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Old 10-28-04, 12:36 AM   #1
Edge
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Default Something that concerns me about the "internet registration" of HL2...

OK, so we've all seen the article that indicates that an internet connection (and subsiquent Steam registration) is required to play HL2. But after thinking about it, being forced to register the game over Steam means a few things:

You can never resell the game. You can never loan the game to a friend. You will never find this game used in game stores. If your Steam account gets banned, you can't even play the game single-player. You have no chance to return an opened game to a store (like Gamestop sometimes allow, or if you can REALLY be convincing to a customer service person about how the game won't run on your computer). If you forget your Steam account password and can't recover it, you have to buy a new copy of the game. And worst of all...pirates won't have to worry about any of these issues.

To be honest, it's quite disturbing. In a way I almost think they did this partially to cut down on piracy, and partially just to keep the game from being resold. For a long time, I've pointed out that the used game industry can actually have a negative impact on publisher revenue (since effectively multiple people will be able to play a game based on one retail sale of it). But now, if you buy the game and don't like it (not likely for HL2, but this is just an example ), you're stuck with it forever and will never get a penny back from it. This isn't suprising really, until recently in Japan it was actually illegal to resell games: all games had to be new or the store selling them could be fined or shut down. But what's even worse is that pirates (lets face it, they WILL break the protection scheme eventually) won't have to worry about any of this. If they don't like the game, oh well, no loss. If they want to install it on a computer without an internet connection...no problem! If they want to loan the game to a friend...pft, make a dozen copies so he can give the game to all HIS friends too!

BUT, there are a few bright sides to this system. For one, you can install the game once and (theoretically) be able to play it from any computer with an internet connection by downloading it through your Steam account, even if you don't have the physical items. Also, you'll no longer need to worry about your CD-key being stolen, or losing the discs and having to rebuy the game for $50. And, I GUESS if you're smart about it you could install the game on a friend's computer, set his Steam to offline mode, and then he'd be able to play the single-player game whenever he wanted without worrying about cracks or interfering with your game, although that may not be possible depending on how they do the registration thing (assuming that you have to register it online to begin with).

So anyway, I have very mixed feelings. I'm still buying the game regardless, but it is a little disconcerting to think that I'd never be able to sell the game, or that I have to rely on a Steam account to play the game (and the appropriate question of "what happens if Steam goes down some day" comes into play). But I almost must wonder...what if more games adopt a similar system? What if to play SC:Chaos Theory, you need to register an account with "UBInet", and even single-player will be locked out until you do that? What if a startup company makes a great game (like Cavedog did with Total Annihilation) and adopts this online registration thing, and then a few years later their network is taken down (like Cavedog did with Total Annihilation)? There are certainly some concerning points at hand, and how the game industry handles it could change the way that we play games in the upcoming years.

Edit: yeesh, sorry that my post looks like a russian novel, I seem to get carried away when I make topics . Oh, and to clairify when I mentioned "like Cavedog did with TA" thing the second time, I was refering only to the network being taken down, not to an online registration thing.
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Old 10-28-04, 01:23 AM   #2
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Default Re: Something that concerns me about the "internet registration" of HL2...

Just found this tidbit of info:

Quote:
From Doug Lombardi:

Hi,

All versions of Half-Life 2 require an Internet connection upon
installation. This is for authentication/anti-piracy purposes. Once this has been completed, the owner of either the retail or the Steam version can play Half-Life 2 single player in offline mode.
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Old 10-28-04, 01:29 AM   #3
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Default Re: Something that concerns me about the "internet registration" of HL2...

I REALLY doubt that will stop pirates for long :\.
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Old 10-28-04, 02:00 AM   #4
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Default Re: Something that concerns me about the "internet registration" of HL2...

Well there is nothing valve can stop people from cracking the software. Pritty much Edge is right, a pirate install will be easier than a retail install. But thats just the way it is.
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Old 10-28-04, 02:07 AM   #5
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Lightbulb Re: Something that concerns me about the "internet registration" of HL2...

Totaly agree with Edge Online activation sucks .I already complained about it few threads ago myself.
Maybe someone will release a *crack* that can be used with retail copy , no problem then
And i think this type of so called protection only endorse pirating and warez , after annoyance with very first WinXP Home edition and crappy activations after few times needing to call tech support becouse you reinstalled it to many times i never again bought other winXp copy
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Old 10-28-04, 02:43 AM   #6
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Default Re: Something that concerns me about the "internet registration" of HL2...

Yes, and while the main reason for this was probably to cut down on piracy, I suspect reselling the game or loaning the game/playing it at lans with one copy also played a part in the decision for it's inclusion. I'm just a bit concerned that more games will fall victim to this "activation" protocal, I really hope this isn't a trend. Next thing you know, they'll say that the Xbox version will require Xbox Live in order to "verify" your copy of it...
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Old 10-28-04, 03:06 AM   #7
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Default Re: Something that concerns me about the "internet registration" of HL2...

I have a specific question. I have 1 pc online and 1 pc offline, they are NOT in network. Is it possible for me to play HL2 on the offline pc (which is the only one of the 2 with game performance) if I register on the other one which i have online ?
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Old 10-28-04, 03:25 AM   #8
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Default Re: Something that concerns me about the "internet registration" of HL2...

No, afaik the game has to be registered or downloaded onto the computer you wish to play it on. If the statement they made about it is correct, then the computer has to be online in order for it to play Half-life 2 (since the game NEEDS steam and an active account, or it won't let you play the game). Also unclear is how reinstalling will work, they haven't made any indication as to if this system will allow you to reinstall the game on any computer you want using your account, or if it's limited in some way.
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Old 10-28-04, 08:56 AM   #9
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Default Re: Something that concerns me about the "internet registration" of HL2...

Damn. If there is ANY games company who should know that important files are best kept on an OFFLINE pc - the way I have my 3D work pc offline (which is the ONLY one of my pc's able to run HL2) - that should be VAlve....

They should at least give me the option to register online with my low end internet pc and have me let it play on my 3D workstation/game pc. Is THAT so much to ask !?
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Old 10-28-04, 11:36 AM   #10
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Default Re: Something that concerns me about the "internet registration" of HL2...

Maybe I'm a minority on this one, but I like the fact that Valve has the balls to push online distribution forward. I have a ton of games, almost a drawer full of game manuals, key maps and other junk. I don't need all that crap, I'll take my manuals in PDF format, and I do prefer for the company to keep track of my CD keys. Bioware was probably the first company that offered me to keep my CD key in their online database. Steam is even better IMO. I don't sell old games, I have plenty of friends and relatives who I pass stuff down to. So when I'm done playing HL2, I'll create a new Steam account, and give the login info to my friends/relatives.

Also I really don't get why people are whining about online activation. In this day and age, even in Afghanistan you can get a data connection on a cell phone. If you reside ANYWHERE near a G8 nation, you should not be complaining. Internet is listed as one of the requirements on the back of the box, can't meet the requirements, don't buy it, as simple as that.
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Old 10-28-04, 11:51 AM   #11
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Default Re: Something that concerns me about the "internet registration" of HL2...

So because you don't like a few cds everyone should be forced onto this method? Good afternoon comrade
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Old 10-28-04, 11:59 AM   #12
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Default Re: Something that concerns me about the "internet registration" of HL2...

Valve is not forcing anyone to buy HL2 or any other games. You don't like the product, don't buy it.
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