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Why is Steam suddenly bad?

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Posted on Mar 28, 2009 2:55:25 PM PDT
Bryan says:
I have been using steam for awhile. I hate it. It is simply a resource drain in order to make sure I personally don't pirate software. Plus I don't necessarily think that a web connection should be mandatory to game. I feel like it is one more step toward the industry's dream of all subscription software. We will rent our games and never own anything except the right to play it for a certain amount of time on a single PC and they will verify eligibility each time you want to play. "Papers please, mein herr..."

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 29, 2009 4:44:17 AM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Dec 31, 2009 10:23:48 AM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 29, 2009 2:39:11 PM PDT
V. Zhu says:
"It's completely unbelievable too! EA has single-handedly made the "pirates" (as they call them) into digital Robin Hoods. EA has turned the digital "terrorists" into digital freedom fighters. I and many others trust the "pirates" more than the biggest game publisher in the WORLD! That's TOTALLY INSANE!!!!!"

It is totally insane because the efforts made by these pirates most likely caused EA to enact stricter DRM policies to begin with. It goes both ways - software developers start including DRM on their products, more and more people feel a need to pirate, and then software developers include tighter controls. Neither side is bad nor good, they're all trying to come out on top.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 29, 2009 5:57:27 PM PDT
Dreaming.. says:
Oh yes the developer side is bad enough, specially EA and the likes, who would like to dictate how/when/if I can go to the bathroom. Specifically steam related, I recently bought a game (on sale, as always) which is single player/offline all the time, happens to be that the thing (steam) feels the need to connect to the master servers every once in a while to ask if I have proper papers (Marty Watson, you are a genius), pretty handy and tasty user behavior data to PR development, that is all there is to it.

If pirates are the Robin Hoods of the modern world, EA and the likes sure are fit for the cruel Sheriff(s) of Nottingham(s)

Posted on Mar 29, 2009 7:34:41 PM PDT
David says:
What's really funny is the steps taken by the game developers to stop pirating are completely useless. The games we're paying $50 for the fun of spending hours trying to get working are available for free with nothing more invested than the time to download and install the crack. Often times, these games are available for free even before the official release. <rolls eyes>

When are the game developers going to realize high prices and insane useless copy protection methods only fuel the pirating?

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 29, 2009 8:04:40 PM PDT
Bryan says:
Honestly, I think Steam and Steam clones are more about marketing directly to us than piracy. Nothing like firing up steam for a game of team fortress II and getting spammed about 25 new games. I saw the "Watchmen" game advertised on steam and the same day I saw a bit torrent available for it. Steam obviously didn't work there. I have the new GTA for PC and Securom really pisses me off plus the windows live hook up. Playing off line is nearly impossible. I haven't figured out how to do it yet. So I have never pirated a game in my life and I have two programs running 24/7 whose sole purposes are making sure that Orange Box and GTA 4 are actually my games to play Plus they get to market to me for free.

Posted on Apr 2, 2009 2:58:16 PM PDT
Mr. Jumps says:
One overlooked aspect about steam is its memory usage on your computer. It actually uses more memory than what is actually displayed in memory manager.

Posted on Apr 3, 2009 12:37:09 AM PDT
C. Koski says:
I don't know what the fuss is all about... I like Steam.

Posted on Apr 3, 2009 1:54:57 AM PDT
M. Sharpless says:
I was a user of Steam for a while. I bought all sorts of games off steam. Then one day, I decided that I needed to wipe my computer. Like all computer gamers do every so often. I reinstalled Steam, put in my username and password, than tried installing one of my steam games. Well, I got the CD key already in use bull, and couldn't install the game. I got so pissed, I found a gaming magazine with the guy who made Half Life 2 name in it. Called Valve and used his name in the phone menu to get a hold of him. The guy who made the game PICKED UP!! I couldn't believe that I really got one of the creators of Half Life 2 on the phone (No Joke, I got my friends as witness's" :-) Well, of course I complained about Steam, I got the bull, that he had no control over how steam works. So in the end, I thanked him for his work on Half Life 2, but said Steam is really bringing down the game's playability. So you can tell how much that really helped me. :-p
The lack of tech support at the time was uncalled for, it has gotten better over the years but it still sucks. DRM protection has gotten a lot worse over the years, and it's really uncalled for. It's like gun control. You can try and ban guns all you want, but in the end all you're doing is giving the power to the criminals that don't go and by their guns at retail stores to begin with. It's uncalled for, and for the record, there are a few legal battles against SecuROM. I believe that this is the best way to deal with DRM, more gamers need to ban together and start bringing legal cases against any company that uses any sort of DRM. One I bought the disk, it should be mine to do whatever I want with it. I agree that if I am caught pirating the game I should be held accountable, but I have never once used a pirated game and DRM pisses me off to no end. Look at games that have no protection on them, there is a few. There the least pirated games, why is that? EA and others should take a look at this; even "World of Warcraft" can be copied and pasted on other computers without installing the game at all.
In the end, I lost all my steam games that I had purchased. I have never used steam again; I lost about 200 dollars worth of software that I will never get back. I used steam in its infancy it just started, and thought it was the greatest thing not having to go to the store, but like many users they find out that Steam is a real problem when it decides that you don't have the rights to your games anymore.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 3, 2009 3:13:16 AM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Jul 2, 2011 8:42:44 AM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 3, 2009 4:56:12 AM PDT
Bryan says:
That's the trick. Not buying these "user verification" schemes. If they can't sell the games, they will rethink. I watched Red Alert 3 do an immediate price drop within a week and it has been trending down faster than usual and I think it's because of Securom.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 3, 2009 6:46:10 AM PDT
R. J. Satori says:
"If they can't sell the games, they will rethink."
That's a lesson I suspect many companies can't afford, though it seems it is more the huge corporate publishers getting involved with these 'clever' schemes. With them, I'm not so confident that the bean counters will learn the correct lesson.

If sales are poor, the developer may be punished. Or the publisher may, as is typical in recent years, assume piracy is to blame and use it as an excuse to further abandon the PC platform.

Boy am I sunshine today...

Anyway, point is, I'm glad to see people speaking up and making the message clear. Perhaps we should go even further and contact the publishers directly to inform them of exactly why we have either not bought, or ultimately returned their products.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 3, 2009 10:51:06 AM PDT
Bryan says:
Well what does it matter? Consoles get all the games and PC gets a ported piece of crap 2 or 3 years after the console release IF we're lucky. PC users put most of these companies on the map yet the best games go to console first. Add that to the "piracy prevention" schemes, PC users are being nudged out. No loyalty to the customer base and the end of the cottage industry that game developers used to be.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 3, 2009 11:29:31 PM PDT
Rico Penguin says:
I think the irony is they blame PC sales on piracy yet everyone I know pirates FAR more stuff on their consoles than they'll ever do on PC.

Mainly because most good PC games have some sort of multiplayer (plus modding makes the prices fair). At any rate it is funny to me :).

Posted on Apr 6, 2009 8:38:50 PM PDT
Noliving says:
R. J. Satori, I think some of reasons why some steam supporters are the way they are is because some of the attacks against steam are really weak, for an example I'll use one of your quotes.

"So, even though you realize the problems are real and the company is abusing their customers, you don't want them to ever get shut down or fail. That would mean losing access to all those games you paid for yourself, because the system ensures that you will not be able to use YOUR games anymore if anything ever happens to Valve/Steam."

Why is this a weak attack against steam? Because Valve has said in the past that if Valve is to go under and there are no buyers when it comes to taking over Steam, they will release a patch that removes the required authentication of games on steam and steam accounts, which means you won't lose access to your games because it no longer needs to authenticate your account or your games to play, you just click on the icon and the game plays. You can also use this same attack against retail(disc based) format. For example I own warcraft 2 bnet edition, my copy is to scratched up that it can't be read, I didn't make any back up copies, so what other options do I have left? 1. Go through blizzards disc replacement program 2. find a friend who has it 3. buy a copy on the internet. Option 1 is the most reliable, but there is a problem, even though blizzard isn't out of business they no longer do disc replacements for warcraft 2, Option 2. Don't know anyone who has it which leaves option 3 and that is spending more money.

The answer then is you should of made back ups, you can make backs ups of steam games, just copy and paste the folder.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 6, 2009 8:54:55 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 6, 2009 9:00:17 PM PDT
R. J. Satori says:

You point out to me that Valve has made a noncontractual commitment to providing a "patch" to users rectifying the limits of their system should they ever go out of business. Considering this company's history of false advertising and abuse of customers that isn't a great comfort, but even if you buy it, have all the third-party publishers now in collusion with Valve made the same commitment?

There is also a key difference in your analogy of the damaged disc: when it comes to the condition of my property, I have a measure of control over whether any disc replacement is ever needed. Not the publisher. Not the store. Not some parasitic online "service provider" (Steam==headcrabs?). Me. I can take care of MY discs. Or not. For games that require Steam, my fastidious care is meaningless, as the disc is nonfunctional on arrival.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 6, 2009 8:54:58 PM PDT
Dreaming.. says:

If steam was to go out of business 6 months, do you really believe that the companies distributing games thru them will allow the release of such patch. The best bet would be valve only games, if at all.

Don't be so naive..

Posted on Apr 6, 2009 11:16:55 PM PDT
Anyone who wonders why people hate Steam just needs to read the wikipedia article:

Among other things:

Games bought through Steam cannot be resold. The Steam Subscriber Agreement denies users the right to "sell, charge others for the right to use or otherwise transfer [an] account";[52].

Steam collects and reports anonymous metrics of its usage, stability, and performance,[38] all, with the exception of Valve's hardware survey, without notifying the user at the time of collection or offering an opt-out.

It is necessary to validate every Steam game online before it can be launched, although an offline mode is available. There are no alternate methods of activation such as via telephone or fax, which causes the system to deny access to those without Internet connections. According to the Steam Subscriber Agreement, Steam's availability is not guaranteed and Valve is under no legal obligation to release an update disabling the authentication system in the event that Steam becomes permanently unavailable.[52]

By default, to play a game offline, Steam and the game itself must be fully updated. When Steam starts online, the system checks to see if there are updates available. If there are, the user is forced to wait for update process to finish before being able to play again, though games can be streamed online.[54] These updates cannot be rolled back by the user, which prevents users with unusual or unrecognized issues reverting their software to its previous, functional state. Steam can be set to stay offline and not attempt a connection,[55] but this offline mode has its own restrictions and limitations, including preventing games which have not been updated from running in offline mode.[56]

All of these things just discourage people from buying the game. Why should they pay $50 for a game with all these restrictions and big-brother controls, when they can buy another game for $50 and actually own it?

Posted on Apr 6, 2009 11:23:56 PM PDT
I don't understand all the people saying Steam is necessary to prevent piracy. Aren't Steam games just as easily pirated as non-Steam games? Don't they actually make unofficial copies even more desirable? It's kind of odd when you think about it...Steam makes it so the only people who actually have control over their copy of the game are the people who did not pay for it...

Posted on Apr 6, 2009 11:32:11 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 6, 2009 11:39:12 PM PDT
M. Moore says:
Very interesting and informative discussion here.

It looks like it is safe to say that SecuROM may be The Biggest F'UP of All Time in Video Games. Everyone should boycott Sony (and of course, PC games with SecuROM) until they cease and desist the production and development of SecuROM.

As for using Steam to "pirate" games, "sharing" is more of the correct term, which is cool. Plus, Steam makes constant upgrades, so if there is something you don't like now, they may change it in the future.

In my opinion, Steam does not belong in the same discussion as Sony's SecuROM. Steam is just still learning. But as for Sony's SecuROM.. they need to be banned, boycotted, sued, or something of that nature.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 6, 2009 11:34:57 PM PDT
I think you point out the real value of Steam. It has nothing to do with copy protection, it has to do with convenience and multi-player matching. The problem with Steam is how it FORCES you to use your games this way. You don't actually own a copy of the game that you can sell, instead you own a license to play it, basically. You are forced to run this extra software, forced to update your game (what if you don't like an update?). If all of the Steam features were optional, it would be a great system. Why are they all forced and controlled? It does nothing to prevent piracy, anyone can get a pirated copy of a Steam game easily

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 7, 2009 1:29:02 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 7, 2009 1:31:26 AM PDT
R. J. Satori says:
"I am glad this thread veered immediately away from Steam, and straight to the root of the problem: SecuROM."

If it ever "veered" then it "veered" right back again, because Steam is arguably worse than SecuROM, whether it is in the same category (of crime) or not, barring the recent "limited installations" fiasco. It is worse in part because it has this social aspect, turning customers into unpaid defenders of the company's fundamentally unethical system.

I'll grant you: the folks at Valve are diabolically clever. But that's not a good thing.

Posted on Apr 7, 2009 5:13:52 AM PDT
Bryan says:
I never really get people who are "good" with Steam. If they actually did something positive for, backing up game progress online. Now that would be SOMETHING. Lose all your data to hardware failure, download Steam and Voilà! all your game progress just like you left it. But sadly no, it's all about piracy prevention and marketing . A program sucking resources that there to keep you personally from pirating games.

Posted on Apr 7, 2009 6:08:52 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 7, 2009 6:21:14 PM PDT
Noliving says:
R. J. Satori: There are differences in my analogy but the end result is the same, No Game. That is the point. Service for steam goes down, no game. Your disc gets to badly damaged, no game. There may be differences but the end result is the same. Here is something else, burn diablo 2 or warcraft 3, don't make any changes at all to those games, burn them as they are from the orignal disc and then after installing try to play the game. Just because you can burn a game doesn't mean that burned game will allow you to play. What happens if you lose your cd key for that game? No game, no matter how many physical back ups you made. If that company doens't offer disc replacements they sure as hell don't offer cd key or manual replacements.

I understand where your going, and that is your the one who wants control not someone else but I can replicate the same problems with disc based format, it may be different in terms of causing the same problem but the end result is the same problem.

Dreamingby: Do you have EA games suing the makers of securom when they released an uninstallation program for it? No you don't. Unless the software has additional 3rd party copy protection what can they possibly do to not play along? Once valve releases that patch there is nothing they can do to stop it, they are all on the same copy protection, they don't need the other developers to play along.What can they legally do to stop it? You think that when these companies came to valve to use steam's copy protection they didn't agree atleast to have valve be able to release a patch to remove the authentication? In order to use valve's copy protection they have to come to an agreement with valve.

Don't be so naive.

Marty Watson: They are actually doing just that with progress online, first version of this can be found in left 4 dead. One of the other benefits is not needing to have the cd with you in order to install, you can be on any computer in the world, just have an internet connection, you can download steam and then download your games.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 7, 2009 6:15:44 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 7, 2009 6:17:36 PM PDT
Dreaming.. says:
Dude, or dudette...

you write:
"You think that when these companies came to valve to use steam's copy protection they didn't agree atleast to have valve be able to release a patch to remove the authentication?"

and you think I'm the naive one?

SEGA: We would like to attain your services for online distribution AND authentication of our games.

STEAM: Right, but know beforehand that you have to agree to the clause that states that in case we go out of business we will release a patch that will effectively render your intellectual property into freeware.

SEGA: Sure, no problem....

Knock knock
Hellloooo??? is there anybody there??
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