Steam -- How Bad Can It Be?

By Envergure
Apr 18, 2007
  1. Hey guys.

    For a long time (say, a month or two) I've wanted to get CS:S + GMod10 but I've heard a lot of negative things about Steam - compatibility, stability, expensiveness - and if these complaints are true (which I have to believe they are) then it seems most of Valve's games would be very difficult to play.

    I would like to hear first-hand, from Steam users (instead of vague "developer reviews," which are just ads) just how useful or difficult to use it really is, and how this affects the games themselves.

    How expensive can having an account get?
    How often does it crash?
    How often does it just not work?
    Is it frustrating? Confusing? Difficult?
    Does it reduce the fun-ness of games?

    Just wondering; I don't expect to get CS:S any time soon (I've had absolutely no luck at all getting a job).

    Thanks in advance.
  2. sghiznaneck

    sghiznaneck TS Maniac Posts: 403

    Steam is usually loaded during the installation process of a purchased game, either in CD-ROM or DVD format.
    The account is free. When asked, you insert your username and then a password to connect to your account.
    As far as compatibility and stability, I've never had a problem. I played the heck out of Half Life 2 and SIN: First Episode and never had it crash. Of course, I didn't play multi-player with those games either. Still, I haven't heard or read anywhere on the net that there were problems with Steam or many people complaining, other than slowdown. The program is set for automatic game updates/patches, so you don't have to worry about manually having to search for them and downloading them.
  3. TimeParadoX

    TimeParadoX TS Rookie Posts: 2,273

    I never have problems with steam, It's usually my Pc that is to blame for most of my problems I have with games ;)

    Steam is a great program since it started, the only people who are giving it 0/10 ratings and stuff are just stupid and do not know how to use a computer
  4. beef_jerky4104

    beef_jerky4104 Banned Posts: 822

    Steam is a great program. The reviews based on steam are generally people who don't know about PCs or who have dial-up internet. However I consider steam adware because it displays ads about new games that are now avaible. But truthfully I've never had trouble with steam. If you have dial-up stay away, because steam auto updates your games and won't let you play until they're all updated.

    So in conclusion Steam works fine.
  5. AtK SpAdE

    AtK SpAdE TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,495

    I really like steam. I like the integration of programs and settings, as well as the friends list. It puts it all the games in one place. Bugs? Eh rarely.
  6. mopar man

    mopar man TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 1,379

    As said before, STAY AWAY if you have dial up. I made that mistake, but my only problem is the fact that it takes FOREVER (possible days) to download the updates, so I just backed them up to dvd's and now I just take them off of the cd's instead of downloading them. It can also cause problems with playing online. I have Bellsouth (AT&T now) dial up and get 44kb/s, but I can play great with 3-4 players on a smaller map, but because my graphics card (fx5200), I wouldn't be able to go much farther anyway. The downloads usually cap at 5 kb/s, and I didn't take the time to find the size of the updates.
  7. Envergure

    Envergure TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 134

    I've heard that a lot. Fortunately I have 256k DSL.

    You're getting 44 kilobits bandwidth; The downloads run at around 5 kilobytes. Yeah, it took me a while to figure that out too :eek:.
  8. mopar man

    mopar man TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 1,379

    I have no clue what you meant by I have yet to see the difference between bits, bytes, and what bandwidth even is.
  9. Envergure

    Envergure TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 134

    A bit is the smallest unit of computer data. It's either one or zero; true or false; positive or negative; etc.

    A byte is the next-smallest unit of computer memory. A byte constitutes eight bits on modern computers (really old computers can have almost any number). It holds eight yeses and/or nos, and holds numbers up to 256 (2^8).

    Next up is data words. Data words are sets of bytes (usually 2, 4 or 8 of them) that can hold larger numbers. They can get surprisingly complicated, though.

    Bandwidth is a measure of how fast your internet connection is, measured (usually) in kilobits per second (a kilobit, or kb, is 1024 bits). Downloads, however, tend to be clocked in kilobytes per second (kB, or 1024 bytes (8192 bits) per second.

    Your 44kb internet, therefore, moves at 44*1024 = 44 056 bits per second.
    Your 5kB downloads go 5*8192 = 40 960 bits per second.

    I hope that helped. If you want to know more about computer data types, try these:
    The "floating point" one is about non-integer data types (how computers store fractions and decimals).
  10. Myzz617

    Myzz617 TS Maniac Posts: 369

    A Byte is 4 digits( 2 pairs of them, or 2 character sets, or simply a pair(2) nibbles put to gether) put togeather to make 8 digits. Computers know two things, negatives and positives( 0,1) 0 1 0 1 makes a nibble in which i am referring to as 4 digits. <0 1 0 1 > <0 0 1 1 > <---- Both of those together make all total to a byte. May b confusing, visit if your still wondering.

    Bandwidth is the amount of packets you PC send s and recieves. It simply the connection speed of your PC. Slow bandwidth occurs when alot of computers are connected to a network (Domain) and slow up internet connection speeds.

    Hope that clears the smoke in the air.

    Damn did not notice the post above mine, but hey i dont wish to waste time lol

    8bits= Byte Half a byte=Nibble or Nybble

    1024 bytes= 1 kilobyte
    1024 Kilobytes= Megabyte
    1024 Megabytes= Gigabyte
    1024 Gigabytes= Terabyte
    1024 Terabytes= Petrabyte
  11. beef_jerky4104

    beef_jerky4104 Banned Posts: 822

    This thread had nothing to do with my bits and bytes. This thread was created with the intention of discussing Steams pros and cons.

    Please, stay on topic.
  12. Barnezz

    Barnezz TS Rookie Posts: 27

    As stated before if you have dial-up steam is sooooooooooooooo bad. I guess that its depressing you have to login to steam to play HL2 but if you really like buying and downloading games online (direct2drive?) steams a great way to get games :). Before I had DSL I used steam with dial-up and It took me like 3 hours to login to steam because of all the steam updates but now I have DSL and I like! Also the cool thing about steam games is that they are updated every time you play! Check out
  13. Myzz617

    Myzz617 TS Maniac Posts: 369

    Someone had a question, was only providing an answer.

    Also the creator of this thread addresses this issue........
  14. Envergure

    Envergure TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 134

    I have no problem with explaining what bits and bytes are to someone in this thread. Lots of threads here have veered off-topic, and sometimes it gets really interesting!
  15. nickslick74

    nickslick74 TS Rookie Posts: 575

    I've had Steam since it came out and have never had any big problems with it. Like anything new there were few bugs in the begining and occasionally a new update causes problems, but nothing big.

    As far as gameplay goes it runs flawlessly! I like the fact that Steam handles all of the updates so you don't have to go somewhere and wait in line to download (used to have to do this).
  16. TimeParadoX

    TimeParadoX TS Rookie Posts: 2,273

    Actually you can disable that, Go to the steam icon thing in your toolbar > Settings > Messages and uncheck both of the boxes ;)
  17. beef_jerky4104

    beef_jerky4104 Banned Posts: 822

    Oh well thats cool. I wish I had known that.
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