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MagnumHK
12-16-2005, 12:05 PM
Purpose of this post is to provide a warning to those who do not know what Steam does. I understand that piracy is rampant and does affect the bottom line and am all for preventing this. But...

Had NO idea that with Steam one could NOT load HL2 onto a computer with no internet conncection!

Not only that had NO idea that one has to maintain a constant connection to play the single player game. This feels like I am playing an online game when I am not. In other words I get the same stutters as online due to packet loss etc.

I have read many glowing reviews about HL2 and NOWHERE have I seen any warning whatsoever about what Steam is or what it does. There was absolutely no information or warning about Steam on the package I purchased or in any reviews.

I recall something mentioned about Steam in this forum but no details so I thought nothing of it. The game is good but there is no manual with it (on any of the cd's or on valve site)and getting anything from the Valve site is very daunting. A simple thing like adjusting the crosshairs for brightness is like trying to find a needle in the haystack. However, these issues are not the purpose of this post.

Guys and gals we do not know how good we have it here. Hats off to Oleg and the crew.

carguy_
12-16-2005, 12:24 PM
First of all,the IL2 series is such a niche that applying any type of steam/starforce protection is too expensive comapred to income from sales.If Ubi ever had a perspective of income with such protections,there would surely be some.

Whether you like it or not,IL2 is one of the last games that have no advanced protection systems.There will be more and more complicated programs such as starforce.

As for my opinion,I will not let any type of spying program get on my PC,be it the game of the year or IL2.No way,period.A PC game is too little of a meaning to me to let someone or something run in the background processes of my PC.
This being an attempt to preserve simple freedom - privacy.
If one denies my right to privacy I`m going to stand up.
If future games are to be like starforce/steam protected I will simply stop playing video games .

The world is so much full of idiots,that such protection systems/devices is bound to get through to a broader extent.Its a simple truth which I have to accept.


One thing that causes me to let go all the games is simple fact.There are still people that are more willing to play outside,smelling fresh air,training their bodies.
I have yet to see corporations not letting me play football with my buds.


Any game with starforce/steam is out of my list.

Why am I writing this?I still hope that one of my best entertainment tools - WWII warbird simulators will not be implemented with above protection systems.

MagnumHK
12-16-2005, 12:38 PM
Carguy, I hear you. Makes me almost think about going to console games. Almost. However, it looks like this is the wave of the future. Piracy is rampant and this seems to be the only solution. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

However, there should be a WARNING about what these security systems do and a buyer should not have to find out that one cannot install a product unless there is an internet connection or that there will be contant monitoring.

Freelancer-1
12-16-2005, 12:49 PM
There is a way to set up steam to allow the game to be played without having an internet connection.

I'll need some time to find it, and I'll repost then.

Maybe someone else knows without needing to wade through back issues of PC Gamer?

MagnumHK
12-16-2005, 01:39 PM
Freelancer that would be welcome news, as I like to focus all my resources just on the game to get the most out of it.

Thanks in advance. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

danjama
12-16-2005, 01:45 PM
Does anyone know if this stuff exists on COD2 or BF2?For that matter any new popular games? I dont wanna fall into this kinda thing...

MagnumHK
12-16-2005, 01:53 PM
I wonder if someone has compiled a list of these Steam/Starforce games? There does not seem to be a warning on their packaging!

Schlageter-JG26
12-16-2005, 02:09 PM
I am an HL2 ADDICT... self-confessed. If you're ever playing, look around for [TuSC]. I generally run a server with 6 or 8 players in a Team DM on Overwatch.

That being said. Privacy? Privacy is a delusion today. If you have private info, protect it by not having it on your pc. My dad has a mildly unhealthy dose of paranoia... which is just right, imo. He's not PC savvy.... so despite all the firewall and programming I've done, as well as the fact that he runs a work machine and a personal machine.... he still abides by the assurance of a physically removable drive, so I installed some Antec sata removable racks. Kind of handy, actually! With sata I can hot-swap drives.

I've never had a stutter on HL2, btw. Not saying it won't happen, just advocating that the game is not a stop-motion online game like WoW.

Myself? Having friends in the security business, I know that anyone can get anything they need to know about me already.... whether they find some way to hack Steam or not.... so I'm really not that concerned.

I did have fun once and tracked a kid's IP back... he had been pinging my server for two days and just could NOT get past the old Smoothwall program I used to run. Sent him a nice message: "Thanks for checking out my server. Have you had a chance to go outside yet today? The weather report says it's sunny and 86 over there in Manila right now. Hack the planet!" And he never came back.

I live by this rule... if it's REALLY worth keeping a secret? Keep it verbal and face to face.

This time of year, I suggest ordering X-mas gifts over the internet on a card with a limit of 1 to 2k.... if it gets ripped off, they're not going to blast your credit report with 40k of stuff.

And please... if you're going to look at the REALLY dirty porn (don't ask what, you KNOW what) then you either shouldn't be looking, or at least use a friend's computer instead! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/88.gif

hobnail
12-16-2005, 02:27 PM
Originally posted by MagnumHK:
Had NO idea that with Steam one could NOT load HL2 onto a computer with no internet conncection!

Huh? From my box copy of HL2 (from your comment above I doubt you bought it online..) the minimum and recommended requirements include internet connection required.

My box came with a manual and it's not like half the net isn't swimming with pages on how to c0unt3rsr|k3 b3tt0r...

And if you didn't read in reviews/previews that HL2 was going to be the first Steam enabled game for sale I'd like to know what sorry excuse for games & tech sites you subscribe to.

As for your problems, I'd lay down money to bet that the problem is driver/hardware/OS related rather than "packet loss".

On another note Dangerous Waters the best naval/sub sim around is shortly going to go on sale on Steam, buy it!

1.JaVA_Hornet
12-16-2005, 03:36 PM
Originally posted by Freelancer-1:
There is a way to set up steam to allow the game to be played without having an internet connection.

I'll need some time to find it, and I'll repost then.

Maybe someone else knows without needing to wade through back issues of PC Gamer?

I have gave away that game to a friend.
For installing you need a connection but then
came a question about connection bla bla bla
then i answered no. He can play offline without
a connection!!!!

MagnumHK
12-16-2005, 04:04 PM
Hobnail of course internet connection is required for multiplayer, everyone knows that.

I am talking about the single player version. Who knew that this would be constantly monitored and require an internet connection just to play. Excuse my ignornace but I had only heard little tid bits about Steam and never even dreamed about what it would entail.

I was going to install this on a computer with no internet access. The company must make paying customers aware of what Steam actually is. As you said it is the FIRST Steam game out there so there is bound to be confusion.

Customers are going to be picking this game up on the hype alone without even looking into it let alone what its protected by.

Now, I apologize writing that there was no warning on the package about Steam. On the package in print that almost needs a magnifying glass to read are directions about going to a web site to read the agreement. However, how many people acutally read the software agreements these days? They are the same old news and this very little blurb on the package would be considered the same.

I guess customers will learn the hard way. You know not everyone even has an internet connection. I live in the wild open country of Canada where a high speed connection is thought of as some drug or driving over 75 mph down the highway. In other words a lot of PC owners are not techno in the know experts and they deserve a much bigger warning about Steam on the package.

Judging by the HL2 support site a lot of people are having problems with stutttering. Mine are minor, but I still think it has somthing to do with having to run virus checkers etc. in the background. IMHO single player games should be run without having to be connected. When I play online the connection and the problems which come with that have to be accepted.

WTE_Ibis
12-16-2005, 04:14 PM
I can play it without connecting to the internet but don't ask me how to do it.
I got my copy when I purchased an ATI graphics card. The game had to be downloaded through Steam
but once that was done ( it took hours) all was sweet. On starting steam (without connecting to the net) it gives an option to play in "offline mode"

Mind you I have to be bored out of my brain to play it.

.

Wilburnator
12-16-2005, 04:17 PM
I doubt very much that your stuttering is caused by internet connection. I'm no expert, but I don't think detailed gameplay data is going back and forth to another location, as in a multiplayer game. At any rate, I have it and it runs perfectly for me, no complaints.

Day of Defeat is pretty cool too. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

hobnail
12-16-2005, 06:20 PM
Originally posted by MagnumHK:
Hobnail of course internet connection is required for multiplayer, everyone knows that.
And everyone who buys a boxed version of a game understands what "minimum" means.

Steam isn't the devil but ignorance is the devil's handmaiden.

Monty_Thrud
12-16-2005, 06:44 PM
Wasnt there a Starforce removal device thingy program available?...me seems to think

WWSensei
12-16-2005, 07:51 PM
Steam isn't necessary to play offline. You can even alt tab out, kill steam and keep playing.

Unknown_Target
12-16-2005, 08:24 PM
The internet goes out occassioanly, and power goes out regularly where I live. If you're unlucky enough to restart your comp and NOT have Steam already connected to the internet, you CAN NOT load the game. I've been sitting there, bored, dozens of times, wanting to just boot up the game and maybe screw around with the maps, but no, I'm automatically assumed to be a pirate and I can't launch the **** thing.
Not only that, but you can't remove it if you just want to play YOUR game, and Steam automaticlly assimilates all other Valve products into it, without your permission.

Steam = sh*i*te.

Freelancer-1
12-16-2005, 09:54 PM
Try here
http://www.tweakguides.com/HL2_4.html

or here

http://www.addict3d.org/index.php?page=viewarticle&type=news&ID=4132

Professor1942
12-17-2005, 12:01 AM
I much prefer Steam over something that requires a disc in the drive, unnecessarily spinning up and slowing down the entire system. Thank heavens for Alcohol 120%...

adlabs6
12-17-2005, 01:09 AM
I will give a positive vote to Steam. I am on dialup, and even still I have had absolutely no problems.

A simple point: Don't allow auto-start for Steam on Windows launch. Look in the options tab, and set up the Steam options the way YOU want them.

I make sure I don't have an active dialup connection, and start Steam. It say it can't find a connection! Great, I click the "Play Offline" button and I go play. My copy of Steam has not connected to the web in about three months, and I've played completely through HL2 (again), and played some CounterStrike during that time.

On the issue of piracy and protection of developers profits, I support this entirely. Having read about Steam and how it works before purchase, I bought it willingly.

A similar system I use is for payware FS2004 addons by companies like PMDG, Simflyer Simulations, and RealityXP. It's called the Flight1 e-commerce wrapper. Enter your credit card info, name, email, and key code for each time you install. If you're not registered for that product, it bills your card and installs immediately. Already registered? Installs and runs. Simple, and it doesn't mess with any other computer software or hardware.

Starforce is the only system I am not interested in buying. I am not happy with some of their decisions as a company, but more importantly there are consistent issues with certain hardware/software. I have chosen to refrain from Lockon addons due to this, and time will tell whether future UBI sims use the same system. I'd choose Steam/Flight1 if given the choice.

Now, to MagnumHK...

Steam software is the authentication program/game hub. The actual games do not use Steam code in them. Half Life 2 runs on the "Source" code engine. Browsing forums will reveal that Source games are known to have several issues with stuttering. It appears to be related to harddrive access during the game, sound engine problems, and/or gcf file decompression. These problems can be hard to solve, and are not related to netcode or access.

Indeed, these problems are not relegated to low end hardware. My own PC ran HL2/CS:S with just 512MB of ram absolutely fine since day one. I found a matching 512MB stick for almost nothing and installed it. I am lucky to be able to finish a 30 minute play session without a crash with 1GB, where as 512 was stable for at least 4 hours (about the longest I'd play at a stretch).

Why? No idea. I could try a re-install, but authenticating/patching on dialup is very slow and I don't want my net tied up that long. I've completed HL2 four times now so I'm about done anyway.

And for what it's worth, every other aspect of my PC is better with 1GB. Only HL2 and CounterStrike are worse. Best of luck with finding a solution.

WTE_Ibis
12-17-2005, 01:18 AM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Freelancer-1:
Try here
http://www.tweakguides.com/HL2_4.html

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


Playing Half Life 2 offline: Once installed, verified and updated online, you can play Half Life 2 without having to be connected to the Internet. To do this, follow the Steam Configuration instructions further below. Then whenever you want to play offline, make sure you don't have an active Internet connection and launch Half Life 2. When prompted, select the 'Play in Offline Mode' option and the game will load and play offline. For more detailed information, including playing offline on other machines, check this: Steam Article.

MagnumHK
12-17-2005, 04:11 PM
Thanks a lot Freelancer-1 for the information. This has solved at least half or more of the objections I had with HL2.

It is very simple to play offline. Simply double click the HL2 icon without an internet connection and if everything has been installed and verified correctly during the install process it will give you the option of playing offline. It works very well. My game seems to run better as well.

Now why was this info was not provided in a simple readme file or included in a game manual is beyond me. A game manual in PDF format would have been nice. A quick reference card is all I got in the 5 CD case.

Now, I still maintain that a much larger warning label about Steam should be on the case being purchased. An example of a good label that really caught my eye covering the whole bottom of the case was "security device enclosed". A label like that should be included warning one about Steam. Especially for the first game put out including this.

On the flip side one cannot blame developers for doing this as it means making a profit or not. My only fear is that it will only get worse as time goes on. Pretty soon you will need a web camera on your monitor doing a retina scan before you can use the product. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

Thanks again for all the useful info guys. This site is indeed useful and courteous for IL2 and much more. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif