raVen wrote on Mar 9, 2010, 01:29:
- No more damn patches. I'm always up to date.
First, third-party games on Steam aren't always up-to-date. Sometimes the patches are late or in a few cases they don't appear at all. Stalker and Arx Fatalis are examples. Second, the way that Steam implements automatic patching eliminates choice and is too restrictive. You can't rollback a patch if it breaks your game or you discover that you otherwise don't want the patch. That has even happened with Valve's own games like L4D and TF2 on occasion where a patch broke the game until the next one arrived. Steam's automatic patching also reverts modified game files whether you want that done or not because it offers no selective control over file replacement. It's an irreversible all-or-nothing implementation.
- One login for many games.
This is Steam's biggest weakness as it is a single point of failure. Steam is one big killswitch for all of your games. So, when Steam fails or you lose access to your account, you don't just lose one game, you lose all of them. No other major DRM system is so restrictive in that regard.
- I don't even have to be online after installing. (Offline Mode)
Offline mode has limits to it which should be apparent to people who have multiple Steam accounts or who share their PC with others. Offline mode has also been historically unreliable although Valve has claimed to have finally fixed offline mode in two recent updates. Valve didn't explain what those fixes were though so who knows if offline mode will now work more reliably.
- I have to log in to be able to go into offline mode.
which defeats the purpose of offline mode since sometimes you can't login first.
- Friends lists, server lists, tons of other social stuff and free.
Xfire, Gamespy Comrade, etc. have offered these same features for years. In addition, these third-party services have much broader server lists because Steam's list is only for Steamworks games. Steam's community features are nice for those who want them, but unlike third-party solutions which are optional these features are included in the Steam client whether one wants them or not.
- Heavy use - Launch titles HL2 basically took Steam down for days. I haven't seen anything as bad since, they have learned some good lessons.
Steam still regularly fails for some at every major game launch. HL2 was hardly the last time it happened.
The real problem with your list though is that you are confusing the benefits of Steam as a game service with its DRM and restrictive policies when the two aren't mutually inclusive by necessity. It's like saying that Valve can only give you a lollipop if it also cuts off your arm. Steam DRM doesn't have to be so restrictive for the service to offer unlimited downloads. Having restrictive DRM isn't necessary for Steam to offer community and chat features. Even the Steam client could be made optional and separate from the DRM. Steam's DRM doesn't have to be a universal killswitch for all its games just so it can offer some unrelated beneficial features.This comment was edited on Mar 9, 2010, 02:28.