I Have Seen The Future, And it is Annoying

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Zamn:
[quote="CD-R" post="6.170205.4640521"]
You aren't forced to connect to the internet to play it, it doesn't sound like you've actually used Steam much if at all. You're forced to be connected to the internet to buy or download a game because, you know, that's how digital distribution works, you need an internet connection.

You're the one who seems to be lacking in experience. You have to be online to get permission from Steam to go offline. If you forget to go offline at the end of a gaming session and you lose your internet connection, you're screwed. If your internet connection goes down while you're in online mode, you're screwed.

And surely if you've used Steam much you've had the annoying problem of installing a game and then when you go to play it for the first time you get the "Servers are too busy. Try again later" message. That really sucks.

Really Steam is one of the most obtrusive DRM methods available for PC, because every single time you want to run the game you either have to be logged in to Steam and have it check your permission, or you have to have gotten permission previously to be in offline mode.

And of course there's also the issue that if you lose your account for some reason, you lose access to all the games you bought. It's really more like a rental service than it is actually buying the games and owning them. I only use it for Valve games and when it's offering a game so cheap (<5$) that I basically wouldn't mind that much if I lost access to the game.

Death to DRM?

The_root_of_all_evil:
Nope, quite the reverse. As you're trying to fit all the possible PC architectures into one state, you're using apps, as Shamus said, to force that transition.

Yes, but doesn't that fall to the manufacturer rather than the consumer?

omg thanks for this rant i totally totally agree 1000% fuck i bought Wings of Prey on steam wanting a modern version of the wwii combat flight sim and now im regreting it cause it requires steam and yuplay! >.< Not to mention they only gave me 3 copies of the game... im fucking renting Wings of Prey for $60. then wen i wanted Demigod i needed to install Stardocks gay store. dammit to hell with all of these

FUCK YOU TO HELL SecuROM and any of these stupid as hell DRM methods. You dont own your games anymore you just rent them!

p.s. sadly it looks like the car industry is doing this too! Namely just Ferrari and their Ferrari FXX quote "Customers pay $2.5 million, but are only allowed to drive the car on special track days which are approved by Ferrari." can someone explain to me how this makes sense?

Seems like all of these problems stem from PC gaming and digital distribution. The easiest way to solve these problems is to ignore them for Hard copies and consoles.

I'm seeing a lot of generalization in this thread along the lines of: "I use Steam, all digital distribution sucks."

DeadlyYellow:

The_root_of_all_evil:
Nope, quite the reverse. As you're trying to fit all the possible PC architectures into one state, you're using apps, as Shamus said, to force that transition.

Yes, but doesn't that fall to the manufacturer rather than the consumer?

Imagine if all gas stations were converted to diesel, and the only way to get your car to run was to have a loud, heavy convertor fixed. And all the big stations only did diesel.

Wouldn't you be miffed?

you stole my words. there was already an affair that one company, when asked to release DRM-less exe (because there were problems), gave out the cracked exe.

Fuck PC gaming, I'll stick to PS3. Batman, Bioshock - no problems plus exclusive content for both.

Although I must admit I sometimes buy games on Steam, but only those which are PC exclusives and require only Steam to run.

We kinda have everyone with their own distro system now and it will get worse until those that can do it better or underhandliy will weed out the rest.

But that's not as annoying as 90% of released projects being shtty because they are carting to the brain dead masses as much as they can. Screw core demographics these shtty games sell more to a wider audience who cares if its forgotten in a week!

This man speaks truth. Listen, ye peoples, and learn.

Urthman:
You're the one who seems to be lacking in experience. You have to be online to get permission from Steam to go offline. If you forget to go offline at the end of a gaming session and you lose your internet connection, you're screwed. If your internet connection goes down while you're in online mode, you're screwed.

I dislike quite a lot of things about STEAM, but I think you got that one wrong.

To test this I set my firewall to block STEAM. When starting it, STEAM recognizes that it cannot connect to the net and asks me if it should try again, run in offline mode or shut down. When I choose offline mode, it runs without trying to connect to Valve again until I tell it to.

People used to get pissed and think I was just trolling when I bad mouth steam and talked about how it sucked. Now with this lovely wave of crap coming all of a sudden people realize how right I was to hate it. I love this article simply because it conveys the message that no one would listen to.

I would always say the last thing a game needs is one more dependency but people always counter with "Well steam doesn't really crash now" or "Steam takes up like no space anyway" Well lets see them argue 5 programs running at once each needing a patch a name and a pw so that in about 3 hours you might be able to play your game.

Nothing pissed me off more than empire total war a game that I bought at the store simply to avoid using steam only to find out when I got home it had to have steam there anyway so I was at that point screwed.

Shamus Young:
They keep calling these digital delivery platform things "stores". The Steam store, EA Store, etc. That's how the people that made them view it. They see it as a store from from which to sell you games. But brick and mortar stores are usually interchangeable. I give them money and they give me a product and the deal ends. I don't take the store home with me.

This really captures why I hate Steam.

-- Alex

neolith:

Urthman:
You're the one who seems to be lacking in experience. You have to be online to get permission from Steam to go offline. If you forget to go offline at the end of a gaming session and you lose your internet connection, you're screwed. If your internet connection goes down while you're in online mode, you're screwed.

I dislike quite a lot of things about STEAM, but I think you got that one wrong.

To test this I set my firewall to block STEAM. When starting it, STEAM recognizes that it cannot connect to the net and asks me if it should try again, run in offline mode or shut down. When I choose offline mode, it runs without trying to connect to Valve again until I tell it to.

That is seriously good news! That must be a new feature in Steam, because I'm certain it didn't work that way a year ago. Nice to know Valve is taking steps to improve how that works for customers.

The_root_of_all_evil:
GTA IV lasted half a day on my system before I expunged that piece of crap.

STOP trying to make the PC into an XBox, you corporate whores.

Yeah cause once they do that I'll have 2 systems I don't ever use anymore :(.

Wow, for the first time, as a gamer, I am glad I own a MAC.
I may only get to play 1 game on it a year but at least I don't have to put up with a system tray orgy.

Edzor:

BlindMessiah94:
Wow, for the first time, as a gamer, I am glad I own a MAC.
I may only get to play 1 game on it a year but at least I don't have to put up with a system tray orgy.

Notice how he said "gamer" and "MAC" in the same sentence...

Veeeeery funny.
Verry funny indeed!

/sarcasm

Hey I can run Starcraft...

Wasn't Valve the one who said DRM is useless and you should pack your game with some worthwhile goodies to make the customers buy it? Didn't they also make The Orange Box which was more worthwhile to buy than pirate? Team Fortress 2 for example. The game constantly gets new updates, weapons and gadgets, not to mention the newly introduced crafting system and the way everything gets nerfed after a major update. And I practically bought the Orange Box only to be able to make maps, but I never really did anything because I got hooked on TF2 and later L4D. :D

Amen!

Steam is quite nice in my opinion, it has nice offers and doesn't prove a problem (except when I was installing L4D2 and it fucked up a bit). The Steam DRM is a good one, as it keeps track of my games so I can install them anywhere as many times as I like, plus it helps me keep track of friends that I can talk to no matter which game I'm in. Steam = Good.

GFWL can go suck it. I just don't buy games that have the GFWL marker anymore. It seems a lot of companies DO use this shit though, except Valve, BioWare and Blizzard.
Same with any GameSpy-thing, I installed a demo of some game I can't even remember the name of anymore, and ZING! Hello sir, you have an undeletable folder called "GameSpy" in your games folder! What, removing it? Nay, sir! Then we will bluescreen your ass!

SecuROM in the state of disk check I'm okay with, I mean, that's pretty much the same as playing it on console (pop in the disk, hello sir, wanna play? Go ahead)
SecuROM in the state of limited installs is... completely useless? Seriously? Why is this EVER a good idea? Are you suggesting I will give away my game to all my friends and let them install it? Couldn't you, I dunno, add a SERIAL KEY like Blizzard does? Tadaaah, done.

Don't see why developers and publishers just won't realize that Steam won.

I find, if I have a choice, i want a game on console to avoid that shit. Went to a lan party on saturday, it was gooooood. We were playing COD 4, one guy mentioned he has MW2 at home. So he went and got it, brought it back, and we found out we would have to have it on steam and all that. With the disc. We didn't, cause there was only about two people on there rigs, we were in the computer store in this town. The guy that owns the place just let us use the display rigs. And joined in lol. I hear it's the same for a lot of games these days, so we may as well buy online now. But, like I said, I'm getting a PS3 so I can get MW2, GTAIV, Bioshock 2, Arkham Asylum, Prototype etc. without putting up with that. Plus I can get Infamous.

NLS:
Don't see why developers and publishers just won't realize that Steam won.

Indeed. Keep it simple. Rather than making a huge clusterfuck with only one service being the "good" one.

The solution is to simply create an operating system designed for games in the first place and include a store. All of this stuff would disappear overnight if the content manufacturers were smart enough to realize that they should not be at the mercy of a single company whose primary business has nothing to do with games. Having to hit three or four operating system targets on the PC platform alone is just silly.

shadow skill:
The solution is to simply create an operating system designed for games in the first place and include a store. All of this stuff would disappear overnight if the content manufacturers were smart enough to realize that they should not be at the mercy of a single company whose primary business has nothing to do with games. Having to hit three or four operating system targets on the PC platform alone is just silly.

This operating system is called "Cross media bar" or XMB. It's installed on PS3.

NLS:
Don't see why developers and publishers just won't realize that Steam won.

It's not really good if the companies just admit Steam won. It would simply give Valve the ability to dictate how the games work in the same way that GFW does. Notice how fewer and fewer games support anything other than 360 gamepads, or if they do everything is defaulted to the Xbox controller conventions?

shadow skill:

NLS:
Don't see why developers and publishers just won't realize that Steam won.

It's not really good if the companies just admit Steam won. It would simply give Valve the ability to dictate how the games work in the same way that GFW does. Notice how fewer and fewer games support anything other than 360 gamepads, or if they do everything is defaulted to the Xbox controller conventions?

Monopolies are bad, yes, but what he's arguing isn't so much that Valve wins so much that Microsoft loses.

Steam used to be clunky and restrictive - annoying updates, bad host servers, resource hogging, DRM - but now it feels like the only clunkiness in it are the third-party restrictions publishers put on it.

Meanwhile Microsoft used to be decent, but every new iteration that came out was clunkier than the last, with Games for Windows Live being the worst thing out in a long line of bad things.

The funny thing is, Valve already IS dictating how games are distributed: Games are coming out cheaper, largely with less DRM. SecuROM is still around, but isn't omnipresent anymore. Prices are practically set by how Valve does business, and Valve is by far more generous than any other distributor, digital or analog.

The big name holdouts - Microsoft among them - are the ones bogging it down.

I'm not saying Valve should be a monopoly. Far from it. But its business practices are superior and I cannot begrudge its market dominance in digital distribution. Hopefully D2D and GoG become its biggest contendors and M$ chokes and dies.

Faeriian:
yeh GFWL sucks.. i bought red faction off of steam and i had to get an account on GFWL or they wouldnt let me save! wtf?

does the same thing in GTAIV, it was a dick

jeretik:

Shamus Young:
I don't know who will win

Pirates will win

well, i would rather have consumers become pirates then for them to get bent over and be made a man of by publishers. thats just me tho.

Article was well put, and I wish it was said more. I am a PC gamer, and I want to remain a PC gamer... you still can't get player made mods for most games on a console, and I like the interface for certain games that I enjoy playing a lot.

But yes, PC games coming with a crapload of useless, unnecessary crap that runs in the background is just irritating. It's like the game companies are working hard to make me not want to give them more money in the future, and I'll stop playing or play console games or, I don't know, start exercising and having a social life or something (naaah, that'll never happen anyway ;) ).

When I got Fallout 3, I ended up having to remove GFWL and download a hak to make the game work without it, because otherwise for some reason it kept my game from starting. I wasn't going to use GFWL anyway, but without the hak, you couldn't play the game without the GFWL app running in the background even though you didn't use it.

I recently reinstalled Civ IV on my PC and it prompted me to install XFire... which I knew conflicted with another game I had installed on there, and besides which, I knew I wasn't going to use what it was there for. But the install program was all, "Are you sure? Are you really really sure?"

EA is better than it used to be... but it's still silly. I have the Sims 3 and while you technically don't HAVE to have their EA Downloader program on your computer, you can't download ANYTHING for the program without it, including patches. And it also REALLY, REALLY wants you to be online when you're running your game, despite the fact that it is an offline, single player game that devours CPU and GPU like nobody's business, so you don't WANT to be running stuff in the background while you play it (let alone be online). What happens is if you are offline, the game launcher takes twice as long to load (as it keeps trying to check for a connection that isn't there) and then throws up a "warning" that you're offline and asks if you if you really, really are sure that you want to run the game this way, before it even lets you finally load the freaking game itself. For fuck's sake, Big Brother EA, is it really THAT important to monitor my activity while I'm playing? And if that's not what you're doing, why do you want me to have this online connection so badly? To be fair, the game does run and runs well offline and even if you do uninstall the downloader, but they seem to only allow that begrudgingly because otherwise they know they'd have a consumer revolt on their hands.

londelen:
Solution to the problem of PC gaming: make a keyboard & mouse peripheral for the consoles.

or we could just get rid of consoles so that developers stop thinking this is a good idea cause, "Hey look, the console tards don't mind this BS, let's force it on the PC gamers."

This article outlines one of two reasons why I'm proud NOT to be a PC gamer.

...the other being my laptop is a piece of crap.

You know, I've only read a few of Shamus Young's articles on the escapist but the immense amount of common sense he commands makes me think I should read the rest.

IMO if we HAVE to go with a digital system, for the love of fuck, please let it be steam. Impulse doesn't have the pull, EA's store sucks ass in that you can only download your purchases for a fixed amount of time, and it's short too, like 6 months or something. You can of course PAY THEM to extend this, fuck that.

Steam remembers my shit, has great deals, has a very impressive uptime, a good UI and built in community features: Store saves, config options, chatrooms, groups, profiles, friends, achievements and they also host servers now.

And stop putting securom and install limits on games, no one likes that shit. Steam IS DRM and I don't know why upper management doesn't understand that.

Anyways, I'm a gamer. I've been gaming on PC and consoles since I've been 4, but the PC seems to have grown up with me, always there, always providing me with new stuff. As such it is by and far my favorite gaming platform. It really makes me sad to see what it's all come down to.

It`s just a trend. Shitware like this will pile up for the next couple of years and then the developers will draw the conclusion that Shamus wrote here. After that they will merge their stores into bigger and better ones and the mountain of shait will collapse under it`s own weight.

This was why Final Fantasy XI Online was such a piece of crap - signing up for two completely different services and installing from like six discs was pure torture.

CD-R:
This is the exact reason why I won't get Dawn of War II. It requires both Steam and Games for Windows Live.

Actually, DoWII was surprisingly laid-back. GFWL isn't that big of a hassle and is used to track Achievements and friends lists, and Steam is incredibly nice. Shamus' problem with GTA4 is that it didn't use any of the GFWL features, which rendered even having it utterly pointless.

Of services, GFWL and Steam are about the only ones worth stomaching.

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