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Thread: Any update on Steam?

  1. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    So just lay down and accept it? Sorry, but if I buy I game, I expect to be able to play it for as long as I have it, not at the whim of some company who may or may not think I'm a criminal, or at the whim of some server's up-time (this carries over to normal online games with company-controlled servers as well.. much prefer single player games, or at least the ability to host your own server).
    I never said to accept it, or to lie down. I hate it just as much as you do, but like I said. . it's been here for decades, isn't going away, and even with copy protection new games are shifting to consoles where using even legitimately copied games is more of a hassle.


    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    Steam is a great idea, botched up horribly. If it didn't require itself to be running to play any of its games (could you imagine having to have portage running and active to play a game on Gentoo?), and didn't assume guilt-over-innocense, my problems with it would be vastly diminished.
    I can't agree with it being botched horribly as I have had almost no issues with it. I've actually had more issues with Source games themselves than Steam. As for Steam running in the background, I am not aware of it doing much else but sitting there. I know that Bram Cohen joined Valve, and I did find a reference to Steam using something similar to Bittorrent for voice chat and downloads, but I have not seen any instance where I have suffered from bandwidth saturation from Steam. When poking around though, I did find that there are some hidden P2P settings in Steam. a screenshot of which is here:



    I also do not like how tightly the games are controlled, and I do see references to other people not being able to play because of Steam not being able to connect. I wasn't aware of it because I've never encountered the problem. . and you're right, thats complete bull.


    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    As mentioned, not everywhere in the world is so "connected". I didn't get away from 33.6kbps dial-up (on crappy phone-lines that liked dropping calls) until after 2001 when I moved. Even if we could, we simply didn't have the money to afford the cost of broadband. And personally, I'd love to live in an area with few residents (an thus having lower chances of "high-speed" connections). I'd still like some connection, but it doesn't need to be OMGFAST Cable/FiOS.
    I personally would love to move to Alaska with all the snow and mountains. . or to the Midwest, where there are no trees or buildings blocking your view of the horizon. The biggest stopper for me however would be broadband. I think that is true of everyone here. There is nothing that can easily be done about this however, and it does not affect the vast majority of the world population. Besides, most of the games that are on Steam have had disc distribution.

  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by dashcloud View Post
    Well, there are some games you could run without Steam, but unless you like actual old-school games, you're not going to be playing them. I'm pretty sure any of the games that use DOSBOX to run could be played without Steam.
    Not sure what you mean...

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by divideoverflow View Post
    I never said to accept it, or to lie down. I hate it just as much as you do, but like I said. . it's been here for decades, isn't going away, and even with copy protection new games are shifting to consoles where using even legitimately copied games is more of a hassle.
    Copy protection/access prevention may have been around for decades, but nothing like we have now. If you were to go back 10 or 15 years and dumped something like Steam on people, you'd probably get a riot on your hands. Needing a CD key or checking the manual for a specific word is a far cry from having to validate with the company at every launch of the app, requiring buggy and insecure device drivers, or having otherwise unneeded background apps running (I remember when Win95 came out.. I still liked playing games in DOS mode so I didn't have Windows in the background sucking up resources; I only ran games in Windows when I didn't want to reboot or when it required Windows).

    I can't agree with it being botched horribly as I have had almost no issues with it.
    Botched in concept. As a central game distribution/patching/etc program, it's fine. But as a vehicle for draconian DRM schemes, unnecessary requirements, etc, it fails pretty hard.

    I personally would love to move to Alaska with all the snow and mountains. . or to the Midwest, where there are no trees or buildings blocking your view of the horizon. The biggest stopper for me however would be broadband.
    The only way to really get broadband is by being in a populated area, and if that happens, it kinda defeats the purpose of going there as a somewhat secluded getaway.

  4. #44
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    @divideoverflow: I assume you never had to "work" with steam or source in any way. The problems are numerous ranging from steam killing entire games by doing incorrect updates, not being able to redownload games since steam is "stuck" somewhere thinking it's installed but then again not and fuck shit, over SDK dying all the time killing your projects too over to rallying your CPU up to 100% for not fucking sane reason.

    As mentioned, good idea, horrible execution.

  5. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    Copy protection/access prevention may have been around for decades, but nothing like we have now. If you were to go back 10 or 15 years and dumped something like Steam on people, you'd probably get a riot on your hands.
    As for dumping Steam on people 10 to 15 years ago, don't forget that Internet access was not nearly as common back then either, and neither was piracy. Most piracy took place between people that knew each other, and P2P networks were a gleam in Shawn Fanning's eye. You can't deny that the threshold for preventing piracy is much higher than it was 10 or 15 years ago. You go back that far, and aside from large companies or schools, everyone was on dial-up. Games on CD were becoming common in those days, but burners were not. If you did have a burner and you were willing to pay for the expensive CD-Rs of the time, and you were lucky enough to find a fast FTP or website, had a ISP that looked the other way on their alt.binaries newsgroups, or knew of an IRC chatroom with Fserves hosted on connections that could supply 48Kbps to your modem, and whatever piracy source you found actually had what you were looking for, then you could download a CD in a bit more than a day. Thats a lot of Ifs though, isn't it? More commonly you searched all of these resouces, and there was no telling how long it would take for you to find what you were looking for, if you ever found it at all. Then when you did find it, unless the file was hosted on a web server or newsgroup, you had to deal with queue times or getting lucky enough to get a slot on an FTP server. Once you got past all of that, you'd be lucky to max out your download bandwidth. Typically this was not the case, and you might see the file anywhere from 2 days to a week from when you started downloading, especially if the game was multidisc. These days, you hit up a torrent site, open a gnutella or ed2k client, and you can have your goods in a matter of hours with a decent broadband connection.

    Even with all of that being said, let me reiterate and clarify that I do not like the use of copy protection or DRM, I simply understand it and why companies use it. I also do not see it going away unless nearly everyone is upset with it. I have not reached that point with Steam. I would however be upset if Valve went under, and nothing was done to allow legitimate customer to continue using what they purchased. Although the MSN Music store comes to mind, when I purchase games through Steam, I do so having already made a personal judgement call about whether Valve or Steam will go under without a way for me to continue using my software. I also judge whether or not I will even want to play the games I purchase 10 years down the road, at a time when I see it much more likely for Valve to go out of business (not for any particular reason, rather just that any company can go out of business, given enough time).

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    Needing a CD key or checking the manual for a specific word is a far cry from having to validate with the company at every launch of the app, requiring buggy and insecure device drivers, or having otherwise unneeded background apps running (I remember when Win95 came out.. I still liked playing games in DOS mode so I didn't have Windows in the background sucking up resources; I only ran games in Windows when I didn't want to reboot or when it required Windows).
    Personally I find manual word checks more of a pain than having the game authenticate over the Internet automatically. Concerning buggy or insecure device drivers, can you give an instance where Steam required anything like that? We're not talking about StarForce, after all.


    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    Botched in concept. As a central game distribution/patching/etc program, it's fine. But as a vehicle for draconian DRM schemes, unnecessary requirements, etc, it fails pretty hard.
    I am curious; what do you do about it? Do you just not purchase games from Valve? Perhaps you try to convince Valve of these points you are making to me in the hopes that they will remove their draconian copy protection and authentication? Call me a pessimist, but I don't see it happening unless Steam gets much worse than it currently is, and people prefer to avoid purchasing Half-Life 3 just to avoid Steam.


    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    The only way to really get broadband is by being in a populated area, and if that happens, it kinda defeats the purpose of going there as a somewhat secluded getaway.
    Like I said. . .

    Quote Originally Posted by divideoverflow View Post
    I think that is true of everyone here. There is nothing that can easily be done about this however, and it does not affect the vast majority of the world population. Besides, most of the games that are on Steam have had disc distribution.
    While I do not like the negative aspects of Steam, I have not encountered any of the problems you have. That is all I am really saying. I'm not here to argue over something so insignificant, I just wanted to throw out my two cents.

  6. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonlord View Post
    @divideoverflow: I assume you never had to "work" with steam or source in any way. The problems are numerous ranging from steam killing entire games by doing incorrect updates, not being able to redownload games since steam is "stuck" somewhere thinking it's installed but then again not and fuck shit, over SDK dying all the time killing your projects too over to rallying your CPU up to 100% for not fucking sane reason.

    As mentioned, good idea, horrible execution.
    You are correct. Last time I went near code or a compiler in any serious manner was about 10 years ago. Then again, I've read complaints about many SDKs. . and even entire languages and IDEs. I'd have to have personal experience developing for Steam and Valve to agree or disagree with you. /shrug

  7. #47
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    Hahah. Wow. Checking for a word on a page... I remember those days. Protection was cracked on those too. I had Atari ST disks like that.

    I do think SOME kind of DRM should be implemented. For the other reasons stated before. Take it from everyone to a select group that does it anyway. The problem is that a viable implementation doesn't exist. I don't know how effective LGP's will be, and Steam as someone said before is just a good idea with bad execution. I haven't had the joy of a bad install or an update screwing up *knock knock* (although I have had problems with execution in Cedega).

    Dragonlord: What gaming user would run their Linux Gaming Rig hiding the config, it's mainly used for servers, right? Unless Ubuntu (for reference) does this by default.
    I do see both sides of this actually, I just wonder about the types of people that would do this. Think of the target audience, they'll either be on low-latency (for the hardcore tweakers) or default rigs.
    Do you have any ideas on implementation? (If one had to do it...)

    Can't a binary be compiled with PIC? That should increase the security somewhat. Wait... that's memory management...

    Gentoo compares it's downloaded files against multiple hashes, any chance we could to that?

    * emul-linux-x86-soundlibs-20080418.tar.bz2 RMD160 SHA1 SHA256 size ;-) ... [ ok ]
    * checking ebuild checksums ;-) ... [ ok ]
    * checking auxfile checksums ;-) ... [ ok ]
    * checking miscfile checksums ;-) ... [ ok ]
    * checking emul-linux-x86-soundlibs-20080418.tar.bz2 ;-) ... [ ok ]

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by me262 View Post
    What gaming user would run their Linux Gaming Rig hiding the config, it's mainly used for servers, right? Unless Ubuntu (for reference) does this by default.
    One answer: Ubunutu. Another answer: People hate tainted kernels ( at least those with a sense of pride). The kernel is not meant to be tainted and DRM would be a total taint since if it's source compilable for the user it's open doors for automated hacks. But even a loadable module can be hacked. Make your own DRM module which just does yes-its-ok all the time and load this instead of the real DRM module. Again this can be automated. And you can not force people to compile it into the kernel. Heck even if you could force them they would just have to download a crooked DRM module and inject it in the kernel ( again doable in an automatic way ). The tech savvy level of the user is not important. It's like with CD cracks. Majority of users of those cracks have no idea how this DRM form works nor how to bypass it. They just execute an binary doing all the work for them and tadam! DRM be gone.

    Do you have any ideas on implementation? (If one had to do it...)
    Of what now? The DRM module itself of a crack attempt of it?

    Can't a binary be compiled with PIC? That should increase the security somewhat. Wait... that's memory management...
    PIC ( aka Position Independent Code ) simply juggles the functions around in code segment to avoid function hijacking. This would make a crack attempt more difficult since you can not hardcode the code offset. That said you can scan the file for the function pattern and then you know where to inject. The WindowsXP Anti-Register crack for example used this method. It scaned login.exe for a pattern and could always find the right location to nop out on various versions of login.exe . So that's not impossible and would be done since it's a crack-once-crack-all situation.

    Gentoo compares it's downloaded files against multiple hashes, any chance we could to that?
    Two solutions to this. Either tamper with the source files and use ebuild to recreated a valid manifest or make a local overlay and copy the ebuild over doing the same as before ( just that this time it is not going to be overwritten the next time you sync ).

  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by divideoverflow View Post
    As for dumping Steam on people 10 to 15 years ago, don't forget that Internet access was not nearly as common back then either
    Knew I should've put a disclaimer about that. :P Even going on using the best method of contact for verification of the time, just the concept of what it does is the the problem. Back in those days, when we got games we (including my family, who aren't the most technically minded people around) were pretty annoyed with having to have the CD in the drive to play some games (and some of those the games even had valid reasons for that, such as streaming videos off the CD that weren't installed on the HD because of limitted space). Now such a thing is common place and general people think nothing of it.

    Most piracy took place between people that knew each other, and P2P networks were a gleam in Shawn Fanning's eye.
    A good bit of piracy back in those days was of bootlegged copies (physical copies made by someone en masse, and *sold*, with a sizeable discount). Something much worse, IMO, than most sharing going on today. People actually made money from those copies, whereas with today's piracy "problem", not that many people actually gain from distributing it.

    Even with all of that being said, let me reiterate and clarify that I do not like the use of copy protection or DRM, I simply understand it and why companies use it.
    I can understand why, as well. I have no problem with companies trying to protect their assetts, but when it's protection to the degree that is done today (assumed guilt, constant reverification, requiring unneeded insecure software, etc), when we don't even know what kind of losses are being caused by all this sharing (if any!).. there's a problem.

    I would however be upset if Valve went under, and nothing was done to allow legitimate customer to continue using what they purchased.
    Wouldn't it be better to actively prevent such a thing from happening, instead of waiting for it to? No company lasts forever. The question is when, not if. The longer you wait, the less likely something can be done about it.

    And it wouldn't even take Valve going out of bussiness. It would just take Steam becoming more of a money sink than a money source, so they shut down the servers.

    I also judge whether or not I will even want to play the games I purchase 10 years down the road, at a time when I see it much more likely for Valve to go out of business (not for any particular reason, rather just that any company can go out of business, given enough time).
    I still enjoy playing games made 20 years ago. Sometimes I'll just get nastolgic and throw on a quick game of something I haven't played in forever, just to remember what it's like. I just like to make sure I can keep doing that.

    Concerning buggy or insecure device drivers, can you give an instance where Steam required anything like that? We're not talking about StarForce, after all.
    It's not just Steam. It's the whole mind set that these kinds of things are okay. Trying to find a word is a bit different than having to hack a device driver, or getting a pre-hacked executable from an unknown source. Steam itself isn't the only problem, it's just becoming (already is?) a large part of it.

    I am curious; what do you do about it? Do you just not purchase games from Valve? Perhaps you try to convince Valve of these points you are making to me in the hopes that they will remove their draconian copy protection and authentication?
    I don't buy any games from Valve. My system has never known Steam, and never will. And me saying this to Valve will likely accomplish nothing, since other, much more prominant, people have been complaining about these things for a long time.

    But even if Valve themselves did stop, other companies that distribute through Steam would continue, and Steam would be made to work with it. Again, completely remove the need for server checks when starting a(ny) game, and remove the need to be running to start a(ny) game, then we'll talk about how good Steam could be.

    Call me a pessimist, but I don't see it happening unless Steam gets much worse than it currently is, and people prefer to avoid purchasing Half-Life 3 just to avoid Steam.
    That's the problem. Put a frog in boiling water, and it'll jump out. Put a frog in cool water and slowly turn up the heat, and it'll cook to death. Unless Valve makes a slip up and introduces some form of DRM that's too much for people at the time, they won't avoid Steam as the DRM problem gets worse.

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