MassEffect 3, Wine, and EA...a rant.
Are my PC gaming days nearing a close?
Well they are not literally closing, there is still plenty of fun out there, GOG.com games for example, most are playable via wine. Dwarf fortress, and Mount and blade warband are another.
However, the whole Idea of anticipating the next big game is getting harder and harder as you start to see your hopes dashed because of the state of PC gaming in general, and rolling the dice as to whether or not it works with wine. Call me a curmudgeon but it seems that all the big names are moving to heavy drm and digital content distribution (their own method)
In attempting to download the mass effect demo, i was directed to download something from EA called "originthinsetup.exe" Origin winehq ratings range from gold to garbage but for me nothing happens when trying to run the installer. Oddly Steam mentions Nothing about mass effect 3! So is EA going to distribute ME3 exclusively? MY hope is that a boxed set version of ME3 will not require this to run, but most likely it will in order to "phone home", every time you play. Is it too much to ask? Install yet another overly intrusive piece of software that collects data on you, etc?
I have already had my issues with Steam and skyrim, where steam force patches skyrim whether or not you said don't patch, erases the executable before patching to ensure you cant play it, etc. One of the patches broke the user interface and i had to get a friend to give him his prepatched interface bsa just to be able to finish the game. The original skyrim exe could be ran without steam and that changed VERY quickly. Because of its connection with steam you cannot freshly install skyrim without patching, and even if you unplugged your system, it would install the game without any executable file.
Also worthy of mention is the Stardock/impulse, now gamestop whatever .NET piece of trash client. In theory it should be better than steam because you do not need it to play the game. However, it doesn't run well with wine, even if you manage to get .NET installed with winetricks, and it was impossible to patch elemental WOM without it, and since elemental had graphical issues in wine, you kept trying to patch it hoping it would improve.
So my rant is against the cloud, and digital content distribution which further solidifies the concept or you not owning what you paid (now approaching 70$USD) for. It is convenient, I will admit. However, there are now so many out there, it kinda defeats the purpose of having a centralized "app store" to go get the latest games, and the need for more web accounts and more passwords to remember. You could possibly loose a whole library of games if you forgot your password or got banned from a forum for some reason or another.
So congrats EA for pushing another player away and towards the ever increasing, and ever improving collections of free/opensource/commercial indie games.
% uname -a
FreeBSD 8.1-RELEASE FreeBSD 8.1-RELEASE wine-1.4-rc3
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