Single Status Update
Steam is the worst piece of shit ever programmed, but we all know that.
I've circumvented the internet issue by borrowing a friend's cable access, which is nice because while I'm at his house we can play LAN games. We've been wanting to start a clan for a while, and once he and his father bring home the computers they're building in college, we'll be ready.
In the meantime, I've updated all my games and even downloaded a few mods to boot. I went ahead and downloaded the Source SDK, as I figure it's about time to learn how to map for 3D games (although, I do admit, I prefer the simplicity of mapping for games like Doom). To make a long story short, I'm still no good at it (no one becomes an expert in six hours), but it's fun and I'm learning.
The main reason I wanted to map with Source is because I couldn't find any mods that just feature battles with striders, gunships, et cetera. The strider battles were one of the main reasons I wanted HL2 in the first place: fuck the gravity gun, just give me a rocket launcher and an infinite wave of striders. Unfortunately, the towering creatures were under represented in HL2, and even less so in Episode 1 (there's only one). There is a mod on the way called Strider Mountain but it's still not released, and while I'll enjoy the single player experience, it's not quite what I want.
Well, I booted up Steam after work tonight and started mapping, but I couldn't test my map because HL2 (as well as EVERY OTHER PROGRAM IN MY LIST, including the SDK that I was using offline; dunno how it worked) has to fucking update again*. I'm getting sick and fucking tired of moving my PC around just so I can play my games offline**, and one of these times it's going to lose half of it's data in the process (towers aren't meant to move like laptops IIRC) all for the sake of satisfying Valve's determination to grab the gaming community by the balls and never let go.
Unfortunately, none of us can do a god damn thing about it. If Valve wants to alienate half of the internet users in America, so be it, but sooner or later their 'digital download revolution' mentality is going to bite them in the ass. I can't wait for the day their servers fry and their entire customer base has to start from scratch again, although I doubt it'll be quite that dramatic.
This push to an 'all digital data society' isn't just an error being committed by Valve; the entire nation is pushing towards it. The effects of a terrorist (or even a dumbass young adult, as I wouldn't put it past idiot zealot activists) using an EMP bomb would be devastating enough to a city's infrastructure even without taking out all of the vital information with it, and people are rallying for the move to make the latter a dark possibility.
In the long run I'm just blowing off steam (no pun intended), as nobody gives half a shit about my opinion and the people who share it fail to voice it [effectively***].
UPDATE****: Out of curiosity, I restarted Steam after I wrote this but several hours before I posted it. Now everything is fine and the games are ready to play offline even though I didn't go back online. Witchcraft! Well, no, but just more bullshit to have to contend with. It's bad enough having to reinstall Steam once a month without it being more temperamental than a woman on her period whacked out on crack going apeshit in a mall with a machete.*****
Also, I'd like to address another thing that's been bugging me. A lot of people have been saying Steam isn't intrusive and doesn't act like spyware. I've noticed something: normally, when I connect to the internet and do nothing, the internet is idle and does nothing. When I start Steam, it takes anywhere from six to twelve minutes before I see the "Connecting to Steam" dialog box, and in that time frame my internet sends about one or two megs worth of data. Now, is it just getting my internet and computer ready to connect to their servers, or is it sending them data I'd rather them not have? You make the call. I may just be a little paranoid about this, as when Steam is idle is the background once it connects the my connection stops moving, although it is eating seven meg worth of RAM even just sitting in the notification tray (the bastards).
Do remember to add seven to sixteen megs to the recommended settings on the box, as I doubt they're including Steam's usage in the recommendations.
*To clarify, I went online with Steam first (my first mistake) to see if my friend was online. None of the games needed to update. I was online so I could use the SDK Wiki. After an hour, I closed Steam down, got offline and started Steam again. Everything was fine, none of the games needed to update. I started the SDK and continued mapping. When I closed the Hammer Editor, I noticed every game on my list, excluding HL and TFC but including the Source SDK (the same Source SDK I was just using) needed to update and refused to play offline. What the fuck?
**As an example, I reinstalled CS:S for the sake of offline bot play. Because I didn't start and exit the game while I was online at the house with cable, I had to go online at my house with dial-up to start the game. When I connected, CS:S had to update again, an update of 26 megabytes, or approximately four and a half hours of downloading. I promptly returned to my friend's house the next day, which was good because when I got there HL2 and HL2:E1 also needed updating. The total updates for all three games were somewhere around 75 megabytes (approximately thirteen hours worth of download at my house), updates I probably didn't need and definitely don't care about; the games ran fine without them. FUCK VALVE. AND FUCK THAT FATASS GABE.
***Even me. I really wish I could do something about it, but unfortunately I love the product they're providing, and I love capitalism, and fighting their shitty Steam app is also fighting those two things. God damn me for feeding the beast.
****I made the update even before I posted. Whee!
*****Mmmmm, colorful adjectives. Also, abuse of the '*'.
If you hated this angry rant, be ready to hate the next one! Coming as soon as something else pisses me off, so pretty damn quick!