Another Reason to love Valve, DRM related.

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Boss Llama
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Post by Boss Llama » Sun Dec 07, 2008 6:49 pm

An interesting thing that goes through my head, as I read this thread, is that when Steam came out, it was considered quite draconian. PC Gamer ran an article comparing it to have a mob hitman standing over you, threatening to break your knee caps if you tried anything with your game that they didn't like.

The idea that you can't play a single player game that has no internet functionality without logging on to their network and getting permission, despite having purchased it in full, is horrifying. Me? I hate Steam with a passion, and see almost no difference between it and EA Download Manager, except for the fact that the company behind Steam has proven so far not to be evil.

If Steam were something only required for the multiplayer games, and was optional as a method of getting updates or registering for single player ones, I would have no issue. I very nearly did not buy any of the HL2 series of games, due to the presence of Steam. It's only because of the strength of the product hidden behind it that I eventually broke and allowed it on my computer.

Having volunteered online with Verant Interactive before, during, and after their takeover by Sony Online Entertainment, I know that a user-friendly game can turn in to a horror very quickly. So long as Valve remains Valve, it seems like we'll be safe, but let's not forget that Steam is also a DRM scheme which, for all its other functionalities, prevents you from using software you own unless you follow an idiotic procedure over which you have no control.
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Post by Plinko » Mon Dec 08, 2008 2:54 pm

[quote="Alizée Fan";p="138684"]
The idea that you can't play a single player game that has no internet functionality without logging on to their network and getting permission, despite having purchased it in full, is horrifying. [/quote]

Aside from the occasional bug where steam thinks it needs an update and won't let you start in offline mode until it runs through the update check by connecting to the steam servers, when is it you can't play steam games offline?

I only buy games on Steam now and spend lots of time playing offline single-player games. I also have the ability to install the game on any machine I want and play it whenever I want. My parents' home for a week? Install steam, login and download any of my games I wish to play. Working overseas with my laptop for a few weeks? Load up Steam and play Peggle Deluxe whenever I'm bored.

I personally prefer a relatively transparent process like Steam to a shadow one like SecuROM. I know what its doing and why, I know how to uninstall it.

But the real reason I am not bothered by Steam is - whats more likely to happen first:

1. Any of the following:
I damage a disc to uselessness
I reformat/buy a new PC more times than my license allows
I install hardware or software that causes future conflicts with the DRM of software I own.
I own a computer unable to use my old discs for some reason (obsolescence or OS incompatibility perhaps).

Or:
2. Valve shutters steam without unlocking it or sells it to/is acquired by someone who abuses it into a nasty instrusive headache machine.

I think scenario 1 is much more likely to happen first, so I prefer Steam, but everyone has to make that decision for themselves.
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Post by MasterChef » Tue Dec 09, 2008 7:05 am

I've actually grown to like Steam. I'd rather have a username and password that I have control over than some sort of securom stuff.

It's annoying that EA makes everyone out to be a pirate and has made things harder for legit customers to play their games.
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Post by Trinith » Tue Dec 09, 2008 4:41 pm

[quote="Rits";p="138674"]Can't.....stop.....staring at the paws! :shock:[/quote]

I'll give ya something else to stare at!

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;)

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Post by CastleDoctrine » Tue Dec 09, 2008 4:51 pm

[quote="Trinith";p="139296"][quote="Rits";p="138674"]Can't.....stop.....staring at the paws! :shock:[/quote]

I'll give ya something else to stare at!

ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

;)[/quote]Image Image

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Post by mr_s » Tue Dec 09, 2008 7:08 pm

[quote="Araris";p="138542"]
"It is also pretty clear that most DRM is not a problem for the pirates, just for the legitimate consumers. These two factors combine to make a ton of bad feelings on the consumer side."

What the industry has to understand is that gamers have the upper hand, as they can simply go to the torrents for a free version of each game that includes no DRM. Until publishers do more to welcome their legitimate customers as friends instead of treating them as potential pirates, piracy will continue to eat at profits and morale."
[/quote]


so so so true araris



[quote="Araris";p="138614"]
Mass Effect (3 limits)
Crysis Warhead (5 limits)
Spore (3 limits)
GTA4 (doesn't limit your installation # however)

Those are the games I know of that currently enact SecuRom on your PC.
[/quote]


wtf?!?

I got crysis and mass effect waiting to be played....


after seeing this, im marching to my local shop and geting my money back


[quote="Rits";p="138630"]
I know a lot of EA games do this now. I just think it's utterly stupid.
[/quote]

:clap: well said


[quote="Shifty";p="138642"]

I think one day Steam will be standard software that comes (or is required) with every PC game in the world. It's already going that direction, and it just makes sense. Thats what PCs need to combat piracy.

Its not like the XBOX 360 is not pirated, I know many people who have hacked their XBOX and only play pirated games. The only reason that the majority of people don't do it is because it renders games they do buy and want full functionality out of useless. Whereas on the PC, you can pirate one game (without modifying your system) and it will not have repercussions on games you do buy (and play online) legally.
[/quote]


:clap: another well stated post

also, i think you think too much

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Re: Another Reason to love Valve, DRM related.

Post by Bakuryu » Wed Dec 10, 2008 2:54 pm

All four of those DRM games mentioned aren't really that spectacular either. Instead of GTA IV, get Saint's Row 2, it has a more GTA-esque feel to it than 4 does, which tries WAY too hard to be realistic, especially with regard to driving. Spore...well Spore ate it and I returned it, the game is almost 0 fun after the creature stage.

As for DRM itself...totally pointless. Instead of trying to have a one-up on pirates, developers will always remain behind because they are trying to do two jobs at the same time: produce a game and protect it from piracy. People who produce pirated rips and torrents do one thing: make pirated copies and rips, and they do it quite well. I suppose Steam is one type of way which developers can keep track of their products and fight piracy, but I find it to be particularly obnoxious, as it conflicts with several programs I run (antivirus, vent, etc.). If they honestly want to prevent piracy, they should find a way to stop torrenting, though that seems highly unlikely and unwieldy, especially considering that torrents are free to set up and torrent sites cost very little, the amount of money needed to launch a full investigation would be far more detrimental to companies than torrent site owners. It happened before with Napster, then Limewire, then direct P2P Sharing - each time they pursue one medium for piracy, another sprouts to take its place. It's a shame that consumers have to suffer so much because of it though.
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Re: Another Reason to love Valve, DRM related.

Post by Yahoo!! » Wed Dec 10, 2008 3:21 pm

Ok, I am going to weigh in.

The problems with Steam

-no resale value, at all. None, zip, nada. You buy a game, it is with you for the life of the account. Hell, they even consider selling the account to be illegal.
-The day steam dies will be incredible. Steam will have to go on into perpetuity or risk enraging lots of gamers. Some people probably have over a $1000 worth of games sitting one account.
-Steam now can strangle some developers. If you want to reach a large audience, you might be forced to go through steam.
-Installation, changing directories or even transferring a game from one account to another is darn near impossible. I hate to say this, but this is the one that cuts deep for me.
-This might not seem important to us, because of our high and mighty security systems, but steam accounts are lot easier to hack than the actual computer. Once a steam account is even remotely considered hacked, the account is shutdown and terminated.
-Risk that valve sells the steam product for some reason (imagine if they sold it to EA) and steam is radically altered. I am now at the mercy of their changes.
-Steam is suddenly updated and is now dysfunctional. I cannot play my games until I login to steam properly? Now I have to make sure both steam and the game work?

Essentially, steam feels like extortion. I cannot circumvent steam and I can never play a game without installing steam. I am trapped by steam and now beholden to steam to play. Steam is DRM, don't let it fool you. If steam is the future, then I am afraid of the consequences.

What happens if valve is competing against a new shooter being developed, with better functionality and gameplay than half-life 3. Steam is now the only conduit to sell games. The CD has been banished to obsolescence and other download mechanisms have been crushed beneath the heel of the ever powerful steam. Well all Valve has to do is deny that new game access to steam and they crush their competitor. This is monopolistic and I am afraid of the power steam is gathering. Steam is now stifling innovation and creativity.

Securom might be annoying, but with a hard copy you have resale value. I can put the game up on ebay or a garage sale. I can install it in one place, and if I suddenly don't want it there, I can easily reinstall it in another place. Yes, it might use up installs, but at least I have the option to do so, in comparison to the stranglehold that steam has.

I only hate the hidden part of the securom (it should say on the box the exact details of the security software being used and where it is being used) and some of the installation limits.

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Re: Another Reason to love Valve, DRM related.

Post by Stevo » Wed Dec 10, 2008 3:47 pm

When Steam goes down, it should be possible for them to release a patch that removes it's reliability on the master servers. I don't foresee Steam going away any time soon.

Developers may be forced to use Steam to reach larger audiences, but that doesn't mean they can't also release standalone versions.

It is also easy to reinstall Steam anywhere, any time, and as many times as you want. You can even skip the download step if you backup the steamapps directory. Transferring between accounts shouldn't be necessary.

Account security is only as weak as it's password. If you have a strong password and never give it away, it will be safe.

Anyway, Steam gives us automatic updates, anti-cheat, the ability to ban people from servers, an integrated friends list, among other nice features.

Steam can also be easily removed from your system, unlike other DRM software...


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Post by YevGenie » Wed Dec 10, 2008 4:14 pm

I don't really know much about the DRM issue, but as a computer illiterate idiot, I kind of like Steam. It makes it easy for me to download games and I like that it gives updates and such.

I dislike that sometimes i feel like I am paying for the right to Beta-Test games, such as like what happened with GTA IV. i DL'd it, wanted to play it, but it was FUBAR for the 1st day and a half until gamers created workarounds.

Other than that though, its not terrible. *shrug*
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Post by l3eeron » Wed Dec 10, 2008 4:15 pm

I wasn't happy about steam at first...

I liked being able to update my games when I wanted to. AUto updates were annoying as hell at first. But, now that I'm used to it it works good, and I'm happy with it.

I have faith that valve will never leave without making the games playable in some kind of off-line or stand alone mode.

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Post by dredfox » Wed Dec 10, 2008 6:46 pm

[quote="l3eeron";p="139564"]I wasn't happy about steam at first...
I have faith that valve will never leave without making the games playable in some kind of off-line or stand alone mode.[/quote]

If things get bad suddenly for Valve they may not have time to code a fix. Also, 3rd party games would require consent from their developers to release from Steam. I believe that if Valve should go under, the games we have paid for will evaporate until private developers crack Steam. Most likely a disgruntled former developer would do this after Valve closes down. And without Valve, who would complain?

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Post by Cpt. Winky » Wed Dec 10, 2008 7:30 pm

ironically enough, the game with the worst DRM (Spore), is now the most pirated game on the internet. coincidence? I think not...
Last edited by Cpt. Winky on Wed Dec 10, 2008 8:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Another Reason to love Valve, DRM related.

Post by Stevo » Wed Dec 10, 2008 7:49 pm

People are already able to play without Steam on cracked servers, so if Valve doesn't do it, someone will...

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