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Old 11-07-2011, 17:57   #1
mclh
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Square Grin Benefit of Steam, Direct2Drive etc...?

Having just purchased a new laptop which will actually be able to play all current games (unlike my 6/7 year old acer...), I've started considering buying some of my future game titles for the PC, over the 360.

I buy probably a 60/40 split of second hand over new games - I take it there's no issues buying used PC titles?

What's the benefit of services like Steam and Direct2Drive over a boxed physical version - just the ability to d/l and have it quickly? Slightly cheaper? I take it you can't re-sell them on second hand after buying via such services?

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Old 11-07-2011, 18:17   #2
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You can't resell them, but in the case of steam you can download as many times as you want, plus you never have to find the DVD when you want to play/install it again.
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Old 11-07-2011, 18:31   #3
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The sales are generally excellent, you've just missed a cracker of a Summer sale!

Steam is also a fantastic platform for retro-gaming, there's so many old PC games available (most for next to nothing) and they've all been configured to work on modern PCs.
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Old 11-07-2011, 18:35   #4
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Benefit of Steam is they have deals so cheap that even if you don't really want the title you find yourself picking it up because its too cheap not to - Recent case in point being the Assassins Creed trilogy with all DLC for £16. The fact the PC release tends to be visually superior to console releases also sweetens things a fair bit. That's the only advantage with it really, if they priced themselves like XBOX LIVE they'd have gone under in months.
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Old 11-07-2011, 18:38   #5
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All very useful dudes, thanks!

I saw the Steam sale, but with a slight queue on 360 games I thought it silly to buy even more...
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Old 11-07-2011, 20:36   #6
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I see Steam as being my virtual gaming library. One that I will have for my entire life and will be handed down.

Got to the stage now whereby, if I get a physical copy of the game cheaper, I will try to activate it via Steam before trying to install. Discs are a thing of the past.
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Old 11-07-2011, 20:55   #7
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Biggest benefit I think is that patches etc come through automatically. So you don't have to install something and then realise you need a patch.... which sometimes means you have to download a prior one before you can install the latest one. Steam looks after that for you
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Old 11-07-2011, 21:41   #8
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Quote:
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Biggest benefit I think is that patches etc come through automatically. So you don't have to install something and then realise you need a patch.... which sometimes means you have to download a prior one before you can install the latest one. Steam looks after that for you
This is true. One of the reasons I gave up on PC gaming years ago was all the patching etc (I used to use no CD cracks too, which made things even more of a pain). Steam does away with all of that.
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Old 11-07-2011, 21:45   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AKPiggott View Post
The sales are generally excellent, you've just missed a cracker of a Summer sale!

Steam is also a fantastic platform for retro-gaming, there's so many old PC games available (most for next to nothing) and they've all been configured to work on modern PCs.


For retro gaming I'd say GOG (Good Ol Games) is a better choice. Not that steam is bad of course just that GOG is completely DRM free and they've made deals with a lot of the big publishers so a lot of new stuff is coming out all the time, plus they make sure games work on Win 7 etc. I tend to go to Steam for most releases (and a few other places such as Gamersgate etc) and GOG as a first port of call for retro games.
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Old 11-07-2011, 21:56   #10
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I've never tried GOG. I just like to have all my games come from one place, makes much less hassle if/when I have to retrieve them later.

[EDIT: Just quickly browsed GOG's entire catalogue and there was nothing on there that appealed that I didn't already have on Steam. I'm not saying it's a bad selection at all, I guess it really depends which games you played/liked back in the day. Shame there's no LucasArts adventures on there.]

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Old 11-07-2011, 22:58   #11
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Once you install Steam it's a slippery slope, half finished game hell.

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Old 11-07-2011, 23:02   #12
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Originally Posted by AKPiggott View Post
I've never tried GOG. I just like to have all my games come from one place, makes much less hassle if/when I have to retrieve them later.

[EDIT: Just quickly browsed GOG's entire catalogue and there was nothing on there that appealed that I didn't already have on Steam. I'm not saying it's a bad selection at all, I guess it really depends which games you played/liked back in the day. Shame there's no LucasArts adventures on there.]

Yeah they are slowly getting all the publishers on board. I guess it's taking a bit of time as the more they show a DRM free model is popular the more they'll be willing to jump on board. The biggest thing for them was getting games such as Baldurs Gate 2 and Planescape Torment as well as a lot of the other Infinity engine RPGs. Be interesting to see how they grow.


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Once you install Steam it's a slippery slope, half finished game hell.

People buy games in Steams sales and actually play them ? Fascinating.
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Old 12-07-2011, 08:45   #13
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Just installed Steam on the wifes laptop, it seems great for old games. Just bought Civ3 for £2. It also has the advantage of not having physical media, so your wife doesn't phone you at work wanting to know what you've ordered and why we can afford a game but not for her to get a haircut.

I'd argue about the instantness of it all, I downloaded Civ3 which was 1.2gb, I watched some TV, had my tea, went for a 8 mile cycle ride and a shower and it had only just finished downloading. So not fantastic for impulse purchases

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Old 12-07-2011, 09:06   #14
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Also I suppose you can share games with friends and families, both my Dad and I share one Steam account
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Old 12-07-2011, 09:13   #15
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I think you'd have issues if you both tried to log-on at the same time.

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I'd argue about the instantness of it all, I downloaded Civ3 which was 1.2gb, I watched some TV, had my tea, went for a 8 mile cycle ride and a shower and it had only just finished downloading. So not fantastic for impulse purchases
I have a 50Mbps connection, so it's great for me.

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Old 12-07-2011, 12:57   #16
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Couple of questions from the above...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ono View Post
...Got to the stage now whereby, if I get a physical copy of the game cheaper, I will try to activate it via Steam before trying to install. Discs are a thing of the past.
So can you buy some games physically but "activate" via Steam, which then takes over for you in a sense?

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Also I suppose you can share games with friends and families, both my Dad and I share one Steam account
Interesting - is this a reality for anyone? Could I share an account with another? Is there any scope for being able to play the same game online, say, by buying two licences? Would make sharing games easier than posting a physical copy...
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Old 12-07-2011, 13:11   #17
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Quote:
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So can you buy some games physically but "activate" via Steam, which then takes over for you in a sense?
Not many! The list is here: https://support.steampowered.com/kb_...7480-wusf-3601
And when compared to the number of games that exist - it's quite small.

The main advantage I find for this feature is you can sometimes buy games in sales from other digital download companies and add them to steam to keep everything in one place.
I've had Magicka, Just Cause 2 and Napolean/Empire Total War that way.


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Interesting - is this a reality for anyone? Could I share an account with another? Is there any scope for being able to play the same game online, say, by buying two licences? Would make sharing games easier than posting a physical copy...
You can't connect the same account online at the same time from multiple computers.

Last edited by target; 12-07-2011 at 13:15.
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Old 12-07-2011, 13:24   #18
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Couple of questions from the above...

So can you buy some games physically but "activate" via Steam, which then takes over for you in a sense?
For some physical games, activating on Steam is compulsory. You install from discs, enter the code, Steam downloads a few activation files and the latest patch and your game is ready. But from that point forward, if you delete the game you can re-install it from disc or just re-download off Steam. Alternatively as soon as you get the game you can just open the box, type the code in to Steam and let it download and install the whole thing itself without ever touching the disc.

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Interesting - is this a reality for anyone? Could I share an account with another? Is there any scope for being able to play the same game online, say, by buying two licences? Would make sharing games easier than posting a physical copy...
You can only log in on one account at a time. But, Steam has an offline mode, so once you've been online once to activate a game, you can switch to offline mode and play it as much as you want without going back on. So it's workable. But not for playing online.
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Old 12-07-2011, 13:39   #19
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If you install the game and activate on steam can you then sell or trade on the game? i.e. will the next user still be able to activate it using steam?
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Old 12-07-2011, 13:45   #20
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If you install the game and activate on steam can you then sell or trade on the game? i.e. will the next user still be able to activate it using steam?


No you can't, once you have it that's it. This is why you tend to wait for Steam sales or get games as cheap as possible from retailers etc. Get lots of value for money that way.
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