Ok so if my brother comes over, installs HL2 off of the 5 cd's, logs himself into Steam - will we be able to play it right away? Isnt there another "check" that it has to do that takes like 15min or something?
From what I understand, the game on the CD comes in an encrypted form, so once you install it it will connect to Steam, validate your package(s) and then unlock the game. Folks have reported that this takes 5-15 minutes.
Also theorhetically, from what I have read can't someone who bought an online package (IE Bronze) and went to a friends house - logged in - downloaded the game - then set it to play in "offline mode" - spread the game around to as many people as he wanted? (The single player portion atleast).
I don't konw about this. I'd assume that Valve has gone through the trouble of encypting the data and requiring online validation to prevent exactly that type of scenario.