I think you've got to understand something in order to understand why most users has a Steam experience not as good as they expected.
It's simple: you just haven't bought a game. Not even a user license.
What you have paid are "subscription fees". And what you have is a subscription to some content on an online service.
So don't be surprised that you need to authenticate regularly, and that, if the servers go down, it is so painful to get working offline.
I mean, you won't be so surprised by Steam design if on the box it was written EQ or WoW.
Don't believe me? Well, just take 15 min to read the Steam Subscriber Agreement (SSA). And for real fun, compare with the retail HL2 EULA on the CDs, which you have dismissed when clicking "I agree" on the SSA. It seems to have already upset a german association (http://www.golem.de/0501/35945.html).
So next time, before "subscribing" to a product that need activation, just read the fine prints. Because you may not be buying exactly what you thought....
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finally someone who realised how steams supposed to work...
though not technically a subscription (a per lifetime fee?) he is right, youre playing it off of them, the software doesnt belong to you nor a licence for the game....only your account and the stuff your permitted to play....
An xbox360 and a 12" iBook....
And a kawasaki er-6n to mod instead
When you make the decisions for me, then you have the right to tell me when to gripe or whine...UNTILL THEN KEEP SUCH COMMENTS TO YOUR DARN SELF...
I am fed up with these so self proclaimed KNOW IT ALL WANNABEES telling me when it is nessessary to complain or make a simple comment on ANYTHING!!!
When you shell out the money for my gamming needs then you have the right to tell me what to do with such product untill them I will still be whinning my ASS off when companies do STUPID things and if you dont like it...GO GET BENT!
imho everyone has the right to complain, whine, moan, whinge, whatever you want to call it. it all comes under free speech.
when it comes to steam, i got the retail version of the game and no where on the packaging does it say that its a subscription. at the till i was told i would have to rregister online but no one mentioned a subcrition. so does this count as false advertising?
it excatly like sandere said, we are agreeing to a contract with out reading the small print, or in terms of the retail version not at all.
people only use the world subscription because its the closest to what they can find.
when you bought your retail copy, you apid for the packaging, the plastic and effort into making the cds and a lifetime subcription to half life 2 and counterstrike source, for use with an account registered to you. It says internet connection required as a minimum requirement, and thats usually only seen on massively multiplayer or online only games and those usually run on subscriptions too....its just that you have an account and you 'subcribe' to the games you play...once again likemassively multiplayer games....everything you read on that box is true and everything you read and agreed to is there for you...
the only real problem? steam and the idea behind it is young and not mature, it needs improvement and people's complaints is the best place to see where things are wrong.....in this case THE SERVERS
An xbox360 and a 12" iBook....
And a kawasaki er-6n to mod instead
"If don't like it, don't buy it". I agree with that, but for this statement to work, you have to be aware of what "the product is" before purchase. And HL2 is definitely not what it seems.
Valve can do whatever they want with their game, either sell them or only allow subscriptions. But they have to advertise it, especially when it is that different from a classic mostly single player offline FPS.
If they had advertised it correctly, there would have less people complaining simply because they think they have just purchase the game. And no, this is not even a "lifetime" subscription... Definitely something else. But I bet that with correct advertising, sales would not have been the same.
Offline mode? Well, it was easy and clear to enable and easily backupable as a stand-alone (aka no need of Internet when restoring on a different machine), it *might* be okay. But this mode as no real contractual existence. It is mentionned neither in the SSA, nor in the "feature" list on the Steam website. You have virtually no warranty on how it should work. And the "easiest way" to make it work on the support FAQ are just ridiculous and seems to not work for everybody.
I know I'm paranoid and that Valve may not do something of terrible taste, like adding recurring charges to Steam, for instance in order "to defray" bandwith costs. But they claim in the SSA to have that kind of rights and there is already the $10 resell fee. And I find this legal trick with the EULA and the SSA to be already of VERY bad taste for a company whose marketing line is to be THE company who really cares about its fan base....
And threads on these questions just kept being closed on the Steam's forums. No officials clarification from Valve, except the "you are trolls" sticky by Valve's head of support...
""when it comes to steam, i got the retail version of the game and no where on the packaging does it say that its a subscription. at the till i was told i would have to rregister online but no one mentioned a subcrition. so does this count as false advertising?""
i'm along with this statement. nowere does it say that it will take away your previous licence agreements for any/all of your old valve games that you own and change them onto this new subscription based agreement.
but that is what happens.
so buy hl2 and lose you ula for older games that you have already paid for.
a good side to this however is, that if you don't already own these older games, you get them free. if you want them.
Thermalfreak , your interpretational stance seems to fall in the passive aggressive catagory on the defensive side for steam ( and or Valve if you wish ) .
If you do not work for ( as in , are not getting paid by ) Valve then you are a quite possibly the least expensive pimp they have out on the hook
Let's look at a couple of your interpretations so far :
(thermalfreak):" finally someone who realised how steams supposed to work..."
*** hmm, that's just a tad condesending. Are you infering that steam isn't bad or shoddy or deceptive ? That it is simply misunderstood ( by a vast majority of people whom lack your lofty insights)? ***
"though not technically a subscription (a per lifetime fee?) he(-ed , john doe) is right, youre playing it off of them, the software doesnt belong to you nor a licence for the game....only your account and the stuff your permitted to play...."
*** let's compare that comment with one you make a little further down the page :
"...when you bought your retail copy, you apid for the packaging, the plastic and effort into making the cds and a lifetime subcription to half life 2 and counterstrike source, for use with an account registered to you. It says internet connection required as a minimum requirement, and thats usually only seen on massively multiplayer or online only games and those usually run on subscriptions too....its just that you have an account and you 'subcribe' to the games you play...once again likemassively multiplayer games...."
***So what you are telling us is that 'we' only OWN an account , and only own the PRIVILEDGE of getting access to "stuff you (we) are PERMITTED to play" , and that we should all unquestioningly infer or assume that because MMORPG's ( and other on-line only games ) have special restrictitions DUE TO THE FACT THAT THEY ARE ON-LINE ONLY GAMES that other pieces of NOT ON-LINE ONLY software can 'classify' ( or hide as it's otherwise known) restricted functionality and nebulous use rights by simply saying "internet connection required"? .
Sorry partner just because one gender of gaming is 'handicapped' in a specific way DOES NOT GIVE ALL OTHER GAMES THE RIGHT to park in the handicapped spaces. If HL2 is going to walk like a mmorpg , and quack like a mmorpg don't try to tell us it's O.K. for it fail to clarify it's nature .
As for clarifying it's nature :
"...people only use the world subscription because its the closest to what they can find...."
If VALVE CAN"T DEFINE WHAT THEY ARE SELLING and are relying on the vague or incomplete wording , generalities and assumtions to "define " the exact nature of their product they are either completely incompetant or actively being deceptive . If this monstrousity that Valve is foisting off is some "new" thing then they should clearly define and DISCLOSE it's nature and attributes UP FRONT .
"everything you read on that box is true ..."
yes, but if HL2 came in a plain brown wrapper with nothing but the words " PC game" on the front it would also be true , and possibly in this case , just as informative .
"..and everything you read and agreed to is there for you..."
****oopsie . Not true . At least not on the outside of the box at the point of sale. At the retail level it is impossible to read the EULA unitl after you open the software , at which point most retailers will not take it back . Also the Steam Eula ( which is the first place you learn you own nothing ) 'negates' or "superceeds" the retail EULA , which again is not something one could ever possibly learn by reading the box . If that is what you consider to be "there for you " I would hate to be your Signifigant other .
So riddle me this Batman , is it now Emptor Caveat as the statis quo in the 'for gamers by gamers' market place ?
Using your same logic of association (with MMORPG's) since HL was a FPS then shouldn't I be purchasing A fps when I purchase HL2 ? And if I am not then are you saying that the words "internet connection required " are satisfactory for relaying the information that HL2 susbscription based services have more in common with MMOrph's than with HL's FPS single and multiplayer roots (remember you said that "we" own only an account) ?
"the only real problem? steam and the idea behind it is young and not mature...
***what ???, what about that little company MICROSOFT and that little known product Windows XP? the only new thing is the crappy deceptions that steam perpetuates
The REAL PROBLEMS are implimentation , intent and disclosure (... it is inexcusable that a 5+ year production cycle should produce code with the kind of errors the hl2/steam mutanto has , and it is also totally inexcusable that a company whom is implimenting a piece of software that has an "internet connection required " stipulation should have the KIND and severity of problems valve has with it's servers )
You berate people for whining yet offer nothing more in the way of validation than a whine about whiners and alot of very skewed and incorrect assertions .
I suppose it would be ironic if it was less mundane .
Distribution method is only part of the problem , the larger issue is , IS this Frankensteam the narrrow end of the wedge ? Have game developers reached a point where they can successfully (long enough to run to the bank) hide things from the very people they wish to profit off of ? ANd where does this " You as a gamer are guilty until proven innocent " ideology end or extend . If you want the game industry to become like the music industry ( hey where have all the Led Zepplins and Jimmy Hendrix's gone ? ) then by all mean continue to support the narrow end of the "consumer is the enemy " wedge .