Some thoughts about Steam

Discussion in 'General Gaming and Hardware Forum' started by Makenshi, Dec 28, 2007.

  1. Makenshi

    Makenshi Ahoy, ye salty dogs!

    Jul 28, 2006
    I never liked the idea of downloading games (except that thing which shall not be mentioned here - but I don't like it, too); I mean, I'm used to paying for a game and getting it physically, in a fancy box, instead of paying for the right to download it into my HD.

    Anyway, my thoughts (and doubts) are:

    1. How exactly does Steam work? The general idea I have about it is the above said: pay, download. No box, no disc, no manual.

    2. Is there the risk of losing precious money due to, for example, a forced formatting without having the chance to burn the game downloaded from Steam into a disc? Or can one download it more than once after paying?

    3. Is there a considerable price difference between buying via Steam and buying on a store? There should be, as the game company is not wasting with plastic, paper, ink, etc, etc to burn discs and put them into fancy boxes. At least I think so...

    3. What's the general fell about Steam and the whole idea of paying for a game and not having it physically? I'm I the only one missing the good old " buy disc+manual in a box on a store"?

    4. Is there a chance that this way of selling games will someday be standard, and the good old " buy disc+manual in a box on a store" will be gone? Or that, while both will ever coexist, some companies will favor Steam like services to the point of launching some games exclusively this way?
  2. Stag

    Stag Guest

    I like Steam.

    Once you own it, you can download it as many times as you want.

    It's a little bit cheaper on Steam, the reason for this (afaik) is that devs don't want to piss of the distributors/producers/whoevers.

    Before I started using Steam, I had the same feeling as you about it, and I worried about losing that box and everything. I assume that one day people won't buy physical software, but I'm not too worried about it anytime soon.

    Steam is good.
  3. PlanHex

    PlanHex Legislative Senator oTO Moderator Orderite

    Nov 4, 2007
    I agree, Steam is good.

    As for how it works:
    You use a login every time you use it and every purchase will be tied to your login, so there's no need for you to worry about losing purchases. If you log in on a different computer, all you need to do is download the game again. I think they even circumvented the horrible DRM with Bioshock that only allowed you to install it a given number of times.
    There is the risk of losing your login and then losing everything, but you'll be safe as long as you don't give out your login/pw out to everyone who asks :P

    As for the whole manual/box thing: Meh.
    You don't get shit these days anyway, just a dvd-box with a 'manual' that's just a little note saying "Please go to D:\manual\manual.pdf for the manual"
    It's the same with the new releases of older games and the original releases you find on ebay are usually priced somewhere between $leg and $eye.

    I remember reading an interview with Gabe Newell saying he literally wanted every game ever made yes-even-the-horribly-bad-ones ever available on Steam, so getting games you couldn't get your hands on otherwise is another good reason to get it.
    GameTap has a bit wider selection for now though. I've seen Planescape: Torment there, Jagged Alliance 2 and quite a few other gems. JA2 was even free on GameTap (no subscription needed) but costs $10 on Steam, so I'd say it's worth it looking around similar services too.
  4. Mord_Sith

    Mord_Sith Mildly Dipped

    Sep 21, 2007
    I can't say I like steam myself, Terrible tech support when something does fubar and what happens when their server goes down?

    You can't log in to your games, so they're sitting on your HDD but although you've paid for them, you can't access them because Steam can't authenticate without the receiving server.

    Now heaven forbid as I know it may never come to this but what if Steam shuts down, or Valve goes belly up, all gamers have seen it before with some of their more beloved design companies.

    Bye Bye all those games, no server = no login, no login = no games.

    Without having an offline option so that you can play your purchased games you run this sort of risk, mind you with the sales and markup that steam's running right now, it's not likely to croak easily.

    However I still will not buy games off of steam, I want a disk and a box, even if it's a tad more expensive, it means I can also install it again at a later date without using a server and without requiring an internet login to play an offline game.

    I may just be crazy, but I can see the dependency on this system either leading DLCs to greatness or disaster all riding on steam's shoulders, and I for one am not going to play dice with steam, as I have already lost.
  5. Tagaziel

    Tagaziel Panzerkatze Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Dec 10, 2003
    You pay for an exclusive, non-transferrable, life-long licence to use a single copy of a game. In other words, you pay, you dowload, and the game is forever bound to your account.

    Meaning you can format and redownload it for ever and ever and ever and ever... you get the point.

    Of course there's none. Ask yourself: is forcing people to pay for each download is a viable commercial practice?

    It depends on the game and your location. In the US of A there is a big difference, especially when you buy something during, for example, Christmas, when VALVe tends to offer games at a fraction of their original price or in packs. They really have lots and lots of these occassions.

    I always buy boxed editions, because they are cheaper, but I live in Poland, so it's rather obvious, with the weak currency and all.

    Steam = The Way

    How to play games on Steam in offline mode for thick-skulled beings. No need to thank me.
  6. Mord_Sith

    Mord_Sith Mildly Dipped

    Sep 21, 2007
    That was also pertaining to installation mostly but thankyee kindly nonetheless.

    As I mentioned earlier my account became fubared and I still haven't received any help from Steam after several attempts so I pretty much say buyer beware towards it.

    Just something to keep in mind.
  7. Tagaziel

    Tagaziel Panzerkatze Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Dec 10, 2003
    How did it become fubared? Maybe we and I can help.
  8. Mord_Sith

    Mord_Sith Mildly Dipped

    Sep 21, 2007
    'tis password rubbish, it only takes about 5 minutes of their time to fix but trying to get them to do it is like pulling teeth out of a rat with a pair of plastic tweezers.

    The saddest thing is however, I lost my pass just as TF2 came out, that and NS are the two games I want for Halflife 2... Then maybe PvK2... :P
  9. Finesse

    Finesse Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    May 2, 2005
    steam does its job... keeps the #1 fps game from cheaters doing there bidding. I dont mind it except the updates but its worth it if you want to play a fair game online on a steam secur3ed server
  10. Thrawn

    Thrawn It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Apr 23, 2004
    I consider myself a video game collector. I have most of the boxes most of my games came in over the years and some day I'll make a display for them.

    What I don't have, however, is hardly any of the disks. I purchased X-com 3 seperate times (once was the collectors edition which included 1-3 and interceptor) and I can't find ANY of the disks.

    If Steam had the option to pay 5 bucks extra and also get shipped a game box it would be pefrect but even without that it is still pretty good.

    As someone previously mentioned there are a lot of gems on steam that you can't find in stores. Commander Keen, Doom, Hexen, Jagged Alliance, X-Com 2, ect. Last night I bought Physiconaughts for 9 bucks and downloaded it in about 45 mins. In my pajams.

    I personally like steam and I have noticed a vast decrease in the number of FPS cheaters since steam took over for the old HL match making.

    In the end I think the risk of Steam suddenly disappearing with all your games is far less likely than you losing your entire collection in a fire or through sheer irresponsibility over a period of time like I have.
  11. MrBumble

    MrBumble Vault Fossil

    Jan 17, 2006
    Never had ANY problem with Steam. I have my account AND I'm sharing a second account with a friend so we can share games together. Nice system overall and I also think that it's cool that Valves allows indie developers to publish their projects on steam : some of them are actually really neat.
  12. Mad Max RW

    Mad Max RW Mildly Dipped

    Jan 12, 2004
    The only thing about Steam I worry about is we're accepting it under the belief Steam and Valve will continue to exist 10 years from now. You need it to play anything. I still fire up games from long dead companies only because I have original copies sitting in front of me. When Steam is gone, will it take all these future classics with it?
  13. Stag

    Stag Guest

  14. aronsearle

    aronsearle Still Mildly Glowing

    Oct 14, 2005
    Sorry, but why do you slag of the tech support as if youve actually used it, then demonstrate you havent or you would know about the offline mode?
  15. Mord_Sith

    Mord_Sith Mildly Dipped

    Sep 21, 2007
    Umm, I have used steam, and I have tried to use their tech support, however it fails to remedy the situation so now I cannot use my purchased products because they have lousy support, and because I can't remember a password.

    Why else would I woe about loosing my steam account just as TF2 came out?

    And no they have never said a blooming thing about offline mode nor would I use it for the games I play, my point was that without the authenticating server everything on steam goes down the tube.
  16. aronsearle

    aronsearle Still Mildly Glowing

    Oct 14, 2005
    Somehow, i get the feeling there is more to it than this.

    Its a pre-set feture when you install it, im sure there was even a pop-up telling you that you only needed to activate a game once.

    Similar to the popup that tells you not to lose your password :P
  17. SuAside

    SuAside Testament to the ghoul lifespan

    May 27, 2004
    meh... steam is alright, but i still buy my games boxed & i wait the extra few days for release of said boxed version.
  18. Mord_Sith

    Mord_Sith Mildly Dipped

    Sep 21, 2007
    So I'm a bleeding forgetful Idjit, it still doesn't change the fact that their support for my particular problem has been at best a waste of time on my part to try and get it fixed.

    And no it is simply that I forgot my password, I have terrible memory for stuff like that, never ask me to remember a phone number as I'll not be able to remember it unless it's grilled into me for 3 months straight...

    I'm not asking for sympathy, it's simply that I've given up on steam's support for accounts and steam in general.

    I'll take my games standalone please and thankyee kindly.
  19. SuAside

    SuAside Testament to the ghoul lifespan

    May 27, 2004
    well, your account is linked to an email adress & there is a magic question thingy.

    of course, if you forget both your password and your answer, then really, it's your own damn fault Mord_Sith.

    for security reasons they cant just tell every schmuck that calls them the account info of some random dude.
  20. Mord_Sith

    Mord_Sith Mildly Dipped

    Sep 21, 2007
    -.- Yes I know that, and I fully accept that as my fault, however that also points out the flaw of steam for myself and coincidentally anyone who's as bloody forgetful as I am.

    At any rate, even though I am forgetful, learn from my experience and you'll be wise, otherwise you'll get to experience it firsthand.