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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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28. Re: Valve: Steam Offline Mode Nov 2, 2013, 01:37 jdreyer
 
Suppa7 wrote on Nov 1, 2013, 22:41:
I know because I've encountered it. It's WAY TOO specific to be a bug, it's a DRM feature to ensure that gabe can monitor your playtime when you play offline games. Steam collects this data (by the way you don't get a choice, any time you connect to steam they know when you're playing the game... it's trivially easy to track you).

Since most people are tech illiterate there's all sorts of easy ways to track you without your knowledge that would never be obvious if anyone looked over the steam packets or steam code. The same way it can be done on the internet.

I don't think it's true that Valve tracks your playtime offline.

1. There are lots of people that hate DRM in general and a few that hate Steam specifically. If Valve was surreptitiously monitoring your playtime offline and sending it to Valve, people would have discovered that already and it would have been reported.

2. Offline mode doesn't accumulate your play time. Each time you restart Steam offline, that play time is reset to 0.
 
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27. Re: Valve: Steam Offline Mode Nov 2, 2013, 01:35 Sepharo
 
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.

It's all part of a conspiracy Suppa7. Gabe is lying and so is anyone else who doesn't have an issue with it. It's a hard 30 day count despite any claims otherwise. I know this because I saw it on my computer.
 
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26. Re: Valve: Steam Offline Mode Nov 2, 2013, 01:13 Clancy
 
wtf_man wrote on Nov 1, 2013, 20:43:
Well... I'll believe it when I see the fix.

In the meantime, having to logon every 30 days or so, still pisses me off.
30 days? Your lucky.
It happens every 10 days or so for me, and yes, I report it, and they throw back a canned response with worthless "trouble shooting".
Nothing in my system changes, except driver updates, and OS patches.
 
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25. Re: Valve: Steam Offline Mode Nov 2, 2013, 01:11 Suppa7
 
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.

This comment was edited on Nov 2, 2013, 01:17.
 
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24. Re: Valve: Steam Offline Mode Nov 2, 2013, 01:03 jimnms
 
Suppa7 wrote on Nov 1, 2013, 23:44:
Slashman wrote on Nov 1, 2013, 23:36:
Suppa7 wrote on Nov 1, 2013, 22:41:
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.

I know because I've encountered it. It's WAY TOO specific to be a bug, it's a DRM feature to ensure that gabe can monitor your playtime when you play offline games.

So why doesn't everyone get it?

Because most people don't ever shut off their computers for a month and try to play a game. You have to try to play a game in offline mode without ever once opening steam while you had internet. If you once opened steam while connected to the net, steam resets the timer.

It's not like it matters too much with cracks, but still it's just more evidence steamware is crapware. There is no reason you shouldn't ever be able to play LAN games without an internet connection for instance. Steamworks prevents that because it is DRM.

** I should note it doesn't apply to all games, but 90% of games on steam where the developer chose deep steamworks integration. Any game that won't start without logging into steam (which is quite a bit).

My second PC had Steam offline for 3 months or more without ever asking to connect, and like I said in my previous post, it's blocked from accessing the internet through the firewall to prevent my niece from accidentally going online.

I've been to QuakeCon three times and set Steam to offline before going. They do have an Internet connection at the BYOC, but Steam doesn't work when you have 3000+ people trying to connect from the same external IP address. If you don't set Steam offline before shutting your system down and packing it up, you're SOL unless you have a phone you can tether to it, or find someone there that will let you use theirs. I played TF2, L4D and many other games on the LAN with Steam offline.

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.
 
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23. Re: Valve: Steam Offline Mode Nov 2, 2013, 00:44 jimnms
 
Frijoles wrote on Nov 1, 2013, 20:38:
jimnms wrote on Nov 1, 2013, 20:00:
I had to set a firewall rule to block Steam so she wouldn't accidentally click to go online and knock me off.

Wonder if the Family Sharing thing will fix this completely for you, since you could both be online.. I think. I haven't gotten in to the beta yet.

I'm hoping that's the case. I'll have to create another Steam account though, but I've been thinking of creating one for her and activating these extra keys from bundles that I have. A lot of the games she plays are from bundles, so I just installed the DRM free versions of those, but there are some games that require Steam.
 
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22. Re: Valve: Steam Offline Mode Nov 2, 2013, 00:21 Creston
 
Prez wrote on Nov 1, 2013, 19:43:
If they actually fix it finally that will be AWESOME, but what in the name of Superman took so friggin' long?!

The way he explains it, it's all the old games that are causing it. Once every game will have been switched over to their new authentication system, the issue should go away.

I have noticed, in the last year or so, that all my games start WAAAAAY faster than they used to. It would be I could sit there and watch the "preparing to launch game XYZ" for minutes on end. Now it'll do that for at most five seconds or so. *knocks on wood 3 billion times*

Would seem to be a new authentication system.
 
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21. Re: Valve: Steam Offline Mode Nov 1, 2013, 23:58 Optional Nickname!
 
The Steam Client Service has Administrator Privileges 'by design'. So Steam can also more easily bypass most (if any) users attempts to limit administrator privileges of games. Motivated by 'UAC convenience' considerations or not. Check your PCs services right now to see if you have it installed.

This level of insistence by Steam to install admin services, monopolize platforms, skim more than their fair share from developers, and to absolutely and without apology prevent a true offline mode makes Gabe Baron Vladimir Harkonnen Newell's ever widening ass a deep and stinky chasm from which Half-Life 3 will never emerge.

Yes, the ad hominum attack was warranted, if you don't think so just read the entire Steam TOS.
 
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20. Re: Valve: Steam Offline Mode Nov 1, 2013, 23:54 Cutter
 
From the thread....

"I found this somewhere in the forums:

yes all you have to do is go to C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam when you are in steam then click your right mouse button and new text document when you are there you'll paste this

BootStrapperInhibitAll=enable
ForceOfflineMode=enable

be sure to name that text document steam.cfg

hope it helps you atleast it works for me

I can confirm it works. Test it first to avoid issues (just in case).
If you keep that steam.cfg in your steam installation directory then steam will always log in automatically in offline mode. If you remove/rename that file Steam will show login box. "

 
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19. Re: Valve: Steam Offline Mode Nov 1, 2013, 23:44 Suppa7
 
Slashman wrote on Nov 1, 2013, 23:36:
Suppa7 wrote on Nov 1, 2013, 22:41:
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.

I know because I've encountered it. It's WAY TOO specific to be a bug, it's a DRM feature to ensure that gabe can monitor your playtime when you play offline games.

So why doesn't everyone get it?

Because most people don't ever shut off their computers for a month and try to play a game. You have to try to play a game in offline mode without ever once opening steam while you had internet. If you once opened steam while connected to the net, steam resets the timer.

It's not like it matters too much with cracks, but still it's just more evidence steamware is crapware. There is no reason you shouldn't ever be able to play LAN games without an internet connection for instance. Steamworks prevents that because it is DRM.

** I should note it doesn't apply to all games, but 90% of games on steam where the developer chose deep steamworks integration. Any game that won't start without logging into steam (which is quite a bit).

This comment was edited on Nov 1, 2013, 23:56.
 
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18. Re: Valve: Steam Offline Mode Nov 1, 2013, 23:36 Slashman
 
Suppa7 wrote on Nov 1, 2013, 22:41:
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.

I know because I've encountered it. It's WAY TOO specific to be a bug, it's a DRM feature to ensure that gabe can monitor your playtime when you play offline games.

So why doesn't everyone get it?
 
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17. Re: Valve: Steam Offline Mode Nov 1, 2013, 23:24 Ladron3dfx
 
All your game belong to Gaben. Wink  
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Steamworks
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16. Re: Valve: Steam Offline Mode Nov 1, 2013, 23:06 Mashiki Amiketo
 
jdreyer wrote on Nov 1, 2013, 21:17:

That's interesting. I took my game machine offline for the summer, and it lost the login after a month.
Very. It seems to be strongly hit or miss, though I do know there are ini edits you can do to hard-force steam to stay offline no matter what, I didn't use them on the laptop.
 
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and it is always wrong."
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15. Re: Valve: Steam Offline Mode Nov 1, 2013, 22:41 Suppa7
 
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.

I know because I've encountered it. It's WAY TOO specific to be a bug, it's a DRM feature to ensure that gabe can monitor your playtime when you play offline games. Steam collects this data (by the way you don't get a choice, any time you connect to steam they know when you're playing the game... it's trivially easy to track you).

Since most people are tech illiterate there's all sorts of easy ways to track you without your knowledge that would never be obvious if anyone looked over the steam packets or steam code. The same way it can be done on the internet.

If they were serious they'd release a 'de-steamworks' tool so that you could play "cloud games" (multiplayer) without steam. Supreme commander 2 and other steamworks games could be used over lan if the did something like that instead of being locked down to needing steam to play it multiplayer.

Gabe is a disgusting fucking hypocrit.
 
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14. Re: Valve: Steam Offline Mode Nov 1, 2013, 22:01 Bubicus
 
I think it has always been a bug in Steam, since some people have problems and some people don't. I have never experienced problems with my games in offline mode in nine years of Steam play. Airplane, train, boat, driving across long stretches of highway... never a problem. I've even been living on a island in the Pacific for the past year, where I don't even have Internet all the time, and I play without problems.  
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13. Re: Valve: Steam Offline Mode Nov 1, 2013, 21:17 jdreyer
 
Mashiki Amiketo wrote on Nov 1, 2013, 21:04:
The laptop that I use while traveling hasn't had steam online since febuary of this year. I still play games and it doesn't scream at me, though it sometimes flakes out with my PC.

That's interesting. I took my game machine offline for the summer, and it lost the login after a month.
 
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12. Re: Valve: Steam Offline Mode Nov 1, 2013, 21:04 Mashiki Amiketo
 
wtf_man wrote on Nov 1, 2013, 20:43:
Well... I'll believe it when I see the fix.

In the meantime, having to logon every 30 days or so, still pisses me off.
The laptop that I use while traveling hasn't had steam online since febuary of this year. I still play games and it doesn't scream at me, though it sometimes flakes out with my PC.
 
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there is a neat, simple solution;
and it is always wrong."
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11. Re: Valve: Steam Offline Mode Nov 1, 2013, 21:04 SS
 
I'm lucky, I've been offline for months now and been able to play heaps of games without a problem.  
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10. Re: Valve: Steam Offline Mode Nov 1, 2013, 20:43 wtf_man
 
Well... I'll believe it when I see the fix.

In the meantime, having to logon every 30 days or so, still pisses me off.
 
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9. Re: Valve: Steam Offline Mode Nov 1, 2013, 20:38 Frijoles
 
jimnms wrote on Nov 1, 2013, 20:00:
I had to set a firewall rule to block Steam so she wouldn't accidentally click to go online and knock me off.

Wonder if the Family Sharing thing will fix this completely for you, since you could both be online.. I think. I haven't gotten in to the beta yet.
 
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48 Replies. 3 pages. Viewing page 2.
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