OS X Steam - I don't get it

TallManNY

macrumors 601
Original poster
Nov 5, 2007
4,362
1,219
So I play games from time to time. Usually I work through a game in a few months. I'm playing XCom - Enemy Unknown right now. Before that it was Borderlands 2. So you can see not necessarily the latest and greatest.

Anyway, Steam has a simple interface and good prices. So I frequently get my games from them.

What I don't get is how Steam continues to have just an incredible amount of bugs. It seems like it needs to be updated one a week. It struggles to "cloud sync" every time I shut it down. I'm never sure if it will autoupdate my games or not. It used to, but now doesn't. I get warning alerts from time to time.

Why is this so hard for Steam. All I'm using it for is a place to buy games, and then a list of my Library where I click on it to launch a game. This seems like it should be a fairly trivial thing to accomplish. But ti seems continually to fail.

For example, I've written this post while Steam attempts to cloud sync. It seems stuck. And by the way I have fairly fast internet for the US. And they can't sit there and claim they don't have the time to support Mac and the Mavericks OS. There is no excuse for that.

Should I get my games from some other source? Will I have a better experience if I do? Or are the prices just too high in other places?
 
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Irishman

macrumors 68030
Nov 2, 2006
2,693
606
So I play games from time to time. Usually I work through a game in a few months. I'm playing XCom - Enemy Unknown right now. Before that it was Borderlands 2. So you can see not necessarily the latest and greatest.

Anyway, Steam has a simple interface and good prices. So I frequently get my games from them.

What I don't get is how Steam continues to have just an incredible amount of bugs. It seems like it needs to be updated one a week. It struggles to "cloud sync" every time I shut it down. I'm never sure if it will autoupdate my games or not. It used to, but now doesn't. I get warning alerts from time to time.

Why is this so hard for Steam. All I'm using it for is a place to buy games, and then a list of my Library where I click on it to launch a game. This seems like it should be a fairly trivial thing to accomplish. But ti seems continually to fail.

For example, I've written this post while Steam attempts to cloud sync. It seems stuck. And by the way I have fairly fast internet for the US. And they can't sit there and claim they don't have the time to support Mac and the Mavericks OS. There is no excuse for that.

Should I get my games from some other source? Will I have a better experience if I do? Or are the prices just too high in other places?
How often do you run Steam?

Do you usually fire it up only when you want to play a game, then shut it down once you're done?

If so, the problem might be you're not giving Steam time to do auto-updates in the background. It's trying to do updates as you're playing your games, then you quit it once you're done. So, to you, that might make it look like it's always trying to update your games.

I leave Steam on running in the background, just like I leave Safari and Mail open.
 

garnerx

macrumors 6502a
Nov 9, 2012
514
265
Steam is just horrible. I use it on the same machine in both OS X and Windows, and it has problems in either OS.

Not long after it was released for Mac I downloaded some free trial game to test it, the download hung halfway through, and the game remained stuck in my library with a yellow name tag, undeletable. If I clicked it to try and complete the download or delete the file, Steam would crash. I think an update last year finally got rid of it.

In Windows, maybe one time in four it won't launch, claiming it's not connected to the internet. No other software does this. If I close the dialog box and relaunch, it usually starts fine.

These days if I can avoid Steam by getting a game elsewhere then I will. Some things force you to use Steam as DRM, even if you buy them elsewhere, so you just have to put up with all its bugs and the annoying way it dumps an ad on your desktop after you finish playing.
 

TallManNY

macrumors 601
Original poster
Nov 5, 2007
4,362
1,219
What is this other source you speak of?
Well you can download games from the Apple App Store. And you can also go to the Mac Game Store. Or one can buy the game on DVD.

----------

How often do you run Steam?

Do you usually fire it up only when you want to play a game, then shut it down once you're done?

If so, the problem might be you're not giving Steam time to do auto-updates in the background. It's trying to do updates as you're playing your games, then you quit it once you're done. So, to you, that might make it look like it's always trying to update your games.

I leave Steam on running in the background, just like I leave Safari and Mail open.
Yes, I just boot it up, play the game, and then usually quit it. Maybe I will try leaving it run in the background more often. I have 12GB of memory, so I've got plenty to spare.

----------

Steam is just horrible. I use it on the same machine in both OS X and Windows, and it has problems in either OS.

Not long after it was released for Mac I downloaded some free trial game to test it, the download hung halfway through, and the game remained stuck in my library with a yellow name tag, undeletable. If I clicked it to try and complete the download or delete the file, Steam would crash. I think an update last year finally got rid of it.

In Windows, maybe one time in four it won't launch, claiming it's not connected to the internet. No other software does this. If I close the dialog box and relaunch, it usually starts fine.

These days if I can avoid Steam by getting a game elsewhere then I will. Some things force you to use Steam as DRM, even if you buy them elsewhere, so you just have to put up with all its bugs and the annoying way it dumps an ad on your desktop after you finish playing.
Thanks. Seems about the same level of experience I'm getting.
 

Irishman

macrumors 68030
Nov 2, 2006
2,693
606
Well you can download games from the Apple App Store. And you can also go to the Mac Game Store. Or one can buy the game on DVD.

----------



Yes, I just boot it up, play the game, and then usually quit it. Maybe I will try leaving it run in the background more often. I have 12GB of memory, so I've got plenty to spare.

----------



Thanks. Seems about the same level of experience I'm getting.
Let us know how it works for you.
 

GoldfishRT

macrumors 6502a
Jul 24, 2014
552
320
Somewhere
I had problems with the Mac version of Steam when it was first released but it has been rock solid other than the occasional resource leak that's easily fixed by quitting and reopening the application. The Windows build has always worked perfectly for me. Haven't had a problem with offline mode even in years which was the only thing I ever really had wrong.

If I have any issue with Steam it's their support. It's absolutely awful.
 

Washac

macrumors 68020
Jul 2, 2006
2,449
89
I really dislike steam as most here know, I really do try and buy the game from elsewhere and really try to find out if the game is steam reliant or.

I have found that there are online sellers who sell hard copies do not always own up and say the game requires steam. Then when the games arrives in a small font on the back of the box you read those words that stop your gaming world, ( This game requires a steam account )

steam is getting like the Borg, " We will Assimilate you all "

The companies business ethics stink and their support is one of the worst ever, and people think they are wonderful, why, I just do not understand.

GoG is one of my first porst of call these days, or a steam free hard copy, or steam free digital download.

steam stinks and people just cannot see what this service actually is.
 
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saturnotaku

macrumors 68000
Mar 4, 2013
1,944
58
I have found that most sellers who sell hard copies do not always own up and say the game requires steam.
Then look at the box. Every physical game I've purchased that's required Steam has displayed that an account is required to install/play the game. Maybe there are exceptions, but I've not found any from the dozen or so games I own in this fashion.
 

Washac

macrumors 68020
Jul 2, 2006
2,449
89
Then look at the box. Every physical game I've purchased that's required Steam has displayed that an account is required to install/play the game. Maybe there are exceptions, but I've not found any from the dozen or so games I own in this fashion.
You cant when you buy a hard copy online though.
 

saturnotaku

macrumors 68000
Mar 4, 2013
1,944
58
You cant when you buy a hard copy online though.
Even if the information is not listed in the product description, or if pictures are not clear, a couple minutes searching will get you an answer about what DRM a DVD game might use. These days, however, a DVD game that's not tied to some client, be it Origin, Steam, or UPlay will be the exception, rather than the rule. The last boxed game I know of that didn't have DRM (talking AAA-caliber titles) was Sins of a Solar Empire.
 

garnerx

macrumors 6502a
Nov 9, 2012
514
265
I picked up cheap boxed copies of Shogun and Civ 5 not long after installing Windows, and it turned out the DVDs were just full of a bunch of outdated junk files. Their only function was to launch Steam, request the licence code, then download the entire games, so I had to have a Steam account and an active internet connection just to install them. Why do they even sell games on DVD?

On the positive side, the PC codes also unlocked the Mac versions.
 

saturnotaku

macrumors 68000
Mar 4, 2013
1,944
58
I picked up cheap boxed copies of Shogun and Civ 5 not long after installing Windows, and it turned out the DVDs were just full of a bunch of outdated junk files. Their only function was to launch Steam, request the licence code, then download the entire games, so I had to have a Steam account and an active internet connection just to install them. Why do they even sell games on DVD?

On the positive side, the PC codes also unlocked the Mac versions.
That's more or less what happened when I bought Wolfenstein: The New Order on DVD. Heck, the Superdrive is so slow at reading that the 50 GB download would have taken less time had I simply purchased from Steam outright. More often than not the disc has an outdated version of the game that requires at the minimum an additional several hundred megabyte download. If you're on a 50 Mb/s or better connection, might as well skip the DVDs in their entirety.
 

Washac

macrumors 68020
Jul 2, 2006
2,449
89
I think it is sad the way the games world has gone, no nice boxes etc, no printed manuals etc, it was all part of the gaming experience, now you pay £40 or more for a digital download no nice box for your shelf, no printed manual and a game that nine times out if ten is not even finished and in some cases does not even work, and people like steam, na :(
 
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roadbloc

macrumors G3
Aug 24, 2009
8,784
213
UK
I can't say I've ever had these problems with Steam. And my internet connection is lousy.

Maybe deleting the client blob will help, it sometimes does when Steam occasionally goes all screwy.
 

Solomani

macrumors 68040
Sep 25, 2012
3,991
7,999
Slapfish, North Carolina
I think it is sad the way the games world has gone, no nice boxes etc, no printed manuals etc, it was all part of the gaming experience, now you pay £40 or more for a digital download no nice box for your shelf, no printed manual and a game that nine times out if ten is not even finished and in some case does not even work, and people like steam, na :(
20 years from now, our children (or grandchildren) will ask:

"Game manual? What's a game manual?"

"Grampa, what does RTFM mean?"
 

Suture

macrumors 6502a
Feb 22, 2007
968
186
I never really had issues with Steam when I had a PC, but ever since I went full-Mac, wow. The friends list never updates, usually says everyone is offline. I can't watch any videos that are behind the age gate because it won't let me select the date of birth (empty pull downs). And the crashes. So many crashes.

I also had an issue with Cloud Sync basically trying forever to try and sync (but never would). Happened on both my Mac Mini and my MBA. It never kicked in on my iMac though. But when it would try, I would often wait upwards of 3 minutes to open or close a game down. Support -- if you can call it that -- took nearly 2 weeks to get back to me the first time. And they had no solution, aside from reinstalling Steam over and over.
 

unplugme71

macrumors 68030
May 20, 2011
2,827
751
Earth
Steam is a pile of crap. I always have games crashing on me. The app itself crashes. And support is absolutely horrible! Even when getting support for the app itself!

While I hate EA, at least Origin has slightly better support and seems to be more stable.
 

Alrescha

macrumors 68020
Jan 1, 2008
2,156
315
I can't say I've ever had these problems with Steam. And my internet connection is lousy.
Same. I do not use it a lot, but when I do it is pretty much invisible.

A.

I just fired it up for the first time in a month. It downloaded an update, applied it, and went idle. Pretty harmless.
 
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N19h7m4r3

macrumors 65816
Dec 15, 2012
1,191
8
Never had an issue with steam. Runs well, plays my games.

Only one I've had issue with is UPlay. Even Origin does all right.
 

Dirtyharry50

macrumors 68000
May 17, 2012
1,769
183
It's too bad Steam is problematic for some. It works just fine here. I'm currently playing KOTOR daily and no issues as usual. I also check in daily to look at my feed and see what friends are up to, what is new for games and on sale, etc. My games update without any problems.

I like the features of Steam myself and enjoy the social aspect of it too. Of course, I also like the big sales they run that make my gaming money go far.
 

Washac

macrumors 68020
Jul 2, 2006
2,449
89
Never had an issue with steam. Runs well, plays my games.

Only one I've had issue with is UPlay. Even Origin does all right.
You see this is the misconception, they are NOT your games that you have paid for, they just let you play them. Anything DRM is NOT yours, they allow you to play in the way that they want, as I said before a form of assimulation.

To get this straight in your head, think like this, if you for what ever reason have a row with steam about an issue and you choose to not have steam on any of your machines becuase of that, you then loose access to all your software, that's it that is the bottom line. On the other hand if you have your games on a shelf and the shelf breaks and you throw it out, you still have access to all your software.

They have you by the wassits

Microsoft years ago said that in the future people will not actaully own their software it will be accessed from a central online point, they got one right.

The day is coming when you actually own, no films, no music, no software, and I hope this one does not happen, no books, how sad is all that.

Now I see you cannot access the forum of a game unless you buy it, so that now stops you seeing what people are are saying about the game.

1. Buy the access to a game.
2. Start playing.
3. 10 hrs in.
4. Patch.

Go back to 2 and start loop again.

Really, unfinished games £40, games that do not even work on release, no not for me I am afraid.
 

Grade

macrumors regular
Apr 13, 2007
165
46
It the current age, this is where we at. Digital. It is easy and you don't need a physical copy that occupies shelf space, which for me is nice, since more room for movies.

In terms of Steam, I have no complains about it. The same goes for Origin.

Had an issue with Uplay, but that was quickly resolve.

Also the reality is that Steam will always work better for PC, then for Mac, because on PC is where their larger market is located, so it makes sense they focus more resources on the PC version.

I recalled the first time I use steam for the PC, it had a lot of bugs and problems, but since then Steam seems more stable then before.

Eventually, Steam for Mac will reach that point, but it may take awhile since Mac is not its biggest market. :(
 

N19h7m4r3

macrumors 65816
Dec 15, 2012
1,191
8
On the other hand if you have your games on a shelf and the shelf breaks and you throw it out, you still have access to all your software.
Good luck getting 99% of all current games in boxed form without DRM.I love boxed copies, I tend to always get them. They all have DRM, even Feral Games have a set amount of activation on their boxed games.

Even buying of off the MAS, Origin, UPlay, GOG, they're all DRM.
If you have a row with GOG and you never use their service, good luck downloading them again.

It's the same everywhere. Since CD-Keys there has been DRM, especially those with limited activation.

By the same right, none of my software is my own, or yours. TOS, EULAs, DRM, it's everywhere. It's a fact of life now.
 
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