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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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48. Re: Valve: Steam Offline Mode Nov 7, 2013, 12:58 Verno
 
I'm not going offline for 30 days to test it but I'm sure someone will  
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Playing: Dragon Age Inquisition, Far Cry 4, This War of Mine
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47. Re: Valve: Steam Offline Mode Nov 6, 2013, 15:10 Creston
 
Btw, apparently this has now been fixed.

EDITED Nov 4 2013 – holy thread necro. Looks like Kotaku decided to link to this post from six months ago, and every game blog has copy-pasted it. The “two week” timeout issue has been fixed for months now, along with several other bugs. We’re still working on improvements, and you might catch them if you read the patch notes carefully, but we don’t bother to post on the forums every time we fix something (maybe out of fear that it will get posted as front-page news six months later?).

Also funny how kotaku and everyone else apparently stole the news from Blue, as it wasn't linked anywhere I checked until Blue had posted it, yet I see no "thanks bluesnews" anywhere. (actually, PC Gamer thanked Blue.)

This comment was edited on Nov 6, 2013, 15:53.
 
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46. Re: Valve: Steam Offline Mode Nov 4, 2013, 19:25 wtf_man
 
Verno wrote on Nov 4, 2013, 10:14:
Offline mode works just fine for me, I don't regularly go without internet for 30 days consecutively and that sounds more like people pissing and moaning for the sake of it.

My gaming rig is a pure gaming rig. no other software. no anti-virus. nothing. It has no reason to go on the internet other than game purchases, updates (if I wish to), or playing an MMO once in a while.

So, since most of my games are single player... it can go for very long periods of time without needing to connect to the internet.

That doesn't mean I personally go with out the internet... I have other machines and devices for that.
 
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45. Re: Valve: Steam Offline Mode Nov 4, 2013, 10:14 Verno
 
Offline mode works just fine for me, I don't regularly go without internet for 30 days consecutively and that sounds more like people pissing and moaning for the sake of it.  
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Playing: Dragon Age Inquisition, Far Cry 4, This War of Mine
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44. Re: Valve: Steam Offline Mode Nov 4, 2013, 09:10 Mad Max RW
 
Seems like a whole lot of complaining for nothing. You still need an internet connection to purchase and download on Steam. I haven't walked into a Gamestop/EB in 10 years.

I guess my only concern is if in 20 years Valve goes out of business and the Steam database is wiped. Although by then internet speeds will be so damn fast I should be able to find and download all of my games in seconds.
 
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43. Re: Valve: Steam Offline Mode Nov 3, 2013, 10:01 Redmask
 
Suppa7 wrote on Nov 3, 2013, 01:51:
Yo dumbass you can only go into offline mode if your token is reset. If you haven't logged on to steam for a while it requires logon. You can go into 'offline mode' when your token is up to date, but when it gets out-dated it forces you online.

Yo dumbass, is that the magical 30 day timer you provided no source for and its subsequent token? As the article says it's a bug.

I can go into offline mode without being online as I said already.
 
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42. Re: Valve: Steam Offline Mode Nov 3, 2013, 08:29 Harlequin
 
You people whining about Steam.. seriously? When you use steam it makes no secret how it works and it collects anonymous data. This is like like buying a car then acting surprised and whining that you need to keep putting gas in it. As for all the hoppla about it collecting your usage data. SO WHAT? Does it effect you or compromise any personal identifying data about you? No. It seems like you people just finding a reason to complain. You don't want to be tracked using a service on the internet, then stop using the internet. Simple. Otherwise your ISP, email provider, NSA and plethora of other services and agencies are tracking your activity.. as you read this. Otherwise accept the fact its how it works, enjoy the simplicity and convenience of Steam and deal without all the artificial angst and drama.  
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41. Re: Valve: Steam Offline Mode Nov 3, 2013, 01:51 Suppa7
 
Redmask wrote on Nov 3, 2013, 00:08:
wtf_man wrote on Nov 2, 2013, 11:58:
Correct.

You have to be online in order to switch to offline mode.

No you don't, pull your ethernet sometime to test it.

Yo dumbass you can only go into offline mode if your token is reset. If you haven't logged on to steam for a while it requires logon. You can go into 'offline mode' when your token is up to date, but when it gets out-dated it forces you online.
 
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40. Re: Valve: Steam Offline Mode Nov 3, 2013, 00:08 Redmask
 
wtf_man wrote on Nov 2, 2013, 11:58:
Correct.

You have to be online in order to switch to offline mode.

No you don't, pull your ethernet sometime to test it.
 
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39. Re: Valve: Steam Offline Mode Nov 2, 2013, 18:02 Creston
 
entr0py wrote on Nov 2, 2013, 02:21:
That's a "bug" which, as far as I know, has been around since the beginning of steam. If it's unintentional, we can still be confident it's not going to be fixed. So it's a moot point.

Of course it's been around since the beginning of Steam, because the bug is the old authentication system. As for whether it'll get fixed, well, I guess we'll see when they finally update everything.

But what's a bigger issue than the required periodic check-in is that you must be online in order to activate Steam's offline mode.

Not true. It did for awhile, because back then it was actually broken (the steamui.cfg file would get corrupted on shutdown.)

Right now, I can turn off Steam, disable my internet adapter, turn on Steam, it'll say it can't find an internet connection after a minute or so, and ask if I want to retry or go offline. Click go offline and voila, you're in offline mode.

wtf_man wrote on Nov 2, 2013, 11:58:
Correct.

You have to be online in order to switch to offline mode.

No, you do not.

 
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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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37. Re: Valve: Steam Offline Mode Nov 2, 2013, 11:58 wtf_man
 
Overon wrote on Nov 2, 2013, 10:00:
Hold on everyone. Hasn't this going online requirement to go offline been like this for years and now they are saying it's not working as intended and you shouldn't have to periodically go online so you can go offline? What?

Correct.

You have to be online in order to switch to offline mode.

After going into offline mode, I run with my Wireless adapter turned off. Whenever I boot the machine... a dialog comes up asking if I want to start in offline mode, and I click yes. An ofline-mode steam icon sits in the tray, and I can launch my steam games.

Around 30 days later, when I boot the machine, the dialog no longer comes up. There is no offline-mode steam icon in the system tray. If I launch a steam game a dialog pops up saying steam is not running. I turn on the wireless adapter, launch steam have it re-launch in offline mode, turn off my wireless adapter, then I have another 30 days.

They are saying that its a bug and offline mode should be indefinite.
 
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36. Re: Valve: Steam Offline Mode Nov 2, 2013, 10:00 Overon
 
Hold on everyone. Hasn't this going online requirement to go offline been like this for years and now they are saying it's not working as intended and you shouldn't have to periodically go online so you can go offline? What?  
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35. Re: Valve: Steam Offline Mode Nov 2, 2013, 09:59 Dades
 
Suppa7 wrote on Nov 1, 2013, 22:41:
Bubicus wrote on Nov 1, 2013, 22:01:
I think it has always been a bug in Steam,

No it's them PR'ing covering their ass. It has a specific month timer, if you don't login to steam for a month you can't go into offline mode.

Please provide documented evidence of said timer. Every example found on the internet would be 30 days then instead of the variable responses found. Why would they PR in an obscure forum post? You just aren't rational.

- DADES - This is a signature of my name, enjoy!
 
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34. Re: Valve: Steam Offline Mode Nov 2, 2013, 05:28 Sepharo
 
Esoteric wrote on Nov 2, 2013, 04:34:
I've gone months in offline mode before with no problem whatsoever. Sorry some of you are having troubles, but it's not a conspiracy.

Lies. Didn't you see what Suppa7 said? He knows.
 
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33. Re: Valve: Steam Offline Mode Nov 2, 2013, 04:34 Esoteric
 
I've gone months in offline mode before with no problem whatsoever. Sorry some of you are having troubles, but it's not a conspiracy.  
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32. Re: Valve: Steam Offline Mode Nov 2, 2013, 04:08 Wesp5
 
I bet Valve comes out with this "bug" now, because of the discussions with the Xbox One going online periodically! Steam did this all the time already, but people would have noticed it with their Steamboxes sooner or later too and would have complained. Also as far as I remember there was a connected bug that online mode would turn itself on again sometimes that hasn't been fixed for years either!  
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31. Re: Valve: Steam Offline Mode Nov 2, 2013, 02:38 Suppa7
 
entr0py wrote on Nov 2, 2013, 02:21:
That's a "bug" which, as far as I know, has been around since the beginning of steam. If it's unintentional, we can still be confident it's not going to be fixed.

The great irony is steam was just updated. They added a cubic fuck-tonne to steam over the years yet missed that 'one bug' yeah right.
 
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30. Re: Valve: Steam Offline Mode Nov 2, 2013, 02:25 Mashiki Amiketo
 
Optional Nickname! wrote on Nov 1, 2013, 23:58:

Yes, the ad hominum attack was warranted, if you don't think so just read the entire Steam TOS.
Well...no it doesn't. See, you just happen to live in a place where a ToS is binding, the rest of the world it doesn't matter. To us, it's not. And following with that, the best option for you is to change the laws to protect consumers like the rest of the world has.

And if you want to see "skimming off developers" go check dlsite.com(some content adult), and get back to me after you see the 55% "skimming."
 
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there is a neat, simple solution;
and it is always wrong."
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29. Re: Valve: Steam Offline Mode Nov 2, 2013, 02:21 entr0py
 
That's a "bug" which, as far as I know, has been around since the beginning of steam. If it's unintentional, we can still be confident it's not going to be fixed. So it's a moot point.

But what's a bigger issue than the required periodic check-in is that you must be online in order to activate Steam's offline mode. This is absolutely by design, and makes the offline mode useless unless you plan to lose your internet connection and have the foresight to switch modes.

Seriously, I don't know of another digital distribution platform with these problems. Downloaded single player console games work when you go unexpectedly offline, and so did GFWL games. I bet even Origin still lets you play your games if you go offline without warning.

EDIT: I just did a little test by pulling the network cable then restarting and trying Origin. It goes right into offline mode, and Battlefield 4 single player still works.

This comment was edited on Nov 2, 2013, 02:45.
 
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