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Author Topic: Steam, and customer satisfaction  (Read 3793 times)

Target

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Steam, and customer satisfaction
« on: May 03, 2013, 01:26:06 AM »
Apologies to all 'cos I know this has been done before, but I really need to vent

<RANT>

As a gamer I'm a relative newcomer to the world of Steam, and I have to say I'm not seeing the value.  Actually, it probably is an excellent model in many ways, but in others, well it's less than stellar

I have, over the last couple of months purchased physical copies of several games (call me old fashioned, but I prefer to get something tangible when I hand over my cash), but for the most part I am unable to play them because steam won't let me!!

Latest installment is CoD MW3.  I couldn't even install it without a steam connection (hang on, didn't i just pay good money for this?).  I live in a rural area so even connecting to Steam can be a trial.  It eventually installed fine (EGAD!! requires 35G of disk space!!) but when I went to play, steam said, hang on, there's an update (WTF? I just paid for this and now you're telling me I can only play on your terms?).  The update was only (!!) a few hundred Mb, so I let it update.

Great, says I, now lets play.  Oh wait says steam, theres another update, and its 14Gb!!!

Are they serious?  I mean I already paid for the game.  What if I don't need, want or care to apply the updates?  Don't I have some say here?  I accept that there are going to be bugs (there always are) but most of the time they affect online and/or multiplayer usage.  I play almost exclusively single player, and I never play online, so it's pretty rare for those sort of issues to be of any concern to me whatsoever.  Why do I have to apply a 'patch' for something that's unlikely to change my experience in any way.  In fact, by insisting on applying the update that's exactly what's happened. 

Then there's the issue of size (yes, size does matter).  As I said, I accept that there are going to be bugs, but if you have to 'patch' 14Gb then you should be refunding peoples money 'cos there's something seriously wrong.  Either that or you're peddling some serious bloatware (in which case you should ashamed of yourself, and you should refund peoples money). 

It's worthwhile noting that 14Gb is equivalent to 14 months of my data allocation.  I could run over I suppose, but I'd to have to sell a kidney to cover the excess usage charges just to find out whether I can play the game, or that there are more 'updates'.  I suppose I could invest in an additional data pack, but a 2 year contract makes this a pretty damn expensive game, and it would still take a few months to download it all. 

I've even searched for alternative sources for the updates, but no, it appears you can only get them through steam. 

Now I don't have an issue with Steam per se, as I said, in many ways it's an excellent model, but wouldn't we be far better served with something more like windows update where all updates are not only 'optional', but you can also see both what they are and how bloated big they are.

and remember I said this is the latest installment?  I can't even go back and play some of the other games I have installed because Steam has decided they all need patching as well, despite the fact that I've set ALL my games not to update automatically.  Way to go guys...

Anyone else have a complaint about steam?  I'm sure I can't be the only one >:( >:( >:(

whoa! form a queue people!

</RANT>


eleman

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Re: Steam, and customer satisfaction
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2013, 03:42:40 AM »
I feel your pain and agree that it is not fair to make you download further (and ridiculously huge) stuff to let you play the game you bought.

But I need to ask one thing:

Which third world country is the one you live in?
For comparison purposes (and I really don't intend to brag, it's not good enough for that) even the most remote village in Turkey has reasonable (4-8 Mbit) dsl connections available, with unlimited data costing 30-40 dollars a month. If you agree to a data cap of 6GB per month you get to pay no more than 15$.

4wd

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Re: Steam, and customer satisfaction
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2013, 05:02:03 AM »
@Target: If you want to save your data allowance let me know, I'll make sure my CoD: MW3 install is up to date, archive it onto DVD and mail it to you.

BTW, the 35GB install seems excessive - it only takes up 14.2GB on both my XP and Win7 machines.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2013, 06:56:36 AM by 4wd »

app103

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Re: Steam, and customer satisfaction
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2013, 01:02:28 AM »
For comparison purposes (and I really don't intend to brag, it's not good enough for that) even the most remote village in Turkey has reasonable (4-8 Mbit) dsl connections available, with unlimited data costing 30-40 dollars a month. If you agree to a data cap of 6GB per month you get to pay no more than 15$.

Actually living in a village that contains a hub, maybe, but I doubt the same would be available to someone that lived isolated, more than 5km from the nearest village/hub.

Line Qualification for DSL

To be eligible for DSL service, your phone line must be qualified by the service provider. This is a process that the provider and their technicians complete when you first sign up for the service. A few technical limitations can prevent your residence from qualifying for DSL:

Distance limitation - DSL technology is distance sensitive. In short, it means your residence must be located within a certain distance (traditionally about 18000 ft. / 5 km) away from the local phone company hub (called a central office or public exchange). In rare cases, your neighbor around the corner may be eligible for DSL but you cannot, due to this distance limitation. This is also why people living in rural areas cannot subscribe to DSL service.*
*emphasis mine

In many rural areas of the US, where homes are quite isolated, usually your only internet options are dialup or satellite, with satellite service being quite expensive for the slower speed and low data caps you get.

wraith808

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Re: Steam, and customer satisfaction
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2013, 12:51:08 PM »
Latest installment is CoD MW3.  I couldn't even install it without a steam connection (hang on, didn't i just pay good money for this?).  I live in a rural area so even connecting to Steam can be a trial.  It eventually installed fine (EGAD!! requires 35G of disk space!!) but when I went to play, steam said, hang on, there's an update (WTF? I just paid for this and now you're telling me I can only play on your terms?).  The update was only (!!) a few hundred Mb, so I let it update.

This doesn't really seem a steam problem as much as an Activision problem.  They are selling you a product on DVD that is already outdated, and cannot be played unless it is updated.  That's your problem right there.  It sucks that it is that way, but lets call a spade a spade.  You can also uncheck the keep automatically updated, but I don't think that will help you in this case.  The only part of it that was truly steam was the initial install and update.  The other part is all on Activision.

fenixproductions

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Re: Steam, and customer satisfaction
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2013, 06:48:28 AM »
OFFTOPIC

Which third world country is the one you live in?
For comparison purposes (and I really don't intend to brag, it's not good enough for that) even the most remote village in Turkey has reasonable (4-8 Mbit) dsl connections available, with unlimited data costing 30-40 dollars a month. If you agree to a data cap of 6GB per month you get to pay no more than 15$.
London, Canary Warf - my friend is living there and for 'bout two years his Internet speed on evenings & nights had been ~1.5kb/s (kilobits – no joke here). It changed some time ago luckily but even middle of civilisation may mean nothing if your provider uses crappy cable lines (BT sucks a lot).

/OFFTOPIC

Target

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Re: Steam, and customer satisfaction
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2013, 05:56:18 PM »
BTW, the 35GB install seems excessive - it only takes up 14.2GB on both my XP and Win7 machines.

That was the disk space requirement stated by the installer.  I thought it was excessive too - it was quite a 'What the?' moment when I was doing the install.

Which third world country is the one you live in?
For comparison purposes (and I really don't intend to brag, it's not good enough for that) even the most remote village in Turkey has reasonable (4-8 Mbit) dsl connections available, with unlimited data costing 30-40 dollars a month. If you agree to a data cap of 6GB per month you get to pay no more than 15$.

Australia.  Not a third world country by any means, but a big country with a small population and lot's of 'empty' space.  We live too far from the exhange to get DSL, and will never get access to cable, so our only options are dialup or wireless (or satellite...).  Dialup is, well, abysmal, and wireless is sometimes not much better (it's recently been below Kb speed). 

But that's not the point.  And as far as I see it it is a Steam problem.  This my PC, Steam is a portal.  If I want to buy or download something from Steam, I'll do so, and if I don't, I won'tMy choice...

As it stands, Steam presumes, and I get no say (I've already checked don't automatically update this product).  Worse, there's nothing to indicate what it actually is that's being downloaded, ie it says game X is being 'updated', but there's no detail or description, nor is there anything to indicate how many such 'updates' might be required.

Software patching is an accepted practice, but removing all options, including personal choice, is a bit extreme (I wonder what Renegade would say about that ;D)

Tinman57

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Re: Steam, and customer satisfaction
« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2013, 08:24:56 PM »
Which third world country is the one you live in?

  Here in the 3rd world country of the U.S., unless you live in or close to a big city you can expect data speeds of 1 to 1.5 Mbps, that's Mega Bits Per Second!, and have small allowances of data per month (thresholds), and your not even guaranteed that speed.  Most of the time I'll see half of what they advertised.  Even in the big cities, getting anything faster than that will really put a dent in your bank account.  The U.S. is the biggest RIPOFF when it comes to broadband service.  In other words, we're being gouged deeply.

cranioscopical

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Re: Steam, and customer satisfaction
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2013, 08:34:08 PM »

I'm fed up with Steam--it's coming out of my ears.

The idea of buying a game from the local store and then having to wait the better part of a week in order to play it seems preposterous.

OTOH, I've had some good bargains from them.


barney

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Re: Steam, and customer satisfaction
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2013, 08:57:44 PM »
OTOH, I've had some good bargains from them.

So?  How much is your time worth  ;)?!?

In regard to speed, I'm occasionally in contact with folk my age in rural Missouri and Illinois in the US, their parents/family having been friends with my parents/family.  Some of 'em are so remote that they are still on party lines  :o!  Can't even use a modem, there.  Only option is [questionable] satellite service - ain't too many cell towers in that area  :(Steam is not in their immediate - or not-so-immediate - future.  A few of 'em have purchased games that required online updates.  They got 'em, but they cannot play 'em.  I'm not much of a gamer, but that situation steams [any puns intended] them - and me  >:(.  Seems a shame that the nation that developed the Web infrastructure cannot seem to provide access to all its residents.

Target

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Re: Steam, and customer satisfaction
« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2013, 09:34:40 PM »
Seems a shame that the nation that developed the Web infrastructure cannot seem to provide access to all its residents.

But the software publishers are selling a product that is separate to internet.

They assume that not only does everyone have access, but that it's gigabit access with unlimited downloads. 

I can understand online registration, but the rest of it is pretty presumptious, if not descriminatory.

wraith808

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Re: Steam, and customer satisfaction
« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2013, 09:44:20 PM »
But the software publishers are selling a product that is separate to internet.

And that's why I said it seems your problem is Activision (publisher) vs. Steam (distribution platform).  That, and the hackers that make them take such extremes.  CoD hasn't really been a single-player game for a long time.  They make their money because people play online.  And so, day zero, the game is already outdated.  That's a problem for physical sales.

Target

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Re: Steam, and customer satisfaction
« Reply #12 on: May 06, 2013, 12:50:13 AM »
And that's why I said it seems your problem is Activision (publisher) vs. Steam (distribution platform).


I got that, but I doubt the publishers could force an update through somebody elses platform.  Pretty sure that's where Steam becomes culpable (remember, steam isn't in this for love).

Quote
CoD hasn't really been a single-player game for a long time.  They make their money because people play online.  And so, day zero, the game is already outdated.  That's a problem for physical sales.

understood, but online or offline is irrelevant here because ALL physical sales are in the same boat.  Who in their right mind would buy a product that won't work at all unless you spend 2 or 3 (or more) times your original purchase price with another provider before it will work (hmmmm, me apparently :wallbash:)

wraith808

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Re: Steam, and customer satisfaction
« Reply #13 on: May 06, 2013, 09:49:22 AM »
I got that, but I doubt the publishers could force an update through somebody elses platform.  Pretty sure that's where Steam becomes culpable (remember, steam isn't in this for love).

They can through the use of money- that great equalizer.  You *have* to keep our games up to date, or we won't distribute using your platform.

The Gold Master way of getting to retail sucks.  That's why I've been against physical distribution since working in commercial software.  That's the biggest offender in this.  To get to retail, the gold master was done *months* before it actually hit the shelves (at least 1, in some cases 3).  So you work during that time, and that's how you get day zero patches.  And in this age of just release it, we can patch it- the date is more important by the time it gets to retail, so much has changed that a patch just isn't enough.  That DVD on the shelves is a coaster.  It just has a couple of bootstrapper files that are relevant.  Most of them are overwritten as the whole game is downloaded over the internet. 

That's why I don't buy boxed product anymore.

40hz

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Re: Steam, and customer satisfaction
« Reply #14 on: May 06, 2013, 09:56:49 AM »
That's why I don't buy boxed product anymore.

That's why I don't buy new games at all any more. The DRM hassle, code bugs, and that endless GPU upgrade cycle is just too annoying and expensive to be considered "fun" at this stage in my life.

These days I just wait for what I think looks good to tombstone - and hopefully appear on GoG. 8)

And if it doesn't - oh well! Life goes on. ;D

wraith808

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Re: Steam, and customer satisfaction
« Reply #15 on: May 06, 2013, 10:15:21 AM »
Eh... I'm a die hard gamer though.  I just try to be smarter in my purchases, especially with the steam sales. :)