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Why is Steam a requirement, and not optional?


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#1 ChickenViking

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 04:01 PM

Picture this: You go to the store and buy a game you have been looking forward to for a long time. You go home, install it and decide to play... but no, you have to install and update Steam first. That'll take a while, but you do something else in the meantime. When you finally have everything installed, Steam needs to update your game. More annoyance, especially as it's a signle-palyer offline game. Then when you finally get to play, Steam decides it can't contact the server and crashes. Then it refuse to contact the servers the next three or four days. All this time you are sitting with a physical copy of a single-player offline game you can't play. How come this is a good thing? What am I missing?

Because that's what you do. That scenario has happened to me on several occasions, and I have a few games I bought in a store I finally gave up even trying to play. Steam simply refuses to start them without updating them first, and when the patch won't work, you get the idea. That's a few hundred dollars out the window, all thanks to Steam. Then there are games that does work. They work... except every time you start them, you have to pray Steam actually manages to connect to the servers. And just when you think it can't get any worse, I downloaded Magicka. I hate Steam and looked for other ways to get it, so I ended up buying it on GamersGate. GG is very much like Steam, except you don't have to install anything. Some say Steam is great because you have all your games stored there, so you can download them whenever you want. So? I can do that with GamersGate, Impulse, Direct2Drive, Origin and several others anyway. Anyway I bought Magicka on GG, but... nope, have to register it on Steam. Why? Why is it ok that Steam demands full control over a game I bought on GamersGate?

And that's the question. Why is it ok that Steam demands full control of most my games, even though I did everything I could to avoid Steam in the first place? My first meeting with Steam was when I got Half-Life 2. I had to wait six whole months (!) before I was able to play it. And this is ok? Why? And finally, think about Games for Windows Live. It's also a requirement and very much like Steam. But even though it's identical, most people hate it. I don't have a clue why.

All I'm asking is that Steam can be optional. That's it. Then I'll shut up and walk around life with a bunch of games on my computer and a stupid smile on my face. But Steam isn't optional. It's a requirement.
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#2 Rusty

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 04:22 PM

I avoided Steam like the plague but then I got Shogun Total War II, everything worked fine and I played it, I can play it offline too, I just needed Steam to register it with seemed like a massive waste of time and harddrive.

Problems started when I tried to get Dawn of War II: Retribution, now I'm a big Warhammer fan, so this game is a pretty big deal for me and I was really excited about playing it, however I forgot I didn't have the internet at the time, so after dishing out for the Collector's Edition it took me 3 weeks to actually get on the game at which point I was auto connected to some stupid in-game chatroom where idiots could boast, brag and complain about things they clearly didn't understand.

Spiral Knights went to Steam, offering me special equipment if I switched to the Steam login. I laughed and said no.

I was going to get The Witcher 2, but then I saw it'll be a Steam game, end of the day, I haven't got Witcher 2.

I'm now looking for ways to get to player my games without having a Steam account, I've seen a few promising... computer unprofessionals but nothing solid. I'm not a pirate, I'm not in violation of copyright, I did pay for the game, I will decide what I download in order to play it and I will cut this gaming cancer out of my computer. End of.
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#3 makerofthegames

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 03:38 AM

Why are you avoiding Steam so? :tongue: [<-directed toward Rusty]
P.S. Your scenario doesn't happen for me. My steam doesn't crash...

Edited by makerofthegames, 29 September 2011 - 03:40 AM.

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#4 icuurd12b42

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 03:46 AM

I buy all my games on Steam... Not to advertise but I would just go on steam, install it, make a permanent account, keep it current and always buy directly from there. Getting a steamed games at the store (really I find the practice repulsive that games would force you to need steam), probably the steam SW is old and so is the game itself.
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#5 daman123125

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 04:59 AM

Yes, I often find it annoying when Steam servers are "too busy" when playing a game. Such a big company needs to get better servers that can handle more people.
I also switched to the regular Spiral Knights login after realizing the pain I had to go through with Steam...
Steam has a nice little GUI and social features in addition to your paid games, but Steam would be much better if you could actually play your games without any worries.
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#6 Rusty

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 10:42 AM

Why are you avoiding Steam so? :tongue: [<-directed toward Rusty]
P.S. Your scenario doesn't happen for me. My steam doesn't crash...

I have a hatred of anything that forces itself on my computer, that and the fact I'm still having trouble getting Shogun Total War II installed on my second laptop. It keeps connecting me to random crap I have no interest in and jumping up on my computer whenever I turn it on demanding I log in.

I see it more as a virus than a gaming platform. If I wanted Steam I would have went out my way and got it but the fact is I don't want Steam, I don't like Steam and I refuse to have it on my computer. I gave it a chance and it annoyed me.
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#7 ash47

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 12:15 PM

Buy it for a console then xD
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#8 ChickenViking

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 01:06 PM

I buy all my games on Steam... Not to advertise but I would just go on steam, install it, make a permanent account, keep it current and always buy directly from there. Getting a steamed games at the store (really I find the practice repulsive that games would force you to need steam), probably the steam SW is old and so is the game itself.


I can see why people like Steam. It's great to be able to download the games you want (legally, of course), and if you want to play a game you bought three years ago, you don't need to glo looking for the disc. Just download the game and have fun. But what I don't understand is why Steam is a requirement. We don't have a choice. We either install it and accept that it takes full control over our games, or we don't get the games at all on PC. We can't buy a game and choose not to install Steam. ack when Steam was the only service like this, we had no choice. It was Steam or storing lots of physical copies of our games. But there are a lot of identical services like Steam out already, and they are more or less all free. Games for Windows Live is the only one I can think of that's also a requirement, and for that exact reason a lot of people hate it. So why is Steam so well-loved, even though it's one of the two requires services like this? If you bought a car, would you really be ok with the dealership telling you when you are allowed to drive, or having one of their sellers in the backseat at all times? I don't think so, so why are you ok with Steam telling you when you can play your own games?
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#9 icuurd12b42

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 03:38 PM

Like I said, I find the idea repulsive to have a in store game sold with this requirement as well.

I think it's about DRM and steam is a good outfit for that however I personally hate I cant play a game without being connected though. Especially for those long nights my provider is down!
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#10 Harrk

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 04:44 PM

I remember when I had no internet connection for months, I couldn't even play majority of my PC games thanks to Steam (even the offline single player games).
But now I tend to buy most of my games on steam despite requiring internet access to play them.

I've pretty much gotten used to steam though, what I can't stand is that Games for Windows Live crap. I bought DoW2 (my biggest mistake ever) on steam, once installed I couldn't even play it because it had to install Games for Windows etc. Took me 2 days to get it working because the darn Games for Windows Live wouldn't install, had to look around for fixes / patches all over the internet.

The part that made me laugh was I had to install all this stuff just to play DoW2 single player?
Nowadays if I see any game with "Games for Windows Live" on it then I just won't buy it. I don't mind DRM like Steam and it does have good points unlike other DRM out there.
If you remember, Spore had DRM that only let you install it a total of THREE times. People cancelled pre-orders and pirated it instead forcing EA to remove it.

Personally if you buy a game from a retail store you should be able to play it without downloading DRM or requiring internet access. I understand the logic behind it because of pirating etc... but it just annoys the paying customers the most.

- You pirate a game and once it's installed you can play it right away, maybe get a virus or two depending on the source it came from, nevertheless I'm in the game.
- Purchase a game and you have to install 'this', 'that', and last but not least 'this too'.

It's bad enough having steam forced down your throat without any extra DRM along with it.
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#11 makerofthegames

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 06:57 PM

- You pirate a game and once it's installed you can play it right away, maybe get a virus or two depending on the source it came from, nevertheless I'm in the game.

Do you know how stupid this sounds?
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#12 Harrk

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 07:39 PM

- You pirate a game and once it's installed you can play it right away, maybe get a virus or two depending on the source it came from, nevertheless I'm in the game.

Do you know how stupid this sounds?

The fact that I've admitted pirating a game before?
If you want to know more - it was Spore.
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#13 makerofthegames

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 08:07 PM

The part where you write off having two viruses. :laugh:
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#14 Harrk

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 08:30 PM

Oh lol.
I just find it unfair that a pirated product works better than if you went out an bought it. (Providing that it's clean of viruses)
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#15 ChickenViking

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 08:33 PM

I remember when I had no internet connection for months, I couldn't even play majority of my PC games thanks to Steam (even the offline single player games).
But now I tend to buy most of my games on steam despite requiring internet access to play them.

I've pretty much gotten used to steam though, what I can't stand is that Games for Windows Live crap. I bought DoW2 (my biggest mistake ever) on steam, once installed I couldn't even play it because it had to install Games for Windows etc. Took me 2 days to get it working because the darn Games for Windows Live wouldn't install, had to look around for fixes / patches all over the internet.


Gamers for Windows Live and Steam is the exact same thing. How can you lvoe one and hate the other? It's like saying you hate Ferraris because they are too fast and use too much gas, but you love Lamborghinis. Se the problem?

Anyway, I contacted Valve to ask why Steam isn't optional, and they answered... I think...

"Hello ChickenViking,

Thank you for contacting Steam Support.

Make sure your network is properly optimized for Steam, even if it appears to be functioning correctly otherwise.

Please follow the links below for information:

Title: Slow Downloads and Connection to Content Servers
Link: http://support.steam...=9498-WPDF-3220

Title: Troubleshooting Network Connectivity
Link: http://support.steam...=1456-EUDN-2493

If you have any further questions, please let us know."

What the hell is this? This isn't anywhere near what I asked them. True, I told them a few examples of how bad Steam treats me, like deleting all my games and never letting me play Supcreme Commander 2 to this day even though I bought it in a store at launch. But that was just examples. I wasn't asking for help with it. All I wanted to know why Steam isn't optional, but a requirement. I even gave them examples of identical services that -are- optional, like GamersGate and Impulse. I wrote them back, though, so let's see what they say this time. If they bother answer, of course.

Oh, and as for piracy, I'm against it... sort of. I don't download games, but if I buy a game and it refuses to start, I'll simply download a crack. It's my game, I bought it for my own money. If I want to crack it, I do. At least I get rid of Steam that way.

Edited by ChickenViking, 29 September 2011 - 08:35 PM.

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#16 Harrk

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 08:46 PM


I remember when I had no internet connection for months, I couldn't even play majority of my PC games thanks to Steam (even the offline single player games).
But now I tend to buy most of my games on steam despite requiring internet access to play them.

I've pretty much gotten used to steam though, what I can't stand is that Games for Windows Live crap. I bought DoW2 (my biggest mistake ever) on steam, once installed I couldn't even play it because it had to install Games for Windows etc. Took me 2 days to get it working because the darn Games for Windows Live wouldn't install, had to look around for fixes / patches all over the internet.


Gamers for Windows Live and Steam is the exact same thing. How can you lvoe one and hate the other? It's like saying you hate Ferraris because they are too fast and use too much gas, but you love Lamborghinis. Se the problem?

Anyway, I contacted Valve to ask why Steam isn't optional, and they answered... I think...

"Hello ChickenViking,

Thank you for contacting Steam Support.

Make sure your network is properly optimized for Steam, even if it appears to be functioning correctly otherwise.

Please follow the links below for information:

Title: Slow Downloads and Connection to Content Servers
Link: http://support.steam...=9498-WPDF-3220

Title: Troubleshooting Network Connectivity
Link: http://support.steam...=1456-EUDN-2493

If you have any further questions, please let us know."

What the hell is this? This isn't anywhere near what I asked them. True, I told them a few examples of how bad Steam treats me, like deleting all my games and never letting me play Supcreme Commander 2 to this day even though I bought it in a store at launch. But that was just examples. I wasn't asking for help with it. All I wanted to know why Steam isn't optional, but a requirement. I even gave them examples of identical services that -are- optional, like GamersGate and Impulse. I wrote them back, though, so let's see what they say this time. If they bother answer, of course.

Sure they have similar features but Steam handles it much better.
Well lets put it this way.
I have to install Steam to access my game, once in game I'm forced to create a Games for Windows Live profile (+update*) to even get into single player.

*Every time it failed to update, so I had to go lurk the internet looking for fixes.
At least Steam actually manages your games for you, unlike Games for Windows Live that just forces you to connect to the Xbox Live network for the sake of useless achievements.

Two layers of DRM really necessary?

Edit:
"If you have any further questions, please let us know." Classic xD

Edited by Hazz, 29 September 2011 - 08:48 PM.

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#17 Docopoper

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 09:07 PM

I remember when I installed steam and then turned off my computer - as soon as steam decided to run its self on start-up I deleted it without a second thought. I don't care if you can turn that off in the settings - if it forces its self on you it needs to be deleted.

I think I have it again now though since my brother got got one of those games that you can only buy in twos... I only ever played that game once... I felt just as bad going on steam as I did when I went on Facebook.

Actually, how the hell do people like Steam, Facebook and Apple? They are so restrictive and imposing!
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#18 Monstr Gaming

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Posted 01 October 2011 - 07:21 AM

WHAT!?
How can you not like Steam?
That's like going, "I bought a game for PS3 but I wish this PS network stopped interfering"
Steam may be dodgy for you but for normal people it's fine.
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#19 icuurd12b42

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Posted 01 October 2011 - 01:38 PM

WHAT!?
How can you not like Steam?
That's like going, "I bought a game for PS3 but I wish this PS network stopped interfering"
Steam may be dodgy for you but for normal people it's fine.

Read the main post more carefully
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#20 Rusty

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Posted 01 October 2011 - 03:32 PM

WHAT!?
How can you not like Steam?
That's like going, "I bought a game for PS3 but I wish this PS network stopped interfering"
Steam may be dodgy for you but for normal people it's fine.

No... that PS3 quote is more like:
"I bought a game for PS3 but don't want my identity stolen"

Besides, Steam is not the internet. I can play most games online without steam.
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#21 Monstr Gaming

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Posted 01 October 2011 - 07:54 PM

@Rusty

I read it but why should you care whether Steam "controls" your game or not.

I also read more and people are going on about connecting to servers so I assumed this was a Steam hate forum and posted my opinion.

Sorry if I misuderstood

Edited by Monstr Gaming, 01 October 2011 - 07:55 PM.

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#22 Monstr Gaming

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Posted 01 October 2011 - 07:59 PM


WHAT!?
How can you not like Steam?
That's like going, "I bought a game for PS3 but I wish this PS network stopped interfering"
Steam may be dodgy for you but for normal people it's fine.

No... that PS3 quote is more like:
"I bought a game for PS3 but don't want my identity stolen"

Besides, Steam is not the internet. I can play most games online without steam.

No Steam is not the internet. Steam is a gaming platform where you download any normal game except you can chat with other gamers at the same time all in one package.

I have a PS3 and identity theft was almost a blessing. Sue PS3 change your bank details. Money gained :)
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#23 Rusty

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Posted 01 October 2011 - 11:02 PM

I have a PS3 and identity theft was almost a blessing. Sue PS3 change your bank details. Money gained :)

Damn, suddenly I feel bad for not owning one. :lol:

But if I wanted to be stuck on a single network I'd go to a console (PS3, 360, Wii) I buy games for PC because I don't want a network checking up on me, I don't want to always get connected, I don't want people to know how much I cheat and fail at games and I don't want Steam. I've tried to play with the... err... troop count numbers for my copy of Dawn of War but every time I try to play it now Steam tells me I'm a scumbag and don't deserve to play.
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#24 NinjaCatStudios

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 10:20 PM

I like steam.
I haven't really had any problems with it, theres plenty of sales and indie games too.
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#25 ketchuphed

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Posted 08 October 2011 - 02:27 AM

I just thought I'd throw in my two cents.

I have never had to wait for more than an hour to play a game I have bought outside of Steam that I have had to activate through Steam, let alone waiting days or months. I feel that the original poster may have exaggerated some of his facts. Also, even with my slow DSL internet connection, I have had little to no problems connecting to the Steam servers.

edit: P.S. I am also attempting to distribute my games through the Steam platform. Though I am still a tad puzzled on whether it's possible or not.

Ketchuphed, 107 games on Steam, 0 problems on Steam

Edited by ketchuphed, 08 October 2011 - 02:29 AM.

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#26 fullmedia

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Posted 10 October 2011 - 12:41 PM

I installed Steam the other day, and I've found it great to get hold of indie games. I find it easier to buy Indie games through Steam, as they are often small purchases, and I know the product is going to be good quality. However, on big commercial games, I've found them to be almost 15 more expensive in the UK! I can order something from Amazon, pay an extra amount for next day delivery and still get the game much cheaper, with a physical disc, manuals etc.

I don't think Steam should be optional at all, it could be recommended - for game updates and what not - but for just playing the game in single player no. I think its not optional as Steam want you to install their program, they probably pay a small amount for every disc sold that has to have Steam installed with it, and then, with Steam installed, some people might then decide to switch to Steam downloads.
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#27 ChickenViking

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Posted 10 October 2011 - 05:08 PM

I installed Steam the other day, and I've found it great to get hold of indie games. I find it easier to buy Indie games through Steam, as they are often small purchases, and I know the product is going to be good quality. However, on big commercial games, I've found them to be almost 15 more expensive in the UK! I can order something from Amazon, pay an extra amount for next day delivery and still get the game much cheaper, with a physical disc, manuals etc


I agree, there are a lot of great things with Steam. But that's not the issue here. The issue is why it's a requirement, and not optional. Microsoft tried to make MS Office a part of Windows, but as a result, other companies got angry and sued them. The reason was simply that if MS Office was already a part of Windows (or heavily integrated with it), why would anyone spend money on another office package? And that's the issue here. If you are forced to use Steam, why would anyone want to use another client even if it's better? You already have one, so why get another one? And as a result, Valve could easily adjust the prices so one US dollar and one Euro had the same value. A game that cost $50 would also cost 50 Euro on Steam. People obviously complained for a bit, but they quickly calmed down and kept using Steam like nothing happened. The dollar/Euro-issue is just one thing, but Valve will keep doing that over and over, and they will get away with it every time because no one bothers try to speak up against them. Steam is a requirement, so what's the point in looking for other, better clients? Didn't we learn anything from the MS Office lawsuit? (btw Microsoft lost, so they were forced to make MS Office a completely seperate product. Even so, even now there are a lot of free office suits like Open Office and Lotus Symphony that supports MS Office documents, but MS Office does not support them.)

I don't think Steam should be optional at all, it could be recommended - for game updates and what not - but for just playing the game in single player no. I think its not optional as Steam want you to install their program, they probably pay a small amount for every disc sold that has to have Steam installed with it, and then, with Steam installed, some people might then decide to switch to Steam downloads.


And there you go. It's all about the money. Sure Steam is great when it works, and sure Valve makes great games. But Valve is a businuess who only wants to make money. They are no different than any other company, be it car companies or someone selling refridgeators. They want to make money. That's it. That's their whole agenda. Being nice to customers is just common sense. No one wants to buy stuff from a company theyt hate. The more the customers like Valve, the more likely they are to buy stuff from them - and ignore the not entirely friendly business model.
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#28 Thedonsway

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Posted 27 December 2011 - 02:37 AM

We have 4 computers here all on the internet. 1 single computer had a game installed bought from an actual shop, not online that required steam. no other computer in the house could get online while steam was running and that was with its settings adjusted to use the lowest bandwidth possible. I have banned steam from my home and blocked it in the modem.
I refuse to buy any game that I must go through an online account to play single player. Being on a pension, I cannot afford to waste money on expensive games that dont require steam, so I go without and will do until people wake up to themselves that steam is owning them, and steam eventually dies off. Looking forward to that day!
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#29 Bytewin

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Posted 29 December 2011 - 01:11 AM

Being on a pension, I cannot afford to waste money on expensive games that dont require steam


Watch out, we got a hip grandpa over here.

so I go without and will do until people wake up to themselves that steam is owning them, and steam eventually dies off. Looking forward to that day!


Steam is owning them? What the heck? Do you have nay idea what you are talking about?





Now, talking seriously. This has turned from an "oh, dude, steam should either not force themselves on us or get better servers" thread, to a "OH STEAM, MONEYG0BBLING MACHINE, DOWN WITH THE CORPORATIONS!" thread. Which I find kind of ridiculous.
Back on track. I love Steam, but a store game should have the option to use Steam, not the requirement to use steam
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#30 Rusty

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Posted 30 December 2011 - 09:46 PM

Okay... people... just so we're clear on this point, I'm not waving the tie dye flag.

I don't really see what is wrong with corporations, they do their job, they get their money and we get to demand whatever we want before we give them money, it's a nice system.

My point is that I don't care if it's a nice system or not, I don't want to use it and I don't want it attached to the games I want to play like some bad virus. If I wanted to use Steam I would have went out of my way to download it individually, basically all Steam does is deny anybody who doesn't have the Internet. I don't actually own an Internet connection, luckily I have nice neighbours, if I didn't have nice neighbours, how would I be able to play Steam required games?

Also, why does Steam have to be a requirement? Does it add anything special to the gameplay? Let me rephrase that. Does it add anything I want to the gameplay? And if I don't like the chatrooms and online statistics, why can't I turn them off?

The xBox 360, the PS3, generally all modern consoles. You can purchase games for the consoles and then choose if you want to go online or not, why should the PC be any different? Why does Valve think it has the right to force me into online play? If Microsoft or Sony wanted to force people to go online to play any of their console games their brand would die out faster than an underwater fire.

Generally, I don't have a problem with Valve, they've gave me some good games. I don't really have that big a deal with Steam either if I'm perfectly honest, it's just xBox Live for the PC. My problem is that it is forced upon my laptop, it is forced upon my game and that without it my game would be useless.
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