I was all geared up for September 21st. It is the release date of the next installment of a game that made me the nerd I am today. I have played every single generation of Civilization and every expansion. I actually started to play when Civ 2, hit. I would only later go back and find version of 1, just to see them. The 21st of this month was supposed to be holy. How in the flying hell I missed this one, I don’t know. But, here is yet another game that is using the Steam client to run the game. Not an option, you need Steam to play the game, despite however you purchase it. This isn’t blind fear. I made an oath to never buy through Steam again. I had my nightmare with them 4 months ago, and I just had an updated one this weekend.
My first game bought through Steam was actually the 3rd expansion to Civilization III, no doubt. These were the days without the full client it was today. Your login/password was only to access the download files. Once you downloaded, it was yours on your hard drive.
I would buy more games this way as I loved the idea of not needing to insert the disk anymore, not mention the ease of downloading and installing when format time came. I bought all my versions of Dawn of War and Medieval Wars though the old Steam. Then one day they went to the ‘Client’. An actual running program that links you to the Steam community and validates everything you were doing.
I didn’t have a problem with it at the time. I kept buying games. More expansions, some MMOs, some RPGs. Then one day about 4 months ago I encountered a problem. I just bought and installed Batman AA. 3 days in, my client keeps telling me, “my login and password are not valid.” Interesting, seeing that it has been auto-logging me on for the past couple of years now. Even more interesting that my login name is still clearly saved in the spot you are saying it’s not valid. I e-mail tech support. Oh, and when you deal with tech support, you need to create a new login and password completely separate from your Steam account. Makes sense, right?
2 days later from and email and a followup more angery one. ‘Your password must be wrong. Change it. Here are instructions.’
I did and do again. Same issue. I’m capable of reading do-it-yourself troubleshoots. I Email tech support back.
Takes another day, ‘Your account must have been hacked.’
Hacked in such a way that I can then change the password back and still not be able to get into it? Please explain how? And even so, why on earth do I need to sign in for games I purchased that are on my hard drive.
‘Steam will allow you to run in off-line mode, but you still need to validate your information. You’ll need to delete all your games and Steam, and then re-install them.’
That really sounds like a plan D at best. Maybe, we should figure out why I can’t log-in first before coming up with reasons to never buy from Steam again.
‘That’s all it can be. Your client is corrupted.’
So if my client gets corrupted, I lose Gigabytes of information, instead of just needing a new client?
Well, I want to play those games again, so why not. I now have nothing better to do.
I do all that, and re-install the client. Same error. Email back tech-support.
2 days later. ‘It’s your firewall.’
Interesting hypothesis, professor. If only it was higher on the troubleshooting list you’re reading off of. Of course, that occurred to me, and no, it’s not the firewall. But hey, for shits and giggles, since I already basically deleted all my hard-drive, I’m going just go ahead and format and install Windows 7 finally. I’ll get back with you.
“Oh, you are on Vista. That’s the problem.”
You sir, are a bag of guesses ready to explode your thoughts like a teanage boy just seeing breast for the first time.
I installed my new OS, and promptly went to the forums, like I fucking should have in the first place. I was apparently 1 of many hundreds who were experiencing the same exact issue. Described to the T. The solution: Other wild guesses that I go off and try to no resolve.
I gave up on Steam and downloaded my incredibly large Warhammer Online package again. A day later I was back in my long-standing MMO. About 3 weeks go by, and I notice my steam client starts downloading a new version, and then promptly signs me back in with no problems all on its own.
Interesting, oh look, I can finally finish Batman. Cool. I do, unwilling to stop playing or take break, due the fact I might lose this chance to ever play it again.
So months go by, I get home late Friday. It was a good night, I wake up at the crack ass of Noon, go to my computer with my Tea and Oatmeal, look over at my router, no internet. It will take till Sunday night for Verizon to fix the issue. The issue; someone was messing with cables at the street corner.
Anyways, no internet, let’s see how Steam Off-line works. Holy shit it worked. I played COD4:MW2 single player. I then played some Dawn of War 2. And then I got trapped into Medieval War 2. But then … but then … I go for a run. I proceed to turn off my computer for the duration.
I come back, I load up, I click my Medieval War 2 button and … “You can only run 1 Steam Client at a time.”
Have you ever errupted in so much anger, that fluid just explodes from your head onto the monitor and it can only be described as brain matter? I think I had that moment.
Alright, Steam. I’ll play your game. I like to think of it as I’m Adam West Batman and Steam is the Riddler. He’s not really a super villain, more like a fairy you just want to beat the living fuck out of with some brass knuckles, just so long as you can catch him, and not just chase him around a circle as he prances about in green tights.
Riddle me this, Mr. Computer Nerd. What has thousands of upset vocal customer, but yet is a flying success?
Steam wins, I couldn’t find him. Hours of frustration go by, restarting, shutting down unknown CPU processes, searching program files. Eventually I find a file labelled ‘Settings’. It tries to open; it tries; 10 minutes go by; and then I’m told, “my login and password are not valid.”
I think I had one of those moments of such complete anger, I think if I put on a mood ring, the color would be Satan’s Stool. When you look at the chart of mood colors, right under black would be a steaming pile of shit with devil horns growing out of it.
So … to buy or not to buy Civ 5? I so want to, but I don’t think I could handle any more Steam stress.