As far as the updating goes... Every game I've got has an option to control how the game is updated. I can tell it to only update manually if I want to. Yes, the default is to update automatically.
Except when you first install (or reinstall) the game, the update is mandatory before you play. You can turn off updates AFTER that is completed, but you have to endure that initial download.
Since there are some mods that only worked with certain versions (and were never updated) this feature has been a continuous annoyance. Furthermore, you can't chose which version you want; if you want to upgrade from version 1.0 to version 1.4, but the latest version is v1.5, you are getting v1.5.
I have no objection automatic updates for those who want it, but they need to make it so you can completely opt out and stick with the original release version if you want, or manually select the patch version you specify.
But who am I kidding? Giving customers control of the product they paid for? That'll never fly.