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Steam - There's a sale on


choddo
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I fire it up when i want to play, the same time as i fire up xfire and have rarely ever had a problem with it.

I love the way it incorporates mods into the game browser and if it help keep hackers n aimboters off teh servers its even better.

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Steam would appear to be everything that the Rev Stu and others were asking for way-back-when (Fairplay?) - cheaper games and fewer people feeding-off the sale.

It would also appear for be VERY good for developers in terms of them getting a bigger cut...

NO idea how developers get funding to DEVELOP games in the first place tho - I assume Valve are 'publishing' (e.g. funding) this to some degree?

Steamwill, however, be a VERY BAD thing if it becomes the ONLY way to get some games - monopolies are BAD m'kay?

It also completely eliminates pre-owned/second hand sale of games of course - but I personally don't mind if the game isn't MASSIVELY expensive in the first place (£35 for most PC games is laughable as they'll be half that in 3-4 weeks!!).

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Who's to say that once they decide they don't want to continue supporting "game x" because it's getting on a bit and they have something new to sell that they won't just switch it off server-side and prevent you playing it any more?

I see that could be a problem, but I doubt it would happen with most cases. They've brought up-to-date the original Half-Life, the add-on packs, and various HL1-based mods so you now have them along with all their game servers accessed through Steam, just like the new games, rather than removed support for them. And HL1 is about 7 (8?) years old now. It wouldn't be as bad as having to support actual game servers for all their games, so I hope they'll just keep everything going.

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On release it was utter shite and very unreliable so of course people were whinging. It was well deserved too as people were itching to play what they had bought and Steam was preventing that. Fair enough its come right in the end but originally it wasnt all a bed of roses.

It's reliability at the release of HL2 was quite a poor show considering that steam had been around for a long time before that. It was used as the method of patching the official HL1 mods (mainly CS, TFC & DoD) and caused untold trouble for players at the time. The patches were only a fraction of the HL2 downloads yet the steam system didn't seem to improve much leading up to HL2. Having said that, I was on 56k at the time HL2 came out. I bought the DVD and, after authenticating it online once, happily played through it without being connected. I also was without net access for a week when moving house and played through episode 1 offline with no problems.

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Having said that, I was on 56k at the time HL2 came out. I bought the DVD and, after authenticating it online once, happily played through it without being connected. I also was without net access for a week when moving house and played through episode 1 offline with no problems.

OMG! One of the smart ones! :)

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What would happen if Valve went out of business? All of your purchases would be worthless.

I'd rather take the convenience of not having to buy and take care of disks, installation anywhere and a great content delivery and management system over the possiblity that sometime in the future I may not be able to play them again. And even if that did happen, assuming Valve didn't do something like release a patch to avoid the need to authenticate, there are always going to be methods to circumvent the authentication.

Steam offers so many possibilities for content delivery that if Valve struggled financially in future, there's always going to be another company willing to step in and reap the benefits.

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What would happen if Valve went out of business? All of your purchases would be worthless.

I honestly expect, having read a lot about the company, that if that happened, that they would unlock everything.

Doesn't look like happening soon, fortunately.

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What would happen if Valve went out of business? All of your purchases would be worthless.

That's a brilliant hypothesis. You should get a prize.

I mean, this is a wider issue than Valve, isn't it? If Apple go out of business tomorrow, what will happen to everyone with Macs?

I'm also not sure if I want to buy a 360 anymore - what if MS cease trading? All that XBLA stuff will just have been a waste! ;)

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It is brilliant. However it does lock up a lot of the time, its infruiating when it does that. buggy?

That's a brilliant hypothesis. You should get a prize.

I mean, this is a wider issue than Valve, isn't it? If Apple go out of business tomorrow, what will happen to everyone with Macs?

yeah but with macs you own the hardware, you dont have to ring them up everytime you want to use your ipod and prove who you are.

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That's a brilliant hypothesis. You should get a prize.

I mean, this is a wider issue than Valve, isn't it? If Apple go out of business tomorrow, what will happen to everyone with Macs?

I'm also not sure if I want to buy a 360 anymore - what if MS cease trading? All that XBLA stuff will just have been a waste! ;)

If Apple went out of business you would still be able to use your hardware and software that you had paid for. With Valve you don't have this option. You are still locked into Steam if you buy the retail game.

Obviously it's an issue that affects any download service.

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I'm picking up something here which I thought was odd...

I can't be arsed by buy PC games any more because they cost a bit too much and I just don't generally have time. I don't bother to look at the PC shelf in Game any more.

But you do look at the console shelves, which are - on average - more expensive?

Can you explain your thought patterns here? If it's just the game types, why mention they're too expensive?

KG

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I bought X3 off Steam rather than on DVD/CD because the Steam version doesn't include the Starforce protection. It uses Steam's DRM instead, which I don't mind. Starforce on the other hand is a crock.

Can't quite make my mind up about X3 though. It was OK for $19, but maybe I need to give it more time.

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Personally I've never had a problem with Steam at all.

I really like the idea of buying games online through it, and most of the stuff is cheap enough to make impulse buying easy. For example, the other night the people in the Counterstrike folder were having a Team Fortress Classic night. All I had to do was log on, buy it ($9.99 / £4) download, took about 10 minutes and get on the server they were on.

In my opinion, it's great, because it simplifies things so much. I can check where my friends are playing, or how many people are on favourite servers, without being in game. It's brilliantly thought out and to be honest I couldn't ask much more of it.

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I'm picking up something here which I thought was odd...

But you do look at the console shelves, which are - on average - more expensive?

Can you explain your thought patterns here? If it's just the game types, why mention they're too expensive?

KG

I'm going to try and leap into Choddo's head:

Steam looks cheaper.

I can browse from the comfort of my desk.

I don't have to wait for the post - start a download in the morning, and it'll probably be done in a couple of hours.

And then out again:

Similar to XBLA really, except there I can download the game in 5 minutes and have a play and spend money without leaving my armchair, since they've already got my CC details on file...

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If Apple went out of business you would still be able to use your hardware and software that you had paid for. With Valve you don't have this option. You are still locked into Steam if you buy the retail game.

Obviously it's an issue that affects any download service.

It's not.

I've bought plenty of shareware over the years and not one game or program has required me to phone home every time I've used it. You get the software to copy as you want and a key to make it work. It may try to phone home, but nothing has ever refused to run because of a lack of Internet connection.

Even Xbox Live Arcade doesn't require you to authenticate every time you try to play, doing the initial authentication when you purchase and tying that information to your gamertag which you can take with you via memory card.

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It's not.

I've bought plenty of shareware over the years and not one game or program has required me to phone home every time I've used it. You get the software to copy as you want and a key to make it work. It may try to phone home, but nothing has ever refused to run because of a lack of Internet connection.

Even Xbox Live Arcade doesn't require you to authenticate every time you try to play, doing the initial authentication when you purchase and tying that information to your gamertag which you can take with you via memory card.

If Steam used the shareware model I wouldn't be complaining. No chance in hell of happening though.

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The problem with online distibution is that the consumer loses even more control over the software they've purchased. With an envirnoment that makes you regularly connect and authenticate, it can forces you to patch your software with whatever updates they've released, regardless whether you want to or not.

Xbox Live is similar, with MS forcing updates on you. But at least you have the option to disconnect your console from the net and play the game as bought for as long as you want. Steam has never given that choice, and that speaks volumes.

Companies that lock consumer to using their products and services by limiting them must be viewed with suspision. Steam is to gaming what DRM is to MP3s (and will soon be to video). Fairplay doesn't give any benefit to the consumer. It helps reduce piracy, so is good for the copywrite owner, but is most benificial to Apple, as it ties the music to their products and gives reason for consumer to not use a competitor.

I have no doubt that Valve's ultimate goal is to be to PC games what Apple is to music. Once they're in such a position, it's only up to them if they abuse it or not. What if they decide to go down the subscription route? You would be tied to the subscription if you want to keep playing the games you've already paid for.

For as long as you have the opertunaty, keep buying optical media and avoid having your consumer rights eaten away. The initial benefits of easy of purchase and lower price aren't worth the trade off of having some company decide how and when you can use the produce you've bought.

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I'm picking up something here which I thought was odd...

But you do look at the console shelves, which are - on average - more expensive?

Can you explain your thought patterns here? If it's just the game types, why mention they're too expensive?

KG

I tend to look at the 2nd hand GC and DS titles, occassionally xbox stuff, unless it's a real corker I've been looking forward to. Only games I've bought "new" recently have been LocoRoco and ... actually that's about it for this year I think! Next closest is Phoenix Wright but that was from play.com

The ps2 has sat in the cupboard for ages. Not seen anything very interesting for the 360 since GRAW.

£40 was ok when I had the free time to get the value out of it. £50 was never ok -_-

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Amazing isn't the word I use, especially after having CD keys constantly nabbed by some bum and Valve doing nothing about it. Classy.

I like the concept, but Steam is very pissy about some things, offline mode for example, and can be a pain. But it's also quite versatile at certain things, you can backup most of your stuff to CD, it's easy to use etc. It's OK.

Can't wait for Defcon.

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What if they decide to go down the subscription route? You would be tied to the subscription if you want to keep playing the games you've already paid for.

For as long as you have the opertunaty, keep buying optical media and avoid having your consumer rights eaten away. The initial benefits of easy of purchase and lower price aren't worth the trade off of having some company decide how and when you can use the produce you've bought.

So what if they want to go down the subscription route (which they already are, by the way)? If you don't want a particular episode of a story, you just don't buy it. They're not going to take away the games you've already purchased.

And as far as optical media offering consumer rights goes: what about the whole starforce issue that a lot of publishers force on the consumers? It's as tricky to remove from your system as any virus or other malware, and I've not seen obvious indications that the software will be installed on my machine along with the game. Let's not even mention Sony.

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I think steam is great, i dont really play many games these days and i dont even own a gaming pc any more. However my imac has windows on it and i installed steam. Obv my backups i made years ago via steam dont work. As they never have and i forgot to seperatly backup my savegame files :lol:

But even tho i can just download the games i own, not have to worry about the cd everytime i want to play and as choddo mentions pickup a game for a few quid and be playing it within mins.

I was on the beta program for steam and at the start it was horrific but gradually it got better. As HL and CS are my all time fave pc games i was very pleased to give all the money for the games to valve rather than some ripoff gameshop taking all the developers money.

I did notice that offline mode would not let me play HL2 (windows and airport not working until the day i plug a lan cable in !) and if friends works i would be amazed, my friends list only has 1 friend on it and i used to have loads - i just assumed it still didnt work !

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Xbox Live is similar, with MS forcing updates on you. But at least you have the option to disconnect your console from the net and play the game as bought for as long as you want. Steam has never given that choice, and that speaks volumes.

You do know you can switch off automatic updates for any steam game, right? The only games where you are 'forced' to update are those that rely on you connecting to an external server to play, since client and server have to be running the same version of the software. And its force only dependent on your usage of the software, valve don’t shove it down your throat.

The automatic updates have caused annoyance in the past, particularly when the changes cause the games to run worse or even start to crash. But valve is always working to resolve any such issues that arise, and that, for me, is the real beauty of the system. Look at the changes made to Episode 1 after they received data on how people played it, locating a particular difficulty spike (which some people were very critical of) and changed that section to smooth that spike down. Or the gradual improvements (i.e. not including those shiny tiles in shadow :lol: ) made to Counter-Strike: Source, which have varied from changes in map functionality, weapon features to bot AI. The whole system is far more elegant than massive bug-solving patch releases, and it allows valve the opportunity to grow their games with player input so they’re continually improving. You might not always agree with the changes made, but I’ve yet to see someone complain that they’ve made an intentional change that’s game-breaking.

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You can backup games to disc to reinstall offline. And you can play offline, I don't see why Valve going bust would mean you couldn't play them? Except online aspects anyway. But anyway, they aren't going to, so shush.

What's X3 like? Been tempted to get that for ages.

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No games using the hl2.exe file work for me, at all, anymore. That's HL Episode 1, Counter Strike Source for me, but loads of other games such as DoD use it too. Apparently a lot of people got this sort of problem a while ago, was after a Steam modification of the source engine used in those games, apparently.

They never bothered to fix it, and the support forum is fucking horrific, absolutely useless, only recommending that I update drivers for everything under the sun. Including Motherboard drivers, which I heard you're not supposed to mess around with at all unless after first setting up a computer, unless you want to shit everything up.

So, Steam is a bit crap IMO.

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