OS X I am growing tired of Steam

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by Dirtyharry50, Apr 21, 2015.

  1. Dirtyharry50 macrumors 68000


    May 17, 2012
    Steam Down
    by michael.lyons60, on Flickr

    So annoying! It isn't like there is a sale on or anything.

    I mentioned elsewhere yesterday that I've begun to gravitate away from Steam because of various annoyances that rear their ugly little heads here and there. As far as I am concerned any annoyance that gets in the way of my gaming is one annoyance too many.

    Problems I have with Steam:

    • Slow launching of games as I must wait on the client (no, I do not want it running constantly)
    • Connect issues as above with the store.
    • Connect issues when using the back button navigating in the store. I often get errors forcing me to start over since back leads to a 404 equivalent.
    • Occasional problems with the Steam overlay not getting along with games.
    • Messages from random people I do not want to hear from. Yes, I can and do block these folks who want to hack my MW2 game, etc. but I'd rather never need to be bothered.
    • Random disconnects/logouts which the easiest cure for I find is to just quit and restart.
    • Their policy of freezing an entire account if you have a billing issue even if it isn't your fault. I've been lucky here but I've hoped it would never affect me.
    • Frequent use of generic Steam icons for my games instead of the actual nice looking game icons. Yes, this is minor. No, I don't care. I dislike this a lot. I want my pretty icons and I get to want what I want. I also do not want to have to waste my time fixing these.
    • Junk ware overload in the store. Sure, they have a ton of games including for Mac but separating the wheat from the chaff can be a pain in the rear. They offer no ability to make Early Access, Indie Platformer #10287395 disappear from suggestions, etc. You have to wade through over a thousand titles in your queue over time to hopefully, maybe hide this stuff from being in your face on the storefront.
    • DRM on top of DRM. Personally, I have not ever had any problem with Steam's DRM itself but publisher DRM layered over this sucks. Yes, that is the publisher's fault. However, I never see this on the app store. Plus one for the app store, minus 1 for Steam.
    • General buggyness of the Steam client for Mac.

    In fairness, I will now list things I've liked about Steam:

    • Achievements I get along the way (I almost never go after them)
    • Time tracking of hours I play each game.
    • Organization of my game library (this is just ok, not a big deal).
    • I have some friends on Steam that I like to keep in touch with there and see what they are playing, etc. so the activity feed is nice.
    • Downloads are faster than the app store is a plus but also not a big deal here.
    • Built in screenshot sharing with the friends I mention above.

    As you can see, there's more i dislike about Steam than I like overall. So I've been gravitating more towards other sources, particularly the Mac App Store.

    One thing I have to acknowledge regarding Steam is the prices and sales. However, by being on the Game Agent mailing list and keeping a wish list on their site, I am alerted to Mac App Store game sales which can be very good as well. Currently as you may know Aspyr is running a sale and featuring some short term deals on MAS that I find out about via email as they come up. I got the latest Sim City by them for half off yesterday on the MAS. Don't heckle me for that now. Smaller, simpler and offline all work for me.

    It's funny. I was such an advocate for Steam at one time. Even now it isn't like I hate it but I am starting to prefer the App Store where possible for quick client-free launches, pretty icons and prices that are just as good if you keep an eye out for deals. I like GOG as well. I put myself on the Mac Game Store email list for specials as well.

    I am curious about where you guys prefer to shop and why.
  2. Washac macrumors 68020


    Jul 2, 2006
    Think most know my views on steam so I will not go down that road.

    I shop at GoG, Humble Bundle, Mac App Store, Feral Aspyr, Mac Game Game Store are the main ones, and always never anything tied to steam.
  3. xSinghx Suspended


    Oct 2, 2012
    You forgot horrendous customer service.

    It is a bit misleading to even call it customer service given you are answered by a bot at least twice before a real person will send you a message (minimum time 2-3weeks before real human contact) then that agent 9 times out of ten will refer you to a forum instead of attempting to work through the issue.

    The double DRM is Steam's fault as much as the publishers. They control the rules of their store and they could simply say they will not carry games with double DRM. Instead they fear losing publishers like Ubisoft that do this. Additionally the hidden and obscured labeling of these double DRM games is equally a problem. You now have to check 3 different areas (top, bottom, and side) on a game's page to make sure you know everything you need to when purchasing a title.



    This kind of goose necking is not needed on most other game sites like humble bundle, greenman, or GoG as labeling is simple, clear, and uniform.

    I stopped using Steam after buying Far Cry 3 and getting a shrug from customer service on the issue of labeling. The response was, we don't see the double DRM nor the inconsistent manner of labeling to be a problem nor do we care to refund your money.

    Steam has entrenched themselves with players through the regular use of sales and the building in of social features you've described, as well as forcing you to use the client to interact with all of your games making it unlikely and difficult for anyone to disconnect completely.

    Steam at this point is a monopoly. Developers and players would do well to support other platforms, especially non-DRM stores like GOG.com.

    To your point about the mac client being buggy, this has been my experience in the past as well and will likely remain the same as pc is the priority for them.

    Ultimately they don't care about losing some players to the mac app store or GOG because they know the economic and social factors of their platform will be the dog whistle that keeps most from running away.
  4. Dirtyharry50 thread starter macrumors 68000


    May 17, 2012
    I had a funny feeling you would make an appearance here. I wonder if you didn't smile a little at me coming to see the light after all this time. lol
  5. jeanlain macrumors 65816

    Mar 14, 2009
    I don't game much, but basically yeah, Steam is just an annoying piece of software between me and my games.
  6. Dirtyharry50 thread starter macrumors 68000


    May 17, 2012
    Excellent point along with the others you made. I agree, there is no customer service and yet they found a way to make no customer service even worse by pretending to offer it only to have users send their pleas into an abyss repeatedly as you say until finally a human who is no help at all responds to tell you they cannot help you at all. It's pretty hard to top no customer service as unsatisfactory and yet Steam has done just that by introducing so much frustration into the process of finding out it doesn't actually exist. It's just an illusion... the first time. After that anyone with any sense at all knows not to bother.

    The App Store has never caused me a problem where I needed customer service that I can recall. I'll call that a plus. Hopefully it stays that way.

    GOG I have needed to contact a couple times but they were quick to respond, courteous and resolved my issues. I am fine with a company that isn't perfect when they are good about fixing problems. I'm not perfect either.

    Steam "support" - been there, done that, didn't even get a damned t-shirt for my suffering.

    Feral I once was offered support about something, yes offered, and they were awesome. That probably doesn't come as any surprise around here.

    Virtual Programming - Believe it or not, they were actually very, very good about an issue with Flatout 2 recently. It was a couple serious issues in fact and they kept in constant touch with me and fixed them. The game runs great now, controller works great, no problems. I had a somewhat negative view of them based on hearsay not experience but I must say my experience thus far has been fine. I noted during a recent sale they updated a fair number of their older titles for Yosemite not too long ago. Better late than never! I took a shot on some stuff at only 5 bucks a pop and everything fired up and ran fine so I am hopeful.

    A lot of people do not like EA I know but they were good to me personally in enabling a bunch of titles on Origin for me that were purchased elsewhere. In retrospect though, I don't know why I bothered doing that. I'll still give them a plus one for that though.

    I think that's it for me and games support. Steam is the leader at failure there by quite a measure.

    Anyway, I think I may start phasing Steam out. This will take quite a while with many games yet to play but I don't need to buy anymore there either. I was real happy to see Aspyr extend their celebratory sale to the Mac App Store. This is goodness. I hope to see C&C Generals go on sale during this or Sims 2.
  7. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Aug 5, 2001
    Stop using it, it is as simple as that. The majority of the games can be found elsewhere, and at Steam prices if you are willing to wait out on sales.

    Personally I get most from MacGameStore.com, and the rest from GOG.com.
  8. Dirtyharry50 thread starter macrumors 68000


    May 17, 2012
    Well, I do own a lot of stuff there that I don't elsewhere and don't want to repurchase so I'll play through that over time. But yeah, I think it's getting removed here after that's done.

    I added myself to the MGS mailing list and installed the client so I can keep up with sales there going forward. I too like GOG a lot and own quite a few games there.
  9. Washac, Apr 21, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2015

    Washac macrumors 68020


    Jul 2, 2006
    I did indeed smile with the thought of at last people are learning about steam and seeing them for what they are how they treat their customer base.
  10. roadbloc macrumors G3


    Aug 24, 2009
    Never had any of these issues myself, however it is rare I run Steam on OS X. It seems Valve still have a lot of work to do for their OS X client.

    Deleting the clientregistry.blob file from your Steam folder (whilst Steam is closed) can get rid of bugs and anomalies that shouldn't occur. Give it a try.

    Another thing to note is that Steam has an Offline mode. If connectivity issues are getting in the way of your gaming, simply switch it to Offline mode and bypass the whole internet connection thing.

    Anyway, I'll let you get back to Washac who will continue his eternal anti-steam parade for everybody's pleasure.
  11. Doener, Apr 22, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2015

    Doener macrumors newbie

    Apr 21, 2015
    The problem I have with Steam is how often I struggle to log into my account. The Steam server seemüs to be offline a lot lately. In my expierence the Origin client is even worse.

    What I like about Steam is: Buy once, play on all devices and platforms (Windows, Mac, Linux - if available). Also it seems to me that because of SteamOS Valve is pushing publisher to publish their games not only on Windows, but also OS X and Linux.
  12. antonis macrumors 68020


    Jun 10, 2011
    I've always felt that it is not the smartest thing to buy from Steam (although I do own a couple of titles), if there are other options for a specific title. Not so much as a punishment, but mainly for the following simple reason: You are not buying the same product, compared to non-DRM sellers.

    On Steam, you just buy the permission to play a game, for as long as they allow you to. They do maintain the right to revoke this permission from you for any reason they think valid, anytime down the road. They own the door, and they have the keys for your entire library. This cannot ever be the most attractive choice, if there is one, from the customer's side.

    I mean who would prefer to live in a hotel, if they can live in their own house ?
  13. blesscheese macrumors 6502a


    Apr 3, 2010
    Central CA
    I only run Steam from my Windoze machine...I've never had a problem with them but I have stopped all my purchases on Steam. Why?

    With GOG around, all DRM-free, I don't see a point in using Steam. I hate being locked into a service that I didn't really ask for...In some ways they are a model (they really are unobtrusive), but in other ways, I feel like I'm feeding the beast that's going to strangle us all. Did I mention how "wonderful" it is to have all the games DLC so easily available, after I purchase the main game? Please...

    Yeah, they have great sales, but how much money am I really saving, buying (more) games I'm going to play very little, if at all.
  14. Dirtyharry50 thread starter macrumors 68000


    May 17, 2012
    This is an excellent point. I like having local backups of all titles in my GOG library, misc Humble DRM-free titles, etc. x 2.


    This is a really good point as well. Like many, I have been dumb enough to load up on so much stuff on sale that I'd never really prefer over major titles mostly in far lesser numbers because all that shiny fun looked cool I guess and was so cheap, etc.

    The reality is, were I to actually attempt to play all of those games versus the stuff I regard as truly great or hopefully truly great, I would not have an ice cube's chance in hell of succeeding in my remaining lifetime. Meantime, more titles worth the time and money would come along and I'd never get around to them whilst wading through yet another subpar indie or whatever.

    Don't get me wrong here. I know some indie titles have merit but I think we all know the incredible flood of them along with early access alpha junk is nothing more than a lot of wasted bits and a terrible waste of human life to devote time on.
  15. Solomani, Apr 24, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2015

    Solomani macrumors 68040


    Sep 25, 2012
    Alberto, Canado
    Too late. Steam already has a lockdown on most of the latest and greatest games. Many of the AAA game developers release 'Steam-only' titles these days. The notable exceptions are the two Mac-friendly porting companies (Aspyr and Feral).

    Although I also blame Apple as it's their own fault for not pursuing Mac game developers more aggressively.

    Edit: I will admit that at MAS, there is some "improvement" recently, where I've spotted several top-notch Mac/PC games released by publishers that never ventured into Mac App Store in the past. These have been very surprising appearances at MAS. Games like Pillars of Eternity appeared recently. Also Metro Last Light Redux and 2033 Redux just appeared, as these had been Steam-only variants until now. Also Sid Meirs Starships appeared at MAS in a timely manner, even tho it was not ported by Aspyr (as some had predicted).

    Too bad Kalypso can't get their act together to release a MAS version of Wings Remastered. It was a successful Kickstarter with a PC/Mac/Linux versions, but so far the Mac version was only delivered to backers, and Mac version never even made it to GOG or MAS as originally promised. Kalypso does have some older titles on MAS.
  16. Michael Goff macrumors G5

    Michael Goff

    Jul 5, 2012
    I thought you were going to talk about their recent drive to monetize even more, in ways that just aren't good ideas.
  17. Washac macrumors 68020


    Jul 2, 2006
    Thanks for this pointer :)
  18. garnerx macrumors 6502


    Nov 9, 2012
    On a lot of games forums I see people saying "no Steam, no sale".

    I can't understand why somebody would actually refuse to buy a game simply because it's not on Steam. (Elite Dangerous was a case in point - plenty of people said they were interested but wouldn't buy it until Frontier stopped distributing it themselves and offered it through Steam.)

    Some of these people have Gabe Newell avatars...
  19. antonis macrumors 68020


    Jun 10, 2011
    Let's not forget CD Project Red with the witcher 2 (and soon 3).
  20. madeirabhoy macrumors 6502a

    Oct 26, 2012
    part of the reason id rather buy on steam is the uncertainty about the quality of a mac port, especially since my mac is 2011 imac rather than something new and shiny and fast.

    ill always try the mac port first, and if its like tomb raider or deus ex human revolution, ill play the mac version all the way, but if its like max payne 3, ill download the pc version in bootcamp and play that. cant do that with app store.
  21. roadbloc macrumors G3


    Aug 24, 2009
    I'm one of them. If it's not on Steam, I probably won't buy it. And it's because I want my collection of games in one place. A nice place with plenty of sales where I can grab a bargain. Sure, I have a few disc copies of things that aren't on Steam, but when it comes to stuff like the new EA games which require Origin and aren't available on Steam, I won't be buying. Steam allows me freedom with my games. Locking it down to Origin does not.

    It's for the same reason some people only buy music on iTunes. Or only buy apps on the Mac App Store. Or only shop at Tesco or whatever.
  22. garnerx macrumors 6502


    Nov 9, 2012
    Interesting, but it still makes no sense to me. You seriously wouldn't buy a game if it doesn't feature your preferred method of DRM?

    Your games are already in one place - on your computer.

    I can understand not buying an EA game because you don't want to be "locked down" to the Origin DRM system, but you absolutely insist on using Steam, which is basically the same thing.

    Anyway, maybe it's just me that's strange, since I'm happy to buy music on CDs, iTunes or direct from musicians, and I'll shop at whatever grocery store is nearby.
  23. monokitty macrumors regular

    Sep 16, 2011
    I don't understand people's opposition to DRM, other than to simply dislike it in principle - which is your right to do so. But honestly, DRM has never stopped me from enjoying any of my games, whether they're locked to Steam, Origin, uPlay or any other service. I can't even fathom playing a game in offline mode, since every single one of my devices is connected to the internet 24/7, pretty much no matter where I am when I may be gaming.

    The old days where the disc was required to be inserted in order to play the game was significantly worse than Steam requiring to be connected to the internet - by far.
  24. gkarris macrumors 604


    Dec 31, 2004
    "No escape from Reality..."
    Especially when games are under $10 - who cares about DRM?

    Remember that for consoles, discs are still required for those who want physical copies, even though, like on XBox One or PS4, the game is installed in its entirety on the hard drive.
  25. fuchsdh macrumors 65816


    Jun 19, 2014
    I too buy from Macgamestore where possible over Steam. I see Steam as more useful as a cloud-based backup option for some games (RCT3, etc.) rather than a platform I love. At least it works fine as my Dota 2 platform.

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