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sekra

Limit parts of the forums (maybe other sites like BIKI) to game buyers only

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I saw this kind of a system being used in the Paradox Interactive forums where you can only access the sub-forums of games by being a legitimate user of that game ie. they have a page in your forum profile where you can enter a CD-key for each game they publish and by entering that key and it being verified as a legal copy of the game, you get access to that games forums. I find this as an excellent idea to give legitimate users a feeling that the company actually cares about providing service to their legitimate customers.

I believe that a similar system could be adapted on these forums too if not limiting all game sub-forums to legit users but sections like for example with the A2/OA forums you could have "News", "General" and "Questions and answers" open to all users of the forum and "Suggestions", "Troubleshooting", "Beta patch testing" and the rest only open for legitimate users. And even if you would not completely close the forums from others, make it so that only legit users could post there and others would have only read access. I believe this would cut down posts from people who want to just troll and don't even own the game(s), people posting about issues that are related to pirated copies etc.

Now I understand that this is by no means an easy or quick system to build BUT since all the games seem to use a cd-key system anyhow this would provide an excellent "extra layer" for the use of these keys and as a paying customer would make me feel more appreciated too when you "gift" me with access to the information that basically would be needed only by people who own the games. On the same note although maybe going a bit too complicated, unifying the forum accounts to BIKI accounts and limiting the BIKI access to legal users only would be an excellent addition of this system.

The only thing I see a problem here is the Arma 2: Free users. I don't know how the system works in that for players (do they get cd-keys?) but then again A2: F is in itself limited from most of the stuff that would be limited in the forums anyhow like mods, single player campaigns etc.

To end I'd like to point out that I do not see this as trying to control or limit the access to information about the game(s) but rather as a service for paying customers as a thank you for buying the game(s).

Your thoughts about a system like this?

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I like the idea a lot, but I don't think they will go to the trouble to implement such a system.

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what's the benefit for BI and the forum users?

I think it is terrible idea.

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I hesitated. Read you post twice. But in general, it's all good idea. BIS already liked dev-heaven and I heard they find it a good source for information. Who knows, may be sometime they'll understand that forums are good as well when you know for sure the person you're having discussion with is your direct legitimate customer.

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what's the benefit for BI and the forum users?

Obvious benefits for the forum moderators:

-Troubleshooting section: Only legitimate users can post problems with their game

-Every other section: Weed out trolls that only want to cause trouble

Like I said in my post if you read it correctly it could just simply be post restrictions and the reading could still be open to everyone. I see no reason for anyone other than legit users to post in the game specific forums for example. And again I see the way in the Paradox Forums as a sign of support from the company for people who buy their games.

---------- Post added at 13:36 ---------- Previous post was at 13:18 ----------

Also it is a cost effective and simple way of the company to tell its customers: "Buy our game and welcome to the community"

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Less potential customers. Anything more to consider?

Care to explain how would posting restrictions limit the amount of customers? "Questions and Answers" section could be open for everyone so any questions by potential buyers (and anyone else for that matter) should go there.

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Why should BIS create an extra security risk for legitimate users? BIS would need to buy and pay for an security solution that probably doesn't have any significant advantage of the current or further one. Imho BIS don't need to show such a silly sign of "support" aka marketing stunt.

BIS are already communicating, helping and bugfixing their games - without treating someone specially. Copy protection should work very well ingame and don't annoy or upset legitimate users anywhere.

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Think about it like this. If you need to register your cd-key to your forum account to get technical help for example this would only be a service offered to legal users of the game(s) on the forums instead of every pirate too. And since this community greatly helps each others to solve the problems this would help the people who like to help other people be sure that the person(s) they are helping are also legitimate customers. This is a big community offering a lot of help and more content to the game(s) and with this kind of a "authentication system" the community would become a part of what you paid for instead of it helping the pirates too.

---------- Post added at 14:11 ---------- Previous post was at 14:06 ----------

Why should BIS create an extra security risk

This is nonsense. What kind of a security risk is a database boolean value of "Owner_A2"? which is linked to a forum access template? It would be silly stupid to actually write the cd-key to the account, all you need is following:

-Authentication server (already exists) that is sent queries (limit from the forum server IP only so no external access) that contain the cd-key, reply says: "valid", "non-valid", "already linked"

-With "valid" response from auth server forum account database sets "owns_a2 = true"

-Too many retries to link a key -> lock account for moderator action etc proper protocol for this incident

Where is the security risk here?

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How bad is piracy in Arma? I thought everyone here loved BIS and have multiple legit copies, do we get multiple accounts?

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How bad are the "non owners" here anyway?

IMHO after a couple years here, can't say it ranks anywhere near an issue (or benefit) for me, and the community I really love.

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I don't agree. The forum community isn't that big anyway+ the mods need something to do :)

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Paradox Interactive's forums do this to a degree. You can only get technical support and mods if you register your game with their forums.

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Gnat;2063920']How bad are the "non owners" here anyway?

IMHO after a couple years here' date=' can't say it ranks anywhere near an issue (or benefit) for me, and the community I really love.[/quote']

I'm not saying that the pirates are a real issue here but its about giving more value to the people who buy the game. Like Marek says in that interview that Celery linked to: "The motto is: Pirated games are not worth playing, original games do not degrade." I see this as a prime opportunity to give more worth to a legal copy using a system that is already half-implemented in the DRM namely the cd-key itself. Or maybe that is not quite the right way to put it. Maybe by saying to give more worth by adding a layer of usability to a system that already exists.

I don't agree. The forum community isn't that big anyway+ the mods need something to do :)

I don't see why the size of the community would have anything to do with this. I'm pretty sure the devs value the 10 paying customers more than the 1000 pirates that didn't give a cent to the devs for their hard work during the past years. Also I'm sure the moderators have more than enough places to poke their prying eyes into even by now.

Paradox Interactive's forums do this to a degree. You can only get technical support and mods if you register your game with their forums.

And I do believe that is pretty much what I wrote in my post, was it not? I will repeat again for maybe the second or third time now; if not limit also reading the forums then just the capability for a user to post in the game specific sub-forum unless the user has registered the game to his account.

Still, I think closing our forum to non-buyers (or more specifically those who can't be arsed to go with the verification procedures) is a bad idea.

People can be arsed to post over 4000 messages here but not write one message that requires only to clone a set of symbols to verify his game purchase? To me this comment sounds more about resisting the idea for the sake of resisting the idea. If the system is properly designed, tested and implemented in an "easy" way like for instance implement first the possibility to link a game to your account without any other additions of the system. Make a transitional period of 6 months for this and then start closing down the forums from those who have not registered.

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The forums run the way it is for 10 years now. I really don't see any additional value for "us" emerging just because it gets restricted out of the sudden. This looks for me like pseudo elitism in the kind of "lousy poor OFP owners should not be allowed to see my elitist ArmA III postings.

The whole topic posted on a free for all forum is nonsense, reminds me of that sort of people that want the iron curtain and the Berlin wall back. Yeah thats the way cry out loud more more restictions the internet is stil too free to use...lock it down.´

This crying for even more "gated I-netcommunities" makes me sick, and it's not only here.

The most sickest occurrance of this kind I found lately is a gothic community board where you have to send a photo of you with a piece of paper in your hands with your nick handwriten on it to have proof youre "Goth" enough for this elite community.

Welcome to the Duchy of Absurdistan, your home far from commoness, please bring your own chains and contrain yourself.

Edited by Beagle

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Paradox's solution is extremely retarded.

It annoys me to no end that I can't even ask a question in some thread (like a one about some mod) just because it's in a "buyer" forum (and especially if it's the one dedicated to one of their $20 patches)

Then again Paradox sells spritepacks and patches (some bugfixes, some rebalance - here's your "For The Motherland", 20 buxx plz) for money so you shouldn't be giving them as an example at all.

Oh and BTW I'm a paying customer of Bohemia Interactive. And I strongly disapprove of your suggestion, OP.

Edited by metalcraze

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Doesn't battlefront provide hosting for user made content? That would explain why they restrict access to that. Servers and bandwith aren't cheap.

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when and if there is time there might be something done ...

maybe just like Egosoft has as option-able field to register theirs X2/X3 products in profile

then the user is marked with icon showing the product(s) he registered etc.

but atm. this is not subject of key importance

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If it'd apply only to "Troubleshooting" then yes, but...

Care to explain how would posting restrictions limit the amount of customers?

... sometime ago I was owner of OFP:CWC 1.46. Founding BIS Forums and reading it (especially "Addons & Mods" sections) brought me into buying Resistance and then ArmA: Armed Assault. If Forums had been closed at that time, I'd probably never bought them.

Oh! And for most of the time I'm reading Forums, I don't bother to log in - it's just faster when I don't have anything to say.

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I consider premium area on the forums for paying customers of the game as good idea overall. If nothing else, I am tempted to believe such sections may be more pleasant area of the forumsl.

However, it is not too clear what specific subforum would benefit from this really. E.g. troubleshooting is certainly part that should be open and accessible.

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I see only one personal benefit for myself

Player Joins game server

BE : your were kicked because your ip signed to BIS forums with dodgey key

not even sure if its a plausible benefit or legit use but i would certainly smile :)

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