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Quall999 12-08-2008 16:40

What does Steam put on my PC?
Ahoy there! For future reference, I am talking about Steam and Boxed titles, not the online purchase thing.

I have been out of the PC gaming loop for some time. I was looking into buying The Orange Box, but want to know about Steam first. I searched this section of the forum, but didn't get too much information other than that it is an online activation.

I search google for little answers, and so far I only know
1. It is required to play the game.
2. The activation is online.

I get mixed answers on the second item there. Assuming that I buy the box and avoid the online purchase, will I need to connect online every time I want to play the game, or does it only need to be activated once and connected only once?

My main concern and the reason for the topic title is that I do not know what exactly is being installed on my computer. Does Steam try to call home every time my computer starts? Does it put some hidden key in my registry that is never removed? I don't want my PC to slow down at boot and I only plan to have Steam running when I play the game, that is possible correct? I realize this is a backup forum, but this is somewhat related to copy protections. I try to keep a clean registry and hidden crap bothers me.

Quall999 13-08-2008 13:17

Well, I succumbed to my urge and installed Steam anyway. I would still like to know what it does though.

Anyways, I went to BestBuy, bought the game and Steam told me the CD key was invalid. I triple checked and put it in multiple times; it failed every time. They only support Steam via email so that pissed me off. So instead of calling, I went back to BB and exchanged copies. They looked at me wierd and thought I was trying to pull a fast one when I told them that the CD key failed. Was still able to do the exchange so all is good.

Still installing, can't wait to play portal.

Muji-FightR 13-08-2008 18:14

Years ago, when they released HL2 as the first major title that required online activation, they used to have an offline mode.
You would activate it once, dl updates (I think you can disable that in the settings, sucks for dialup) and enable offline mode where steam would start without attemping to connect to its network...
Probably havent changed that ever since but I didnt check, I only play online games on steam, never payed attention lately.

DABhand 13-08-2008 23:42

Actually HL2 had both online and CD-checks at first, then they dropped the CD-Checks for online checks only. But as said they eventually allowed offline mode. Not before cancelling my steam account for falsely saying I was trying to steal HL2 by using a warez key when I had the original HL2 and my own key already installed and on my account.

They even didnt bother to check this or the evidence I gave them, receipt etc, all they cared about was trying to get $10 from me and others the greedy gits.

I took legal action, and got my money back (35 it was at the time if I remember and had it for less than a week!) but beware Quall dont fall into the same trap.

Quall999 14-08-2008 10:41

Thanks, I really like HL2 but steam is annoying. I hope they don't come down on me. I am going to keep it though.

Even with offline mode enabled, my firewall is still blocking traffic from the app. What sucks more is that every time I want to play in offline mode, it asks me to verify that every time I start Steam.

This thing is like adware. I read the Terms of Use that are required in order to play the game, and they sell your information. If you add a game shortcut to Steam, keep in mind that Valve will record it and then sell that info with your contact email. I was looking for a privacy policy when I first signed up and now I know why I could not fine one. It doesn't exist. Thank god that I used a junk email address.

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