This is Why People Pirate Things

You might have read that I picked up Grand Theft Auto 5. You might also have heard that “Rockstar Social Club” is Rockstar’s laughably bad, Origin-esque attempt at creating a platform for their, like, two games or whatever. Why not just use Steam (which they are also on)? Probably because they must be digging through the couch cushions for quarters, given how they already cut corners on their goddamn server technology.

Case in point:

Party like it's 1999.

Party like it’s 1999.

I knew the download was big (60gb), so I started it overnight. I woke up to that. 230 KBs? You’re telling me I have to leave my computer on for three days straight to finish a download? My Steam games download at 1.2 MBs on average. It’d be one thing if I were trying to download from a small outfit or whatever, but this shit is a clown show. “It’s after Black Friday and everyone is downloading at the same time, overloading the servers.” You know who doesn’t have this problem? Steam. Blizzard (minus Diablo 3 launch). Pirate Bay. Any semi-intelligent network engineer who can plan ahead.

I mean, seriously, after seeing that speed I started researching to see if I could just download a pirated copy and sign in with a legit account at the end. That was when I found this Youtube video talking about a program called Ultrasurf. Downloaded, launched it, and picked my jaw up off the floor:

GTA5_Download2

The one “quirk” with this “solution” is that Ultrasurf cycles through various proxy servers at certain intervals, which technically interrupts the download. For the most part, the GTA 5 launcher will pause and then resume the download no problem. After 5-10 cycles of this though, it will stop the download entirely, forcing you to press Retry to get it moving again. I’m not in a particular mood to babysit this download for eight real-time hours, so I had to look for another solution.

Enter Advanced Mouse Auto Clicker 4.0:

Embrace the Dark Side.

Embrace the Dark Side.

Just so we’re clear, I had to download a proxy server program that can supposedly defeat the Great Firewall of China, then set up an auto-mouse clicker program that checks to see if the Pause button changes into the Retry button. Just to fucking download my legitimate copy of GTA 5. I mean, sure, I could have bought it from Steam and paid an extra $9 to get a stable download. Or I could have paid nothing and got a stable download from Pirate Bay.

HMM. I wonder what I might be more inclined to do next time?

Rant over.

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Posted on November 30, 2015, in Commentary and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. More “Tales from the poors”, love it. Anytime you do anything other than “buy from Steam” you are asking for a clownshow.

    (Although even my Steam copy still uses GTA-Friends or whatever that is, although that might only be an after-download check/login. Been a while since I played GTA:V, but around release I don’t recall any downloading issues.)

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    • The Social Club is the equivalent of UPlay with Ubisoft, so yeah, pretty sure everyone has to at least sign into the Social Club client. Never expected Rockstar to be worse than Ubisoft in this regard though, Christ.

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  2. However, being a 100% Steam customer is also feeding into the Steam = Monopoly bit.
    I like Steam, personally. I get the majority of my PC games there, in fact. And sure, it’s “convenient” with the friends lists, forums, blah blah. But I also make sure to get games from other outlets, convenience be damned. Especially if a studio (or publisher, but generally, screw publishers) will sell me their game direct so I can support them instead of Valve.

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    • It’s an interesting dilemma. Monopolies are bad… but what exactly do you do when one platform is so completely better than all the others? I was always baffled by Microsoft’s shady maneuvers back in the 90s/00s as it never really seemed necessary to me. Why force manufacturers to bundle software with just you, when they would have bundled your shit for free? Maybe I need to read up on the situation back then more.

      Is Steam trying to be a monopoly through subterfuge, or did they just naturally become the de facto standard simply because they’re the best at what they do? And if it’s the latter, does supporting the other guys actually result in anything worthwhile? I mean, GOG’s DRM stance is pretty cool for posterity’s sake, but that’s quite a leap for most game devs to make.

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  3. I have to agree with Syncaine, you seem to go through a lot of trouble to save a pretty paltry amount of money. It is surprising that any official channel would have that level of performance though. I thought they all used P2P anyway, so the central server doesn’t bottleneck everyone.

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    • I don’t particularly view $9 as “paltry” for a game I technically don’t need to play right away. Indeed, that $9 difference basically means I got FFXIII and FFXIII-2 “for free,” this past weekend. I have been getting burned lately by not paying more to purchase direct from Steam, sure, but who would have figured a company like Rockstar would have fucked up (and continued to do so) this badly?

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  4. but what exactly do you do when one platform is so completely better than all the others?

    But do you remember when Steam first launched? It was a, pardon the pun, Steaming pile of doodie. People bash on Origin but hey, that’s what Steam used to be. Knock on wood, I’ve yet to ever have a single problem with either Origin or Uplay. And generally speaking, if I’m going to get an Ubisoft title on PC, I’ll probably get it on Uplay unless they’re skipping their own platform which they’ve been doing recently. EA games, I’ll get it on Origin. Now that I say that, I’m not even sure if EA gives the option of buying their games anywhere other than Origin but regardless, I’d get them there.

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