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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 2.
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158. i like... Sep 10, 2003, 14:29 TheReaper
 
I like pizza...

 
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157. Re: terrifying Sep 10, 2003, 07:36 Potato Joe
 
I can't believe this crap! I will not be installing Steam on my system. Tried it, it sucks, end of story. I don't like being "forced" into using something. If this is how it's going to be, I'll be getting out of multi-player gaming. I'm 43 and can definately live without it. I agree that piracy sucks. But I pay for all my games and don't feel I should be forced to use this crap because of software thieves.

 
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156. Re: More Thoughts Sep 9, 2003, 20:57 ildon
 
You CAN resell your games. Whenever you buy a game, just make a new Steam account only for that game. Then when you go to sell it, just sell the login to the account, the same way people sell EQ accounts.

 
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155. More Thoughts Sep 9, 2003, 18:36 John Nelson
 
Okay, here's some random observations...first I'd like to reiterate what someone else said earlier - effectively you won't be able to resell your Steam-registered boxed edition of the game, and obviously there's no prospect of selling a downloaded copy. For me, and others I'm sure, that's a real knock. When I finish a SP game I pass it on to someone else to enjoy. I'm no longer using it but someone else can. Would you be happy to buy a car and not be allowed to sell it? Or what if you bought a DVD and couldn't lend it to a friend? If there's a system whereby I can pass my rights to a game on to another Steam user then 90% of my misgivings would be gone. I can't see that happening though. <shrug>
Intelligent bandwidth utilization? Sounds really cool. Currently I have 2 main PCs. One that's mainly for games and one that's mainly for the internet running Internet Connection Sharing. Any downloads are done on the old system and transferred over the lan to the new system when done. If I'm downloading a big demo I can leave one computer running while the other gets switched off until it's ready. I realise that's a pretty specific example and I can put in a router (in fact I already have a wireless rig I'm going to put in to run a connection for a Home Cinema PC next to my TV) but the burden of this intelligent bandwidth is shifted onto my main pc when running a Steam Enabled game. If I choose to not run auto-update with Steam in the background then I suffer when I have to patch to play the game. If I choose to let Steam beaver away in the background then everything else suffers. Say what you want about how unobtrusive it is but my main PC boots up with Systray and Explorer and no other programs running (aside from Windows system processes obviously - before someone challenges this) The more you have running in the background the more chance there is of something going wrong. Again, <shrug>
The system is going to foil pirates? I spend around a grand a year on MMOG subs and game purchases. I don't like piracy in general but you have to admire their ingenuity. Steam will not foil pirates, it'll encourage them. First the server activation will be removed, streamed patches will be released as standalone, there will be alternative master servers cropping up all over the world. The Steam system will be brought to it's knees by denial of service attacks, further encouraging legitimate users to use illegitimate servers. And you know what? Cheating will still be rampant and unstoppable.
Hey, on the plus side it kinda makes that $9.99 for a month of Steam, about enough to finish the SP game, look like a decent investment.


 
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154. Another steam comment Sep 9, 2003, 17:23 SirAnthony
 
I won't have a problem with steam if it does not do these things.

1: It better not spy on me. I hate spyware.

2: It better not force me to pay to play (monthly fee). I think this is what will eventually happen.

3: It better not try to verify my status every time I turn on my computer. It should do that only when I play the game online.

I don't mind paying for the game. I am really getting tired of software trying to take control of my computer. Doing things without my permission. And then having to download some other software I don't need to combat it.

 
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153. Re: No subject Sep 9, 2003, 08:48 quazz
 
With all this "directx6" talk, I wonder if that means they'll also support 3dfx old card.

There's very little chance they will (or it will be 'UT2003' support; sure it works, but it's uglier then Unreal1 at half the framerate).

 
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152. No subject Sep 9, 2003, 02:33 strangelove
 
Valve understands their user base well enough that they made the source engine scalable from direct x 6 class hardware all the way up to the latest dx 9 shader technology, which is no small task. They're clearly trying to make their games as accessible as possible. I have to believe they understand that a large percentage of potential customers don't have a broadband connection, or any internet connection for that matter. I can't see them making decisions that run counter to the major effort in engine scalability, by making the game less accessible. It's possible, but doesn't seem likely to me.

I think steam is an interesting idea. Valve is trying to do something most of us have been hoping for: game developers taking a bit of control back from publishers. It also allows them to combat cheating more directly and make patching easy (from a mass marketing standpoint.) More computer savvy users may not like these latter bits, and how valve handles this will likely play heavily in steam's future. Of course, right now it seems like everyone is nervous and looking for the devil in disguise, probably because valve is the first large game company with a large customer base in place to try something like this.

It'll be interesting to see how it evolves.

just my $.015

 
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151. Re: No subject Sep 8, 2003, 20:03 Xenopulse
 
The fAQ says:

"Note: some Steam-enabled single-player games (such as Half-Life 2) purchased at a retail store will allow offline play until the user decides to play online or enable other Steam functionality. From that point on, an Internet connection will be required."

So don't worry about HL2 SP without internet connection, *unless* they mean that, once you used Steam to update your game, it'll authenticate afterwards. But I think they are refering to the case where you add MP via Steam to a previously SP only version.

 
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150. Re: No subject Sep 8, 2003, 19:07 The Raven
 
I was going to lambast some people for being idiots until I read those FAQ entries of ildon's. That does bother me some... only a tiny bit, because I have a broadband connection and don't care what kind of authentication Valve requires.

However, I am of the opinion that those FAQs are out of date, and I believe that, even if it does not happen at launch, VERY shortly after launch they will allow single player games to be played without central authentication every time you run it.

Specifically, this would cripple the gamers who go for long periods without internet access, like mobile users, people behing restrictive firewalls, or simply those who have lost their Internet connection. I would be somewhat upset if I lost my Internet connection, went to play some single player Half Life 2 to calm my nerves, and had it reject me.

I have no problem with requiring steam authentication every time I play online. None at all. Jolly good idea. But I detest the notion of requiring an Internet connection to play single player. I'd rather have CD checking.

jm2c

 
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Dreaming Demon, formerly Tikatt, formerly The Raven
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149. Re: No subject Sep 8, 2003, 18:55 ildon
 
#143 I'd like to know where you got all that information, because according to the FAQ ( http://steampowered.com/index.php?area=faq&id=1050915505,27362300,1050915726,98098300 and http://steampowered.com/index.php?area=faq&id=1050915505,27362300,1050915714,91503900 ) you are mistaken. I combed over all of Erik Johnson's posts to the Steam forum and never saw him say anything to contradict these statements. Until I see something specific from Valve that contradicts this FAQ (yes I realize it's 2 months old, that does not necessarily make it inaccurate), I will belive it, and not you.

 
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148. Re: No subject Sep 8, 2003, 17:31 Ralphus
 
Why do people make stuff more difficult than it has to be? Read the big post further down and it pretty much explains everything. Steam isn't a bad idea IMO. I just hope EVERY big game doesnt have thier own system, I'd like to see them integrated.

This comment was edited on Sep 8, 17:33.
 
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147. Re: No subject Sep 8, 2003, 17:25 nin
 
I think we all get that. But will we have to have Steam (and an internet connection) to download a patch?

Yeah. As long as I don't have to fuck with steam to download patches and play my single player game, you guys can knock yourselves out. But don't drag the rest of us along with you...

Supporter of the "A happy fredster is a muted fredster" fanclub.

http://www.hybrid-group.com/
 
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146. Re: No subject Sep 8, 2003, 17:20 Ratty
 
One more time?

An internet connection is not required to play single player.
I think we all get that. But will we have to have Steam (and an internet connection) to download a patch?

 
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145. A Steaming Pile Sep 8, 2003, 17:01 WebDemon
 
Tried it, hated it. Steam is a steaming pile of feces. Granted, piracy is out of hand these days for various reasons not worth getting into. Cheating? Ruined Counter Strike in pretty short order but there are other ways of combating it. Patch DL's, no thanks I'll find my own source which from what I've seen is WAAAAAYYY faster than Steam. Bottom line is I'll buy a piece of software but I don't want to be forced to install something else that has nothing to do with the functioning of the game itself. Sierra Utilities anyone? It's just going to take one major glitch after HL2's release for this thing to blow up in Valve's collective faces. It's a great frontend? No thanks I use ASE, it's a fine frontend. This is bullshit, unfortunatley we're all going to forced to swallow it for the time being if we want to play HL2.

 
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144. No subject Sep 8, 2003, 16:53 Cosmas
 
OK well thats all and good. But...
So If I buy HL2 MP/SP at my local BestBuy..
Register up with Steam...yadda yadda...
Will I still have to pay for the standalone mods that are released afterwards?
If so, why can't we just have it the way it used to be? Is there anyone else who thinks the old system is just as good?
 
It ends tonight...
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143. Re: No subject Sep 8, 2003, 16:44 Mike
 
You don't have to run steam to play a valve game.

It doesn't have to authenticate to play single player.

You do have to run steam to play online, it does callup to the master server and verify.

Just like it does right now today.

It does not have to callup to the master server to play single player.

Let's try it again.

It does not have to connect to the master server in order for single player to launch.

One more time?

An internet connection is not required to play single player.

As to the "smart bandwidth", I just did a test. Steam running, downloading an update to counterstrike. Set off some pings using All-Seeing Eye. Got back my usual number of sub-100 pings. Most "dumb" downloaders will throw my pings to hell and back.

 
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142. Re: No subject Sep 8, 2003, 16:15 Creston
 
Yours was Lucas, mine was Matrix...

Does the fact that I recognized your quote immediately mean I am some sort of UberGeek?

Heh, Peter Gabriel quotes, oh boy...

As for Steam, I'm still not sold, despite some guys taking time to do their best to enlighten us. This whole "smart bandwith" stuff makes me suspicious at best, as does the fact that you seemingly still need to go through Steam even if you only get the single player version (which I'm definitely considering now).

I'm also VERY antagonistic against software that absolutely demands to be able to contact some master server somewhere before it decides to run on my computer. If I PAY 50 dollars for your fucking product, Valve, why do I need your PERMISSION to start up my game?

Creston

 
Avatar 15604
 
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141. Re: No subject Sep 8, 2003, 14:09 nin
 
Oh nin, you are so wrong.

Yours was Lucas, mine was Matrix...

And don't make me break out the Peter Gabriel quotes...

Supporter of the "A happy fredster is a muted fredster" fanclub.

http://www.hybrid-group.com/
 
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140. Re: No subject Sep 8, 2003, 14:03 Creston
 
Do you want to know what it is? Steam is everywhere. It is all around us, even now in this very room. You can see it when you look out your window or when you turn on your television. You can feel it when you go to work, when you go to church, when you pay your taxes. It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth.

Oh nin, you are so wrong.

Steam : Life creates it, makes it grow. It's energy surrounds us, and binds us. Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. You must feel the Steam around you. Here, between you, me, the tree, the rock, yes! Even between, the land, and the ship.


(from memory, I actually am in a period in my life in which I do not own the original Star Wars series, and yes, it does make me sad. Dammit Lucas, release on DVD already you fucking scrooge. All I can get on DVD is that frigging muppet show you call a new Trilogy...)


Creston

 
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139. Re: Anti-Steam Sentiments. Sep 8, 2003, 13:57 Guano
 
I have four gaming systems on my network at home and I have tried steam on all of them. With three different operating systems and four different hardware configuration (including a dual processor system with a gig of ram), lets just say we quickly removed it from all the systems. Counter Strike Performance suffered enough that the users of the systems complained (to say the least). If I wanted that kind of performance after all the money and time I have put into my systems, I could just hookup my old P233 with 128megs of Ram with my old voodoo3 then plug the phone line back into my 33.6K modem and dialup AOL... Well that was the first and last impression I have had about STEAM. I guess if steam is going to be needed to play VALVE games online then I guess I will be playing other games. The upside to all of this for me is that it makes it easier to decied where my gaming dollar will not be spent.

 
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178 Replies. 9 pages. Viewing page 2.
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