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Aaron McKenna - Steam

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January 16, 2006 10:27:33 PM

I don't know what this guy's facination is with Steam. Is he being paid to write this crap about how great Steam is? Here's how great Steam is:

Many moons ago, I bought HL2. I was very excited to get it being that I'm a big half life fan. After the lengthy install process, the Steam registration process, update process and everything else I finally get to play the game I purchased. Of course, I figure all this crap is a one time deal. No, every time I start the game it takes FOREVER to actually get into it. After starting HL2 three times I decided I will never start it again. It takes too long and Steam makes me very angry. I DON'T CARE ABOUT OTHER GAMES. I want to play HL2 with no hassles but they won't let me do that.

Consequently, I will never buy another Valve game as long as Steam is part of the picture. I will not buy any games from any developer that have similar startup models. I didn't pay $50 to wait around for crap I don't even want. GG Valve!

More about : aaron mckenna steam

January 17, 2006 7:17:30 AM

Why don't you send that to Valve instead of telling us. Even if, frankly, Valve will care about as much as I do.

In fairness, I thought these posts were going to be stopping?
January 17, 2006 7:19:17 AM

I'm a very satisfied Steam customer and I totally agree with Aaron's view.

When I read your post, salient1, I can't help wondering whether you are actually mad at the speed of your internet connection or at Steam itself.

Steam is very dependent on a good internet connection and if for some reason you're unable to have one, then basically you're screwed. However I see this as a passing problem, where good access becomes available to more and more households. Doesn't make it any less annoying for you personally but you should be careful in projecting your experiences to others. Hopefully you can now see why many people are actually very pleased with Steam, whereas other agree with you.

There's one other group that is seriously annoyed with Steam and that's the hacker scene. Of course Steam can be hacked as well (more easily so if you want to play HL2 offline only) but it's definitely become harder. So much the better for honest customers like myself. The more secure the system, the more money to ValvE, resulting in more investing in good games.

With regard to games I have a high regard for ValvE, both as a developer and as a publisher. I can only applaud the initiative in online content distribution as I find the money spent on producing media (DVD/CD), distribution logistics, and paper documentation a wasted effort, that do not contribute to the gaming experience itself.
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January 17, 2006 7:21:08 AM

Quote:
In fairness, I thought these posts were going to be stopping?


Actually it's going to get worse. The more exposure THG gets, Twitchguru in this case, the more people will join here. It's ok too. I'm in a good mood today :p 
January 17, 2006 7:46:44 AM

Well, I do like Steam quite a bit. But the second article is about Valve's business model, not the nuts and bolts system of Steam itself.

But to the point: From what I've found, for every one person who has had a problem with Steam, specifically the way Half-Life 2 unlocking works; I've found ten people who have had no problems with it. It's just that you're more likely to see a post on forums exclaiming "DAMN STEAM!" than you are to see "GOT HL2! STEAM WORKED PERFECTLY!" Saying that, people who have had problems with Steam deserve to have their grievances aired, and I would say that Valve has learned a lot from the HL2 release.

It was after all Steam's first major trial by fire which it didn't come off too bad from, considering the amount of people happily playing away with HL2 these days.
January 17, 2006 9:06:10 AM

But are these genuine people? Why is it every time a new article comes out a new person joins the forum to make a thread on it. A new person everytime, who you usually never see again in the same thread let alone the rest of the forum....
January 17, 2006 1:55:37 PM

Quote:
But are these genuine people? Why is it every time a new article comes out a new person joins the forum to make a thread on it. A new person everytime, who you usually never see again in the same thread let alone the rest of the forum....


i think its just one very annoyed person, just joining under different names(admins should look into the IP address)

i like steam too, at first i was a bit annoyed like you at the fact i had to wait and ive had a few annoyiences when my router killed itself and i couldnt play the game cause i didnt have a internet connection. i like the auto updates, i could do without the ad/news system but i can live with that.

the only annoyence (big one) is that according to steam my legal bought HL 1 is already registered by a different user and the only way to get a key for it is to pay 20quid to steam...know i wouldnt mind if i had a illegal version of this game and hacked it, but my copy is an original and when i find the ass using my cdkey ill kick him...... :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:
January 17, 2006 3:03:11 PM

FYI: I registered this name many months ago. So there goes your theory.

You act as if someone would have to be insane to be mad at Steam. Sorry, but there are other opinions out there. And my internet connection is fine. I can get over 600kb download over my cable connection (given enough bandwidth on the other side).

Steam exists to get in the way of my game playing. All I want to do is throw my game disc in the computer and play my damn game. I don't want all this other crap. If every game company makes their own version of Steam, imagine what that will be like. All these services running on your box all the time. I have enough crap on my computer. I don't need more.
January 17, 2006 5:40:34 PM

Quote:
imagine what that will be like. All these services running on your box all the time. I have enough crap on my computer. I don't need more.


you can set steam up so it only runs when you run your game you know, i never have steam running till i double click the shortcut for the game. although i do your point if everyone did this it would suck.
January 17, 2006 5:46:06 PM

His IP is fine. You shouldn't try to discredit people in this way. If it really was a dummy account you could have PM'd me and I would have taken care of it.
January 17, 2006 7:50:59 PM

So you registered months ago and waited till now to use it?

Aaron must be pissing off a lot of "long time readers first time posters" so.
January 17, 2006 9:28:41 PM

Quote:
His IP is fine. You shouldn't try to discredit people in this way. If it really was a dummy account you could have PM'd me and I would have taken care of it.


sorry i was only joking.. i would of pm'd if i was serious :roll:
January 17, 2006 10:39:10 PM

dude then why do you bother go out and buy a console if you dont want a little struggle, because there are always things wrong with pcs and there always will be conflicts. You just dont go whineing and complaining about them
and if you wanted to solve your problem not bitch, we might be able to help ok.
January 18, 2006 10:49:24 AM

dam right :p 
January 19, 2006 7:22:41 PM

Quote:
So you registered months ago and waited till now to use it?

Aaron must be pissing off a lot of "long time readers first time posters" so.

I live to starve. Err, serve.
January 21, 2006 5:59:48 PM

That and the free steam account! :lol: 
January 22, 2006 12:19:45 PM

Quote:
That and the free steam account! :lol: 

I bought my copy of HL2 fair and square :p 
January 22, 2006 10:52:49 PM

We have programs called "Web Browsers" that go to "Web Sites", you can purchase, download, install, update and sample any kind of program you want. What does Steam bring to the table?

Most of the newer games can auto update from the game, (No Steam needed).

When I purchased Half Life 2, I thought I was buying a Stand Alone Game. Not an "Online" game. That was a very Cheesey stunt Valve pulled. When it came out, I bought it within a few days of release. I tried for weeks to get it to play without being on the internet, (this is after it was installed and decrypted). None of the "tips" on Valve's site worked. That was not acceptable.

The Steam crowd is very simular to the AOL crowd. They like useless proprietary programs running in the background to perform tasks that could easily be done with a standard web site and browser.

If the "Steam Style" of selling programs does take off, you will be in the same boat as the DIVX users. (The competion to DVD's, not the Video CODEC, search the web for details it was several years ago). Once a "Steam Style" company stops "Supporting" the game, you will no longer be able to play it.

I like playing old games, I still play C64 games and Amiga Games. With "Steam Style", you will never play the game again after the company goes under or stops "supporting" the game.

It is sad, Half Life 2 is a great game.

Sluggo
January 23, 2006 8:23:43 AM

The Steam style of selling has taken off – that's why even EA is getting onboard electronic distribution. The biggest reason for Steam, apart from what you and I get out of it, is a business one: Sure you can download games from your browser after purchasing them, but what about copy protection? Systems like Steam are mainly for the protection of developers, who are much more at risk of copyright violation when their games are distributed electronically without even the barrier of a disc.

Look on the bright side, compared to copy protection systems like StarForce, Steam is a pretty sweet deal. Yes it does things that you could do manually, but it throws those in as the sweetener that makes the copy protection viable. Hell, most people don't even cop the argument about Steam being good for copy protection until they look a little harder at it, so as copy protection systems go it's quite discreet.

It also helps in the fight against cheaters in online games – there once was a time when you couldn't go onto a single CS server without running into one or two guys who were a little too twitchy and got a tad too many headshots, for example. Through Steam they can be tracked and even banned.

So, as I say, the system has a lot of upswings, and the amount of people that have had trouble with the system is a minority among those who have used it. Of course you guys still have a major gripe, and I'd say keep the pressure on Valve to make a system without so many hang-ups (the point about HL2 and internet access is a very valid one for some).
January 23, 2006 2:00:48 PM

Meh, steam was bypassed shortly after HL was released.
January 23, 2006 2:14:42 PM

Quote:
Meh, steam was bypassed shortly after HL was released.

Anti-piracy measures are only meant to delay, not stop, a game being cracked. Even if you hold off the pirates for a week you're going to save a lot of money than if you're hit like Doom III was and a few million people have the game before it's even in shops.
January 23, 2006 9:54:15 PM

Quote:
like Doom III was and a few million people have the game before it's even in shops.


heh heh, like me. Glad it was pants and I didn't buy it mind you.
January 23, 2006 10:22:46 PM

yeah im loving f.e.a.r, quake 4, cod2 free :)  ill eventually end up buying them for the multi-player anyway, but im always flat-ass broke so whatever!
January 24, 2006 7:07:45 AM

Well I went and downloaded Nexus: The Jupiter Incident the other day, it has it's flaws but I liked it so much I bought it. Downloaded Evil Genius and The Movies day before yesterday, have only played Evil Genius but I think I'll be buying that as well and I'll wait to see how The Movies plays first.
January 24, 2006 7:33:39 AM

This is the ambiguity that scares me… I think "They've downloaded it, but say that they'll buy it. But will they really?" It's when you talk in those terms that everyone goes a little apeshit.
January 24, 2006 12:02:35 PM

Well I did, I don't normally mind you cos USUALLY as stated before I download games I wouldn't buy.

Games I can remember downloading, anything labeled as shit I didn't buy for obvious reasons....

AOEIII: Shit
X2: The Threat, got copied version, loved it and bought it.
Full Spectrum Warrior: Shit
Doom III: Shit
Age of Wonders: Shit
Blitzkrieg: Shit
Nexus: The Jupiter Incident: Liked and bought.
Warhammer: Dawn of War: Hands up, enjoyed alot but bored very quickly of it and accordingly wouldn't buy it.
Band of Brothers Earned in Blood: Shit
Space Rangers: Shit
Evil Genius: Undecided
The Movies: Yet to play

Taking each game at release value of say €40 (they can be more or less but €40 is a nice round figure) I've saved myself €320. These you understand are just the games I can think of off the top of my head. €320 is no small amount to be spending on games I won't like BUT on the otherhand cos I downloaded first I ended up buying games I would normally bypass on the shelf. It's a win win situation for me.
January 24, 2006 8:13:10 PM

It's the ambiguity of it that kills you, though. You're still stealing... it's a bit like walking into a shop, opening and taking a bite out of a chocolate bar and paying for it if you like it.
January 25, 2006 8:12:34 AM

I've never seen a bar of chocolate costing €40 plus your example suggests a more literal taking of something. Slightly more apt in my eyes is buying a car and taking it for a test drive, you wouldn't do it any other way :) 

Different shades of grey ultimately tho.
January 25, 2006 1:57:17 PM

Quote:
I've never seen a bar of chocolate costing €40 plus your example suggests a more literal taking of something. Slightly more apt in my eyes is buying a car and taking it for a test drive, you wouldn't do it any other way :) 

Different shades of grey ultimately tho.

I agree, but it's still grey.
January 29, 2006 6:58:41 PM

dont you know offline mode doesnt work unless your conntected to the internet(i just tried it), unplug your phone line then try playing HL2...

and demos dont give you a real chance to see what the game is like look at fear the deemo is scary and creepy the game isnt, the game doesnt play out the same as the demo either.
January 30, 2006 7:48:10 AM

Flakes offline mode is called offline for a reason you know. As long as you have HL2 fully updated you can play HL2 offline.
January 30, 2006 8:46:27 AM

Quote:
Flakes offline mode is called offline for a reason you know. As long as you have HL2 fully updated you can play HL2 offline.


Actually, if you really are offline then it'll even work when you're not fully updated because Steam has no way of knowing whether you're updated or not. Only when you are online, then Steam will connect, even if you're on a 14k4 dial-in, and the updating will start. It would be nice if it asked whether you wanted to update or not (if it can detect connection speed, why shouldnt it ask for that?). Of course you would need the update if you want to play online or get the latest fixes/models/etc.

I really appreciate Steam, and now they're signing up more and more non ValvE games which is great. It's such an easy way of getting new software (legally).
January 30, 2006 9:09:00 AM

Quote:
I've never seen a bar of chocolate costing €40 plus your example suggests a more literal taking of something. Slightly more apt in my eyes is buying a car and taking it for a test drive, you wouldn't do it any other way :) 

Different shades of grey ultimately tho.


How sympathetic this may look, it is still wrong. If you think it is bad practice that publishers ask €40+ without allowing even a "test-drive" (demo's should cover this btw, no reason for a full game tryout) then you should not do business with them. And if enough people would do that, that would send the right signal and things would change.

Personally, I think it is just a way of relieving one's conscience (not talking about you personally now Wolfy. You're the only one who knows how it's working with you) after the fact. The business of selling games is about selling licenses. You're not buying something physical (except for perhaps the medium the game is on), you are buying the right to use it (either for a limited time, or an unlimited time). It is this aspect that is lost on a lot of consumers, and publishers should spend a lot more time on explaining this, and why and how they are selling what they are selling.

On an aside note: publishers are confusing the issue themselves by coupling content to the medium it's sold on. If I buy a movie on VHS, and later want to get the same thing on DVD, I pay the full monty again, including copyright, which I already paid for last time. This must change (and you will see it change, as content gets less and less medium dependent).

Back to the stealing vs trying out approach, if I'd have some wonderful idea on a new business, I would rather go bankrupt finding out it was a crappy idea after all and that noone out there liked it, than going out there, getting my idea stolen from me and going bankrupt because of that. In facing this dilemma, many publishers came up with the current copy protection measures, while only very few of them tried to figure out what the consumer really wants (next to their own objectives), which is easy and fast software delivery at a reasonable price and with the possibility to sample the software before actually buying.

Valve is getting it more or less right, with new games like Darwinia or Ragdoll Kung-Fu. Both have demo's you can play, and both are distributed quite easily through Steam. As a result of which, btw, I did not buy either one of them (maybe the demo's weren't representative but that's the developer's responsibility). There's some new Steam games slated, and I will definitely check them out too (i'm a sucker for galaxy conquest type of games).

So to all you "try m before you buy m" type of gamers out there, please do yourself and others like me a favor and go the legit way. That's the way to much faster innovation. Big companies (and publishers are no exception) are slow in responding, because they have huge stakes and investments in current structures. We need to help them understand that they're on the wrong and outdated track and that we demand new things from them, and we need to support those that we consider to be on the right track, which is up to each of your personal opinions.

When there are no legal alternatives in your opinion, then you might want to rethink your own attitude some, of what is driving you in going forward as a consumer and you'll have to be as honest to yourselves as possible and the answer may not be as pretty as you thought. Well, it's never too late to change a bit yourself either :) 
January 30, 2006 5:17:36 PM

Quote:
Flakes offline mode is called offline for a reason you know. As long as you have HL2 fully updated you can play HL2 offline.


you would think so...but im serious when i unplug my network cable click the HL2 icon, steam says i have no connection and asks if i would like to use offline mode, i say yes, then it ends the game telling me steam cant connect to the server :?
January 30, 2006 5:41:10 PM

It's not doing that to me (its working fine if I turn off my modem).

Then again, why would you unplug the network cable if it's there?
January 30, 2006 7:51:21 PM

Quote:
It's not doing that to me (its working fine if I turn off my modem).

Then again, why would you unplug the network cable if it's there?


just to test out that offline mode...it didnt work on my old computer either i found out the hard way when my router stopped working.
January 30, 2006 8:29:35 PM

So halflife is updated fully.

Then, while not connected to the net you start steam, it gives you the option to start offline and Roberts your fathers brother. Or at least it should be that simple.... I really don't think that's a steam problem as long as your games are uptodate.
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