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Half-Life's Steamy Future

A post on Planet Half-Life (thanks Frans) reproduces some quotes from Valve's Erik Johnson posted to a Steam forum thread discussing the role of Steam in the future of Half-Life. Here are the excerpts:
There will no longer be a WonID system, it will be replaced by the SteamID system.

When we convert the userbase to Steam, a single WonID will be valid for all of the products.

If you're purchased a product from us at retail, you're going to have access to all of our products via Steam.

No, you do not have to pay for Steam.

That is correct, you'll have to have Steam installed to play the most current version of Half-Life.
178 Replies. 9 pages. Viewing page 1.
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178. Re: My problem... Sep 14, 2003, 17:12 Nexus
#173 -That's not what I said at all. I said that lacking control was like a Mac.

Certainly in the beta version that I tried, there was no place in the program in which you could specify the download location. Meanwhile, back at the farm, I realise that most people know a SCSI drive is faster, but perhaps not why I might have objections to having huge cache files clogging up one disk and not another.

It would help if you could read english and weren't an prick.

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177. Re: No subject Sep 14, 2003, 17:11 quazz
I am just surprised Microsoft hasn't added it to Windows's yet!

errr... M$ did that with winXP (home edition). It's just very easy to counter it.

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176. Re: No subject Sep 14, 2003, 15:54 Slippy theClown
Personally I think Blizzard has it right. There is very little control or moderation of single player or LAN games. But there are undeniable benifits to playing online (esp. Diablo II). They validate keys once you've logged onto I'm fairly savy in the warez\cracking\hacking circles and I know of no way to abuse that system short of stealing someones CD Key, at which point it is reported and banned.

Kuddos to Blizzard.

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175. No subject Sep 14, 2003, 15:37 CF
I have had as many problems with Steam as most of the people here on this board - and yeah, it has pissed me off and made me curse Valve for not getting it right first time.

But this is the way things are going. Steam is a content provider for the Internet. As a developer, imagine if you could send your programs over the Internet and have them protected from piracy in a program like Steam? I am just surprised Microsoft hasn't added it to Windows's yet!

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174. Re: Pah! Sep 14, 2003, 12:18 frag.machine
What's the difference between starting steam and playing the game and starting the game directly?

If there is no difference, so why should I have to use Steam just to fire up the game ?

At this moment I don't really know how things will exactly work, but my previous experience with Steam makes me consider dropping HL2 from my wish list. I want the game, not a bundled Valve watchdog.

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173. Re: My problem... Sep 14, 2003, 09:35 WrigleyVillain
You couldn't figure out how to specify to what volume to download on a Mac?

Yeah, steam sucks but I think you have some ID10T errors to work through first.

And thanks for pointing out that your SCSI drive is faster, Captain Obvious.

This comment was edited on Sep 14, 09:37.
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172. Running out of Steam... Sep 14, 2003, 09:34 Slippy theClown
hmmmm... seems to be alot of comments that agree with, what I thought, was my misfortune. After installing Steam, upon it's initial release, I have been able to play Half-Life and all of it's various mods a total of zero times. I am extreamly disappointed in Valve for releasing Steam in such a condition. I spend large sums of money keeping my hardware up to date and spend more time than I have to keep my software up to date and running smoothly. I also lay down serious cash every month for a T1 line, all to enhance my gaming experince. I was a large supporter of Valve and their software until Steam.

The other night, after reinstalling Steam twice (thinking I had done something wrong) and calling my ISP (wanting to know why I was having problems with my T1), I finally came to the conclusion that Steam was the problem. I voiced my disappointment in Valve, which my wife overheard. She asked why I was upset. I exclaimed, "It's this Steam engine, it's slow as hell." Ignorantly she replied, "Well, arn't they?". I smiled. Sixty seconds later I uninstalled Steam.

Valve, I'm sure HL2 will make up for all this, but you should have known better...

"Got Human?"

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171. Re: I object... Sep 14, 2003, 04:36 Halo
I tried playing CS today and was told.

"This game is not available right now, please try again later"

So You're gonna tell me that I cant play a game I essentially bought, because "it's not available."

Also to use anything run by gamespy, and since gamespy runs everything, I have to unplug my router, and run it directly from my modem... Any help on this?


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170. Re: I object... Sep 13, 2003, 17:06 Nexus
And until they do, I won't buy the game. As I have said already.

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169. Re: I object... Sep 13, 2003, 15:55 DrEvil
FYI, the *requirement* to be connected in order to play the single player game is not a permanent setup. They have already said that it is temporary.

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168. I object... Sep 13, 2003, 14:26 Nexus
I really do object to the *requirement* to be connected in order to play the single player game. I may be connected most of the time through broadband anyway, making this a moot argument in terms of real effects, but I refuse, from a standpoint of principle, to buy the game until I am not required to do this. I don't particularly care if it validates me every time I start up and am connected to the net, and I dont care if it does it when I play multiplayer, but I refuse to have the requirement to be online dictated to me by the developers for the single player game.

I also strenuously object to a system that doesn't put the control of downloading in my hands, no matter how intelligent it is. I want to ensure my ability to run steam online purely as a way of verifying the legality of my copy, as well as controlling where it downloads to, and be able to back it up in a non-proprietary format, as well as having complete control over what it downloads as well as where, when and how fast. I seriously dont want to see large cache files that dont relate to anything I know about, and I also want complete control over what feedback the program gives to Valve about me, other than (as noted before) the legality of my copy.

Steam has a crappy user interface lacking in feedback, and a shocking lack of options for the user. Even Windows update isnt this insidiously suspect.

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167. My problem... Sep 13, 2003, 10:32 Nexus
My problem with steam was that it wasn't remotely intelligent in my bandwidth use. At the same time that it made CS1.6 available to me to start up, it was still using most of my download speed. It didn't cut back on that usage when I was playing, it just played like a dog, and tihs is with a game that's built into it. If it can't scale back download bw for CS, is it going to scale it back for any of the other games I play online? probably not.

Another concern I have with it is the stunning lack of options to direct it to download to another drive. I unwittingly installed it on my smaller but fast SCSI drive, and found that I couldn't set it to download on my big but slow IDE drive. What sort of download program lacks this functionality?

Reminds me of an Apple Mac

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166. Breaking News Sep 13, 2003, 01:27 Smellfinger
Gabe "Snacks-a-lot" Newell farted, sounding much like an overfed pachyderm. "Do farts come in lumps?", he asked to no one in particular, laughing and spitting as the words came out of his swollen, food-caked mouth. No answer was given.

As he turned back to his half-empty bag of Doritos, another surprise blast came from his gargantuan bottom, causing the cellulite to ripple like a great oceanic wave. This time he felt the distinct and uncomfortable wetness of a fart gone wrong. "What should I do?!", he blurted into the darkness of his mother's basement.

No one was home.

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165. I have one word for you, Valve... Sep 12, 2003, 22:44 Shadestalker

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164. Steaming Hot or Pile? Sep 12, 2003, 10:59 Tumbler
Steam sounds like a reasonable idea gone bad.

My main concern is that by registering my game to me via a steam account I am making it impossible for anyone else to use the game online in anyway shape or form. In single player mode I'm fairly certain that ppl will be able to install and play right off the bat. But in say 6 months when newer video cards come out and you need a patch to play the single player game, in order to play the game you'll need a valid steam account with this game attached in order to patch and play it?

I can understand a copyright protection built into the multiplayer component as it does not impact my gaming experience very much. (CD key is verified when connecting to multiplayer game) But this solution seems more like a way to prevent ppl from playing the game who did not purchase it from a retail source at a price of $50. IE no more selling used games on ebay for others to enjoy.

As for this helping against piracy, I really think you guys are underestimating the determination of a 7th grader who has nothing to do but hack your software. There will be patches out and they'll be available everywhere that crack this software and make it playable for those ppl.

All I really think this software will do is annoy users and make it less desireable to buy used copies of the game. Possibly keeping cheaters more under control as well.

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163. Steam Sep 12, 2003, 10:42 Comen
Yea I only installed Steam to get those latest Half-Life Movies, and I didnt like having to do that at all, why have to install that software just to download some Bink Movies.
Yea listen up people better start complaining now, you let these companies start getting used to putting stuff like this on your PC and they will all start doing it. I think allot of times its the older guys that have the right attitude towards this, they are allot more used to the concept that they shouldnt have to run anything to use someones product, and that the voice of the customer should be more important than worrying about the people that steal games, in other words dont piss off your real customers to get rid of people that are copying your software.
I buy allot of games, I dont buy allot of other software actually sometimes I copy other software, but my computer room at home is almost overloaded with bought video games boxes, most that I will never play again.
There is so much software that tries to do shit like this now adays. The guy that said that everytime you install crap like this and it runs in the backround makes the chances of having PC problems allot more, is RIGHT ON TARGET here. You install windows and you right away have a dame MS Instant Messager on the task bar running, you need to turn off, then there are like 100 other programs that somehow think that they deserve a space on your taskbar...
Most Mail programs (I know Netscape did this)

There are tons more, feel free to add to this list.
I spend most my time affter a install figuing out haw to get the dame icon off the task bar, and make sure it dont run anything in the backround. I know that RealAudio used to run the actual app pretty much in the backround the whole time, just not showing itself, why? because it makes it start faster when you click a real audio video link. Like as if I want that thing running all the time, I might watch Real Audio/Video once a month if that, let the app start up right then for christs sake! I am sure Microsoft Media player does this anyway, but its now built in the OS so much it is probally always runnnig or something.
It always makes me laugh when I go checkout someones pc and the taskber is just filled with shit, and they are having computer problems. And now to play a certain game they want to make you run something like that all the time, shit!
Its like everyone is tring really hard to get a spot on that task bar. I to doubt this will hinder in anyway peopel that really want to copy this game. this sounds more of a way for Valve to keep track of its customers, we are living in a highly comercialized and marketed worl that stuff like this is just everywhere and it gets upsetting.

This comment was edited on Sep 12, 10:49.
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162. Re: More Thoughts Sep 12, 2003, 07:18 rubjonny
Cheers mate bin lookin for a linky for that!!  


John Newman
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161. Re: More Thoughts Sep 12, 2003, 02:53 Halo

If ya want the new one =)


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160. Re: More Thoughts Sep 11, 2003, 16:14 TheReaper
I understand what your saying and I like sharing games, etc too.
But I think this would also be suspect to breaking copyright laws...So I dont see valve really caring if you cant share your games anymore

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159. Re: More Thoughts Sep 10, 2003, 14:46 John Nelson
I know it's bad form to comment on my own message but what did I say about the denial of service attacks...

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178 Replies. 9 pages. Viewing page 1.
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