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Valve - Evidence of Incompetence

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Anonymous
January 26, 2005 10:36:03 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.half-life (More info?)

I expect I'm just one of many who have got more (I mean of course
substantially less) from the purchase of Half Life 2 than I bargained
for.

As with all great products the joy started at installation.

I had made two runs through of all the disks finding an obscure error
near the end that despite referring to corruption actually meant that
you *had* to install the Counterstrike:Source. Did anyone there bother
to install from the Gold Master before ship? Evidence of Incompetence #1
Not so bad by itself - yet this little beauty was to have an effect
later.

I should explain that for reasons I won't go into I was stuck with Dial-
up for the duration of this.

So then we had the need to authenticate (or whatever they want to call
it) the product with their fabulous 'Steam'. Like all companies beyond a
certain point they had decided that the best solution to piracy is to
place the burden on the legitimate user. Oh and at the same time they
decided to use it to employ that other favourite tactic of mine: Assume
the user's PC is dedicated to their product.

So by default everytime you boot, Steam wakes up and checks things and
if you're not online (hello!) spits the dummy instead of just detecting
that you aren't (note: this is not difficult..). Why not just quietly
shrink to the system tray? Evidence of Incompetence #2

So of course the first time I went to play HL2 offline it didn't work. I
had authorised it and updated it (many hours..) when only authorising it
was necessary. Updates shouldn't be mandatory. Evidence of Incompetence
#3

So eventually I did enable offline play and happily waited while the
game started (no short thing). I set my games to *not* be automatically
updated. (But it seems from what you'll read later this is not an
instruction - just a request that can be ignored.) I got a good way into
the game until one fateful day...

I started the game when I was online.

Steam saw an update (apparently for itself), and I wasn't quick enough
to stop it. For more than a week Steam couldn't successfully update
itself. I couldn't play the game. The update wasn't necessary, but Valve
know better and force it on you. EoI #4

Offline play is not available.

I reinstalled Steam (not an option available from the menu - thanks
Valve EoI #5), blocked problem servers as instructed but all to no
avail. Eventually after probably more than a day of online time in the
attempt I managed to update Steam. Just to compound the problem, Steam
never remembered it's progress on its partial update - each time it
restarted before getting from anywhere from 5 - 63% and silently (see
Valve can be subtle when they want to hide their stupidity) closing
down. Idiots. EoI #6

OK - so now I'm ready I thought.

Wrong.

Offline play is not available.

HL2 was not updated, as Steam had obviously noted the updates for it -
and I would be forced to update it before I could play. So I updated it,
no short process. But when I tried to play it offline again ...

Offline play is not available.

Checking the properties for HL2 in Steam's poorly laid out interface I
found that it was only 99% updated. (It's poory laid out because the
meaningful information that stops you playing is harder to find than the
marketing.) This despite the fact that I had actually gone into the game
to check it was working (online of course...). EoI #7

So what to do now? Well this is where Valve's other goofup comes back to
annoy you again. The advice I saw on their forums was that CS:Source -
though I've never even looked at it - has to be updated again. So let's
wave goodbye to many more hours of unnecessary downloading. Nice touch.
EoI #8

Oh - and the time remaining countdown is massively optimistic - from the
time it read 37 minutes every 'minute' has taken about 5 to 7 human
minutes even with a constant throughput. EoI #9

And you can't do anything else while it's downloading. The Steam process
consumes all CPU. Wow - that downloading thing seems to be much more
difficult than for every other application. Maybe it's busy calculating
how much time is left.. EoI #10

Now the absolute maximum anyone buying a stand alone game should have to
do is install it, authorise it and if you choose - get a patch. So why
the incompetence Valve?

I will never buy a Valve game again.

--
CatharticF1

"Memory is a stranger,
History is for fools"
Anonymous
January 26, 2005 10:36:04 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.half-life (More info?)

CatharticF1 wrote:
> I expect I'm just one of many who have got more (I mean of course
> substantially less) from the purchase of Half Life 2 than I bargained

> for.
>
8< SNIP
> So by default everytime you boot, Steam wakes up and checks things
and
> if you're not online (hello!) spits the dummy instead of just
detecting
> that you aren't (note: this is not difficult..). Why not just quietly

> shrink to the system tray? Evidence of Incompetence #2
>

It may be the default option, but you can change it. On my PC, Steam
only wakes up when I want to play HL2. I'm not permanently connected to
the internet, so it detects that and asks if I want to connect and try
again, or continue offline. I usually choose to go offline because I'm
not into the multiplayer game yet.

Every now and again, when I do go on the internet, I'll start up Steam
and let it check for updates. At the same time, I'm typically running
Windows Update, Norton Live Update, Office Update and downloading any
email.

If you don't want to update Steam, don't start it while you're online.
If you want to play multiplayer, you'll need to have the latest
version, so you may as well let it auto-update.

Of course it's slow over a dial-up. Everything is. But it sounds like
you're only temporarily on a slow connection, so hopefully you'll be Ok
soon.
January 26, 2005 1:58:22 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.half-life (More info?)

"CatharticF1" <eferrari@heaven.net> wrote in message
news:MPG.1c61e55b76f266c3989693@news.bigpond.com...
>I expect I'm just one of many who have got more (I mean of course
> substantially less) from the purchase of Half Life 2 than I bargained
> for.
>
> As with all great products the joy started at installation.
>
> I had made two runs through of all the disks finding an obscure error
> near the end that despite referring to corruption actually meant that
> you *had* to install the Counterstrike:Source. Did anyone there bother
> to install from the Gold Master before ship? Evidence of Incompetence #1
> Not so bad by itself - yet this little beauty was to have an effect
> later.
>
> I should explain that for reasons I won't go into I was stuck with Dial-
> up for the duration of this.
>
> So then we had the need to authenticate (or whatever they want to call
> it) the product with their fabulous 'Steam'. Like all companies beyond a
> certain point they had decided that the best solution to piracy is to
> place the burden on the legitimate user. Oh and at the same time they
> decided to use it to employ that other favourite tactic of mine: Assume
> the user's PC is dedicated to their product.
>
> So by default everytime you boot, Steam wakes up and checks things and
> if you're not online (hello!) spits the dummy instead of just detecting
> that you aren't (note: this is not difficult..). Why not just quietly
> shrink to the system tray? Evidence of Incompetence #2
>
> So of course the first time I went to play HL2 offline it didn't work. I
> had authorised it and updated it (many hours..) when only authorising it
> was necessary. Updates shouldn't be mandatory. Evidence of Incompetence
> #3
>
> So eventually I did enable offline play and happily waited while the
> game started (no short thing). I set my games to *not* be automatically
> updated. (But it seems from what you'll read later this is not an
> instruction - just a request that can be ignored.) I got a good way into
> the game until one fateful day...
>
> I started the game when I was online.
>
> Steam saw an update (apparently for itself), and I wasn't quick enough
> to stop it. For more than a week Steam couldn't successfully update
> itself. I couldn't play the game. The update wasn't necessary, but Valve
> know better and force it on you. EoI #4
>
> Offline play is not available.
>
> I reinstalled Steam (not an option available from the menu - thanks
> Valve EoI #5), blocked problem servers as instructed but all to no
> avail. Eventually after probably more than a day of online time in the
> attempt I managed to update Steam. Just to compound the problem, Steam
> never remembered it's progress on its partial update - each time it
> restarted before getting from anywhere from 5 - 63% and silently (see
> Valve can be subtle when they want to hide their stupidity) closing
> down. Idiots. EoI #6
>
> OK - so now I'm ready I thought.
>
> Wrong.
>
> Offline play is not available.
>
> HL2 was not updated, as Steam had obviously noted the updates for it -
> and I would be forced to update it before I could play. So I updated it,
> no short process. But when I tried to play it offline again ...
>
> Offline play is not available.
>
> Checking the properties for HL2 in Steam's poorly laid out interface I
> found that it was only 99% updated. (It's poory laid out because the
> meaningful information that stops you playing is harder to find than the
> marketing.) This despite the fact that I had actually gone into the game
> to check it was working (online of course...). EoI #7
>
> So what to do now? Well this is where Valve's other goofup comes back to
> annoy you again. The advice I saw on their forums was that CS:Source -
> though I've never even looked at it - has to be updated again. So let's
> wave goodbye to many more hours of unnecessary downloading. Nice touch.
> EoI #8
>
> Oh - and the time remaining countdown is massively optimistic - from the
> time it read 37 minutes every 'minute' has taken about 5 to 7 human
> minutes even with a constant throughput. EoI #9
>
> And you can't do anything else while it's downloading. The Steam process
> consumes all CPU. Wow - that downloading thing seems to be much more
> difficult than for every other application. Maybe it's busy calculating
> how much time is left.. EoI #10
>
> Now the absolute maximum anyone buying a stand alone game should have to
> do is install it, authorise it and if you choose - get a patch. So why
> the incompetence Valve?
>
> I will never buy a Valve game again.
>
> --
> CatharticF1
>
> "Memory is a stranger,
> History is for fools".

Sorry you had such trouble mate. Personally Im on a shared broadband
connection
(I couldnt afford it otherwise) and so Ive not had anything like the
problems you
mention. I did have a helluva a long wait on the first day HL2 was released.
I do
see how HL2 and Steam really is just for ppl with fast connections and it
should
be in the requirements on the box - just as you get minimum 1.2ghz CPU and
recommended
2.0ghz CPU so there should be min. 56k and rec. 256k or higher. It would
warn ppl
with 56k connections. Its not as if you could still get the updates on cd
with a magazine
like I used to when I was on 56k. Its Steam or nothing. If the PC industry
keeps going this way
(5 year waits between games because developers are fixated on the
technology) then Im soon
going to stop buying any games not just Valves - and no difool I aint
signing any petition.
Related resources
Anonymous
January 27, 2005 3:06:50 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.half-life (More info?)

On 26/1/05 6:36 PM, CatharticF1 wrote:

> Now the absolute maximum anyone buying a stand alone game should have to
> do is install it, authorise it and if you choose - get a patch. So why
> the incompetence Valve?

Steam exists to divert retail dollars away from their boxed-version
retailer. That's the total argument for why Steam exists. There is no
technical reason for it.

The reason why Valve does things like take command of your computer is
just corporate arrogance, the same as Real or Internet Explorer or an
electronics store here that gets your name and address at the cash
register. Valve is no longer the up-and-coming, they're the old guard.
Anonymous
January 27, 2005 3:46:24 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.half-life (More info?)

Later sometime you will find the annoyance of "This operation can not be
completed in offline mode" every time You ran Offline successfully for a
while.

STEAM is a mystery, there is no set rule that if you abide by , you will be
guaranteed offline. Anyway, it is the way to make sure that your game time
and time again is not a cracked or pirated version. "Sorry, we just can't
trust you."

It happens if by some reason your game crashed and you have to restart your
computer. Then again "This operation can not be comleted offline".Then the
only way to play the game is to connect, run STEAM run the game to the main
menu and quickly exit it, disconnect, restart the pc and get on with offline
mode again.

If you set a game to "not automatically update", but if you accidently start
the game when online, make sure before exit STEAM, tick it back to "not to
automatically update again, as it will be miraculously changed to
"automatically update on" again and next time you have to connect again.
Sometime I just wish I have 2 icons: One for online, one for offline....If I
click on offline, regardless I am on the net or not it will remain offline
full stop.
That way user control more of the update process.
It would be good to know the size of the update and therefore You decide to
update or not and if so you can arrange, plan a head your time to update
it...I don't know why Valve never lets us know?
Percentage of completion is not accurate and frustrating, especially when
%99 last for ages and you eager to play the game...
Sometime it say 100% complete but it is not, you have to go online and play
for a while before your game updates properly, that happens to CS:Source.
You can't roll back the update, so every update is a gamble on itself, as
many problems arise after an update and you wish that you could roll
back...(system restores may work, I did not try, but to use that feature for
your whole operating system just for one game is a bit much).

Back up feature provided by STEAM does not work for many users, and they
have to use winrar, it is much more reliable.

Your offline mode is not indefintely, it will expire and you have to get it
to go online once in a while.

I will never let my HL2 and CS:S update unless the update is so tempting
(like bots pack for CS:S)
that way I can play HL2 offline for quite some time.




CatharticF1 wrote:

> "snip".........
>
> I will never buy a Valve game again.
>
> --
> CatharticF1
>
> "Memory is a stranger,
> History is for fools"
!