You're talking like half of that is a manual process (authenticate against the server? You mean click "I accept the ToS"?). The most folks ever do is download a newer graphics driver. That's a maybe, and the game will probably still run even if you don't do that. And most of the time the driver just downloads when you plug in the USB port. Your one button joystick may not have needed a driver, but your sound card certainly did. Forget about adding that throttle.
Uninstall those rose colored glasses bro, clicking "launch" on steam is far far easier than gaming in the DOS era ever was.