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Author Topic: Steam: Savior or Slayer of PC Gaming?  (Read 10742 times)
wraith808
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« Reply #50 on: November 29, 2011, 06:58:12 PM »

^ +1 and that is a problem and one I suffer from too. If they do things so well as to get us dependent on them/drive the other digital distribution platforms out of business, then the consumer will suffer as they won't have to offer the deep discounts. I see an example of that I'm the digital book industry.
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iphigenie
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« Reply #51 on: December 07, 2011, 08:36:06 AM »

Steam is a mixed bag - but my main beef with it is that when I am somewhere with no internet connection I have almost never managed to play my games.

It comes up with the message that gives you the option to start in offline mode, but them almost always I then get a message saying it was impossible to log in or continue offline. This is most of the time due to a pending update that
1) that Steam somehow knows of (from the last time i was online prior to closing steam a few hours before)
2) but that Steam has not suggested installation when i was online
3) Steam is programmed that it *has* to install any update before it lets me do anything further
4) As I am offline it cannot install it so errors and exits

Result: if I am offline but steam thinks/knows it has an update pending (and that is just about every other day lately) then I cannot play any of the 100+ games I have paid and "own".

It infuriates me every time. It should not happen - I should be able to start "old" steam offline and install the update the next time I am online - at least to play a game.

No other online platform does that - and it makes me wish I could move some of my games from Steam to another platform
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wraith808
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« Reply #52 on: December 07, 2011, 10:43:05 AM »

Steam is a mixed bag - but my main beef with it is that when I am somewhere with no internet connection I have almost never managed to play my games.

I've never had this problem.  Are you aware that you will be going somewhere and able to start it offline before you go?  Not ideal, but I know that works no matter what.
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iphigenie
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« Reply #53 on: December 22, 2011, 03:03:41 AM »

Another annoyance with Steam - as you point out, wraith - and most other digital distribution platforms: They sell new titles at publisher's RRP. As a matter of fact, on average, digital distribution is turning out more expensive for new books, music or games (and, at first glance, movies if you buy them but I havent really looked). Somehow competition is not happening.

For example, a month on, Skyrim is £34.99 on steam and £19.99 boxed on Amazon (which activates on Steam). Even at launch there was a £5 difference. How dumb is that? Anno 2070, very recent too, 34.99 on steam, 27.99 on Amazon

It is in part as there is no cost for not selling - no stock paid for, using up space etc. In part because they can. In part because publishers resisted so long getting to online distribution that they got more power over pricing (the big ones. Little ones have steam put their product on sale, without them having any say, and take the rebate out of the publishers' cut, resulting in nearly no income from the sale except for Steam). Laws for online favor the copyright owners, not retailers. Laws on physical distribution tend to favor the retailer.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2011, 03:11:25 AM by iphigenie » Logged
40hz
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« Reply #54 on: December 22, 2011, 03:56:23 PM »

Another annoyance with Steam - as you point out, wraith - and most other digital distribution platforms: They sell new titles at publisher's RRP. As a matter of fact, on average, digital distribution is turning out more expensive for new books, music or games (and, at first glance, movies if you buy them but I havent really looked). Somehow competition is not happening.

Part of that might be because some game publishers don't want Steam directly competing with the retail channels.

Since Steam handles the activation anyway, it's not really a big revenue loss for them. And it protects places like Amazon and BestBuy, who might otherwise refuse to carry the titles if Steam could regularly undercut them.

The last thing I also think any of the game publishers want is to get locked into one electronic distribution channel. Because once that happens, the distributor can dictate terms to the publishers. You've already seen that happen with music sales through Apple and book sales through Amazon.

So by requiring somebody like Steam to sell at MSRP, it avoids direct competition with the retailers. And by keeping the retailers in the loop, it keeps Steam from getting too powerful.

It's the corporate version of 'win-win' strategy: Everybody in the food chain wins - with the possible exception of the victim end-customer.

But when it comes to DRM, the customer wasn't really a part of any consideration anyway, so no blame!  Wink

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4wd
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« Reply #55 on: December 22, 2011, 05:43:33 PM »

It infuriates me every time. It should not happen - I should be able to start "old" steam offline and install the update the next time I am online - at least to play a game.

I agree with you on this one, it really is just bad programming on the part of Steam/Valve.

Besides setting every game to not auto-update, (to lessen any chance of Steam not being able to go into Offline mode when there's no connection), have you tried what this post suggests ?

Quote
Edit: I can confirm that creating/editing steam.cfg (in the same directory as the steam executable) with the following lines works:

BootStrapperInhibitAll=enable
ForceOfflineMode=enable


Here it appeared to force Steam to open the 'Could not connect...Start in Offline mode' dialog.

When the two lines aren't there, Steam connects straight through to the servers.
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iphigenie
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« Reply #56 on: December 23, 2011, 03:34:52 AM »

4wd, you're a star, I'll check these configs - thanks for finding them for me. I must admit that because this happens when I am offline I haven't done much research at workarounds smiley
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4wd
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« Reply #57 on: December 23, 2011, 03:59:32 AM »

4wd, you're a star, I'll check these configs - thanks for finding them for me. I must admit that because this happens when I am offline I haven't done much research at workarounds smiley

I'm not sure whether it will help you get around the Steam client wanting to update before doing anything but it can't hurt to try.
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