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Author Topic: Stardock doesn't treat you like a criminal!  (Read 11864 times)
Deozaan
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« on: June 25, 2008, 07:01:22 PM »

To be honest, the only thing I've used by Stardock is the Object Dock, but I just found out from reading this Joystiq article that Stardock doesn't use copy protection measures in any of its games.

In fact, reading that article goes to show you how awesome they are!

As Stardock CEO Brad Wardell explains it, piracy is an issue that "has to be kept in perspective," and in a recent Big Download interview he further played the common sense card, stating that "the people who actually buy games don't want to be inconvenienced or treated like a criminal." Wardell adds that while Sins "definitely" would have sold more had piracy not been an issue, "everyone who buys games knows they could easily have gone out and stolen it if they wanted to."

Just reading that right there makes me want to support the company! And I've been hearing some mighty fine things about their game Sins of a Solar Empire. I may have to get it soon. smiley

 thumbs up thumbs up
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Grorgy
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« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2008, 09:42:23 PM »

Yeah, stardock are pretty good, I use window blinds, right click and the icon thingy, I quite like the dock but i figure enough is enough FARR right click quick launch start menu lol. they have generous activation limits on their products, and if you reach them its a simple message to support to get it fixed up, maybe a brief explanation as to why you have activated so many times, i don't know, I've never reached the limit.

You will find a lot of the staff from stardock in the forums there too, yep even brad.
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wreckedcarzz
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« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2008, 11:30:55 PM »

I bought the pro version of ObjectDock after its latest update, and am happy I did - Stardock makes great software, at a CHEAP price, and it feels good buying it because you know your getting your money's worth while supporting the developers.

I have had no issues with activation, purchasing OD was a breeze, and I am very happy with it. I plan to buy Object Desktop once I get the money.
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myarmor
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« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2008, 08:18:58 PM »

I have bought many of their products, ODNT Ultimate, GalCivII series etc..

I just have to agree with the rest of the folks in this thread..
Stardock is a company that operates with a different scheme than the rest entirely..

They're support is quite good too.. and compared to most of the other companies I've encountered, it's very good indeed.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2008, 08:21:09 PM by myarmor » Logged
cthorpe
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« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2008, 02:24:35 PM »

I just emailed Stardock to inquire about a DC discount on their programs.  I'll let you all know when I hear back from them.
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wreckedcarzz
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« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2008, 11:33:17 PM »

Awesome, hope we can get something!
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Deozaan
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« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2008, 11:17:09 AM »

I just emailed Stardock to inquire about a DC discount on their programs.  I'll let you all know when I hear back from them.

Cool! I hope if they give us a discount it will include their games. smiley
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cthorpe
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« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2008, 11:39:49 AM »

Cool! I hope if they give us a discount it will include their games. smiley

I made sure to specifically ask for discounts on their games as well as their utilities.  I am really interested in Sins, and my wife wants Political Machine.

Carl
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J-Mac
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« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2008, 01:53:57 PM »

Sorry, but Brad is fudging a little there.  OK, OK - Brad is fudging a lot there!!

When WindowBlinds V.5 was in beta and right through the first full release, many users came to the forum and posted about having problems with WB.  Brad would always ask them to post what it said on a specific Settings page.  When they did, if it referred to a specific line of text as being a problem, that meant that they were using a crack to run it.

Brad would then berate them up and down.  Problem was, many legitimate users also complained about other rendering issues that they suspected were related to the crack blocking code within WB.  Brad denied that his code could do that to subscribed users, but I think they lost quite a few over this issue.

Now maybe he decided to change that policy and embrace the statements shown in the original post here.  I haven't been there much in the last year.  But if you look through their forums about 1 to 2 years back you'll see all that.  If not, I'll try to locate specific threads and post links here.

Jim
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cthorpe
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« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2008, 02:23:55 PM »

When WindowBlinds V.5 was in beta and right through the first full release, many users came to the forum and posted about having problems with WB.  Brad would always ask them to post what it said on a specific Settings page.  When they did, if it referred to a specific line of text as being a problem, that meant that they were using a crack to run it.

Brad would then berate them up and down.  Problem was, many legitimate users also complained about other rendering issues that they suspected were related to the crack blocking code within WB.  Brad denied that his code could do that to subscribed users, but I think they lost quite a few over this issue.

Now maybe he decided to change that policy and embrace the statements shown in the original post here.  I haven't been there much in the last year.  But if you look through their forums about 1 to 2 years back you'll see all that.  If not, I'll try to locate specific threads and post links here.

Jim


I don't see where there is a problem.  First, the interview was specifically about games and not WindowBlinds.  Furthermore, there is nothing in there that states, explicitly or implicitly, that the company is going to embrace pirates and treat them with the same respect as paying customers.  The interview never states that Stardock is completely ignoring piracy problems.  On top of that, users who had cracked versions of WindowBlinds and then were audacious enough to ask the company for technical support deserved to be berated.  Perhaps it shouldn't have been done publically on the forums, but how would you handle someone who clearly stole something from you and then asked for help with it in public?  You mention that some legitimate users suspected that it was anti-piracy features that caused then problems.  Did any users ever find that it was, in fact, the crack blocking or did they just assume that it was the problem?
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J-Mac
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« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2008, 11:27:19 PM »

I don't see where there is a problem.  First, the interview was specifically about games and not WindowBlinds.

The post was about "Stardock Doesn't Treat You Like a Criminal" and I was commenting on the post.  And Stardock IS WindowBlinds, and has only started getting into games much more recently.

Furthermore, there is nothing in there that states, explicitly or implicitly, that the company is going to embrace pirates and treat them with the same respect as paying customers.  The interview never states that Stardock is completely ignoring piracy problems.  On top of that, users who had cracked versions of WindowBlinds and then were audacious enough to ask the company for technical support deserved to be berated.  Perhaps it shouldn't have been done publically on the forums, but how would you handle someone who clearly stole something from you and then asked for help with it in public?  You mention that some legitimate users suspected that it was anti-piracy features that caused then problems.  Did any users ever find that it was, in fact, the crack blocking or did they just assume that it was the problem?

Well, the original post title sure sounds like Stardock is not interested in piracy, to an extent. And for the record, I have no problem at all with Brad berating anyone for cracked software in the forum - as a matter of fact, I applaud it!  His concern/outrage most certainly should be public! I mention that only because it was so public and yet this thread makes it sound like they do not worry about piracy, which is far from the truth.

However I do take issue with his methods.  I abhor any developer planting a "bomb" in his code in order to try and combat piracy.  Every time I have seen this done, legitimate users are the ones who seem to get hit the most. There are better, safer ways to protect your software than to put destructive code into it. Anytime developers cause pain to their users in the name of security they are putting their desire to hurt the pirates ahead of the convenience of their loyal users.  I don't think there are many here at DC who are appreciative of that sort of "security".

And as for whether it was determined that his code caused other users - non-pirating users - problems with their computers? Not definitively with concrete proof as far as I know.  Hard to prove exactly what internal code like that caused.  After all, if it were easy to isolate that code and investigate it, then I imagine it would not have been so tough for the crackers to avoid it.  What I DO know is that the reports by longtime Stardock users/forum members increased greatly after that version was released.  And the code was reportedly removed in the next release and all those user problems seemed to stop spreading.  BTW, the problem most valid software users were having had the exact same symptoms as the crackers were reporting - black screen issues that could not be resolved without reinstalling Windows.  So it was not a minor annoyance to users.

And also, I was fortunate enough to not have had the problem, so this is not a rant because I was personally affected.  I just found this thread's title to be humorous, not to mention ironic, in light of what I had seen back then.

Jim
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Deozaan
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« Reply #11 on: July 04, 2008, 11:31:17 AM »

Good points, J-Mac.

As I said in the beginning of the post, I don't know much about Stardock as a company and only used one of their products once. Perhaps it was the whole fiasco you just described that led them to change their point of view on anti-piracy methods.

All I really know is that the article I linked to said what it said, and that seemed like a refreshing idea in a world full of companies who assume you're a pirate first, then grudgingly accept that maybe you're a legitimate user later.
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myarmor
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« Reply #12 on: July 04, 2008, 12:29:51 PM »

J-Mac, the reason the title fits, and without it being ironic, is that the usual game or whatnot
from most other publishers often contains DRM etc, making the legitimate user going through
h*ll and back just to use it.

In the line above is the difference.. Stardock's doesn't, instead they focus on giving additional
advantages to the registered user such as updates which not only fixes bugs but also has
a tendency to extend features etc.

However, if you are a pirate and such, you might not be so welcome to seek support, updates
etc in the same way a paying customer might be.

Just my 2 cents smiley
« Last Edit: July 04, 2008, 12:34:22 PM by myarmor » Logged
wraith808
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« Reply #13 on: July 07, 2008, 03:08:48 PM »

And as for the Stardock *is* Windowblinds arguments, actually, Stardock was into games long before they were into Windowblinds- Galactic Civilizations is actually the port of an old OS/2 game they wrote...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stardock
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Tekzel
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« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2008, 09:45:55 AM »

My view is, you are talking about a thing that happened a couple of years ago (WB 5 has been out quite a long time now) vs an attitude they have now.  You can't hold ancient history against them.  They experimented with something, it didn't work out and it seems they moved on toward a more reasonable viewpoint.  Stardock today seems to deserve the praise people have been heaping upon them.  I am an Open Desktop Premium subscriber and think its great.
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Rocker452
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« Reply #15 on: July 14, 2008, 09:09:13 PM »

I use several of their programs, the only paid one is Windowblinds, and SoundPackager and CursorFX free versions and like them all. I also have a subscription to Wincustomize. It would be nice if they will offer a DC discount as I would like to get Icon Packager to add to the mix.
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Merida
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« Reply #16 on: November 18, 2008, 07:18:01 PM »

Just reading that right there makes me want to support the company!

Well, the most important question: HAVE you supported them or do you just bullshit and pretend that you WOULD... blablabla.

;-)
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Deozaan
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« Reply #17 on: November 18, 2008, 10:08:11 PM »

Just reading that right there makes me want to support the company!

Well, the most important question: HAVE you supported them or do you just bullshit and pretend that you WOULD... blablabla.

No, naturally the first thing I did when I found this out was I went and pirated all their software. Roll Eyes
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SirSmiley
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« Reply #18 on: November 18, 2008, 11:04:31 PM »

No, naturally the first thing I did when I found this out was I went and pirated all their software. Roll Eyes

You too? Glad I'm not the only one.  Wink

Seriously though they've been really generous to me. It's got to be three years since I bought DesktopX Pro and because of my financial situation they still let me continue to run the updated Betas.

Yes, I know they're not the polished versions but, a feather in their cap. It's also a bit encouraging to know that your contributions in their forums and in widget creation is appreciated.

In fact I'm actually kicking around the idea of creating a gadget in DesktopX for NANY '09.
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iphigenie
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« Reply #19 on: November 22, 2008, 11:29:23 AM »

I have been a stardock customer since the OS/2 days - Object Desktop 1.5, Avarice, Galactic Civilisations etc.

It made windows bearable when I had to switch to it!
Now they left me a bit behind since a lot of the new stuff is a)Vista only b)very shiny/fluffy

I have an object Desktop subscription, as well as several of their games, and wincustomize - but at the moment nothing from OD is installed on my machine.

I used to use Windows Blinds, Object Bar, keyboard launchpad, enhanced file dialog and right click - all in a way to keep my screen clean and uncluttered and have easy access to everything still.

I renewed my subscription this year after some hesitation (I am between jobs and it is taking time, so I think about spending), mostly because I have supported them 13 years now and won't stop right away. But depending what happens this year I won't renew.

But even if I dont renew OD I will still rate them quite highly as a very clued up company trying to do healthy business in an open way.
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OhNoNotAgain
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« Reply #20 on: October 04, 2009, 11:27:47 PM »

I'm not a gamer but have purchased and used pretty much everything else Stardock offers. I've been doing this for years and have used their products on many machines and numerous reinstalls. I've never had a single problem with redownloading, reinstalling, serial numbers, or any other similar type of difficulty with Stardock. Their support and the ease of using and re-using their products, as far as I'm concerned, is unsurpassed.  Thmbsup
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