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Steam, Stardock Central

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Anonymous
January 16, 2005 5:44:32 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

Okay guys, this anti-Steam stuff is starting to scare me.

Can someone put together a concise list of what it is about Steam that bugs
you? The reason I ask is that, as time goes on, Stardock is moving more and
more stuff to Stardock Central. That's what we use to deliver
TotalGaming.net games to people (http://www.totalgaming.net).

You may recall that we released Galactic Civilizations in 2003 via Stardock
Central. It worked as follows:

1) User buys the game at either:
a) The store
b) Direct from www.galciv.com
c) Buys a Drengin.net (later renamed TotalGaming.net) subscription.

2) They then:
a) Store user installs the game from CD or could even toss out the CD if
they wanted and just use the serial # to download the full game or updates
from Stardock Central.
b) The direct electronic buyer just downloads the game via Stardock
Central onto their computer.
c) TotalGaming.net subscriber downloads it, like their other games that
are part of TG.net and plays it.

Similarly, The Political Machine, published by Ubi Soft, is similar (though
not quite the same because Ubi Soft didn't include serial #'s in the box).
But a user can buy The Political Machine from politicalmachine.com and
install/download it from Stardock Central.

Once it's on your machine, you can use the built in features to back it up
to CD and put onto other machines (non-net connected ones for instance so
you can, for example, play Galactic Civilizations on your laptop on the
plane).

The system *seems* to work very well but we've only got ~300,000 users using
Stardock Central whereas Steam no doubt has a few million.

I bought Half-Life 2 via Steam. It downloaded fine. Works great. I even
copied it to another machine here and it works fine there too. No CDs
involved. So am I missing something here? Steam seems to work pretty well.
I understand the problem where people bought HL2 at the store and that first
day was problematic. Stardock Central doesn't have that level of validation
of the CD version but that doesn't seem like a problem inherent to Steam but
rather a single bad incident one
suspects.

So what I want to know is why is there all this angst about Steam and what
do we need to do to avoid that with Stardock Central? Or have we already
done something different in Stardock Central that isn't raising these
concerns? Because in March Galactic Civilizations II goes into beta
(distributed via Stardock Central) and the last thing we want are people mad
at us.

Brad
--
Brad Wardell
Project Manager: Galactic Civilizations
http://www.stardock.com
TotalGaming.net - http://www.totalgaming.net

More about : steam stardock central

Anonymous
January 16, 2005 7:18:33 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

On Sun, 16 Jan 2005 14:44:32 -0500, "Brad Wardell"
<bwardell@stardock.com.remove> wrote:

>Okay guys, this anti-Steam stuff is starting to scare me.
>
>Can someone put together a concise list of what it is about Steam that bugs
>you? The reason I ask is that, as time goes on, Stardock is moving more and
>more stuff to Stardock Central. That's what we use to deliver
>TotalGaming.net games to people (http://www.totalgaming.net).

Brad, it's not being able to get the stuff online that's the problem,
it's the way that Steam takes over your computer and forces you to
load it and forces you to connect every time and basically makes ALL
the determination about how you are required to use your own computer,
just because you want to play one lousy game.

--
Rob Berryhill
Anonymous
January 16, 2005 10:00:36 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

Brad Wardell wrote:
<snip>
> The system *seems* to work very well but we've only got ~300,000
> users using Stardock Central whereas Steam no doubt has a few
million.
<snip>

No, it does not work very well for the end user. Stardock Central is
freaking nightmare. It's slow, it's buggy, it's a pain in the ass,
everytime you want to load it up it seems like it has to spend an hour
downloading a new version of it. It also is apparently spyware, as it
installs itself in the startup menu of things that are run
automatically when Windows boots.

As someone who only plays Galactic Civilization (and from the cd-rom I
bought), I have no use for any of the other features of Stardock,
other than just getting patches for it. But you've made it seemingly
impossible to get patches or check on them without using the damn
thing.

Stardock Central is basically different than Steam. Rather than simply
updating a web page with various info on it, Stardock central seems to
be your own version of a web browswer that only connects to Stardock.
I simply don't understand the point of it, other than to piss off
people like me.

Though it's not nearly as bad or as intrusive as steam.
January 16, 2005 10:55:56 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

On Sun, 16 Jan 2005 14:44:32 -0500, "Brad Wardell"
<bwardell@stardock.com.remove> wrote:

>Okay guys, this anti-Steam stuff is starting to scare me.

Just killfile the two or three idiots that rant insanely about it and
all the imagined scary stuff disappears.
--
Andrew, contact via interpleb.blogspot.com
Help make Usenet a better place: English is read downwards,
please don't top post. Trim replies to quote only relevant text.
Check groups.google.com before asking an obvious question.
Anonymous
January 16, 2005 11:10:36 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

On Sun, 16 Jan 2005 14:44:32 -0500, "Brad Wardell"
<bwardell@stardock.com.remove> wrote:

>So what I want to know is why is there all this angst about Steam and what
>do we need to do to avoid that with Stardock Central?

Easy: don't get big. The bigger you are, the more likely you are to
attract idiots who will post trollish rants about how terrible you
are. There's only a couple of people who are making all the noise
about Steam. Its just that they seem to spend about 12 hours/day
searching for any post related to Steam and posting a bunch of
nonsense as a follow-up. Just ignore them

On another note, an actual criticism of Steam: Steam seems to be
rather slow and inefficient. It could easily do with a good deal of
optimization. If you're going to make a steam-like application, try
to make it a bit faster/more memory efficient. Thank you :) 
Anonymous
January 16, 2005 11:10:37 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

drocket wrote:

> On another note, an actual criticism of Steam: Steam seems to be
> rather slow and inefficient. It could easily do with a good deal of
> optimization. If you're going to make a steam-like application, try
> to make it a bit faster/more memory efficient. Thank you :) 

I was looking and Steam is usually eating around 20mb and whilst playing
online about 5% CPU....I'm not sure what it needs, but that seems a
little high ;-)
January 16, 2005 11:14:53 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

Brad Wardell wrote:
> Okay guys, this anti-Steam stuff is starting to scare me.
>
> Can someone put together a concise list of what it is about Steam that bugs
> you? The reason I ask is that, as time goes on, Stardock is moving more and
> more stuff to Stardock Central. That's what we use to deliver
> TotalGaming.net games to people (http://www.totalgaming.net).
>
> You may recall that we released Galactic Civilizations in 2003 via Stardock
> Central. It worked as follows:
>
> 1) User buys the game at either:
> a) The store
> b) Direct from www.galciv.com
> c) Buys a Drengin.net (later renamed TotalGaming.net) subscription.
>
> 2) They then:
> a) Store user installs the game from CD or could even toss out the CD if
> they wanted and just use the serial # to download the full game or updates
> from Stardock Central.
> b) The direct electronic buyer just downloads the game via Stardock
> Central onto their computer.
> c) TotalGaming.net subscriber downloads it, like their other games that
> are part of TG.net and plays it.
>
> Similarly, The Political Machine, published by Ubi Soft, is similar (though
> not quite the same because Ubi Soft didn't include serial #'s in the box).
> But a user can buy The Political Machine from politicalmachine.com and
> install/download it from Stardock Central.
>
> Once it's on your machine, you can use the built in features to back it up
> to CD and put onto other machines (non-net connected ones for instance so
> you can, for example, play Galactic Civilizations on your laptop on the
> plane).
>
> The system *seems* to work very well but we've only got ~300,000 users using
> Stardock Central whereas Steam no doubt has a few million.
>
> I bought Half-Life 2 via Steam. It downloaded fine. Works great. I even
> copied it to another machine here and it works fine there too. No CDs
> involved. So am I missing something here? Steam seems to work pretty well.
> I understand the problem where people bought HL2 at the store and that first
> day was problematic. Stardock Central doesn't have that level of validation
> of the CD version but that doesn't seem like a problem inherent to Steam but
> rather a single bad incident one
> suspects.
>
> So what I want to know is why is there all this angst about Steam and what
> do we need to do to avoid that with Stardock Central? Or have we already
> done something different in Stardock Central that isn't raising these
> concerns? Because in March Galactic Civilizations II goes into beta
> (distributed via Stardock Central) and the last thing we want are people mad
> at us.
>
> Brad
> --
> Brad Wardell
> Project Manager: Galactic Civilizations
> http://www.stardock.com
> TotalGaming.net - http://www.totalgaming.net
>
>

No difference except maybe your point about number of units shifted and
the fact that this is the first time for a SP FPS. Dont know if you
have done everything differently but as you have Steam you'd be better
placed to answer that one. Good luck with the game. No matter what you
do you will always have some people mad at you.

BTW - this free advertising is pretty good eh?

--
"Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and
conscientious stupidity."

Martin Luther King, Jr.
January 16, 2005 11:27:19 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

"Brad Wardell" <bwardell@stardock.com.remove> wrote in message
news:6KidnSI2Ms-4WXfcRVn-1Q@comcast.com...
> Okay guys, this anti-Steam stuff is starting to scare me.
>
> Can someone put together a concise list of what it is about Steam that
> bugs you? The reason I ask is that, as time goes on, Stardock is moving
> more and more stuff to Stardock Central. That's what we use to deliver
> TotalGaming.net games to people (http://www.totalgaming.net).
>
> You may recall that we released Galactic Civilizations in 2003 via
> Stardock Central. It worked as follows:
>
> 1) User buys the game at either:
> a) The store
> b) Direct from www.galciv.com
> c) Buys a Drengin.net (later renamed TotalGaming.net) subscription.
>
> 2) They then:
> a) Store user installs the game from CD or could even toss out the CD
> if they wanted and just use the serial # to download the full game or
> updates from Stardock Central.
> b) The direct electronic buyer just downloads the game via Stardock
> Central onto their computer.
> c) TotalGaming.net subscriber downloads it, like their other games that
> are part of TG.net and plays it.
>
> Similarly, The Political Machine, published by Ubi Soft, is similar
> (though not quite the same because Ubi Soft didn't include serial #'s in
> the box). But a user can buy The Political Machine from
> politicalmachine.com and install/download it from Stardock Central.
>
> Once it's on your machine, you can use the built in features to back it up
> to CD and put onto other machines (non-net connected ones for instance so
> you can, for example, play Galactic Civilizations on your laptop on the
> plane).
>
> The system *seems* to work very well but we've only got ~300,000 users
> using Stardock Central whereas Steam no doubt has a few million.
>
> I bought Half-Life 2 via Steam. It downloaded fine. Works great. I even
> copied it to another machine here and it works fine there too. No CDs
> involved. So am I missing something here? Steam seems to work pretty
> well. I understand the problem where people bought HL2 at the store and
> that first day was problematic. Stardock Central doesn't have that level
> of validation of the CD version but that doesn't seem like a problem
> inherent to Steam but rather a single bad incident one
> suspects.
>
> So what I want to know is why is there all this angst about Steam and what
> do we need to do to avoid that with Stardock Central? Or have we already
> done something different in Stardock Central that isn't raising these
> concerns? Because in March Galactic Civilizations II goes into beta
> (distributed via Stardock Central) and the last thing we want are people
> mad at us.
>
> Brad
> --
> Brad Wardell
> Project Manager: Galactic Civilizations
> http://www.stardock.com
> TotalGaming.net - http://www.totalgaming.net

Steam is disliked becauase;

1) If you buy the game it can take hours to subsequently validate it online.
Apart from the fact that time is literally priceless, on a dialup connection
this can be both frustrating and expensive.

If a game is single player, you should not have to go through this. You
should not have to pay to allow you to play a legally purchased game - no
matter whom you have to pay to do this (i.e. your dialup ISP). Valve
"misjudged" the number of servers needed for this - strange as they knew how
many CDs had been pressed and how many copies had been downloaded?

2) All of your Valve games are tied into your Steam account. You cannot
sell one without the others. It does - to be fair - seem unlikely that you
would want to sell HL2 if you liked HL1, but it is the principal that is
important here.

3) There are worries about what happens to HL2 if Valve go bump. However
unlikely this is, people said that about Enron and Marconi and they did.
Although the need to reconnect after a month or so - despite specifying
offline mode - was cited as a bug, it eroded the already low confidence in
Valve and leads to suspicions that they want you to be forced to connect
every so often - "just in case".

4) A valid point brought up recently - you have to install the latest patch,
no matter what. This brings to mind Tribes2 - a pretty much online only
game which went through many patches. There was a point when a patch made
the game too unstable and the DEVS advised people to "roll back" to a
different one. This is also important if you have a LAN game and everyone
is on different versions. Sure, this may seem like a small point to those
unaffected by it, but if you have legally purchased the game, why should you
be forced down *any* route? If you are at a LAN party where this is an
issue, then it is a BIG issue, believe me!

Bottom line is that, Valve are selling you what is admittedly a fantastic
FPS, then tying you in. As many people have commented, Steam is a good
idea, badly executed.

Finally, at least Valve do seem to have the gamer in mind to an extent.
Their anti-piracy and anti-cheat principals seem to have failed, but I have
never received any Spam, or had any suspicion that they are abusing Steam
for other reasons - i.e. marketing. I think that, for 80% of gamers (no
idea where I got that from!), Steam is a convenient and efficient system for
running Valve games. It is certainly easier to run Mods from Steam than
before if nothing else!

For the 20% left, this is a serious issue and should not be overlooked by
other Devs. I think the principal of Steam could be developed, if the above
criticisms are addressed...

Regards

Schrodinger
Anonymous
January 16, 2005 11:32:49 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

In article <6KidnSI2Ms-4WXfcRVn-1Q@comcast.com>,
Brad Wardell <bwardell@stardock.com.remove> wrote:
>Okay guys, this anti-Steam stuff is starting to scare me.
>
>Can someone put together a concise list of what it is about Steam that bugs
>you? The reason I ask is that, as time goes on, Stardock is moving more and
>more stuff to Stardock Central. That's what we use to deliver
>TotalGaming.net games to people (http://www.totalgaming.net).

The main reason I won't be buying HL2 would be that once I have paid
money for the game and acquired the media, I don't want to need to
rely upon the continued good will (and existence) of the game
publisher/developer in order to install and/or play the game.

Steam is somewhat of a different case, in my mind, from the Stardock
system. Since in practice I would be buying HL2 in a store, needing to
be online while installing the game is an added, unnecessary,
complication. The Stardock games I have, I needed to be online in the
first place to obtain the actual game so this represented no added
complexity in installation. If I had bought GalCiv in a store and
found that I couldn't install it off-line I would get upset.

I am also wary of this whole CD-code system that gets checked against
a centralized database of good and bad codes. It adds another
unnecessary (for me) level of complexity that increases the risk of me
getting into some sort of trouble trying to use the game. PC gaming is
sufficiently frought with risks as it is - I don't need one more.

What this all sums up to is that HL2 is a no-go for me because of the
added inconvenience and the additional risks.

That said, I should add that I have lately been moving away from PC
gaming because of other common inconveniences. I may be more sensitive
to such issues than most people.

Cheers
Bent D
--
Bent Dalager - bcd@pvv.org - http://www.pvv.org/~bcd
powered by emacs
Anonymous
January 17, 2005 12:14:46 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

"Brad Wardell" <bwardell@stardock.com.remove> wrote in message
news:6KidnSI2Ms-4WXfcRVn-1Q@comcast.com...
> Okay guys, this anti-Steam stuff is starting to scare me.
>
> Can someone put together a concise list of what it is about Steam that
bugs
> you? The reason I ask is that, as time goes on, Stardock is moving more
and
> more stuff to Stardock Central. That's what we use to deliver
> TotalGaming.net games to people (http://www.totalgaming.net).
>
<large snippage>
>
> So what I want to know is why is there all this angst about Steam and what
> do we need to do to avoid that with Stardock Central? Or have we already
> done something different in Stardock Central that isn't raising these
> concerns? Because in March Galactic Civilizations II goes into beta
> (distributed via Stardock Central) and the last thing we want are people
mad
> at us.
>

I have avoiding reading the various Steam threads, so all I can give you is
my personal opinion. I don't know if any of this is related to what the
complaints about Steam are or not. I bought Galactic Civilizations and had
no quarrel with registering it via an internet connection. I would have a
quarrel if I was required to connect and re-register or verify registration
every time I wanted to play a session. I am also the kind of person who has
a relatively small number of "favorites" that I have carried over from one
machine to the next. I would be concerned that a "constant contact"
registration system would not handle that, or handle my changing ISPs. A
"constant contact" registration system also does not account for the fact
that there is a large percentage of computer users who do NOT have, or even
want, internet connections. For them the old standby of the mail-in
registration card needs to be kept.

--
Multiversal Mercenaries. You name it, we kill it. Any time, any reality.
Anonymous
January 17, 2005 12:33:45 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

"Schrodinger" <no@way.com> wrote in message
news:H6AGd.866203$O24.126422@news.easynews.com...
>
> Steam is disliked becauase;
>
> 1) If you buy the game it can take hours to subsequently validate it
online.
> Apart from the fact that time is literally priceless, on a dialup
connection
> this can be both frustrating and expensive.
>
> If a game is single player, you should not have to go through this. You
> should not have to pay to allow you to play a legally purchased game - no
> matter whom you have to pay to do this (i.e. your dialup ISP). Valve
> "misjudged" the number of servers needed for this - strange as they knew
how
> many CDs had been pressed and how many copies had been downloaded?
>
> 2) All of your Valve games are tied into your Steam account. You cannot
> sell one without the others. It does - to be fair - seem unlikely that
you
> would want to sell HL2 if you liked HL1, but it is the principal that is
> important here.
>
> 3) There are worries about what happens to HL2 if Valve go bump. However
> unlikely this is, people said that about Enron and Marconi and they did.
> Although the need to reconnect after a month or so - despite specifying
> offline mode - was cited as a bug, it eroded the already low confidence in
> Valve and leads to suspicions that they want you to be forced to connect
> every so often - "just in case".
>
> 4) A valid point brought up recently - you have to install the latest
patch,
> no matter what. This brings to mind Tribes2 - a pretty much online only
> game which went through many patches. There was a point when a patch made
> the game too unstable and the DEVS advised people to "roll back" to a
> different one. This is also important if you have a LAN game and everyone
> is on different versions. Sure, this may seem like a small point to those
> unaffected by it, but if you have legally purchased the game, why should
you
> be forced down *any* route? If you are at a LAN party where this is an
> issue, then it is a BIG issue, believe me!
>
> Bottom line is that, Valve are selling you what is admittedly a fantastic
> FPS, then tying you in. As many people have commented, Steam is a good
> idea, badly executed.
>
> Finally, at least Valve do seem to have the gamer in mind to an extent.
> Their anti-piracy and anti-cheat principals seem to have failed, but I
have
> never received any Spam, or had any suspicion that they are abusing Steam
> for other reasons - i.e. marketing. I think that, for 80% of gamers (no
> idea where I got that from!), Steam is a convenient and efficient system
for
> running Valve games. It is certainly easier to run Mods from Steam than
> before if nothing else!
>
> For the 20% left, this is a serious issue and should not be overlooked by
> other Devs. I think the principal of Steam could be developed, if the
above
> criticisms are addressed...
>
> Regards
>
> Schrodinger

Thank you for summing it all up so nicely. There are legitimate
concerns about steam, and from what I can tell Stardock doesn't
have any of these issues. I haven't bought any games through them
so I can't say for sure, but it doesn't seem anywhere bad as steam
and I have no problem with how Brad has his setup.

Jim
Anonymous
January 17, 2005 12:54:44 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

>Brad

Um. Well, that was all a very good question.

But, really:

Brad: good.
Big company: bad.

C//
January 17, 2005 12:57:56 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

"James Gassaway" <dtravel@sonic.net> wrote in message
news:aPAGd.2230$m31.27986@typhoon.sonic.net...
> "Brad Wardell" <bwardell@stardock.com.remove> wrote in message
> news:6KidnSI2Ms-4WXfcRVn-1Q@comcast.com...
>> Okay guys, this anti-Steam stuff is starting to scare me.
>>
>> Can someone put together a concise list of what it is about Steam that
> bugs
>> you? The reason I ask is that, as time goes on, Stardock is moving more
> and
>> more stuff to Stardock Central. That's what we use to deliver
>> TotalGaming.net games to people (http://www.totalgaming.net).
>>
> <large snippage>
>>
>> So what I want to know is why is there all this angst about Steam and
>> what
>> do we need to do to avoid that with Stardock Central? Or have we already
>> done something different in Stardock Central that isn't raising these
>> concerns? Because in March Galactic Civilizations II goes into beta
>> (distributed via Stardock Central) and the last thing we want are people
> mad
>> at us.
>>
>
> I have avoiding reading the various Steam threads, so all I can give you
> is
> my personal opinion. I don't know if any of this is related to what the
> complaints about Steam are or not. I bought Galactic Civilizations and
> had
> no quarrel with registering it via an internet connection. I would have a
> quarrel if I was required to connect and re-register or verify
> registration
> every time I wanted to play a session. I am also the kind of person who
> has
> a relatively small number of "favorites" that I have carried over from one
> machine to the next. I would be concerned that a "constant contact"
> registration system would not handle that, or handle my changing ISPs.

>A "constant contact" registration system also does not account for the fact
> that there is a large percentage of computer users who do NOT have, or
> even
> want, internet connections. For them the old standby of the mail-in
> registration card needs to be kept.

Mail in registration cards have always been useless from a consumer point of
view - at least as far as the UK is concerned. Your consumer rights have
not been enhanced one iota by returning them - and the company concerned has
a load more data they can sell and/or use about you in return for asking
them to honour their legal obligations.

I think I'm getting bolshei in my mid age...


> --
> Multiversal Mercenaries. You name it, we kill it. Any time, any reality.
>
Anonymous
January 17, 2005 1:10:29 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

"Schrodinger" <no@way.com> skrev i meddelelsen
news:H6AGd.866203$O24.126422@news.easynews.com:

> 1) If you buy the game it can take hours to subsequently validate it
> online.

Get rid of your old 1200 baud modem. ;-)

--
Arcana Dragon -==(UDIC)==-
d++e++N++T+++Om-KAWML!34567'!S'!8!9!u+uC+uF+++uG-u
LB®----uAnC+nH++nP+nI----nPT-nS+++nT----o---oE---xz
http://www.phyton.dk/games.htm
Anonymous
January 17, 2005 1:12:14 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

"Schrodinger" <no@way.com> skrev i meddelelsen
news:D rBGd.869813$2W1.66990@news.easynews.com:

> I think I'm getting bolshei in my mid age...

OT: How's your cat doing these days?

--
Arcana Dragon -==(UDIC)==-
d++e++N++T+++Om-KAWML!34567'!S'!8!9!u+uC+uF+++uG-u
LB®----uAnC+nH++nP+nI----nPT-nS+++nT----o---oE---xz
http://www.phyton.dk/games.htm
Anonymous
January 17, 2005 1:16:57 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

>>Brad
>
> Um. Well, that was all a very good question.
>
> But, really:
>
> Brad: good.
> Big company: bad.

Urgghhh. Sickening.
January 17, 2005 1:31:28 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

"Arcana Dragon" <this@ress.is.invalid> wrote in message
news:41eae655$0$250$edfadb0f@dread11.news.tele.dk...
> "Schrodinger" <no@way.com> skrev i meddelelsen
> news:H6AGd.866203$O24.126422@news.easynews.com:
>
>> 1) If you buy the game it can take hours to subsequently validate it
>> online.
>
> Get rid of your old 1200 baud modem. ;-)
>
> --
> Arcana Dragon -==(UDIC)==-

I'm back on my 1Mb broadband now, but at the time had to endure 56k dialup
thanks to my ISP cocking up bigtime.

I was disappointed to learn that it was not necessarily because of my
antediluvian methods of net connection that it took so long to validate
HL2....
January 17, 2005 1:34:40 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

"Arcana Dragon" <this@ress.is.invalid> wrote in message
news:41eae6be$0$250$edfadb0f@dread11.news.tele.dk...
> "Schrodinger" <no@way.com> skrev i meddelelsen
> news:D rBGd.869813$2W1.66990@news.easynews.com:
>
>> I think I'm getting bolshei in my mid age...
>
> OT: How's your cat doing these days?
>
> --
> Arcana Dragon -==(UDIC)==-

Dunno, I keep meaning to open the box - but the suspense keeps me awake....
Anonymous
January 17, 2005 2:14:37 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

> Brad, it's not being able to get the stuff online that's the problem,
> it's the way that Steam takes over your computer and forces you to
> load it and forces you to connect every time and basically makes ALL
> the determination about how you are required to use your own computer,
> just because you want to play one lousy game.

You got that ?
It takes over your computer and turns the user into a dribbling paranoid
lunatic.
All for one lousy game.
That's all the proof you should need, Bradley, old chum. Off you go now.
Anonymous
January 17, 2005 2:19:09 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

"Arcana Dragon" <this@ress.is.invalid> wrote in message
news:41eae655$0$250$edfadb0f@dread11.news.tele.dk...
> "Schrodinger" <no@way.com> skrev i meddelelsen
> news:H6AGd.866203$O24.126422@news.easynews.com:
>
> > 1) If you buy the game it can take hours to subsequently validate it
> > online.
>
> Get rid of your old 1200 baud modem. ;-)

On release day it was taking people hours even with broadband.
It was like an MMORPG launch, with tens of thousands (or more)
trying to login at same time. And all for nothing, since steam did
nothing to stop or slow piracy. *nothing*
Anonymous
January 17, 2005 2:36:14 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

Jeremy Reaban wrote:
> Brad Wardell wrote:
> <snip>
>> The system *seems* to work very well but we've only got ~300,000
>> users using Stardock Central whereas Steam no doubt has a few
> million.
> <snip>
>
> No, it does not work very well for the end user. Stardock Central is
> freaking nightmare. It's slow, it's buggy, it's a pain in the ass,
> everytime you want to load it up it seems like it has to spend an
hour
> downloading a new version of it. It also is apparently spyware, as
it
> installs itself in the startup menu of things that are run
> automatically when Windows boots.
<snip>

Oh, and I forgot, it screws up the windows toolbar, so I have to
reboot after running it.
Anonymous
January 17, 2005 2:42:50 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

>> Um. Well, that was all a very good question.

>> But, really:

>> Brad: good.
>> Big company: bad.

>Urgghhh. Sickening.

Yes, now isn't it?

C//
Anonymous
January 17, 2005 4:50:50 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

"James Garvin" <jgarvin2004@comcast.net> wrote in message
news:6f2dneeh87eDanfcRVn-3A@comcast.com...
> drocket wrote:
>
> > On another note, an actual criticism of Steam: Steam seems to be
> > rather slow and inefficient. It could easily do with a good deal of
> > optimization. If you're going to make a steam-like application, try
> > to make it a bit faster/more memory efficient. Thank you :) 
>
> I was looking and Steam is usually eating around 20mb and whilst playing
> online about 5% CPU....I'm not sure what it needs, but that seems a
> little high ;-)

Especially so to people like me with on older board not worth putting
more memory on (at 512), when I'm upgrading in a few months, and
trying to play with high textures. I get major texture thrashing, even
though my system handles them pretty well otherwise as far as frame
rates. I really wish it didn't need to be there at all in offline mode.
Anonymous
January 17, 2005 4:50:51 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

Jim Vieira wrote:

> "James Garvin" <jgarvin2004@comcast.net> wrote in message
> news:6f2dneeh87eDanfcRVn-3A@comcast.com...
>
>>drocket wrote:
>>
>>
>>>On another note, an actual criticism of Steam: Steam seems to be
>>>rather slow and inefficient. It could easily do with a good deal of
>>>optimization. If you're going to make a steam-like application, try
>>>to make it a bit faster/more memory efficient. Thank you :) 
>>
>>I was looking and Steam is usually eating around 20mb and whilst playing
>>online about 5% CPU....I'm not sure what it needs, but that seems a
>>little high ;-)
>
>
> Especially so to people like me with on older board not worth putting
> more memory on (at 512), when I'm upgrading in a few months, and
> trying to play with high textures. I get major texture thrashing, even
> though my system handles them pretty well otherwise as far as frame
> rates. I really wish it didn't need to be there at all in offline mode.

I just checked...in offline mode it takes about 20mb memory and usually
is around 1% CPU....

My guess it that it is some kind of handler for various things that
usually are online...but in offline it still acts as the handler, but
doesn't need the cycles to actually do anything...
Anonymous
January 17, 2005 5:23:13 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

Brad Wardell <bwardell@stardock.com.remove> wrote:
>Once it's on your machine, you can use the built in features to back it up
>to CD and put onto other machines (non-net connected ones for instance so
>you can, for example, play Galactic Civilizations on your laptop on the
>plane).

There are two problems that people have with Half Life 2 that I don't
believe Galactic Civilizations has.

The first is that HL2 requires online activation similar to Microsoft's
Windows Product Activation. Unlike with WPA it can only be done online,
it can't be done over the phone. This means that HL2 can't be played
on PCs that can never connect to the Internet. It also means that Valve
has the power to arbitrially prevent you from installing software you've
legally purchased. They might think you've pirated the software when
you haven't, and one day eventually they're going to stop supportting
the product. Like WPA, the activation process only has to be done once
when you install the game. After you've completed it successfully you no
longer need access to the Internet to play the game in single player mode.

The second is that HL2 will try to connect to Steam whenever you play
the game, even in single player mode. While failing to connect won't
prevent you from playing the game in single player mode, it does mean
that if your PC is normally connected to the Internet then Valve will
be notified every time you play the game.

(I should point that both problems can be worked around, using a crack
and a firewall respectively, but these "features" don't add value for
consumers.)

It's important to note that Steam is not being seen here as a way to buy
games online, it's seen as primarily being an anti-piracy technology.
While buying HL2 using Steam may not be the most popular way of obtaining
the game, it's an uncontroversial aspect of Steam. Unfortunately for
Valve, the negatives aspects of Steam will taint peoples overall view
of the technology, and won't do anything to encourage them to use Steam
to buy games. You might want to publicize the differences between Steam
and Stardock, in case people come to see them as being too similar.

Ross Ridge

--
l/ // Ross Ridge -- The Great HTMU
[oo][oo] rridge@csclub.uwaterloo.ca
-()-/()/ http://www.csclub.uwaterloo.ca/u/rridge/
db //
Anonymous
January 17, 2005 5:23:14 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

Ross Ridge wrote:

> The first is that HL2 requires online activation similar to Microsoft's
> Windows Product Activation. Unlike with WPA it can only be done online,
> it can't be done over the phone. This means that HL2 can't be played
> on PCs that can never connect to the Internet. It also means that Valve
> has the power to arbitrially prevent you from installing software you've
> legally purchased. They might think you've pirated the software when
> you haven't, and one day eventually they're going to stop supportting
> the product. Like WPA, the activation process only has to be done once
> when you install the game. After you've completed it successfully you no
> longer need access to the Internet to play the game in single player mode.

Everytime I read WPA I defined it as Wi-Fi Protected Access rather than
Windows Product Activation...Made the paragraph a little strange ;-)
Anonymous
January 17, 2005 6:38:51 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

On Sun, 16 Jan 2005 19:55:56 +0000, Andrew <spamtrap@localhost.>
wrote:

>On Sun, 16 Jan 2005 14:44:32 -0500, "Brad Wardell"
><bwardell@stardock.com.remove> wrote:
>
>>Okay guys, this anti-Steam stuff is starting to scare me.

>Just killfile the two or three idiots that rant insanely about it and
>all the imagined scary stuff disappears.


Hmmm, I wonder if I'm considered one of those "ranting idiots" as I've
spoken against Steam and have made predictions as to what it (and
software systems like it) could mean for the future. I tried to do it
in a rational way, too (although I'll be the first to admit I didn't
cite any specific sources). I guess I must be, as nobody bothered to
refute any of my arguments; maybe I've been killfiled?

Meanwhile, despite my better judgement, I'm actually starting to enjoy
Prince of Persia Warrior Within. Maybe I *am* a mouth-breathing
buffoon...
January 17, 2005 7:18:01 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

["Followup-To:" header set to comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg.]
On 2005-01-16, Brad Wardell <bwardell@stardock.com.remove> wrote:
> Okay guys, this anti-Steam stuff is starting to scare me.
>
> Can someone put together a concise list of what it is about Steam that bugs
> you? The reason I ask is that, as time goes on, Stardock is moving more and
> more stuff to Stardock Central. That's what we use to deliver
> TotalGaming.net games to people (http://www.totalgaming.net).

Nice try at some free advertising :) 

As a customer of yours I can tell you Steam is nothing like your
setup. You simply give people a serial number to unlock their
game and an account to download updates with.

Since you claim to have approximately 300,000 people signed up
I'm assuming you're doing well for yourself. I wouldn't worry.
Anonymous
January 17, 2005 11:37:29 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

"Jeremy Reaban" <jer@connectria.com> wrote in message
news:10umjurcjnsje3a@corp.supernews.com...
> Oh, and I forgot, it screws up the windows toolbar, so I have to
> reboot after running it.

Ahh, so *that's* what's causing it :)  I was like WTF when
I'd see that.. The quicklaunch icons were chaning into icons
from other desktop icons.. but they still worked as they should.
Wondered what was up.
Anonymous
January 17, 2005 11:52:01 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

"Jim Vieira" <Whiplashr@wi.rr.com.remove.this.to.reply> wrote in message
news:D PKGd.205506$ye4.158938@twister.rdc-kc.rr.com...
> "Jeremy Reaban" <jer@connectria.com> wrote in message
> news:10umjurcjnsje3a@corp.supernews.com...
> > Oh, and I forgot, it screws up the windows toolbar, so I have to
> > reboot after running it.
>
> Ahh, so *that's* what's causing it :)  I was like WTF when
> I'd see that.. The quicklaunch icons were chaning into icons
> from other desktop icons.. but they still worked as they should.
> Wondered what was up.

Wait, you are talking about Stardock.. I thought steam.. My fault.

Now I wonder what's causing my icons to goof out.
Anonymous
January 17, 2005 12:19:49 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

"Brad Wardell" <bwardell@stardock.com.remove> wrote:
>Okay guys, this anti-Steam stuff is starting to scare me.
>
>Can someone put together a concise list of what it is about Steam that bugs
>you? The reason I ask is that, as time goes on, Stardock is moving more and
>more stuff to Stardock Central. That's what we use to deliver
>TotalGaming.net games to people (http://www.totalgaming.net).
>
>You may recall that we released Galactic Civilizations in 2003 via Stardock
>Central. It worked as follows:
>
>1) User buys the game at either:
> a) The store
> b) Direct from www.galciv.com
> c) Buys a Drengin.net (later renamed TotalGaming.net) subscription.
>
>2) They then:
> a) Store user installs the game from CD or could even toss out the CD if
>they wanted and just use the serial # to download the full game or updates
>from Stardock Central.

Or sell the CD to some poor guy who doesn't get a valid serial. Is
online validation required to play the CD version and download patches?
January 17, 2005 12:20:20 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

Spalls Hurgenson wrote:

> Hmmm, I wonder if I'm considered one of those "ranting idiots" as I've
> spoken against Steam and have made predictions as to what it (and
> software systems like it) could mean for the future. I tried to do it
> in a rational way, too (although I'll be the first to admit I didn't
> cite any specific sources). I guess I must be, as nobody bothered to
> refute any of my arguments; maybe I've been killfiled?
>
> Meanwhile, despite my better judgement, I'm actually starting to enjoy
> Prince of Persia Warrior Within. Maybe I *am* a mouth-breathing
> buffoon...
>

I doubt it Spalls. I thought your arguments were valid and I personally
(as a HL2 player) only disagreed with a couple of minor points. Your
posts were food for thought. Thanks.

--
"Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and
conscientious stupidity."

Martin Luther King, Jr.
Anonymous
January 17, 2005 1:14:27 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

Brad, as I understand it: people were originally bitching about the fact
that their computer had to call up the steam engine over the 'net and
get permission for them to play the game, even single player game,
whenever they want to play.

Now that is, i.m.o. unacceptable. Just as I object to Windows Media
Player not playing a .wmv file without calling microsoft first and
asking if it's all right to do so.

Some people are not online 24/7. Some [few] people still don't even have
internet. So what would they do if they installed WinP SP 2, or that
stupid game depending on the Steam engine?

Copy protection is one thing (and I have waffled on about it enough in
the past) but havig my computer check back every single time I want to
use a piece of software is simply out. I would not buy such.

B.t.w. I am quite happy with my totalgaming sub - but it would be nice,
if the process for backing up my stuff, and retrieving/reinstalling it,
once downloaded, from Stardock Central, would be more transparent --- I
still wouldn't know how to recover GalCiv from those backups if I lost
the registry entries like I did a couple of times (and had to start
downloading everything from scratch because I didn't and still don't
understand how I could recover those 'backups'). It's neither obvious
nor well documented, sorry.

kind regards -- and just keep doing what you are doing, it's FINE :) 

-Peter
January 17, 2005 1:14:28 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

On Mon, 17 Jan 2005 10:14:27 +1300, Peter Huebner
<no.one@this.address> wrote:

>Brad, as I understand it: people were originally bitching about the fact
>that their computer had to call up the steam engine over the 'net and
>get permission for them to play the game, even single player game,
>whenever they want to play.
>
>Now that is, i.m.o. unacceptable.

It would be if it was true. Unfortunately you are passing on the same
ill informed nonsense as Dif***wit.
--
Andrew, contact via interpleb.blogspot.com
Help make Usenet a better place: English is read downwards,
please don't top post. Trim replies to quote only relevant text.
Check groups.google.com before asking an obvious question.
Anonymous
January 17, 2005 1:14:28 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

Peter Huebner wrote:

> Brad, as I understand it: people were originally bitching about the fact
> that their computer had to call up the steam engine over the 'net and
> get permission for them to play the game, even single player game,
> whenever they want to play.

OK, but Steam doesn't have to connect after you game is validated. So
it doesn't have to connect every time you want to play.

> Now that is, i.m.o. unacceptable. Just as I object to Windows Media
> Player not playing a .wmv file without calling microsoft first and
> asking if it's all right to do so.

I will use ANYTHING but Windows Media Player...what a horrible piece of
media software...

> Copy protection is one thing (and I have waffled on about it enough in
> the past) but havig my computer check back every single time I want to
> use a piece of software is simply out. I would not buy such.

It doesn't have to check back...It is very nice for online play and it
is nice to see cheating and lamers down in CS.

> B.t.w. I am quite happy with my totalgaming sub - but it would be nice,
> if the process for backing up my stuff, and retrieving/reinstalling it,
> once downloaded, from Stardock Central, would be more transparent --- I
> still wouldn't know how to recover GalCiv from those backups if I lost
> the registry entries like I did a couple of times (and had to start
> downloading everything from scratch because I didn't and still don't
> understand how I could recover those 'backups'). It's neither obvious
> nor well documented, sorry.

IMHO it is the same thing...GalCiv and HL2 operate on the same idea when
connecting...it is just Steam is more popular.
January 17, 2005 1:14:28 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

Peter Huebner wrote:

> Some people are not online 24/7. Some [few] people still don't even have
> internet. So what would they do if they installed WinP SP 2, or that
> stupid game depending on the Steam engine?

Not being online 24/7 isn't an issue with Steam, since it has
an offline mode.

Not having an internet connection at all is indeed one.

> Copy protection is one thing (and I have waffled on about it enough in
> the past) but havig my computer check back every single time I want to
> use a piece of software is simply out. I would not buy such.

So you don't play the games that have a CD-check. And when you
have a game completely installed in the hard disk but the
developers don't allow you to play the game, if you can't
find the CD for some reason, is that okay, or even 'less bad'
than Steam validation?

I find Steam game-start validation to be far more convenient
and user friendly than the idiotic CD-checks.
--
Noman
Anonymous
January 17, 2005 1:14:29 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

"Andrew" <spamtrap@localhost.> wrote in message
news:idnlu0tkto3mf8vb7huo1kiprtbioq0fuj@4ax.com...
> On Mon, 17 Jan 2005 10:14:27 +1300, Peter Huebner
> <no.one@this.address> wrote:
>
> >Brad, as I understand it: people were originally bitching about the fact
> >that their computer had to call up the steam engine over the 'net and
> >get permission for them to play the game, even single player game,
> >whenever they want to play.
> >
> >Now that is, i.m.o. unacceptable.
>
> It would be if it was true. Unfortunately you are passing on the same
> ill informed nonsense as Dif***wit.

Umm, it is true. If you are online, it *has* to load steam and go. If
you are offline, it still loads steam in "offline mode". Either way,
steam is sitting in background, running, while you are playing.

If you are quibbling on the "getting permission" you are wrong there
too because if Valve wanted to ban you, they could easily set your
game to not play, and not play offline either. I've seen it already on
the Steam forums, where people who were trying exploits got their
account banned and can NO LONGER PLAY HL2 AT ALL,
EVEN OFFLINE.

So it most certainly DOES check for permission. Yes, they were
stupid to exploit, that is not the point at all so please don't try to
sidetrack it there. The *point* is that when you log into steam,
it DOES check for permission to play, and will break your game
if they want to, so you cannot play. Once that's done, you can't
even play offline without a crack.

And you talk about spilling uninformed nonsense. Do you even
look into these things, or just spout off to make yourself feel smart?
You are wrong on every count.
Anonymous
January 17, 2005 1:14:29 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

James Garvin <jgarvin2004@comcast.net> wrote in
news:fIOdnTdHjM_aZXfcRVn-uQ@comcast.com:

> Peter Huebner wrote:
>
<snip>
>> B.t.w. I am quite happy with my totalgaming sub - but it would be
>> nice, if the process for backing up my stuff, and
>> retrieving/reinstalling it, once downloaded, from Stardock Central,
>> would be more transparent --- I still wouldn't know how to recover
>> GalCiv from those backups if I lost the registry entries like I did a
>> couple of times (and had to start downloading everything from scratch
>> because I didn't and still don't understand how I could recover those
>> 'backups'). It's neither obvious nor well documented, sorry.
>
> IMHO it is the same thing...GalCiv and HL2 operate on the same idea
> when connecting...it is just Steam is more popular.
I think you're wrong about it. You can play GalCiv without ever having an
internet connection. You buy the game in store, install it on your computer
and you can play. You can patch it without internet connection too. You can
download patch on another computer, burn it on CD and bring to your gaming
computer and install there. The only thing you'll miss is a minor patches
(which wasn't released as a separate downloads), but they still were
included in the next major patch.

The second difference is that you don't need to run Stardock Central when
you play the game. You only need to run it to patch the game.

So overall, GalCiv was behaving much more user friendly.

Alex.
Anonymous
January 17, 2005 1:14:29 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

"James Garvin" <jgarvin2004@comcast.net> wrote in message
news:D sudnfST56cY33bcRVn-ug@comcast.com...
> I see your point, but I still think that Steam is a good start at
> getting SOMETHING to work...I am guessing but it feel like:
> - cheating is down in online play
> - fewer l33t h@><0rs and lamers
> - less of a hassle getting to online play
> - less lag and better connectivity with servers
>
> This has been my experience, your mileage may vary.

I agree with you here. I dunno why I've been so zealous about
it lately. Mostly because I was off work almost two weeks
(seriously bad bronchitis) and I was on usenet ALOT in that
time, and just got caught up in it. I don't think it's the antichrist
or anything. Just worried about the future, and sick of people
claiming it does things it does not, or doesn't do things that
it does :) 
January 17, 2005 1:14:30 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

Jim Vieira wrote:
> "Andrew" <spamtrap@localhost.> wrote in message
> news:idnlu0tkto3mf8vb7huo1kiprtbioq0fuj@4ax.com...
>
>>On Mon, 17 Jan 2005 10:14:27 +1300, Peter Huebner
>><no.one@this.address> wrote:
>>
>>
>>>Brad, as I understand it: people were originally bitching about the fact
>>>that their computer had to call up the steam engine over the 'net and
>>>get permission for them to play the game, even single player game,
>>>whenever they want to play.
>>>
>>>Now that is, i.m.o. unacceptable.
>>
>>It would be if it was true. Unfortunately you are passing on the same
>>ill informed nonsense as Dif***wit.
>
> Umm, it is true. If you are online, it *has* to load steam and go. If
> you are offline, it still loads steam in "offline mode". Either way,
> steam is sitting in background, running, while you are playing.

What do you know about kernel timeslicing? How familiar you
are with the memory management in an OS like WinXP and how
do you think resources are divided across applications? Do
you think, HL2 will run faster if Steam wasn't running in
the background?

Or do you fear that Steam is using your upstream/downstream
bandwidth in the background? (which isn't true even in
online mode, let alone offline mode obviously)

In any case, this wasn't what the original poster was talking
about.

> If you are quibbling on the "getting permission" you are wrong there
> too because if Valve wanted to ban you, they could easily set your
> game to not play, and not play offline either.

> I've seen it already on
> the Steam forums, where people who were trying exploits got their
> account banned and can NO LONGER PLAY HL2 AT ALL,
> EVEN OFFLINE.

If you use game exploits and cheats, you get banned from
multiplayer sessions on servers which have anti-cheating
settings. No one's stopping such accounts from playing
single-player or even multiplayer on servers which don't
have VAC (Valve Anti-Cheating or something).

If you use fraudelent methods (credit card hacks, stolen
or dubious serial keys, a single account getting logged in
from 100s of locations in different time zones simultaneously),
then the account gets banned.

> And you talk about spilling uninformed nonsense. Do you even
> look into these things, or just spout off to make yourself feel smart?
> You are wrong on every count.

May be you haven't used Steam or you simply haven't looked
in depth at how it works. Either way, you can do better by
trying to gain some perspective and thinking about the issue
in a level-headed way.
--
Noman
Anonymous
January 17, 2005 1:14:31 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

"Noman" <no_m_an@zzzyahoo.yycom> wrote:
> What do you know about kernel timeslicing? How familiar you
> are with the memory management in an OS like WinXP and how
> do you think resources are divided across applications? Do
> you think, HL2 will run faster if Steam wasn't running in
> the background?

I don't need it to run "faster", and I doubt it eats enough
processor to affect the frame rate at all. I'm talking about
memroy. For me, that 20mb is pretty critical.

On the HL2 forums, many people have pointed out that they notice
you do not get the option with the asterick next to it on high textures
unless you have 768mb of ram or more. But some can run with 512
with extreme tweaking and lowering as much windows overhead
as possible. I've been doing the same and I'm so incredibly close
it's sickening.

My system is only 512mb, and it's unlikely I'll upgrade the ram when I'm
going a whole new board soon. The game runs fine for me with the high
res texutres, as far as frames. But I get swapping and stuttering when the
disc is accessing. But it's somewhat minor. Enough so that I'm certain
I'm close to making it fully playable with a bit more ram free.

I've tweaked and tweaked and come so very close that I'd really love
that 20mb back just to see if it's enough to push me over the top. I
wish it did not have to be there at all. I am hopeful someone makes
some kind of real crack or steam emulator that uses no resources
at all, just to see.

> Or do you fear that Steam is using your upstream/downstream
> bandwidth in the background? (which isn't true even in
> online mode, let alone offline mode obviously)
>
> In any case, this wasn't what the original poster was talking
> about.

No such fears. I'm not sure which poster you are refering
to, but Andrew specifically denied the point that the game
"phones home" to make sure you can play, even in just
single player mode. In online mode, it absolutely does
do this.

My point was to prove that Andrew was wrong. When you log
into steam, in online mode, it most definately checks if you are
allowed to play or they couldn't ban people the way they *have*
been doing, which I get into more in the next section. If you
stay offline forever, they can't stop you. But they have already
been banning people in such a way that even their offline mode
stops working. And they lose ALL their steam games on that
account. So steam is more sneaky and powerful than most
think.

> If you use game exploits and cheats, you get banned from
> multiplayer sessions on servers which have anti-cheating
> settings. No one's stopping such accounts from playing
> single-player or even multiplayer on servers which don't
> have VAC (Valve Anti-Cheating or something).
>
> If you use fraudelent methods (credit card hacks, stolen
> or dubious serial keys, a single account getting logged in
> from 100s of locations in different time zones simultaneously),
> then the account gets banned.

Not the point at all. I was worried this was going to become
a strawman. Andrew said that the other guy was wrong for
saying that Steam phones home to verify that you can play
or not. My pointing out of the bannings goes to show that
it most definately *does* do so.

I'm trying to prove Andrew wrong in his belief that it doesn't work
that way, not trying to get into whether hacking is/should be bannable
or not, or how, or any of that. Just using it to prove the point.

> May be you haven't used Steam or you simply haven't looked
> in depth at how it works. Either way, you can do better by
> trying to gain some perspective and thinking about the issue
> in a level-headed way.

I do try sir. I do use Steam, just about every day when I play
CS. I think I've made my point clear earlier in this post, and
in another a few minutes ago, why I have problems with Steam.
January 17, 2005 1:14:32 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

On Mon, 17 Jan 2005 08:51:17 GMT, "Jim Vieira"
<Whiplashr@wi.rr.com.remove.this.to.reply> wrote:

>I don't need it to run "faster", and I doubt it eats enough
>processor to affect the frame rate at all. I'm talking about
>memroy. For me, that 20mb is pretty critical.

If the Steam process isn't being used while playing HL2, then the
chances are it will be swapped out to virtual memory.

>No such fears. I'm not sure which poster you are refering
>to, but Andrew specifically denied the point that the game
>"phones home" to make sure you can play, even in just
>single player mode. In online mode, it absolutely does
>do this.

My point was that there is an offline mode that means you don't have
to be connected to the net every time you play the single player game

>My point was to prove that Andrew was wrong.

Nice try.
--
Andrew, contact via interpleb.blogspot.com
Help make Usenet a better place: English is read downwards,
please don't top post. Trim replies to quote only relevant text.
Check groups.google.com before asking an obvious question.
Anonymous
January 17, 2005 1:23:06 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

In comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg Bateau <Gamera@work.stomping.aza> wrote:
> "Brad Wardell" <bwardell@stardock.com.remove> wrote:
>>
>>1) User buys the game at either:
>> a) The store
>> b) Direct from www.galciv.com
>> c) Buys a Drengin.net (later renamed TotalGaming.net) subscription.
>>
>>2) They then:
>> a) Store user installs the game from CD or could even toss out the CD if
>>they wanted and just use the serial # to download the full game or updates
>>from Stardock Central.
>
> Or sell the CD to some poor guy who doesn't get a valid serial. Is
> online validation required to play the CD version and download patches?

It's been a while since I last used Stardock Central, but if I recall
correctly, you do need a serial#, but you don't need online validation
to play the game. I think you can even get patches without online
validation, but it's a lot easier with that validation.

But like I said, it's bene a while, so I'm probably wrong.

In any case, I consider Stardock Central a useful tool that makes it
easier to download games and install patches. I don't have any
experience with Steam, but it sounds like a rather invasive system
intended to fight piracy, so it's a lot more restrictive to the user,
and advantages like installing new patches are mostly nice side effects.
At least, that's the impression I'm getting.

What also plays a role in the different perceptions between Stardock
and Steam is that Stardock is a small company making relatively small
games (although 300,000 sounds like quite a lot, actually), while HL2
is a big, commercial title. Many people (me included) tend to think a
lot more positively about small independent companies than anything
from the core of the gaming industry.


mcv.
Anonymous
January 17, 2005 1:25:37 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

"Schrodinger" <no@way.com> wrote in message
news:H6AGd.866203$O24.126422@news.easynews.com...

> Finally, at least Valve do seem to have the gamer in mind to an extent.
> Their anti-piracy and anti-cheat principals seem to have failed, but I
> have never received any Spam, or had any suspicion that they are abusing
> Steam for other reasons - i.e. marketing. I think that, for 80% of gamers
> (no idea where I got that from!), Steam is a convenient and efficient
> system for running Valve games. It is certainly easier to run Mods from
> Steam than before if nothing else!

You mean you dont get the Steam news/advertising popup every time you load
it up?

Ceo-
Anonymous
January 17, 2005 1:25:38 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

Ceowulf wrote:

> "Schrodinger" <no@way.com> wrote in message
> news:H6AGd.866203$O24.126422@news.easynews.com...
>
>
>>Finally, at least Valve do seem to have the gamer in mind to an extent.
>>Their anti-piracy and anti-cheat principals seem to have failed, but I
>>have never received any Spam, or had any suspicion that they are abusing
>>Steam for other reasons - i.e. marketing. I think that, for 80% of gamers
>>(no idea where I got that from!), Steam is a convenient and efficient
>>system for running Valve games. It is certainly easier to run Mods from
>>Steam than before if nothing else!
>
>
> You mean you dont get the Steam news/advertising popup every time you load
> it up?

No...What is this news/advertising you speak of? I've never seen
anything like that...

Are you talking about when it updates???
Anonymous
January 17, 2005 1:30:00 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

Brad Wardell wrote:

> So what I want to know is why is there all this angst about Steam and what
> do we need to do to avoid that with Stardock Central? Or have we already
> done something different in Stardock Central that isn't raising these
> concerns? Because in March Galactic Civilizations II goes into beta
> (distributed via Stardock Central) and the last thing we want are people mad
> at us.

Two issues:

1. Registering and installing

If I buy a game in a store, I'd like to play it without further
complications like registering.
To be forced to periodic net contact is totally unacceptable. I
won't buy any game that forces me to do this.
One-time registering is acceptable, but even then I'm wary, since
that usually means I must re-register when I switch to a new
machine. One example of the possible consequences: if Looking Glass
had used this scheme with their games, chances are I wouldn't be
able to play Thief 1 and 2 these days, two games I still play
quite often.

So, forced registering is a reason not to get too fond of a game,
and the best way to avoid this is to not buy it in the first
place. After all, "there are other games as good as this one"
is almost always true.

Forced registering also makes me suspicious, depending on what
kind of data I'm required to provide when I register my game.
As I understand, data protection laws are almost non-existent
in the USA, so whoever gets those data can do pretty much
anything with them. I do not like that.


2. Patching

I like to download my patches and store them on my computer, so
that I can install them if I need them or re-install the game,
or burn them on a CD and install from there if my playing
computer has a slow connection or none at all. I also like
to choose which patch I install or if any - for a single
player game, this should be strictly my choice.

That's it. If you keep these issues in mind, I'm sure
you'll come up with an acceptable solution.

Werner
Anonymous
January 17, 2005 1:30:24 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

In comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg Jeremy Reaban <jer@connectria.com> wrote:
> Brad Wardell wrote:
> <snip>
>> The system *seems* to work very well but we've only got ~300,000
>> users using Stardock Central whereas Steam no doubt has a few
> million.
> <snip>
>
> No, it does not work very well for the end user. Stardock Central is
> freaking nightmare. It's slow, it's buggy, it's a pain in the ass,
> everytime you want to load it up it seems like it has to spend an hour
> downloading a new version of it. It also is apparently spyware, as it
> installs itself in the startup menu of things that are run
> automatically when Windows boots.

I've heard of more people who had trouble with it being slow or buggy,
but at least on my computer it has never started itself up automatically.
It only starts up when I want to, and that it only when I want to get
a new patch for GalCiv or I want to download another Stardock game.

Perhaps you selected a different option on installation or something?

> As someone who only plays Galactic Civilization (and from the cd-rom I
> bought), I have no use for any of the other features of Stardock,
> other than just getting patches for it. But you've made it seemingly
> impossible to get patches or check on them without using the damn
> thing.

I think it is (or was, at some time) possible to get patches at their
site without SDC, but it's a lot easier with SDC. (Although it's not
lightning fast.)


mcv.
Anonymous
January 17, 2005 1:50:05 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

In article <6KidnSI2Ms-4WXfcRVn-1Q@comcast.com>,
bwardell@stardock.com.remove says...
> Okay guys, this anti-Steam stuff is starting to scare me.
>
> Can someone put together a concise list of what it is about Steam that bugs
> you? The reason I ask is that, as time goes on, Stardock is moving more and
> more stuff to Stardock Central. That's what we use to deliver
> TotalGaming.net games to people (http://www.totalgaming.net).

Things that annoy me about Stardock Central:

1. Every time you load it, it wants to update itself. Finish it
already, guys! Would you eat in a restaurant where every time you
lifted your fork, the waiter rushed in, took away your dinner to garnish
it, and brought it back?

2. The browser kills articles you have read in the forums, and there
seems no way to read them again.

All in all, though, it's liveable. Then again, so is Steam. And Real
Arcade, which is more similar to Stardock Central.

- Gerry Quinn
Anonymous
January 17, 2005 1:57:15 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

In article <NDCGd.221414$T02.64868@twister.rdc-kc.rr.com>,
Whiplashr@wi.rr.com.remove.this.to.reply says...
>
> On release day it was taking people hours even with broadband.
> It was like an MMORPG launch, with tens of thousands (or more)
> trying to login at same time. And all for nothing, since steam did
> nothing to stop or slow piracy. *nothing*

I always assumed that people who buy stuff on release day *like* long
queues! Where would the atmosphere be if it had validated instantly?
You wouldn't know it was a special day... (a red letter day, even).

Hmm, after you validate HL2, the first thing that happens is that a cop
throws his soda can on the ground and makes you pick it up. Maybe Steam
is an integral part of the game ;-)

- Gerry Quinn
Anonymous
January 17, 2005 2:23:51 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

"alexti" <QQalextiQQ@videotron.few.useless.chars.ca> wrote in message
news:Xns95E0F3A26951FsfjshTTalextiFJFsdsi@205.237.233.50...
> James Garvin <jgarvin2004@comcast.net> wrote in
> news:fIOdnTdHjM_aZXfcRVn-uQ@comcast.com:
>
>> Peter Huebner wrote:
>>
> <snip>
>>> B.t.w. I am quite happy with my totalgaming sub - but it would be
>>> nice, if the process for backing up my stuff, and
>>> retrieving/reinstalling it, once downloaded, from Stardock Central,
>>> would be more transparent --- I still wouldn't know how to recover
>>> GalCiv from those backups if I lost the registry entries like I did a
>>> couple of times (and had to start downloading everything from scratch
>>> because I didn't and still don't understand how I could recover those
>>> 'backups'). It's neither obvious nor well documented, sorry.
>>
>> IMHO it is the same thing...GalCiv and HL2 operate on the same idea
>> when connecting...it is just Steam is more popular.
> I think you're wrong about it. You can play GalCiv without ever having an
> internet connection. You buy the game in store, install it on your
> computer
> and you can play. You can patch it without internet connection too. You
> can
> download patch on another computer, burn it on CD and bring to your gaming
> computer and install there. The only thing you'll miss is a minor patches
> (which wasn't released as a separate downloads), but they still were
> included in the next major patch.

Precisely. Stardock Central is purely about obtaining new updates to the
games or downloading the entire game from scratch from the net.

>
> The second difference is that you don't need to run Stardock Central when
> you play the game. You only need to run it to patch the game.
>
> So overall, GalCiv was behaving much more user friendly.

Okay so from reading through the posts, the main issues with Steam seem to
boil down to:

1) It requires that it is always running to play their games.

2) In order to play the game, you have to have an Internet connection?

3) Even if you buy the game in the store, it still has to go through and
validate the files. You can't just install and play which means launch days
are problematic.

4) In order to install the game you have to have a net connection?

I saw other things mentioned but these 3 things seem to be what is most
mentioned. If someone has a major beef I'm not listing here let me know.

As many of you know, Stardock Central preceeds Steam but this Spring we're
going to be making a lot of changes to it as well as have the beta of
Galactic Civilizations II. So obviously, we don't want thousands of people
mad at us when we put out the next-gen Stardock Central. We don't have
anywhere near the installed base of Steam but we also live and die on the
"good will" of the net community (after all, not like you're going to see
Galactic Civilizations II on the cover of a game magazine any time soon).
So we definitely don't want to rouse angst.

No system will satisfy everyone. I saw someone post that Stardock Central
is "Spyware" (it's not, it sends us no data except your serial # and usual
stuff that a web browser would send).

From a copy protection point of view, my big thing is CD-ROM protection. I
don't like having to have a CD in the drive. So I tend to be very flexible
on what a copy protection mechanism will do such that I don't have to keep
the CD in. It's Item #4 above that I wonder how upsetting is. From a basic
protection point of view, it would be nice that when you installed the game
if it had to connect to the net to verify a serial #. Just on installation.
Once installed, you could run it without a CD and without being on the net.
I wonder how many people consider that a good trade off -- no CD protection
in exchange for a 1 time "activation" type system?

Right now, a user who buys say Galactic Civilizations at Best Buy can go
home and install it. They type in the serial # that comes with the game at
installation but they don't have to be on the net. If they want to get
*updates* to the game, then they download Stardock Central
(www.sdcentral.net), create a Stardock.net account and it'll show them what
updates are available using the existing serial # they typed in as their ID.
But the user doesn't have to have a CD in the drive. In fact, they can toss
their CD entirely since they can install the entire game from the net at
that point.

BTW doesn't Steam allow users to keep Steam from loading on start-up? Then
you'd just need it when you actually play HL2 or another Valve game?

Brad
--
Brad Wardell
Project Manager: Galactic Civilizations II
Stardock - http://www.stardock.com





>
> Alex.
>
>
!