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  Sounds great but steam needs work, nor does it cut out the middle man. 
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Ben McIntire Nov 15, 2004, 01:55pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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This all sounds good and dandy, but when valve upgraded from Counterstrike 1.5 to Counterstrike 1.6 they forced everyone to hop onboard their steam platform. In doing this, their network was down for hours at a time, the Counterstrike content, which everyone needed to download was downloaded at an incredibly slow rate and not even completly downloaded. Steam uses a trickle update to download non-essential game material such as the manual and other stuff. If you're using a dial up connection, this process is hell considering you update the 250 megs for a couple of hours then trickle the last 10 megs for another couple of hours. You cant play the game during this time if you have dial up because your internet connection lags up incredibly during the trickle update and CS requires 100% (the more the better) of your bandwidth. On top of that, when they release a game world wide like that thousands of people are waiting with anticipation, so tens mabye hundreds of thousands hop on at the same moment, lagging their authintication servers, their download servers and their entire network. And when the Auth servers are down, guesswhat, you cant play that wonderful game you purchased because steam is crappy. Also, since Valve cuts out the CD process with their download feature, what you forget is they must now pay for many servers, and of course BANDWIDTH, when you're runnign a network as large as steam, it not only requires many top of the line servers but mostly badnwidth to boot. So when you eliminate the CD production, you must pay for billions of megabytes of bandwidth to get hte content to peoples computers. Oh and then there are updates, dont get me started on the monthly, weekly, daily, sometimes HOURLY, updates. Sheesh.

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Jack D. Hammer Nov 16, 2004, 06:12pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Sounds great but steam needs work, nor does it cut out the middle man.
I registered just to reply to this.

First: You must have not been on steam in a while. Comparing steam back during the 1.5 to 1.6 change over and now is like comparing a Model A Ford to an Enzo Ferrari. Steam is very smooth, and very stable now. The whole time I've been playing (since JAN04) It has only been down hard once.

Second: If you are still trying to game online with dial up...well, thats your own fault. Come out of the dark ages, loosen up that pocket book or move out of the boonies.

Third: the update syatem is quick, easy and a great Idea. It makes sure everyone is on the same page server to server. If there is a problem with the update they can pull it off of everyones PC (so you can still play with the older version and then reinstall after they fix it.

Please don't come here bashing what is really quite a revolutionary system just because you were disenchanted when it first started out or because you ar still on Dial up trying to suck a grapefruit through a kids meal straw.

bonfire-db Nov 16, 2004, 06:31pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Sounds great but steam needs work, nor does it cut out the middle man.
Amen Jack Hammer. Steam is many times more stable than when it came out. People used to complain and complain about the system. Guess what? Valve listened, fixed it up and you are the first person in a long time that I have heard complaining about problems that are long past.

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Ben McIntire Nov 17, 2004, 01:39pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Sounds great but steam needs work, nor does it cut out the middle man.
I think you missed my point. My point was not that steam updates horribly with dialup. Nor was it the fact that their program is still buggy, (you and I dont see them all but go swing by the forums sometime, I used to post there helping people with many of the problems that I had to work threw and around just to get the blasted program to work.) My point also was not the fact that the program is a memory and processer whore that slows your computer down.

My point is that the networks, when launching a game are reduced to simply put: a traffic jam. Their auth servers cant keep up with the people that actually managed to get their download to work so they cant play. Dont tell me that their network is running much smoother now, blah blah blah, just last night I couldnt update CS on my puny dial up connection because their network was busy and couldnt handle another 5kbs. My point is that the bandwidth is EXPENSIVE, and Valve hasnt stepped up to deal with the problem.

My other point is that the steam update utility, (while WORLDS better than the previous Sierrra update utility) is flawed. I will explain, there is an option you can select in the games menu, Do not automaticly update this game. the only problem is that when I select it, steam keeps on updating. So I tried to restart steam. This worked for the first 20 seconds, then steam just switched it back. I dont know why they cant and refuse to fix this issue regarding their dial up customers, and anyone who doesnt want their bandwidth taken up at random times by the steam app. The real thing that I dont understand about this whole mess, is I have no clue to what steam is downloading! I can play the game Counter-Strike at 16% downloaded. Yet, it requires me to update all that to 100% I dont know what is going on, why do i need that other crap if I can play the game, and why is their network downloading all of this stuff when their bandwidth is needed elsewhere.

The steam program was required desperatly, and I was considering a program much like this during 1.5 when I had to update counter-strike on mine and friends computers for them. The sierra updater was a terrible pain, I wont go into detail as it is a moot point. I like the steam idea, I am not AGAINST steam, but I think that while a good idea, steam cannot be considered GOOD, yet. Although the games now running on steam with dial up perform better than before (ever heard of cl_flushpacket or whatever?), the progam has potential, it just hasnt reached its full potential yet. I hope valve continues to make steam better, mabye one day one could actually compare its performance to

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