The state of Steam in 2012

By on June 5, 2012 6:47:22 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

Frogboy

Join Date 03/2001
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steamLet me get this out of the way: I like Steam. I like Valve.

We have a poll up right now that asks whether you use Steam. Let us know please.

I’ve been in digital distribution since before digital distribution was a thing.  The very first computer game that was launched at retail and digitally distributed was Galactic Civilizations back in February 2003.

For us, digital distribution was a matter of life or death. Consider this, how many other independent (or heck, just non-publicly traded) game studios have been around 20 years? Go ahead. Count them up. Not many eh?

I incorporated Stardock back in 1993 from my college dorm room. And I can tell you, if it weren’t for digital distribution, we would have stopped making games a long time ago.  That’s because the more people that are between you and your customer, the more opportunities there are for theft. Not by players but by retailers, publishers, distributors, etc. 

One of the reasons why the whole “piracy” bellowing from publishers irritated me was because the biggest obstacle to getting paid for my work wasn’t from pirates. It was from the middle men.

In 1994, we released our first game. Galactic Civilizations for OS/2.  It was published by a company called Advanced Idea Machines.  The game was a huge hit. So I heard anyway. We didn’t get paid. And being a poor college student at the time, I couldn’t afford a lawyer.

So in 1996, we released Galactic Civilizations 2 for OS/2.  This time we released it ourselves. But our retail distributor, Micro Central, went bankrupt and didn’t pay us and our mail order distributor, Blue Orchards went out of business as well and didn’t pay us.

So then we moved to Windows and we released Galactic Civilizations for Windows, published by Strategy First….and again, didn’t get paid.

Do you see a pattern here?

What saved us was digital distribution.  With it, we could sell directly to customers, cutting out the middle man.

As you can imagine, when Steam came out we started to get a little nervous. Not because of the competition but because we feared the idea that we would one day need to sell our software through a third party and hence risk not getting paid…again.

As it had turned out, our fears have been unwarranted.  Impulse, now owned by Gamestop, pays like clock work and so does Steam.  By contrast, with a retail distributor you were lucky to get paid merely 90 days late. And that’s not counting the obnoxious and expensive RMA games they play. I like the service Steam provides. They’re easy to work with, they’re honest, and they’re passionate about what they do.  And most importantly, they let me, as a game developer, focus on what matters: making games.

Anyway, the point here being, what are your feelings on Steam these days?

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aeligos
athelasloraiel
June 16, 2012 2:41:15 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'll agree that the 5 1/4 floppy disc is dead.  Most items that utilized these disks also came out on 3.5 floppy a little later. 

The 3.5 floppy is not dead.  True, it's rarely used, but I still come across times when I'm tweaking my machine at "please insert floppy" pops up. Phew....good thing I still have a drive.

The CD drive is not dead either. My shelf is full of games and programs that require CD. As to your "kids using the disc's as frisbee's", learn to take better care of your stuff. 

As to choosing no-cd cracks and DRM, I would choose the cracks. Safer. Less invasive.

Quoting arkhometha,

You NEED to go ONLINE ONCE to activate steam OFFLINE mode, and this DEFEATS the purpose of and OFFLINE mode.

Precisely. It's impossible to use offline mode for me because I refuse to have steam installed in the first place. Games need to have the offline mode option available upon INSTALL, choosing not to have the steam BAGGAGE along for the ride.

 

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June 16, 2012 3:06:22 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Lonemessiah,
cool two more to add to the list of reasons Steam is evil,

 

It makes the graphics of games worse

It bans people from playing single player games...

 

 

Maybe "ban people from playing single player games" wasn't the best choice of words, but would that not be a consequence of losing one's Steam account?

Let's say I buy Civ5 through Steam and install it on my computer. Much fun is had in single player as crazy Russians conquer the world. Then something goes horribly wrong, and I permanently lose access to my Steam account. Maybe I get hacked and Valve won't do anything about it. Maybe a virus or bug trips the cheat-detection while I'm playing TF2 and they ban me. Whatever the reason, I become unable to log in through no fault of my own. What then?

Could I continue to play Civ5 in single player mode? I have no idea. If I can, what happens when they release an update? What if I need to transfer all my games to a new computer? I am assuming that at some point I would no longer be able to play. If so, that means I never had the game in my possession at all and I still need Valve's permission, however freely they may give it, in order to use what I "purchased" from them.

If Steam stops forcing updates, and lets me continue using my stuff without them, I'll consider buying from them. I don't mind having to authenticate for the initial download, updates, and access to multiplayer. I realize many of my concerns would likely not be an issue 90% of the time. Even so, I have a box full of NES cartridges that still get pulled out every now and then and I'd like my PC games to have similar longevity.

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June 16, 2012 6:54:03 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting the_Monk,
While I am not a game developer I think it just takes a quick look around to see everyone at least in the younger generations (ie. the new gaming customer) is connected all of the time these days. I find it hard to believe that the gaming customer who truly "doesn't have internet on their main gaming rig" isn't becoming such a rarity that one could assume the loss of those potential customers in sales pretty much inconsequential.

 

Try t take your laptop with you somewhere you do not have WiFi access.

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June 16, 2012 8:22:57 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting Lord KiRon,

 

Try t take your laptop with you somewhere you do not have WiFi access.

 

 

Where I don't have WiFi (cottage on lake of the woods) I enjoy near perfect connectivity via my 3G cell connection.  As stated, I'm sure most of the younger generation (the new target gamer market) find ways to be even more "connected" than I am.......

 

EDIT:

...and YES I have successfully logged into STEAM while at the cottage.

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June 18, 2012 5:51:28 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting Jalicos,

 Maybe I get hacked and Valve won't do anything about it. Maybe a virus or bug trips the cheat-detection while I'm playing TF2 and they ban me.

 

All you need to recover your account from a hack is some form of proof of purchase of any game, or receipt, or paypal transaction ID etc. Cheat detection never prevents single player, VAC only blocks multiplayer, and even then Valve supported servers.

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June 18, 2012 6:20:33 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

I honestly like steam. Sure there is a lot of DRM, but it doesn't feel clunky, so it's very acceptable for me.

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June 18, 2012 6:32:25 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting the_Monk,

Quoting Lord KiRon, reply 228
 

Try t take your laptop with you somewhere you do not have WiFi access.


Where I don't have WiFi (cottage on lake of the woods) I enjoy near perfect connectivity via my 3G cell connection.  As stated, I'm sure most of the younger generation (the new target gamer market) find ways to be even more "connected" than I am.......

 

EDIT:

...and YES I have successfully logged into STEAM while at the cottage.

 

Sure in the States everyone and their dogs might have 3G or 4G connections on the road. This unfortunately is the not true for most of the world. Also those who are into old school turn based strategy on a PC are not exactly "younger generations". If you want to cater to "younger generations" only you might as well forget about PC and switch to console only. 

 

 

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June 18, 2012 7:12:04 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting Konming,

Also those who are into old school turn based strategy on a PC are not exactly "younger generations". If you want to cater to "younger generations" only you might as well forget about PC and switch to console only. 
 

 

I think anyone who is/was into TBS is/was probably pretty much a semi/hardcore gamer. Casuals don't really tend to pick up games like that. I'm in my mid 30's myself now and I know very few people who were into that who don't have good pc's/internet. For most of us PC's are our main entertainment.

 

Also, if you're mobile with a laptop is it really that hard to just put Steam into offline mode beforehand? The problems that 'may' come up if you're without internet are almost always because of not having been in Offline mode already. (even though as said, with proper use it pretty much works anyway).

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June 18, 2012 9:10:10 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting arkhometha,



Quoting Pheace,
reply 223

You *need* to be online at some point to do the checks, but this stuff is initial setup, not *every time*



I didn't say you need to be online every time. I said that to get Steam to work on offline mode you have to be online first, as you admited, and that being necessary to go online for you to activate offline mode defeats the purpose of offline mode. I have one computer that I don't and can't have internet access, If I bought the game on GOG, I could play it on my desktop pc just fine if I downloaded the game on my laptop. But I can't play any steam game on my desktop because to go offline I need to go online.

You NEED to go ONLINE ONCE to activate steam OFFLINE mode, and this DEFEATS the purpose of and OFFLINE mode. Read my post again, I never said you can't be in offline mode, I said you have to be online first sometime to do it.

Actully it does not defeat the purpose.  You do have to download the game from Steam to begin with right. So just set it up then.  But you do not have to go online EVERY TIME you want to play offline.  If this were the case then you would have a point.

 

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June 18, 2012 12:08:37 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I use steam because I have to, and not by choice. I bought Civ 5 and I had to have steam to play it. In all honesty I would rather pirate games (Ewwww) then have someone else control my games. I am a CD person and I hate having to log onto steam just for them to tell me that I have to download a patch for my game so I can play it offline. I have HughesNet internet because I live in a very rural area and I am only allowed to download so much per day and if I have to do any downloading it is at 2 AM to 7 AM and even then it is at most 180 kbs, do you know how long it takes to download 6 gigs at 180 kbs? A few days when you only get 5 hours a day to download and no download scheduler. 

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June 18, 2012 4:28:45 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Emperor_Nero have you tried switching to offline mode or disabling updates for Civ 5? Both of these would solve your problem

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June 19, 2012 11:11:20 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Hey Steam fanboys can I ask a quick tech question regarding Steam - I did think about contacting Steam about it but it's probably quicker just to ask you guys - so here's the question:

Compatability mode 1) what is it? 2) how do you toggle it on or off?

 

edit: OK I've found out a bit more about this and of course it's a nightmare to fix - apparently Windows 7 will stick Steam straight into compatibility mode now which means I can't run associated games in anything beyond direct X9 - to fix it I can a) right click properties - but the compatability toggle is greyed out or b ) go through regedit and delete the file there - but I'm denied access to my own registry

 

I know you Steam fanboys rave on about how wonderful it is and of course it's not Steam's fault - it'll be ignorant me or my PC or Windows (anything but Steam) but personally I miss the good old days when I didnt have to deal with this kind of nonsense

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June 19, 2012 12:17:14 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

To answer Brad's original question,  here's my two cents.

I am a huge fan of digital distribution systems,  as long as they stick to game distribution (download, install, archive) and can be shut off when not performing their function.   Impulse got this as close to perfect as I can imagine,  to the point where I *do* leave it running because once in a while it pops up an ad that I might be interested in -- but I don't need it running to play anything.

Steam as a digital distribution system is also fine,  right up until the point where I can't turn it off and still be able to play.   Some of this is the steam client itself (bugged offline mode?) and some of this is developers deciding to use Steamworks protection and make my gameplay experience worse than if I had just pirated the damn software.

So,  I vote with my wallet.  If I want to buy a game,  I do a bit of research and try to answer the following question:

Does the game's DRM require 3rd party software running or a working internet connection to play?

if yes,  pass up the game.   I don't like that DRM model and I won't support developers/publishers who use it.  I don't like the idea of multiple 3rd party DRM clients running on my system all the time.  I don't like what I hear about "offline mode".  I don't want the hassle.   Period.

if no,  my preferred digital shopping order is:

1.  gog.com.   Gamer nirvana!  The selection is small but high quality,  prices that make my wallet fly open of its own accord,  and I get a copy of the install image for All Eternity.

2.  Impulse/gamestop.  Very close second,  fantastic shopping experience and smooth as silk distribution.  Stays out of the way,  but has all the functions I would expect (what's my key,  auto-update is off BY DEFAULT *cough*stupidsteam*cough*, on-disk size).  For Really Big Downloads I can always choose to archive so I don't have to re-download again later.

3.  Steam.  Good shopping experience,  less control over install (does anyone know how to install a game to "X:\mygame" instead of Steam\blah\blah\blah?),  a little more confusing to use for me than Impulse,  no archiving function.  Can I run the .exe directly without steam running?   If not,  forget it.   "Offline mode" still seems problematic for a lot of people.  I don't want to be one of those people.

So,  despite being a pretty big Elder scrolls fan I have passed on Skyrim.  Despite owning and loving ME1 and ME2 I have passed on ME3.   I loved Diablo 1 and 2 but will not be purchasing Diablo 3.

As much as I'm hoping FE will be the spiritual successor to MOM - or failing that be a damn fun game in its own right -  if it requires 3rd party software running or an internet connection to play single player,   I'll pass on that too.  And yes,  I own EWOM.  Haven't played much,  but that was before Derek was brought on board..  this thread makes me want to dig it out and give it a fresh look.

Ok,  that was more like a nickel.

 

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June 19, 2012 3:34:54 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting DGB246,

edit: OK I've found out a bit more about this and of course it's a nightmare to fix - apparently Windows 7 will stick Steam straight into compatibility mode now which means I can't run associated games in anything beyond direct X9 - to fix it I can a) right click properties - but the compatability toggle is greyed out or b ) go through regedit and delete the file there - but I'm denied access to my own registry

 

? I've been using Steam with Windows 7 64 bit for years now? Whether you can play games in DirectX9 or higher is dependent on the game itself, not what compatibility mode Steam is set to?

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June 19, 2012 4:11:13 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

@Pheace

It's a known issue with civ5 about directx10/11 being greyed out if steam has been restricted via compatability mode - see halfway down this forum page:

http://forums.2kgames.com/showthread.php?88587-Common-Problems-*PLEASE-Read-Before-Posting*

 

For some reason my version of Windows decided to stick Steam on compatability mode - more info here:

http://joshmccarty.com/2012/01/turn-off-compatibility-mode-for-steam/

 

Josh kindly explained how to fix the issue but when I went to access regedit I found I was blocked from accessing it - the only one with access to this programme is 'trusted installer' - in other words the manafacturers restricted access to regedit to stop people wrecking their PC's registry, which is fine except that I want to access the registry this one time

Now I have found sites that provide work arounds to get access to regedit when it's blocked by administrators however I think it would be better to contact the manufacturer tomorrow and sort it out over the phone.

I don't know why Windows decided to restrict Steam's access, I didnt want it to but somehow it ended up there. I ran Civ 5 using direct x11 before and with some luck I'll get it working again

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June 19, 2012 7:12:46 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting DGB246,
@Pheace

It's a known issue with civ5 about directx10/11 being greyed out if steam has been restricted via compatability mode - see halfway down this forum page:

http://forums.2kgames.com/showthread.php?88587-Common-Problems-*PLEASE-Read-Before-Posting*

 

For some reason my version of Windows decided to stick Steam on compatability mode - more info here:

http://joshmccarty.com/2012/01/turn-off-compatibility-mode-for-steam/

 

Josh kindly explained how to fix the issue but when I went to access regedit I found I was blocked from accessing it - the only one with access to this programme is 'trusted installer' - in other words the manafacturers restricted access to regedit to stop people wrecking their PC's registry, which is fine except that I want to access the registry this one time

Now I have found sites that provide work arounds to get access to regedit when it's blocked by administrators however I think it would be better to contact the manufacturer tomorrow and sort it out over the phone.

I don't know why Windows decided to restrict Steam's access, I didnt want it to but somehow it ended up there. I ran Civ 5 using direct x11 before and with some luck I'll get it working again

 

Ah I see. I wasn't familiar with that. (ironically I just logged a few hours of Civ 5 before seeing this). It's true that windows certainly can be a pain in the behind, especially when you don't have administrator access like you don't seem to have?

I hope you get it working. I can never quite seem to get into CIV 5 like I used to with the older versions but I'm still trying and people seem to enjoy it a lot >.<

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June 20, 2012 3:30:47 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Hmmmm, how can you not have Admin access?  That seems very odd.

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June 20, 2012 8:02:11 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

I love steam. 

 

I've seen a lot of people complaining about steam always needing to be online - it doesn't.

 

Yes, you need to register your game online when you install it.  And, sometimes there is a day 1 patch that will get downloaded (hello skyrim) but you'd have to do that without steam as well.  Steam just makes it easy to keep a game up to date.  If you don't want to patch games you can toggle that since it is an option and manually select which games to patch. 

 

To play your games that you've registered all you need to do is not be connected to the internet.  You don't have to force steam into offline mode (I suspect people are talking about the chat feature to appear offline to your friends - this isn't offline mode but it sure is easy to confuse the two) to play without internet access.

 

When you start steam with no internet connection it will detect that and tell you.  You can just start in offline mode and play all the games you have on your computer normally.  No problems, no hassles, no worries.

 

The only concern that was brought up in this thread that I agree with is if Valve were to be bought or sold or if they decided to stop selling games.  I suspect what they would do is just turn off the server and allow everyone to continue to access their games via offline mode.  Or, maybe they would release a tool to remove the steam component to the games that are on your computer.

 

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June 21, 2012 8:05:49 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'll sum up my thoughts in steam in as few words as possible:

 

I'm disabled, getting out of the house is hard, steam means I can buy games and not get out of the house.

 

 

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June 21, 2012 2:58:06 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I like digital distribution in general.  I strongly dislike having to be logged on to a website to play a game as I don't like being tied to the web!! What if I want to play DIII on a lap-top while traveling in a car or staying in a hotel without a free internet connection?  See my point? 

I also strongly dislike software distributors that act like THEIR game is the only game on your computer and insist on installing all this crap that resides in memory.  I know that individually, most of them don't use much memory or CPU, but they add up!!  And when you DO have a problem, you have dozens of programs running in memory and no idea what half of them are.

I flatly refuse to do business with a digital distributors who summarily closes user's accounts if they suspect the user might have cheated or has pirated software.  I don't want to lose access to a bunch of games *I* paid for because my 12-year-old child got on my computer without my knowledge or permission and did something stupid!!!   Just the rumor that Steam does this has been enough for me to steer clear of buying any games on Steam.

I understand digital distribution is the future for a lot of reasons.  But the digital distributors need to remember THEY DO NOT OWN THEIR CUSTOMER'S COMPUTERS!!! 

All that being said, I understand software developers have the right to decide how their games are sold and - up to a point - under what conditions a user uses their software.  But as a consumer, I have the right to choose not to give my money for their software.  And As consumers we need to decide just how far we are willing to let software distributors own our computers and draw a hard line.  When sales start to be affected, the developers and distributors will start to notice.

It would also benefit software developers to remember this fact of human nature - the more annoying and onerous they make DRM on the consumer, the more likely people are to devote the time to either hack the DRM or look for hacked copies.  In other words, the more they try and lock down their software, the more likely people are to either not purchase the game or circumvent the DRM.

In the early days of Impulse, lots of games offered free demo versions.  I tried a number of them out and ended up buying the game if I liked it.  Suddenly the demos went away.  I tried buying a few cheap games without the demos and ended up getting burned so often I quit trying them.  Bring back the Free Demos!!

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June 21, 2012 3:10:09 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting SilasOfBorg,
To answer Brad's original question,  here's my two cents.

I am a huge fan of digital distribution systems,  as long as they stick to game distribution (download, install, archive) and can be shut off when not performing their function.   Impulse got this as close to perfect as I can imagine,  to the point where I *do* leave it running because once in a while it pops up an ad that I might be interested in -- but I don't need it running to play anything.

Steam as a digital distribution system is also fine,  right up until the point where I can't turn it off and still be able to play.   Some of this is the steam client itself (bugged offline mode?) and some of this is developers deciding to use Steamworks protection and make my gameplay experience worse than if I had just pirated the damn software.

So,  I vote with my wallet.  If I want to buy a game,  I do a bit of research and try to answer the following question:

Does the game's DRM require 3rd party software running or a working internet connection to play?

if yes,  pass up the game.   I don't like that DRM model and I won't support developers/publishers who use it.  I don't like the idea of multiple 3rd party DRM clients running on my system all the time.  I don't like what I hear about "offline mode".  I don't want the hassle.   Period.

if no,  my preferred digital shopping order is:

1.  gog.com.   Gamer nirvana!  The selection is small but high quality,  prices that make my wallet fly open of its own accord,  and I get a copy of the install image for All Eternity.

2.  Impulse/gamestop.  Very close second,  fantastic shopping experience and smooth as silk distribution.  Stays out of the way,  but has all the functions I would expect (what's my key,  auto-update is off BY DEFAULT *cough*stupidsteam*cough*, on-disk size).  For Really Big Downloads I can always choose to archive so I don't have to re-download again later.

3.  Steam.  Good shopping experience,  less control over install (does anyone know how to install a game to "X:\mygame" instead of Steam\blah\blah\blah?),  a little more confusing to use for me than Impulse,  no archiving function.  Can I run the .exe directly without steam running?   If not,  forget it.   "Offline mode" still seems problematic for a lot of people.  I don't want to be one of those people.

So,  despite being a pretty big Elder scrolls fan I have passed on Skyrim.  Despite owning and loving ME1 and ME2 I have passed on ME3.   I loved Diablo 1 and 2 but will not be purchasing Diablo 3.

As much as I'm hoping FE will be the spiritual successor to MOM - or failing that be a damn fun game in its own right -  if it requires 3rd party software running or an internet connection to play single player,   I'll pass on that too.  And yes,  I own EWOM.  Haven't played much,  but that was before Derek was brought on board..  this thread makes me want to dig it out and give it a fresh look.

Ok,  that was more like a nickel.

 

 

Actually, I in near 100% agreement with Silas!!  I have NOT purchased DIII for the exact reasons Silas stated. 

 

True story about Digital Pirating!!!  I started playing computer games back with a C64 was the best gaming machine out there.  In those bad-ole-days, I'd get together with friend or two and we'd make copies of each other's games.  If you counted the number of games I copied, you'd think I was the worlds biggest pirate.  But if you count the number of pirated copies I ever played for more than 1 hour, it probably doesn't amount to more than a half a dozen.  And if you count the number of those copied games I would have bought the number is probably half of that.  The other three I actually did end up buying just to get either the manual or the map that came with the box. 

Same thing with Napster.  I probably downloaded hundreds of MP3s.  I bet there were not more than a dozen or so I would have bought and some of those I downloaded caused me to start buying CDs from the artists because I liked the songs once I heard them.

If digital intellectual property owners count every illegal copy of their property as a lost sale, they are making a gross mistake!  Based on my experience, those digital property owners probably either broke even or got a net gain from me.

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June 21, 2012 9:40:56 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting Aerion Istari,

I flatly refuse to do business with a digital distributors who summarily closes user's accounts if they suspect the user might have cheated or has pirated software.  I don't want to lose access to a bunch of games *I* paid for because my 12-year-old child got on my computer without my knowledge or permission and did something stupid!!!   Just the rumor that Steam does this has been enough for me to steer clear of buying any games on Steam.

 

As a responsible parent you ARE to be held accountable for anything/everything your *12 year old* does with/on your computer.  If it is without your knowledge or permission that just means you've failed as a responsible parent.  There is nothing that happens on/with my computer systems that I don't know about.  How can I say that?  Because I am a proactive, involved and informed parent.  Always.   There is no excuse not to be.

 

EDIT:

No....my children have no expectation of online-privacy (at least in terms of what they are able to do online etc.).  Until they leave through my front door for the last time (ie. move their asses out) their entire online lives are up for parental purview.  Period.

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June 21, 2012 10:29:37 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Not much I can add to the thread that hasn't been said I imagine. Personally I have no issues with Steam I think its great and probably better than all the other DD competition except maybe GoG. But GoG only deals in old stuff. Let's be honest we all know publishers wont release their new full priced games without protection. In that regard Steam is pretty reliable, and easy to use. Yeah you have to run the client but there are benefits to doing so like easy access to friends list,screenshots,automatic updates, and more.

That said I can understand why people get a little annoyed when a single player game requires Steam. Some people might just prefer not to use it, and no one likes being forced to use something they don't want. Like I certainly am not looking forward to having to use Games for Windows Live to play Dark Souls....

But if the game is a multiplayer game then few services out there really compare on PC these days. Origin is the only real competition, and its still not on par. Often times if the game goes without Steam that just means it ends up having to use Gamespy for multiplayer. Which I think most will agree is far from ideal. I would like to see Steamworks support for Fallen Enchantress multiplayer at least for the Steam version. So those of us that do want the best can have it.

 
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June 23, 2012 6:18:57 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Lots of great comments.  Since mine comes from a different angle which I have not seen mentioned, it could be useful to add to the discussion.  I am absolutely paranoid when it comes to PC security so I keep my administrator and user accounts separate.  Steam would be a lot more acceptable to me if it was more multi-user aware.  I understand needing to install and/or update games as the administrator account, but actually playing the game should not require that.  Granted, there are many non-Steam games which are just as bad at requiring administrator access to merely play.

My initial experience with Steam was with Shogun and it was a pain to set up.  My rig is more minimum requirement than recommended requirement so I have learned to be patient.  But it was still one of the longest install, download, install some more, download some more, install some more installs that I've ever had to do (it took an entire night just to install the game such that I couldn't play until the following night).  Since then, and a few Steam updates later, there are more options to control when and if patching occurs and playing with my non-administrator account is more (though not completely) straightforward.  Still, I would hate to relive that with every single downloadable purchase.  I know Shogun was a bugfest out of the gate and deserves some of the blame, but I feel a disc-based install may have been less frustrating.  The bandwidth of an IDE-bus DVD player versus a 2 Mb Internet connection alone would have saved a lot of time.

I'm not crazy about their new always online DRM idea, but Blizzard seemed to have found a way (with Starcraft II) to make the patching and access to its game nearly hands-free.  After an initial installation as the administrator, all subsequent patching and gameplay was automatically handled as my non-admin user account and with little fuss.  That said, I'm staying away from their even crazier DRM with Diablo III and fear they'll follow suit with Starcraft II's expansions.  I know I could just use the admin account for everything on Windows, but like I said, I'm paranoid and I've found it a lot safer and less risky to my system to use the administrator account sparingly.  As a matter of fact, with the current incarnation of Impulse, I am able to install and update my Stardock purchases as the administrator and then quite easily and readily play them without needing to be administrator; a definite win for Impulse.

 

 

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June 23, 2012 11:52:33 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Lord Xia,
I stayed away from steam for a long time.  I had heard a lot of steam bashing from gamers on online forums.  This was before I understood forum posters, so I actually listened to them without screening their bullshit.  I finally tried out Steam and I absolutely love it.  It's easy, doesn't cause me any problems what so ever, I can play the games offline, I can mod still, it has tons of great deals all the time, it has a large selection of games and is by far a better experience than trying to find a game in a store. 

I play Steam games offline all the time.  I have another older computer that I rarely have connected to the internet, and only connected it to put steam and download my steam games on it, and I play those games with no internet all the time.  If a game requires a internet connection, it's not STEAM that is requiring it.

 

This was my experience exactly.  I hated the idea of Steam, then tried it and loved it.  I will only buy a game digitally, if it is Steam activate-able (if possible).  I have all of my games in one nice list, I can un-install and re-install super easy.  My games keep themselves updated automatically.  It has truly revolutionized PC gaming.  And the sales are awesome.  I have 81 games, only one bought at full price (Civ V).  If I was trying to organize 81 physical DVD's, I would have killed myself by now.  In fact, I've re-bought several games that I already own on a disc, just for the convenience of having them on Steam.

Reading this thread, it seems the people who say they hate Steam are throwing around a lot of mis-information, or else haven't tried it yet.  I'd bet more people would become converts if they gave it a shot.  Try a holiday sale, and see if you don't start loving Steam.

I Steam

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