Posts Tagged ‘direct2drive’

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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

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Ok, you have no excuse to NOT get PlanetSide

September 22, 2009
MMOs for 5 bucks! SWEET!

MMOs for 5 bucks! SWEET!

So this week is MMO week for Direct2Drive’s anniversary, and they’re offering a selection of games for five bucks.  Now, normally I wouldn’t devote a post to this, but one title kinda stuck out at me on the list (aside from Age of Conan, of course.  Speaking of which, you should buy that if you have 5 bucks.  It’s not an amazing MMO, but it’s damn well worth 5 bucks.  I’d make a mention about EVE being 5 bucks too, but you probably jumped on that like a rabid wolverine.)

You should spend the 5 dollars and pick up PlanetSide.  No, I’m not joking.

PlanetSide is one of the games that has been trucking along quietly in the background for years now.  Not too many websites cover it, there’s not that many updates anymore, and it kinda gets boring after months of gameplay, but if you ever want an amazing game to jump into quickly and enjoy from day 1, then you want PlanetSide.  No questions asked.

For those not in the know, PlanetSide is the first (and pretty much only) MMOFPS.  The game sports multiple continents that can hold 100 players from each of it’s three factions, meaning you get to have 300 person battlefields.  There’s ground vehicles, air vehicles, hot dropping (first game to introduce a orbital drop as part of the action), mechs, battle armor, hacking, command abilities and more.  The action of PlanetSide has the tendency to quickly escalate into feverish firefight fits of action, where you don’t even know who’s shooting you from where.  All you know is that the sky is full of lead, and if you stick your head up it will probably be blown off.

Some of my best stories come from PlanetSide, and I wasn’t even a high level character.  Leveling in PlanetSide (yes, killing people gets you experience) means nothing more than more certification points that you can spend on gun licenses and implant slots for specialized abilities.  There’s no money in the game, just need to be certified for a gun (or vehicle) to use it (or drive it.)

The graphics, even for being a couple years old, still hold up just because the game will drive your computer nuts during intense firefights.  If the graphics were any better, you wouldn’t be enjoying the 200 person sieges.  You’d be watching a slideshow that ends in your character’s painful death.  But, lucky for you, that’s not the case.  Plus, even the smaller skirmishes are something to write home about, because the battlefield is persistent.  Capturing bases gets your side special benefits for battles on that continent, and capturing a continent means that you get to warp to the next continent in the line.  Every week, the map resets to neutral, and it’s once again a furious land grab.

The point of PlanetSide is to just have fun.  It’s like Battlefield 2 meets Team Fortress 2 meets World of Warcraft, except no endgame.  No raids.  No grinding.  Just having fun from day one.  That’s why I recommend this game to you, my readers.

For five bucks, it’s a steal, and now you have no excuse to not get it.  The monthly fee… well… that’s a bit iffy, but if you really enjoy the game, you’ll find the 15 bucks a month is well spent.  Plus, you can always cancel if you don’t want it past the initial month.  But, for five bucks, you have to try it.  Seriously.