Farming Simulator, etc...
Lately my friend Dennis and I have been playing Farming Simulator 2013 again. The topic came up that he would like to be able to play on our farm when I wasn't around. I agreed that it would be nice to have a dedicated server, tho because I don't keep up on games like I should, I didn't know that there was a dedicated server already available for Farming Simulator 2013. So imagine my surprise and excitement when I did find out that there was one available. Great!
So, I went to the developers website and looked it up. Hmmm, $19.99 for a dedicated server software? ~shrugs~ I guess it could be worse, and without reading the fine print in its entirety, I purchased it. Now for those of you that don't host dedicated servers, you should know that most developers offer their dedicated server software for free, as long as you have a registered copy of the game you can install it along side of. So silly me, I installed Farming Simulator 2013, via steam, onto my server. Then installed the dedicated server software and was confused for a minute as to why it wouldn't work. That was quickly solved by reading the fine print more carefully, the steam version couldn't be used... Fuck.
So it looks like I have to buy a non steam version of the game to run this, including the non steam version of the expansions. Well, I did kinda want my wife to be able to play with me, even tho she thought it was a silly game, maybe I could talk her into playing and she would like it? So I purchased the game separate from steam, and downloaded it, installing it to the server and my wife's computer. Alas, now the dedicated server is working! And I will agree that it is a nice little package, it even comes with a web portal built in which allows users to log into it and administer the server remotely.
The server was running fine and dandy... So time to test my wife's connection. Well her game could log in and browse the available servers, but it couldn't see my server! My computer could see it, but hers couldn't. Shitty, and this is where I got a bad taste in my mouth for Giants. Did I just get totally ripped off? I never really saw any fine print saying that the game used to run the server couldn't be used to play on the server. ~sigh~ And to the forums I went. The forums quickly confirmed my fears, that Giants was just sucking the money from its customers and laughing about it under the guise of saying that you should of read the fine print.
In the end I had to spend about $70 on a dedicated server! That is insane. Considering that dedicated servers bring the community together and help promote more sales, this is why it is usually seen as a free bonus to owners of the game, in order to help promote it to their friends. But no, it is just another way for Giants to scam people out of their money.
And with a bad taste in my mouth, I bought Agricultural Simulator 2013...
... Just so I could see what the competition was like. I recalled my previous review of both 2011 versions of Giants product, and Actalogic / UIG. It was a fair review and I recall Agricultural Simulator 2011 had some promise but was a bit buggy. I noticed that there was a 2013 version of the game too! Wow, why hadn't I heard of this? I watched a few videos, and despite some bugs, it looked like a fun game that I would really enjoy. Again, being silly and not looking into forums, I purchased the game on Steam.
After downloading and installing it I excitedly ran the game, hoping to get started on my brand new farm...... But wait, I can't start a new game? Or.... Anything? Uhm... Wait what? Now its time to read the forums.
Buyer Beware about this game....
I have contacted steam support, actalogic support, and UIG support (no answer from them for 3 days) and so in my disgust over this pile of steaming monkey garbage, i am creating this topic as an attempt to warn everyone before buying it.
I am currently so beyond fed up with this game being nothing more then a massive scam that i am about to say to hell with this garbage scam of a so called game (it's really more of a massive scam since it's junkware you can't use PERIOD)
Anyways point is if your one that looks over the discussion boards before making a purchase shy away from spending money on this and instead invest in farming simulator 2013. S♥♥♥♥ the graphics might be a little outdated and it's not as dynamic as agro sim 13 however there is one key thing about it that makes it worth the money... that is IT ACTUALLY WORKS AND YOU CAN PLAY IT!
Well then. This wasn't the only message I saw. The forum was full of people who were warning about this game, and who also couldn't connect or start a new game. What is going on here?
Agricultural Simulator 2013 Drama
Well it seems that Actalogic and UIG split ways a while back. UIG decided upon themselves to list the game on Steam and began offering their own support for the game without the knowledge or consent of Actalogic. Now, UIG is the publisher, where as Actalogic was the developer. But UIG is now hiring 2 dedicated code monkeys to try to fix Agricultural Simulator 2014 and Historical Farming. So that provides some promise. Still many peoples complaints and forum posts are going unanswered, and most seem to wonder if this game will ever work again.
Actalogic also confirms that the Authentication Servers are still operating, however with some issues. "We did not shut down the DRM servers. They are still running with some problems." says Mac. But the authentication issue persists, and the game remains unplayable.
UIG is now offering people who purchased the game on Steam, the ability to download a copy of the game with the DRM stripped, however that process is slow, and being handed out to a select few one at a time it seems. Actalogic has confirmed that they have terminated their contract with UIG and therefore no longer support, maintain or develop the Agricultural Simulator 2014 software. However Actalogic did hint that they may pursue a new Agrar style game, for 2015.
How could Steam knowingly sell a game which has been unable to be played? Steam? Seriously? I used to trust you! Not only that, but when I tried to get a refund on Steam for purchasing the game, they blacklisted my account and now prevent me from purchasing any games! I cancelled my request for a refund because of their strong arm tactics, yet my account is still locked down. I don't imagine they care much. Steam customer support has fallen by the wayside, and they would rather you go through the trouble of taking them to court, then to run a simple customer service department which can issue refunds.
So it is best to settle...
So considering this turn of events, at least Giants product works, and is still being supported. Part of me wonders if Giants is doing what they are doing with the dedicated server, because they know there is no good competition producing decent games for people to turn to instead? That is quite likely.
I have emailed both Giants and UIG asking for comments on their current situations, in order to include their statements in my article. But, of course, I have had no reply from either. The only response I got was from Actalogic, which has confirmed some of the statements in this article.
I would suggest that you do not buy any product from UIG at this time. From what I have seen, they have along history of producing crappy and unfinished games. Giants produces functional games, and I can generally stand behind the fact that their stuff works and is bug free. It may not have all the fancy graphics, and be a little less detailed, but that is likely what allows them to be bug free. Just be aware about the dedicated server requiring its own game, which is a bit absurd.
The following is Taff talking about Agricultural Simulator 2013 - he has a more up beat and hopeful viewpoint, and I really do hope he is right.