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Civilization V To Use Steamworks 295

Posted by Soulskill
from the hope-it-doesn't-get-you-in-hot-water dept.
sopssa writes "2K Games today announced that Civilization V will be using Steamworks for online matchmaking, automated updates, downloadable content and DRM for the game. Steam's Civ V store page is also available now, revealing some new information about the game. There will be an 'In-Game Community Hub' for online matchmaking, communication, and for sharing scenarios between players. While including Steamworks might put some people off, it might also indicate better online gameplay than in the previous Civilization games, where it was almost impossible to have a good game without playing with just friends."
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Civilization V To Use Steamworks

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  • by lemmywrap (1605025) on Friday May 07, 2010 @06:43AM (#32124238)

    When a user installs your game, the DRMS server collects information from the customer's computer that uniquely identifies it. The collected information is used in combination with the metadata regarding your executable file to generate a custom binary, that checks that it is running on the user's computer. If the user changes the configuration of their computer such that the CEG checks would fail to identify the computer, the CEG system will automatically generate a new executable file for the user, and update their game installation. These checks occur whenever your game is run, regardless of whether the computer is connected to the Internet or not. In addition to examining the user's computer, the CEG system will detect tampering with the executable file, and will conceal its workings from reverse engineering.

    Should still be able to play it while offline, it would only require an internet connection when installing or after changing your hardware.

  • by Thanshin (1188877) on Friday May 07, 2010 @06:45AM (#32124248)

    my go to game when my internet connection is down.

    Mine is Dwarf Fortress. No mouse means I can even play it on the car (better while someone else drives) or while waiting on the airport.

  • by Eraesr (1629799) on Friday May 07, 2010 @07:03AM (#32124320) Homepage

    It's quite annoying. You always have to start the Steam-client to play. For some reason you cannot copy&paste passwords so you have to always type it.

    This is not true. You can create direct links to your games so that you don't have to start the steam client to play. It also has the option to remember your login, which has never failed me either. You have to enter your password only once and then it simply keeps you logged in, even if you shut down your PC.

  • by Mr. Freeman (933986) on Friday May 07, 2010 @07:06AM (#32124336)
    And that's exactly the problem with game and media execs these days, they completely fail to realize that there is absolutely no way to stop piracy and that adding more DRM just encourages more illegal activity. Ignoring reality doesn't make it go away.

    Of course, you're assuming that the DRM is legal in the first place, which it isn't. It removes your ability to make back-up copies as allowed by law.
  • by ledow (319597) on Friday May 07, 2010 @07:16AM (#32124376) Homepage

    Offline mode. You have to be online on Steam to download the damn thing in the first place, but once it's installed you just set it to offline mode and play away. It won't stay like that forever, but are you seriously telling me that you won't be online with Steam running in the background (even if just for a minute) for more than about 30/60/90 days?

    I don't buy games that have stupid DRM because I do play offline, but I've spend hundreds of pounds on Steam lately because their system is the only one that works how it should. And I've had Steam since long before WON went offline, so nearly day one.

    Avoid the stuff that has *other* DRM on top of Steam (e.g. GTA4) because that's just stupid anyway, layering DRM schemes, but 99% of what's on Steam is fine and it's the best system that makes the most sensible compromises for user happiness.

    If you don't already know this, it means you've never used Steam yourself. It's damn addictive once you realise that you can search for, buy, download, install and play a game in minutes and then take that game everywhere you go, online or off, onto multiple computers without having to do anything more complicated than click "Install" on the right icon. Or backup those games to your external drive when you realise you've filled up your entire disk with games and need some quick space back. It takes literally minutes to reinstall 9Gb of game from a Steam Backup if you suddenly get the urge to play it again, or you can redownload it if you lose your backup.

  • by El_Muerte_TDS (592157) <elmuerte.drunksnipers@com> on Friday May 07, 2010 @07:18AM (#32124388) Homepage

    That direct link will still first start Steam. And steam in offline mode doesn't work as well as a lot of people claim. When I was playing the game Torchlight my ISP sucked big time and had a very unstable internet, or no internet connection at all. Due to the fact that the PC was connected to an internal network I had to wait for the Steam connection to timeout before it allowed me to go into offline mode, so I had to wait 5 minutes before the game would start. If I simply disabled all network connections on that machine it would prompt for offline mode within a minute. Another problem is that steam constantly tries to go out of offline mode. One time it managed to get through to the steam servers and saw there was an update for Torchlight. The result, I could no longer play Torchlight in offline mode because there was an update I was required to install. Of course with my ISP still sucking big time I could not download the files.

    During this who crappy ISP period I regularly used tethering through my phone (using tetherbot) to browse the web, read email, etc. But what I couldn't do was tell Steam to connect to the proxy so it could access the internet so that I could finally unlock the game again.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 07, 2010 @07:57AM (#32124626)

    Civ 4 has an optional "simultaneous turns"-mode, where all the players move at the same time, then the next turn happens when they've all pressed "end turn". It works better than it sounds, though I can't offhand explain how it resolves interactions between players.

    I've played with one or two other people and some AI players ... and the "one more turn"-effect is as strong as in singleplayer. Games always last far into the early morning, despite plans to the contrary.

  • I second that (Score:4, Informative)

    by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Friday May 07, 2010 @08:08AM (#32124692) Homepage Journal

    Civ 5 was going to be my first PC game purchased in literally years (besides the humble indie bundle [wolfire.com], who could pass that up? But I'm talking about going to a store and buying a box.) But I am diametrically opposed to Steam's attack on First Sale law, and will not purchase any game which uses Steam again. I already went through it with Half-Life 2; I did not find any of the mods worth playing, so to me the game has zero replay value, and I would like to re-sell it, but I can't, even though I bought it on a disc at the store. Just say no to Steam. I will not be paying for Civ 5.

  • by Richard_at_work (517087) <richardprice.gmail@com> on Friday May 07, 2010 @08:35AM (#32124892)
    Nowhere in 'the law' does it say that content providers must allow you unhindered ability to make a backup copy, it merely states that you are allowed to make a backup copy within the limitations of copyright law - its not illegal to hinder that at all.
  • by Narishma (822073) on Friday May 07, 2010 @08:41AM (#32124940)

    You can make backups of Steam games, not to mention that you can re-download them as many times as you want, even on different computers. You can also play them offline, so I don't see what your problem is.

  • Re:I second that (Score:2, Informative)

    by emkyooess (1551693) on Friday May 07, 2010 @08:47AM (#32125006)

    Do not forget that steamworks DRM is also included on boxed copies.

  • by TheThiefMaster (992038) on Friday May 07, 2010 @08:59AM (#32125118)

    You can disable the auto-update of games to prevent this.

    Though I'll admit that it's annoying as hell that I can't play the older version of a game while the new version downloads...

  • by kammat (114899) on Friday May 07, 2010 @09:00AM (#32125120)

    but I won't even contemplate buying a game with DRM because I just don't trust that I'd be able to play it long after it stops being the hit new thing.

    You do know [wikipedia.org] Valve has promised to patch around Steam authentication if the shit ever does hit the fan?

  • Re:I second that (Score:4, Informative)

    by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Friday May 07, 2010 @09:13AM (#32125274) Homepage Journal

    Do not forget that steamworks DRM is also included on boxed copies.

    What part of my story about buying Half-Life 2 in a store and not being able to resell it led you to believe that I would not understand that the DRM was included with boxed copies as well? The truly abusive thing about Steam to me is that you can't even play a backup without installing and updating Steam. Steam 'backups' are not backups because they are not playable. So I can't sell it, and I can't play it? What the heck did I pay for? Shelf space? Die, Valve, Die.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 07, 2010 @10:01AM (#32125934)

    To be fair about the torch light thing:
    If you click on Torchlight->Properties there's a drop down box that says "Always keep this game up to date". Telling it to never look for updates would've solved your problem. Maybe you can complain because it defaults to always keeping your game patched, but you can change that in about 4-5 mouse clicks.

    Also instead of waiting 5 minutes for steam to time out, did you ever think to open the main steam window and click File->Go Offline... It's a magical option that lets steam know that you want to play offline. I know unplugging the cable, and configuring a firewall is probably a lot faster for you, but next time maybe you should just consider using the main menu on the main steam window. Or if that's too hard it's still accessible from an option on your system tray (also in two clicks).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 07, 2010 @10:04AM (#32125976)

    Steam has never locked my account, and I play from multiple IP's on a regular basis. The only thing it ever does if I am logged on to more than one computer at the same time it logs off the other computer when I log into a new one. I have been using steam for years and the only game that ever gave me an issue was one in which the publisher included other drm on top of steamworks. Even when I deploy, I just put it in offline mode and am able to play for the entirety of my deployment, the last one being a year and a half, not a single issue. Steam is by far the best system out there.

  • Re:I second that (Score:5, Informative)

    by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Friday May 07, 2010 @10:53AM (#32126854) Homepage Journal

    Correct me if I am wrong but I think steam lets you gift your games to other users so what is stoping you from doing that?

    This:

    What is a Steam gift purchase?

    When you purchase a game on Steam, we offer the option to "gift" the item to anyone you choose, whether or not the recipient is a current Steam user. The recipient will receive the gift as an attractive e-mail card with a personal message from you and instructions to redeem the game.

    A Steam gift purchase is a one-time transfer--after the recipient has activated and installed the game, it is a non-refundable game in his or her Steam games collection. Also note that you may only gift new purchases--you may not transfer games you already own. That'd be like wrapping up and presenting the toaster you've used every morning for the past year.

    In other words, Valve does not recognize your right to sell (or give away) a used toaster. Personally, I know people without a toaster, who would appreciate it if I wrapped mine up and gave it to them, even though it is lame. Steam was designed to prevent you from exercising your First Sale rights, period, the end. All this digital download shit is an incentive to the user to give away their rights. It's about preventing resale first, and about selling you games second.

  • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Friday May 07, 2010 @12:25PM (#32128510) Journal

    If there's *any* kind of network, no matter if it's just a point to point between 2 laptops, a local lan with no net connection or anything which looks like a network connection then steam will decide that you don't really want to be in offline mode, obviously you made a mistake when clicking "offline mode" and so it kicks you out of offline mode and freaks out because it can't connect to the steam servers and locks itself up.

    They fixed that in the new Steam client.

    At least the changelog mentions offline mode fixes, and it did work for me in a scenario you describe (network with several boxes and a router but no Net access + offline mode).

    No, I'm not a Steam fanboi. I've ran into problems with offline mode in the past, largely the same as yours.

  • by bdeimen (1806754) on Friday May 07, 2010 @12:30PM (#32128614)
    You can tell steam on any given game not to keep your games up to date so it won't start the auto update whenever you have an internet connection. I don't understand why no one else has brought this up. The auto update is an option, not a requirement unless it's an online multiplayer game, in which case you need it to play anyway.

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