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What’s with the Steam hate?

January 21, 2010

Steam is bad? Did I miss something?

So after getting a little addicted to playing Global Agenda and writing a few pieces on the subject for Massively, I started to notice this really odd wave of comments that actually confused me — people who refused to play GA because it was Steam exclusive.  They didn’t want to install Steam or deal with it, because they felt it was getting in the way of their gaming experience.

Some of the comments they had about it were absolutely venomous, such as how it hogged system resources, performed bad installs, updated games slowly, and was generally unwieldy.  When I was reading their comments, I felt like I had gone back in time to the year 2004, when Steam first came into mainstream use with Half-Life 2, and the first “Steam Controversy” was born.

In fact, just as I’m writing this article, I went over and checked the Wikipedia entry on Steam.  Holy shit, talk about being biased.  If Wikipedia is to be believed, Steam is a buggy piece of crap that ruins video games, steals money from developers, and demands the sacrifice of first born children to the “My Games” tab before a game can be run.

Yet, even as I’m typing, Steam is running comfortably in the background, doing whatever it is that it does in the background.  When I want to run a game, I open Steam, double click on the game, and it runs.  Beyond that, Steam offers me some amazing, amazing, amazing deals on games that I’d like to play.  Deals that go above and beyond their 10% discount on a game when you pre-order it.  From the Steam Holiday Sale alone, I was able to buy nice gifts for all of my friends, add 10 more games to my arsenal, and not spend more than 100 bucks for all of it.  The amount of money that I’ve saved through using Steam as my distribution service is just amazing.

So, let me try to wrap my head around some of these reasons for why you shouldn’t use steam.

1. It hogs system resources

So I pulled up the ctrl+alt+delete service menu to see just how much memory Steam takes up when it’s running in the background.  Just so you all know that I’m not making crap up, I put the screenshot off to the side here.  Click it if you need it blown up, as I know it’s pretty tiny.  But, even with the visual evidence, let me break it down for you.

Steam, in this photo, is taking up 8,680k of my memory.  Compare that against Skype, which is taking up 12,236k, iTunes, which is taking up 32,976k, Thunderbird, which is taking a hefty 46,308k, and Google Chrome, the “lightweight browser” that’s taking up a whopping 53,328k over two processes.  For one instance of Google Chrome, I could run Steam six times.  So don’t tell me that Steam is hogging your precious resources, unless you’re running on a really, really small amount of RAM.  I’m running on 2 GB, personally, and Steam does not impact how my games run.

Shit, the only reason I was running iTunes in this screenshot was because I was playing Burnout: Paradise.  And even while running iTunes, Steam, Google Chrome, and Thunderbird, Burnout: Paradise still ran at 60 FPS with everything turned on high.  Don’t tell me Steam ruins how your game runs.

2.  Steam ruins installs

I have 36 games on Steam.  Not one has misinstalled in the entire 4 year history of me using the program.  Either I’m incredibly lucky, or Steam isn’t a rabid misinstaller.

Oh, and if you’re talking about how Steam automatically updates games when the developer pushes out a patch, then that’s not Steam, that’s the developer.  If it updates and breaks your game, I’m sorry, but it really doesn’t happen as often as you want to say it does.  Once again, over my entire history of using Steam (and having 3 different computers, each with a different setup) I’ve never had a game break from an update on Steam.  Ever.

3.  You need to be online to play Steam games

If you’re on dial-up, then this is a legitimate gripe.  It does suck that you have to be online to play a Steam game, as Steam forces game authentication every time you run the game.  However, for the rest of you silly geese who are on broadband, what the fuck are you complaining about?  Sure, this might suck for those of you who have bandwidth caps in other countries, but I don’t see Steam pulling down that much bandwidth when I’m playing.  It’s very light on the bandwidth if you’re not playing an online game.

If you’re in the US, you most likely can’t gripe because we really don’t have bandwidth caps around here.  I’m constantly connected to the internet thanks to the wonderful advent of cable internet.  I’m always online.  If I wasn’t online, I’d pretty much go insane.

Lastly, if you’re bitching about adding Steam and you’re adding it to play an online game, like Global Agenda, then go fuck yourself.  “I have to be online to use Steam” is not a valid excuse when the game you’re playing IS ONLINE ONLY ANYWAYS.

4.  You can’t sell Steam games back to the retailer or to someone else

No, and you can’t sell PC games to GameStop either.  If you don’t want to use Steam because you want to sell your games, then just don’t use Steam.  But for online only games (like Global Agenda) then you really can’t resell the game anyway because it’s tied to your account.  Once again, go fuck yourself. *smiles and thumbs up*

5. Steam is a trojan horse

Thanks alot, Direct2Drive, for making this really shitty comparison.  Sorry that your download service doesn’t offer a community panel, IM and voice chat services, automatic updates that don’t suck, and competitive deals.

Steam is not a trojan horse.  If anything, steam (and integrating games into Steamworks) lets developers utilize Steam’s anti-cheat platform, their auto-update functionality, matchmaking and lobbies functions, and the very cool Steam Cloud which lets you keep your game saves and profiles online and take them wherever you go.  As long as you’re logged into Steam, you get your games and your saves.  Very cool.

So, if you’re still into hating Steam, then you’re still pretty much stuck in 2004.  If you still really don’t want to use the program, then my advice is to just not use it and shut up about it.  Go off to Direct2Drive or go shop at GameStop — you still have those options.

As for me, I’ll be enjoying the Steam Cloud and my legion of affordable games.

~Sera

61 comments

  1. I was very skeptical about Steam early on. I didn’t want DRM of any sort, especially the kind that calls home when I launched games.

    But along the road I realized that amongst all of the other options, the other methods of Copyright control and the horrible service via brick and mortar stores– Steam is the best option.

    Valve has done a great job with Steam and I now find myself more annoyed when games aren’t available from Steam. I’ve buckled in and installed Impulse as well (mainly for Sins of a Solar Empire) and it’s not bad either. Neither have cause any disruptions on my PC and both are hella convenient.

    In the end, it’s just a delivery system. As long as I can play the games I want, I’m happy. Steam and Impulse both allow that just fine.


  2. Preach! ;)

    I’m a steam fan myself and also never understood the hate.


  3. I’ve been using Steam ever since I got a credit card, and I haven’t encountered any big problems. Mostly add-on related issues that were rectified when I learned how to install mods for Fallout 3. :)

    That said, how does one access Steam Cloud?


    • Steam Cloud is simply a part of certain games, and was started when Left 4 Dead 2 launched. You won’t notice it’s there — it kind of just happens. Check your game’s page on Steam to see if Steam Cloud is enabled and how much it covers. Some games only transfer your settings from computer to computer and not your game saves.

      Otherwise, if your game has Steam Cloud and will take your saved games with it, then you don’t have to do anything. If you should ever go to another computer, go online with Steam and install the game, all of your saves will just be there. It’s like magic.


  4. I like Steam, but since it launched I far prefer GOG as a digital download store. The games download as installers that don’t require online activation, so there’s no DRM, and you can back them up wherever you like. They’re cheap (and if you’re in the UK, you still pay $6/$10 – they include the VAT in the price automatically). You can redownload as many times as you like.

    Of course, the O in the site’s name is the only downside. They don’t do /new/ stuff. :P


  5. I do think most criticisms of Steam(and digital distribution) are off base.

    Lately, I find myself using D2D more than Steam, mainly because I don’t really use any of Steam’s community features or the Steam Cloud. I just want the game. While the Steam launcher doesn’t really take any system resources, why bother having it run at all if I’m not using any of it’s features?

    Oh, and D2D has plenty of sales every week that are totally comparable to what Steam offers.


  6. I have run into 2 issues over the years through steam. One was the newest Red Faction not installing correctly (MS/Live issue, though I hate games that use steam and live) and L4D2 had to have it’s cache cleared once or twice to clear up a connectivity issue I was having.

    Even then, 99%+ of the time steam works flawlessly. I love the service and will gladly take the slightly flaws with it to have access to my games years from now whenever I want and to be able to instantly purchase games when I feel like it.


  7. My only qualm with Steam is that it seems like you buy the right to play the game, not the game itself. Might just be me… Regardless, Steam has always been good to me.

    And Reddit says hello.


  8. I have a few problems with steam right now.
    First, I find that it goes offline too often. In the days of cloud servers, isnt there a way to prevent this from occurring?

    Second, they allow developers to push out games that do not run correctly on a large number of computers. I think they should be responsible for what they sell.

    Third, the steam built in browser is horrible.

    Finally, steam does not allow you to buy extra ‘copies’ of a game. I would really like to see that.


    • To respond to your post, point by point:

      1. That’s odd. I’ve never had Steam go offline on me unless it was updating. And, as I said above, I practically live on it.

      2. That’s a tough call and a slippery slope. I agree that there should be more oversight, but both you and I know that people will complain should more oversight be added. It’s like the App Store on Apple. There’s oversight there, but many people say it’s too extreme.

      I like it where it is right now with the developer being responsible. If your game doesn’t work, you can always request a refund.

      3. Agreed. Easily agreed.

      4. I’m asking fairly here, because I am interested: Why would you want multiple copies of a game?


      • Regarding point 4, he might mean as a way to give to other people.

        which is what the “gift” option does.


  9. I have used Steam since HL2. It had problems at first but after a few months they got it working smoothly.

    I have 20-30 games I bought on Steam and they all worked with no problems.

    And you do NOT have to be online to play! There is a menu option called “Go Offline” which lets you play all your games without being connected to Steam. So there. :-)

    That said, I do sometimes worry that if Valve decided to be evil they could cancel my account at any time, remove any game they wanted or do other unpleasant things. Thats a valid worry, but most modern multiplayer games come with a CD key that the company could revoke any time they wanted too. Good luck buying any online game that the publisher can’t disable remotely these days.


    • when it works, steam is invisible. when it fails, it is devastatingly bad at recovering from failure or diagnosing trouble. that’s just the client.

      1. when steam cloud/server issues come up. the client doesn’t recognise or diagnose this at all, and it can be frustrating to figure this out sometimes.

      2. offline mode does not work the way you imagine it does. you need to have tried to use it, or at least once hit that wall where the game starts, then fails to load in offline mode.

      what’s not mentioned by valve is that it does this every time you enable offline mode. to enable offline mode for 1 game, you need to spend at least 10 minutes switching from online (run game) to offline (run game) to online (run game) and then offline (run game)to get the offline mode working.

      now, do this while travelling, without access to the internet to go ‘online’.

      3. the license agreement, as always, desires portions of your mortal soul in exchange for gaming pleasure. this would be standard practise.

      4. revocation is the greatest issue with steam, beyond any DRM issues, they can simply delete your account if you do something they don’t like, without refunding all those games you’ve purchased. at any time.

      5. international pricing is very broken. while publishers and distributors do control steam’s ability to sell games and set the pricing accordingly, giving distributors the ability to set the price of modern warfare 1 or 2 up to 150% to 250% the current US pricing, is wrong on several levels. most games go straight out at US pricing, but the exceptions on AAA titles are more perilous, newsworthy and far more notable.

      6. release date delays – publishers are totally at fault here, but it’s generally quite hateful in some cases to delay releases because mexico, ireland, germabny or australia, who fall outside the sales region of the north american release.

      while all 6 are fairly “not valve’s or steam’s problem”, it is something that they can fix, and should really try to address or fix.


  10. I use and love steam, and have had absolutely no problems with it. It doesn’t bog things down, nor have I had any mis-installs. Overall, a great experience.

    I do have one gripe, though, that I think is very legitimate. I live in Paris, and there is no conversion between dollars and euros. That means that if a game costs $49, it also costs €49. Depending on the exchange rate, I’m paying 30-50 percent more than my US based friends. That’s a huge turn off.


  11. I get from this post that you didn’t use steam in its infamous years, where a lot of the hate comes from. When cs1.6 was out, steam WAS a bloated program that many computers struggled with. It had horrible connectivity, installations were a pain, etc.

    Most of your points are moot because they are long fixed…and its simply residual hate left over.

    However i did have one gripe with your “3. You need to be online to play Steam games” point. Did it ever occur to you that gamers might use laptops, and/or NOT BE TIED NEXT TO AN INTERNET OUTLET? There are DOZENS of possibilities for this, like small lan parties, gaming while traveling, or simply at a friends’ house that doesn’t have a wireless access point.

    And point 1 is the concept that you are playing a game – why are you required to run an equivalent of xfire-with-more-ads just to play the game you legally own? It isn’t the literal demand on your system, its the principle.

    All in all, I find your post to be just as one sided and preachy as those that hate steam. Not a very unbiased view of the issues – you’re just on the opposite side of the fanboy fence tbh.


  12. You can use Steam “Offline”.
    https://support.steampowered.com/kb_article.php?ref=3160-AGCB-2555

    Please follow the instructions below to configure Offline Mode on your machine:

    1. Start Steam online – make sure the Remember my password box on the login window is checked
    2. Verify that all game files are completely updated – you can see the update status for a game under the My Games tab (when the game shows as 100% – Ready it is ready to be played in Offline Mode)
    3. Launch the game you would like to play offline to verify that there are no further updates to download – shut down the game and return to Steam once you have confirmed that the game can be played
    4. Go to Settings to ensure the Do not store account information on this computer option is not selected
    5. From the main Steam window, go to File and select Go Offline
    6. Click OK to restart Steam in Offline Mode


    • you missed the next 10 steps.

      7. wait for steam to close properly (2-3 minutes)
      8. open steam in offline mode
      9. open the game in offline mode. wait 3 minutes for game to not load.
      10. switch steam back to online mode, the client will ask you to restart steam. click OK
      11. wait a few minutes for steam to close properly (2-3 minutes)
      12. open steam in online mode.
      13. open the game in online mode. wait 3 minutes for game to load. quit out.
      14. switch steam back to offline mode, the client will ask you to restart steam. click OK
      15. wait a few minutes for steam to close properly (2-3 minutes)
      16. open steam in offline mode.
      17. open the game, cross your fingers and hope it works now.


    • The problem is having to go online, ever, period.

      “1. Start Steam online – ”

      Whoops. Right off the bat, the Internet is a necessity. When someone says they don’t want to have to go online to play the game, are you 100% certain they are not just talking about a single step anywhere along the way, not just playing, but the steps needed leading up to playing? The Internet and Steam are intermediaries and for games that are single-player and come on a disc in a box, the player is not necessarily expecting any online steps from opening the box to playing the game. Oh, and to the blogger and a few others: Telling people essentially to go fuck themselves after they have made a legitimate complaint about already being fucked over by middlemen/middleware is a shitty display and smacks of fanboyism and the conceit of the over-privileged. With too many fingers in the pie, it’s a good thing Valve has learned to make their product less visible and intrusive. It is interesting how other gaming companies are willing to share profits with Valve, though.


  13. Umm yeah, try that button next time you’re offline and see what happens. That burned me last time I was on vacation w/ no internet.


  14. Oh look, valve astroturf. Get a real job you lying leech.

    This isn’t social marketing, it’s fraud, You do know that it’s now illegal in the US (FCC regulation) for a blogger not to give their financial affiliation?


    • Ok? I work for Massively.com? We write about Massively Mutliplayer Games?

      >.>

      Someone’s cranky.

      Also, if you really wanted to say your comment to my face, you’d at least put in a real username and perhaps a return address so we could talk about this like civilized human beings. However, since you do not want to do that, your opinion is denied.


    • She mentioned at the start of the article that she was using Steam while writing a review for Massively. What more disclosure do you want, unless you have some sort of conspiracy theory about Valve paying off pseudo-random bloggers to say nice things about them?


  15. Umm… sorry JoeTheTech, that comment wasn’t directed at you, I swear there was just a post here that just said you can push the ‘go offline’ button to use your games when you don’t have a connection without mentioning the whole set-up phase you must do while connected.


    • I’ll move your comment for you so it goes in the place where you want it to be, gbs. :)

      Sorry, all first time users here have to be moderated by me. Obviously I approve literally everything, but that leads to comments being out of order.


  16. Why did D2D complain about steam being used on modern warfare 2 when they are selling games that use games for windows live? same stuff different developer and suddenly it’s OK?
    Which is pretty much the only thing that bugs the heck out of me on Steam, games that are GFWL on steam. visual depiction of the absurdity: (steam:(games for windows live:(teh game))).
    In my experience GFWL has worse connectivity then steam for me, allways having to restart games to reconnect to the service. And then there was the patching debacle, a major PITA to get the proper version installed before it could update to the latest version, took me hours. Never had that happen with steam.
    If I have to choose between Steam(or some other online “DRM”)and DRM where I have only x installs and need to have the disc in the drive to run it. Well, I choose Steam.


  17. I hate steam because a clerical error locked me out of my account.

    It took an entire month for their incompetent customer service staff to let me back in to play my rightfully purchased games, and I received no apology or compensation.


  18. I used to think Steam was the end of the world until about a month ago when a friend hooked me up with an account and Civ 4. The system, imo, works flawlessly. I personally enjoy having The box and CDs that go along with a game because I know that it is mine, But the convenience that steam offers out weighs my desire to physically own the game. I still do not like online authentication though, my ISP has been known to have spotty service in my area and I have lost internet more than a few times over the past few months. I suppose I’ll just have to try the offline mode.


  19. It’s the offline games that I can’t play when I’m not online (ie, on a bus or a long car trip) that bugs me. I was thinking of buying the C&C 3 games through steam, but likely my best chance at playing them would be the 3 or 6 hour car drives when we visit friends and family out-of-state… but it wouldn’t work through steam anyways.

    My account could also be disabled, and I’d lose access to my purchases (I’m not worried much about this, but it’s an issue worth contemplating).


  20. So true, I have been using steam since the beginning. All these people bitching when there is really no problem at all just detracts from the pc gaming industry and makes us all look like a bunch of flaming retards.

    What you were saying about offline playing needs a correction though. Steam has offline mode, while your online just go to offline mode and you can play your games offline. Took my laptop to Cuba and played bioshock half the way, no problem at all.


  21. steam tied up my internet at random times, then my wireless went down. I was unable to play any of my games for as long as my wireless was connected to the not so good network


  22. I’m supportive of Steam and believe that on the whole, it is an excellent content distribution system.

    My gripes with are more so due to developer actions than Valve itself.

    First, there’s the DRM over DRM. Steam itself is a DRM system, but on top of that, developers bundle their own DRM system over it, such as securerom etc.

    Second is the patch pushing system like others have mentioned. I’d have prefer a system where you can chose to apply a certain patch or not. The automatic update concept works well when you are targeting a unified platform that runs a specific set of OS/hardware config (consoles, iPhone etc). On the PC where configuration varies widely, automatic updates have a chance to wreck havoc on untested hardware/driver version combinations. It would have been more advisable if the users had an option to choose whether to apply it or not.


  23. I was actually pretty pissed off at the Steam haters because before getting Steam, I heard so much bad stuff about it, that I held off on installing it for a year.

    None of what they said was true. I’ve had 0 issues with steam and it’s actually been a godsend when I’ve had to reinstall Windows. No dozens of discs to deal with.


  24. The reason I hate steam is the no refund policy. I bought borderlands for pc and it was a total POS.


    • But, to be fair, it’s not like you can go back to, say, GameStop and get a refund because a game is “a total POS”.


    • Boarderlands a POS? You have no soul.


  25. What about offline games for computers (such as laptops) that may not always be online. Having to pass through the sacred gates of steam for some Bioshock or HL2 is indefensible.

    For games like CS or TF2 it is no problem at all


  26. I like steam, but #3 and 4 are legitimate.

    3 – netbook or laptop. We don’t always have a net connection, and we can’t always anticipate when we won’t have one so we can tell steam to go online to prepare for offline usage. While out of the country, my hotel’s DSL got taken out by a storm, and it didn’t return for days. No Steam games for me during the outage.

    4 – Not only can I not sell it, I can’t lend or give it to a friend. Super-lame.


  27. You’re in Team Fortress 2, which syncs your special equipment with the Steam cloud. It is not unusual to see the connection get lost and you aren’t able to use any of your unlocked equipment. And worse, when steam does try to reconnect, you get a nice second +/- of frozen FPS action as this happens.


  28. My opinion is that it’s almost futile to try to show people pros and cons, because I believe its almost purely a matter of everyone having a different PC, and those myriad of differences effect the outcome. Maybe it is to do with some of the issues you break down, but my point would be that computers today are almost akin to fingerprints. Even “identical” computers are not identical after two different people downloaded and/or ran two different programs on those two PCs.

    Take F2P MMORPG clients. They seem to have a higher degree of breakdowns, compared to other similar functioning programs. They just cannot account for all the different PCs that might have one or two small programs, a change in the system registry, or any number of thousands of things that inadvertently interfere, and cause them to have trouble with said client.

    Now some companies like Blizzard, and Steam(?) have put in substantially more time to ensure greater quality control, but nothing is perfect.

    My opinion is that Steam runs just fine on most computers.

    Wikipedia and internet forums allow for a very loud minority to be heard, and I think that’s what is going on in this case. If it weren’t, we’d be hearing from many game developers and steam themselves, because they have an invested interest in making sure the program runs.


  29. My only gripe with Steam is it’s god awful UI, it needs an overhaul in that regard.


    • it has an UI update coming quite soon, whilch you can preview yourself if you enable the UI beta and have a look yourself.

      however, it still has the same slow performance, it just looks tremendously better while spending 3-4 minutes loading the storefront homepage each time.


  30. I just have a lot of trouble with it, sometimes it’s smooth, sometimes it’s a headache. Maybe I’m oldschool, on Starcraft I popped in the disk or clicked the shortcut and the game started up; I didn’t need a middleman to have open just to start a game. That concept seems silly and inefficient to me.

    As for being online; a lot of places I’ve been to with wifi has Steam blocked; so Steam gets stuck on the “Logging in” screen; which is a headache since there’s no work around.

    Yes, there’s good deals, but it just seems impracticable to me. I suppose it’s the same reason I dislike iPods, you need iTunes just to transfer music (Not anymore thanks to Songbird).


  31. Not one has mis-installed correctly? 36 Games? That’s still only one data point. Anecdote territory. Well done, steam works for your os/hardware configuration. Want a cookie?

    Perhaps they’re objecting to Steam’s DRM providing service? Or having to update it before they can play games?


  32. relevant if you are in the usa.
    promoting/reviewing products without a disclaimer stating that you are being compensated by the products company is illegal.


    • Yes. Lolz. No compensation. Just wrote this because I felt like it. This is my personal blog site… I write about a lot of stuff here.


    • Hahaha, you think you’re clever huh?

      It’s his personal blog buddy, don’t get your panties in a knot.


  33. I’m really going to have to disagree with point number 2 here. I have to admit, I really do love steam, and it makes it extremely easy to restore games after I reformat my OS drive (and leave my drive with the steam games on it alone). I really love the services and the great sales they provide.

    My disagreement comes from the system-hog part. I’ve had cases where steam sits there using up one of my CPU cores (%50 load on my core 2 duo) just happily toasting up my processor core. WTF. I walk away, come back and its still doing it. I check and see if its updating… nope, nothing. The only way to get it to stop is to restart it.


  34. Regarding Offline Mode. I think you only need to activate Offline Mode once, then should ask “Could not connect to server, start in offline mode?” when startet without a net connection. Works for me anyway

    Regarding “using up one of my cores” .. happens to my firefox far more often than to my steam.. but also happened to a other programs as well on occasion. i blame windows :-)

    Regarding “additional other DRM as securom”. Thats the manufactur of the game and a fucking stupid idea. I try to avoid those games activation limits, witch is plain stupid on steam games. But steam has no control over other DRM in games.

    That said, the only thing i hate about steam are the overpriced EURO prices of the games. Most times, a retail (imported) retail version is cheaper than the same game on steam. But i love having not to worry about dvds such things. been a couple monthts that i last used my DVD drive.

    What would be cool is beeing able to download steam games on my netbook (in offline mode) while beeing logged in on my PC.

    But i never had any problems worth mentioning with steam. And if you realy want to you could disable the auto-update feature, for specific games at least.


  35. [...] What’s with the Steam hate? So after getting a little addicted to playing Global Agenda and writing a few pieces on the subject for Massively, I [...] [...]


  36. [...] and other digital distribution services – I love Steam as much as the next gamer. Well…some gamers.  It can provide another layer of protection against piracy as it is necessary to authenticate [...]


  37. I’m surprised and a little disappointed that GA is Steam only. I was hoping to pick up a copy in the shops. I don’t really have anything against Steam but I prefer Impulse and it’s just *another* application I have to install and deal with. No huge issues, I agree, and certainly no reason to hate Steam :)


  38. I agree with you completely on this Sera. I been playing PC games since 1999 and Steam is great especially if you happen to live in rural areas. I have never seen the deals like they have on games ever, and they seem to make up reasons to drop the price of a game like a ” Mid week sale” wtf a mid week sale? Awesome..lol Never had a billing or technical issue, except for GTA4 not working but that’s not Steam that’s the hateful Rockstar social club. Side note, if you can’t bare to install a tiny program like steam to run a game that you can get for 75% off they please put gasoline in your PC and torch it in a safe place. Cry me a river… lol

    Peace


  39. [...] only digitally via Steam or a special limited edition boxed version on Amazon US. Some people ask what’s the fuss and initially I was inclined to agree but after realising that I still haven’t bought the game [...]


  40. I’ll admit that I didn’t read quite all the comments, but I have to say a couple of things. I’m not opposed to something like steam in general, I use impulse and have a number of games through that, as well as couple of steam games. I do however have a couple of problems with steam:
    1. Forcing you to use it even if you bought the boxed game (thanks empire: total war) Theres a few problems with this, first being if I bought the boxed game maybe I didn’t want to use it with an online service/don’t have internet. I’m currently in the military and do not have regular internet when deployed. It irks me that I have to wait until we are inport to be able to install a game that I bought the discs for.
    2. Requiring you to be online to run a game. I know theres an offline mode, but its kind of touchy sometimes. This is a problem for the same reasons as #1
    3. Requiring a background service to run to play a game. Maybe its just me, because I am pretty obsessive about nixing anything running in the background, but it really bugs me. As I mentioned I also use impulse, but I do not allow it to run, I launch it only when I want to purchase or reinstall a game.
    All that said during times when I actually DO have reliable internet IE at home I haven’t had many problems with steam. I might actually start to use it some once I am finally out.


  41. I definitely agree with the complaints about Steam licenses not being transferable, but none of the other complaints hold any water at all to me.

    In fact, I am actually a big fan of Steam, especially from a business perspective. They were the first ones to build an electronic software distribution system that works, recruited all the publishers, and have great deals on games if you watch for sales, and generally have a stable, predictable and unobtrusive client with community features too.

    This system is in place and totally dominates the market as well, so good for Valve I say.


    • i like the idea of steam.

      i just hate the practical day to day issues of using the software to play actual games.

      much like people like microsoft office to stay productive, often hate using the software and hate the company for not spending time, money or resources fixing it. it might be displaced hatred, it might be something else.


  42. Great article, struck a chord with me seeing as I have a few friends that dislike Steam. And without any apparent reason other than to throw around the “I don’t want spy ware on my box drivel” as if it makes them sound cool and edgy.

    Personally I like Steam. There’s not much NOT to like, even though I rarely use the social aspects outside of voice chat, the frequent sales, forums, free demos, and perhaps best of all easy gifting keep me going back.

    And D2D’s not so bad either ;)

    I use both, it usually just boils down to who has a sale when I have the money.


  43. “You need to be online to play Steam games”

    Obviously not a problem with an online game like Global Agenda, but the point at which I swore off Steam forever was when I suffered a several-days-long internet outage, and thus prevented from playing any MMOs, I thought I’d fire up Half-Life 2 and replay it for some single-player fun. No dice. No internet = no single-player fun.

    So to hell with Steam. I’m not giving them a second chance to screw me out being able to enjoy a game I paid good money for.


  44. Steam is the bane of ones existence if you like to steal-er-um-I mean, “try before you buy” games. >.>


  45. im not sure if offline mode matters if you have internet connection or not. but i am in the military and we use lan networks to play with each other (on our boats and when i was in the field). no internet…. you get the point.

    also another thing is i get error message when trying to play my steam games saying i need to be in online mode to play when i am home and connected to the internet. the live network pops up. i can download multiple things, read texts from last night and my Houston Texans blog, the client says online yet it wont let me play.

    however besides that last one steam has been great for when i am at home playing games. keeps my desktop clear and no pins to taskbar.


  46. Thank you for this article. I have been wondering why all the Steam hate myself. I love it! Especially the insane holiday deals they have.

    As for the online only issue, I did notice that initially you do need to be online for it to verify your game install. After that I was able to stick Steam on the offline mode on my husband’s computer. Yup multiple computers with different players on the same single player game.

    I have not experimented with unplugging router from a computer with installed games on it, and trying to run them. I think you still can but need to run Steam first and stick it on offline mode.



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