This is Why I Steam

Saw that Witcher 3 was $27 on GMG. Bought it. Time to download & install.

Ehh... alright.

Ehh… alright.

Oh, right, this is a brave new DRM-free world in which I have to manually download and compile all my shit in 4 GB chunks. Let me get right on that, every 30-45 minutes, for the greater part of an afternoon.

Hey, finally done downloading. Now to just run the setup…

This is fine.

This is fine.

Okay, “Grand Old Games,” you win. I’ll download your Steam Galaxy client to get this sorted out. Oh, there is even an Import folder option, so I won’t have to redownload 33GB of files? That will certainly salvage my evening!

dot dot dot

dot dot dot

So here I sit, five hours later, starting the download from scratch within the Galaxy client and deleting 30+ GB of game files that would have instantly, invisibly worked on Steam ages ago. All to avoid some hypothetical apocalyptic scenario in which one of the most successful videogame companies and digital storefronts of all time shuts down the money-printing machines. Or my Steam account gets closed under mysterious circumstances and never gets sorted out. And, you know, my entire library of titles end up moving to GOG where I could have bought them in some parallel DRM-free world.

Competition is good though, right? Yeah, it’s worked out great when Mass Effect 3 is trapped on Origin and the goddamn DLC never goes on sale because EA doesn’t have the balls to reign in Bioware’s insane adherence to their arcade token currency. If ME3 were on Steam, we’d sure as shit have seen a dozen DLC sales by now. Or how Witcher 3 is requiring this nonsense, bringing up the total number of game launchers on my machine to 3-5, depending on if you count Battle.net and uPlay or not.

Good thing we have all these launchers competing on sales though, right? Or wait, was that 3rd-party game sites selling Steam/GOG/whatever keys? I honestly don’t even remember the last time I bought a game within Steam, or any client. Why would I?

…well, now at 13.9% downloaded. Guess I’m going to have to find something else to do. GG GOG.

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Posted on September 24, 2015, in Commentary and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.

  1. Thanks for the well detailed experience. I was wondering how GOG are installed. Well or not. Now I know something.

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  2. You could have used GOG Galaxy right from the start and get the exact same Steam experience. I can’t imagine how an option to download and run the game without the client is in any way shape of form a downside.

    Especially in a world where all these years later, steam offline mode still amounts to basically russian roulette.

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    • It’s a downside precisely because it failed. That top screen is the first thing you’re shuttled to after you redeem a GOG key. If the Galaxy experience is ideal – and it probably is – then it would have been better for everyone involved for GOG to have made it default. In fact, the FAQ says “don’t use your browser to download these files.” Which would have been great to see before I wasted an afternoon doing exactly that.

      If I’m now using Galaxy all the time to play these games, the actual benefit over Steam is gone. Offline mode may be a fair point, but I’ve never personally experienced a problem with Offline mode. Meanwhile, I have benefited from the social aspects, matchmaking, chat, and so on. Galaxy is never going to be able to realistically offer that.

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      • One of the first things you see on the GOG front page is a banner for Galaxy. The first thing you see in your Library? A banner for Galaxy. There’s even a big Try Galaxy button right above those downloadable files. It’s about as close to default as they can make it without forcing everyone into downloading clients they (apparently) don’t want.

        The benefit over Steam is not gone. Steam is a forced client that has to be running AND connected for you to do anything at all with your games. But you can absolutely use GOG Galaxy as just a download client with safe & resume functionality. After installing your games you can close the client, add the executables to Steam… and play your GOG games through Steam with all those Steam community features in place.

        Also Galaxy kinda already includes the things you’ve mentioned: chat & matchmaking. One of its main appeals in the future will be adding multiplayer support to games that no longer have it. In fact, that’s how the GOG Galaxy beta started. So I’m not sure what you’re referring to with “realistically Galaxy is never going to offer that”. Sure, it won’t be a carbon copy of Steam in every respect, but would you really want it to be? :o

        GOG Galaxy is only a beta client and in some ways (version control! doesn’t have to be running to play your games! DLC/add-on management!) it’s already much better than any other client out there. And it’s optional!

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      • And I’m saying they should have forced me into downloading the Galaxy client. In an ideal world, they would have had Witcher 3 offered on Steam too, and let us choose which client we want to use. In absence of that, they should have just doubled-down on the Galaxy client rather than giving me the option that could (and apparently likely to) fail. Let the power-users opt out and download files individually.

        The matchmaking thing is interesting, but it gets to what I’m talking about. I’m sure it will be great for the people who want to play… 15-year old games with other enthusiasts. But between the age of these games and the fact that the client isn’t required will necessarily limit the potential pool of other players. If everyone had to use Galaxy, they would be 1-step away rather than X-steps.

        Bottom line: more options are not always better. Give people too much rope, and all that.

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      • It really is confusing. I have been waiting for a good sale like this. After buying it from GreenManGaming and following the links which take you to a redeem code page on GOG, once you get to the download part, the only thing on that page suggesting that maybe you should use the Galaxy client is a button labeled “Try GOG Galaxy”. Outside of that the page is filled with a list files to download. I am glad you posted this – probably saved me the same hours of wasted time.

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  3. Was this the sale from a couple weeks back? I would gladly have gone thru a Steam knockoff launcher to get that for $27. The digital download was “sold out” though(?!?) when I tried to buy it. In a perfect world though, yes would be awesome if every game was available thru Steam. Too many personalities/egos/greed to ever see that happen again.

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  4. Wait, is this GOG or GMG?

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  5. Yeah, I was going to ask why you didn’t just purchase this on Steam. The Witcher people aren’t like EA.

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  6. This is basically why I only buy games via Steam. You saved ~$15, at the expense of how many hours looking around, clicking on other websites, and then playing the download/link-up game (and of course here it went wrong, but even if everything had been 100% smooth)?

    Even $15 for one hour of hassle isn’t a worthwhile for me, especially for a title that is already somewhat old and will 100% be part of the Steam Xmas sale.

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