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Civilization V To Use Steamworks

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the hope-it-doesn't-get-you-in-hot-water dept.

PC Games (Games) 295

sopssa writes "2K Games today announced that Civilization V will be using Steamworks for online matchmaking, automated updates, downloadable content and DRM for the game. Steam's Civ V store page is also available now, revealing some new information about the game. There will be an 'In-Game Community Hub' for online matchmaking, communication, and for sharing scenarios between players. While including Steamworks might put some people off, it might also indicate better online gameplay than in the previous Civilization games, where it was almost impossible to have a good game without playing with just friends."

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Civ was my offline game (3, Funny)

T.E.D. (34228) | more than 4 years ago | (#32124166)

The thing that really sucks about this is that Civiliation has always been my go to game when my internet connection is down.

Next they will take away HOMM, and I'll be stuck talking to my family or something when internet goes down. (shudder)

Re:Civ was my offline game (4, Insightful)

Krneki (1192201) | more than 4 years ago | (#32124178)

I always bought CIV, but if this DRM is too restrictive I'll just get it for free.
Why would I pay to have more problems?

I'll wait and see.

Re:Civ was my offline game (4, Insightful)

smallfries (601545) | more than 4 years ago | (#32124212)

That's exactly what I was thinking. I've got a row of boxes sitting on a shelf with Civ1 - 4/Warlords. If they put something on there that is a problem it will be the first cracked version that I've downloaded for free.

Re:Civ was my offline game (2, Insightful)

Eraesr (1629799) | more than 4 years ago | (#32124312)

And that's exactly the problem with piracy these days. People think that restrictive DRM warrants an illegal download while the only legal solution to your problem would be to simply not play Civ V at all if you don't like the DRM.

Re:Civ was my offline game (5, Informative)

Mr. Freeman (933986) | more than 4 years ago | (#32124336)

And that's exactly the problem with game and media execs these days, they completely fail to realize that there is absolutely no way to stop piracy and that adding more DRM just encourages more illegal activity. Ignoring reality doesn't make it go away.

Of course, you're assuming that the DRM is legal in the first place, which it isn't. It removes your ability to make back-up copies as allowed by law.

Re:Civ was my offline game (4, Informative)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 4 years ago | (#32124892)

Nowhere in 'the law' does it say that content providers must allow you unhindered ability to make a backup copy, it merely states that you are allowed to make a backup copy within the limitations of copyright law - its not illegal to hinder that at all.

Re:Civ was my offline game (5, Informative)

Narishma (822073) | more than 4 years ago | (#32124940)

You can make backups of Steam games, not to mention that you can re-download them as many times as you want, even on different computers. You can also play them offline, so I don't see what your problem is.

Re:Civ was my offline game (2, Insightful)

Coopa (773302) | more than 4 years ago | (#32125374)

Although i haven't experienced it in a long time myself, 'offline mode' on Steam was notoriously picky about letting you play offline.

Re:Civ was my offline game (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32125450)

And that's exactly the problem with pirates these days, they completely fail to realize that there is absolutely no way to stop DRM (aside from voting with your wallet) and that pirating more just encourages more DRM. Ignoring reality doesn't make it go away.

Hey look, the reverse is also true!

Re:Civ was my offline game (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32124362)

I could not play Civ V.
I could also starve myself during a religious fasting period, or flog myself for watching porn. But why would I?

Re:Civ was my offline game (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 4 years ago | (#32124482)

It's vastly more satisfying to thumb your nose at the pointlessness of the DRM by downloading the superior cracked version even if philosophically it's better to just not buy or play the game.

They'll blame the lost sale on piracy and lobby government for more draconian laws either way.

Re:Civ was my offline game (3, Interesting)

mcvos (645701) | more than 4 years ago | (#32124528)

And that's exactly the problem with piracy these days. People think that restrictive DRM warrants an illegal download while the only legal solution to your problem would be to simply not play Civ V at all if you don't like the DRM.

Depends on where you live. Buying and installing a patch that removes the DRM is also legal in many places. And I think that where I live, not buying but downloading a complete cracked version is also legal, as long as I don't use torrent to do it (because then I'd be uploading at the same time).

Re:Civ was my offline game (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 4 years ago | (#32124750)

Not a problem to me. Downloading is legal in some countries. AFAIK in my country (Malaysia) distribution is illegal (e.g. uploading), but downloading isn't, so as long as you don't use P2P (or are a leecher) you're legal ;). I think they plan to change the law soon.

Copying is not the same as stealing.

Laws dealing with stealing have been around for thousands of years and far more proven in their long term usefulness to society than copyright laws.

Re:Civ was my offline game (0, Troll)

smallfries (601545) | more than 4 years ago | (#32124970)

You could not be more wrong and I would be impressed if you could point to a single person with that belief. Much more common is a generation of people who don't believe in following an arbitary set of rules to preserve artificial scarcity. There really is nothing morally wrong with copying, it is not stealing and our laws are simply wrong.

I choose to buy games simply because we don't have another renumeration method for game devs. If they are stupid enough to stick annoying DRM on there then I'll take the non-damaged version.

Re:Civ was my offline game (1)

master5o1 (1068594) | more than 4 years ago | (#32125334)

Why is this flamebait?

Re:Civ was my offline game (1)

metacell (523607) | more than 4 years ago | (#32125434)

People think that restrictive DRM warrants an illegal download while the only legal solution to your problem would be to simply not play Civ V at all if you don't like the DRM.

If I'm not going to buy the game in either case, playing a pirated copy doesn't cause the producer any loss of profit.

Re:Civ was my offline game (1, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#32125408)

That's exactly what I was thinking. I've got a row of boxes sitting on a shelf with Civ1 - 4/Warlords. If they put something on there that is a problem it will be the first cracked version that I've downloaded for free.

If it ends up being broken because of DRM, why not buy the game so the developers get their cut and then download the cracked version? You get an easy-to-use version, the developers get their cut, and everyone is happy.

Re:Civ was my offline game (5, Insightful)

bmecoli (963615) | more than 4 years ago | (#32124214)

I've use Steam, and not once have I ever had an issue with it. their download/DRM model works rather well and isn't nearly as bad as say, Ubisoft's. I mean, their whole business model is what has made the platform so successful in the first place, so I wouldn't worry about CIV V being on Steam.

Re:Civ was my offline game (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#32124290)

It works until you tire of the game and want to sell it or somebody happens to break into your account and they disable it without compensation. Steam's just as bad as the rest of them, at least with other schemes you're just out one game if things go wrong, with steam you could very well be out all your games.

Re:Civ was my offline game (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 4 years ago | (#32124404)

or somebody happens to break into your account and they disable it

Happens to break into your account? How does that happen?

I'd like to know your opinion on online banking.

Re:Civ was my offline game (4, Insightful)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 4 years ago | (#32124612)

In most countries if your bank account is compromised there's regulations to protect you.
If on the other hand you have a large number of games the steam admins can simply confiscate your property and you have no recourse.

How? There's a business of it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32124670)

> Happens to break into your account? How does that happen?

Spyware with keyloggers that steals logins of all kinds, usually. Hell, they'll even rob WoW characters of equipment these days, not to mention webmail accounts and (obviously) online bank accounts.

What makes you think there's a type of username/password they won't steal?

Re:How? There's a business of it. (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 4 years ago | (#32124710)

Spyware with keyloggers that steals logins of all kinds, usually. Hell, they'll even rob WoW characters of equipment these days, not to mention webmail accounts and (obviously) online bank accounts.

That was exactly my thought.

What I can't imagine is even thinking about my steam games after someone has emptied my bank account.

Re:Civ was my offline game (1)

MrZilla (682337) | more than 4 years ago | (#32124232)

I have already preordered Civ V, but this makes me a bit worried.

I have never played a game that uses Steam, so I don't know if it's bad or not. I'll definitively keep an eye on what people are saying.

But if it turns out to be too bad (for me), I'll just cancel my preorder and not get the game at all. There are plenty of other games out there (including Civ 4)

Re:Civ was my offline game (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32124296)

I have never played a game that uses Steam, so I don't know if it's bad or not. I'll definitively keep an eye on what people are saying.

It's quite annoying. You always have to start the Steam-client to play. For some reason you cannot copy&paste passwords so you have to always type it. There's supposed to be an offline mode but that disables itself all the time and you have to log in to play.

It's an unnecessary pain in the ass, in my opinion. It's one of the more cumbersome DRM systems because it comes with all those useless bells and whistles.

That said, at least it always worked when I wanted to play. Still, I don't really like it because - as with all online-DRM systems - once they turn off their servers, you'll lose every game you bought from them.

Re:Civ was my offline game (2, Informative)

Eraesr (1629799) | more than 4 years ago | (#32124320)

It's quite annoying. You always have to start the Steam-client to play. For some reason you cannot copy&paste passwords so you have to always type it.

This is not true. You can create direct links to your games so that you don't have to start the steam client to play. It also has the option to remember your login, which has never failed me either. You have to enter your password only once and then it simply keeps you logged in, even if you shut down your PC.

Re:Civ was my offline game (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32124366)

You have to enter your password only once and then it simply keeps you logged in, even if you shut down your PC.

At some point my Steam password was a bunch of swear words due to the lack of copy & paste because I had to type it so often.

Remembering the password and offline mode didn't work for me and I really couldn't be bothered to troubleshoot yet another stupid DRM system.

Re:Civ was my offline game (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32125244)

You're too stupid to remember a password, but this is Steam's fault?

Re:Civ was my offline game (5, Informative)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 4 years ago | (#32124388)

That direct link will still first start Steam. And steam in offline mode doesn't work as well as a lot of people claim. When I was playing the game Torchlight my ISP sucked big time and had a very unstable internet, or no internet connection at all. Due to the fact that the PC was connected to an internal network I had to wait for the Steam connection to timeout before it allowed me to go into offline mode, so I had to wait 5 minutes before the game would start. If I simply disabled all network connections on that machine it would prompt for offline mode within a minute. Another problem is that steam constantly tries to go out of offline mode. One time it managed to get through to the steam servers and saw there was an update for Torchlight. The result, I could no longer play Torchlight in offline mode because there was an update I was required to install. Of course with my ISP still sucking big time I could not download the files.

During this who crappy ISP period I regularly used tethering through my phone (using tetherbot) to browse the web, read email, etc. But what I couldn't do was tell Steam to connect to the proxy so it could access the internet so that I could finally unlock the game again.

Re:Civ was my offline game (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 4 years ago | (#32124436)

Never happened to me.

In that case, I'd just block steam in the firewall.

Re:Civ was my offline game (5, Insightful)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 4 years ago | (#32124696)

The most annoying thing is that if you raise the issue of these awful design problems steam fanboys leap in with shit like
"nobody with dialup/tethering plays games"(bonus if they link to a steam poll showing that yes in fact hardly anyone with dialup uses steam),
"THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH STEAM",
"HURR HURR HURR, GET A BETTER ISP"

Etc etc

the fanboys are far far more iritating than the devs.

Re:Civ was my offline game (-1, Troll)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 4 years ago | (#32125124)

I am not exactly sure how your inability to use a dead simple platform which works for about 99,999% of the users is in anyway tied to a failure of Steam. Care to elaborate? And yes, there is an offline mode. Do you also blame map makers for your inability of distinguishing your arsehole from a hole in a ground even with a map?

Re:Civ was my offline game (5, Funny)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 4 years ago | (#32125368)

For those wondering about the stunningly arrogant and annoying fanboys I was refering to whos personality problems far surpass any problems with the platform please see exibit A above.

Re:Civ was my offline game (3, Informative)

TheThiefMaster (992038) | more than 4 years ago | (#32125118)

You can disable the auto-update of games to prevent this.

Though I'll admit that it's annoying as hell that I can't play the older version of a game while the new version downloads...

Re:Civ was my offline game (3, Interesting)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 4 years ago | (#32124364)

It's quite annoying. You always have to start the Steam-client to play.

It autostarts as you click your game icon.

For some reason you cannot copy&paste passwords so you have to always type it.

I don't even know my steam pass. I entered it once, maybe years ago.

There's supposed to be an offline mode but that disables itself all the time and you have to log in to play.

Disables itself?!? I download the game, set it as offline and that's all.

It's one of the more cumbersome DRM systems because it comes with all those useless bells and whistles.

I think you have a problem with your steam installation, or your computer. I've never encountered nor heard about the problems you speak about, and some sound pretty strange; it's as if you lost the configuration every time, or something. I'd check the properties of your steam folders.

Re:Civ was my offline game (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 4 years ago | (#32124764)

By any chance do you connect through a single always-on high bandwidth network connection?

Never move between networks?

Steam has all those problems.
Laptop users and people who sometimes lose their net connection hit the problems far far more.

If you have any kind of network connection(say a lan or low bandwidth connection) then steam will decide you don't really want to be in offline mode, kick you out of offline mode and then lock itself up because it can't connect to the steam servers.
or even better- it'll decide that the game you're trying to play offline definitly requires that 100mb patch and won't let you play until it's downloaded it through your low-bandwidth edge dongle.

Steam still has some serious design issues.

Re:Civ was my offline game (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 4 years ago | (#32125064)

When I use offline is to take the games on the laptop on work trips. I do it in case the hotel's connection is down, or something. So it seems to be the opposite situation of what you describe.

Anyway, the having to reset the offline state, having to reenter the password, etc, really seems more like one of those new Windows system folder protection idiocies.

I don't really manage steam so much, but I think the connection related problems you describe may be corrected by just blocking steam on your firewall whenever you aren't on a reliable connection.

Re:Civ was my offline game (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 4 years ago | (#32125416)

I don't really see how it could be a windows folder problem.

"blocking steam on your firewall "

Which is great if I think of this before it locks up because it can't find the steam servers, requiring me to find an open net connection before I can go back to using offline mode.

It's an odd and (one would think) easily fixed minor design fault which leads to a surprising amount of frustration.

Re:Civ was my offline game (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32124868)

Maybe he should check his PEBKAC settings... turn off the I-D-ten-T option.

Re:Civ was my offline game (2, Interesting)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#32125050)

I have never played a game that uses Steam

It's not bad. After a while, you'll find that Steam has some distinct benefits.

Like when I buy a new computer, it'll download and install any of the games I want to play. No disks. I have played Steam on machines that lacked an optical drive entirely.

Get past the extra hassle of having to wait until the Steam client logs in (unless you set it to offline mode) before your game starts, but that only adds a couple of seconds to the game start. On my game machine, I just leave the client running in the systray.

I give Valve credit for making an un-horrible gaming system for the PC. They did not completely screw up. Is it perfect? Absolutely not.

Re:Civ was my offline game (-1, Flamebait)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 4 years ago | (#32124256)

Can't you go without? Seriously?

Re:Civ was my offline game (1, Insightful)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 4 years ago | (#32124270)

I always bought CIV, but if this DRM is too restrictive [...]

It's just steam.

Why would I pay to have more problems?

I don't mind the "Connect once to install the game and play offline for just about ever" system because it comes with the added benefit of "Download the game anywhere you have a connection" that I've used many times.

Re:Civ was my offline game (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32124520)

Who modded all the "It's just Steam" posts in this discussion flamebait? From all the DRM systems out there, Steam is the least intrusive one and it actually gives you more value to the game (community, in-game browser, archievements). I take Steam over Ubisoft's intrusive always-online DRM (with nothing to gain) or SecuROM/StarForce that install hidden kernel drivers in your system any day.

Re:Civ was my offline game (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32124966)

From all the DRM systems out there, Steam is the least intrusive one and it actually gives you more value to the game (community, in-game browser, archievements).

That's pure fanboy nonsense.

There are many less intrusive DRM systems out there. I've had many games with online activiation DRM systems that ever only showed me a single "activating game once" window that was gone after 5 seconds, never to be seen again.

You complain about DRM systems that install drivers, yet happily install Steam system-wide.

Steam is one of the most intrusive systems out there (forced use of a client, adds a second DRM layer on top of whatever the publisher already has, forced management of game installations, integration into OS, offline mode that wants to go online whenever it feels like it, total dependance on Valve to be able to play games, etc.).

All that community stuff just adds to the burden of the DRM.

Re:Civ was my offline game (2, Insightful)

CordableTuna (1395439) | more than 4 years ago | (#32125024)

Steam is slightly better than the absolute worst of the DRM systems yes, but it still can take all your games away if you so much as look at it funny. Even SecuROM or StarForce can't do that. If you travel with a laptop, I suggest you buy your games somewhere else. Steam has a tendency to lock accounts that log in from multiple IP addresses. 'Cause, you know, that's a crime.

Re:Civ was my offline game (1)

Aceticon (140883) | more than 4 years ago | (#32125182)

From all the DRM systems out there, Steam is the least intrusive one and it actually gives you more value to the game (community, in-game browser, archievements). I take Steam over Ubisoft's intrusive always-online DRM (with nothing to gain) or SecuROM/StarForce that install hidden kernel drivers in your system any day.

Reminds me of some of the arguments used by some people to justify the some of the most egregious of the previous US adminstration's measures.

Basically it boiled down to "It's not at all bad compared to what they do in North Korea".

Re:Civ was my offline game (2)

Saint Gerbil (1155665) | more than 4 years ago | (#32124350)

Steam DRM isnt that bad it even got an offline mode when your net connection is down.
Steam have always let you have your software on multiple PC's but only allowed to be logged in at one place.

the steamworks intergration with the save games is going to be interesting tho.

Of all the DRM I've seen Steam is the one least obtrusive I've seen.
It also lets you download a game which you bought on DVD through your net connection if you have registered it with them ala "Supreme Commander 2"

Re:Civ was my offline game (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#32124550)

No extra DRM. It's locked to a Steam account, but you can log in on any computer which has Steam installed and play any game on your account. If it's not installed, you can download it. PITA, but better than the alternative method of having all of your games on every computer: Carrying every installation disk you own.

I buy all of my games on Steam now. I might get a couple from Good Old Games, if I can find some I like.

Off topic: Does anybody know if there's an online store offering System Shock 2 for download? I've never played it, and think I should.

Re:Civ was my offline game (3, Interesting)

MogNuts (97512) | more than 4 years ago | (#32125030)

With everything that is going on these past few years with DRM, I do not disagree with you whatsoever. More power to you.

This is directed to all Slashdotters, not you. I've said it before, I think we should stop think of PC games as owning them, and treating them as rentals. That's how the companies are treating us, so we should respond in kind. And I don't mean to just roll over and accept it. I mean the following:

Only buy games, new or used, at a rental price-point. When there is a special on Steam like when Bioshock was out for $5, then you buy it. Or wait until it gets to $15-20 new. Most games nowadays hit the mark around 6 mo. - 1 yr. It has an added benefit of having all the bugs ironed out and the game is fully playable.

This way when they screw you (no, the servers will *not* be still on for games like RE5, AC2 in 5-7 years and you can't play then), you are out the appropriate amount. And they only receive what the game is truly worth.

As a side note, something helpful: I find when they hype a game I want it right now. But it's only because it's on your mind. If you focus on something else, you don't even remember you want it. So to still get the game, what I do is when I see a game I want right now, I just put it on a list. I have a list of like 20 games right now. Then you pick it up when its super cheap. I have about 30 games on steam right now that I haven't paid more than $10 now (and good ones, like Bioshock, Dead Space, etc.).

Re:Civ was my offline game (1, Insightful)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#32125128)

Sorry, but if the game is good, I want to play it when it's released. That's also when there are most players in online gameplay. I have actual problems to worry about in life, and if Steam or any other DRM works good enough (Steam hell yes does), I rather just play the game than worry about some thing like that. And I'm a geek, so do you think gamers or casual people will start worrying about it instead of just playing the game?

Re:Civ was my offline game (2, Informative)

lemmywrap (1605025) | more than 4 years ago | (#32124238)

When a user installs your game, the DRMS server collects information from the customer's computer that uniquely identifies it. The collected information is used in combination with the metadata regarding your executable file to generate a custom binary, that checks that it is running on the user's computer. If the user changes the configuration of their computer such that the CEG checks would fail to identify the computer, the CEG system will automatically generate a new executable file for the user, and update their game installation. These checks occur whenever your game is run, regardless of whether the computer is connected to the Internet or not. In addition to examining the user's computer, the CEG system will detect tampering with the executable file, and will conceal its workings from reverse engineering.

Should still be able to play it while offline, it would only require an internet connection when installing or after changing your hardware.

Re:Civ was my offline game (2, Insightful)

omglolbah (731566) | more than 4 years ago | (#32124280)

Yup, and the beauty of it is that it actually WORKS :D

Re:Civ was my offline game (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32124308)


Should still be able to play it while offline, it would only require an internet connection when installing or after changing your hardware.

I change my hardware as often as I change my underwear and it isn't anybody else's business but mine when I do either.

Re:Civ was my offline game (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32124354)

Imagining what your underwears could look like makes me sick.
Change everyday ffs !

Re:Civ was my offline game (2, Informative)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 4 years ago | (#32124248)

my go to game when my internet connection is down.

Mine is Dwarf Fortress. No mouse means I can even play it on the car (better while someone else drives) or while waiting on the airport.

Re:Civ was my offline game (1)

imakemusic (1164993) | more than 4 years ago | (#32124250)

Steam has an offline mode. You should only have to go online once to activate it.

Re:Civ was my offline game (1)

Mr. Freeman (933986) | more than 4 years ago | (#32124358)

It doesn't work about half of the time. There's various reasons it doesn't work. You've changed hardware, you've been offline too long, it thinks there's updates for the game and you MUST install them even to play in single player more.

Re:Civ was my offline game (2, Interesting)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 4 years ago | (#32124428)

I can imagine hardware changes to be a problem but how does it know there are updates without you being online?

I know about the updating the games I have set up as offline, but it notices only when I'm actually online, so I can download the updates. I fail to see the problem.

Either you're offline (or just dont let steam connect), and you get no update notifications, or you're online and connected, in which case you must download the updates, which I would, anyway.

I can see a problem if, for some reason, you didn't want to keep the game updated.

Re:Civ was my offline game (4, Interesting)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 4 years ago | (#32125122)

thing is that steam is utterly retarded when it comes to network connections.
If there's *any* kind of network, no matter if it's just a point to point between 2 laptops, a local lan with no net connection or anything which looks like a network connection then steam will decide that you don't really want to be in offline mode, obviously you made a mistake when clicking "offline mode" and so it kicks you out of offline mode and freaks out because it can't connect to the steam servers and locks itself up.

Even worse is when it does this while I'm using my edge dongle (very low bandwidth) and it decides that it absolutely positively has to download the 100mb patch for that single player game I was trying to play before it will even think about letting my play it.

If you've never experienced problems with steam then you're on a high bandwidth, high reliability, always-on, unrestricted net connection.
In that situation steam is the best thing since sliced bread.

Otherwise steam has very very real problems and hordes of dedicated fanboys who deny those problems even exist.

"Either you're offline (or just dont let steam connect), and you get no update notifications, or you're online and connected, in which case you must download the updates, which I would, anyway."

This tells me how little thought you've put into this.
I'm on 3 different networks regularly.

1: home, DSL, steam is pretty good on this except when it decides I really really need that massive patch for the game I want to play in single player.
2: university wireless, steam doesn't like this at all since it can't get at the steam servers but there is an active net connection so it decides I don't really want to be in offline mode then locks up because it can't get at the steam servers.
3: wireless dongle when I'm traveling, if I make the mistake of trying to play steam without first pulling out the dongle it will decide I need all the latest patches.... over an edge connection wherever I may be.
this is where steam really goes to shit.

uncommon:
4: I'm on any kind of LAN without a net connection or if my ISP goes down.

Re:Civ was my offline game (1, Redundant)

bornyesterday (888994) | more than 4 years ago | (#32124252)

luckily steam has this nice "offline mode" option. I was playing civ 4, l4d2 and bad company 2 this past weekend when waiting for cable in my new apartment

Re:Civ was my offline game (2, Insightful)

omglolbah (731566) | more than 4 years ago | (#32124274)

You can play Steam games in "offline mode". I do so frequently. It works great :)

While I loathe DRM, the Steam DRM is so non-intrusive compared to the competetors that I can live with it just fine. Since I started using Steam a few years ago I have spent more money on games than ever before...

Of all the DRM schemes to use, this is the one I would pick if I had to make a choice as a consumer.

Re:Civ was my offline game (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32124278)

I've purchased every single Civ game and expansion, and easily have spent thousands of hours playing the series. Screw Steamworks, and screw Firaxis or Take Two or whoever decided this was a good idea.

Civ is primarily a single-player game, this is absolute insanity for it to require Steamworks. I guess this will be the first game in the series that I won't be playing.

Steamworks is offline friendly. (2, Insightful)

Tei (520358) | more than 4 years ago | (#32124326)

Steamworks on other games like Torchlight just serve to add features, not remove then. In Torchlight it redistribute your savegames. So you can start a game on the Netbook, and wen you get home, continue that game on the Desktop.

I don't know you, but this sounds like a good feature to have in Civi.

And you can play Torchlight offline. The whole Steam thing can run offline.

Re:Civ was my offline game (1)

redscare2k4 (1178243) | more than 4 years ago | (#32124342)

The pirated version will allow to play without internet connection ;)

IIRC, you can also put steam in "offline mode" and then play without internet connection. But to do that you must be logged in the first place, so it's only a valid method when you're planning ahead of time to do that. If your ISP/router/whatever goes down you're fubared.

Re:Civ was my offline game (1)

Vahokif (1292866) | more than 4 years ago | (#32124374)

You can switch Steam to offline mode and it'll still work.

Re:Civ was my offline game (2, Informative)

ledow (319597) | more than 4 years ago | (#32124376)

Offline mode. You have to be online on Steam to download the damn thing in the first place, but once it's installed you just set it to offline mode and play away. It won't stay like that forever, but are you seriously telling me that you won't be online with Steam running in the background (even if just for a minute) for more than about 30/60/90 days?

I don't buy games that have stupid DRM because I do play offline, but I've spend hundreds of pounds on Steam lately because their system is the only one that works how it should. And I've had Steam since long before WON went offline, so nearly day one.

Avoid the stuff that has *other* DRM on top of Steam (e.g. GTA4) because that's just stupid anyway, layering DRM schemes, but 99% of what's on Steam is fine and it's the best system that makes the most sensible compromises for user happiness.

If you don't already know this, it means you've never used Steam yourself. It's damn addictive once you realise that you can search for, buy, download, install and play a game in minutes and then take that game everywhere you go, online or off, onto multiple computers without having to do anything more complicated than click "Install" on the right icon. Or backup those games to your external drive when you realise you've filled up your entire disk with games and need some quick space back. It takes literally minutes to reinstall 9Gb of game from a Steam Backup if you suddenly get the urge to play it again, or you can redownload it if you lose your backup.

Re:Civ was my offline game (1)

Terrasque (796014) | more than 4 years ago | (#32124588)

"It takes literally minutes to reinstall 9Gb of game from a Steam Backup if you suddenly get the urge to play it again, or you can redownload it if you lose your backup."

Too bad those minutes are around 300-400.. At least, that's my experience (games with many small files kill Steam restore - even on SSD)

Re:Civ was my offline game (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32124720)

Are you seriously trying to imply that reinstalling a steam game from backup could take 5-7 hours? Get real and stop trolling

Re:Civ was my offline game (1)

ledow (319597) | more than 4 years ago | (#32125016)

I call bullshit of the highest order.

I have recently deinstalled and reinstalled from backup about 7-8 games, totalling Gigabytes of data with 1000's of files and it never took more than a handful of minutes (and most of that was churning to load the setup program into memory before it actually did anything). This is not a top-of-the-range laptop by any means, bog-standard cheap 320Gb hard drive. Its filesystems were made two years ago and haven't been defragged etc. *EVER* and it was going from one partition to another on the same drive.

Re:Civ was my offline game (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32124498)

Steamworks works when the interwebs is down. Or at least it does for me.

Re:Civ was my offline game (2, Insightful)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 4 years ago | (#32124518)

Totally offtopic moderation curiosity, feel free to ignore.

Several similar posts in this thread, saying essentially "I use steam offline and had no problem with it" have been simultaneously modded exactly once as flamebait. I suspect it's the finest example I've yet seen of a single guy using the "-1 disagree" mod with his entire pool of modpoints. :)

Re:Civ was my offline game (1)

Per Abrahamsen (1397) | more than 4 years ago | (#32124922)

Suggestion: Install some of the demos or free games [steampowered.com] available (I can recommend Peggle Extreme casual or the Sam&Max point and click adventure), and test out if the steam offline mode works for you. It has improved a lot recently, but some still reports problems, therefore the suggestion to try it for yourself.

What, it start with Steamworks? (5, Funny)

Bugamn (1769722) | more than 4 years ago | (#32124194)

In my time Civ started with dirt and road, if you were lucky.

Re:What, it start with Steamworks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32124210)

Ba-dum-tish.

Re:What, it start with Steamworks? (1)

allcoolnameswheretak (1102727) | more than 4 years ago | (#32124384)

You are my hero of the day. :))

Re:What, it start with Steamworks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32124796)

A road?! Luxury!

Re:What, it start with Steamworks? (1)

mcvos (645701) | more than 4 years ago | (#32125034)

My first thought was: Steam tech in Civ? What'll they think of next? Horseback Riding?

Sid Meier, deity ; ). (1)

MRe_nl (306212) | more than 4 years ago | (#32124260)

But but ...
I still haven't won Civ 3 C on deity level yet.
The C5 graphics/movies look stunning, but multiplayer Civ, which I've never tried in years of playing, seems like an extremely tedious business.
I turn off "see friendly moves" on large maps because i think the AI's turn takes to long.
Imagine having to wait for two (or five) human players. And I tend to play "one more turn" for about ten hours occasionally.
Any experienced online Civ players care to explain how that works? Do you play one turn per day a la PBM/ some online go/chess matches?

Re:Sid Meier, deity ; ). (1)

azaris (699901) | more than 4 years ago | (#32124586)

In CIV the player turns are concurrent (turn-based WEGO). It works pretty well, although if you're used to strict turn-based IGOUGO in single-player the combat will throw you off a bit.

Re:Sid Meier, deity ; ). (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32124626)

Civ 4 has an optional "simultaneous turns"-mode, where all the players move at the same time, then the next turn happens when they've all pressed "end turn". It works better than it sounds, though I can't offhand explain how it resolves interactions between players.

I've played with one or two other people and some AI players ... and the "one more turn"-effect is as strong as in singleplayer. Games always last far into the early morning, despite plans to the contrary.

You will need to Install the latest Flash plugin . (0, Offtopic)

Tei (520358) | more than 4 years ago | (#32124306)

You will need to Install the latest Flash plugin to view this page properly.... To view a video? how quaint.

Re:You will need to Install the latest Flash plugi (0, Offtopic)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 4 years ago | (#32124464)

You will need to Install the latest Flash plugin to view this page properly.

It must be in HTML5 then.

too bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32124314)

I always bought the special edition box sets. I loved the game ever since the original, hell I still play the original.

No Sid We Do Not Love The Steam (1)

oakwine (1709682) | more than 4 years ago | (#32124356)

At least a good number of us don't. A larger number don't understand the steam and have heard many horror stories. So some fair percentage of your potential Civ 5 players are likely to give this one a pass. Sid, I don't know what you're smoking, but I suggest you smoke something else!

I Love The Steam (1)

antirelic (1030688) | more than 4 years ago | (#32124622)

I'm not trying to fanboi Steam, but I like it, and I like it a lot. Having been fiddling with the computers for nearly 2 decades now, I am tired of having to deal with media that changes every 6-8 years. Steam solves this problem. It also solves the problem of having to port my media around, store my media, and defend my media from damage. Unless steam starts charging a per bit fee for downloads, I will continue to choose Steam as my 1st choice when deciding the source of my PC game purchase.

Of course, if "Net Neutrality" kicks in and service providers are forced to go to a $$$/per GB model, then I can foresee Steam dying, and a huge amount of money flushed down the drain.

Achievement: (3, Funny)

bersl2 (689221) | more than 4 years ago | (#32124400)

Your phalanx unit successfully defends against an attack from an enemy battleship.

Re:Achievement: (1)

homb (82455) | more than 4 years ago | (#32124462)

That's actually rather normal. The phalanx unit hunkers down, digs foxholes and caves. Good luck mr. battleship.

(the problem of course being how the phalanx ends up sinking the battleship)

Re:Achievement: (1)

tangelogee (1486597) | more than 4 years ago | (#32124744)

Well, you know, a well-placed spear in a turret, and boom! A la Iowa (granted that was from bad powder and maintenance issues, but still)

Let me rewrite the headline (0, Flamebait)

Aceticon (140883) | more than 4 years ago | (#32124412)

Fifth incarnation of a once great game that was boring already on version 3 is going to use DRM that requires at least periodical Internet connectivity on your gamming machine

Cracked product expected to be superior.

News at 5.

shameful (2, Interesting)

emkyooess (1551693) | more than 4 years ago | (#32124454)

Well, here's to the first game in the Civ series I don't buy.

I second that (3, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#32124692)

Civ 5 was going to be my first PC game purchased in literally years (besides the humble indie bundle [wolfire.com] , who could pass that up? But I'm talking about going to a store and buying a box.) But I am diametrically opposed to Steam's attack on First Sale law, and will not purchase any game which uses Steam again. I already went through it with Half-Life 2; I did not find any of the mods worth playing, so to me the game has zero replay value, and I would like to re-sell it, but I can't, even though I bought it on a disc at the store. Just say no to Steam. I will not be paying for Civ 5.

Re:I second that (2, Informative)

emkyooess (1551693) | more than 4 years ago | (#32125006)

Do not forget that steamworks DRM is also included on boxed copies.

Re:I second that (3, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#32125274)

Do not forget that steamworks DRM is also included on boxed copies.

What part of my story about buying Half-Life 2 in a store and not being able to resell it led you to believe that I would not understand that the DRM was included with boxed copies as well? The truly abusive thing about Steam to me is that you can't even play a backup without installing and updating Steam. Steam 'backups' are not backups because they are not playable. So I can't sell it, and I can't play it? What the heck did I pay for? Shelf space? Die, Valve, Die.

Good move (2, Insightful)

Thorizdin (456032) | more than 4 years ago | (#32124534)

Good move, kudos to Sid and company for ignoring the idiotic knee jerk reactions seen on some message boards I won't mention. Requiring occasional (I have gone at least 2 weeks before) access back to Steam as opposed to having to keep track of some number of CD's _and_ being able to have the game installed on multiple PC's is a net positive IMNHO. The improved matchmaking sounds like icing on the cake.

How long will it last (5, Insightful)

Paul Carver (4555) | more than 4 years ago | (#32124566)

I still play Civilization Call to Power. It is my all time favorite addiction. I don't pull it out often because when I do I can easily play all night and not even realize that dawn has arrived. But I do pull it out occasionally and I'm glad I can play it without worrying about whether the company will still let me.

I guess I'm bad for the games industry by enjoying a game that's so old, but I won't even contemplate buying a game with DRM because I just don't trust that I'd be able to play it long after it stops being the hit new thing.

Re:How long will it last (2, Informative)

kammat (114899) | more than 4 years ago | (#32125120)

but I won't even contemplate buying a game with DRM because I just don't trust that I'd be able to play it long after it stops being the hit new thing.

You do know [wikipedia.org] Valve has promised to patch around Steam authentication if the shit ever does hit the fan?

They should have... (1)

mindwhip (894744) | more than 4 years ago | (#32124582)

...stopped at Civ 3 anyway. The game has been done to death and no rehash of graphics, world geometry or technology trees will change or improve it sufficiently for me to buy the same game over and over again...

News?? (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 4 years ago | (#32124732)

How is this remotely news? I'm a big Civ fan, but outside of a few basement dwellers, how does their choice of online platforms matter? Is anyone going to buy (or not buy?) the game because of this?

It's the same as if they mentioned that the new Civ will come in a blue cardboard box instead of a white one.

Re:News?? (1)

Per Abrahamsen (1397) | more than 4 years ago | (#32125026)

> but outside of a few basement dwellers

And who do you think the core audience of /. are?

USE STEAM BEFORE SLAGGING IT OFF (4, Insightful)

wintermute000 (928348) | more than 4 years ago | (#32125062)

Seriously

Everyone who is slagging off steam, try it before you complain.
I have had ZERO problems with steam, before I was a sceptic and now I am a convert.
The auto-patching auto-updating goodness is worth its weight in gold.
Never had a problem playing offline or whatever.
Rebuild a PC? no issue, unlimited re-downloads, much easier to kick off steam and walk away than dig out masses of discs, then go through hours or hunt and patch, etc.
Games are CHEAP esp if you bag them on sale (GTA4 for 7 bucks USD, Op. Flashpoint Dragon Rising for 5 bucks etc.)

Put it this way: its so good and convenient that I buy games (on sale of course lol) that I can pirate in front of me. I see the pirate bay / rapidshare / usenet link in front of me at the same time as a steam sale. Guess who wins 10/10.

Steam: DRM done right - non intrusive, value added (auto patching, friends lists/voice/matchmaking etc., forget about juggling masses of CDs and cases), cheaper than boxed retail.

If you want to sell a used game then OK you are SOTL but thats the bargain you are making.

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