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Not possible to start PA2 offline?

posted by DeLarge on - last edited - Viewed by 230 users

I really hope that I am missing something. How can I start PA2 when not being online?

In every Telltale Game I've bought so far (Sam & Max 1-3 and Tales of Monkey Island) I could use my serial number to unlock the game and then play it with no need of an internet connection.

But PA2 shows a loading screen forever when I start it offline.

While i can accept to validate the registration once after a fresh install, there is absolutely no need in forcing the user to be online to play a fully offline game.

This kind of DRM is unacceptable for two reasons.
1) The user is not able to play the game when not able to get online - maybe the ISP has a failure, or the user is using a notebook.
2) Telltale's validation service does not work - hopefully fixed fast, but what will happen when the company for whatever reason does not exist anymore (worst case, but seen before).

So please if there is a way to start PA2 offline, please tell me how.

Otherwise stop that madness. I think I won't buy any more games from Telltale if I need to be online to play offline games.

Edit:
Five Minutes ago it was not possible to start PA2. I could not load the Telltale webpages as well. If it was a problem at Telltale's or my side does not matter. In that period of time it was impossible to play the (offline) game I bought.

Edit 2:
As I wanted to submit my first edit, the whole Telltale domain could not be connected again. It lasts for quite a long time now and sadly it proves my concerns of my original post.
As it may take a bit (I am sure it is a problem at Telltale - database error displayed on forum) I can add some thoughts.
With DRM you want to ensure your own content is not pirated. That is okay and fully comprehensible. But as soon as these measures restrict the honest buyer of your product, you have failed.
Most likely there will be a cracked version of your software and the user of that will not have that restrictions. It is easy to see what seems to more attractive.
I really want to support developers with buying the software worth buying, but it really sucks that I have to use cracks of my bought games, just to get rid of the need to insert that damned game DVD.
Oh, looks like the sites are back.

Telltale, please think about a patch with no need to be online.
Thanks

6 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
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    puzzlebox Telltale Staff

    This is a bug in the launcher, not an intentional design to stop you from playing offline (I can launch PA2 offline ok).

    A few people saw similar issues with BTTF. These threads might have more information that will help.

    There seems to be a problem with the launcher where if you're online but it can't contact the Telltale domain, it will just sit there "loading" forever. If you're really offline and there's no connection available for the launcher to attempt to reach the Telltale domain, it will load in offline mode.

    Are you definitely disconnected when you run the launcher? Try turning off your router or otherwise completely disconnecting from the internet, then launch the game. Note that you do have to activate the game online once before you'll be able to play offline.

  • User Avatar Image
    DjNDB Moderator

    I think it's a bug in the launcher, which doesn't go to offline mode under all circumstances, when it can't connect to the server.

    As a workaround you can try is disabling your network adapter, before starting the launcher.

  • Okay, glad to know it is not bad designed DRM but an error in the launcher (I've read the launcher problem thread regarding BTTF now). So forget my rant about DRM, but I was getting angry with the time.

    I am running Windows XP with Comodo Software Firewall.

    Usually I am always online, but no program gets online access without my permission - either by allowing it for one instance after prompting or by changing my ruleset.

    After unlocking the game with my userdata (I never got an option to do it with my serial number) I blocked PA2 in my ruleset. I do not need to read the latest news when launching an offline game.
    Launcher did load forever, so I allowed it again but nothing changed since the Telltale domain was not accessible at that time.

    Disconnecting my network showed that the game in deed does work offline, but the problem descibed above is really an issue.

    To me it looks like the launcher sees when the system is online. But this is intransparent to the user and not detectable by the firewall. It gets into online mode, tries to connect to some Telltale server and loads forever if it is blocked (because this is detectable by the firewall) or the server is down (as seen while posting my edits of the first post).

    If that is the case it needs to be changed, because it just is not allways possible (and there is absolutely no good reason for) to disconnect from the network just to run one program.

    Thanks

  • I did a few more tests today.

    First I reinstalled the game and before starting it I also renamed "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Telltale Games\Launcher" and the "Puzzle Agent 2" folder in my documents to get a clean start. I was offline all the time.

    Starting the game showed a black screen and I could do nothing.

    The "Puzzle Agent 2" folder was created but the file "offlineSettings.json" was missing compared to my backup.
    Also the mentioned registry key was created.

    Then I connected to my router, but set the firewall to block all mode. Starting the game resulted in an additional "loading ..." on that black screen, but nothing happend (I waited for a few minutes).

    I got offline again and copied my old launcher settings and started the game. This time there was starting screen, but I could not change beetween PA1 and PA2 and the Play button was missing.

    Only after I copied "offlineSettings.json" (I assume it will be created after a successful unlock) I could play offline again. And when being online I need to allow the game to connect to the internet or I will get that "loading ..." again.

    Looking at files in the game folder I noticed "GameData\Pack\Launcher\templates" and the files in there suggest, that there should be a way to enter a unlock code when having the serial number. I never got that option.

    Now it is clear, that the launcher does not work as intended and needs a fix. I hope you will do that soon.

    Thanks

  • Some feedback from Telltale would be nice.

    Can you reproduce it?
    Are you working on it?
    Do you need more information?
    Do you think it only affects so few customers, that you don't care?

    Meanwhile I reactivated my Win7 RC (yes, it still works) to see if it is a WinXP only issue.
    I had the same problems. So it may be related to my hardware.
    Relevant parts of my system are a Gigabyte MA78G-DS3H Mainboard using the Realtek RTL8168C(P)/8111C(P) PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet NIC connected to a ZyXEL GS-105B switch which is connected to a Speedport W 501V (flashed with a modified AVM FritzBox! firmware).

    Please let me know, what is going on.

  • Telltale, how long am I supposed to wait for an answer?

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