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Author Topic: Annoying experience with non-pirated software  (Read 5843 times)
jgpaiva
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« on: July 16, 2011, 06:19:00 AM »

[I know this topic has been around for a few times already, but mouser's "don't revive topics" alert told me to create a new topic tongue ]

So, here's my recent experience with Portal 2.
I had bought Portal 1 and loved it, so as soon as Portal 2 came out, I really really wanted to buy it.
My problems at the time were that:
1 - I have a not so good computer (which to make matters worse is a mac)
2 - Valve decided they would not create a demo for portal 2
So, when the game came out, it cost like 50€, and I had no way to know if it would ever run on my computer. Thanks for that, Valve, you've just lost part of my money!
Also, the computer being a mac, there were no pirated versions of portal for me to test it.

Ok, so three or four weeks ago, a pirated version for mac came up on the internet. I downloaded it in 4 hours, took 20min to understand how to install it, and after another 30minutes of installing it, I was happily playing portal 2 on my mac with no problems.
I figured that as it ran so well, I should buy the original version and buy another copy for a friend of mine. Since it was selling at amazon for 20€, less than it was on steam (WHY??? If they sell it to amazon, why it is more expensive for us to buy the digital version which has almost no costs for them?), I bought the two copies there and waited 4 days for them to arrive.

Now, what happens after it arrives is just incredible. First, I install it from CD and it takes the same 30min it took to install the pirated version. Then problem was that after it installed, it had to download an "update", which was downloading at 6kb/s (even though everything else on my internet was working at 1mb/s) and took 4hours! I was mad as hell, the pirated version took me 10 times less time from "buying" to "playing". Good thing I didn't buy it online, downloading 10GB at 6kb/s would have been fun.

To make this really hilarious, when my friend tried to install her copy, steam informed her that her key is invalid! Then, for two hours we tried all possible interpretations of the characters and none worked (there was really only one interpretation, but we figured it shouldn't be a problem on steam's side). So, I went to the online support of steam, used a really nice contact sheet with places to put all the info (saying which game it was, which problem, which key, which user, etc) yesterday morning. The problem is that a full day has gone by and I had no answer Sad

I'm really sad that we couldn't play the co-op this weekend as planed, and after this, I get the feeling that something is seriously wrong with the way software is being sold...
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Ath
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« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2011, 07:08:00 AM »

What a horror-story, and if it where from a low-end games creator it could have been a little bit acceptable/understandable, but getting a pirated copy easier and better (working) on your system just shows how the games industry is failing as a whole. I never play/buy games, nor 'acquire' pirated commercial versions, but experiences like these scare me even further away.

I know it's a complete industry, games software for PC's, but I guess it is time for a good set of free offerings in this area.
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fenixproductions
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« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2011, 09:02:01 AM »

@jgpaiva
I believe, that a least you will be able to run it. All I can get from P2 is first loading screen. Worst spent money ever!
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Lashiec
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« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2011, 09:44:50 AM »

Some ironic coincidence cheesy
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worstje
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« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2011, 09:48:53 AM »

Ugh, that sucks jgpaiva. Sad

The reason that Steam actually has higher prices than other outlets is because otherwise other outlets would not be able to make a profit on them. If Steam has the lowest price, people have no reason to buy it anywhere else unless they want a physical box. Don't forget Steam is pretty much its own advertisement platform once you have it installed. And in the end, there's big money involved in letting other major retailers sell games like Portal 2.
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cranioscopical
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« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2011, 10:45:32 AM »

Then problem was that after it installed, it had to download an "update", which was downloading at 6kb/s

Not much consolation but I get this all the time with Steam. Buy a boxed product, install it, Steam leaps in and 'manages' things typically by spending the next two days downloading 'updates'. The idea of buying a game and playing it RIGHT NOW seems outdated. Buy from Steam and spend the same amount of time downloading the game in the first place  mad

(Not that I play games, you understand — not since Steam, at least.)

I quite often buy games for my nephew and it's tough for a kid to get a game and then have to wait… and wait… and wait…

Good luck getting a response from Steam support, any queries of mine have gone unanswered.
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Chris
jgpaiva
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« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2011, 04:30:18 PM »

The idea of buying a game and playing it RIGHT NOW seems outdated. Buy from Steam and spend the same amount of time downloading the game in the first place  mad
Yeah, but what surprised me was: I was playing an offline game, why couldn't they just let me play the game right away, download the update on the background and then ask me to install it later? Or at the very least, have an option for "do you want to upgrade right now"? Honestly, I've always been a fan of steam since I've first found out about it until now, and I think it really has the power to revolutionize the way we buy games, but I'm really disappointed with this experience Sad

Good luck getting a response from Steam support, any queries of mine have gone unanswered.
I hope not! I'll wait a few days and then activate amazon's support, as I know they are pretty efficient in these matters. (I'm just trying to avoid it as steam's solution would be instantaneous, whereas amazon would steal me even more time)
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cranioscopical
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« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2011, 09:27:37 PM »

at the very least, have an option for "do you want to upgrade right now"?

Indeed! I fail to see why this couldn't be the default position.
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Chris
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« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2011, 09:36:23 PM »

I haven't had this issue, but I've had the equally annoying problem of having a game download to 100% but stop a few KB short - of course it happens with a really big game, that I'm really excited to play (like GTAIV- 16GB, and I was less than 10KB short, and no quick fix would help). You have to delete all the game data, and restart the download. This commonly happens when you switch download servers mid-download (so instead of my local server, USA - Phoenix, as it tends to run slow at times, I switch to say, a Canadian server).

What I do now, honestly, is I'll torrent the games first to see if I like them, if they are worth the cash, then keep them until I purchase the game and it is ready-to-go. In the meantime, I have a copy of the game on-hand, launchable whenever. I have two copies of Just Cause 2 installed; one torrented, one from the recent sales on Steam. I've yet to move my savedgames over and make sure everything works.

And (I would presume) Steam can't have an optional update system because then you'll have people exploiting known game bugs and managing to get online, and you can't lockdown online functionality of one game without the game supporting it. And who is going to code that in when you get automatic updates anyways?
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2011, 03:19:01 AM »

Two points to contradict some of the things and a possible reason fro slow downloads:

1) I didn't experience any of this installing Portal 2 from a disk - I was up and playing in about 20 minutes (and that included installing Steam and registering an account).
2) If you go to the program properties you can turn off automatic updating
3) Freezing on the first screen isn't normal - have you checked the files are not corrupted in some way? Again go to the game properties and check the file integrity.

If you bought recently then Steam have had a massive sale on and the servers took a real hammering meaning that it was almost impossible to get a download slot and when you did they were slower. Things should be back to normal by now.

Re. Steam support - granted I only contacted them once and I got a reply within 30 minutes!

Whilst I don't like the idea of Steam insisting you play online once the game is installed you can play the game offline with no problem (just click to go offline on the Steam menu). Having said that the coop part of Portal 2 is brilliant and obviously you need a server connection to make that work!

I don't generally like copy protection systems but I can understand where games manufacturers are coming from, even more than the music and video companies. Games cost a huge amount of money to produce (the budget for Portal 2 was around $10 million IIRC) and after the initial to rush to buy a new game the price drops like a stone and purchases rapidly drop off (P2 was already less than half price on Amazon UK within about a month of launch). I know a lot of people buy games but it isn't an enormous market for individual games and the revenue stream is restricted to sales whereas Music and Video have alternative streams of income through broadcasting and cinemas.

I understand that pirated copies can be found and don't have the restrictions but this is one area where I think games manufacturers really have a point if you want decent games written.

By the way the minimum requirements are pretty clearly stated on Steam for Portal 2 and from what I have seen it seems pretty forgiving if you miss by a small margin in one area. It would be good to have a demo though - how about one unique room this is not in the game itself (a taster rather than a demo).
« Last Edit: July 17, 2011, 03:32:25 AM by Carol Haynes » Logged

jgpaiva
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« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2011, 06:04:00 PM »

Just to give an update on this, after 2 work days steam finally answered saying the key was valid and unused. I copy-pasted it from the email I sent them, and it worked (I had copy and pasted it from steam to the email, the first time around Wink ). Bah.

On the other hand, the multiplayer game is awesome:D
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« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2011, 02:43:37 AM »

3) Freezing on the first screen isn't normal - have you checked the files are not corrupted in some way? Again go to the game properties and check the file integrity.
They are corrupted and I know it but how many times one person can re-check integrity or reinstall whole game? I have enough of it after more than 10 times for first and at least 3 for latest.
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2011, 07:09:41 AM »

File Integrity check should only redownload the corrupted files - it doesn't require a complete reinstall.
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f0dder
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« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2011, 10:41:19 AM »

3) Freezing on the first screen isn't normal - have you checked the files are not corrupted in some way? Again go to the game properties and check the file integrity.
They are corrupted and I know it but how many times one person can re-check integrity or reinstall whole game? I have enough of it after more than 10 times for first and at least 3 for latest.
If your files go corrupt that often, aren't you worried about your HDD health? :-s
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« Reply #14 on: July 31, 2011, 08:33:16 PM »

3) Freezing on the first screen isn't normal - have you checked the files are not corrupted in some way? Again go to the game properties and check the file integrity.
They are corrupted and I know it but how many times one person can re-check integrity or reinstall whole game? I have enough of it after more than 10 times for first and at least 3 for latest.
If your files go corrupt that often, aren't you worried about your HDD health? :-s

+1, you should rarely have to verify file cache/integrity
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fenixproductions
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« Reply #15 on: August 01, 2011, 03:14:23 AM »

If your files go corrupt that often, aren't you worried about your HDD health? :-s
It's not the case of "files corrupted that often".

Only Portal 2 has it this way:
1. integrity check = error
2. downloading fix
3. integrity check = OK
4. starting game
5. crash
6. goto 1

I have over 200GB of games on this partition and no other game has such issues. Even crappy F:NV doesn't show integrity errors (despite of CTDs).
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #16 on: August 01, 2011, 04:22:10 AM »

All I can say is I have 142 hours notched up with Portal 2 and the only problem I have had with it is the odd communication glitch in coop mode. The 142 hours also includes exploring dozens of 3rd party maps.

I suspect the problem must lie in your computer somewhere as it doesn't seem to be a widely reported issue on any of the support platforms.

Are you running security software while playing? Some security products can screw games up (I have read of a number of issues with other games with NOD32 in particular).
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« Reply #17 on: August 01, 2011, 08:16:21 AM »

by communication glitch she means not the software, but me  Thmbsup

actually we have had sound missing, at times (push to talk fixed that for me) and I have had 1 case of mysterious crashes on (3rd party) level load which were followed by having to run integrity fix (or caused by it, perhaps)
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fenixproductions
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« Reply #18 on: August 01, 2011, 09:03:08 AM »

Are you running security software while playing? Some security products can screw games up (I have read of a number of issues with other games with NOD32 in particular).
Yep: Comodo package but I really doubt that's the cause. I have truly enough of blaming other apps. Dozen of games running perfectly well on the same machine without any issues - even Source Engine games like HL2, L4D or... Portal (first).

What is strange: L4D2 campaign called SuicideBlizz has some P2 elements as Easter Egg and they work OK.

Quote from: Carol Haynes
I suspect the problem must lie in your computer somewhere as it doesn't seem to be a widely reported issue on any of the support platforms.
I classify this as:
Game crash after the loading screen
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #19 on: August 01, 2011, 11:17:54 AM »

The trouble with this sort of discussion is there could be any number of reasons for issues to occur and it is impossible to point to a definite answer.

I know I have been in a situation in the past (on many occasions) where something doesn't quite work the way it should and I have blamed the software for the problem and got very hot under the collar about it but it finally turned out that it wasn't the software at all but a glitch on my own system.

There are bound to be some glitches in any software but I still think the place to start is your own system. If the game code is continuously being corrupted something screwy is going on with your system (even if it is caused by Portal 2) or your internet connection is corrupting downloads. Portal 2 should not be writing to the code files at all except during updates - so what exactly is corrupting your files? If the symptom you describe is purely a Portal 2 issue there wouldn't be anyone playing the game because we would all experience the issue.

I'm not saying there isn't an external factor at work here but trying to run the program on a system not running other applications.

Some things I would try (and questions to consider):

1) Are you using RAID setup - especially software RAID? I had endless file corruption errors on my last RAID system which tuned out to be the Promise drivers at fault.
2) Disable all non-essential programs and services - at the very least run MSCONFIG and disable all startup items and all non-Microsoft services (except for graphics and sound related services) and see if that solves the problem.
3) Make sure all security applications are turned off - they are notorious for interfering with the running of games. OK other games may work fine with them running (and Portal 2 does fine on my system with Avast running). To be sure Comodo is not interfering it might even be worth uninstalling it temporarily (see https://support.steampowe...le.php?ref=9828-SFLZ-9289 for at least one issue described between Portal 2 and Comodo). Here is another thread where someone found Comodo causing P2 crashes: http://forums.steampowere...php?t=1847560&page=67
4) If you still have an issue try updating graphics and sound drivers to the latest version from the manufacturer's website - or if they are already up to date step back to the previous version.
5) Have you ever used a registry cleaner or 'system tuneup' tool? I have lost count of the number of computers with problems related to this sort of software. Unfortunately cause and effect with this sort of thing are often not immediate. I have seen computers work without error for weeks or even months before a problem 'removed' by a registry cleaner comes to bite the user in the backside. Of course they always blame the software they are using on the day of the error - never the 'cleanup' they did 6 weeks ago.


This is pretty basic troubleshooting.

Have a look at the following page:
http://gamecrashfixed.com...steam-cloud-save-problem/

which has lots of portal 2 crash solutions/suggestions.

Other people having Comodo/P2 issues (I'll keep looking and adding):
http://forums.steampowere.../showthread.php?t=1864585
« Last Edit: August 01, 2011, 12:26:44 PM by Carol Haynes » Logged

f0dder
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« Reply #20 on: August 01, 2011, 12:51:21 PM »

1) Are you using RAID setup - especially software RAID? I had endless file corruption errors on my last RAID system which tuned out to be the Promise drivers at fault.
"Software RAID" would be the purely built-in capability of your OS - while the lower end RAID cards generally don't do much on the hardware end and keep it in the drivers, they do add those drivers...

The above might sound a bit pedantic, but IMHO it's an important distinction - I've never had a problem with Linux or Windows' built-in RAID capability.
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« Reply #21 on: August 01, 2011, 01:20:10 PM »

@Carol Haynes
Thank you very much for your help. As soon as I get into right mood I will definitely try again (although I am against complete Comodo removal).

The truth is I've already tried many, many solutions. I just try to complain after making some effort to not to Wink

I have already played with:
- various drivers versions - sound, graphics & others (i.e. MS Redistribuables);
- services and registry tricks - by a hand (with backups);
- software removal - Avira, FFDshow, TortoiseHg (got source control on save games smiley ), etc.;

I did not try cracks or other PCs:
- the only other machine I can use is work laptop but it has too many monitoring apps to run it nicely. And HDD on it is relatively small.
- I don't want to get pissed to see it working not on *my* PC.  On the other hand, it would not be comfortable for both parties to ask someone to step over from his computer any time I'd like to play.

OK Enough for being an old geezer Wink
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #22 on: August 01, 2011, 02:30:26 PM »

1) Are you using RAID setup - especially software RAID? I had endless file corruption errors on my last RAID system which tuned out to be the Promise drivers at fault.
"Software RAID" would be the purely built-in capability of your OS - while the lower end RAID cards generally don't do much on the hardware end and keep it in the drivers, they do add those drivers...

The above might sound a bit pedantic, but IMHO it's an important distinction - I've never had a problem with Linux or Windows' built-in RAID capability.

That's why I said with was the Promise drivers - it was low end 'onboard' hardware RAID that caused me issues on an MSI mobo.
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« Reply #23 on: August 12, 2011, 04:29:02 PM »

Hi fenixproductions,

According to what you have described, it resembling my recent problem with one of my Steam game. All other Steam games (and non-Steam games) work except for one. Steam integrity check shows failure and re-download the corrupted file does not solve the problem... guess what it was caused by HDD failure. My HDD has just started to develop few bad sectors and one of my Steam game's data file happen to sit on the bad spot.

May be you should check your HDD first (HDTune is a good utility to do that).
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #24 on: August 12, 2011, 06:53:38 PM »

or even CHKDSK C: /R
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