Author Topic: Valve receives an "F" grade from the Better Business Bureau  (Read 7393 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline MP-Ryan

  • Makes General Discussion Make Sense.
  • Global Moderator
  • 210
  • Keyboard > Pen > Sword
    • Twitter
Re: Valve receives an "F" grade from the Better Business Bureau
It is kind of strange, in a way, when I was young computer games were the first products ever that you couldn't return if you had opened the packaging unless there was physical damage to the disc, and could only get a replacement, not a refund. This was done in the name of anti-piracy, and despite the fact that Steam is, in and of itself, an anti-piracy measure, it's funny how that concept has managed to get itself ingrained into our psyche in just a single generation.

I was just going to ask if anyone else remembered the fact that it has always been nigh-impossible to return games or other software as retail stores refused to accept opened copies, period.

In general, I like Steam.  I research what I buy heavily, I always buy through heavily discounted sales, and I find the social features infinitely better than Origins.  It's also less buggy (though Origin has gotten better).  However, I'm fully aware that it's buyer-beware - if I have a problem, I know Steam support will be virtually non-existent and a refund won't happen.  While I'd like that to change, it has never been enough of a dealbreaker to get me to use another service as my primary distribution platform.

What I don't want to see:  dozens of online distribution platforms, none of which work together in a social community.  Steam and Origin are enough of a pain in the ass together as it is.

If you're railing against online distrbution, always-on or partial connectivity, or DRM measures in modern games, I hate to be the bearer of bad news but that ship has sailed.  If I have to pick an evil, I'll take the one with the massive established user base, high-value sales, best ongoing interface development, and largest catalogue.  GOG is wonderful, but it is a niche service.  Origin is still crap - just less of it now - but is only relevant for a small number of titles.  The other platforms are so irrelevant that I'd have to Google the correct names for them these days.  Like it or not, Steam is here to stay.  As consumers, we're better off advocating vigorously for better customer service in it that *****ing and moaning about its services.

BBB ratings are great and all, but they're best taken with a grain of salt these days - they operate on a very small data set.  Valve is right to take them less seriously than social media and industry-related websites; the user base of the BBB is tiny by comparison.
"In the beginning, the Universe was created.  This made a lot of people very angry and has widely been regarded as a bad move."  [Douglas Adams]

 

Offline deathfun

  • 210
  • Hey man. Peace. *Car hits them* Frakking hippies
    • Minecraft
Re: Valve receives an "F" grade from the Better Business Bureau
Problem is people don't think for themselves. Many gamers are young and are influenced by media, you tubers or other peoples opinions. Loud mouths like jim sterling for example or total biscuit. And even though I linked a tb video he is sometimes an opinionated and elitist ahole.

For all games companies I simply consider the content they produce. The games I've played from EA have been enjoyable so don't have a problem. dead space, mirrors edge, battlefield etcetera

That's a wondrous advantage to having a following that agrees with what you're saying and has thus deemed you a quality source of information

While your opinion of him is yours, that doesn't make him any less of a source to go to when looking for information. He presents his side/opinion
That's typically what you are supposed to do when telling someone what you think of something

Overall though yes, I do agree that there are people who don't really read what they're getting (see shoddy consumer reviews on Steam, prime example being the Payday 2 Complete Overkill Pack, not to be confused with Overkill Pack, or any Early access games). But again, the only person to blame is the consumer unless there was intentionally misleading things posted such as "This game has these features" vs "This game will eventually have these features, but are subject to change and may be scrapped or not even implemented"

Whether or not you're influenced by "x" does not mean you have an out in terms of being aware of what you're buying. Young, old, no matter who you are, it is your job as a consumer to be entirely aware of what you're buying... and if you're not sure, don't get it until you are

Quote
Another practice that Steam has recently changed is that they've removed a feature of Humble Bundle. Rather than get your game by simply clicking a button, now you'll need to update a code. They added the functionality, and then removed it again. Why? It makes my infringes on my gamer experience. If I get 10 games in a bundle, now I need to enter in 10 codes to unlock them instead of just clicking a button for each one? I'm not 100% sure about this as I haven't actually renewed the last star wars bundle I picked it up, but that is the change as I understand it.

Yeah, not entirely sure why they decided to change it up like that. Linking was fine, but I suppose perhaps there were problems? Don't see how it really infringes on anyone's gaming experience, but I suppose I'm a rather laidback person and don't mind redeeming a physical code (which honestly, I prefer because it's easier to give to other people [versus having to make a gift link which is wrought with human error. Example being, someone redeems it to the wrong email address! Then you have to go through some hoops, get that fixed - which in the case of my friend was done relatively swiftly - and yeah, delays everywhere])

Not saying you aren't within your purview to be annoyed by having to redeem physical codes each time, but it's not really all that big of a deal so it's hard for me to understand how it infringes on your gamer experience all that much.

As for Steam automatic updates, how's that different from firmware updates on the PS3 or game updates on consoles? They only update if you're connected to the internet, much like steam, but you're forced to update the games to the next version in order to play them online

Typically though, most people have their automatic updates on as you launch steam, so any game that would need to be updated in order to play has already downloaded the update while you were off doing something else on your computer. Typically, this is a non-issue, but I'm presuming you're the type that disables the automatics and only updates when you launch the game. Easy fix here being, turn automatic on *only* for the games you play a lot of

Lots of simple fixes to simple problems
"No"

 

Offline Ghostavo

  • 210
  • Let it be glue!
    • Skype
    • Steam
    • Twitter
Re: Valve receives an "F" grade from the Better Business Bureau
If I buy a cutting edge new game and try to play it on a six year old laptop, when it doesn't work it's my own damn fault.  Steam shouldn't be held accountable to that.

If I buy a cutting edge new game and try to play it on a brand new desktop, when it doesn't work because of a particularly component or driver in use, that's something Steam should be accountable for.

There is also the issue of having a system too new for the game to support.

For instance, I have in my account Solar 2 from a bundle at Humble Bundle.

Note the system requirements on the store, specifically the OS:
Quote
OS: Windows XP SP2 or greater

What this doesn't tell you is that if you have Windows 8/8.1 it won't even start, because of some .Net library issue I can't remember.

As games get older and stop being updated/actively supported, this will happen more and more, since game devs don't periodically check if their games work in newer systems.
"Closing the Box" - a campaign in the making :nervous:

Shrike is a dirty dirty admin, he's the destroyer of souls... oh god, let it be glue...

 
Re: Valve receives an "F" grade from the Better Business Bureau
Overall though yes, I do agree that there are people who don't really read what they're getting (see shoddy consumer reviews on Steam, prime example being the Payday 2 Complete Overkill Pack, not to be confused with Overkill Pack, or any Early access games). But again, the only person to blame is the consumer unless there was intentionally misleading things posted such as "This game has these features" vs "This game will eventually have these features, but are subject to change and may be scrapped or not even implemented"

Whether or not you're influenced by "x" does not mean you have an out in terms of being aware of what you're buying. Young, old, no matter who you are, it is your job as a consumer to be entirely aware of what you're buying... and if you're not sure, don't get it until you are

I'm not a believer in the idea that consumers have 100% of the blame for getting shoddy products. It's not the same as going into a store and looking for a specific item. There are laws about how what information is displayed on say a box of cereal, and also how it is displayed.

As far as I know there are no laws pertaining to how a website displays information (except for false advertising).  The way that information is displayed, the manner in which games are recommended or pushed at the consumer is likewise things all under steam's or whatever store's control.  If a person went into say Best Buy or EB Games and the second hand games were intermixed with the brand new games, would a gamer be pissed off if he bought a second hand game by accident? Similarly if Steam for example lumped both early access and full release games into the same display window wouldn't consumers likewise have cause to complain?  This may or may not have happened, don't know.  But I would say that in a situation like that, the store would be at fault as well.

Why doesn't Steam have the capability to filter out games that wont run on the user's current system?  Or at the very least to give warnings if the compatibility is in doubt. THAT would be convenient but it would also mean they'd get less money by ignorant consumers buying **** they can't play. So what impetus is there to implement it?

Not saying you aren't within your purview to be annoyed by having to redeem physical codes each time, but it's not really all that big of a deal so it's hard for me to understand how it infringes on your gamer experience all that much.

Because I have zero patience for anything computer-related that wastes my time.
Computers are supposed to be convenient.  Steam is supposed to be a convenience as well.  Having it waste my time is not convenient. Whether the time wasting comes from it running before I launch every game I play, or the need to authenticate offline mode for all my games.

When I launch my game I want to see my game loading. I don't want to see steam or any other client loading. And I don't want steam to be loading every time I turn on my computer either.

Another example is that a few weeks back I was playing Crysis from a CD/DVD I bought years ago. And while playing it, I got dropped out of the game to be shown an XP window saying that my computer would automatically restart in 15 minutes as a part of an automatic update.  That feature is the single most idiotic update function ever devised by man; forcing a restart in the middle of anything.  Did no one at Microsoft consider that you know, someone might be ****ing busy and in the middle of something when that window popped up? And rather than restart I told it to get lost, and continued to tell it to get lost every couple minutes as I continued to play the game for another 2 hours or so.

As for Steam automatic updates, how's that different from firmware updates on the PS3 or game updates on consoles? They only update if you're connected to the internet, much like steam, but you're forced to update the games to the next version in order to play them online

Typically though, most people have their automatic updates on as you launch steam, so any game that would need to be updated in order to play has already downloaded the update while you were off doing something else on your computer. Typically, this is a non-issue, but I'm presuming you're the type that disables the automatics and only updates when you launch the game. Easy fix here being, turn automatic on *only* for the games you play a lot of

Lots of simple fixes to simple problems

Simple problems which don't need to exist. That are created by a client which is forced upon the consumer.
I don't have any of the problems you list with GOG.com. I simply download my games and play them. I'm notified when I log onto the website of updates and can download them at my leisure. I can take my games anywhere on any device offline or online and never be bothered with log ins, unrelated loading screens, etcetera. It is the epitome of convenient PC gaming.  The only thing not convenient is the need to download and manually install multiple files but that's minor.

I don't equate console loading times or updates to Steam either.  A console starting or updating is equivalent to Windows starting or updating, except that consoles invariably start up faster than my desktop computers. It starts up quickly, occasionally needs an update, and I'm into my game almost immediately.  I've heard that PS3 firmware updates can take hours, my PS3 is still in the box so my only experience is with the 360 and for that Xbox that was never the case.  At the extreme I might have had to wait 10-15 minutes for some major game update but then again I often play games well after their release so I get all the updates in a single dose.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2015, 05:34:22 pm by Akalabeth Angel »

 

Offline Dragon

  • Citation needed
  • 212
  • The sky is the limit.
Re: Valve receives an "F" grade from the Better Business Bureau
Another example is that a few weeks back I was playing Crysis from a CD/DVD I bought years ago. And while playing it, I got dropped out of the game to be shown an XP window saying that my computer would automatically restart in 15 minutes as a part of an automatic update.  That feature is the single most idiotic update function ever devised by man; forcing a restart in the middle of anything.  Did no one at Microsoft consider that you know, someone might be ****ing busy and in the middle of something when that window popped up? And rather than restart I told it to get lost, and continued to tell it to get lost every couple minutes as I continued to play the game for another 2 hours or so.
You know you can tell it to put it off for 4 hours instead? It's right there in the popup. Myself, I went and disabled this "feature", so that even if it tells me it's going to restart itself, it won't, because I denied it permission to do so.

 
Re: Valve receives an "F" grade from the Better Business Bureau
Another example is that a few weeks back I was playing Crysis from a CD/DVD I bought years ago. And while playing it, I got dropped out of the game to be shown an XP window saying that my computer would automatically restart in 15 minutes as a part of an automatic update.  That feature is the single most idiotic update function ever devised by man; forcing a restart in the middle of anything.  Did no one at Microsoft consider that you know, someone might be ****ing busy and in the middle of something when that window popped up? And rather than restart I told it to get lost, and continued to tell it to get lost every couple minutes as I continued to play the game for another 2 hours or so.
You know you can tell it to put it off for 4 hours instead? It's right there in the popup. Myself, I went and disabled this "feature", so that even if it tells me it's going to restart itself, it won't, because I denied it permission to do so.

I've never seen any delay for four hours option. I'm still using XP. Looks like this except the button isn't grayed out.



By later it means about "20 minutes" later

Forcing any restart is stupid anyway. Many people will turn off their computers and thus "restart" naturally.

 

Offline Dragon

  • Citation needed
  • 212
  • The sky is the limit.
Re: Valve receives an "F" grade from the Better Business Bureau
I've never seen any delay for four hours option. I'm still using XP. Looks like this except the button isn't grayed out.



By later it means about "20 minutes" later

Forcing any restart is stupid anyway. Many people will turn off their computers and thus "restart" naturally.
That's what you get for using an outdated system. :) They got that point some time ago (undoubtedly it wasn't just you who hated this 20 minute delay). The long delay option was in Vista already, I'm using Win7. I don't know if you can turn it off on XP. Some of the stupidity in one version does get fixed a version later.

Well, at least now you don't have to worry about this at all. No more updates for XP, no more restarts.

 

Offline deathfun

  • 210
  • Hey man. Peace. *Car hits them* Frakking hippies
    • Minecraft
Re: Valve receives an "F" grade from the Better Business Bureau
Quote
Why doesn't Steam have the capability to filter out games that wont run on the user's current system?  Or at the very least to give warnings if the compatibility is in doubt. THAT would be convenient but it would also mean they'd get less money by ignorant consumers buying **** they can't play. So what impetus is there to implement it?

Perhaps it's just me an my general notion that anyone who owns their computer or plays a lot of games on it are supposed to be aware of their specs. I'll concede on that if it isn't a generally expected thing for someone buying games to know that they can run it on their system.

Though, to be fair on the other hand, sometimes games exceed even recommended specs...

Quote
When I launch my game I want to see my game loading. I don't want to see steam or any other client loading. And I don't want steam to be loading every time I turn on my computer either.

Generally speaking, the less one fights Steam and its doings, the less problems you have. Course, personal preferences considered, it's no wonder there's as many problems as there are in regards to the two of you. That's okay though, desiring more control over how things run on your computer is a fine thing to want and yes, Steam sort of takes some of that control away. Can't argue that

But, this is also the inherent property of the gaming industry as it evolves. Digital distribution is easiest when you get someone else to do it for you, and you typically reach a broader audience. Steam managed to create something that was the most useful thing at the time and others are just now catching up


Quote
I don't equate console loading times or updates to Steam either... ...At the extreme I might have had to wait 10-15 minutes for some major game update but then again I often play games well after their release so I get all the updates in a single dose.

Uh... so you say the two don't really compare... but what you just described is *exactly* the same for Steam...
Major difference being is that PC games typically get more updates than consoles, but the two parallel.


"No"

 
Re: Valve receives an "F" grade from the Better Business Bureau
Quote
Why doesn't Steam have the capability to filter out games that wont run on the user's current system?  Or at the very least to give warnings if the compatibility is in doubt. THAT would be convenient but it would also mean they'd get less money by ignorant consumers buying **** they can't play. So what impetus is there to implement it?

Perhaps it's just me an my general notion that anyone who owns their computer or plays a lot of games on it are supposed to be aware of their specs. I'll concede on that if it isn't a generally expected thing for someone buying games to know that they can run it on their system.

Though, to be fair on the other hand, sometimes games exceed even recommended specs...

I've been playing computer games for . .. 20 years? 25 years? Since the Apple IIE days.  Couldn't say what my specs are except for a detail or two. Maybe the graphics card. Certainly no the full extent of it. Have a second tower off a friend, haven't a clue what the performance of that is only that its better than the other computer.  If I try a game, like Crysis, and it doesn't work on the first tower, I try it on the second tower. If it doesn't work on that one, well . . . haven't had that problem yet but let's say I prefer gaming on the consoles for this very reason.

Thing is. People are expected to know their specs but this is an elitist mentality.  This mentality is why consoles are still going strong, because they're more accessible because they're simply more user friendly. I grew up with a friend who was an avid gamer as well. At times he played PC games like Tie Fighter and Starcraft. He could barely turn his PC on. Eventually after a hiatus, after he had money he didn't stick with PC games, he went back to consoles.

Valve/Steam is kind of dumb as well in my opinion with these Steam Machines. They seem to be tryin to buy another corner of the market and get a console-like experience with these boxes. But the biggest problem with them, is that there's a dozen different specs. They're not more accessible at all. What they should do is just make the client help the consumer make informed choices based on their hardware.

If someone dumbed down PC gaming to the point, where someone with no knowledge of their computer could reliably get games that work I suspect there might be a few more players.  That same friend of mine, once picked up a couple of the Mechwarrior games like MW3 mercenaries. He was desperate to play them, but his computer lacked 3d acceleration so they didn't work. Later on, when he had a better computer he and I still couldn't get them to work. 

Gaming shouldn't be that complicated.


Quote
When I launch my game I want to see my game loading. I don't want to see steam or any other client loading. And I don't want steam to be loading every time I turn on my computer either.

Generally speaking, the less one fights Steam and its doings, the less problems you have. Course, personal preferences considered, it's no wonder there's as many problems as there are in regards to the two of you. That's okay though, desiring more control over how things run on your computer is a fine thing to want and yes, Steam sort of takes some of that control away. Can't argue that

But, this is also the inherent property of the gaming industry as it evolves. Digital distribution is easiest when you get someone else to do it for you, and you typically reach a broader audience. Steam managed to create something that was the most useful thing at the time and others are just now catching up

It's very rare that I actually play any game from my Steam library. Given the choice, between a game from GOG and a game from Steam, I'll play a GOG game 9 times out of 10.  Of the six or so games I've played in the last few weeks, only one of them was  from Steam and that was a humble bundle purchase. (spec ops) In fact Total Biscuit did a WTF of a game today, called Ironclash that looks interesting enough to purchase. But rather than pick it up off Steam, I tweeted the company and asked if they'd be releasing on GOG.

I enjoy Steam best when I'm not using it :P

Quote
I don't equate console loading times or updates to Steam either... ...At the extreme I might have had to wait 10-15 minutes for some major game update but then again I often play games well after their release so I get all the updates in a single dose.

Uh... so you say the two don't really compare... but what you just described is *exactly* the same for Steam...
Major difference being is that PC games typically get more updates than consoles, but the two parallel.

As I said, the main issue is that I don't want to see a middle man program loading when I launch my game.  Once I've made my purchase, installed my game, Steam ceases to be anything but DRM. 
And to me it's one of the most offensive types of DRM because it's ALWAYS visible and it's always launching.

Other games need a code, once and they're good. You forget about it.
Other games need a code and a CD in the drive. Annoying certainly, but once it's in there you might play the game until the end and likewise forget about it.

But Steam games? Whenever I launch the game, steam launches. Something I could certainl do without.

 

Offline deathfun

  • 210
  • Hey man. Peace. *Car hits them* Frakking hippies
    • Minecraft
Re: Valve receives an "F" grade from the Better Business Bureau
Quote
Thing is. People are expected to know their specs but this is an elitist mentality.

Type dxdiag into run
Boom. Specs.

Quote
But Steam games? Whenever I launch the game, steam launches. Something I could certainl do without.

Launch steam on windows startup
Then go off and eat some breakfast or make some coffee
Return
Click game to play
Steam already launched and loaded, updates done in background while you were off doing stuff like food
Play game

Sure, perhaps you don't want Steam running on your computer...
...but that's the requirement it tells you about when you initially get Steam. If you're annoyed about this... and were aware of this (something they say often, although some games you don't need steam connected at all and can just launch via their .exe directly)... but still got Steam... well...
"No"

 
Re: Valve receives an "F" grade from the Better Business Bureau
Sure, perhaps you don't want Steam running on your computer...
...but that's the requirement it tells you about when you initially get Steam. If you're annoyed about this... and were aware of this (something they say often, although some games you don't need steam connected at all and can just launch via their .exe directly)... but still got Steam... well...

Did anyone actually get Steam voluntarily? Did you? I, like most people, was forced to install steam after buying a physical copy of Half Life 2.
People were apparently initially quite pissed off about this. Pissed off about the need for an internet connection to play a physical game. Pissed about having to install a DRM client.  Over the years, a few sales and give aways apparently turned pissed off gamers into unadulterated supporters.  People who defend the client against all criticism, balk at the need for competition like Origin, and shy away from services like GOG in order to confine their gaming experience to a "single platform".

Later on, Valve made old games like Team Fortress 2 free. But despite being free, in order to play these games you needed Steam thus an entirely new generation of gamers was likewise forced to install Steam on their computers. Like a freemium iOS game that gets on your phone for free and asks for money later, so too did Steam get on people's computers through free games and later on sold other games and hats. 

Only now, when Steam is inundated with ****ty games and Valve's own development team has pretty much abandoned single player games, instead focusing on hardware and exclusively multiplayer content developed initially by out of house teams bought into the fold, are people again changing their minds.

The only difference between myself and other gamers is that I never became complacent.  No other company, in all my years of gaming, has ever sold me an incomplete physical game the way that Valve/Steam did.  And their history of single player games is not so great as to warrant the exceptions that people make for the company's shortcomings. So I neither care for them as a platform or as developer.

If I go into a store, and feel insulted or ripped off I shop somewhere.  The real problem with PC gaming, is that for most people they don't have that choice.  You want to be a serious PC gamer you need to work with Steam because so many games are exclusive to the platform. It's a virtual monopoly.  And sales breakdowns for several games that I've seen have pretty much confirmed that.  So personally I shop somewhere else by going to consoles or to GOG or other stores.  But one does really have to wonder, how many people actually truly like Steam? How many people like having this client always on their computer running in the background? How many people enjoy signing another EULA that waives more of their consumer rights? Or do they simply sign it because they're afraid of getting locked out of the many games they have already purchased.  Or is Steam basically a gaming social network and like facebook, some gamers feel lost without it.

Personally I think it's lamentable that one platform has so completely woven itself into the PC gaming experience and I hope for the failure of Steam box because frankly I don't want them to monopolize console/living room gaming as well.  Having one's gaming experience so tied to a single entity is extremely dangerous.  One day Valve and/or Steam is going to be bought up by someone else and everyone will soon find their entire gaming experience tied to a company which they may or may not respect.

As MP Ryan has said, the ship has already sailed. Personally though I'm happy on the shore.





 

 

Offline Spoon

  • 212
  • ヾ(´︶`♡)ノ
Re: Valve receives an "F" grade from the Better Business Bureau
An other episode of Akalabeth going "I hate Steam and so should you!" ?
Suprise Suprise
Urutorahappī!!

[02:42] <@Axem> spoon somethings wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> critically wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> im happy with these missions now
[02:44] <@Axem> well
[02:44] <@Axem> with 2 of them

 
Re: Valve receives an "F" grade from the Better Business Bureau
Not really.
The fact that Steam is a virtual monopoly has as much to do with the F rating as any other factor. When you own the market, who cares about customer service and customer rights?  Valve's rating is as bad as it is because they didn't even respond to 538 of the complaints against them. They simply don't seem to care.

As much as buyer beware applies to Steam purchases, user beware applies to steam users. People should be aware of the alternatives and be aware of the potential pitfalls in investing their experiences into a single gaming client.

Consumers are empowered when they have choice and when they exercise that choice. They're at the mercies of the corporations when they have no choice at all.


« Last Edit: March 27, 2015, 02:41:42 pm by Akalabeth Angel »

 

Offline deathfun

  • 210
  • Hey man. Peace. *Car hits them* Frakking hippies
    • Minecraft
Re: Valve receives an "F" grade from the Better Business Bureau
Quote
Did anyone actually get Steam voluntarily? Did you?

Yes
"No"

 
Re: Valve receives an "F" grade from the Better Business Bureau
Quote
Did anyone actually get Steam voluntarily? Did you?

Yes

In order to play what? A game that was available apart from Steam?
« Last Edit: March 27, 2015, 09:05:28 pm by Akalabeth Angel »

 

Offline deathfun

  • 210
  • Hey man. Peace. *Car hits them* Frakking hippies
    • Minecraft
Re: Valve receives an "F" grade from the Better Business Bureau
Quote
Did anyone actually get Steam voluntarily? Did you?

Yes

In order to play what? A game that was available apart from Steam?

Please state the relevancy of your question so that I may see the point you're going to convey regardless of answer
"No"

 
Re: Valve receives an "F" grade from the Better Business Bureau
Quote
Did anyone actually get Steam voluntarily? Did you?

Yes

In order to play what? A game that was available apart from Steam?

Please state the relevancy of your question so that I may see the point you're going to convey regardless of answer

You are in all likelihood fully aware of the point I'm making which is why you have evaded answering the question.

"Voluntarily"means you're doing something free of obligation. If the game you first installed Steam to play was not available on any other platform you had access to then the choice was not voluntary. It was obligatory.
Only if a person has a choice between playing a game free from Steam and playing the same game bound by Steam is the choice truly voluntary. 

« Last Edit: March 28, 2015, 02:48:33 am by Akalabeth Angel »

 

Offline Flipside

  • əp!sd!l£
  • 212
Re: Valve receives an "F" grade from the Better Business Bureau
Well, there is a third choice, which is 'don't buy the game', it's the one course of action that many people tend not to consider, but also the only course of action that will ever really stand a chance of having a meaningful impact. In fact, one of my largest complaints about Origin was that it actually told me it had to be installed to play the game after buying a physical DVD (I think it was the Sims 3, or maybe a Need For Speed), that always kind of irked me, had I read the box when I picked it up, I would probably have thought twice about it. I did have something similar for Steam with Half-Life 2, but it wasn't compulsory to install Steam to play the game, merely recommended.

I'm not standing in judgement of people who do buy them, heck, I'm one of those people, but the bottom line is the only line that will eventually cause a service to re-evaluate itself.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2015, 03:44:55 am by Flipside »

 

Offline deathfun

  • 210
  • Hey man. Peace. *Car hits them* Frakking hippies
    • Minecraft
Re: Valve receives an "F" grade from the Better Business Bureau
Quote
You are in all likelihood fully aware of the point I'm making which is why you have evaded answering the question.

Unlike that particular statement, I prefer not to assume to know what weight the question carries and instead look for the person asking it, to clarify

I had my theory however

Quote
If the game you first installed Steam to play was not available on any other platform you had access to then the choice was not voluntary. It was obligatory.

Technically yes, you are obligated to install Steam in order to play the game. However, if you were aware of that fact and got it anyways... that makes it "voluntary"

Secondly: "done or given because you want to and not because you are forced to : done or given by choice"
To explain my point of posting the definition of "voluntarily" here, note the key words "done because you want to". Yes, you're obligated (or "forced") to install Steam on your computer to play the game, but if the consumer knew that and went ahead with it... they did so voluntarily

Afterall, one *chose* to put Steam on the computer while being *aware* of its requirement to play the game you *chose* to buy
A lot of choosing and personal freedom being exerted here. If you were aware and didn't agree, as Flipside stated, secret option c: don't buy the game. Afterall, no one is forcing you to buy the product which requires Steam.
Spoiler:
Though, there's actually an even more secret option "P"

If you were not aware, the situation changes. I haven't checked physical boxes lately, so I don't know if they say Steam Required to Play on them


But in spirit of actually answering your question, technically speaking I didn't get Steam to play a game. I got Steam to redeem a two coupons I got for free, one via Valve themselves, and another from an Unreal Engine Level Design textbook

Portal and UT3

At the time, I already owned Portal for PS3 on Orange Box and my computer couldn't run either games regardless
(The Valve Portal code being part of a promotion they did which I went sure, why not. I knew I needed to download Steam, but went ahead anyways because I made a voluntary choice to get it)
"No"

 

Offline CP5670

  • Dr. Evil
  • Global Moderator
  • 212
  • 142857
Re: Valve receives an "F" grade from the Better Business Bureau
Quote
If you're railing against online distrbution, always-on or partial connectivity, or DRM measures in modern games, I hate to be the bearer of bad news but that ship has sailed.  If I have to pick an evil, I'll take the one with the massive established user base, high-value sales, best ongoing interface development, and largest catalogue.  GOG is wonderful, but it is a niche service.  Origin is still crap - just less of it now - but is only relevant for a small number of titles.  The other platforms are so irrelevant that I'd have to Google the correct names for them these days.  Like it or not, Steam is here to stay.  As consumers, we're better off advocating vigorously for better customer service in it that *****ing and moaning about its services.

The only way we will get better customer service is through competition with other platforms that offer such service. Not saying Origin has that, but more platforms is a good thing because it's the only way to get Steam to improve in any respect.

Quote
Another example is that a few weeks back I was playing Crysis from a CD/DVD I bought years ago. And while playing it, I got dropped out of the game to be shown an XP window saying that my computer would automatically restart in 15 minutes as a part of an automatic update.  That feature is the single most idiotic update function ever devised by man; forcing a restart in the middle of anything.  Did no one at Microsoft consider that you know, someone might be ****ing busy and in the middle of something when that window popped up? And rather than restart I told it to get lost, and continued to tell it to get lost every couple minutes as I continued to play the game for another 2 hours or so.

You might as well just disable automatic Windows updates. There is no point in having them for XP, which hasn't had any updates in a long time. I have them disabled in 8.1 as well, and apply the updates manually every now and then. In my experience, an automatic update is as likely to break something as providing any noticeable improvement.

In terms of games, this is one of my major annoyances with Steam as I said earlier. It forces you to update games at all times, with no information given on what the updates actually do, and won't let you open games if it thinks they are too out of date. Unchecked updates often break mods, no intro fixes and occasionally saved games.