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Valve: Steam Offline Mode "Designed to be Indefinite"

A response from Valve to a thread about offline mode on Steam indicates that the way offline mode currently requires users to go online periodically to allow them to play their Steam games without being connected to the Internet is a bug, and not working as intended. He does not offer a timeframe for when this might be fixed, but clearly states the requirement to go online once your game is authenticated is a "bug" (thanks Creston). Here's word:

This is not actually true - Offline Mode is designed to be indefinite. You can't access any of Steam's online features such as friends lists or saved game synchronization, of course, but the client should allow you to run in Offline Mode for as long as you like.

That said, there are many components involved in Offline Mode, and some of them have known issues and bugs which we are continually working to improve. We're aware that it doesn't always work as flawlessly as we want it to, but please keep reporting bugs with Offline Mode. It is not broken 'by design'.

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38. Re: Valve: Steam Offline Mode Nov 2, 2013, 17:57 jimnms
 
Suppa7 wrote on Nov 2, 2013, 01:11:
jimnms wrote on Nov 2, 2013, 01:03:
At home I've played Portal 2 and Civ V on the LAN using the same account with one client set offline, and both of those use Steamworks for MP. After going offline, you have to go in the Settings/Friends and change the profile name to something different.

I'm sorry but you are misremembering, people don't complain about non-existent problems. You connected to the internet at some point and didn't have those boxes off for 3 months. Or some of those games do not have the forced internet login option turned on in steamworks. I can post screenshots if you wan't. I took screenshots when it happened for people like you who claim steam isn't DRM and doesn't lock out games.

I'm not misremembering anything. I set a firewall rule on the 2nd PC to block Steam from accessing the internet so my niece won't accidentally go online, which would knock me offline. Steam has stayed offline for months and never once forced me to go online. The only time that PC is turned on is when she comes over and plays a game on it. It stays off for weeks at a time, sometimes over a month.

I can play games on a LAN just fine with Steam offline. The QuakeCon BYOC LAN party lasts 4 days, and very few people had a problem. Those that did have a problem either forgot to set it to offline mode before packing up or tried to go online with it, which won't work.

Offline Steam also works without manually setting it offline, though if you know you're going to be offline for a while it's best to set it offline manually. Last year when hurricane Issac hit, I lost power for a couple of days, but I was without internet for a week. I didn't set Steam offline because I live far enough inland that we didn't expect more than a lot of rain. I didn't have any trouble with Steam or any Steam games during that time.

No one is saying Steam isn't DRM, although not every game on Steam uses Steam's DRM. There are a lot of DRM free games sold on Steam that you can run without Steam by launching the game's .exe.

I also never said Steam didn't have problems with offline mode before. I pointed out that one time they did introduce a bug that broke offline mode completely and took their sweet time fixing it too. That was a year or more ago, and I haven't had any recent problems with it on any of my systems.

Your conspiracy that Steam is spying on you when set offline is false. The firewall logs connection attempts by blocked programs, and I see no attempt by Steam to connect since it has been offline on the 2nd PC. You don't get achievements when offline, and any game time played while offline isn't recorded to your account when you go back online.
 
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