Fuming on Steam

This is a discussion on Fuming on Steam within the A Brief History of Cprogramming.com forums, part of the Community Boards category; Quite frankly, what a load of crap! Just a couple of days, I reckon, I briefly mentioned Half-Life 2 on ...

  1. #1
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Fuming on Steam

    Quite frankly, what a load of crap!

    Just a couple of days, I reckon, I briefly mentioned Half-Life 2 on a games related thread in here. That spurred my desire to play this game again, but I only have the licensed version of the main game. So I went today and bought the Orange Box.

    BIG MISTAKE!

    The box mentions in tiny letters on the back I need an internet connection in order to activate the game and accept the SSA. I am on a freakin games store!! Does Valve think people stop doing what they are doing (and that is buying games) to go back home, to their website and read an unreadable SSA document? No! They don't. They fall for their stupid registration mechanism and spend money without knowing what they are getting onto. But that's ok, I thought. They just want me to register the game and accept whatever stupid legal document has to say about it. I can do that.

    So... I get home with the Orange Box all happy and dandy, getting ready for some serious head shots. The whole Steam thing confuses me. It's a 2 DVD box... what on earth is it using the internet for? Give me a bloody break! I don't want Steam, I want to play half-Life single player. Anyway... I end up waiting 2 hours for my poor 230Kb DSL crappy connection to download the installation files that should f.... be on those 2 DVDs.

    When that is finally over, it informs me my ticket expired and I have to log back in. Fine... But... for some reason it can't log me back in. So, I click cancel, launch Steam again and off I go to its control panel to try and install the games. But what's this!?...

    It's wanting me to download the content that is on those freakin DVDs!! Episod 2 is going to take 2 days, Episode One 1 more day and Half Life 2 15 hours!

    I usually don't get this mad at these stupid, ignorant, tongue full of pus, snorting, decaying teeth, vomit face, castrated game developers who come up with these heinous registration and update mechanisms. But I did this time for no reason other than when I just grabbed the whole thing, put it inside the box and took to the store to return it, get my money back (and in the back of my head ask for a compensation the size of a defense budget), they didn't accept it... and reminded me... I opened the box.

    So... I'm mad. Screw you Valve. I hope you choke on my money and you won't see anymore of it.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  2. #2
    Registered User whiteflags's Avatar
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    Heard.

    Portal didn't work because my graphics card wouldn't support DirectX pixel shader 1.1. Mind you, this was only discovered after the entire game had been installed and I'd completed my Steam registration. That was pretty ridiculous in my humble opinion because it is the job of the installer to make absolutely sure that my hardware is appropriate for their software.

    I learned my lesson though, I need to upgrade my graphics card. Because I don't have the money right now for newer hardware, I returned the game unsuccessfully. Unsuccessfully because I opened the case too. But I got a different game!

  3. #3

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    Pillage their village!
    I'm not immature, I'm refined in the opposite direction.

  4. #4
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobMcGee123 View Post
    Pillage their village!
    Precisely what I'm doing. And for good measure added ....

    EDIT: Edited out to keep with Cboard TOS.
    Last edited by Mario F.; 06-27-2008 at 12:36 PM.

  5. #5
    Malum in se abachler's Avatar
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    Get a lawyer and take the store to small claims court, they are required by law to accept it on return, at least in teh US, just tell them you refuse to accept the eula.
    Until you can build a working general purpose reprogrammable computer out of basic components from radio shack, you are not fit to call yourself a programmer in my presence. This is cwhizard, signing off.

  6. #6
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Not feasible. We have a similar law here, but it's still an hassle. I prefer torrent. Until these companies wise up, I'm not going to spend one more dime on them. Suits me.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  7. #7
    Malum in se abachler's Avatar
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    You are rewarding them for their behavior htough. by not draggign them into court adn giving them bad publicity, you allow them to continue their bad business practices and keep your money.
    Until you can build a working general purpose reprogrammable computer out of basic components from radio shack, you are not fit to call yourself a programmer in my presence. This is cwhizard, signing off.

  8. #8
    Internet Superhero
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    Steam is one big mistake, same goes for any other online registration mechanism for computer games. Like Bioshock for example, the launch was a complete failure, the authentication servers broke down, the support lines we're swamped, and the customers was not informed that there was a 3 time installation limit for each CD-Key.

    And just 1&#189; weeks later, it gets uploaded to the piratebay, so everyone and their mother can download it in a day, install the game, copy over a crack and a dll, and change a registry setting to circumvent the online activation and play the game for free with an invalid CD-Key.

    In the end, the ones that decide to support the developers, gets to go through all the hassle and pain that are associated with those online registration systems, and the ones that get it illegally on the internet, can just sit back and play.

    I refuse to support any companies that force these systems upon their customers. And frankly Mario, if i we're in your place right now, i'd head straight to Mininova and get a cracked single-player edition of Half-Life 2, and i'd feel ..........ing great about it too..
    How I need a drink, alcoholic in nature, after the heavy lectures involving quantum mechanics.

  9. #9
    C++まいる!Cをこわせ!
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    Well, Mass Effect was a step in the right direction, I think.
    Activate once, play all the time without the need to authenticate or the need for the media in the drive.
    But companies really must be prepared for when the unexpected happens. If the activation servers go down or if the customer has no internet access, they need an alternative way of installing and activating the game.
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    You mean it's included as a crutch to help ancient programmers limp along without them having to relearn too much.

    Outside of your DOS world, your header file is meaningless.

  10. #10
    Super Moderator VirtualAce's Avatar
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    Steam has given me troubles as well and I had to call support to get my account email changed to my current one. My game would not activate, I forgot my password, and the email I had when I signed up had changed. So the stupid Steam system kept sending emails to a non-existent address.

    Not only did I call them but wrote a very strongly worded letter telling them how stupid Steam was. I also told them the design decision of not being able to change your email address was stupid and a bit short-sighted.

    I believe copy protection is backfiring and causing us legit consumers to think about using other means to get our games so we don't have to deal with the hassle and annoyance of these systems. I hate it when a company feels they can put some type of system on MY computer just for THEIR game. They have violated my computer so what's the difference if I violate their EULA. Perhaps we should start sending them EULA's for them to follow while installing the game on our systems.

    We should have the right to choose what runs and what does not run in the background while we play a game on our own system. I'm not so sure these copy protection systems don't cause issues with the game itself.
    Last edited by VirtualAce; 06-27-2008 at 05:45 PM.

  11. #11
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neo1 View Post
    And frankly Mario, if i we're in your place right now, i'd head straight to Mininova and get a cracked single-player edition of Half-Life 2, and i'd feel ..........ing great about it too..
    Yup. And this one I'm doing just needs to be extracted to C: and it's done, ready to play.

    I was drinking every forum I could grab my hands on google and it turns out even if I wiped the tears and sat patiently in front of my computer and finally managed to somehow install the whole thing, I would always need Steam to play the games in the Orange Box. What's worse... Even with the backup feature they have, I still would need Steam and internet connection every time I decide or needed to reinstall.

    I'm not afraid to say - and I am definitely not the type of person who doesn't like to spend money - but next time a Steam game suits my fancy, I'll use p2p registration servers, if you get my drift.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bubba
    Perhaps we should start sending them EULA's for them to follow while installing the game on our systems.
    Certainly not far fetched, at all. Many companies have very strict rules on how software should behave before they acquire it. In fact mass market business-like software (office applications, development applications, whatever) wouldn't last through launch day if suddenly it started applying these type of copy protection mechanisms. Games do it, because so far they are legally getting away with it.

    What is lacking, if you ask me is legislation on consumer rights regarding software buying and selling. That would be our EULA. And probably much more effective than me seeding Valve to a court room, would be me filling a complaint on my local consumer rights organization.

    Personally I feel Steam violated my rights as a consumer who just payed money for their product.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elysia
    Activate once, play all the time without the need to authenticate or the need for the media in the drive.
    Much better no doubt. But it still, as you pointed out, requires an internet connection even if only once. I'm that adamant; no internet connection should be required for registration purposes. I have the right to buy a game and not let anyone, the makers themselves, aware I did it.

    Even more, I have the right to go to a offline or online store and not divulge personal information like my email address or sensitive information like a username/password combination after buying a product and in oder to use it.

    The whole thing with these systems is rotten right to the bone. And I'll be damned if I don't fill a complaint this Monday on the ECC representation in Lisbon! Just because I can.
    Last edited by Mario F.; 06-27-2008 at 08:45 PM.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  12. #12
    Confused Magos's Avatar
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    I like Steam, but I've never had any real problems either. All games in one place, no fukkin CD's, auto-patching, great online store (pay-n-play-5-mins-later) and I can play my games on any computer, like at work. Not that I would... or do... ahem...
    MagosX.com

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  13. #13
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    I agree that some of these "online activation" or worse, "online verification before you pay" dealies are horrid. On XBL if you are playing an arcade game on another console other than the one you bought it on, you have to be signed in to play it at all. You can remedy this just by redownloading the game (which takes a second if you have it installed already) but it's similar to this. I don't mind one time activation, but having to be online to play a game despite the rare occasions an itnernet connection is not flowing to my computer, is short sighted.

  14. #14
    Woof, woof! zacs7's Avatar
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    It's the money side of things IMO (for Valve that is), hence they sell the system for other developers. I didn't even know what Steam was until 2005 when they switched WON off -- I owned Day of Defeat retail, and played against people with Steam (I had no idea what they were on about). Also how does no-cd, no case, no transport, no sales overhead and no middleman make the game more expensive than retail (or at least a fraction cheaper).

    On the other side of things, it is nice to have a system that is uniform, forcibly up-to-date. That is it's harder, (still easy) for hacks to exist. Not to mention "Anti-steam" programs (emulators) are really forced to keep changing. I don't use them, but I've kept an eye on them -- rather interesting! And the source is a good way to learn about stuff. I especially like the Steam surveys of the hardware specs of gamers, makes me feel good for having a bad PC

    Although I tend to avoid games just because they're on Steam, mostly because paying for them is hard and they think they can take my PC over.

  15. #15
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magos View Post
    I like Steam, but I've never had any real problems either.
    As with anything, YMMV. It still comes to light however that on those cases where problems start, they start after you spent your hard earned money on a product that was supposed to deliver. And then the answers are none existing. Did you know for instance, that I'm still waiting for a proper reply to my email to Steam?

    Even more enervating when you consider a) delivering the games as they used to be delivered worked and b) they didn't stop piracy. If anything, from all I'm reading they augmented it. There's even full Steam emulators out there. How's that for a big Duh?

    But let me address your advantages:

    >> All games in one place

    Where exactly? Inside a folder in Steam? I've been doing that all my life inside a folder named Games on C:

    >> no fukkin CD's,

    Err... I don't get it. You trust your HD to the point of not making CD/DVD backups of software you buy online? And if space is the issue... well, with only a few exceptions where I want to keep the box when I think it will become a valuable asset later (did you know for instance that someone once offered me 2,000 USD for my Eye of the Beholder trilogy originals? Can you get that from a download?), I trash boxes and even jewel cases. I keep the CD/DVDs on a rather convenient and easily storable multi-CD briefcase.

    >> auto-patching,

    Ah! As if I would trust game patches the day they were launched. As if we all didn't quickly learn the word "rollback" at least once in our lives. No, thank you. I want to take control of my machine and the software I have inside. That means manual patching. But, most important, you are right. It may mean something to some people who simply don't want to bother and just see their games update automatically. But offline distribution can also guarantee auto-patching. No news there.

    >> great online store

    True. Very true. I cannot deny the advantage of buying something without taking your but of the chair and not having to wait 4 business days for the thing to arrive home. Especially when you have a fast internet connection to match. But then... why go the extra mile and make the game unplayable without internet access or forcing the registration process (without which you can't play the game) an online procedure for those who bought the CDs instead?

    Why not match a great online store with a great offline service? Am I that thick?

    >> (pay-n-play-5-mins-later)

    Subjective to say the least. 4 GBs, 5 minutes later? In your dreams on the vast majority of the world. A 15 minute drive gets me a game that takes 4 days to download on the vast majority of people computers and, on most cases, may break their connection downstream limit and gift them with an interesting internet bill come the end of the month.

    Can you say pay-even-more-n-play-4-days-later, too?

    But still true. Again, if you have a connection to match, as long as there are meaningful alternatives for those who don't, why not? Good on valve for offering several alternatives. But you and I know that's not what they are doing. Don't we?

    >> and I can play my games on any computer, like at work. Not that I would... or do... ahem...

    err... And? You can't do that otherwise?
    Last edited by Mario F.; 06-28-2008 at 09:44 AM.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

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