Tobold's Blog
Friday, June 26, 2009
Anno 1404

So after playing the demo, I decided to buy Anno 1404 (US name is Dawn of Discovery). Steam was selling it, but the price of 50 Euro appeared rather high to me. I looked around just a tiny bit, and found the game on for £23, which is 27 Euro at today's exchange rate. Even with shipping that was far cheaper than Steam. But of course I'll have to wait a couple of days before the game arrives by mail now.

But I'll gladly wait, not just for getting the game at half price. Anno 1404 is also the type of game which my wife might enjoy playing. And if I buy it on Steam, not only can it not be played simultaneously on two computers, but when my wife would play Anno 1404 I could not play *any* other game I bought from Steam on another computer. At least the last time I tried to play two different Steam games on two computers, logging into Steam on the second computer kicked me out of Steam on the first. That seems a bit too restrictive to me. I certainly don't mind copy protection and following license agreements. But no license agreement says that I shouldn't be able to play two different games on two computers simultaneously.

Well, Amazon thinks I'll have the game by Monday. I'll just wait. And wonder whether digital distribution would really take off if the games online weren't so expensive and came with so many restrictions.
As an avid player, I could only recommend the Limited Edition version of the game. The box is made of wood, features some really well made (!) extras (a compass, nice artbook, a bag of almond seeds as reference to the almond groves in the game and a make of DVD). I was happy to pay the extra money on that one.

Contrary to other games, the Anno series is something you can really pick up once in a while, play the neverending island scenario and enjoy the lush gfx. I love it!

Have fun with the game after the much disappointing Empire. By the way, I recently picked up Medieval II and found out something interesting. No matter how peaceful I act or alliances I have, the PC always keeps attacking my land after the initial "take all the rebel capitals" phase. Is this the same in Empire? If yes, then that is another reason not to buy it.
I consider the original Anno 1602 to be one of the best games ever. I loved that game. Especially the multiple islands idea is great. But the sequels didn't add much to the original. I hope this sequel brings new life to the franchise.

I see the game is up for 32.49 euros at I'll await a few reviews to see if it's worth buying.
As you may or may not be aware Anno is once again in the spotlight for DRM. From sources it would seem to have a 3 install limit, which seems kind of restrictive. I would imagine you will have it on both yours and your wifes machine, would you be happy in the knowledge it will only yet you install it only once more should the install become corrupt? To my knowledge of DRM you can contact the company direct to get more but at what cost...

DRM is one of the reasons I don't like buying mainstream PC games at the moment. MMO's don't seem to have to worry about this namely because of their subscription fees. However I imagine the like of guildwars may be sat somewhere in the middle with the purchase once/play forever motto.

What's everyone else current thoughts on DRM in games?
I actually buy a lot of stuff through the marketplace. Steam is nothing but trouble for me (personally).

And I'm more of a civ4 fan :)
I'll be interested to hear your thoughts on the game, been a while (since civ4 colonization) since I've played any decent strat game.

As for Steam, do you ever check Direct2Drive? Unlike Steam once you enter the activation code, it's identical to buying a CD, and you can even install the same game on multiple computers using the same code (I have Sims 3 on two comps, and can run it at the same time) Not sure how they are on price for this particular game, but they also have sales and such like Steam.
Yes, I do check Direct2Drive, and did buy The Sims 3 there recently.
Steam has an offline mode, so that you can play single player games on multiple computers. My brother and I share a steam account and we live in different states. One of us will be playing a fps and the other can still play total war from steam.
For a distribution company that has publicly and repeatedly stated that low prices yield huge sales and profits, Steam has some absurdly high prices. Outside of the weekend deals,I would not buy a single game off Steam - they are incredibly overpriced compared to simple retail. Makes no sense to me.
Ugh, 3 install limit DRM. The alternative would be buying it off steam for close to twice the price.

Limited activations is were I draw the line in DRM. Checking a serial online is more then enough. Anything more is just tormenting your paying customers while pirates just get a clean copy without all that bullshit.

They just lost a sale. I'll wait until some day it's up on steam for a weekend deal price.
I've found that fairly lame about Steam as well. You can perhaps gimp it by running one copy in offline mode.

Or, buy Left 4 Dead and play split screen together ;)
I bought WAR online, and it was one of the biggest mistakes I ever made. I much prefer having a hard copy of the discs to reinstall at a later date rather than the "download" link to get it again. Because even with my high speed internet, it can take hours to download a 6-10gb game, when I could just go into my attic and grab a disc out of a box otherwise.

The upfront convenience comes at a price.

Though I do wish MMO companies would offer keys for cash at a lower rate to current subscribers to start second accounts with. Having to pay $80 at Wal-Mart to get all the new keys (for all expansions) for a new WoW account is absurd. That's a particular caveat of digital distribution I'd be all about.
@beej. You don't have to redownload the game. Steam has a backup option. Just create a backup on an external harddisk or a DVD and you don't have to redownload a game.
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