Wednesday, November 1st 2017

CPUs Bear Brunt of Ubisoft Deploying VMProtect Above Denuvo for AC:O

It's been extensively reported that Denuvo has failed as an effective DRM solution for games, as some of the newer releases such as "Assassin's Creed: Origins," were cracked by pirates less than 48 hours into the market release. For those who bought the game, Denuvo adds its own CPU and memory footprint. In an effort to stem further piracy of "Assassin's Creed: Origins" (because hey, there are limited stocks of pirated copies on the Internet), Ubisoft added an additional DRM layer on top of Denuvo, made by VMProtect. The implementation is so shoddy, that paying customers who didn't spend a fortune on their PC builds (most PC gamers) complain of abnormally high CPU usage, which is in some cases, even reducing performance to unplayable levels.

Ubisoft deployed VMProtect as a concentric DRM layer to Denuvo. Genuine user authentication has to now be performed by two separate pieces of software with their own PIDs, CPU-, and memory-footprints, not to mention user data falling into more hands. Gamers such as this one took to Steam Forums to complain about abnormally high CPU usage, which is traced back to VMProtect. Gamers complain that the game now hits 100% CPU usage, resulting in frame-drops, stuttering, and even unplayable frame-rates. As gaming prophet Gabe Newell once said, the only way to beat piracy is to offer a better service than the pirates. Right now the pirates offer better frame-rates, at an introductory price of $0, while stocks last.

Source: TorrentFreak
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82 Comments on CPUs Bear Brunt of Ubisoft Deploying VMProtect Above Denuvo for AC:O

#1
lexluthermiester
Upgrayedd said:
Idk if I should be laughing at or feeling sad for the industry right now
Both.
Posted on Reply
#2
Vya Domus
This is hilarious.

AC is kind of already dead in terms of it being an interesting franchise anymore in my opinion.
Posted on Reply
#3
HopelesslyFaithful
and this is why i blacklisted ubisoft many many many years ago, which sucks because a lot of my favorite games are from them...sigh.
Posted on Reply
#4
StrayKAT
Vya Domus said:
This is hilarious.

AC is kind of already dead in terms of it being an interesting franchise anymore in my opinion.
It was dead on arrival to me. If I want some Arab setting, I'll go for Prince of Persia (but funnily AC was created by the Sands of Time guy). And more like the the cartoony Arabian Knights variety. Even PoP sucked when they tried to make that one "edgy" game in the series.

And AC just got more uninteresting by putting Assassins all over the globe btw. The Crusades thing was the best thing about it.
Posted on Reply
#5
Vya Domus
It's not necessarily the setting. They butchered the core gameplay with boats and shit some time ago , then they came back to the original concept. But to no avail , it got boring. That's what happens when you relentlessly milk a franchise for an entire decade.
Posted on Reply
#6
StrayKAT
Vya Domus said:
It's not necessarily the setting. They butchered the core gameplay with boats and shit some time ago , then they came back to the original concept. But to no avail , it got boring. That's what happens when you relentlessly milk a franchise for an entire decade.
There wasn't much gameplay in the first one either. Pretty barebones. Just some cool animations and setting... to me anyways.

I can't believe it's already a decade old though.

One thing I'd buy is Beyond Good & Evil 2..which apparently is in the works. That franchise wasn't nearly milked enough.
Posted on Reply
#7
Parn
A kick in the nuts to those legit players.
Posted on Reply
#8
ty_ger
I can't believe that TPU would publish this sensationalised crap which is based on zero evidence. Let other click-bait sites post this garbage. You (TPU), instead wait for some shred of proof.

There is no real proof yet of how much overhead the DRM adds. It could just be a resource intensive game or poorly optimised for any other reason. The only people providing "proof" are those who are biased against DRM; and their proof isn't even real proof of anything other than proof that the DRM exists. They provide no evidence that the DRM creates a 1% increase in CPU load or a 40% increase in CPU load. Sure, they make claims, but their claims are not based on any measurement. They will need to crack the DRM first before they can make a real comparison; or otherwise find a way to measure the load of the DRM versus the load of the game.

DRM is still nasty either way, in my opinion. I am not defending DRM. I just want to encourage objectivity. So far, this is just more bogus. This is "Bungie is banning players with overlays" level of bogus. In other words, it may or may not be true that they are accidentally creating issues. But, what flamebait it is when it is published so soon and based on all of the worst rumors and assumptions.
Posted on Reply
#9
Athlonite
bug said:
I believe we can reach a compromise here: baer.
Or Beer would be a better compromise I'd think
Posted on Reply
#10
rtwjunkie
PC Gaming Enthusiast
ty_ger said:
I can't believe that TPU would publish this sensationalised crap which is based on zero evidence. Let other click-bait sites post this garbage. You (TPU), instead wait for some shred of proof.

There is no real proof yet of how much overhead the DRM adds. It could just be a resource intensive game or poorly optimised for any other reason. The only people providing "proof" are those who are biased against DRM; and their proof isn't even real proof of anything other than proof that the DRM exists. They provide no evidence that the DRM creates a 1% increase in CPU load or a 40% increase in CPU load. Sure, they make claims, but their claims are not based on any measurement. They will need to crack the DRM first before they can make a real comparison; or otherwise find a way to measure the load of the DRM versus the load of the game.

DRM is still nasty either way, in my opinion. I am not defending DRM. I just want to encourage objectivity. So far, this is just more bogus. This is "Bungie is banning players with overlays" level of bogus. In other words, it may or may not be true that they are accidentally creating issues. But, what flamebait it is when it is published so soon and based on all of the worst rumors and assumptions.
You are correct, some objectivity is in order. One website claimed the 40%. Shack news, as reported in Rolling Stone noticed no high CPU utilization on their review playthrough.

Ubi has also issued a firm statement as well.

http://www.rollingstone.com/glixel/news/ubisoft-addresses-assassins-creed-origins-drm-issues-w510790

On Arstechnica Ubi outright states that the game is designed to utilize maximum CPU cycles on multiple cores.

https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2017/11/ubisoft-denies-pc-drm-is-slowing-down-assassins-creed-origins/
Posted on Reply
#11
HopelesslyFaithful
rtwjunkie said:
You are correct, some objectivity is in order. One website claimed the 40%. Shack news, as reported in Rolling Stone noticed no high CPU utilization on their review playthrough.

Ubi has also issued a firm statement as well.

http://www.rollingstone.com/glixel/news/ubisoft-addresses-assassins-creed-origins-drm-issues-w510790

On Arstechnica Ubi outright states that the game is designed to utilize maximum CPU cycles on multiple cores.

https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2017/11/ubisoft-denies-pc-drm-is-slowing-down-assassins-creed-origins/
Giving context to the matter, Chris Jarred over at Shack News, who reviewed the game for the outlet, says he faced no CPU issues while playing the game on PC. That said, he does admit to not monitoring "CPU utilization on the individual core level" during his playthrough.

"The game generally ran smoothly for me outside of cutscenes, which were full of hitching and stuttering," Jarred said. "It should be noted that I played on a machine with a 7700K CPU and GTX 1080 Ti GPU, so it is possible that the hardware was able to overcome any additional stress from the game protection, if it has any meaningful effect on performance."

so 0 proof that it isn't causing issues either
In any case, Ubisoft's statement suggests that the game using the "full extent" of the CPU at those base requirement and settings levels is by design and not the result of DRM. Ubisoft's promise of "steady 30fps performance"
WTF is the game doing that needs this much CPU? This is oddly high amounts of CPU to not be the DRM.

No statements on what is using the obscene about of CPU either so i am calling bullshit its not the DRM at face value because no response on what game mechanic or graphics require this much CPU.

https://torrentfreak.com/assassins-creed-origin-drm-hammers-gamers-cpus-171030/

This article has some good info and has a youtube playtest. No way in hell this game requires that much CPU. I find this highly BS.

Either they designed a horrible game or the DRM jacked this up....either way i am never buying it lol.
Posted on Reply
#12
Prima.Vera
Ubisoft will always be for me just the creator of Little Big Adventure 1 and 2, FarCry 1, and AC:Black Flag; the best games they ever produced. The rest....:rolleyes:o_O
Posted on Reply
#13
Ebo
I actually dont mind all the DRM in games, its some how a okay thing for me.

If its the truth that it makes your CPU run at 100% and bottleneck your system, well the solution for me is either to upgrade or buy a new system.
Or buy a console( did I really say that???) and be happy.

If you dont like how it works, well nobody forces you to buy to the game anyway, its your money.

By the way, I have AC: Origins and I have no problem at all playing the game.
Posted on Reply
#14
kabarsa
Tested yesterday

i5 2550K 3.4GHz

AC Origins FPS unlocked - 100% CPU - 44fps
AC Origins FPS Locked 30 - 90% CPU

AC Syndicate FPS Unlocked (Cracked) - 100% CPU - 60fps

Witcher 3 Wild Hunt FPS Unlocked Novigrad - 100% CPU non-stop - 60fps
Witcher 3 Wild Hunt FPS Unlocked Forest/Bog - 80% CPU

Evil Within 2 - 50-70% CPU

Dishonored 2 - 70-90% CPU

Also in Witcher and AC cpu usage goes up as soon as some enemies and crowd AI and animations kicks in. Simple Igni cast can make a peak to 90% cpu usage in the forest. In city AC have easily several times more npcs than Witcher3, and a lot more details and draw distance. Yet Witcher3 uses 100% of cpu.

CPU usage is highly dependent on animations run at the time, objects count and LODs in the scene, how much time spent batching and traversing HUGE octrees to check visibility frustum, how modular an anvironment is, resulting in a lot of draw calls and cpu usage (Novigrad & AC villages and cities) and a lot of other things. Game can utilize all the cpu just by making more checks per frame like raycasts or smaller physics iteration timeframe. It is too early to judge or blame it on Ubisoft. because there is no convincing evidence.
Posted on Reply
#15
rtwjunkie
PC Gaming Enthusiast
HopelesslyFaithful said:
Either they designed a horrible game or the DRM jacked this up....either way i am never buying it lol.
I definitely agree with you that if it isn't the DRM, then it points to a very crappy game design. There's no reason for that much CPU utilization that I can see.

@Ebo you say you have no problems running it. But if I may ask, can you check CPU utilization?
Posted on Reply
#16
bug
Ebo said:
I actually dont mind all the DRM in games, its some how a okay thing for me.

If its the truth that it makes your CPU run at 100% and bottleneck your system, well the solution for me is either to upgrade or buy a new system.
Or buy a console( did I really say that???) and be happy.

If you dont like how it works, well nobody forces you to buy to the game anyway, its your money.

By the way, I have AC: Origins and I have no problem at all playing the game.
Really, you simply upgrade whenever a lazy developer releases crappy code? I wish I had your income...
Posted on Reply
#17
Prima.Vera
rtwjunkie said:
I definitely agree with you that if it isn't the DRM, then it points to a very crappy game design. There's no reason for that much CPU utilization that I can see.

@Ebo you say you have no problems running it. But if I may ask, can you check CPU utilization?
Having the CPU utilization very high if is not because of DRM, it can point to enhance AI for NPC and good quality physics. I don't have the game yet, so anyone who play it already can confirm those? Or dismiss...
Posted on Reply
#18
HopelesslyFaithful
Prima.Vera said:
Having the CPU utilization very high if is not because of DRM, it can point to enhance AI for NPC and good quality physics. I don't have the game yet, so anyone who play it already can confirm those? Or dismiss...
name me a game that uses 100% of 4 cores with having 30 FPS and crysis doesnt count (which wasnt even that bad)
Posted on Reply
#19
Vya Domus
HopelesslyFaithful said:
name me a game that uses 100% of 4 cores with having 30 FPS and crysis doesnt count (which wasnt even that bad)
Crysis 3 then :laugh:.

There are games that just don't hit 60 all the time with a simple quad core.
Posted on Reply
#21
ty_ger
rtwjunkie said:
I definitely agree with you that if it isn't the DRM, then it points to a very crappy game design. There's no reason for that much CPU utilization that I can see.
Have you seen the draw distance and expanse of the game? Have you noticed that when it does the day/night cycle shifts how huge the level is and how much dynamic stuff is going on constantly? This game has an incredible amount of detail and AI which isn't being chopped off by a veil of haze or blocked into a small close-quarters-combat area.

See, for example @56 seconds:
Posted on Reply
#22
bug
ty_ger said:
Have you seen the draw distance and expanse of the game? Have you noticed that when it does the day/night cycle shifts how huge the level is and how much dynamic stuff is going on constantly? This game has an incredible amount of detail and AI which isn't being chopped off by a veil of haze or blocked into a small close-quarters-combat area.

See, for example @56 seconds:

Wow, 100% because you're riding a horse. We've had that in Witcher 3, tyvm.
And as far as AI is concerned, multiple attackers don't seem to do a good job coordinating among themselves.
The game looks good though, if a tad cartoonish for me.
Posted on Reply
#23
ty_ger
bug said:
Wow, 100% because you're riding a horse. We've had that in Witcher 3, tyvm.
And as far as AI is concerned, multiple attackers don't seem to do a good job coordinating among themselves.
The game looks good though, if a tad cartoonish for me.
Ok, whatever. Opinion is opinion.

Still, there is no proof that DRM is responsible.
Posted on Reply
#24
bug
ty_ger said:
Ok, whatever. Opinion is opinion.

Still, there is no proof that DRM is responsible.
Out of curiosity, what do you consider opinion? That Witcher 3 has horseback riding that doesn't max out 4 CPU cores or that the AI in that video doesn't look above average?
Posted on Reply
#25
ty_ger
bug said:
Out of curiosity, what do you consider opinion? That Witcher 3 has horseback riding that doesn't max out 4 CPU cores or that the AI in that video doesn't look above average?
I consider opinion: "CPUs Bear Brunt of Ubisoft Deploying VMProtect Above Denuvo for AC:O". You know... the thing which we are both commenting about.
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