Author Topic: Descent on Steam!  (Read 17849 times)

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Offline Nakura

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Valve has not done anything to eliminate DRM. Companies like Paradox and CD project are far more progressive in that regard.

What they did do however is create a DRM system that users will accept, rather than be annoyed with. Not because Steamworks is so secure, it isn't, but because it rewards people who stay in the system through easy multiplayer access, cross-game chat functionality, and other community features.

It's the free market at work, something we rarely see happen. PC gaming would have died without Steam, as many publishers would never release their games on PC, and those that did would be using things like uPlay.

Not only that, but Steam has changed the way game retailers operate. Steam has forced it's competitors to adapt Steam features that the customers want and to sell their games at reasonable prices. Look at GOG, Origin, the Xbox Marketplace, and others; Steam has set standards for the industry that these companies have to follow or else nobody would use their service.

Look at how GOG, Origin and even Microsoft are following the Steam model of providing customers with good sales. Look at how DRM has become vastly less intrusive; even Origin is a fairly good platform, when compared to things like uPlay. Look at the Origin overlay and community features, which are almost identical to those Steam offers. Heck, Microsoft has even been giving away two free AAA games each month, something that never would have happened. Steam has changed the industry for the better and created an environment that we can all be proud of and where everyone wins. Customers win by getting the best deals possible, amazing features and non-intrusive DRM; companies win by getting a platform that is stable and that customers are more than happy to use; and the industry wins, because it saved PC gaming.

 

Offline Dragon

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While I don't think PC gaming was "saved" by Steam, it did certainly benefit from it. It probably wouldn't have died without Steam, but it did risk stagnation of sorts. Steam brought a lot of indie games to general public and incredibly changed the PC gaming marked. Previously, indie games were few and far between, with game studios dependent on big publishers' whims. Now, a game studio can work without a publisher just fine, and plenty of them do so. Many projects too big to go 100% freeware and too small to get a publisher to make boxes for them were sold via Steam, where otherwise they'd remain just a neat idea in someone's head.

Oh, and where did you find this MS game giveaway? I've been out of the loop for quite some time (bloody exams), and it's not like free games cost anything. :)

 

Offline Nakura

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While I don't think PC gaming was "saved" by Steam, it did certainly benefit from it. It probably wouldn't have died without Steam, but it did risk stagnation of sorts. Steam brought a lot of indie games to general public and incredibly changed the PC gaming marked. Previously, indie games were few and far between, with game studios dependent on big publishers' whims. Now, a game studio can work without a publisher just fine, and plenty of them do so. Many projects too big to go 100% freeware and too small to get a publisher to make boxes for them were sold via Steam, where otherwise they'd remain just a neat idea in someone's head.

Oh, and where did you find this MS game giveaway? I've been out of the loop for quite some time (bloody exams), and it's not like free games cost anything. :)

They giveaway new games at the 1st and 16th of each month to Xbox Live Gold members. Just sign into dashboard, then go to the Games Marketplace and you should see a tab about the free game they are currently giving away.

Here's more info: http://www.xbox.com/en-US/live/games-with-gold

 

Offline Mongoose

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I think the real sense in which one can say that Steam "saved" PC gaming is that it proved to the publishing industry that a vibrant market for PC titles existed, and indeed one that was largely untapped before many of the advances that Steam built.  It enabled publishers to garner audiences that weren't limited to the old guard who remembered fiddling with IRQ ports, mostly because it eliminated the need for wild-goose chases to figure out just what sequence of patches one needed to properly update one's game, and other such installation quirks.  For instance, I have a friend who (despite her other talents) couldn't computer her way out of a paper bag, yet she has a good collection of titles via Steam that she plays without issue every day.

...granted, they're all terrible titles, because she seems to have a perverse fascination with intentionally playing awful games, but still!

 
Three to Five minutes.

This is how long I have had to wait the last two times I launched Sid Meir's Pirates because Steam isn't connecting to its server or whatever the hell is wrong with it. It takes that long to give me the offline option when it should be offline 100% to begin with.

And people are trying to tell me that Steam is a benefit to my PC gaming? (I got Pirates via the Humble Bundle btw, not Steam)

Steam can go **** itself.

 

Offline MatthTheGeek

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Good job completely ignoring all the good arguments in this thread because of one frustrating experience you had.

A problem that is most likely on your end to begin with, rather than a problem with Steam. You probably haven't even tried contacting steam support, since you seem so comfortable with thinking Steam sucks instead of trying to fix it.
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Offline karajorma

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So the argument is made that Steam makes it much easier for the technically illiterate user to install and play games, and the second someone points out a problem you complain that it must be due to their technical illiteracy?
Karajorma's Freespace FAQ. It's almost like asking me yourself.

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Like being in offline mode on Steam? Do this thing:

Make sure your password and stuff are saved to auto-login to Steam.
Switch to offline mode, and quit Steam.
Create a new document in your simple text editor of choice, paste the following two lines into it, save as "steam.cfg" (without the quotes, and not steam.cfg.txt) in the folder where your Steam.exe resides.
Code: [Select]
BootStrapperInhibitAll=enable
ForceOfflineMode=enable
Now, every time that Steam starts, you'll be prompted with the option to start in offline mode.

Now Steam is just a launcher for your games. No friends list, no store, no cloud saves, no auto-updates, just games. And of course, this won't work for those games which use Steam as DRM.

But for those games, ask yourself if you'd prefer Steam as DRM, or something else. Rest assured that publishers who insist on including DRM are not going to give it up; "get rid of DRM" is a nice sentiment, but not going to happen. So it's either Steam or something much worse, take your pick.

 

Offline karajorma

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They aren't going to give it up, because they know people will still buy it.

The fact that GOG publishes big name games like The Witcher without DRM kinda shows that it can be done. Sadly people have gotten comfortable with Steam's DRM and with using worse DRM as a reason to accept it. Which I consider like being okay with being slapped occasionally cause other people get kicked in the nuts daily.
Karajorma's Freespace FAQ. It's almost like asking me yourself.

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Offline Spoon

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Offline karajorma

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This isn't about being a hater. Quite frankly, I don't buy many new games so Steam has little to offer me as I can get old games just as easily from GOG.

I was simply pointing out the stupidity of the argument that cause Origin, etc are worse this somehow makes the DRM in Steam okay.
Karajorma's Freespace FAQ. It's almost like asking me yourself.

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I personally think Origin is actually better. The customor support can solve rudimentary problems in several hours or even several minutes if you use live chat, whilst Steam takes you a week to tell you that it's not their problem :/.

It also had a working offline mode long before steam finally decided to fix their buggy system.

 

Offline Fury

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Oh yeah, Origin definitely has much better customer support than Steam does. Been there done that. Plus, can't argue with their "don't like it, return it" guarantee.

 

Offline Hobbie

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There's two parts to this topic. Steam, and Descent. One part is missing. So in interest of talking about something other than Steam (since that discussion is getting... heated) I'm going to ask about Descent.

Anyone who's grabbed it, does it have an improved graphics engine in it? Something along the lines of D2X-XL? 'Cause that's how I play it now (1920 x 1080, word up) with fancy effects and no quality drop or fuzzy edges. So awesome.
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Offline AdmiralRalwood

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Anyone who's grabbed it, does it have an improved graphics engine in it? Something along the lines of D2X-XL? 'Cause that's how I play it now (1920 x 1080, word up) with fancy effects and no quality drop or fuzzy edges. So awesome.
The steam version is the original DOS version with DOSBox. However, D2X-XL is totally awesome if you configure it properly (last time I played with it, I had to fiddle with a bajillion different menus just to get sensible gameplay with shiny graphics). Fortunately, if memory serves, D2X-XL can also play the original Descent.
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Offline Hobbie

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The steam version is the original DOS version with DOSBox. However, D2X-XL is totally awesome if you configure it properly (last time I played with it, I had to fiddle with a bajillion different menus just to get sensible gameplay with shiny graphics). Fortunately, if memory serves, D2X-XL can also play the original Descent.

Indeed it can. I have beaten both games on D2X-XL repeatedly.
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Offline Falcon

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Nice that they're selling Descent on Steam now, will probably pick it up, I only have II and III.

 
Good job completely ignoring all the good arguments in this thread because of one frustrating experience you had.

A problem that is most likely on your end to begin with, rather than a problem with Steam. You probably haven't even tried contacting steam support, since you seem so comfortable with thinking Steam sucks instead of trying to fix it.

Here's another problem with Steam.

I have two Towers in my house (one belongs to Sauron, one to Sarumon).

A friend gave me his nerd gaming tower some time ago. It's powerful enough to run some of the newer games like Civ 5 and such which I bought while my older tower which is some 6-7 years old will not.

One problem. The house uses a wireless router. My main computer has a wireless receiver, the gaming tower does not.

So despite the fact I own these games. And despite the fact I SHOULD be able to just transfer this **** on a USB drive from one tower to another, I'm betting that without an internet connection on my second tower I will be unable to play the games that I own (so far as Steam allows for ownership,  which btw it doesn't). Compare this to GOG where I can just take the single install file off my computer, and put them onto the second computer and run them.

So if I actually want to play these games I have three options:
1. piss around with the wireless receiver, move back and forth between the two towers in order to install them.
2. Spend 100 dollars on a second receiver
3. Spend 300-400 or more dollars on a new computer to play these games.

or technically, also:

4. Make the gaming tower my main tower, something which I don't really want to do because it's butt ugly. It would still require me to move the receiver from one to the other.

Or maybe I can just straight copy the directories, but I would think that Steam is set up to disallow that.


FURTHERMORE, interesting point.
At the same time that Steam was saying that it "couldn't connect to the servers" I was posting a message about it on HLP. So I have an internet connection that is working, but Steam isn't working. When I retried 5-6 minutes later Steam connected fine without me messing around with anything.

So the most likely problem then was with Steam. Steam couldn't get access. Or perhas my internet connection hicupped for that one span of 30 seconds that Steam was trying to connect. So Steam isn't "always online DRM" but it is "needs to be online when you want to play your game" DRM which is not too far off. Granted it lets you play eventually but after 3-5 minutes of waiting. Three to five minutes of waiting was fine in the Apple II days, I don't consider it acceptable now. Especially when I'm not waiting for the actual game but for an unrelated client.

Though according to Scourge there's an offline by default mode. Which apparently isn't in the default options menu and requires a work around.


I'm sorry but any program that gets in the way of me playing my game is not a benefit. It doesn't have to get in the way a lot, doesn't have to get in the way for long, as long as it gets in the way it's impeding my enjoyment of programs I paid good money for.


Like being in offline mode on Steam? Do this thing:

Make sure your password and stuff are saved to auto-login to Steam.
Switch to offline mode, and quit Steam.
Create a new document in your simple text editor of choice, paste the following two lines into it, save as "steam.cfg" (without the quotes, and not steam.cfg.txt) in the folder where your Steam.exe resides.
Code: [Select]
BootStrapperInhibitAll=enable
ForceOfflineMode=enable
Now, every time that Steam starts, you'll be prompted with the option to start in offline mode.

Now Steam is just a launcher for your games. No friends list, no store, no cloud saves, no auto-updates, just games. And of course, this won't work for those games which use Steam as DRM.

But for those games, ask yourself if you'd prefer Steam as DRM, or something else. Rest assured that publishers who insist on including DRM are not going to give it up; "get rid of DRM" is a nice sentiment, but not going to happen. So it's either Steam or something much worse, take your pick.

Thanks for the tip about the offline mode. Though frankly this option should be in the Steam Options menu. It shouldn't require some tech-savvy hack.

As for DRM.
Given that the only PC DRM to interfere with my Gaming is Steam, then I would take the other DRM thanks.
Like, do people enjoy loading screens? Steam is a big loading screen for me. It's a loading screen that my game technically doesn't need.


In addition it also puts all my eggs in one basket. People's accounts for Steam and other online services have gotten hijacked. And while it's true that GOG can likewise get hijacked, that's only the website, not the files downloaded onto your computer. If My account were to get hacked and the password changed I wouldn't be able to play anything. Then in addition in order to ensure that my stuff doesn't get hacked or that I can reclaim it I probably need to provide them with more information than I frankly want to. Xbox likewise keeps bugging me for my phone number, etcetera and it's a pain in the ass there as well.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2014, 03:07:03 pm by Akalabeth Angel »

 
So if I actually want to play these games I have three options:
1. piss around with the wireless receiver, move back and forth between the two towers in order to install them.
2. Spend 100 dollars on a second receiver
3. Spend 300-400 or more dollars on a new computer to play these games.

or technically, also:

4. Make the gaming tower my main tower, something which I don't really want to do because it's butt ugly. It would still require me to move the receiver from one to the other.

Or maybe I can just straight copy the directories, but I would think that Steam is set up to disallow that.

You can just straight copy directories. The games might not work right away since they technically still need to be "installed", but it'll at least save downloading time for the bulk of the data. Here's what I would suggest:
Copy the root Steam directory and the folders for each of the games you want to transfer to the gaming tower.
Get an ethernet cable, and hook up your gaming computer directly to your router/hub (hopefully that'll be possible).
Install/run Steam on that tower, and update all the games you transferred. Start all of them so that they get updated and activated or whatever.
Set Steam up to do offline mode all the time.
Unplug it.

OR: cannibalize both towers into a single super-tower for gaming, and if you have enough parts left over, have a work tower for non-internet stuff.

EDIT: Now, I know what you're going to say. "But with GOG I can just transfer the installer over and be done with it!" Yes, that's true. But obviously the games you have on Steam aren't on GOG. They probably won't be, at least for a very very long time. So it's a hard truth that you just have to deal with for now, until the day when all major publishers decide that they don't want DRM in their games anymore.

To be clear, I don't think that everyone in this thread is saying that Steam is the best thing ever and is god's gift to the PC master race. But it is the least of a great many evils, and it packs more than enough positives - in most people's eyes - to overcome the small amount of necessary evil. It's fine if you don't like it or want to use it, but expecting all games to go the GOG route is a bit silly in reality.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2014, 03:15:38 pm by Scourge of Ages »

 
You can just straight copy directories. The games might not work right away since they technically still need to be "installed", but it'll at least save downloading time for the bulk of the data. Here's what I would suggest:
Copy the root Steam directory and the folders for each of the games you want to transfer to the gaming tower.
Get an ethernet cable, and hook up your gaming computer directly to your router/hub (hopefully that'll be possible).
Install/run Steam on that tower, and update all the games you transferred. Start all of them so that they get updated and activated or whatever.
Set Steam up to do offline mode all the time.
Unplug it.

OR: cannibalize both towers into a single super-tower for gaming, and if you have enough parts left over, have a work tower for non-internet stuff.

The router is upstairs in the landlord's part of the house so the ethernet cable is not possible.
Thanks for the ideas though.