Creator of Cracked Paid Starfield DLSS 3 Frame Generation Mod Will Place "Hidden Mines" in Future Mods

The creator of the paid Starfield DLSS 3 Frame Generation mod, PureDark, has said that he will be placing "hidden mines" in his future mods.


In an interview with IGN, 'PureDark' has now commented on his mod being cracked, and has said that future "hidden" mines will cause future mods to sometimes work, fail, crash, and whatnot.

"It was expected since it was something I put together within a day or two, but I did get enough patrons so it's done its job", the modder told IGN. "So from now on I will place hidden mines in all my mods to make it harder for these people. They might be able to find and bypass some of them, but they will never know if they have found all of them. The cracked mods will sometimes work, sometimes fail, sometimes work but [be] very wonky, sometimes even crash and they won't even know if it's a bug or just them using the cracked version, and they will never have the support I've been always providing to my subscribers."


putting aside the ethics of DRM in general (ew) and that this developer has already made a fortune on a mod virtually unequaled... my biggest problem with this kind of thing is that bugs happen. "mines" implies that the goal will be to do something malicious to pirates. so what happens when there's a bug in the detection code, or in the auth server, or when you didn't test it on some specific quirky hardware-software combo, or when a cosmic ray strikes the RAM stick and flips the wrong bit?

a paying customer gets fucked -- or a lot of them do. all for the petty greed of someone who can't envision the obvious fact that the actual pirates will just fuzz your bomb logic and patch it out within two days.

Midnitte avatar

As Gabe Newell believes, piracy is ultimately a service problem - when games are easier to pirate than buy them, people will pirate them.


As a formerly hardcore, now infrequent pirate, I wholeheartedly agree with this.

I’ve even pirated ANSYS at one point because the cracked version was a lot more reliable than the version I had for free, due to shoddy DRM (FlexLM, what a garbage licence management).


While mod authors are free to charge money for their mods, including DRM in a mod for a game that doesn’t have DRM (beyond basic steam account check) is kinda messed up. Adding deliberate bugs to mess with pirates is even more messed up. Why waste time making your product worst with drm and intentional bugs just to piss pirates who would never buy your product in the first place anyway?


They'll quickly learn that messing with pirates is a great idea if you want to be trolled to oblivion. Or doxxed.

Infiltrated_ad8271 avatar

Garry's mod did it the other way around, they doxed the more naive pirates. Sadly it was mostly celebrated.

Itty53 avatar

It's actually a really old practice, "the first DRM". You'd place things in your game that could only be solved by having the manual on hand, meaning you purchased it. Many games took a jovial approach to it, letting you play the game, but in a broken state if you answered incorrectly and indicated you'd pirated it. Castles II comes to mind, also Kings Quest 5. Others did the "die if you didn't have the manual", but those let you go on ... just knowing you'd lose every single time.


I'm starting to come around on paid mods because many devs put a lot of effort into them, even though I don't think it's great for the collaborative aspect of modding. But this? Fuck this!

DRM inside mods is just ridiculous. What happens if the mod is abandoned and it starts to cause issue for paying customers? Even in principle, being so overprotective of an unofficial modification of another company's game seems hypocritical.


Oh, the hubris of some mod authors. Most of the Bethesda mod community is quite fed up with shit like that after Arthmoor shenanigans. I believe there is already an agreement that the unofficial patch for Starfield will be open source and not a monopoly of one mod author. Cathedral vs. parlor.

It's only a time when an alternative, open mod that does the same thing better will be released.


Someone tell him what happened to the developer of Gshade.


As someone out of the loop, can someone tell me what happened to the developer of Gshade?


Tldr; dude put malware in his program and it didn't go over well with the community. His rep is in tatters and basically all his users jumped ship.

There are always alternatives out there, especially if you give people the push to make one.


Fuck Puredark, I hope his shit gets cracked on day for every future release.


I hate how people are willing to pay for a mod that has drm and will crash games if the auth checks fail.

Not even a huge mod literally just fake frames

tal, (edited )
tal avatar

If you have an Nvidia card, I understand that it's a significant performance improvement.

I mean, I wouldn't do what he's doing myself, but I also don't have a lot of sympathy for people who feel entitled to pirate the mod. Someone can go out and do their own free, open-source mod to do DLSS if they want, or they can just buy his, and Bethesda announced that they were going to put out an update with native DLSS support anyway, so everyone is going to wind up with support at some point anyway at no cost. He's just providing the option to get functionality sooner at some cost.

There are a shit-ton of people who make free mods for Bethesda games, and nobody is gonna complain if people use those for free.

eroc1990, avatar

And the people cracking the mod will defuse them. This guy’s just going to be fighting an uphill battle.


That’s a good way to have everyone not trust your mods.

StarServal avatar

Yep. Seen this with Minecraft. The next stage is installing malware.

Whiskeyomega avatar

This guy is just greedy. I get you want to get something for your work. But they got $50,000 when this mod came out in income in a few days. There are better ways to do this.

thingsiplay avatar

Give it a week before the sorry.jpg is posted on Twitter.

ThunderingJerboa avatar

Yeah, like power to the people who want to get paid for their work but its honestly probably insulting someone who implements a simple feature is likely going to be paid on par or more than some of the bloody game devs. Yes, you can have hangups on how Starfield is as a product since its a pretty fucking hollow product but it is still a miles wide ocean with a ton of effort put into it even though you can see so many missed opportunities. Having an extra 40k or 30k drop onto your lap is certainly not a life changing amount of money but a modder earning that much is a pretty unusual feat and getting mad at a few pirates seems a bit silly when its a 1 man operation that hammered it out in a few hours.

thingsiplay avatar

I don't understand how this works. Won't be the paid users affected by it too? How does the program/mod knows when it got hacked, so it won't annoy paid customers?


This is a very succinct summary of DRM. You can’t implement any kind of DRM or anti-piracy measure without directly harming your desired audience.

Ferk avatar

In fact, it actively encourages people to "hack" it just so they can make a version with the annoyances removed.


It has to implement a call home to check if you paid for the mod or not. This requires either an activation code or a login that is hard to keep secure. I think this is not the way to do this. Instead, he should have waited for the creator workshop or whatever was tried by bethesda before and then release the mod.

Jaysyn avatar

So from now on I will place hidden mines in all my mods to make it harder for these people.

And the new code will have hookers & blackjack!

This is how you become a target for scene crackers & it all falls apart the second the code encounters a smarter coder. And there is always a smarter coder. 🤣🤣

Also a sure fire way to make sure I never use anything you make, paid or otherwise.

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