QUOTED FOR TRUTH: Jeroen Amin, Piki Geek: Editorial: On Crytek, Opinions, and Official Statements [April 30th, 2012]
More to the point, is this how we want it to work? Is this what we’re content with? Because it seems very much that we are, and that’s perhaps even more depressing.
Read this article. It’s heartbreaking to anybody who actually gives a shit about games as opposed to, y’know, pageviews.
A brief aside - on the subject of Ubisoft’s terrible Tech Support
Last week I succumbed to Steam’s summer sale and bought the PC version of Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands for a mere $33 and change. Yes, I know, hardly a sensible use of my money especially considering their ridiculous DRM system, but there we are. What’s done it done.
There was a weird technical issue, however - the game was disregarding my selected display settings and instead rendering the game at 4:3 640x480 with the lowest graphics settings. I was confused, but I’ve had experience with this sort of thing before and started looking for a config file or a registry entry I could tweak to fix the problem. Nothing immediately jumped out at me, and so I was left with little choice but to email Ubisoft’s Tech Support.
Ubisoft’s Tech Support, you may be aware, is designed to make actually filing a support request difficult and tiresome to deter you from actually getting your question to them lest they actually have to get off their arses and do some work. After typing out my question, being forced to search for “similar” issues twice, being asked if I really wanted to submit the entry before having it eaten and subsequently having to type it out a second time, my request was finally sent through and I got a lovely email confirming that they’d get back to me within 48 hours. That was on Friday.
Immediately after sending the email I decided to Google the problem and discovered that it’s entirely fixable with, haha, a small registry tweak. But it wasn’t what I was expecting - I was expecting to find an entry with manual h/v pixel settings. Instead… well, here’s the instructions I found on GameBrood:
Problem #1: Encounters black screen or can’t change the resolution of Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands PC
Possible Solution #1: (By Boxed0 from the Steam forums)
Open regedit, search for “AlternateVerticalSyncThreshold”. Unless you have multiple Ubi games installed, it should immediately give you PoP’s registry key. It should look something like Software->Ubisoft->Prince of Persia - The Forgotten Sands->1.000000000->Engine
Right-click the folder called 1.000000000 and rename it to 1.0.
Problem solved. Yeah, it’s hilarious, I know. Way to go, Ubisoft.
I found the entry, changed it and voilà, problem solved. I played through The Forgotten Sands for a few hours, questioning the actual need for giant cogs, switches and extending poles that only come out of the wall when you hang from other extending poles in a large castle.
This morning, mere moments after posting that thing about the Ferrari, I got an email from Ubisoft Tech Support. Took ‘em a bit longer than 24 hours, didn’t it? Let’s see what their solution is.
Response (Alex) - 06/29/2010 12:29 PM
To better serve you, we need a text version of the DirectX file that is in your system. This file reports all drivers for your sound and video card, as well as other vital information about your system that will help us in resolving your problem.
Make sure you have the latest version of DirectX installed on your system. Download the latest version of DirectX from http://www.microsoft.com/directx. After installing DirectX, follow these steps:
Ubisoft Technical Support
So their first question after being contacted about an apparently not-uncommon glitch with The Forgotten Sands is… to ask me for “a text version of the DirectX file”. Not “Oh, yeah, our devteam fucked up, here’s a walkthrough for how to fix it but back up yo’ registry first.” Not “We know about the problem, a fix is imminent.” Just “OH HAI CAN I GET UR DIRECTX FILE PLZ”
Add this to the reasons to dislike Ubisoft, if you like. I know I will.