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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.
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178 Replies. 9 pages. Viewing page 8.
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38. Re: Pah! Sep 7, 2003, 15:47 smashie
 
#23 yeah im willing to pass up hl2 i'm not saying its gonna suck or anything but there are always alternatives!

 
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37. Re: RRRAARR Sep 7, 2003, 15:45 Wazootyman
 
5) Automated patching. Nothing special, but when I tried steam, I was very impressed by its "smart" bandwidth usage. Every time I tried to play a HL movie it was already downloaded, but whenever I'm playing online games/downloading, steam doesn't get in the way (you can monitor its bandwidth usage).

This, to you, is a good thing? It seems to indicate to me that STEAM decides what gets sent to my harddrive instead of ME deciding it.

Don't worry, YOU still decide what you want STEAM to download automatically. Each game can be set to autopatch (or not) and each content section allows you to decide whether it is predl'ed or not. It worked out pretty well. As soon as I saw a new HL2 movie on Blue's I already had it avaliable to run.

 
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36. Re: Extra Utilities Sep 7, 2003, 15:42 Ratty
 
This reminds me of those Sierra utilities they would install with every single game they released.
Oh god, the bad memories that brings back. Wasn't that awful? And it insisted on being installed right off c:\. Remember the first version of Half-Life. If you didn't install it directly under c:\ then you could never uninstall it without damaging your harddrive!

I put all my games directly in a games folder, and I never let them first put their crappy publisher folder in between. No, I don't want to install it in c:\Sierra Corp\Sierra Utilities Online\Sierra Content\Valve\Steam\Half-Life 2

 
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35. ??? Sep 7, 2003, 15:37 Tyrlan
 
What about going to lans? Usally we just bring a cd full of patch's for people that havn't updated, but does this mean we will have to have a working internet connection for our lans to work with HL2 now?

Honestly, I think value is just blowing this one hard. They just need to SHUT UP, like the last 5 years, and work on the system. When the game ships, just ship your one box to the store and then say "Oh yea, you can also download it for 10 dollars less" or something along those lines. Basicly All they are doing right now is confusing and enraging their userbase. Learn from yourself and just shut the hell up until the game is released and you've got steam working 100%.

Personaly, I don't want Steam... i've got a great server browser, that has a GUI, so I don't need Steam for that. If I want to patch, i've got great places like Bluesnews to find out if the patch works/is out. And Honestly it sounds like now all they have to do is find out your Steam password to rule over ALL your value games instead of just hacking out CD keys...

Sadly i'm having flashs of Tribes2 and how they basicly tried too much too fast.

 
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34. Re: RRRAARR Sep 7, 2003, 15:37 Creston
 
5) Automated patching. Nothing special, but when I tried steam, I was very impressed by its "smart" bandwidth usage. Every time I tried to play a HL movie it was already downloaded, but whenever I'm playing online games/downloading, steam doesn't get in the way (you can monitor its bandwidth usage).

This, to you, is a good thing? It seems to indicate to me that STEAM decides what gets sent to my harddrive instead of ME deciding it.

I don't give a fuck about Half Life 2 movies or patches for their old shit, I just want to play Half Life 2 and maybe a little Half Life 2 multiplayer. Why do I get saddled up with Steam's apparent (if I understand it correctly, if I don't, then my apologies) "We'll decide what 50 megs worth of movie files to send to your harddrive."

What the fuck is this "smart predownload" crap?

Creston


 
Avatar 15604
 
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33. Re: Pah! Sep 7, 2003, 15:35 Ratty
 
Seriously, what does one do if you have no internet connection?
Exactly! Believe it or not some gamers don't have internet connections. When that rumor was going around that Valve would start product activation I was pissed but--according to the fake rumor--you could still activate your game by mailing in a card, so I became not so pissed. I understand what a HUGE problem game piracy is. Sure, for internet game content you can assume everyone has in internet connection. I just hope they don't forget about SP gamers with no internet access, whatever scheme they come up with.

 
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32. Re: Pah! Sep 7, 2003, 15:34 Wazootyman
 
As long as they handle it better than SOE's StationID. Good lord that thing is a nightmare. If I want to transfer ownership of a peice of software I bought, I should be able to remove the game's serial number from my ID, and give it to someone else, who can register it and play it. Anything else is illegal, but I don't have the cash to bring a lawsuit on them, so I get screwed.

There's a valid disadvantage. You (probably) can't give someone else your key if you are done playing the game. I don't see this as that bad for me personally, but I agree that someone should be able to give their software away (assuming they don't play it any more).

 
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31. Re: Pah! Sep 7, 2003, 15:29 ZzeusS
 
As long as they handle it better than SOE's StationID. Good lord that thing is a nightmare. If I want to transfer ownership of a peice of software I bought, I should be able to remove the game's serial number from my ID, and give it to someone else, who can register it and play it. Anything else is illegal, but I don't have the cash to bring a lawsuit on them, so I get screwed.

 
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30. Re: Pah! Sep 7, 2003, 15:26 Wazootyman
 
I don't want to play Steam. I don't want to seek authorization or verification whenever I use a product. Seriously, what does one do if you have no internet connection?

Well Valve is tryin' to make monies. To do that, they want to cut down on piracy. Simple. What's wrong with verification? If you have a legit copy, it's painless. If you don't, go buy one.

Without internet, you won't be able to play internet games so you won't need steam (the TCP server browser front end).

 
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29. Re: Pah! Sep 7, 2003, 15:18 Wazootyman
 
Well, you're starting 2 programs. That is the difference. Having to run 2 programs is annoying especially when one of them is unnecessary.

But if one handles the server browsing, the other doesn't have to be quite as "heavy". I'd say it evens out.

ps- Dan, I always thought your sig was in the imparitive (ie Love dan... do it! DO IT NOW!) rather than how you have it now. My mistake.

 
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28. Re: Pah! Sep 7, 2003, 15:18 Brick
 
" What's the difference between starting steam and playing the game and starting the game directly?"

I don't want to play Steam. I don't want to seek authorization or verification whenever I use a product. Seriously, what does one do if you have no internet connection?


 
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27. Notify the user Sep 7, 2003, 15:18 Enforcer
 
You know I dont' even think Valve has thought of this idea. What if when you turn on your computer for the day that it checks to see if a new version is out.

If so then notify the user with a dialog box stating that a newer version is out and "Do you wish to install it now?" prompt. This way if they know that there are servers out there that have not upgraded yet they can still play and wait later when they are not in the mood.

This also takes in to account that what if Valve releases a bad patch. Then everyone is screwed and can't play until the next patch fixes the patch.

 
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26. Patch Backups? Sep 7, 2003, 15:16 ZetaMaiL
 
The thing that bothers me about this is the fact that if you want a patch, you have to use this system to do it. I don't see what was so flawed with just finding a server online and downloading the file to your hard drive. This way you can:

A)Know where the patch is and controll where it goes on your harddrive.

B)Can backup the patch on a CDROM or other partition if you loose the internet somehow or have to reformat and don't want to bother with installing more software just to get your game up and running with the most recent version.

If Steam saves a copy of the file somewhere that you can move and backup independently of this system, that's cool, but if not, I think this is a very very bad thing. I do not like the idea of being forced to use anything. Like Valve is saying. "Hey guys! this program we made is so cool, we think you will love it, so we'll shove it down your throat simply because we are Valve and we CAN!"

 
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25. Re: Pah! Sep 7, 2003, 15:15 ExcessDan
 
Well, you're starting 2 programs. That is the difference. Having to run 2 programs is annoying especially when one of them is unnecessary.

Love,

Dan

xoxo

"Life is such a sweet insanity, the more you learn the less you know." ---Hogan
 



ExcessDan
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24. It's like they're trying.... Sep 7, 2003, 15:14 anon@216.23
 
....to make this overly and horribly complex.

Amusing.

Not only do we have 3 or 4 different versions of the game, we've got this nebulous content delivery program called Steam which no one quite seems to know 100% how it's going to work as far as patches, content, and how it's actually connected to gameplay like single player, or what it all means to someone who just walks into a store and buys the singleplayer game, as opposed to someone who buys the whole thing online over Steam.

You get the feeling they said "Let's make it so people can buy Half Life 2 over the internet and download it when they buy it!" which sounds like a great idea, and then stuff kept getting added until it turned into a huge pile of yuck.

 
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23. Re: Pah! Sep 7, 2003, 15:14 Spiffae
 
#20, yeah, that makes sense...pass up an amazing game because you don't like the front end. that's like saying you won't drive a ferrari because you'd rather it were diesel.

 
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22. Re: Pah! Sep 7, 2003, 15:12 Wazootyman
 
Just think of it as a front end to hl2. You won't need to run it except to run the game. What's the difference between starting steam and playing the game and starting the game directly?

 
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21. Re: Extra Utilities Sep 7, 2003, 15:10 Brick
 
"This reminds me of those Sierra utilities they would install with every single game they released."

You mean those ones that wouldn't uninstall?

This is all clear as mud now. I will have to install Steam with any current, up to date, or new Valve product. This is one hell of a way to clip piracy in the ear. Put a choke hold on legit users. I love it. Does Steam have to run every time I execute a product? Do I have to run Steam to update? Will there be no stand alone patches? Will I be buying HL 2? I am seriously reconsidering. This whole concept of Steam just smacks of "wanting to rule the world".

 
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20. Pah! Sep 7, 2003, 15:09 smashie
 
I'm with the f**k valve squad on this one i do'nt like being made to use any kind of product even if it is a harmless p.o.s, if this turns out to be a reality then i'm gonna keep my 26 in my pocket and wait til something else worthy of my attentions comes along....

 
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19. Extra Utilities Sep 7, 2003, 14:56 Argon
 
When I buy a game I just want the game. I don't want any extra crap that the company thinks I'd like. Just give me the game.

This reminds me of those Sierra utilities they would install with every single game they released. I haven't bought a Sierra game in ages, do they still install that crap?

 
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178 Replies. 9 pages. Viewing page 8.
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