Civilization 5 and Steamy Piles

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.

18 thoughts on “Civilization 5 and Steamy Piles

  1. If you only want to buy it and not have the whole Steam integrated client crap, just buy your games on

    For sure you want an online store thats going to last, Direct2drive is runned by Fileplanet and thats been going for decades.

    Ive been buying from them for the past couple years, WAR and all, its works great.



  2. Ohh. Just read about that Steamworks thingy.

    Well its good against piracy,
    Not so good for us long term Civ fans.

    I sure dont want to ‘have to’ install the Steam Client just to play Civ. Specially when i want to install it on my gf’s laptop and my office laptop while im waiting at the airport.

    No steam plz.


  3. Steam is not “good against piracy” at all. The game has been released days ago and there are already cracked versions circulating everywhere, as it always has been, and as it always will be – Steam or no Steam.

    The only thing that crap like Steam does is causing issues and headaches to players everywhere, both pirate and legitimate.

    Releasing games that force people to install third-party software that is unasked for is both a disservice to customers and a stain in the videogaming world, nothing more.

    Screw Steam and screw any company that makes Steam mandatory for paying customers. I might end up getting a cracked version myself, just so that I can play the game without being put through that crap.

  4. Well I wouldn`t worry about it as CIV5 is by far the most pathetic installment in a great series. My hopes were high after the 4th series but I quickly realized that they had not just changed the game but made it flawed and broken.

    For about 4 hours I managed to convince myself that it was at least better than the crummy CIV3 but then that illusion burst as well when the complete ruin of CIV economy gradually became clear yo me. By this time of course I had already noticed how the diplomacy is now so simplistic it would have been better to just skip it all together. Of course Firaxis didn`t so you`re forced to suffer endless meaningless spam passing for diplomacy because the graphics are fancy.

    Don`t get Steam, don`t be annoyed and never, never play CIV 5 unless your IQ suddenly drops by 40 points so colors start to stimulate you by themselves.

  5. I must admit, I torrented a cracked version, and it’s much, much better than the official one, because it doesn’t incclude the steaming pile of horseshit, aka Steam.

    But the game is meh. Civilization IV was/is much better.

  6. Allow me to add to this, oh so gentle discussion of the steam(ing) pile of crap that is STEAM. So… I have been playing Civilization since the days of DOS. Civ is the only game in the history of video games that has so fully captured my attention that it’s more of an addiction then a game.
    I loaded and successfully played the Demo for days with no issue. Got the money and went out and purchased the disk.
    Installed and played happily along until around turn 150, then it started.
    I now can’t get through more then about 4 turns of play before the game completely crashes, just sits there and hangs, or uses up all available resources on my computer to the point I have to hard boot to recover. Steam supposedly has a patch for the many crashes in the game. Steam says they update the patches automatically so you don’t have to worry about anything. BULL I say. How can you verify a patch is installed with this third party POS? And I crash just as often, after said patch was supposedly released and thereby updated by my dubious STEAMing POS. I went out and got 2 extra Gb of RAM, no help. Game play is a little smoother, but still crashing, WTF?
    I’ve tried every fix I can find, from every blog, post, and forum out there. Un/Reinstalled, repaired, updated drivers… NOTHING fixes this nightmare. I have more then enough resources on my computer to run the minimum sys req’s.
    So if this is true, why by the Buddha’s sweaty balls does it continue with the non stop crashing???

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  8. Anyone who buys from Steam is a gullible twat if you ask me. Oh I can buy and download something and all I have to do is have some obviously ropey net connection open with the retailer day and night? Yes fucking please.

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  10. Spread the word. “Steam Sucks! Civ5 don’t work!”

    I wish I had read this before I spent fifty bucks on a game that I can’t get to run.

    and now, I’m told if I ever do get steam to let me play MY GAME,, Civ 5 sucks.

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