Steam: Not This Egregious
By Dwip March 6, 2012, 8:55 pm Comments (13) RSS Feed for this post

So, you remember back when I was talking about how bullshit getting DLC for Mass Effect 2 was? And how I kind of mentioned dreading how bad Mass Effect 3 was going to be because of Origin?

Yeah, so, Mass Effect 3 came out today. And, similar to what I did with the DLC post, let us compare and contrast what it took to get my most recent Steam purchase, Deus Ex: Human Revolution up and running versus how getting Mass Effect 3 up and running is going for me.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution:

1. Open up Steam. To be fair to the other half of this comparison, let us suppose I had to install Steam first. Whatever.

2. Navigate to the store page and click on DE:HR. Click the buy button and buy it.

3. DE:HR downloads and installs itself at this point.

4. I click on DE:HR in my library and click the play button. We’re off and running. This took like half an hour over cable.

Mass Effect 3:

1. I actually drove down to my local GameStop to preorder ME3, because I wanted the GameStop preorder DLC. As it happens, when I drove in to pick it up today, I realized the Digital Deluxe edition was a better idea than the physical copy I had waiting, so I got that instead. So I come home with a reciept with a redeem code on it and not much else. Fine, that’s cool.

2. I redeem this code at GameStop’s website like it tells me to do. First, however, it wants me to download and set up Impulse so that it can then download and install the game. That’s kind of annoying, but I literally signed up for this, so I can’t really bitch too hard about it.

3. Download and install Impulse. Technically I already had it for GalCiv II, but I went through the process again anyway.

4. At this point, and by “at this point” I mean “5 minutes of sitting and staring at the screen waiting for the option to do this while it churned randomly”, I have to manually choose to download and then manually choose to install Mass Effect 3, which, you know, I guess. Whatever. I went and took a nap during the download part, since the half an hour over cable thing wasn’t even going to happen. and then I went and did my two hour volunteer shift at the library while I waited for the installer, since that seemed to be taking epic ages of the earth to do anything.

So I don’t even know how long that took, but half an hour maybe not.

5. So I’m ready to play, right? Click the play button! Only, see, Mass Effect 3 requires Origin to install, and so now I have to download and install Origin, then go through the process of signing up there. Then, and this part is completely super epic awesome, Origin downloads and installs Mass Effect 3 all over again. Fortunately, this takes considerably less time than it took Impulse, more like the half hour figure for Deus Ex, and it has the common decency to not make me do each step by hand, banging two rocks together to do so.

I’m actually at the tail end of this process right now, so I’m not entirely sure if I’m going to get to play my game when we’re done here or what. Nor am I entirely sure I got the DLC I went to GameStop to get in the first place. I guess we’re going to find out.

Nor am I entirely certain what to think about this whole process. I mean, I accept Origin as the price of admission. I’d rather not, but ok. I’m having a hard time understanding Impulse, though. Is this GameStop’s fail train? Does EA bear some culpability for letting them do this? Obviously the whole thing was designed solely to dick Steam, but they let it through on Impulse, but clearly they didn’t even trust Impulse, since Impulse just makes you open up Origin, and Jesus Christ my brain hurts now.

What I do know is that Valve is not this incompetent.

Computer Games - Mass Effect Series, Random and Ravings, Tech Comments (13) Trackback URL for this post RSS Feed for this post
Comments on Steam: Not This Egregious
avatar Comment by Samson #1
March 6, 2012 at 11:45 pm

Actually yes, Valve could and has given exactly this sort of frustrating experience to quite a few people. Though, as you seem to have discovered, it was generally at the hands of some idiot 3rd party vendor like Impulse being in the chain when they didn’t belong there. Your big mistake was not heeding my warning to never shop at Gamestop. So I think that’s rightly where you should be directing the anger here.

Yes, Impulse is Gamestop’s fail train. What you’re ranting about isn’t an indictment of Origin since it sounds to me like that was as painless as your recent purchase through Steam.

The irony though, that you’re quick to condemn a digital service so long as it’s not run by Valve is not lost on me btw.

avatar Comment by Dwip #2
March 9, 2012 at 1:24 am

Slight addendum:

– Addendum is actually kind of a cool word. Just saying.

– So I was actually right – somehow in the process of upgrading my preorder, my actual preorder bonus code got lost, so I went back to GameStop, and unlike roomie’s $5 tale of woe, the dude who sold me the game hooked me up with the bonus code, and then the two guys behind the counter and I spent some time talking about how cool playing Mass Effect 3 is, and how we’ve basically sworn off sleep.

Which is sort of why I’m so tired today, but.

– Most of the issues I describe are in fact attributable to Impulse and GameStop driving the fail train. Origin, much to my surprise, is actually pretty inoffensive and responsive, though very feature-light compared to Steam (though not as bad as how atrocious Impulse is). I might do a real post on this if anybody cares (I do have actual concrete reasons to prefer Steam), but initial impressions on Origin suggest that it’s not bad, just kind of half-assed for a 2012 piece of software.

We’ll obviously be talking about Mass Effect 3 more in the future.

avatar Comment by Samson #3
March 9, 2012 at 2:59 pm

Well consider that Origin has existed for less than a year, and from all accounts works better than Steam did in its first year, and I think you might just be surprised at how well it will work once another 8 years has gone by.

Yes, we do care. Not that I’d use Origin, and not that I have anything but hate to offer for Steam, but it’s still worth hearing about what others think of them.

avatar Comment by Tarl #4
March 9, 2012 at 8:49 pm

Buy BF3 and tell Origin to keep the install files so you’ve got a copy of them for your second PC.. Oh, it didn’t keep the install files… :(

That’s fine, we’ll just back up the game with Origin to transfer it across… Oh, you can’t.. :(

Maybe we can just copy the directory across ? No, that doesn’t work either..


I miss steam.

avatar Comment by Samson #5
March 9, 2012 at 9:22 pm

Holy crap, it’s a Tarl!

I consider it a very bad sign when people talk about Origin and then say things like they miss Steam. PC gaming is dead. We’re all just glorified console users now.

avatar Comment by Dwip #6
March 9, 2012 at 10:22 pm

You know, I never have understood why you think that.

I’ll blather about digital distribution platforms sooner or later. For now, Ashley and Tali need to have a catfight in the middle of this Geth base.

avatar Comment by Dwip #8
March 10, 2012 at 4:46 am

Somehow, I’m just not seeing the death of PC gaming out of that.

avatar Comment by Samson #9
March 11, 2012 at 4:15 pm

*shrug* Then I have no idea how else I’m supposed to explain it. I’ve seen this coming for years. That they’d be looking to lock down the PC side of the market with a “PC console box” does not surprise me in the slightest, but apparently nobody can see what this actually means despite it being patently obvious.

avatar Comment by Sigurd #10
March 15, 2012 at 1:12 pm

Chief, to be fair, you bought Skyrim.

Steam does work, and it is not in principle an evil thing, the issue is that it is pointless (doesn’t actually work, can be easily cracked) and it demands a net connection for the right to play your games.

Howbeit, that was in the liscence you accepted when you bought the game.

You’re off about us all becoming console gamers though, because there still isn’t a unified PC platform, and so long as your DRM is third party they can’t legally use it to kill your OS, which means they can’t stop people cracking games – those people just forgo support.

avatar Comment by Samson #11
March 15, 2012 at 6:33 pm

None of which changes my opinion of how vile the whole idea is. In fact, it merely reinforced it. To the point where I have no intention of buying another game that’s been infected in this manner with spyware. Given the mess Skyrim has turned into as far as modding lately, I should have just downloaded the cracked version, played it, and then tossed it aside.

avatar Pingback by The Ravings of Demented Rabbits » Distributional #12
March 18, 2012 at 1:04 am

[…] after that last entry, I’m told I need to talk some about assorted and sundry digital distribution platforms: […]

avatar Comment by Dwip #13
March 18, 2012 at 1:11 am

It’s not like the mess that is Skyrim modding has anything whatsoever to do with Steam and everything to do with Bethesda being themselves, and I think we all know that.

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