NWN 2: Mysteries of Westgate DRM Explained

Ossian Studios' Alan Miranda paid a visit to the Neverwinter Nights 2 forums to share some information about the DRM being used for their Mysteries of Westgate add-on. Unfortunately, the news isn't too good:
Hi Everybody,

I wanted to clarify for you what Atari is intending with regard to the 3 activations for MoW. So I've consulted with them to get some specific details and prepared a list of clarifications.

Firstly, please note that entering your serial key when installing MoW is NOT the same thing as MoW automatically authenticating with the Atari server in order to activate.

- With 3 activations you can install MoW on 3 different PCs.
- If you reinstall MoW on the same PC with unchanged hardware (see below for details), you can do this an unlimited number of times. You can do this on 3 different PCs.
- If you uninstall MoW and reinstall it, the westgate.key file (generated from the authentication) in your NWN2 folder won't have been removed, so your new MoW installation will not count as an activation.
- If you uninstall MoW and NWN2 (on the same PC), and then reinstall them, you can either have backed up your westgate.key file (to copy back into your NWN2 folder so MoW doesn't have to authenticate again) or not backed up the key at all and let MoW authenticate again (in this case, it will detect that this machine has activated before). In either case, this will not count as an activation.
- If you change your RAM or video card (and likely sound card too) and play or install MoW, this will not count as an activation. I don't have 100% confirmation from Atari on this next part, but I would expect that changing your CPU, motherboard, or hard drive where MoW is installed would count as an activation.
- If you reformat your hard drive and reinstall your OS, NWN2, and MoW, but without changing your hardware configuration, then this (normally) shouldn't be another activation. I say (normally) because that is the wording that Atari told me.
- Apparently, for some retail games, a user can revoke their usage of it in order to resell it, so that the slate is wiped clean for a new user to install and activate (I think this is termed an (installation reset)). Atari has said that can't be the case for a digitally-distributed title like MoW.
- If you surpass 3 activations, then you can contact Atari tech support in order to get another activation.

I hope this has helped answer your questions about activations.
- Alan
As a person who reinstalls my operating system on a regular basis, this is pretty disappointing.