Author Topic: Someone stole/guessed my license key  (Read 7560 times)

Offline Spongehorn

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Someone stole/guessed my license key
« on: March 17, 2011, 01:49:19 AM »
Okay, so I bought AI War and Zenith Remnant through Impulse. Next two expansions bought direct through the website direct from Arcen when I learned I could do that. I have all emails, receipts etc... To back this up.

Anyway, in a moment of boredom I thought I'd register all my keys in Steam just so I have an easy/lazy route to reinstall the game should I ever need too.

I entered my AI War key and it tells me it's already been activated on Steam by an existing account. I checked to make sure I hadn't already done it.

I hadn't. No AI War is listed in my games list.

Suggestions? I didn't know whether to contact Arcen or Steam. Given I've heard Steam support is the stuff of legends when it comes to being unhelpful I thought I'd try here first.

Edit: Theory: As the game was registered on Impulse, would that mean, say, a block of keys disallowed or flagged as already registered on Steam to prevent say someone using their key in Impulse and another account using it on Steam?

Just clutching at straws here.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2011, 03:01:14 AM by Spongehorn »

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Someone stole/guessed my license key
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2011, 08:35:39 AM »
The impulse key should register just fine in steam.  It's just that someone with a keygen already got your key and registered it on steam.

Initially steam support did not think this was the sort of thing it could help you with since the purchase wasn't actually from them (and realistically it's asking a bit much for them to provide technical support for something you didn't buy from them), but more recently folks have had some success emailing steam support explaining the situation and attaching their receipt (the one from impulse, in this case) with your steam username written on it.  They can then unregister the key from the other steam account, making it possible for it to be registered on yours.  I forget all the details, but I imagine steam support will tell you if they're still doing that.
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Offline x4000

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Re: Someone stole/guessed my license key
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2011, 09:14:13 AM »
The ai war subforum on he steam forums in particular has a thread about this, with a helpful guy from steam that's solves the problem for a few folks when steam support dropped the ball. But step one is definitely steam support, and then that guy if that doesn't work, it seems.
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Offline Spongehorn

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Re: Someone stole/guessed my license key
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2011, 02:39:06 PM »
Thanks a lot. I hope whoever generated my key gets their entire account banned from Steam. 

Steam Support contacted. (Had done that a bit ago actually but didn't include a receipt as it said photo. Hope I hear from them soon.)

Guessing since there's a thread on it over there that this is not an unusual happening.

May just jump straight to that and post there. I feel oddly violated by this...

Offline x4000

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Re: Someone stole/guessed my license key
« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2011, 02:40:58 PM »
You and me both -- I'm a bit more used to it, but that's pretty much how piracy feels to game developers all the time.  It's a much more unusual circumstance for piracy to directly impact a customer like this with gaming in general, but with registering steam keys its become more frequent than I'd prefer, to be sure. :/
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Offline Spongehorn

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Re: Someone stole/guessed my license key
« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2011, 03:22:31 PM »
I was shocked last night when it said it was activated. This cold feeling of dread. It was very strange. I was going to play but it felt so weird to think someone else is playing MY copy.

I've bought the game and all expansions. Finally have the time to learn the game. Despite buying all this I've barely got to play it due to very serious illness last year. Then once I was in a position to actually play I decided to wait to hit V5 before starting in case big changes were made.

Thanks for creating such a crazy game. Incidentally I was in hospital for two months last year due to aforementioned illness. Saw a lot of kids suffering in my time there. Thanks for supporting Childs Play. I even wrote about you on my blog. (That nobody reads ;D)

Anyway, back on topic, Steam support contacted. I also took a screenshot of my Impulse receipt and attached.

Hoping I don't wait to long. I also suggested they ban the *expletive deleted*'s account. Though of course they have their own policies but I couldn't NOT suggest it. Too angry.

People who pirate indie titles = Pathetic. For what it cost for a mainstream retail release I've bought AI War and all 3 expansions from you. Just wish I'd known I could buy the game and Zenith direct from you. Would much rather you saw the money directly.

I'll quit rambling now. Thanks for everything. Will update when I hear from Steam. Hopefully this saga ends with me having a registered game, and a pirate having his account banned and being sent to Siberian salt mines.

Offline x4000

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Re: Someone stole/guessed my license key
« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2011, 03:33:13 PM »
My pleasure, on all of the above, and I'm glad to hear you are doing better, also.  Illness is no fun, ever, and serious illness is just... shudder.  We try to do our small part with Child's Play, at any rate, and I'm really glad with how much we've been able to raise.

Anyway, do remember that you can always play a completely DRM-free version of the game, no matter what happens with Steam or any other vendor, as they all give you a CD key that you can use to unlock any directly-gotten copy.  You can also register your keys with Impulse, if you like -- and there hasn't been a pirate-registering problem over there, to my knowledge.

Want to know something that makes me even madder about these particular pirates with Steam?  A lot of them don't even seem to be playing the game, judging by the pirate forums I've seen talking about that keygen.  "The game sucks," etc, but they are registering it so that they can get... Steam Chat.  W...T...F.

Anyway, not worth the time and aggravation to get too upset about it, but it's certainly quite annoying.
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Offline Spongehorn

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Re: Someone stole/guessed my license key
« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2011, 04:18:10 PM »
Thanks. I had multiple organ failure (liver, kidney and lung), somehow survived that, then got a gram negative bacterial infection after surgery with an 80% fatality rate. Then beat that. (Admittedly with the help of very strong antibiotics that made me very, very sick in and of themselves.) Throw in over 30 blood transfusions etc... Not my best year. LOL!

Anyway, that's in the past. When I got home, keeping up with you guys was one of the few things I did. (And could do.) Your financial issues etc... Very happy to see you guys still around.

Steam Chat? Good grief... That's pathetic.

And I have AI War and Zenith in Impulse. Children and Spire I have direct from you. And I WAS going to register all keys in Steam, but can't do the expansions until this original key issue is sorted. Would register the expansions from you in Impulse but to be quite honest I don't like Impulse AT ALL and try to avoid it wherever possible.

Keep up the good work. You're one of the good guys and you have a loyal customer here.

Offline x4000

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Re: Someone stole/guessed my license key
« Reply #8 on: March 17, 2011, 04:20:22 PM »
Many thanks again -- and my goodness, you certainly have been through the wringer.  Glad you made it!
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Offline Spongehorn

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Re: Someone stole/guessed my license key
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2011, 10:54:12 PM »
Just to update, I awoke this morning to an email from Steam saying it was all sorted and now the game is in my Steam games list.

Now I just have to get around to seeing if anyone has swiped my expansion keys...


Offline x4000

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Re: Someone stole/guessed my license key
« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2011, 10:54:57 PM »
Awesome!  That's great to hear that worked out, at least.  The expansion keys are not having any trouble with pirates on Steam that I am aware of so far.  Fingers crossed!
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Offline Echo35

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Re: Someone stole/guessed my license key
« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2011, 12:49:24 PM »
The impulse key should register just fine in steam.  It's just that someone with a keygen already got your key and registered it on steam.

Initially steam support did not think this was the sort of thing it could help you with since the purchase wasn't actually from them (and realistically it's asking a bit much for them to provide technical support for something you didn't buy from them), but more recently folks have had some success emailing steam support explaining the situation and attaching their receipt (the one from impulse, in this case) with your steam username written on it.  They can then unregister the key from the other steam account, making it possible for it to be registered on yours.  I forget all the details, but I imagine steam support will tell you if they're still doing that.

Huh. My GF had her key taken as well, but I didn't think emailing Steam would get us anywhere. Guess I can have her try that since some people seem to have gotten it to work.

UPDATE: Happy to report, it works! She got a response back form them and they automatically added it to her account.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2011, 11:03:09 PM by Echo35 »

Offline Spongehorn

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Re: Someone stole/guessed my license key
« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2011, 04:33:50 PM »
I hear lots of whining about Steam support, to almost legendary degrees. This was my first experience dealing with them and they were amazingly quick, and they painlessly fixed the issue.

Just wish they'd perma-ban the *expletive deleted so I don't get in trouble* who nicked it.

Offline x4000

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Re: Someone stole/guessed my license key
« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2011, 05:47:06 PM »
I hear lots of whining about Steam support, to almost legendary degrees. This was my first experience dealing with them and they were amazingly quick, and they painlessly fixed the issue.

I've heard some good stories about them, too -- glad to add yours to the list. :)

Just wish they'd perma-ban the *expletive deleted so I don't get in trouble* who nicked it.

That's always a tricky business.  While I agree with you, Steam is in the unfortunate position of not being able to verify for themselves that the other person was actually a thief.  For all they know, Arcen accidentally gave out two copies of the same key to two different customers, or some other vendor did, and thus they'd be banning another legitimate customer who would then be even more irate with them than you are with the presumed-thief.

So in their cases, they err on the side of caution rather than being too quick to ban, which I think is good.  Without asking the other party for proof of purchase of some kind (which the other party might legitimately not be able to provide even if they were not a thief), there's not any way for Steam to directly figure out if they are a thief or not.  What they did do is figure out that you are not a thief, which is the important part from their end, I guess.

For what it's worth, I did check with Impulse to make sure there were no duplicate keys in their list or duplicates given out in general, and they said that there were not.  I trust them on that.  With GamersGate and some of the others, I also don't have any reason to believe there were duplicates -- and I'm quite regimented on how I keep track of which key banks go to which vendor, etc.  So, personally, I am pretty darn sure that other person actually is a thief, but Steam doesn't have the direct data to share in my confidence, and they have more to lose if they perma-ban the other player and it turned out to be a misunderstanding of some kind (though Arcen would probably lose a customer out of that, too).

So... all in all, I think Steam is doing a good job of making the best out of a bad situation, since they got you set up.
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Offline Echo35

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Re: Someone stole/guessed my license key
« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2011, 11:16:17 AM »
Just wish they'd perma-ban the *expletive deleted so I don't get in trouble* who nicked it.

Like Chris said, they would have an impossibly hard time providing support for games they don't make, but I know for a fact they ban the HELL out of people that hack and pirate their own games.

 

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