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First Person Shooters (Games)

Half-Life 2 - Aftermath 467

Posted by Zonk
from the striding-onto-a-pc-near-you dept.
Eurogamer.com has word that the expected expansion pack for Half-Life 2 is already in the works. Reporting on information gleaned from PC Gamer UK, the site has learned that the expansion will be entitled 'Aftermath' and is currently slated for a summer release. Aftermath will deal with the fallout from the events at the close of the PC title as the residents of City 17 make for the hills in an attempt to get to safety. Alyx Vance, heroine and robot wrangler, will play a larger role in the expansion, but the article doesn't give specific details on what exactly her relationship to you as the player will be. From the article: "The reason we're able to do this, and why it's so exciting is because of Steam. If we were doing this without Steam we'd have to put it in a box, we'd have to start figuring out shelf space over a year beforehand. You'd see it six years from now..."
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Half-Life 2 - Aftermath

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  • by Neophytus (642863) on Friday April 08, 2005 @02:55PM (#12178857)
    If they followed the lead of Epic Games, and gave out their expansions for free, then they wouldn't have to preach about the virtues of using steam to sell their content rather than putting a box on the shelf. It's not ever caused them any problems...
    • by maloi (175772) on Friday April 08, 2005 @04:06PM (#12179673)
      But if they followed Epic Games' lead, then we'd have Half Life Tournament 2005, and boy oh boy am I glad we don't.

  • Letting Steam Off (Score:5, Insightful)

    by A Boy and His Blob (772370) on Friday April 08, 2005 @02:55PM (#12178859)
    You'd see it six years from now...
    Six years from now? With logic like that the expansion pack for the original Baldur's Gate should be coming out about now. That's just silly.

    I really hate steam and the direction in which video game distribution is headed, it's the whole reason I refuse to buy games like Half Life 2. I would be willing to pay a little extra if I got a nicely packaged product with a large dead tree manual and the reassurance that I will be able to play it years down the road.

    I wouldn't be surprised if the next generation of consoles use a steam like system as well, ala the Phantom Console. Count me out.
    • Re:Letting Steam Off (Score:3, Interesting)

      by kdark1701 (791894)
      If valves suddenly stops supporting steam in an X number of years, I suspect they'll release a patch that will allow steam to function unhindered.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 08, 2005 @03:00PM (#12178928)
        If valves suddenly stops supporting steam in an X number of years, I suspect they'll release a patch that will allow steam to function unhindered.

        Wow, kdark1701 suspects it. Well, that certainly puts any concerns to rest. Okay, there was absolutely no support given for the statement but still, if it's suspected on Slashdot then that's good enough for me.
        • by Anonymous Coward
          It's obvious if you think about it. A couple of years down the line, Valve can't afford to pay their debts and they go into bankruptcy. The first thing the liquidator is going to do is say 'screw the creditors' and use any remaining assets to pay programmers to give extra functionality to years old games for no monetary return. I don't see how anyone could doubt this.
        • Re:Letting Steam Off (Score:2, Interesting)

          by kdark1701 (791894)
          My word is absolute.
          Even if Valve dosn't release a patch for Steam, someone will. I doubt that the warez copies of Half Life 2 try to connect to the internet, so it dosn't strike me as unlikely that someone will make a patch that eliminates steam's need to 'phone home'.
    • You can buy Half-Life 2 in your dead tree packaging, Steam is just a second method of distribution.
      • Re:Letting Steam Off (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Fred Or Alive (738779) on Friday April 08, 2005 @03:11PM (#12179070)
        Doesn't Half-Life 2 still need Steam even if you get the retail version? If Steam dies, you're screwed, at least if you want to reinstall (does Steam let you play games single player in offline mode indefinatley?)

        Personally I think Steam is a nice system for getting games, keeping them up to date and the like, but this sort of thing does have the "What if Valve go up the spout / decide to screw you." sort of thing.
      • Re:Letting Steam Off (Score:5, Informative)

        by Chris Mattern (191822) on Friday April 08, 2005 @03:13PM (#12179097)
        > You can buy Half-Life 2 in your dead tree packaging

        True.

        > Steam is just a second method of distribution.

        False. You must *register* with Steam, you must be *connected* to Steam. Or your dead-tree package doesn't work.

        Chris Mattern
    • by DarthVeda (569302)
      Well you have to think about the developers. Systems like steam are ideal for them. It allows them to cut out publishers and middle men entirely.

      And when they want to stop support for a game, they can just yank it. That's bad for you, but good for them. I mean they're really only selling "licenses" to the game anyway, right?
    • by Hatta (162192) on Friday April 08, 2005 @03:02PM (#12178947) Journal
      What more can be said? I won't have any problem entertaining myself with puzzle bobble, doom, nethack, and starcraft for many many years to come. If the game industry decides it doesn't need me, I sure as hell don't need them.
    • by patdabiker (710704)
      I find it interesting that so many people here on Slashdot are so averse to new technologies like this. Steam seems like a logical progression with the advent of broadband, but a lot of people feel safer with that past.
      • by artemis67 (93453) on Friday April 08, 2005 @03:06PM (#12179004)
        Half-Life was delivered on paper tape, in several 50 lb boxes. And if the paper tape tore while you were reading it in, then you just didn't get that weapon or that sound effect.

        Kids these days, they got it too easy...
      • Here's an idea... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 08, 2005 @03:18PM (#12179143)
        Because this technology is not balanced. It allows the creator much more control over it than the end user, which is the problem.

        Here is a fact: Right now Valve is watching you every time you play, and gathering information on your user habits, play times, durations of play, PC settings, hardware configuration, and storing it for market research data.

        It's so much not the distribution method as it is the software in question. There is no reason for me to have their software running on my desktop with an active connection while I play. There is no reason for me to have to activate a store-bought version of the game online. Oh yeah, I forgot I might be a potential thief!

        Now let's look at it from their side. Here's a group of people who now have an administrative piece of software on your machine. What else can they send through its active connection? What can they take away?

        The liberties awarded to Valve when their software is installed on your PC are too much to ignore.
        • by cgenman (325138) on Saturday April 09, 2005 @02:01AM (#12184915) Homepage
          On the one hand, I can see how that would be scary.

          On the other hand, I really want to know what that data is showing. What resolution are most people playing at? Does everyone use inverted mouselook or not? What difficulty level does the average person play on? Does expert even get touched? Did the average player furiously pound the space bar every time a cinematic came up? Did they spend longer than they probably should have in one section or another? Did players just drive around in the dune buggy or stay up in that magnetic crane throwing crates at people? Did they just play the mods? Are half-hour long playsessions the norm, or are most people playing in 4-hour chunks?

          Maybe it's the sociologist in me, or the game developer, but I'd really like to know the answers to those questions. Sometimes you feel like you've got nothing more to go on than a guess and a couple of magazine reviews.

          When I install a piece of software on my machine, I accept that I'm giving them control. My virus scanner has admin priviledges, and it auto-updates. They could send anything they liked down that pipe. My firewall is set to accept that the virus scanner changes itself every now and then, and to download and install updates to itself automatically too. What stops these things from taking over the computer? What stops that bittorrent client from being a trojan, or that copy of Dekart Private Disk?

          Any software installed to your machine gives your machine to that company. BOINC auto updates, auto downloads new data, auto-allocates resources. And for what? Because I trust them, and I'd like to help out with einstein@home. Steam is finally stable, convienient, and always there. I believe it's not uploading my porn collection to uncle sam because I know that Valve has a bigger reputation and bigger goals to uphold than that. I trust that if Valve's servers go black forever, they will make good on their word to make the last update unlock everyone's machines. And if they don't, I can just download an unencumbered version from Kazaa. What did Anarchy Online install to my machine? Nothing that Ad Aware and Spybot think is nasty, but it's definitely sending stats back home when I connect. But I trust them.

          I'm not particularly happy with the whole activate-online if you bought a box-scheme, but I can understand that they didn't want to fork their development time, and they needed an autoupdater for online play. Quite frankly, if all it requires is online sign in that's a lot less painful than requiring a physical Disk.

      • Fixed that for ya (Score:5, Insightful)

        by bogie (31020) on Friday April 08, 2005 @03:42PM (#12179395) Journal
        ...but a lot of people feel safer with [technology that works and doesn't take away your freedom].

        Needing to authenticate to play a game offline is the greatest crime against gamers I can think ok. Fact is if this wasn't Half Life for that reason alone the game would have tanked otherwise.

        But I suppose next your going to tell me how DRM is just the next "logical progression" to "protect users" and that people who buy will only buy CD's are just being silly for hanging on to the past.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 08, 2005 @03:43PM (#12179398)
        Please don't characterize individuals who disapprove of Steam as luddites. It raises a straw-man argument that is also irrelevant to the arguments actually made.

        Individuals who disapprove of Steam do not disapprove of it because it is new, involves online distribution, or anything of that sort. Rather, they generally disapprove of it because it unjustifabily and unethically attempts to transfer product ownership rights from the actual owner of the product to the producer.

        It wouldn't matter if Steam was in a box, in the mail, or tunneling through the water. It's the IP control issues that most individuals disapprove of. Any complaints about the distribution process is just icing on the cake in my mind.

      • by Jester998 (156179)
        It's not that we're adverse to new technologies. It's largely due to the fact that we have come (with good reason!) to distrust the motivations of corporations.

        Consider: What would happen if Valve went out of business? What if they got bought out and the company that purchased them decided that they no longer wish to use the Steam platform, opting for their own distribution/authentication method? Would you be willing to say "Oh well, I guess the $50 each I spent on all those Steam-based games went to w
    • by MatthewNewberg (519685) on Friday April 08, 2005 @03:05PM (#12178987) Homepage

      How many people do you know still play DOS games? After 10 years support for the API's and the old hardware disappears. Realisticly most people dont want to put up with the issues of playing older games, so if steam disapears most people wont care.

      What I dont like about steam is the fact it will automaticly update you game, if that game update is bad then your stuck with the update till the next update.

      • by bmw (115903) on Friday April 08, 2005 @03:26PM (#12179215)
        How many people do you know still play DOS games? After 10 years support for the API's and the old hardware disappears. Realisticly most people dont want to put up with the issues of playing older games, so if steam disapears most people wont care.

        Key words: most people

        What about those of us that do still play these older games? At least we have the option of doing a bit of work and still playing these games. With systems like Steam we don't even have the choice.
        • by Chyeld (713439)
          I call BS. Valve isn't the CIA, their system is not inscrutable. There are enough people out there that know enough to be able to 'crack' that even assuming that everyone in Valve suddenly become gamer hating Christian Fundies who pull the game to save our souls, come 2015 you'll still be able to play the game the same way you play your old DOS games now.

          Launch your Athalon/ATI emulator, load up the latest release of FreetosXP, launch your Vapor Steam Server emulator and then run HL2.

      • I was just playing Quest for Glory the other day (1, 3 and 4 that is). I was able to do this because of DosBox. So...looks like a few people must still be playing those darn games.
    • Looks like 6 years would have ended up being pretty sweet for TF2 :(
    • Exactly. (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      You will probably get dozens of people replying to this post claiming that you're just another person whining about nothing. Ignore them, because they're unable to see the future of where this kind of distribution is headed.

      I'm not so against online distribution in general, but I don't see it necessary to install this extra chunk of software on my machine that then connects to the net for the duration of my playtime.
      Oh yeah; paranoia. Sorry about that, but I guess thousands of other peices of similar sof
      • Re:Exactly. (Score:3, Informative)

        by Khuffie (818093)
        Wasn't the lack of physical distribution supposed to lower the price of this game? Why was it the same price when purchased online?

        Just pointing out an answer to this, even though I hate Steam anyway. The price of the game if bought through Steam is the same as retail because of the deal Valve has with Vivendi, in which Valve was not allowed to undercut the retail value of Half-Life 2 as opposed to the Steam version of it.

    • Re:Letting Steam Off (Score:3, Informative)

      by Grand (152636)
      reassurance that I will be able to play it years down the road.

      I am the opposite. I have many old games that I can not play anymore because of scratched discs or lost manuals with Keys printed on them. Yes this is my fault for letting the discs get scratched, losing the manual, or misplacing the CD. Tribes 2 had the best of both worlds. You could install from the CD, and not have the CD KEY. All you needed was your username/password. For myself, steam is the way I want to buy games.
    • Re:Letting Steam Off (Score:5, Interesting)

      by ChristianBaekkelund (99069) <draco@mMENCKENit.edu minus author> on Friday April 08, 2005 @03:30PM (#12179252) Homepage
      I really hate steam and the direction in which video game distribution is headed

      You are solidly in the minority on this though. When polled, the vast majority of gamers say that they would rather download their games, and pay a little less, than get a boxed version, and pay a little more.

      In fact, many people would rather download their games, even if they didn't have to pay a little less, just to skip a trip to the store. To those people, downloading + paying less is a double-win situation.
      • by Twanfox (185252) on Friday April 08, 2005 @04:43PM (#12180247)
        Steam is not simply about downloading the software. If it were, this debate would not exist.

        Steam is about downloading software, constant updates, decrypting data files before First Use, downloading executable files before First Use (the product you buy in stores is incomplete. How's that for smart). Steam is about them having the ability to revoke your right to play just because they feel you did something wrong, regardless of the truth of the matter.

        You know what Steam doesn't do? It doesn't even stop in-game cheating. It doesn't stop hacking. It doesn't even make game playing any better. It doesn't even let you play at all if the servers crash or start feeding bad data to your client. Advanced, my ass.

        Sadly, I did enjoy playing Half Life 2, even though I found it to be somewhat short and the ending abrupt and far easier than Half Life 1. I do enjoy playing Counter Strike: Source, except for physics issues (I manage to, according to my client, move fully out of the field of view, yet someone shooting at me with high ping times still "sees" me and gets the shot) and except when cheaters get online (Where exactally are those mystical 'secure' servers that Steam is capable of providing?). Only reason why I play those two games? They were a gift.

        Steam is not simply a distribution method. Sony Online Entertainment does simple online distribution of expansions for Everquest. Steam is far nastier a beast.
    • by SpecBear (769433)
      I was a drooling fanboy chomping at the bit to get HL2, but I won't be getting this expansion pack unless I can play it offline without asking Valve's permission each time. I think online distribution si a wonderful thing, but the way Steam does it is a ripoff for consumers. Valve gets:

      - Decreased distribution costs
      - Decreased production cost
      - No inventory issues (shelf space? not a problem)
      - Presumably a dramatic reduction in piracy due to increased authentication

      But none of these savings were pa
  • The big question? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 08, 2005 @02:55PM (#12178861)
    Will it have an ending? Because Half-Life 2 sure as hell didn't.
  • While I'll grant that steam is a wonderful phase of water. I'll stick with ice thank you...preferably with some scotch over it.
  • Steam (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Orgazmus (761208) on Friday April 08, 2005 @02:55PM (#12178867)
    Even tho many of its early users hate steam, its an interesting way of pushing out software. Saves the gamemakers money, and the gamers legs.
    • Re:Steam (Score:5, Funny)

      by BabyPanther (813124) on Friday April 08, 2005 @03:02PM (#12178946)
      Saves the gamemakers money, and the gamers legs.

      As if gamer's legs are ever used anyway. Moving a little would be a good thing.

      Or don't tell me, you play Dance-Dance Revolution all of the time. ;)

  • Lemarr! (Score:3, Funny)

    by superjohnyo (874469) on Friday April 08, 2005 @02:56PM (#12178871)
    Harper also admits later Gamer's feature that he's "desperate" to work on a mod based on Lemarr, the little headcrab.
    I'm interested to see where this goes. First person crabber?
  • No its not... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by cOdEgUru (181536) * <cherian...abraham@@@gmail...com> on Friday April 08, 2005 @02:56PM (#12178872) Homepage Journal
    Steam is probably the most hated delivery system currently in existence.

    The real reason Valve decided to release HL2 expansion packs is because it has the name "Half Life" preceding it. And if Valve had decided to release it six years later, there would be no interest, atleast not nearly anywhere as it is right now, and they would have to infact "fight" for shelf life. Right now, retailers would love to offer shelf space for a product, that they know will sell half a million copies, especially for a game which left us all hanging.

    In six years, a lot of things can happen. Valve wouldnt be so stupid to wait six years.
    • Wrong Focus (Score:3, Informative)

      by Obiwan Kenobi (32807)
      What? Steam is the only direct-to-consumer internet-based game delivery service. Insomuch as a direct client-to-server experience with direct payment capacity in the client. You trash it because it is the only one available and the only one that has performed.

      Like it or not, Steam has been a huge success and through the sale of HL2 (and subsequent server almost-meltdown) they have learned a lot of lessons. I never have problems playing any Valve games, from HL2 to Counter Strike. Any and all patches are ap
      • Steam is the only direct-to-consumer internet-based game delivery service.

        Fileplanet offers its Direct 2 Drive service. I'd call that a direct to consumer internet-based game delivery service.
      • Re:Wrong Focus (Score:3, Insightful)

        by FireballX301 (766274)
        Lets take some quotes from this.

        Steam is the only direct-to-consumer internet-based game delivery service.

        So, http based delivery doesn't count? Look at UT2k4 and the ECE expansion installer released to the public.

        Any and all patches are applied quickly and easily with no input needed from me.

        Is that a good thing?

        I really like how it has been accepted, sometimes begrudgingly, by the game-buying public and geeks at large.

        We didn't choose it. Steam was forced on whoever bought HL2. That's not c
      • Steam is the only direct-to-consumer internet-based game delivery service.

        No it isn't [gamespy.com]

        I used Steam for a while back when CS 1.6 required it. I quit after a couple weeks. I use to play games strictly with people I knew, but Steam really made the process frustrating. Occassionally we still play Pre-Steam CS.

      • Re:Wrong Focus (Score:5, Insightful)

        by QuantumRiff (120817) on Friday April 08, 2005 @03:30PM (#12179244)
        While I agree with what you said, I have 1 distinct wish, that they would drop the sale price from buying off of steam 5 bucks. Seems like if they sold it for $5 less, they'd still make a killing, by not having to pay for packaging, cd's, trucks to deliver them, stores cut of profits, etc.. And I would love to see them publicly state somewhere that if, some day in the future, they decide not to keep a game working with steam, (abondonware?!) they will release a patch that lets it still work standalone.
        • One of the reasons Vivendi is allowing Valve (or not been able to stop them, or whatever) to distribute Half Life 2 over Steam, is because Valve has agreed to keep the price the same as the retail price.

          Vivendi is a humongous company. They handle all the grunt work of packaging it, promoting it (in-store posters, etc), and getting it to the stores. Steam worries Vivendi, because it completely eliminates them (and any publisher) from the picture, because with Steam, publishers don't exist. If people had
      • Re:Wrong Focus (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Kaa (21510) on Friday April 08, 2005 @03:31PM (#12179261) Homepage
        Steam is the only direct-to-consumer internet-based game delivery service.

        Umm... no. I bought a lot of games by going to a website, paying with a credit card, and downloading the game. That's "direct-to-consumer" and definitely "internet-based" game delivery to my hard drive.

        Insomuch as a direct client-to-server experience with direct payment capacity in the client.

        And why do I want a direct payment capability in the client? I don't. My web browser gives me all "direct payment capability" I need.

        You trash it because it is the only one available and the only one that has performed.

        LOL. It hasn't performed and that's why a lot of people are trashing it.

        But anyway, my problems with Steam are not performance. They are that Steam doesn't want to be just a "delivery service". It wants to have ongoing control over what I do at my machine.

        Why in the world don't I get a say in whether my game on my hard drive get patched or not? And why in hell would Steam throw a hissy fit if I decide to mess with game files -- again, my game files on my hard drive?

        I want games that I will play on my own terms. I don't want a piece of software that will decide what's good for me and what's not.
      • Re:Wrong Focus (Score:5, Informative)

        by Loco3KGT (141999) on Friday April 08, 2005 @03:35PM (#12179298)
        You list a lot of great things about Steam, but you forgot the important one -

        I don't play Counter-Strike unless Steam says I can play Counter-Strike. Whether I want to play it or not is a moot point, because the Steam authentication servers have to give me permission either way.
        • Re:Wrong Focus (Score:3, Informative)

          by Ford Prefect (8777)
          I don't play Counter-Strike unless Steam says I can play Counter-Strike. Whether I want to play it or not is a moot point, because the Steam authentication servers have to give me permission either way.

          It was like that with the old WON-authenticated Half-Life for online multiplayer stuff.

          But everyone seems to forget that, along with the big WON downtimes etc...
      • Re:Wrong Focus (Score:3, Insightful)

        by alnjmshntr (625401)
        I don't think anybody is knocking the direct-to-consumer part of steam, which is definately cool and the way to go.

        What people don't like is that once they pay for the game and it's on their pc, then it should no longer be reliant on steam or steam servers to operate. I think consumers should also be in charge of updates if they want to be, just like windows update.

        What's so hard about that?
  • by Mancat (831487)
    Will Gordon finally say something?
  • by LiNKz (257629) * on Friday April 08, 2005 @02:57PM (#12178896) Homepage Journal
    The end of the game left the question and the real only possibility was she died -- So she lived? Does anyone have a storyline write up about all this? I did find a few sites that tried to piece together everything, but anyone know anything else?
  • by tcopeland (32225) * <tom&thomasleecopeland,com> on Friday April 08, 2005 @03:00PM (#12178919) Homepage
    One of the few annoying bits of HL2 was keeping Alyx and Barney from getting killed when they charged blindly ahead into danger. The same goes for the other NPCs, but at least their deaths didn't end the game...
    • Alyx and Barney never gave me a problem, but the squad mates drove me nuts.

      It took about 10 seconds of being stuck in a narrow hallway before I riddled them full of bullet holes.
      • by Ford Prefect (8777) on Friday April 08, 2005 @03:37PM (#12179324) Homepage
        Alyx and Barney never gave me a problem, but the squad mates drove me nuts.

        I recently finished replaying HL2 with my ultra-cack-handed increased-difficulty tweaks. Somehow, that section of the game became way better. Instead of hundreds of squadmates excusing themselves as I tried pushing past them in narrow corridors, everything became ... scarier.

        Other things improved too, and I got to see bits of the game I didn't know existed, and saw battles how they were presumably meant to occur. The strider battles became awesomely awesome, for a start, with holes being blown in walls of buildings I thought were invulnerable, etc.

        My theory is that HL2 was playtested on people not so familiar with FPS games - for instance, Combine soldiers do take cover and flank the player, but on standard difficulty settings a decent FPS player is likely to have shot them dead beforehand. Bump up the difficulty, and ... Woo. :-)

        I'd release my 'fixed' difficulty settings mod (basically just a tweaked skill.cfg) but I'm sure there are more numbers in the game DLL that can be 'adjusted'. But I ain't got no Windows C++ compiler - anyone want to help?
  • After math (Score:5, Funny)

    by buckhead_buddy (186384) on Friday April 08, 2005 @03:00PM (#12178924)
    "Half-Life: Aftermath" sounds pretty eerie but "Half-Life: After P.E." would really bring out all sorts of long buried terrors of heading to the locker room showers after a game of kill the nerd with the ball.
    • Dude... I've heard bad things about American prisons. Are you saying the highschools have the same kind of "Don't pick up the soap" problem too?
  • by AppyPappy (64817) on Friday April 08, 2005 @03:04PM (#12178974)
    I'll keep waiting for Day of Defeat [dayofdefeat.com] for HL2. I can't stand all that hippie crap in HL2
  • by stratjakt (596332) on Friday April 08, 2005 @03:05PM (#12178988) Journal
    The reason we're able to do this, and why it's so exciting is because of Steam. If we were doing this without Steam we'd have to put it in a box, we'd have to start figuring out shelf space over a year beforehand. You'd see it six years from now...

    They managed to release about 900 jillion addons for the first Half Life, even without Steam, and they didn't take 6 years to hit the shelves. They hardly took 6 weeks.

    See how much you love Steam when they decide people shouldn't play Half Life 2 or it's addons anymore, because it'll cut into the market for Half Life 3.

    Just say no to crappy schemes like that. Sorry, I want to know the game will be playable 10, 20 years from now, provided I still have the right hardware to play it on.

  • by sbryant (93075) on Friday April 08, 2005 @03:05PM (#12178995)

    As long as they don't call anything "Yuri's Revenge" I guess I'll be happy...

    -- Steve

  • Now charge us a lot less money accordingly. Thanks in advance!
  • mirror (Score:5, Informative)

    by winkydink (650484) * <sv.dude@gmail.com> on Friday April 08, 2005 @03:07PM (#12179012) Homepage Journal
    here [networkmirror.com]
  • by DavidLeblond (267211) <me@nospam.davidleblond.com> on Friday April 08, 2005 @03:09PM (#12179041) Homepage
    You'd see it six years from now...

    Seriously, why six years? Is this why we haven't seen Duke Nukem yet? They've finished the game but they're taking 5 years to print up a stupid box?
    • They were talking about the Steam software delivery method. If there was no Steam, it would take 6 years to do it all. Traditional game distribution involves sending the product for manufacturing, box it, get the regular stores to shelve it and handle all the overhead of handling online gaming for the expansion would be very involved. With Steam, they can just put an option in Steam to buy it online, that's it.
      • So it usually takes six years to get a game from production to the shelves? Not just a game but an expansion pack?

        I call bullshit.
        • It sounds like a lighthearded exaggeration to me, but then again I think rationally. If you stopped for a second past the knee jerk reaction and thought, the point you should have interpreted was that "product X takes Y time using a traditional distribution method, however product X takes Y - Z time using an established content delivery system."
  • ...more Ravenholme!

    Three more words...

    More Father Grigory!

    P.
    • I second that emotion! I spent hours reloading my games saved in Ravenholm just for the zombie-spraying action. Between the blade-engines and the fire traps it's almost like a Dawn of the Dead FPS. (And whoever owns the rights to that game should realise that they're sitting on a gold mine...)
  • All hail Steam! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by decipher_saint (72686) on Friday April 08, 2005 @03:16PM (#12179120) Homepage
    All Hail Glorious Steam! The answer to and cause of most of Valves problems it would seem...
  • Uhhh huh.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MortisUmbra (569191) on Friday April 08, 2005 @03:24PM (#12179205)
    "The reason we're able to do this, and why it's so exciting is because of Steam. If we were doing this without Steam we'd have to put it in a box, we'd have to start figuring out shelf space over a year beforehand. You'd see it six years from now..."

    Boy they must really think we are retarded.

    Much less than a year after HL2 is released and its going to be ready, but we'd see it 6 years from now if it wasn't for steam.

    I'm well aware he is exaggerating but it still doesn't remove the bullshit quotient.

    So, the fact that at the launch I couldnt play the game I bought, the fact that months later at a LAN party only half the people could log in because steam puked, all that is supposed to be instantly negated by the wonderfull fact that Steam saves Valve some work.

    That will mean a lot when they ditch steam and I can no longer go back and play my "vintage" copy of HL2.
  • It's a mixed bag (Score:5, Interesting)

    by war3rd (650566) on Friday April 08, 2005 @03:25PM (#12179213) Homepage
    I actually acknowledge the convenience of Steam for some folks, but requiring Steam-based activation is abhorrent. While I am supportive of any company trying the counter piracy, there are limits to what they should require of customers. I know it's easy to sit here and complain without offering another solution, but it's not my job to come up with a solution that makes customers happy, it is the developer's/publisher's and they would be much better of if they were to work out a more sensible solution. I bought HL2 and I'll probably pay for the addon, but if there were a method that did not require Steam (and were legal) I would use it in a heartbeat. But it is really not all bad, when I reformatted my machine and reinstalled HL2, I only needed to reinstall Steam and Steam did the rest. Now I can play HL2 without the CD and without using a no-cd crack, so I have done nothing immoral/illegal. So it's in interesting blend of freedom and restriction, in my opinion.
  • Issue... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Robotron23 (832528)
    The issue with Half Life 2 was that it largely relied on action. For example, you'd spend X amount of time running around sewers/canals, and would be happily playing the game...

    Only to be thrust into a ridiculous scene where you must shoot dozens of combine/aliens to progress (this happened a LOT more during the second half of HL2, culminating in the ironically unconclusive conclusion), compared with the very short scripted scenes in HL1 with the soldiers (which actually made me hope for more action!).

    If
  • by SethJohnson (112166) on Friday April 08, 2005 @03:38PM (#12179337) Homepage Journal


    Due to problems experienced at previous LANparties hosted by the Texas Gaming Festival [txgf.org], the upcoming 1,000-person lanparty in Austin, Texas will not feature any tournaments based on games that depend on Steam technology. This means no CounterStrike [txgf.org].
  • by brer_squid (864825) on Friday April 08, 2005 @03:48PM (#12179452)
    that in order to play a game where you battle a hive-minded alien overlord you must subscribe to a hive-minded server overlord?
  • Steam Sucks (Score:4, Insightful)

    by cyranoVR (518628) * <cyranoVR AT gmail DOT com> on Friday April 08, 2005 @05:11PM (#12180599) Homepage Journal
    Why? Because it stopped working for no reason at all, and now I can't play the game that I paid for (I bought the retail version of CS a few years back, which has no offline single-player mode)! Here is the email I sent Valve support (no response yet):
    On March 26th I enjoyed a game of Day of Defeat.

    Tonight, April 06th, without having installed anything or otherwise changed my system, Steam no longer works. Intead, it displays a Windows OS message window [cs.com] that says:
    Debug Assertion Failed
    File: Src\SteamInternal.cpp
    Line: 3224

    pClientAccountInfo->m_pAccountEntry->m_pAccount- >I sLoggedIn()

    Then I see the good ol' "Could not connect to Steam" message.

    I am using a Win98 (version 4.10.1998) box, PII 500 Mghz with a RAGE128 32MB graphics card. However, I don't think it is a hardware problem as I have been playing CounterStrike for the last 3 years on this box.

    Steps I have taken (all failed):

    - Reset my Steam password
    - Deleted ClientRegistry.blob
    - Ran Anti-Virus and Anti-Spyware software (nothing found)
    - Configured my Router firewall to allow traffic to Steam UDP/TCP ports
    - Uninstalled & Reinstalled Steam
    - Rebooted multiple times

    Did you guys do anything between March 26th and April 6th that I should know about? :(

    I only use this PC for gaming, and I didn't install any new hardware or software - or even used the pc between my last successful gaming session and when this situation started. I know my account isn't hijacked or banned, because I was able to reset my password multiple times.

    W T F?
  • Cheaper on Steam? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Salis (52373) <{howard.salis} {at} {gmail.com}> on Friday April 08, 2005 @06:01PM (#12181172) Journal

    Will they give a discount of ~$5+ for people who d/l it off Steam? I didn't mind paying full price for HL2, but for the expansion ...

Wernher von Braun settled for a V-2 when he coulda had a V-8.

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