Great Steam Deals (And other Online Distribution Systems)

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Re: Great Steam Deals (And other Online Distribution Systems

Postby SlyReaper » Fri Mar 02, 2012 5:53 pm UTC

To clarify, I'm not against DRM as a concept. Steam is DRM, but it's very non-obnoxious DRM, and I think it should be held up as the shining beacon of what DRM should be. It's invisible for one thing, and it actually adds something to the value of its products (steam community, automatic updating in the background, steam cloud, having all your games in one place without faffing around with discs). The trouble comes when publishers insist on adding their own obnoxious brand of DRM on top of Steam, like Ubisoft's always-online bullshit. All that does is penalise the legitimate customers, whilst the people who pirated the game don't have to worry about it.
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Re: Great Steam Deals (And other Online Distribution Systems

Postby Xeio » Fri Mar 02, 2012 6:37 pm UTC

I just avoid all of Ubi's titles with always-on DRM. I didn't buy Brotherhood till they patched it out and they've generally stopped trying to put it in, which makes me happy. :)

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Re: Great Steam Deals (And other Online Distribution Systems

Postby SirBryghtside » Fri Mar 02, 2012 6:53 pm UTC

SlyReaper wrote:Didn't that game come out ages ago for something like 60 USD? On the same day as AssCreedRev, Saints Row 3, and that new Halo game? I'm guessing it didn't sell well on release day.

Came out for XBox, Wii and PS3, and you're right, it didn't do well. But since when has that been a set in stone indication of game quality?
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Re: Great Steam Deals (And other Online Distribution Systems

Postby Enokh » Fri Mar 02, 2012 8:02 pm UTC

I've never had a problem with Steam, other than the first time I lost internet connection and realized that, without a stored password, it wasn't going to let me on. So I checked the "remember password" box and never had any problems ever again.

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Re: Great Steam Deals (And other Online Distribution Systems

Postby userxp » Fri Mar 02, 2012 8:11 pm UTC

bigglesworth wrote:You just have to connect once, then go into offline mode. You then never have to go online again.

For one or two days.

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Re: Great Steam Deals (And other Online Distribution Systems

Postby bigglesworth » Fri Mar 02, 2012 8:42 pm UTC

For the purposes of running games, I think it is indefinite.
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Re: Great Steam Deals (And other Online Distribution Systems

Postby Felstaff » Fri Mar 02, 2012 9:16 pm UTC

Yeah, I have a work laptop that blocks Steam ports with the firewalls and the HyperMegaShields and the like (I can't even Spotify), but I can play all my games at work in offline mode (I've only tried about 30 of 'em, but still... enough)
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Re: Great Steam Deals (And other Online Distribution Systems

Postby userxp » Fri Mar 02, 2012 10:08 pm UTC

No.
  • I have the very same Steam that I have used hundreds of times (online and offline) in front of me right now, and it doesn't start.
  • Not only this, but first it pops a window telling me that I can start it in offline mode, and right after that it refuses to start because it could not connect and asks me to visit steampowered.com (that's the real WTF).
  • If you Google for "Steam offline mode" you'll see that I'm not exactly the first person to have this problem

So for example, if I buy And Yet It Moves on Steam instead of from the website I won't be able to play it natively on Linux, I'll need an extra 200MB of hard disk, an Internet connection, and the game will take about 8 extra seconds to launch. It will probably be cheaper though (daily deals).

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Re: Great Steam Deals (And other Online Distribution Systems

Postby Vaniver » Sat Mar 03, 2012 12:55 am UTC

I seem to remember having trouble setting up Steam's offline mode, though I think I did it a year or two ago. It was a headache that it required the internet to do it, but that wasn't obvious, and it would be nice if they stepped you through setting it up a little better.
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Re: Great Steam Deals (And other Online Distribution Systems

Postby bigglesworth » Sat Mar 03, 2012 1:00 am UTC

userxp wrote:No.
[list][*]I have the very same Steam that I have used hundreds of times (online and offline) in front of me right now, and it doesn't start.


No to you too.

As I understand it to work (and have used for years in various places and computers): Steam requires one online activation, and to be set to offline mode whilst it is online. Provided that it is not connected to the internet after this, the games will indefinitely activate as you wish. However, if you connect to the internet, go to online mode, then close your internet connection, you will not be able to close steam in online mode and then open it in offline mode.
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Re: Great Steam Deals (And other Online Distribution Systems

Postby Dason » Sat Mar 03, 2012 1:03 am UTC

bigglesworth wrote:As I understand it to work (and have used for years in various places and computers): Steam requires one online activation, and to be set to offline mode whilst it is online. Provided that it is not connected to the internet after this, the games will indefinitely activate as you wish. However, if you connect to the internet, go to online mode, then close your internet connection, you will not be able to close steam in online mode and then open it in offline mode.

Does anybody know why exactly they implemented it like this? It just seems like such a hassle and the first time you want to play your games and you don't have internet access it's very frustrating.
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Re: Great Steam Deals (And other Online Distribution Systems

Postby bigglesworth » Sat Mar 03, 2012 1:20 am UTC

I presume that any other method would be vulnerable to the old 'pull the plug' trick or worse.
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Re: Great Steam Deals (And other Online Distribution Systems

Postby EvanED » Sat Mar 03, 2012 1:22 am UTC

Enokh wrote:I've never had a problem with Steam, other than the first time I lost internet connection and realized that, without a stored password, it wasn't going to let me on. So I checked the "remember password" box and never had any problems ever again.

Except for the "remember password" box.

It's only a conceptual travesty that you have to do that if you're the only one who uses the computer, but if you're talking about a family shared computer or something then that is an actual terrible idea. (Unless there's just one shared Steam account for everyone, which mostly solves the "remember password" problem but creates an even bigger issue if there's more than one gamer.)

Personally, I think Steam is acceptable DRM for some things. Personally, I'd prefer a disc check.

Edit: Sorry, I just realized we're a bit off-topic here. Sorry about that.

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Re: Great Steam Deals (And other Online Distribution Systems

Postby Jorpho » Sat Mar 03, 2012 2:56 am UTC

SlyReaper wrote:Didn't that game come out ages ago for something like 60 USD? On the same day as AssCreedRev, Saints Row 3, and that new Halo game? I'm guessing it didn't sell well on release day.

Anyway it's Ubisoft, and I'm kinda boycotting them on principle for their unforgivable attitude towards DRM.
Actually, when they announced the PC port, they explicitly declared it would be DRM-free, for whatever reason. See? They're learning, maybe.

And while I don't know if it sold very well, it's gotten some very good reviews. Even Yahtzee seemed to like it (or maybe he was just bashing Super Mario 3D Land that much harder). I look forward to when it goes on sale for $5.

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Re: Great Steam Deals (And other Online Distribution Systems

Postby novax6 » Sat Mar 03, 2012 4:08 am UTC

EvanED wrote:
Personally, I think Steam is acceptable DRM for some things. Personally, I'd prefer a disc check.


Ugh, not me man, I fucking hate Disc checks. I would rather have terrible always on intrusive DRM, than have to keep around a stupid piece of easily lose-able plastic that gets scratched when you touch it the wrong way and have to dig around for 20 minutes to find, every time you want to play. There's a reason no one uses CDs anymore, it's because they're awful. I can't count the number of games I've paid for and can't play anymore because the disc got lost or banged up.

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Re: Great Steam Deals (And other Online Distribution Systems

Postby SurgicalSteel » Sat Mar 03, 2012 6:07 am UTC

novax6 wrote:I can't count the number of games I've paid for and can't play anymore because the disc got lost or banged up.
I don't know how common this is, but it can't hurt to contact the company that made the game and see if they'd be willing to replace the CD. I ran over my copy of WarCraft 3 with my office chair once and it broke into three or four pieces. I e-mailed Blizzard just as a lark and they sent me a new copy, even paid shipping charges.
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Re: Great Steam Deals (And other Online Distribution Systems

Postby EvanED » Sat Mar 03, 2012 6:31 am UTC

What are you doing to your CDs?

In over a decade and a half of collecting game CDs, I think I've lost exactly one and I don't think I've ever scratched one beyond use. (I have a couple in the music world, but that's it.) I still have my, e.g., MS Flight Sim 5 CD. That CD has the MS-DOS logo on it.

Things could be different if you live around small kids, but otherwise, I like the fact that my control over my CDs (and thus the access to my games) is in my hands, not Valve's.
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Re: Great Steam Deals (And other Online Distribution Systems

Postby Dark567 » Sat Mar 03, 2012 6:34 am UTC

Most companies have a media replacement policy. Usually like $5 per disk plus shipping. You have to use the same key of course. This is actually an area software are really nice about.
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Re: Great Steam Deals (And other Online Distribution Systems

Postby existential_elevator » Sat Mar 03, 2012 9:07 am UTC

Personally, I really hate clogging up my life with physical media. I used to not feel that way, but nowadays... well, I'd rather have a harddrive with a hundred games on than have to wonder where the heck to store all those CDs. If I had all the CDs / boxes for all the media I own, I doubt I'd be able to move in my tiny apartment :lol:

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Re: Great Steam Deals (And other Online Distribution Systems

Postby Garrett » Sat Mar 03, 2012 12:31 pm UTC

I hate digital market. I'm a collector and I like my shelves full of game boxes. If I can't physically touch something I bought I don't see much difference between original and pirated copy.
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Re: Great Steam Deals (And other Online Distribution Systems

Postby novax6 » Sun Mar 04, 2012 1:31 am UTC

Garrett wrote:I hate digital market. I'm a collector and I like my shelves full of game boxes. If I can't physically touch something I bought I don't see much difference between original and pirated copy.


:? So much wrong with this I can't even begin.....

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Re: Great Steam Deals (And other Online Distribution Systems

Postby SirBryghtside » Sun Mar 04, 2012 3:31 pm UTC

Personally, I think both have their place - if there's a physical copy available, I'll jump at it - but I HATE the integration of the two, where you get the same DRM no matter what form you bought it in. If I have a physical copy, it should be mine, no matter what the publisher says. Sadly that seems to be the direction the industry is going in, with Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Mass Effect 3 and Skyrim - the three games I bought last, all three physicals - have online activation.
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Re: Great Steam Deals (And other Online Distribution Systems

Postby bigglesworth » Sun Mar 04, 2012 4:15 pm UTC

What did you think of the Orange Box then?
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Re: Great Steam Deals (And other Online Distribution Systems

Postby SirBryghtside » Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:06 pm UTC

The Orange Box was actually the first physical copy of a game I ever got that required online DRM - and while I absolutely love all the games and the deal, I still hated the DRM. It also required a download rather than a disc install, which makes it worse than the games I listed. Not exactly sure what the difference is supposed to be there.
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Re: Great Steam Deals (And other Online Distribution Systems

Postby Dark567 » Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:27 pm UTC

It took me awhile to get over the "not having a physical copy" thing, but now I have completely embraced the online distribution model. I think that when I originally installed Steam to play Half-Life 2 was what killed it. Back then Steam completely sucked, and I swore I would never use it. But now, Steam is awesome.
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Re: Great Steam Deals (And other Online Distribution Systems

Postby Jorpho » Sun Mar 04, 2012 6:16 pm UTC

As long as I can keep picking things up for $5 or less, I can hardly complain about online distribution.

Maybe we should get a good ol' thread-split up in here?

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Re: Great Steam Deals (And other Online Distribution Systems

Postby bigglesworth » Sun Mar 04, 2012 7:51 pm UTC

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Re: Great Steam Deals (And other Online Distribution Systems

Postby SurgicalSteel » Mon Mar 05, 2012 1:26 am UTC

Is anybody else having trouble with the free weekend for Payday? I click on the banner that says "Play Free This Weekend!" and it takes me to the shop page to buy it.
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Re: Great Steam Deals (And other Online Distribution Systems

Postby Deva » Mon Mar 05, 2012 1:58 am UTC

SurgicalSteel wrote:Is anybody else having trouble with the free weekend for Payday? I click on the banner that says "Play Free This Weekend!" and it takes me to the shop page to buy it.

Already finished.
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Re: Great Steam Deals (And other Online Distribution Systems

Postby SurgicalSteel » Mon Mar 05, 2012 3:12 am UTC

Apparently my reading comprehension skills are lacking today. I interpreted that as 1 AM Monday morning :oops:
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Re: Great Steam Deals (And other Online Distribution Systems

Postby Will » Mon Mar 05, 2012 4:44 am UTC

Dark567 wrote:It took me awhile to get over the "not having a physical copy" thing, but now I have completely embraced the online distribution model. I think that when I originally installed Steam to play Half-Life 2 was what killed it. Back then Steam completely sucked, and I swore I would never use it. But now, Steam is awesome.

Yeah, I had the same reaction--Steam was, for the first few years of its existence, a bloated buggy piece of shit. And when HL2 came out, Steam basically had nothing but Valve games for sale, so it didn't seem like a digital marketplace so much as an annoyance I had to go through to play Source games. These days it's a completely different story, though.
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Re: Great Steam Deals (And other Online Distribution Systems

Postby Amnesiasoft » Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:33 am UTC

Oh, come on now, let's not kid ourselves here, the Steam client is STILL pretty bad.

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Re: Great Steam Deals (And other Online Distribution Systems

Postby SlyReaper » Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:39 am UTC

Amnesiasoft wrote:Oh, come on now, let's not kid ourselves here, the Steam client is STILL pretty bad.

How so?
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Re: Great Steam Deals (And other Online Distribution Systems

Postby Kisama » Mon Mar 05, 2012 11:38 am UTC

SlyReaper wrote:
Amnesiasoft wrote:Oh, come on now, let's not kid ourselves here, the Steam client is STILL pretty bad.

How so?

For the number of times I've had to reinstall it after the frequency of "Not Responding" errors slowly increasing over time reached a critical point.
For randomly deciding that some game I want to play, is "not available at the moment, please try again later".
For hogging bandwidth with downloads, before the GUI has even loaded to allow me to pause (there's no option to cancel a download...)

I know for everyone like me who has pulled their hair out dealing with the Steam client there is someone else who has never had a problem - to those people I say: I promise, we're not making these problems up.

On-topic, and rather late, GOG had a 50% off sale on all Cyan games (Myst, Riven, Uru) this weekend which still seems to be going, but will probably close very soon.
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Re: Great Steam Deals (And other Online Distribution Systems

Postby hendusoone » Mon Mar 05, 2012 4:41 pm UTC

Well, for the download issue at least, you can set your games to not automatically update. It's on the updates tab of the game properties.
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Re: Great Steam Deals (And other Online Distribution Systems

Postby EvanED » Mon Mar 05, 2012 5:25 pm UTC

Kisama wrote:
SlyReaper wrote:
Amnesiasoft wrote:Oh, come on now, let's not kid ourselves here, the Steam client is STILL pretty bad.

How so?

For the number of times I've had to reinstall it after the frequency of "Not Responding" errors slowly increasing over time reached a critical point.
For randomly deciding that some game I want to play, is "not available at the moment, please try again later".
For hogging bandwidth with downloads, before the GUI has even loaded to allow me to pause (there's no option to cancel a download...)

Not to mentioned the aforementioned offline issues, and the fact that (at least as far as I've found) there's no way to get Steam to not pause downloads when playing another game, even if that's local only, leading to scenes like this (at least in spirit, true):
Evan: Mmmm, HL2 Episode 2 is downloading. I'll just play a little of the original HL2 while it goes.
Steam: DOWNLOAD PAUSED
Evan: But I want that!
Steam: Jeeze, what kind of slave driver are you? You gonna make me do two things at once?
Evan: More like one thing at once. It's not you that's running the game.
Steam: I have to handle the steam overlay!
Evan: You mean that thing that I basically never, ever use?
Steam: Yep. Strenuous work. Also, I hate you.

This happens "a lot". (By that I mean a proportionally large amount of the time that I buy a game. Principally because almost all of what I buy I buy during the holiday sales, so ideally I'd be able to download a small game and play it for a while while larger ones download. But no.)

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Re: Great Steam Deals (And other Online Distribution Systems

Postby SlyReaper » Mon Mar 05, 2012 5:43 pm UTC

If you alt-tab out of the game, you can resume the download, and it'll download while you're playing. It's not ideal, of course, especially if it's a game that crashes when you alt-tab out of it. I'm looking at you, Skyrim.

Okay maybe Steam is pretty bad, but none of those issues really affect me (or I've found workarounds like the above) so I didn't notice. *shrug*
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Re: Great Steam Deals (And other Online Distribution Systems

Postby SirBryghtside » Mon Mar 05, 2012 10:22 pm UTC

EvanED wrote:
Kisama wrote:
SlyReaper wrote:
Amnesiasoft wrote:Oh, come on now, let's not kid ourselves here, the Steam client is STILL pretty bad.

How so?

For the number of times I've had to reinstall it after the frequency of "Not Responding" errors slowly increasing over time reached a critical point.
For randomly deciding that some game I want to play, is "not available at the moment, please try again later".
For hogging bandwidth with downloads, before the GUI has even loaded to allow me to pause (there's no option to cancel a download...)

Not to mentioned the aforementioned offline issues, and the fact that (at least as far as I've found) there's no way to get Steam to not pause downloads when playing another game, even if that's local only, leading to scenes like this (at least in spirit, true):
Evan: Mmmm, HL2 Episode 2 is downloading. I'll just play a little of the original HL2 while it goes.
Steam: DOWNLOAD PAUSED
Evan: But I want that!
Steam: Jeeze, what kind of slave driver are you? You gonna make me do two things at once?
Evan: More like one thing at once. It's not you that's running the game.
Steam: I have to handle the steam overlay!
Evan: You mean that thing that I basically never, ever use?
Steam: Yep. Strenuous work. Also, I hate you.

This happens "a lot". (By that I mean a proportionally large amount of the time that I buy a game. Principally because almost all of what I buy I buy during the holiday sales, so ideally I'd be able to download a small game and play it for a while while larger ones download. But no.)

Yeah, that's always got to me. Half my uninstalled games would be done if it weren't for that fact.
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Re: Great Steam Deals (And other Online Distribution Systems

Postby Amnesiasoft » Tue Mar 06, 2012 6:04 am UTC

No, Steam is perfectly capable of not stopping downloads when you run a game, but only if you're playing a multiplayer game! I can't tell you how many times the Steam change log said "Fixed offline mode." Why does "Verify integrity of game cache" open a modal window? Why does telling a game not to update itself only work half the time? Why does the UI thread seem to get burdened with long tasks that cause Steam to just randomly freeze up for about 10 seconds? Why does the overlay browser have to be so horrible (No homepage option? No bookmarks? Changing the URL bar text while typing in it because the page finally decided to load?)?

Yes, Steam as a service is pretty good, but the client is only... passable.

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Re: Great Steam Deals (And other Online Distribution Systems

Postby SecondTalon » Tue Mar 06, 2012 6:29 am UTC

SlyReaper wrote:If you alt-tab out of the game, you can resume the download, and it'll download while you're playing. It's not ideal, of course, especially if it's a game that crashes when you alt-tab out of it. I'm looking at you, Skyrim.

Okay maybe Steam is pretty bad, but none of those issues really affect me (or I've found workarounds like the above) so I didn't notice. *shrug*

Your Skyrim crashes, or Your Skyrim doesn't restore to fullscreen correctly?

Because if it's the latter - open your taskmanager, and on the Applications tab, right click Skyrim and select Bring to Front. Fixes it every time on my end.



Anyway, I stand by the notion that Steam is the worst online DRM, except for all the others that have been tried. And as GoG doesn't have a downloading service thing, Steam is still the worst one of those...except for all the others that have been tried.
heuristically_alone wrote:I want to write a DnD campaign and play it by myself and DM it myself.
heuristically_alone wrote:I have been informed that this is called writing a book.


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