Steam Gets Civilized

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Ayjona:
I've missed out on most of the drama (which is strange, considering Civ V is one of the few games I've ever hyped about and looked forward to, even more so than with Civ IV ;-) ), so perhaps you fellow escapists can help me out with this query: Will Civ V not be sold in a retail box at all? (I'll most probably buy it via Steam anyways, since I've always preferred online distribution, bu no retail Civ V does sound like something that might aggravate some fans).

That seems to be the most popular misconception doing the rounds with the news. There will be a retail box for Civ V. The disc in the box will require you to install Steam in order to play the game. Like pretty much every Steamworks retail game ever[1]. It will also demand an internet connection to install (like every other Steamworks retail game).

To muddy the waters, Steam is selling an "exclusive Limited Edition" which contains the Babylonian civ, and if you pre-order from Steam you get a bonus map. It's likely both will be sold for 1.50 a pop DLC six months down the line.

[1] well, except for UT3. But then again Steamworks was only implemented a couple of years after launch.

Delusibeta:

Ayjona:
I've missed out on most of the drama (which is strange, considering Civ V is one of the few games I've ever hyped about and looked forward to, even more so than with Civ IV ;-) ), so perhaps you fellow escapists can help me out with this query: Will Civ V not be sold in a retail box at all? (I'll most probably buy it via Steam anyways, since I've always preferred online distribution, bu no retail Civ V does sound like something that might aggravate some fans).

That seems to be the most popular misconception doing the rounds with the news. There will be a retail box for Civ V. The disc in the box will require you to install Steam in order to play the game. Like pretty much every Steamworks retail game ever. It will also demand an internet connection to install (like every other Steamworks retail game).

To muddy the waters, Steam is selling an "exclusive Limited Edition" which contains the Babylonian civ, and if you pre-order from Steam you get a bonus map. It's likely both will be sold for 1.50 a pop DLC six months down the line.

Just one further clarification, given that it is Steamworks, it's quite possible that upon inserting the disc, it'll install Steam then download the game rather than install if from the disc.

Oh, and don't get Civ fans started on the 10 extra for one leader (when you get the basic 18 for 30) and a map/scenario (presumably, the soundtrack will be in the game files somewhere, so can be easily copied out, you "own" a copy already).

Mistwraithe:

Vigormortis:
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A couple of counter-points here.

First, you say you've not purchased anything on Steam for quite some time. It's hard for one to validate a point of view no something when they haven't technically used it lately.

Second, I've heard Valve state that, t'were they to ever go out of business, they would provide full downloads for all of their games to every player. After, of course, letting everyone know they were going to have to close down the content servers.

The other thing to consider is, does it really matter if you can't access your old games years later? Think about it. How many "old" games still work on your current PC, without having to create dual-boot options or saving an older machine with dated hardware? Besides, I'd rather have an old game on Steam where it's more likely I'll be able to get an automatic, free update that'll make the game compatible with newer hardware or OS's.

Third, while some games are digital only, most games you can get on Steam you can get on disc in a store.

I agree that Steam was buggy as hell when it first launched, and stayed buggy for years. However, it has since matured into the definitive digital-distribution system that every other should emulate. Is it perfect? No, of course not. Do bugs pop up from time to time? Sure. Happens to all software. But the true test of a developer is how quickly they can respond to and fix said bugs. Valve's response time has become extremely fast in recent years. There was a huge bug recently to the new UI. Within 24 hours Valve found the problem, programmed a huge patch, and released it to the masses.

It's not a perfect system, but it's benefits FAR outweigh it's drawbacks.

Vigormortis:

Mistwraithe:

Vigormortis:
snip

snip

A couple of counter-points here.

First, you say you've not purchased anything on Steam for quite some time. It's hard for one to validate a point of view no something when they haven't technically used it lately.

Second, I've heard Valve state that, t'were they to ever go out of business, they would provide full downloads for all of their games to every player. After, of course, letting everyone know they were going to have to close down the content servers.

The other thing to consider is, does it really matter if you can't access your old games years later? Think about it. How many "old" games still work on your current PC, without having to create dual-boot options or saving an older machine with dated hardware? Besides, I'd rather have an old game on Steam where it's more likely I'll be able to get an automatic, free update that'll make the game compatible with newer hardware or OS's.

Third, while some games are digital only, most games you can get on Steam you can get on disc in a store.

I agree that Steam was buggy as hell when it first launched, and stayed buggy for years. However, it has since matured into the definitive digital-distribution system that every other should emulate. Is it perfect? No, of course not. Do bugs pop up from time to time? Sure. Happens to all software. But the true test of a developer is how quickly they can respond to and fix said bugs. Valve's response time has become extremely fast in recent years. There was a huge bug recently to the new UI. Within 24 hours Valve found the problem, programmed a huge patch, and released it to the masses.

It's not a perfect system, but it's benefits FAR outweigh it's drawbacks.

actually, old games get a DOSBOX or similar emulator to work with your machine. you can buy old games and run them on a new PC with a different OS no matter how old they are. thats the wonder of steam, they make old games compatible.

Steamworks has proven to be a boon to any game that's contained it. I was a longtime Steam holdout---didn't see what it could offer me because I only play singleplayer and I'm not keen on DRM.

Then I bit the bullet when I bought Empire: Total War. And I fell in love. Even converted a fair chunk of my old games to Steam at $5 or $10 a pop just so I wouldn't have to lug the discs around when I traveled with my laptop.

I'm with Seamus about not wanting to see a company grab a virtual monopoly in anything, but Gabe Newell was a Microsoft guy. He knows a thing or two about reading the market and using that market's needs and perceptions to create a monopolistic brand. He also knows the hazard of giving your enemy an opening---he watched the Vista and IE7 debacles giving market openings to Apple and Mozilla, I'm sure.

I like steam for all of the main reasons but the thing that I would like it for Civilization would be to use the shift+tab browser.

I love being able to check my Facebook during a loading screen without having to minimize the game.

All of the store bought games I have with steamworks have installed from the disk (though DoW2 did need reminding to). They then patched from the net.

It uses neglagble ram and processor power. And in return it does most of the tedious bits of gaming for me.

I'd like the option to install accross multiple drives, but thats a minor niggle.

The reason for steam exsclusives is that if you want to use steam matchmaking you have to have the rest of steam, this means that all versions have to have all aspects of steam. This means that disc copies have it, and no other online opperators will carry it. It should be noted that steam would prefer to sell you DLC in steam, buts fine with you using your own store if you want, hell they even allow the travesty that is GFWL, a system that offers the following; DLC, larger expansion packs, full games, community and matchmaking functions, achievements and DRM. In otherwords steam is quite happy to sell its competiters services becasue its confident it's aer better.

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