Steam vs. Direct2Drive

As the title says.

Which one do you guys use and why? Does it really matter? I couldn’t find game manuals on the D2D site, but may not have been looking in the right place. I’ve been thinking of downloading KOTOR since I can’t find it any store. On the other hand, I like having the cd and the manual and the box, etc.

Steam has the advantage if you’re on the go, but D2D is probably better if you want hardware backups. On the whole, I prefer D2D because it lets me actually keep a hardware backup (I burn the disks with a copy of the license, too). Steam is slow, it keeps wanting to update itself, and so on. Plus, it pisses me off that I so often have to connect to the net to play single-player games.

The other aspect is that D2D is the only way to go if you want to mod your games, ever. Some mods will work with Steam, but many do not or require complex and aggravating tweaks which can frequently break the game if not handled perfectly.

you can probably find KOTOR on ebay for fairly cheap if you want the box and stuff.

As far as downloads go, well it’s probably not that big of a deal which you pick. D2D games are more of a standalone thing, you install them and run them from an icon like a retail game while with steam you have to run the steam client.

I rather like the steam client, though. It’s well designed and lightweight and has alot of useful features plus it keeps you games all organized in one spot. The only downside is it sometimes pops up ads for steam games when you start it up - however they are usually only for things that are on sale and steam has some REALLY good sales sometimes. If ads really bother you then that’s something to keep in mind but for most people it’s not too big of a deal.

Another thing to consider is steam has unlimited downloads on unlimited computers (though of course you can only play on one at a time). D2D has limited installs, though they say you can call them up and beg for more and they will give them to you. I’m not sure what the limit is - I think it’s 3 but they don’t advertise it anywhere and won’t tell you what it is so I’m not really too sure about that.

Both the D2D and steam versions require different patches from the retail version of games (not an issue for old games like KOTOR though). Steam patches automatically and is usually quick about getting the patches. D2D… is sometimes slow and must be patched manually.

So, IMO, unless you really don’t like the idea of a separate client and/or really hate the occasional ad I’d go with steam. D2D is not terrible, I just like steam better.

If you just want to test it out, you can download the steam client for free and download a demo or something to see if you like it.

Edit: You can back your games up with steam too. You can also put steam into offline mode so you don’t have to connect to play. I’ve also never heard of problems modding steam games - I admit I don’t usually mess with that stuff though so I don’t have very much experience.

Steam lets you backup though you do have to connect to Steam to validate the install if you install from disks

Steam does take a couple of seconds to load which is annoying if the game itself also takes a bit to load. But you don’t have to connect to the net to play singleplayer. Why do I keep seeing people say this? You enable offline mode (which I think is enabled as a default in recent versions of Steam though it didn’t used to be) and it works fine without the net (if you’ve validated the game at least once). If you’re having a day where the net is being dodgy you do sometimes have to turn off your router or unplug your cable so Steam doesn’t waste its time forever trying to connect but that’s all.

I have no idea what you’re talking about. I’ve never had a problem moding a single game through Steam. Sure the install path is usually a little deeper in the Steam folders then it would be if it was just C:Program files/whatever but other then that they seem to work the same on Steam then anything else.

On preview I see I should have read badlyburnttoast’s post a little more carefully as they say the same. Nevermind.

Why don’t you turn off the pop-ups? Go into your settings and untick ‘Keep me notified about changes/sales/something or another’ and you stop getting the popups. Unless you like knowing about the sales of course but it’s not something that’s annoying if you can just turn it off.

One last thing. I actually prefer Impulse over Steam (I haven’t used Direct2Drive) sure the catalog is much smaller but the games usually have NO copy protection. Unlimited downloads with nothing but online registration and that just once? Yes please.

If you’re set on a hard copy there’s actually a collection of Star Wars games on shelves now. I saw it at Best Buy a couple weeks ago, it’s 20 bucks I think (instead of the 10 for KOTOR), but it has Battlefront and a couple other games as well, I think Empire at War and maybe Tie Fighter or Academy or something? I didn’t pay too much attention to what was included, but I know KoTOR was.

Oops - missed this

There are a few games that I’ve heard have issues modding on Steam, I believe Oblivion was one of them. I’m not sure exactly what it is, I think Steam does check some stuff to make sure it’s not pirated and a few of the more intense mods for some games end up having to change the relevant portions or something. You actually CAN fix it with some hacks, but they’re considered dodgy and a lot of “legit” sites refuse to distribute them. I’m not heavy into the modding scene so I’m not sure on the specifics, but I’ve heard complaints about it for the odd game in the past.

In addition - I’m not sure if it’s still the case, but it used to be you had to wait for Direct2Drive dedicated patches instead of using the ones released on the developers site when they came out. I recall having one instance where it made you have to use the CD and another where the patch wouldn’t recognize that I’d installed the game due to (presumably) the way D2D mods the games to work without a disk. Again, I’m not sure if that’s still the case, but I’ve noticed Steam usually updates immediately whereas I do recall having to wait a week or two on occasion for D2D patches. So if it’s still that way it’s another mark for Steam.

I stopped using D2D when I found out that its licenses are only good for a certain number of uses…when one game I was trying to re-license said I had used up my allotments. Got the same game from Steam and haven’t looked back.

You can create a backup of your steam games too. Just right click the title and goto backup game files. That’s it. You can then burn the folder if you want to a DVD.

Steam is really expensive in Northern Europe. I only buy Valve games or if a game is on sale. A copy from a shop is usually 10 - 15 euros cheaper than on Steam.
For example:
CALL OF JUAREZ 2:BOUND IN BLOOD:
On Steam : 49.99 €
Hard copy: 35.45 €

Aye, Steam/Valve really, really pissed off a lot of European customers when they changed to a 1:1 $ to € exchange rate. Considering €50 is aproximately $74, you can see why.

Actually, I’ve got a 25% discount code for KOTOR lying around for D2D - PM me if you want it. (It was a “prize” for registering at the new Old Republic MMO site.)

>Why do I keep seeing people say this? You enable offline mode (which I think is enabled
>as a default in recent versions of Steam though it didn’t used to be) and it works fine
>without the net (if you’ve validated the game at least once).

I recently moved and have been without wired internet at home for two weeks (wireless card is in the mail). If I try to run any Steam game, it tries to update the steam client, fails due to lack of connectivity. The only option is to hit ‘cancel’, which doesn’t load the game. So, I am unable to play any games that were downloaded through steam.

People claim “steam doesn’t work without internet” because it doesn’t.

Strange. I’ve used Steam dozens of times without the net. If I had a device trying to connect and failing (like a router) it wouldn’t work but as long as I turned everything off it was fine.

I had exactly your problem about a month ago where my internet connection was acting up and when I started Steam it would try to update but always fail due to my connection either being down or failing partway through. I turned off my connection altogether Steam booted no problems.

Biggest issue with steam: You don’t own the games, you merely purchased a lifetime ‘subscription’ to the game for a one time fee. They can, theoretically, take all of your games away at any time for no reason at all. This is not likely to be abused, of course, as it could lead to a class action suit with very unfavorable outcomes, but it is a possibility, and any steam user should know that you do not own a license to the game. You have a subscription to it.

Second issue with steam: You can’t sell your game, or even give it away to a friend. Its locked to your account for life.

Third issue with steam: My nephew can’t play one of my games while I am playing another. Well, ok… one or both of us can go into offline mode, but if i have 2 multiplayer games, i can’t have both up and running at once on different computers. My games.

Fourth issue with steam: Mandatory updates. Try playing a previous version of TF2 that had game rules you approved of more than the current patch. Not gonna happen. There is a distinct loss of control with such things. You definitely can’t revert to a previous patch, or reinstall the original and play it that way.

Don’t get me wrong, steam is a great system, but it has issues. I know the ‘subscription’ model of sales hasn’t been challenged in a court yet, so its possible that ‘subscription’ may change to actual purchase in the future on the basis of “If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck…”, but IANAL so thats impossible to say.

If you do get steam, I would recommend a separate account for each game, or at least for single player games, so you can give it away/sell it when you are bored with it. :slight_smile:

I do know that they don’t have a legal requirement to ‘unlock’ all your games in the unlikely event that Steam goes under but I’ve never heard anything about them having the ability to take your games away from you. Do you have a cite for this? Also this is a thread about Direct 2 Drive vs Steam. Direct 2 Drive has (or had maybe it’s changed) a download limit which is much worse than what you’re proposing in my mind.

Well if you end up with two copies you can give your extra license away. I have an extra copy of Half Life 2 from when I bought the Orange box that I can give to anyone (sadly I don’t know anyone that wants it). This is still not any different from most digital agreements it’s just Steam enforces it.

Well once again that’s an issue with all software licensing. I ran into the same problem when my wife bought a few games through Steam. We just started a second account and put the games she was likely to want on her account. Sometimes we play each other’s games but it’s rarely an issue.

Well you have a bad example as most mutliplayer games will make you have the latest patch if you want to connect to the main server but I agree the patch thing blows. If a patch breaks a game for your configuration it’s BS you can’t roll it back.

I guess we differ there as I never give up my games. It’s nice to know (short of Steam going under) that years from now I can download and re-install an old favorite.

In case anyone was wondering exactly what Valve says about the termination of licensing:

Jragon provided the cite above. Its basically like any other subscription service… You don’t have any rights at all to speak of. Granted, they aren’t going to just start banning people, as thats bad for business, but it still means that you do not have control over things you purchased. Surprisingly, most people don’t realize this, and while they’ve never hid the fact that you have no 1st sale rights or anything like that, they don’t exactly go out of their way to tell you this isn’t a conventional sale of a partial license.

Sure, but it also means that they’ve managed to bypass 1st sale doctrine, by claiming its a subscription. I also never sell off old games, but I do like to loan them to friends, something that is perfectly legal with physical media. It is impossible with steam, unless you loan your entire collection at the same time.

Nope. If I had bought Crysis Warhead and ETQW from a store, I’d be able to play one, someone else on the computer next to me could play the other. Since its steam, this is impossible. Agreed, rarely an issue, but it is an issue.
I guess my main issue with digital distribution, and steam, is we’re still not buying anything. Yes, theres perks… I love that, barring steam going under, 50 years from now I will be able to access all my games. But I dislike that they’ve managed to circumvent my consumer rights by calling a purchase a subscription. The convenience balances that aspect out, so right now its merely equivalent to store purchases. Hopefully that will be rectified though, so that it can be greatly superior like its supposed to be. :slight_smile:

Steam’s range of games seems to be somewhat limited to me, and their search tool is useless if you don’t know what you’re looking for. I don’t mind the client itself though, and you can now launch games directly from shortcuts without running the client first, I think.

Does D2D have a bigger collection?

No you don’t…you can play in ‘offline mode’.