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Steam: what's so great about it?

ljboljbo Member Posts: 177
edited November 2013 in Off-Topic
I am not trolling. I am genuinely interested to understand why so many people seem to be so enamoured with Steam. On these very forums, we have read quite a few times phrases like "I would not buy the game from anywhere else than Steam". More generally, the posts by Steam ooze with a passion for that platform. I have bought a few games on Steam but as far as I am concerned, this is just another distribution channel. I also bought from GOG, GameTree Mac, or directly from Indie developers. So really, I would really like somebody to educate me about what I have been missing for so long about Steam.

Post edited by Jalily on


  • CoM_SolaufeinCoM_Solaufein Member Posts: 2,599
    Good question.
    I'm forced to use it because Fallout New Vegas and Skyrim use it.

  • FlashburnFlashburn Member Posts: 1,743
    It satisfies their magpie-like urges to collect games all in one place.

  • CoM_SolaufeinCoM_Solaufein Member Posts: 2,599
    They do have System Shock 2. I've resisted the urge to buy it. I'll find a used or new CD game some day.

  • elementelement Member Posts: 833
    edited November 2013
    as some one who mostly buys from steam I would say my main reasons are:
    -deep discount sales which allow me to get games I would never play otherwise
    -practicality its a pretty useful to have all your games in one place and linked to one service
    -its easy to use
    -the overlay and social aspects admittedly I have only a couple of friends but I like the overlay and the in built chat etc
    -gifting was a big plus for me back when I first used it too
    -also it brings to your attention games you would never notice otherwise
    -payment methods

    if you have no choice in the matter as is the case with many games id rather have steam then the alternatives

    its worth noting I was pretty negative about steam for the longest time

    Post edited by element on
  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 5,352
    Meh, the only steam I actually like is that produced by steampunk.

  • ryuken87ryuken87 Member Posts: 563
    As someone who isn't particularly big on PC gaming, I find it rather annoying having to have it installed just to play a game every now and then. Also, for some reason when installing the last game I bought that used Steam (Shogun 2) it decided it had to download the game rather than just use the disks.

  • ElendarElendar Member Posts: 831
    I personally only use it for those games that you simply can't play without it. Such as Civilization 5.

  • mement0mement0 Member Posts: 105
    edited November 2013
    Steam requires no credit cards.

    I only use credit cards when I travel abroad.
    Call me weird but I owe to no one.

    Post edited by mement0 on
  • KaigenKaigen Member Posts: 1,567
    I own most of my games on Steam, but I still get some games directly from the developer (such as BGEE), or from GoG. I think the lure of Steam is that there is a critical mass of games there and in my library with it generated by the frequent sales. A lot of my friends have most of their games on Steam as well, which is nice with the chat system and game notifications, as it brings games that I may not have heard of that my friends are playing to my attention. And seeing your friend boot up a game you play is a good opportunity to talk about it or try to set up a multiplayer game. It makes sharing screenshots with my friends very easy as well. Also, to my knowledge, Steam is the only online distributor that has gift cards floating around in meatspace, which is about the best option for my less tech-oriented friends and family if they want to get me a game, since I go with digital distribution almost exclusively these days. And I kind of like having the playtime counter around to reference just how much time I've sunken into some of these games.

    Basically, frequent sales and a bunch of little useful community features buy a lot of loyalty. I have become more aware of how poor Steam is with indies, though, and so I've tried to fight the "wait until it hits Steam" impulse more.

  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 15,990
    I'm only there for the cheap sales...that and using it as a means of posting my game guide.

  • zerckanzerckan Member Posts: 178
    Steam has insane discounts.
    Even without it, it's a great platform to make gaming friends and play together ofc.
    You can chat while you play different games or invite ppl to your game with one click.

    I don't use it anymore as i can't play games as much.

  • SilverstarSilverstar Member Posts: 2,194
    Everything steam does someone else does better or equally well, so I don't quite get it either. I quite like Xfire myself for overlayish things, patching and easy game launching and if I for some reason have to get a digital version of a game (urgh!) I like Gamersgate since all forms of DRM are shit and should go die in a pit.

  • AendaeronBluescaleAendaeronBluescale Member Posts: 335
    edited November 2013

    They do have System Shock 2. I've resisted the urge to buy it. I'll find a used or new CD game some day.

    Alternative here: $9.99 Same price worldwide, no DRM, no login to play.

  • PhillipDaiglePhillipDaigle Member Posts: 654
    Steam is pretty good. I use Steam. I'm okay with a lot of my games being on Steam.

    The problem, though, is that no one is the hero forever. I'm basically betting that I'll grow tired of all my Steam games before Steam becomes something bad in the distant future.

  • ChildofBhaal599ChildofBhaal599 Member Posts: 1,781
    I like steam for sales, an easy way to chat and play with friends, and yes, having my games all in one place. it is just easy for me this way to see what I have to play. I don't have BGEE on steam though because I wanted to support Beamdog.

  • FinneousPJFinneousPJ Member Posts: 6,456
    It's probably because people like having all their games under one service, instead of having a proprietary client for every game.

  • triclops41triclops41 Member Posts: 202
    Consolidated game library and easier patch management, plus crazy discounts.

    For me, its not Steam per se. If EAs or Ubisofts DDL services were as good, I'd use them. Alas, they are not.

  • chaosapiantchaosapiant Member Posts: 32
    One thing I haven't seen mentioned is that Steam tracks how long you've played a game. Not sure why, but I've always been fascinated by how long certain games take; how much content they have. Also the points above:
    huge sales
    community overlay
    built in web browser
    automated patching
    consolidated place for my games.

    Whenever I upgrade my PC or OS, it's handy just to click "install" on the games I want and walk away. No switching CDs or anything. Most people prefer Steam, because if we HAVE to have an online game client, Steam is by far the best over GFWL, Origin, etc.

  • RnRClownRnRClown Member Posts: 182
    The sales are fantastic. The catalogue of games is amazing. The set it and forget it approach for game updates. The integration of community modifications. The community itself. The ease of which one can gift friends games in an instant. The group savings if buying a four pack, or a franchise bundle.

    The no nonsense approach of digital distribution (which applies to all distributors, not just Steam) is more efficient than hunting for a physical copy, which will not only take more time, but also cost more, if it is actually in stock. It is also better than waiting 3-5 days for delivery when ordering from an online retailer, if it doesn't get lost in the post, or turn up damaged. As stated, this applies to all digital distribution providers, but Steam was one of the first (credibility), it is one of the most popular (large community), and Valve are considered to be one of the more financially secure distributors (dependability) meaning there is no fear of a game collection becoming lost should a hard drive give up the ghost.

    I am one of those who prefers to have my digital games all in the same place. It's similar to having my physical games all on the same shelf, as oppose to scattered around separate rooms. Moreover, it's a matter of having my personal details, especially if bank details are required, in as few a places as possible on the world wide web. Nevertheless, I do like to support developers where possible. I purchased BGEE and BG2EE via Beamdog, and I picked up FTL: Faster than Light, as well as Game Dev Tycoon, direct from their respective developers.

  • ajwzajwz Member Posts: 4,122
    First and foremost, it is an online distribution service.
    For a long while it wasthe easiest, most convenient method of downloading games straight onto your harddrive without having to go out and purchase a physical copy.

    Now that this has become standard industry practise, the service has become less relevant. However, the bi-annual sales it runs with deep discounting are still a pretty attractive reason to buy games on steam

  • O_BruceO_Bruce Member Posts: 2,761
    It's a popular online distribution service. I know that DRM can be a pain in the arse to some people (or lightly speaking - inconvenient), but not for me (vast majority of the player has regular and good connection to the internet, so I don't see it as a problem). The other things are Steam sales. Finally, something personal: Steam enabled me to finally play a good game based on one of my favourite mangas, because it's only it's release on PC. I don't regret.

  • ljboljbo Member Posts: 177
    Thanks for enlightening me, guys! Great community this forum.

  • SchneidendSchneidend Member Posts: 3,190
    Collect all my games in one place, let my friends know what I'm playing, and get crazy deep discounts.

  • ChildofBhaal599ChildofBhaal599 Member Posts: 1,781
    btw thank you to whoever it was that mentioned the internet browser part. playing new vegas and talking to you guys and looking at the wiki a lot because anybody's who's played this know that you'll need it. funny too that the game crashing actually just helped me a moment ago by crashing right after i lost all my money gambling (i don't like getting luck 10 or it makes all the fun of gambling go away so yes i can lose at gambling with my 5 luck)

  • Troodon80Troodon80 Member, Developer Posts: 4,110
    I have something over a hundred games on Steam. I've yet to give more than a fleeting glance to any of the games in my library (I think I've played a combined 4-5 hours on Steam in the last 3-4 years). While I can see the convenience of Steam that some people talk about, I have yet to actually experience that convenience.

    The way I see it is this, and it is similar wording to what @PhillipDaigle said: no one is the hero forever.

    As absurd as it might sound, what happens to your library when Valve retires the server space for some of the more aged games? Doesn't sound all that bad right now, but in another ten years when you feel somewhat nostalgic? Consolidating all your games under one service just means that when something bad does happens, that consolidated games library crumbles entirely and you lose everything, not just a game or two. All those eggs in one basket, yada-yada. Something not quite as bad as that happened to me not so long ago, in fact, and I lost every single money off coupon I had in my inventory, and I had about 30 in total. It wasn't just me, either. Unlike some of the individuals within that link, I didn't get them back.

    Steam is a good enough service, when it works.

    Aside from that, I feel like I should be paying the people actually doing the work; Overhaul/Beamdog/IdeaSpark Labs in the case of BG[2]:EE, Telltale in the case of The Wolf Among Us, TaleWorlds in the case of Mount & Blade, etc., etc., rather than the middleman.

  • Kitteh_On_A_CloudKitteh_On_A_Cloud Member Posts: 1,629
    Steam is indeed only good when it actually works. Also: forgetting to put Steam in off-line mode and then travelling somewhere with no internet = a weekend without games.

  • ChildofBhaal599ChildofBhaal599 Member Posts: 1,781

    Steam is indeed only good when it actually works. Also: forgetting to put Steam in off-line mode and then travelling somewhere with no internet = a weekend without games.

    when i had my laptop and i forgot to do that it was a moment of looking for an open connection to just join some random wi fi and log in then leave the network. probably looked like a weirdo out with the laptop then stopping in some random location on the side walk like i was up to something. I JUST NEEDED IT FOR A MOMENT TO PLAY MY GAMES!!!

  • TJ_HookerTJ_Hooker Member Posts: 2,438
    edited November 2013
    Are you sure it's necessary to put Steam in off-line mode while you still have a connection? If I start Steam while not connected to the internet, it tries to connect for a few seconds, and then I get a pop-up box saying there was a connection error, it gives me an option to "Retry Connection" or "Start In Offline Mode". I select offline mode and then away I go.

    Edit: or am I just misunderstanding what you guys are referring to?

  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 15,990
    edited November 2013

    Steam is indeed only good when it actually works. Also: forgetting to put Steam in off-line mode and then travelling somewhere with no internet = a weekend without games.

    Or your internet connection is down and you can't access them. That is probably my biggest beef with it. Sometimes it will let you access them and sometimes it won't.

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