Wazootyman, your the biggest propponent, if only propponent, of Steam in this thread and this is the best you can say about it?
I'm not a supporter per se. I do oppose those who have the knee-jerk response of labling Steam as valve's attempt to curtail gamer's rights and take over the world. =D
Steam has interesting potential (mainly as a means to buy directly from the developer- currently publishers take a BIG piece of the pie).
I understand that this invasive application doesn't really bother you but I'm sure you can understand why it bothers some of us.
Hrm, if it's the invasiveness you are talking about, I can't say I see it. To play half-life, you must install half-life. Soon, you will need steam. It doesn't really do anything more. Half-life communicates information to a master server (server lists, WONid), just like steam will. Just because it is a separate app doesn't mean it will be sending your registry to Valve for inspection. Why does it bother you to run steam, but not half-life?
As far as a multiplayer goes, I am really a big fan of ASE. I love that application. I wish I could use it for HL2. I don't want to have to use some Gamespy like app.
I see the lack of compatibility with 3rd party apps like the All-Seeing-Eye to bee a valid disadvantage. Hopefully steam will be implemented well enough that you will come to like it as much as ASE.
Do you remember the uproar when MS introduced product activation? This seems to be very similar but imagine MS demanding product activation everytime you use it.
Methinks the problem with product activation is that if you switch out, say, your processer, then suddenly your OS won't work (O_O!). Well, maybe not to that degree, but changing your hardware had the potential to screw your registration, cuz it is tied to the system config when you registered. Doh! Also, MS was demanding some personal info or some such. I see that as a problem, but I am pretty sure that 1) SteamID will not be tied to your system config and 2) Steam will not require system or personal info to activate. Why would it?
Why is it the people in the linked thread, who have been using the Steam beta for quite a while, seem to be as full of questions as the rest of us non-Steam users?
As I said before, in the beta, the main problem was that steam didn't do a whole lot. It let you patch games, server browse with a better UI and download HL2 movies. Wow. My hope for steam is in the features that have been mentioned or could be implemented. That is why I am still full of questions. What will steam really be like? I'm not sure, but I don't think it's fair or reasonable to assume it will be terrible, especially with no evidence to support such an assumption.