I hated Steam updates, what changed?

I remember back when used to play half-life 1 on the WON servers. The in game server browser was intense! It was always so exciting to look for game, and just like the Quake days before it, the servers would be overfull with players, with lines of yet even more players looking to join. You had to coordinate with your friends as soon as someone left the game you click join. Those days are gone of course!'

Their death knell began not with the decline of the game's population, but rather with the advent of a new way to access the servers. There was a split! WON and Steam. Steam was his brand-new service that they shoved down everyone's throats. It took forever to update on a dial-up connection, and make no mistake most gamers back then were on dial-up connections! It would update, and update often! For some people it would never update at all.'

The steam icon we all know today used to be animated, and I remember someone actually animated a guy getting fucked in the ass by that steam icon. That pretty much summed up how we all felt at the time, we had a great set up and steam screwing us.

Well, it turns out that over half of half-life's fan base didn't actually own the game. That's right! Piracy was rampant in those days. I mean you go to places like the Philippines or Brazil these days and you can buy pirated games over-the-counter and it's a typical everyday occurrence, or so I'm told. So basically everyone was downloading half-life off the Internet, burning illegal disc, and playing it on the WON servers. Steam put an end of that. Once you transcribed your CD key to steam, that was it, that steam account owned that CD key and it could never be used again.

This infuriated the population, and had people going in all of half-life's rivals of the day. It's very possible that much of other franchises success could be attributed to the temporary backlash from the introduction of steam when you consider the timeline.

But steam grew on people, not all people. To this day people who like used games, people who like physical copies and don't trust the cloud, and people who just don't like change are still anti-steam.

Really, some of those sentiments are silly as for example your house could burn down tomorrow and your disks could be lost, however due to the way the cloud system works your steam copies would be safe and sound. Now some people go oh what if the datacenter burns down? Well clearly they don't understand cloud computing, because they've got many data centers and that's the point.

I didn't start this way, but I am now very anti-pirate when it comes to games. Now does that mean I think every game should be like Prince of Persia Sands of time's horrible original DRM? Absolutely not! Now to let people in on what I'm talking about, basically you never had a full game on your hard drive ever. You had a constant Internet connection to play as you downloaded the missing pieces in the game from the servers constantly. That is just full retard!

Even so, with all the perks I was getting I was not a steam fan, I was like everyone else...

Forced into using a system that I thought was a resource hog, spyware, and just overall bad! I think the change in my opinion began when many of my friends began to convert to steam for some of the newer games.

When I began using it less as a gateway to my games and more of a portal to interact, I started seeing in a new light. The steam sales didn't hurt either! Let's face it wonders again you really, really, really wanted and it's 50% off, are you really going to not get it? Of course you'll get it! And then you'll enjoy it!

The danger in steam sales came with games that you really didn't know nor care about. These games were 80% to 95% off. The games only a dollar, why not pick it up? That mentality causes people to waste money they don't have, money that they could put toward better things. It's the wasteful consumer culture. Something I am very, very guilty of participating in.

So I preach against it and I still do it? Hypocrisy ho!

Between steam sales and humble bundles... I think I outright love steam now. Combine that with all the other features such as screenshots, the steam workshop, groups, and more. It has succeeded in doing things that XFire, Raptar, Playfire, GamerDNA, and more have failed at.

Now, when I look at steam updating. I'm not looking at having to wait to play my game (although it's still very true that exactly what going on) I'm looking at the potential for improvements on the system I already like! I'm looking for those patch notes, to see what changed, to see if they've added a bunch of new features. I find myself looking forward to the steam box, and the steam OS, and using my laptop on steam's big-screen with an Xbox controller.

That basically sums it up. That's why you will only see steam links on my sidebar here. That's why we'll always advertise my steam group. And that's why we'll keep spending tiny amounts of money to purchase a gigantic amount of games!
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