Hi team, I have some feedback on the decision to leave DLC nefs encrypted. I’ve tried (somewhat unsuccessfully) to keep this to the point. I've made the key points bold to aid in sending feedback upwards.
Firstly, I appreciate the open communication from @PJTierney on this. This is much, much better than keeping us in the dark. Thank you team.
The main reason you’ve encrypted these files is based on the concern that if left unencrypted, players won’t purchase the DLC but will export the DLC models and replace the model of an available car. Some perspective:
The .nefs validation system you’ve built is already checking for .nefs file modification. The impact is, if people were to replace models in an available car, their career saves will be disabled and times will not be submitted online. The community has already shown from the launches of DiRT 4 and DR2.0 that with this degradation in experience, very few people will risk or bother going through the effort of installing custom liveries and models.
People would need to go through the effort of installing custom software, extracting the appropriate model files, and replacing these within the nefs of an available car. This process is not trivial. They would then get the visual benefit - but that’s it - and the replaced car model is cannibalised.
My strong suggestion is that for the amount of effort involved in the modding process, and for the quality of in-game experience gained - people won’t bother. The few that do are probably going to pirate or never pay for DLC in the first place. And in the meantime your paying, dedicated and engaged community get frustrated and disappointed.
What continuing to encrypt DLC cars means for us:
Frustration and disappointment. Less engagement with the game. Less motivation to purchase future DLC.
Allowing the community to create liveries may seem trivial - but it is a crucial part of helping create an engaged community that will continue to invest time in the game. Will I use the Porsche 911 SC RS? I’ll try it out and move on. But if I could create a livery for it, I would without a doubt spend around 24 hours of my own time creating a custom livery - then be motivated to spend about as much time in game driving it.
In DR1 my favourite car was the 2007 Focus in the 2000cc class. I haven’t touched it in DR2 because the liveries are rubbish. I won’t use the 2000cc class at all as part of Clubs because I can't use a livery which immerses me in the experience. It’s a massive missed opportunity. The only thing that is making me try the other available R2 cars at the moment is the fact I can create a livery that helps engage me and my team in the experience of competing with others as part of a community organised championship. Without both of these things I would be sticking to my Fiesta and running daily events until I get bored. Custom liveries keep things fresh and engaging - keeping me in the game longer.
I’m much less likely to purchase additional DLC cars with this encryption in place. I’m talking even if the 206 drops - the livery will need to be hella good to make me consider purchasing - cause otherwise I simply won't use it. Without this nefs encryption imma throw you money.
If you’re not going to unlock DLC nefs:
At the very least please consider enabling the folder method for DLC cars so we can use liveries for models that existed in previous DiRT titles.
Better, please consider also making DLC car textures available to the community somehow. This way the few people you're concerned about still can't rip you off, and there’s even more incentive to purchase your DLC because we’ll be creating a wealth of amazing livery content.
If you won’t do either of these… You need to invest in better liveries for DLC cars, or in comprehensive livery editing tools. With love and respect, the livery options we have in DR2.0 just aren't good enough. What will these cost you to implement? What is the cost of an increasingly disillusioned community?
Thanks team. xoxo