View Poll Results: What do you think of Steam

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  • Its great, and improves my gaming experience

    48 40.00%
  • Its rubbish

    31 25.83%
  • Its only good for the game producers

    29 24.17%
  • Its good for everyone

    35 29.17%
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Thread: Opinion of Valve's Steam

  1. #1
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    Question Opinion of Valve's Steam

    I used to really hate Steam. I tried it in the early days and it really sucked and blowed (to quote Bart Simpson). Since then it has steadily improved.

    On a philosophical note, I admire what Valve are trying to do. Working well, Steam is an excellent way of keeping their user constituency informed of developments, and up to date wit the latest patches.

    However, that isn't the only reason for Steam to exist. By passing the publisher is one. I understand how it must be irritating when a publisher takes so much of the profit, but there is a reason. I think we saw that with the release of HL2. Valve seemed completely unprepared for the onslaught of support calls and problems they had to deal with, and Steam was clearly not able to cope. If they had used a publisher, they would have taken the brunt of that...

    Then there is DRM of course. One thing I resent about Steam-based games is the assumption that you are a pirate rather than a customer. I understand the need for Valve to protect their intellectual property and ensure they are paid for their work. But I wonder if Steam over does this a little.

    So, what is your opinion of Steam now? Do you think its good for gamers and game producers?

    I just realised I screwed up the poll a bit. The first two answers should be mutually exclusive of course..!
    Last edited by Mutley; 31-10-2005 at 11:37 AM.

  2. #2
    Vive le pants! directhex's Avatar
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    steam is a poor execution of a reasonable concept, masterminded by a microsoft product manager

    it's taken several years to reach the point of the first non-valve game being published on steam, and we've still yet to see any episodic content. the client is bloaty, buggy, and purposely windows-only (with usual bugs and caveats)

    i've always supported the concept behind steam - but valve really don't seem to understand how to make the concept work

  3. #3
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    Thats interesting you bring up the Microsoft influence. I was wondering whether to add that to the debate.
    It strikes me that much of Valve's approach (certainly in recent years) seems to be quite Microsoft-orientated. This is not surprising considering where the two people who set up Valve came from.
    You've got to wonder about the steam client being Windows only as well. I know porting an app between OS's can be hard....but then the games they sell are windows only anyway.

    Its interesting to note that other devs, like Epic, have no intention of following this route, and they are making efforts to build for the Linux community as well.

    I like the games Valve produce, although to be quite honest, I found HL2 to be a bit dissapointing - I didn't find it engaging, that I was a character in the middle of what was going on. Too little of it made sense. Still, it was enjoyable, but thats a whole other debate..!

  4. #4
    Filthy old man noTHINGface's Avatar
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    We'll soon be well into the mitts of commodity gaming - it will happen.
    What we share with everyone is glum, and dark...

  5. #5
    Vive le pants! directhex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mutley
    Thats interesting you bring up the Microsoft influence. I was wondering whether to add that to the debate.
    It strikes me that much of Valve's approach (certainly in recent years) seems to be quite Microsoft-orientated. This is not surprising considering where the two people who set up Valve came from.
    You've got to wonder about the steam client being Windows only as well. I know porting an app between OS's can be hard....but then the games they sell are windows only anyway.

    Its interesting to note that other devs, like Epic, have no intention of following this route, and they are making efforts to build for the Linux community as well.

    I like the games Valve produce, although to be quite honest, I found HL2 to be a bit dissapointing - I didn't find it engaging, that I was a character in the middle of what was going on. Too little of it made sense. Still, it was enjoyable, but thats a whole other debate..!
    the quake engine (all the hl1 games) is designed to be cross-platform. steam is, conceptually, trivially cross-platform

    yet valve had completed ports of half-life for both dreamcast and mac canned (you can find warezed pre-release copies occasionally, they are VERY polished products)

    anyone with sense makes an engine modular, for easy porting (e.g. the unreal engine was trivial to move to the new next-gen consoles), yet valve design the source engine ground-up purposely not to run on non-ms hardware.

    i think it's more than a small influence

  6. #6
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    Perhaps I'm being kind then...;-)
    I think you can see Microsoft's influence all over Steam (DRM, users are pirates first, customers second etc), and platform specificity - tie people to windows.

    Personally, games are the only reason I run Windows at home. My laptop (Acer Ferrari 3400) runs Solaris 10 X86.
    For all the things I do on Linux, APART from games, there are alternatives - OpenOffice for example, GIMP, and so on. I used Star Office on my PC, and my wife is very happy using it.

    Given that games are much of the reason for driving high-end PC sales, its not suprising M$ would prefer gamers were tied to Windows. If Direct X could be ported to Linux, it might be a different story.

  7. #7
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    Steam is good. I got HL2 before it was even released and could play cs-s till it did. Had no problembs activating on release day and have had no problems since. Each time I start any steam game, I know that it is the latest version with the up to date patch installed.

    TBH Id rather valve went steam only then have EA publish their games...

    CoolerMaster ftw!!!

  8. #8
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    Of course, thats the other side of the coin. Big money business like EA who appear to have little interest in their customers, and only in "leveraging opportunities for profit development". Sweatshop to bash games out as fast as possible.

  9. #9
    Real Ultimate Power! Grey M@a's Avatar
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    Only reason why Steam is installed as HL2 is. Just a shame its nails to find game patches that dont involve steam for them otherwise I would de-install it.

  10. #10
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    Can't vote, don't agree with any of the poll options. It's a good idea, but poorly executed.

    The whole Net connection to install the game is a joke.

  11. #11
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    You mean the poll is poorly executed or steam is? ;-)
    Sorry, the poll is a bit pants really, didn't think it through very well.

    Likewise, I don't think Valve thought Steam through very well, so eager were they to capture that market.

    I would argue that for many consumers, how Steam operates now is almost seamless.

    However, if I had a choice, I wouldn't have steam. Xfire does a good enough job of locating patches, or I can find them myself. It comes down to this, for me: It would be nice to have the choice.

  12. #12
    Theoretical Element Spud1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by directhex
    steam is a poor execution of a reasonable concept, masterminded by a microsoft product manager

    it's taken several years to reach the point of the first non-valve game being published on steam, and we've still yet to see any episodic content. the client is bloaty, buggy, and purposely windows-only (with usual bugs and caveats)

    i've always supported the concept behind steam - but valve really don't seem to understand how to make the concept work
    Nuff said really

    Except to add that it would be great if it wasn't forced upon us. If we still had the option to patch manually etc it would be great - but we don't. Hence me having to keep a separate none-steam install of Half Life just to play CS 1.5 (that last good version of CS)

    steam - steaming pile of ..well you know..imho

  13. #13
    Synergy leverager
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    Precisely my point about choice.

    I'd like to have the choice whether or not have to download a bloated piece of MSware, and have that occupying several MBs of RAM all the time. I'd like to have the choice about patches to download, or even if I want the client updated.

  14. #14
    I love fonts Yohji's Avatar
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    I like steam when it works, but there seems to be a lot of occasions where it crashes, or has some sort of problem.

    As others have said, I think in theory it could be a great thing, it just doesn't seem to have worked that well yet.

  15. #15
    Beard hat ftw! steve threlfall's Avatar
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    I think that Steam is a great idea... on paper. Online distribution would certainly seem to be the future but Steam is imo flawed. Having said that it does seem a little unfair to expect Valve to come up with perfection straight away espeicallly as they are a pioneer of this new method of selling games.

  16. #16
    smtkr
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    Complete rubbish, if you ask me. Seriously, they need to build another product from the ground up that answers the major complaints from users.

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