Some of you may have thought that Venice Unleashed is dead, since it has been a while since we last posted a progress report. However, we are glad to inform you that this is not the case.

During the past month, we have worked tirelessly to make Venice Unleashed better and more complete than ever, and today we have some great and exciting news for you, that will help define the future of this project!

Read more on the Venice Unleashed Blog.

November 1, 2013 EA, Reverse Engineering

So apparently DICE is very interested in eSports support for the upcoming Battlefield 4 game.

However, what they’ve forgotten to mention is that Battlefield 3 has an eSports feature dubbed “Matches” (eSports is the internal name).

Now, you may say that the “Matches” feature is just for organizing multiplayer games at a given time with specific options/settings.

Well, I say that there’s more to it than meets the eye.

The eSports system has full support for specifying specific rosters for both teams, has other variable settings (like equipment limitations) and has full spectation support.

To be a bit more specific, when it comes to hosting a “match”, there are two types of players that are allowed to join (since the game becomes private):

  • Rosters (Competitive team players), and
  • Spectators

I should also note that these spectators are not exactly like the regular spectators I mentioned in a previous post.

They’re being handled specifically by the eSports system.

Now, I don’t want to make any promises, but the full featured eSports system might be included in the project code-named Venice at a later time.

So yeah, that’s about it for now.

The Consumerist has named EA as the WORST company in America… for the second year in a row.

They’re getting good at this.

April 10, 2013 EA

Yet again, I fail to realize why DICE decided to remove such features from the retail game.
Makes me sad. :(

All their darkest secrets…

February 28, 2013 EA, Research, Reverse Engineering

Here’s a demonstration of the otherwise hidden spectator mode in Battlefield 3.
I have yet to test player-specific spectating, but when I do I’ll make sure to upload another video.

February 27, 2013 EA, Research, Reverse Engineering

Shoop da whoop!

February 17, 2013 Blaze, EA

So, if you’re like me, you hate having to wait for Origin to do its weird cloud syncing every time I want to play Battlefield, or maybe you’re tired of it not launching your game due to some weird error.
Perhaps you simply don’t want to have the memory overhead of Origin running, or maybe you simply hate Origin for whatever reason.

Well, recently I was looking around Origin’s DRM (which is what forces games to require Origin to be running) and I came across some nice findings.

Apparently, every recent Origin game that uses the new DRM system (awc.dll or Activation.dll) has a file in the same folder as its binary named <MAIN_EXECUTABLE_NAME>.par.

Obviously, that .par file is encoded and not humanly readable, so I took a closer look and figured out that that file contained several game information, as well as parameters to let know the DRM if the game requires Origin to be running (therefore .par).

So after a lot of peeking and messing around, I present to you my new website.

If you want to play games without origin simply visit my website, upload your .par file and you’ll get a brand new one with Origin disabled.

Simply place it in your game folder, replacing the old one,  and launch your game as you normally would (via Battlelog, by double-clicking the exe, etc.).

Please note that this will make games that require communication with the Origin process (such as SimCity, FIFA 12, etc.) unplayable.

Note: This is in no way a ‘trick’ to play games for free. In order for this to work you need to have a valid license downloaded to your computer for that specific game.

February 6, 2013 EA, Reverse Engineering

Here’s a list of games that are using the Blaze backend for their networking operations (such as stat management, invites, lobbies, matchmaking, etc.).

  • Battlefield 3
  • Medal of Honor 2010
  • Medal of Honor: Warfighter
  • Need for Speed: Shift 2 Unleashed
  • Need for Speed: The Run
  • Need for Speed: Most Wanted
  • Crysis 3
  • Dead Space 3
  • FIFA 11
  • FIFA 12
  • FIFA 13
  • Syndicate
  • Dragon Age 2

Note: This list might be incomplete, since I collected those games by hand.
Also, thanks to NTAuthority and Timse for checking a couple of games for me.

February 6, 2013 Blaze, EA, Research