattern. The game can be a lot of fun to play, when it works. But play it long enough on a PC, and there's a good chance that you'll start to experience the dreaded 'infinite load screen'.

Fallout 4 sees every transition as an opportunity to annoy you with load screens that take forever, or just a really long time (so long that you eventually give up, anyway). Transitions (and the chance of an infinite load screen) occur when you fast travel, and when you enter and exit indoor locations (so basically, all the time). There's no way to know whether the load screen you're staring at will ever end; at some point it just seems like killing the process and restarting the game is going to be less aggravating than continuing to wait.

If you search the web for 'fallout 4 infinite load screens', you'll find something else seemingly infinite: people complaining about this problem. What you won't find is anything resembling help from Bethesda. There are lots of suggestions from other players, but sadly, none of them worked for me. And I've tried them all.

I'm giving up on Fallout 4. Bethesda may fix this problem some day, but I'm not holding my breath. And even if they do, I won't soon be able to face that loading screen, no matter how briefly it appears.

Recommendation: avoid Fallout 4 unless you enjoy frustration.

For your viewing annoyance, I've posted a video on YouTube that demonstrates this fun feature.

Minecraft 1.11 released

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Minecraft 1.11 was released today. Your Minecraft client/launcher should update itself automatically.

Mojang is calling this version the 'Exploration Update'. There are too many changes to list here; see the version 1.11 notes on the Minecraft wiki for details.

The JDRGaming Minecraft server is now running version 1.11. The JDRGaming Minecraft page has also been updated.

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About jdrgaming

This site hosts a variety of gaming resources, most notably in relation to my Battlefield 1942 server, Tanks 'n Planes Unlimited (TPU).

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Happy NewYear!
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