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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June 6, 2012 9:06:41 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting -Ue_Carbon,
EDIT: This is just my guess, but my point is you must be in Online mode the first time to use offline mode correctly. Which is no different than the one time registration Stardock currently uses.

Actually no, you never had to go online for a Stardock game (other than the betas of course), there was no "activation." You did however need to login via Impulse to download updates.

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June 6, 2012 9:17:24 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Aside from the more esoteric aspects of Steam being good or evil, a lot of Steam hate stems from being ignorant about how it works.

Once I learned how to install "Steam" games from disc, how and when to use the offline mode, and how to deal with the Steam cloud (aka turn it off), Steam wasn't quite so evil any more.
Knowing how to use a piece of software goes a long way.

True, it feels odd that a retailer has the right to disown you any time they damn please, annihilating games that you may not even have bought from them.
They just don't have any motivation to do so because you won't be buying more games from them. They do that to thieves or people with a mission to ruin other people's gaming time.

So far I didn't have any trouble with Steam support, either. The one time when a game (in a box) came with a faulty registration code. It goes without saying that I had to provide proof of purchase (they aren't stupid, you know) but then the game was magically added to my games library. There may have been some sinister reason for that but I can't see it.

I'm still trying to hate Steam from time to time. It's the leet and old school thing to do, after all. I'm just getting less and less successful at doing that and instead just play games without installation hassles, defective media, hard to find patches or having to pick the one right patch version out of 7 options of "regional" releases.
Either I'm starting to become an unleet, good drone, or *gasp* I'm growing up, seeing a working, effective service for what it is.
What a disturbing notion.

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June 6, 2012 9:26:07 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


I have bought nearly all my games the last few year once hight speed internet become avlibel in my small towen. threw digitel distbution.

I have 2 complent about steam.

The fact that thay monke with the files of the a game often rendering the game incompatbel with devloper patches. Had a lot of trobbel with this on never winter night persistant worlds. when totel war empire cane out steam converted the game files to .pak files and it really sucked up a lot of sistem resorsce decompresing the game file has I played on my old PC.

 

The secend complant is more of a worry then a proven probblem steam collect a lot of data on you. currenetly valve does not use this data for any thing but there still collectiong it a simple change to eula and privacy policy can have them using all that data. if a change in compay leadrship happend valve/steem can launch a anti competer blize that puts microsoft and apple to shame 

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June 6, 2012 11:46:34 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Kazriko,
I avoid Steam if I can, because it's far too DRMy for me.
What he said.

 

Steam has gotten better since release- when I initially swore off of it. I now buy PC games there on occasion when they're Steam exclusive or when a discount is so deep that the fact that I'm only able to play the game until they decide I can't doesn't bother me.

 

My preferred digital distributor is GOG.

 

If a game is only available on Steam and it's one of the few games that I simply must have (Skyrim), then I'll buy it on Steam. If there's any other way to buy it- I'll do that. If it's a game that I was interested in, but is only on Steam- I just don't get it more often than not.

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June 7, 2012 12:36:35 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Bellack,

Quoting Lord Xia, reply 50I 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.


Question:  How do you play the game offline?  Where do you go to do this?

 

Uh, it's simple, if its already up, you just click the steam button and go offline.  If your computer isn't even hooked up to the internet, like mine, Steam will ask you when you boot up, just say use offline mode.  I play that way every day on my laptop, and my laptop goes weeks without ever being hooked up to the internet.  STEAM doesn't require games to be online to play or have additional DRM, but individual games might, but it has nothing to do with steam, it has to do with that company.  

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June 7, 2012 1:40:00 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting Heart Shaped Man,

You are mistaken.  Steam isn't a cloud-gaming service like OnLive.  The game is on your PC.  The Steam cloud is just used for save games and screenshots, and that's only if you choose to.  Steamworks itself is just a generic term for a range of things that Steam can do; cloud storage as above, multiplayer services, DRM (obviously), mods (WorkShop), but not every game uses all the services.

Imagine a new Stardock game using Steamworks; with new mods/maps on the WorkShop, seemless multiplayer, built-in community features etc.  Steam can even distribute alpha/betas allowing you to opt-in.  I don't understand why FE isn't on Steam NOW with the beta for pre-orders.  Look how much attention Endless Space is getting, came out of nowhere and offered the Alpha for pre-orders.  There is a lot of buzz around it now.  I'm not sure how the finances work with putting your game on Steam etc, but just having it on there gives your title a huge push.  I still get responses of "... Eh?" when I mention Elemental, and these people are strategy gamers, not your average Joe. 

Then why did the Forged Alliance files look completely different than Supreme Commander files?

Does anyone else think there is something wrong with what THQ did?

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June 7, 2012 5:41:41 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


Well there.

I fit in the pattern of most everyone else:  I dislike the DRM / online aspects of STEAM, but have been pleasantly surprised by how useful the "never lose my disks" feature is (especially because they have a habit of disappearing when my wife "cleans"...)

 

Brad, your initial post moved me from STEAM is a 3 on a scale to 10 (a foisted, necessary evil sometimes to get a game, but at least the distro works) to about a 6  on a scale of 10 (hey! This is a better way to pay the people making the games who are otherwise serially ripped off and so will go out of business!).

 

So thanks...

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June 7, 2012 6:34:04 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

 

I dont like DRM including Steam.

I certainly understand DRM is protecting game developer's hard work.

But I am one of the what "I purchased is what I should own fully" Fan boy - I admit.

 

I leave Civ 5, Diablo 3 and Starcraft 2 behind just because of DRM.

I am a returning supporter of DRM- free Humble bundles.

 

Probably a solution for "hopeless fan-boy" like me is to wait until game developer earn enough, passing the risk of profit / product cost

and start to considering DRM Free version to earn more money and that is exactly the time I am waiting for, for a product...lol

 

 

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June 7, 2012 8:07:19 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting Leo in WI,



Quoting -Ue_Carbon,
reply 96
EDIT: This is just my guess, but my point is you must be in Online mode the first time to use offline mode correctly. Which is no different than the one time registration Stardock currently uses.


Actually no, you never had to go online for a Stardock game (other than the betas of course), there was no "activation." You did however need to login via Impulse to download updates.

Wrong you had to activate the game with the game codes when you first installed it.

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June 7, 2012 9:22:27 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Steam is the bane of my gaming life.  I have a corrupt dll on my system, which means that I cannot load Steam, and therefore cannot play any of my games that require it - Mount & Blade, Civilisation..  And now it seems that Lord of the Rings Online have associated themselves with Steam, I can't play that either, and have had to cancel my subscription.  Why should we be forced to play the games that we have bought through a third party client, requiring internet connection?  It's an outrage.  Please, please do not go the same way...

 

 

 

 

 

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June 7, 2012 9:25:36 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

You can still play LoTRO without Steam, I launched it last night to check. Unless it has changed in the past few hours that is.

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June 7, 2012 9:57:27 AM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

As much as I dislike Steam for it's very shake offline modes and forced patches which can fail and lock you out of your games for extended periods of time (happened to me very, very often up until last year... so they have gotten better), I must say that Steam is pretty ubiquitous now. Especially if you own both a PC and a Mac.

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June 7, 2012 11:00:14 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

I like Steam, but I had a rough patch with it when I was trying to play Civ V and game files or cache or something got corrupted and wouldn't restore.  I ended up having to re-install both, and I lost my XCOM: TftD saves in the process (gee, thanks Steam).

Despite that bitter feud, I've come to appreciate the utility of having a platform to go buy games when I feel the urge, rather than checking Play.com or (shudder) looking on the shelves at ASDA or GAME.  There's so much bias at retail that's it's ceased to be a useful outlet.

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June 7, 2012 11:11:24 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

i have mixed feelings with steam:

- their primary goal was to cut the middle-man, but essentially they became the new middle-man. on the other hand, well maybe from what you say, they are a better middle-man than standard publisher, but only for developper, not necessarly for clients.

here are my reasons to say that:

- they have horrible pricing, especialy in europe. most of the time i can have a retail copy for HALF the price of a steam version.

- they apply stupid regions restrictions (for which i'm not much impacted because in france except possible delays in release dates, i'm almost always garanteed access to games) but i feel for the poor soul who belong to one of the non-published countries: before, they could buy import and then play the game, now if your region is out, you're out)

 

in a more general list of pros and cons:

- as i said, pricing is really not good on launch BUT at the same time, during promotional offers, you can find games for ridiculously low prices. from my point of view, consequences are ironicaly:

  • for steamworks games, i never buy it on steam (but on other digital providers or retail so i have the same advantages of a steam game + any other advantage of the other reseller without the horrid pricing)
  • for games i'm not really in a hurry for, i wait to promotional price drops (to be fair, that's mostly due to the combined fact that by waiting you have a better price + a "not bug-ridden" product + a complete product (not stripped of content sold as dlcs))

- i'm not a big fan of big brother drms, BUT at least the steam drm is not TOO invasive so i can live with it. still, when using steam you better have a good  internet provider because offline mode often proves to be unreliable. and also if steam servers are down, the client won't go into offline mode and get an error instead, and there's nothing more unpleasant than being prevented of playing a solo game because off drm deficiences (blizzard trademark)

- for a tool which existed for so long, a lot of technical shortcomings still exists like.

- they improved their content delivery recently, otherwise a lot of times on big titles releases the service would slow to a crawl, so the argument of "instant play" on launch date vs waiting for a physical copy by mail is nil for me as attempting to activate too soon after launch date would always result in a fail.

- for a tool which exists for so long, a lot of technical shortcomings still exists like:

- no option to dispatch games to several disk partitions, all must be under the steam folder, it sucks since i have limited space on my ssd to boost game start, so i can have much installed steam games at the same time and have to resort to backup/restore

- no versioning of games. almost all steamwork games were at some point rendered a lot less usable by applying a botched patch. (got the case on empire total war, civ 5, mafia 2, and skyrim) coupled with the fact that the "do not auto-update" option of steam doesn't work correctly, i got to wait each time for the next patch before playing again. this is a big step back compared to manual updates where at least you could reinstall and stop at a specific stable version of the game

- language data cache mechanism is stupid, if you change the language from steam (and is not handled inside the game), the stupid bugger redownload the whole language pack and erase the previous one, thus switching back and forth will force you to download hundred of megabytes for nothing)

- steam support is almost useless (as much as lot of big publisher with the new trend of outsourcing support to external companies for which client satisfaction is not the goal, only sticking to their contract) but in steam case the support is worst for non-valve games because you're sure to go back and forth between steam support and the game dev support as they in turn blame each other for the issue.

 

all in all, i think steam is nice enough but from a client perspective, that's just one of many digital retailer i can use and has no crucial advantage for me over other digital retailers like gamersgate, gamefly, impulse...etc

 

also as a last note, i don't like much the fact they blended the "content delivery" part and the "additional services" part in steamworks. i prefer the rockstar social club in that the service is decorrelated from the delivery method and even the platform (xbox, ps3 pc and nintendo DS in the same place).

 

 

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June 7, 2012 11:16:19 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Am I the only one that thinks that a lot of these complaints about steam are either completely incorrect, have nothing to do with steam itself or are just about the way the industry is moving?  I am continually amazed by people's ability to argue without the ability to reason or use logic, or obtain and use information about their argument.  

 

EDIT:I want to say I posted this before I saw Jeje's arguments, which I think are fair and well thought.

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June 7, 2012 11:16:35 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

*hands out a fresh clip of bullet points*

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June 7, 2012 12:39:01 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Well now, this is quite the gem. I know that reason often falls upon deaf ears, I tell myself that everytime I see a post in a forum about something that is just boardering on troll-level content. You see, you can't help someone who doesn't want to be helped. If you try, you're the asshole suddenly. So yeah, I know it is more or less pointless to try and argue any points here, but I'll go ahead and give out my opinion on some of these posts. The TLDR; My point exactly.

 

Quoting Mortenart,
Steam is the bane of my gaming life.  I have a corrupt dll on my system, which means that I cannot load Steam, and therefore cannot play any of my games that require it - Mount & Blade, Civilisation..  And now it seems that Lord of the Rings Online have associated themselves with Steam, I can't play that either, and have had to cancel my subscription.  Why should we be forced to play the games that we have bought through a third party client, requiring internet connection?  It's an outrage.  Please, please do not go the same way...  

So your computer is malfunctioning, and.. That's somehow Steam's fault that you can't load it due to said malfunction? My face hurts. The palm that just struck it was done so with outragous force.

Quoting eobet,
As much as I dislike Steam for it's very shake offline modes and forced patches which can fail and lock you out of your games for extended periods of time (happened to me very, very often up until last year... so they have gotten better), I must say that Steam is pretty ubiquitous now. Especially if you own both a PC and a Mac.

Forced patches.. That is a false statement. You can toggle that on/off. However, I have mine on auto patching for all of my games, and.. Yeah, in the last 7 or 8 years now, I've never had Steam patch a game and break it in some way that wasn't the DIRECT FAULT OF THE DEVELOPER. Steam does what it is told to do. And who tells it what to do? You.

Quoting Muttala,

I dont like DRM including Steam. I certainly understand DRM is protecting game developer's hard work. But I am one of the what "I purchased is what I should own fully" Fan boy - I admit. I leave Civ 5, Diablo 3 and Starcraft 2 behind just because of DRM. I am a returning supporter of DRM- free Humble bundles. Probably a solution for "hopeless fan-boy" like me is to wait until game developer earn enough, passing the risk of profit / product cost and start to considering DRM Free version to earn more money and that is exactly the time I am waiting for, for a product...lol  

Blizzard's DRM is very bad yes. Preventing people from playing a games singleplayer aspects while in a singleplayer setting (offline). It is a bummer, but their suits whisper in their ears of the dreaded pirates taking food off of the plates of their children. So the knee-jerk reaction is to put in stupid policies in place that do not hinder in -anyway- pirates, but instead punish those that have done no wrong (paying customers). Pirates do not care about your DRM, they'll crack it. And play the game without the hassle that those of us who pay for our games have to go through.

Now the "DRM" that Steam has.. Is hardly DRM! It isn't there to police your computer or take your candy and eat it in front of you cackling grimly while you sit there awe-struck in horror as the boogeyman is from taking something precious from you! Some of the scaremongering that I have seen on this forum and others about Steam's "DRM" -lol- is a logical fail of such degree that I lack the ability to adequately articulate my thoughts.

Quoting Tuidjy,
Valve has already said in the past that IF steam goes down foe what ever reason, THEY WILL make all the games still available to the customers. So no worries on that front. I love Steam, but that's bullshit. They can do that for their own games, but not for the games from other developers.

So.. You think Steam will be there on Monday, but come Tuesday.. (MK)Whoopsie! It's gone? Like.. No warning? Hm. Now I know it is a possibility, but then again so is going to sleep in your bed here on Earth and suddenly waking up on Mars. Then exploding. Yeah, it can happen! Will it? Sure! Not in the lifetime of this universe, but cross those fingers, might happen in the next one! Yeah.. If Steam was a sinking ship, I'm quite certain they'd give everyone time to make sure they retain access to their assests. This just sounds like scaremongering to me.

 

Quoting Naaarf,
Someone on this forum once compared Steam to an evil entity. I don't think that's quite it. Steam is more like a shepherd. It leads you where the grass is green and plenty, and while you sleep, it keeps the wolves away. It's good to you. It's comfortable... Just don't question it's motives, stray from the herd, or look too far into your future.   That said, i don't buy games that require steam. I don't even know how i could buy them. As far as i understand it, you can pay for those games, but you can't own them. They belong to Steam. The money you paid just gives you the right to play them. At least as long as Steam can and will permits it, that is.

Another dose of scaremongering. Steam isn't herding people anywhere. At least no more than anything else is. I'm more concerned with the Sun herding the Earth into its belly. It's just letting us fatten up for the big gulp ya know! It's comin! In a few Billion years anyway. Billion.. Biilllion. I wish I could say that with even one tenth the majesty of Carl Sagan. Billion. It's a fun word to say. It's a damn themepark when he says it. But I digress.. Often. So let me point out the highlighted section there. Right there. Yeah, see it? Yep. That right there. It's wrong. Now moving on.

Quoting GoaFan77,
And what exactly do if I want to play my game at an area without an internet connection. You can only go offline if you're already online, which is complete bull. Steam should just require you to connect to the servers every month or something, not after you have already connected to the internet that session.

Well, heres what I'd suggest.. Go in offline mode when you know you are going to be going somewhere without internet connection. Steam is a service, that service requires you the customer to have access to the internet for it to provide said service. So if you go to an area without access.. How is this Steam's fault? Also, once you go into offline mode, you do not have to log back in to go into offline mode once you exit the program. So turn it off, and booyah! It stays off in your area-of-no-internetness. I've played games before on steam without internet access. In fact, when you go to switch to offline mode, it tells you in a little information box that is the express purpose of the switch, and I qoute "Offline Mode is used when you're about to unplug your laptop, or are otherwise expecting to not be connected to the Internet.". There ya go, problem solved.

Quoting Ragmash,
Quoting Lonemessiah, reply 90switch to offline mode

Which you can only do if you're already online to begin with. My internet connection fails without notice. --> Often while I'm currently logged into Steam online, or playing multiplayer. Heck, I've been kicked off while trying to get into offline mode, while I was trying to log in! It's like telling a man with a lost dog, "use a leash" when the leash is more often than not frayed and otherwise unreliable. First you gotta catch the dog. And besides. I don't like leashes.

Okay.. I'm seeing a pattern here. So you're issue with going into offline mode is that.. Well, your internet is sporadic? How is this Steam's fault? It seems like a case of wanting cake / eating it too. Steam is a service, requires internet. What you're saying is kinda like hating soup because you have a spoon that occasionally pulls a Matrix on your ass. Damn you soup! Stay in the spoon!

Quoting Zerli,
If your games become Steam only, you will lose me as a customer permanently. I don't rent games. Either the game is mine to play/install/mod/delete/whatever from now till the end of time, barring failure of my backups, or I am not paying for it.

Alright, well I'll go ahead and be the bearer of bad news here.. You do not own the games you buy. You are in fact (generally).. leasing them with a (generally) one-time payment. You see, you can't do just whatever you want with it. That EULA that pretty much all games now days require you to sign, yeeeahh.. It tells you that in there, somewhere, that you don't really own it. At least, not in the truest sense of the word. I know, total downer. And moving on.

Quoting enoeraew37,
My problem with Steam is its effect on the marketplace. They provide a good service to the majority of gamers. But always online discriminates against poor kids whos parents cant afford an internet connection. Its already hard enough to find a good selection of videos games in a store. Sooner or later games in stores wont exist at all..and that will unfairly box out a section of gamers.

Steam is an irresponsible choice for the future of gaming.

I apologize if this seems.. Rude, but your vision is short-sighted. Internet access worldwide is becoming more and more affordable to people. Every day it gets better. And if someone is so poor as to not be able to afford internet service, I doubt video games are the thing they're most concerned with. Or even partially. Gaming is a form of entertainment. Not everyone can or will have access to that particular form of entertainment. However, that isn't the fault of the industry, the root cause is something else entirely that isn't the place for this forum. Steam isn't an irresponsible choice for the future of gaming. Steam isn't the villain here. And again, refer to the highlighted section; Steam isn't the one that requires you to always have internet access. You're blame is in the wrong place entirely.

 

And no, I'm not saying that poor kids do not want to play video games, I'm sure they do. I did. But that was the early 90s, and the internet didn't matter that much. But anyway, what you said about stores eventually no longer carrying games and leaving out a section of gamers and such.. That makes no sense. You're taking into account only one factor of a changing world and ignoring the rest of the change that comes with it, and supplementing it with the current state of things, as if that is the way it will always be.

 

And I saw somewhere in one of the posts about EA buying out Steam. That was a good one. Though, EA couldn't afford steam. You guys realize how much Steam is actually worth? You'd need Microsoft money to even consider it. Also I doubt Gabe would ever let his baby go, and if something did happen to him, well, then it wouldn't matter anyway. Gabe is the only one keeping Steam from turning into Skynet and all our base are belong to it.

 

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June 7, 2012 12:45:44 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Lord Xia,
Am I the only one that thinks that a lot of these complaints about steam are either completely incorrect, have nothing to do with steam itself or are just about the way the industry is moving?  I am continually amazed by people's ability to argue without the ability to reason or use logic, or obtain and use information about their argument.  

 

EDIT:I want to say I posted this before I saw Jeje's arguments, which I think are fair and well thought.

 

It is what I said at the beginning. A lot of the problems are actually due to the publishers/developers not Steam. For example I have quite a few games on Steam that I can actually start without having to start Steam at all. Games that run as a stand alone executable. People hear that it isn't possible, but never actually try, they just take all smack talk as gospel.

The idea that some day Valve we make us all unable to play our games is just plain ridiculous. What is more likely in the next 10 years, I lose my discs or Valve screws its entire customer base over.

I could listen to most arguments if it wasn't so plainly obvious that people are making them up just to prove themselves right. It seems half the people using the internet have really bad connections and limited bandwidth. In fact one argument above complains that the DRM forces him to play Lord of the rings Online... Online!!!!!

Do we think games like Terraria would have ever been as successful as they have been if it wasn't for the popularity of Steam? Soon we will get people claiming that they know a person that knows a person whose computer exploded in his face because he had steam installed.

 

edit: And one last thing, why should the gaming world be held back by those that don't have a reliable connection? Should we also have games in 16 colours for those that don't have access to a decent graphics card?

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June 7, 2012 12:59:53 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Greyclouds40,
I am a big supporter of Steam. 

 

There are some fears that I have should the Steam service ever be discontinued (I have about 100 games purchased since 2004) but it is a great service and gives me access to great games at competitive prices. Sins of a Solar empire was the game that got me to install Impulse, and despite the transfer to Gamestop, so far they have run the service adequately. 

 

The fact that Valve supports developers by paying them immediately places my support of Steam even higher, IMO.

 

 

I used to worry about that too before Steam got super popular. But now you see all the other big publishers like EA rushing to get their own digital distribution platforms out to crush Steam and I know they would only be doing if it was the future of distribution. You can be damn sure they first tried to bully or coerce Valve into selling the rights to them, you may notice a lot of EA games are no longer available on Steam. A good case in point is Gamestop buying up Impulse, corporations want successful digital distribution platforms and if they can't buy them they will make their own and compete. If for some reason Valve goes under in the future there will be someone to pick up the pieces and support your Steam purchases as it pretty much guarantees future profit off you. I'm no prophet though so I can't say if the quality of support will be better or worse lol

 

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June 7, 2012 1:25:06 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I use Steam - and it currently delivers my drug of choice (Dota2) to me. Which is a plus right now. I don't buy a lot of games through it, but I do get the occasional gem. Usually the very low-cost games. Like Bastion.

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June 7, 2012 1:28:16 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Reason to go with Steam..is the option to play offline DRM is not going to help anything its nice to find out there is a update log in d/l and play a game that you paid for.. Also to those who use pirates as the reason for DRM give it up! DRM does not stop this. Good games that people want to BUY as we are all able to play this Beta means we paid for Elemental. I will always pay for my games but consider this if you bought the first Elemental and found out what we all found out would you not be a bit ticked if Stardock did not do the right thing?

 Most of the garbage pushed out isn't worth the broadband to download (ubisoft) cough.... Stardock Make this game able to be played without a connection to the web unless we want to play Multiplayer, but as we know that is not going to be part of release then you have the option to DRM the crap out of it so peeps can play together if they want. I am tired of this multiplayer crap some of us, not all of us enjoy the single player abilty and it apears your devs have spent a many hour to give us a good single player adventure. Please do not act like the others, you have done so well not to so far...NO DRM! With all the love and well wishes to the mighty Stardock! Peace.... Oh yea got off subject a bit Steam is a good system unless you forget your password and user name... (lost Civ 5 because of this reason lol not a big loss) +1 for Steam

Will cut this short just had my first real game others where more of a get my butt kicked by everything but this last game brought back grand memorys of what made me love these types of games. Stardock as I said in other post I love you and will marry you and yes due to your non payment issues I will sighn a prenup. Will always smile when I purchase your products because I know your not like the others ...

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June 7, 2012 2:03:21 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Steam is great. Most of the criticisms of it seem to come from a fear of a potential monopoly, leading to (as brad fears), developers getting shafted.

But gamers clearly don't want every developer to have their own DD app with their own log in information. Of course they don't: it's complicated and redundant.

The way I prefer to think of it is this: The CD is a monopoly, but we don't have these fears, as is the DVD, or the shape of a power adapter. Of course we don't call them that, we call them formats. A future where one DD system dominates is perfectly acceptable if that DD system is run as an onwership neutral, equal access format instead of a private monopoly.

This is the pitch that needs to be made. A neutral Steam, run democtratically by shareholder-users, that treated huge producers and indie developers the same way, would be in the interests of everyone in the gaming community.

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June 7, 2012 2:50:24 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Political issues, privacy concerns and all trends aside --  Ultimately, I've always looked at Steam as little more than an obstacle; a useless hurdle I have no interest in, and something I'd rather just not have to navagate around to get to where I want to be.  I have a feeling most agree with that assessment, including those who "got used to it", and even those who grew to enjoy and praise Steam.  If you still had the option to not jump through any extra hurdles in order to just play your game, not to suffer though additional loading screens, be bombarded with advertisements, additional updates, clicking and sorting through various jargon you want nothing to do with etc etc etc, surely most would do so.

 

But more recently, my view on the matter has changed.  Mainly due to the 'play offine' feature becoming perfectly useless; thanks to recent Steam "upgrades" it no longer works for me.  This is a problem.  Many on other forums, as well as some I've talked to personally (intelligent, perfectly competent people) have the very same problem; it's difficult to not doubt those claiming this function actually works for them.  My internet connection is iffy at times (living in the middle of nowhere), so there is no reason to play a single player game online (this entire concept in itself was always hilariously ironic to me).  But regardless, I can't do it anyway.  Whether I'm currently online or not, I get an annoying error message whenever I try to use this option, telling me offline "isn't available".  Like I said, I've been all over the place searching for solutions to get Steam to function correctly to no avail (and even though I've virtually given up on Steam all together), I'll gladly hear out anyone here who thinks they know how to get around the error message.  So now I've purchased Skyrim, a $60 game that I can't play, and for no good reason.

 

The most hilariously ironic part of all this?  I've discovered the ONLY way I'm able to play the game is to download a "cracked" executable for the game to run it.  So in other words, I have to violate the EULA and run a pirated, illegal file in order to play a game I legally purchased and flawlessly installed onto my high-spec PC that I otherwise never have any problems with.  It does not get more hilariously ironic than that, folks.  One of the reasons Steam exists is to keep people from pirating.  Now thanks to Steam, I have no choice but to do exactly that.  So yes, I'm not exactly a fan.  But at least this way, I can play Skyrim without having to run Steam whatsoever (and as an added bonus, I now can get from my desktop with one double-click to the in-game title menu INSTANTLY (no loading of any kind), and the framerate is noticably smoother without Steam!).  Perhaps this whole experience was all for the best... haha.

 

And just to reiterate, this specific problem (surely among others) is solely a problem with Steam, not the game itself, or the user.  To say otherwise is ignorant fanboyism.  In my case this is explicitly proven as Skyrim is literally unplayable with Steam, and plays like a gem without it.  While I'm clearly against Steam, I'm also well aware its positives, namely its promotion of indy games.  But whether you love it or hate it; whether or not it works well for you personally, one cannot deny Steam has some serious problems.  Aside from using it to install Skyrim's updates, freeing Skyrim of Steam's tight grasp has been a liberating, beautiful expereince.

 

 

Quoting fisch050,
I don't like Steam.  I always use Impulse whenever I can.  I really like being able to archive the game on disk.  That way, if Impulse ever goes away, I still have access to my games.  Steam?  I don't see a way to do that.  Also, requiring an Internet connection to play is too much.  Oh, and Steam - when and how often I play is none of your doggone business! 

 

True story - I install games via Impulse, which gives me an actual shortcut to click on to run the game.  No need to enter Impulse (which is WONDERFUL!).  So, I always click on the shortcuts.  Impulse says I have never played my games.  Heh.    I have, but THEY don't need to know that.

 

Why do I HAVE to enter Steam to play the freaking game?  I don't even want to RUN Steam, much less have to ENTER it.


Wonderful points comparing Impulse.  For all sorts of reasons, I'd take the Impulse module over Steam in a heartbeat.

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June 7, 2012 9:11:33 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I too have experienced the same problems with Steam's offline mode and have been forced to use alternate DD vendors.  So what can a man do?  The answer is only buy multiplayer games from Steam.  My only major fear at this point are the many horror stories I've read about and there certainly are a lot of them out there.

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June 8, 2012 12:59:29 AM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

I don't want any unnecessary middlemen between me and my applications. Steam as a download client, sure, whatever, Mozilla also works pretty well. Steam as a form of DRM is unnecessary and unwanted.

I've read the previous 5 pages. It's amusing that many of the ProSteam advocates become outraged that people don't want to use Steam "properly". I don't want Steam. I don't need Steam. I barely tolerate Steam. Why should I spend any time dealing with it at all? I've got enough problems working with the applications and compatibility issues without unnecessary changes. Steam does change files. These changes are not necessary because the applications can run without Steam. I don't want any of those Steam "extra features". Keep them. Please! I'll suffer by myself with the original application files.

Case in point, Steam just released Dungeon Siege 1 & 2. However, Steam/GPG "fixed" the "broken" multiplay versions of DS 1 & 2 by removing them. Gee... Thanks guys... Why do I need Steam again? The unique experience?

Here's an amusing analogy, Steam is middleman software. Another type of middleman software is unique hardware companies versions of programs and operating systems (e.g., Dell/Lenovo/HP/Whatever Flavor of Windows and all of the "bonus" software they install on new computers). Are you going to try to convince me that I should be grateful and thankful for these unique versions of Windows? Or how about how one should be happy with the default installation of a Company specific OS on your phone. Jailbreaking phones is unnecessary and evil right?

Steam doesn't give me a choice. It doesn't give me useful functionality. I'm okay with checking for new patches by myself. I'll somehow manage to spend that extra 5 minutes loading a browser and checking a website.

For those that think Steam's online policy is okay. How about we make it even better: Introducing Steam vT1. To use it you have to have a persistent T1 connection to Steam Servers. We use that bandwidth to take real time video footage of you while you are using Steam. If we detect an unauthorized person near your computer while you are playing, we will automatically save your life by disabling all of your Steam Software. Steam vT1 is not available to individuals without persistent T1 connections. This is a horrible exaggeration, but I know my stance. I don't want to have any required connections. However, where do proponents of requiring online connections stand? Is it okay if your computer takes pictures of you and sends it to Valve? How about if it is just every 15 minutes? Can we log all of your internet connections and send that to make sure you aren't hacking? You are okay with paying for this too right?

I sympathize with StarDock and not getting paid for their work. I try to send funds directly to publishers when possible. More DRM isn't the answer to getting paid for your work.

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