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Mario F.
06-27-2008, 11:00 AM
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.

whiteflags
06-27-2008, 11:16 AM
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! :)

BobMcGee123
06-27-2008, 11:20 AM
Pillage their village!

Mario F.
06-27-2008, 11:33 AM
Pillage their village!

Precisely what I'm doing. And for good measure added ....

EDIT: Edited out to keep with Cboard TOS.

abachler
06-27-2008, 01:24 PM
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.

Mario F.
06-27-2008, 01:43 PM
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.

abachler
06-27-2008, 01:58 PM
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.

Neo1
06-27-2008, 04:09 PM
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 1½ 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..

Elysia
06-27-2008, 04:29 PM
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.

VirtualAce
06-27-2008, 04:43 PM
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.

Mario F.
06-27-2008, 07:37 PM
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.



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.


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.

Magos
06-28-2008, 04:56 AM
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...

indigo0086
06-28-2008, 05:23 AM
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.

zacs7
06-28-2008, 07:48 AM
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.

Mario F.
06-28-2008, 08:24 AM
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?

Magos
06-28-2008, 11:13 AM
Where exactly? Inside a folder in Steam? I've been doing that all my life inside a folder named Games on C:

In the steam games list. Not that I'm saying a well organized game folder structure is bad though.



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.

Obviously I meant you don't need to have a CD/DVD in the CD/DVD Rom to play it as most games today requires. Luckily there seems to be a trend to remove this (thanks Blizzard for your latest SC/War3 patches :) ). As for the actual game data you can redownload from Steam any time you want on any computer you like so you're not screwed if your computer dies. I've also seen a backup option on Steam. Never tried it so I'm not sure what it does but my guess is it backs up savegames and similar.



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.

If that's the case you can disable autopatching



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.

It took at most 20 mins from when I first heard of ID's super pack (all quake/doom/wolfenstein/keen/hexen games in one chunk) to when I started playing Quake1. If that's a good thing can be discussed :).



err... And? You can't do that otherwise?

I definitely wouldn't bring my game CD's to work, that's for sure...

Mario F.
06-28-2008, 01:02 PM
I've also seen a backup option on Steam. Never tried it so I'm not sure what it does but my guess is it backs up savegames and similar.

It backups the entire game (including settings and saved games) allowing you to burn to cd/dvd and reinstall later. Can I deny this to be an excellent feature? Of course not.

Look Magos, the issue is that for the most part Steam offers no features that couldn't be offered some other way. Games under the same Menu? Give me a break. What's the Start Menu for?

Despite that, my gripe is not if Steam is good or bad. I don't really care if some people are willing to suffer through it in order to play games. My issue is simply that I spent money and I ended up resorting to an illegal copy because their system, for all that really matters to me, isn't installable on anyone with poor internet connection even when that person just wants to play offline. That, means Steam blows.

indigo0086
06-30-2008, 06:18 AM
Steam's hardly the first to operate under the assumption (or even constraint) that a person has broadband.

jEssYcAt
06-30-2008, 10:40 PM
Yet another plus in favor of consoles vs. PC's for games. Until a console decides to require a broadband connection to play the single player side of a game for some reason

Magos
07-01-2008, 12:04 AM
to require a broadband connection to play the single player side of a game for some reason
It's to reduce piracy. And it's only the first time that's required. After that you can play in "offline mode" if you want (though you won't have access to online features, obviously).

maxorator
07-01-2008, 01:52 AM
Yet another plus in favor of consoles vs. PC's for games. Until a console decides to require a broadband connection to play the single player side of a game for some reason
That's not a problem with PCs, that's only a problem with Steam. ;)

indigo0086
07-01-2008, 06:40 AM
I just get the boxed copies and add it to my steam game list..

Mario F.
07-01-2008, 07:34 AM
You can't without an internet connection.

indigo0086
07-01-2008, 07:37 AM
I add the shortcut, not the license key. The games aren't steam games, but steam can just add the shortcuts, and they don't need any sort of activation.

Mario F.
07-01-2008, 07:48 AM
Ah. You mean non steam games.

So... just out of curiosity... then what? What's so special about non steam games on steam? They run faster? You get the cheat codes? You hardware is suddenly more responsive? The get a discount? A voucher perhaps? No... I remember now, You get to have all your games shortcuts inside Steam.

Man, that's just awesome!

Elysia
07-01-2008, 07:49 AM
There is nothing wrong in offering broadband services to people who have it. It can, indeed, be a quality service.
However, just as there is one side of the coin, there must be another. Some do not have broadband or sufficient speeds. Therefore, it must allow for non-Internet play easily, without complication.

My experiences with Steam a long time ago was... poor at best. I don't know how it has evolved, mainly because noone of the things I want are Steam-tied.

indigo0086
07-01-2008, 08:17 AM
you can integrate steam community with non-steam games, I just like to have them in one place because the start menu sucks.

abachler
07-01-2008, 09:05 AM
Thats why I use this littel section of the task bar called quick launch.

indigo0086
07-01-2008, 09:12 AM
I have too much stuff in that as well. I need to get some sort of non-intrusive dock. Also, I have quite a few licences on steam (pretty much all of valve's pre-steam games and all of their official steam engine ones). And of course, a broadband connection.

Elysia
07-01-2008, 09:25 AM
Organize stuff in folders is possible too. I tend to do that.
Like Stuff -> Games
Or Stuff -> Videos
Stuff -> Music
(In case you have stuff spread out a little everywhere, this is perfect.)
Otherwise it's possible to group stuff in the start-menu, such as a Games subfolder.

dwks
07-01-2008, 04:59 PM
Or get Linux. For example, I usually type ALT-F2 and type "kate" if I want a text editor. Or CTRL-ALT-/ if I want a terminal. (KDE lets you set up any key combinations to launch any program.)

:)

Of course, you can do this sort of thing anywhere. For example, to start MSVC on my Windows 98 computer I would type the start key, p, m, m, m. :p

indigo0086
07-01-2008, 05:26 PM
Naa, I just got rocketdock and it's all better.