Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?

Comment Fine for the masses (Score 1) 159

Steam is great for the masses, but I mostly play games which are good enough that I will be playing them on and off for some time to come. As long as the general crap is all that's tied to it, I don't care that much. However, I am afraid that DD (Steam or otherwise) and its equivalents on consoles may take over completely, which would threaten the longevity of those games I do wish to play. So, in the interest of games which are more than transient time wasters, I hope physical distribution stays strong, and preferably (though hopelessly unlikely) that DD just goes away.

There may be hope though. When music first started becoming legally available online, it was horribly DRM encumbered, but they have backed off a lot over time. So, while DD may never go away, games in the future might at least not be programmed to fail.

Although, even in that case I would still hope that physical distribution would remain the standard. A real life example, the first two Team Ico games came in nice cardboard cases with art cards. I'm currently wondering if their PS3 game will follow suit, or only have a normal case. The idea of one being released without so much as boxart or a manual is not appealing.

Comment Re:You can sell your steam games individually (Score 2, Insightful) 242

I'm surprised you, or anyone, are so willing to support bad practice by a company. To use a real-world analogy, if you bought physical games from a certain supplier, and that supplier had a habit of pushing dodgy merchandise, you would just fork over cash for the dodgy stuff because you could always pirate it instead if something goes wrong? Geez, we sure are a long way from the days when people complained about crappy service. Now they pay for it!

Well, if it works for you, good for you, and no sarcasm here either. Some people just don't give a damn, and that's fine (I don't about many things). Try not to think too harshly of those who, like me, have some antipathy for such disregard towards the state of the industry though. We can't help ourselves.

And, on the upside, with Steam users so willing to accept the downsides, we'll never see a better Steam where you get the benefits without the compromises. Which is nice, in a petty kind of way.

Comment Re:Good for Steam (Score 1) 242

Actually no, I don't accept that Steam is "opposed" to this.

A service which unnecessarily ties your games down to online authentication which will inevitably disappear doesn't conflict with the aim of keeping your games in working condition permanently?

Those six binders of games take up a full bookshelf in my computer room. The terabyte hard drive I could have stored them all on if they had been downloads, takes up less space than most of my hardbound books.

I image my disks and put the physicals in storage out of the way. All the benefits of what you do, with even more benefits, and the cost of ... some space in a cupboard?

The hard drive is only necessary if I accept the premise that Steam is dead, as if Steam lives, then the hard drive is merely a convince factor for me when I don't want wait for Steam to download the game.

If we assume that Steam will shut down in a well-announced and graceful way, yes. Do you assume that nothing will go wrong when planning ahead. Granted all I have mentioned is Steam's inevitable disappearance, but that isn't to say problems can't occur in the mean time.
And as I said - to lose my games, something has to physically happen to them. Yours? A bit accidentally gets flipped somewhere and whoops, all gone. Well, not really *gone*, they'll just give you the proverbial finger if you try to play them.

Accidents happen, and hardware fails.

Accidents are possible. Hardware failure is inevitable.

And, since my hard drive CAN be copied indefinitely, with multiple copies existing simultaneously

As can my disks, if I so wish. Steam doesn't let you do anything at the local end that you can't do anyway - it is solely restrictive.

You stick to your tired old media, that's your choice. Just don't act like an ass and pretend that it's the only "right choice" for the rest of us out there.

Well that's the thing isn't it. I know it is only the right choice for me because I value my games, and because I want to be able to play them in years to come. If this isn't the case, there is no argument against Steam.
But this all started because you claimed that you go to whatever effort necessary to maintain these same things, yet switched to Steam. You gave up some ease of maintaining your games for convenience now - which is fine, but contradictory to your stated goals.

Comment Re:You can sell your steam games individually (Score 1) 242

Oh no, I MIGHT have to pay $2 to buy Bejeweled Multiplayer in 8 years so my daughter can play it while I play Half-life 5?

More like, you might have to torrent down a copy of Half-Life 2 if you want to go back to the earlier entries in the series, because the legit copy you bought was deactivated.

I love playing Left 4 Dead, TF2, CS:S - these are the best games out there.

They are all online focused - Steam has no adverse effects on online games, since they intrinsically require the service to function. I know of no argument against Steam-based online games, except maybe the loss of LAN gaming in the future.

Comment Re:Good for Steam (Score 1) 242

Every game I've purchased on Steam is backed up. To a single hard drive. And should, some day, Valve look as if it were in dire straits, I'll be able take advantage of the fact that my backups are stand alone files which can simply be copied to preserve.

And until then you can rest easy in the knowledge that you have negated Steam's biggest selling point, not having to keep games locally, while accepting all the downsides.

How about you? How are your games backed up? Do you have back ups, since you had your nose turned up high enough to drown when it rains over the idea of cracks, I'm guessing no.

My games are 'backed up' on the physical media I bought them on. A single point of failure, yes, but one with a far longer lifespan that your option. I've lost over a terabyte of data over the last few years to HDD failures. I've never had a damaged disk.
And I get this 'backup' simply by buying - I pay and get something I can keep forever, whereas you pay and then have to make arrangements for when your 'online backup' inevitably disappears.
As for cracks, I crack all my games to remove the CD check (I don't have a problem with such legally questionable things, and I get something the pirates can't supply when I buy), though my games will work as purchased with minor inconvenience even if I somehow lose the cracks - whereas yours will simply cease to function.

You would prefer to pretend that in a decade you'll still be able to load those scratched CDs, that the scratches won't set off the SecureRom (or whatever DRM your game came with) disk check. That should YOUR six binders of games get stolen, the police will quickly and efficiently find the villain and return your property unharmed.

In a decade's time my CDs will still be unscratched, as my current decade-old CDs are now - I know how to look after them.
Perhaps they will get stolen. Perhaps my house will burn down. Physical backups aren't perfectly safe, I never said they were. But at least in those situations, something bad actually happened, some extraordinary circumstance, an unfortunate fact of life. Rather that than some decision by a company somewhere to remote-kill my games, when they would have continued to work just fine otherwise.
To take my games from me you must actually take them, or destroy them. Yours ask for permission to even run, and the developer can simply refuse.

And this is just part of what is wrong with Steam.

I can understand the average Joe Random embracing Steam, they aren't going to be playing the same games next year, let alone in ten years, so none of this concerns them. But you actually want to keep your games permanently, and understand that Steam is directly opposed to this, and your response is to accept Steam and go to extra effort to mitigate its issues. Interesting.

Comment Re:Good for Steam (Score 1) 242

People who write self-contradictory posts deserve a mild ad hominem.

Steam allows you to backup your games to a physical medium. And there are sufficient cracks out there for defeating Steam that should they go under, even if they failed to keep their original promise of releasing a patch to remove the requirement for authentication, I'd still be able to play the games I've bought through them.

So Steam is awesome because it eliminates physical media, but PS, keep your games backed up on physical media if you don't want to lose access to them? As finely sensible a post as your last, good sir.

Sure, if you're willing to use illegal methods and rely on the pirates, you'll be able to play your Steam games years from now without Steam. But, if you are so willing, you can play them without Steam right now.

And I, on the other hand, won't have to break the law to play my games.

Comment Re:Good for Steam (Score 2, Insightful) 242

And I never, ever, plan on selling any of that to a used game company. Not because I have moral issues with it, but because for me, being able to go back and replay Dungeon Keeper 2 once every three years is worth the effort.

So, it's worth the effort of keeping physical media around in order to be able to replay them forever, but you are willing to give up the ability to replay them forever (by using steam) in order to avoid the effort.

Steam proponents are priceless.

Comment Re:hmm? (Score 1) 242

Assume all piracy/lending/used sales are removed from the world by magic.

Game developer spends $10M making a game, but only one person buys it, and no-one else plays it. Game developer is still out $9,999,950.

Making a crap game: -$9,999,950
Realising that not every download/copy is a lost sale: Priceless

Slashdot Top Deals

In computing, the mean time to failure keeps getting shorter.