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Steam Now Offering Free-To-Play Games

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the price-is-right dept.

Businesses 152

donniebaseball23 writes "Valve's digital Steam service is going strong with 30 million active accounts, and now the developer has further boosted its offerings by adding free-to-play titles. Steam is kicking off its support of the free-to-play model with five titles (which will include in-game Steam exclusives): Spiral Knights, Forsaken Worlds, Champions Online: Free for All, Global Agenda: Free Agent, and Alliance of Valliant Arms. Valve's support of free-to-play shows just how widely accepted it's become."

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Great catch! (0)

jhoegl (638955) | more than 3 years ago | (#36446912)

Wow, if I hadnt played a steam game or looked at their main store page I wouldnt have known!

Thanks for the scoop Slashdot.

Re:Great catch! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36446942)

in fairness not everyone constantly visits steams website or plays games off of steam every day

Re:Great catch! (1)

kvvbassboy (2010962) | more than 3 years ago | (#36446990)

This. I have never visited Steam website because I am not a big gamer since WC3, but I will probably download Steam now to check them out.

Re:Great catch! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36447132)

Not everyone plays games off of Steam at all for that matter. Polish it and put lipstick on it all you want, but Steam is invasive DRM that creates an artificial necessity to have a worthless resource using program running in the background and an internet connection even for single player games.

Re:Great catch! (2, Informative)

Amarantine (1100187) | more than 3 years ago | (#36447348)

an artificial necessity to have a worthless resource using program running in the background

Most people use Windows anyway.

and an internet connection even for single player games.

Steam features an offline mode. You only need to have been online once per game to be allowed to play it offline, i believe.

Re:Great catch! (4, Informative)

damnbunni (1215350) | more than 3 years ago | (#36447668)

Steam's offline mode is far from perfect. I've lost count of the number of times I've had games cease working until I went online, even if they showed 'ready to play' in Offline Mode.

Yes, even single-player games with no internet functionality at all.

It's also really annoying that there's no way to throttle Steam's download speed, since it's capable of completely saturating my net connection so no one in the house can even check their email.

And it detects all the software bandwidth throttles I've tried to use and ceases downloading at all until I turn them off and let it have every byte it can slurp.

Then there's also that if Steam knows there's a patch, but it's not downloaded, you can't start the game even in offline mode until you download the patch.

Re:Great catch! (0)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 3 years ago | (#36447966)

Conversly, I've never had any such problems, and indeed have played multiplayer while in 'offline' mode. I should also mention I have almost 150 titles on it, having been with steam since it was just a half-baked WON replacement.

I'll agree that throttling needs to be added, but that's hardly an issue unique with Steam. It seems almost every software vendor assumes users have unlimited bandwidth...

Re:Great catch! (0)

Creepy (93888) | more than 3 years ago | (#36450210)

I'm fairly certain the patch thing is because you have the game set to "Always keep this game up to date" instead of "Do not automatically update this game" - if you have the latter set, you have to manually update it.

The bandwidth thing is annoying - I'd like to be able to play Steam games while downloading, as well - a game like Empire: Total War in singleplayer mode should not stop downloads and it does. Just to clarify this, it only affects Steam associated games, not all bandwidth - I can launch other games that are not associated with Steam, including networked ones (I've run Battlefield 2, Guild Wars, and several other non-Steam associated games on my system) and downloads continue, so this is just a bad feature in Steam.

Another peeve for Steam is not allowing pre-downloading for some titles, even though they already have a process in place to lock the game until release - I bought the Witcher 2 retail because of this. The choice was wait 8 hours for Steam to download (at 7Mbps down, probably slower on average), or have it in the 20 minutes it takes to get to the store and back... hmm - I'll take store. Fallout 3: New Vegas took about 8 hours to download but was a pre-download, and I bought it through Steam (and I'm a sucker for Fallout games, even though they have always been buggy as hell - even the Black Isle ones had dozens of [mostly user made] patches... I have yet to finish any of the Bethesda ones, though - get too bored with the "MOTS" play and cardboard characters about 3/4 through to finish - if I don't care about anyone in the game, which is usually the case, that is bad storytelling).

As for Offline mode, I've never had a problem - I played Empire: Total War for a week while staying at a house in bumf*ck nowhere with no internet access. I also like that I can have a copy of multiple games on my desktop and laptop and switch between the machines (just can't be logged in as the same Steam user twice, but that is fine IMO), and also that by just logging in with a different Steam user that also owned a game (Borderlands to be specific) a friend of mine and I could play multiplayer with my copies of the game (I think we started a new game, so not sure about character access - it would probably be my laptop and desktop characters).

Re:Great catch! (1, Informative)

madmayr (1969930) | more than 3 years ago | (#36447350)

that may well be - but steam (in contrast to other drm copy protections for games) gives you something in return too - have your games available from everywhere where you have internet access (which is the main reason i started using it) - buy games comfortably from home - some really nice deals from time to time (especially on holidays) and with the option to go into offline mode, you can play without an internet connection (allthough it is needed at some point to enter offline mode)

Re:Great catch! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36448184)

Well I know GOG doesn't offer the same selection as Steam does, but they do offer the ability to download any games you bought through them anywhere, as many times as you want with any web browser - all DRM free too. Too me this is a much, much better say to do digital game distribution.

Re:Great catch! (1)

hsjserver (1826682) | more than 3 years ago | (#36446982)

I'm sure that a significan portion of people who use Steam have their settings as such that they never see the store page or the "special deals" offered and not to mention the multitude of casual gamers who would probably be inclined to partake in such free to play offerings. Also, I hate free to play stuff :|

Re:Great catch! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36447008)

Wow,

Nah, I don't think WoW falls in the free-to-play category.

Need to layoff RedBull (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36446980)

THIS IS MADNESS !

Re:Need to layoff RedBull (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36447798)

This.... Is.... SLASHDOT!!!!

Re:Need to layoff RedBull (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36447958)

Tonight.... We dine in your MOM'S BASEMENT!!!

Steam already had free games... (3, Informative)

gomiam (587421) | more than 3 years ago | (#36447002)

...they just didn't have an official list. On the other hand, IvanDoomer has unofficially taken care of that for a while [steampowered.com] .

It also seems that some of these free to play games aren't available everywhere (a couple of users have written at the thread about it).

Perhaps Valve should just make IvanDoomer's list official or something :)

Re:Steam already had free games... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36447022)

are these free to play fully or do these include micropayment fleecing for better equipment?

Re:Steam already had free games... (2)

gomiam (587421) | more than 3 years ago | (#36447186)

Define "fully free to play". But you'd be better off going there and reading. Some games like Global Agenda: Free Agent allow you to pay a one-time fee to get better access (more experience per action, auction house access...), but you won't usually need to worry about micropayments or free player limitations as the games on that list don't really block you from doing everything (at most you can't do it just as quick).

Steam's list, though, has some games that limit your maximum level so they are probably not "fully free to play".

Re:Steam already had free games... (1)

Creepy (93888) | more than 3 years ago | (#36450452)

Yeah, but what you're missing is that Steam is a commercial product, so to add "free to play" games they likely are taking a cut of micropayments or charging yearly fees in exchange for broader visibility of these games (via Steam). Someone is paying for the bandwidth to download, and I guarantee it isn't Valve.

I see max level limits as OK - it is kind of like shareware - if you like the game after you get to a certain point, buy the rest of it and get more content. It is a good way to avoid games you really dislike. For instance, I considered buying Dungeon Runners before it went FTP, and after trying it, I found I really didn't care for it. I gave D&D Online two shots - once with a free trial and once after it went FTP - neither time impressed me enough in the first 20 hours to keep playing beyond that. Never managed to get past the free trial for WoW, either (which I did 3 times under different names/emails, none of which was faked - just variants - for instance, not my real name, but Charles can be Chuck or Charlie).

Re:Steam already had free games... (1)

rwa2 (4391) | more than 3 years ago | (#36449470)

Doh! And I had just paid money for some (on sale) version of Trackmania. Thanks for the link! Especially since all these new games sound like boring "fantasy" MMO grindfests.

Had a lot of fun with Alien Swarm back in the day... hoping they start exchanging features with Tremulous!

doing this for years (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36447016)

They've been doing this for years, do i need to mention trackmania?

Re:doing this for years (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36448292)

Indeed. I was wondering what was so special about these "Free to Play" games in comparison to all the free games that have been on Steam for a while. Reading the article it looks like these "Free to Play" games are using Steam's micro-payment system to try and fleece you by allowing you to buy in-game items to "improve your playing experience" of these free games.

I dont think free means free here (1)

collect0r (794706) | more than 3 years ago | (#36447082)

I honestly think everybody should steer clear of all the free to play games on offer the one i downloaded is using item mall and after playing atlantica online for the past 2 yrs it has cost me a lot more than say paying for a wow subscription. each month for warrior pack and blessing licence it costs me £30.00 which is a lot more than a flat rate subscription to WOW for £9,99 a month. in the longrun i would stick to Guild wars 2 its a one off cost at £29.99 with cheap expansions planned. please try your best not to make these types of game the norm as very soon you will be paying £1.00 to open media player or notepad on windows.

Re:I dont think free means free here (1)

hardtofindanick (1105361) | more than 3 years ago | (#36447136)

Do you have a key for "£" on your keyboard?

Re:I dont think free means free here (1)

collect0r (794706) | more than 3 years ago | (#36447260)

yes uk keyboards usually have the proper keys needed to ride a computer :)

Re:I dont think free means free here (1)

Defenestrar (1773808) | more than 3 years ago | (#36448512)

You can also directly enter the ASCII code on most keyboards (in Windows at least) by holding alt while punching in the base 10 number. For example [alt]156[/alt] yields: "£."

I don't do a lot of currencies much, so I'm not using £, ¥, etc... often, but I do use some of the Greek letters on a daily basis - particularly mu (who wants to use the letter "u" when you can use "" (230))*. "" and "ß" (224, and 225 respectively) are of occasional use. The fractions for "½", and "¼" (171, 172) sometimes come in handy too. (And back in junior high I programed the Apple || e in the library to wait about five minutes and then start printing ASCII 7 (audible beep))

So just because the key is not on the keyboard doesn't mean you can't type it without navigating the insert function in a word processor and then pasting to whatever internet forum you're posting on. I've always thought throwing in an extended ASCII into a password is also a good way around the method most brute force attacks would attempt (at least until exhausting "regular" ASCII combinations first). It'll get you into trouble if you wind up with a non-standard keyboard (some laptops are cheap that way) or one of the "virtual" keyboards some remote authentication web based servers use to attempt to get around key-logger vulnerabilities.

*Strange - in the preview mu doesn't show up as it's own character and neither does alpha, but everything else does (they all display properly in the FF text entry window). Anyone have an idea why? Is this some sort of error of the Slashdot ASCII to html unicode converter? Or is FF or Windows inputting in a "symbol" rather than the true ASCII 230? Curious and curiouser.

Re:I dont think free means free here (1)

jank1887 (815982) | more than 3 years ago | (#36448644)

not sure what'll get through, but we'll try -

alt-0230: æ &#230 (that 'ae' character)

alt-0181: &#181 (mu)

alt-0176: &#176 (degrees)

Re:I dont think free means free here (3, Interesting)

DrXym (126579) | more than 3 years ago | (#36447166)

It's probably casuals who benefit most from Free To Play games. I play Lord of the Rings Online in fits and starts, maybe a couple of hours a week. I bought the game when it first came out but couldn't justify a monthly sub for such low intensity gameplay so I cancelled. Now it's FTP I've gone back and the new model suits me a lot better. I go weeks without buying something and when I do need something that requires points it tends to cost less far less than paying on a sub. I expect if you were really hardcore that it might go the other way (though there is a premium service which is sub based), but on balance I think more people benefit than lose out. It also means the game becomes more popular which benefits Turbine because even if they're earning less $$$ per player they're still gaining more players to make up for it.

I think the subscription model is going to decline severely the more games that exist which are FTP. I would not be surprised if even Blizzard is starting to see their subscriber numbers dip and are beginning to wonder what to do about it. Maybe it means WOW will eventually go FTP, or a successor title will.

Re:I dont think free means free here (1)

Machtyn (759119) | more than 3 years ago | (#36449232)

Maybe it means WOW will eventually go FTP, or a successor title will.

Not while they're under Activision. Even if they weren't tied to Activision, I doubt Blizzard would make such a move. They've got plenty of users and the number of attrition doesn't quite alarm them, yet I'm sure. (There are still millions of players worldwide.) I imagine if they had to start reducing the number of servers down to about the 10+/- range, then they'd start to worry.

Having said that, I've let my subscription to WoW lapse recently and indefinitely. It was a fun game, but if I'm paying a monthly sub, I feel I need to get my money's worth - and that meant 2-3 hours a night nearly every day. Some would call that an addiction, except I have no urges or desires to jump back into the game, heh.

Re:I dont think free means free here (2)

DrXym (126579) | more than 3 years ago | (#36449484)

Their hand is going to be forced on the matter whether they like it or not. WOW apparently lost 600,000 subscribers since last year which is a drop of 5.5% or ~ $108 million in revenue. I don't think they can sustain their current model if subscribers continue to drop like that.

Re:I dont think free means free here (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 3 years ago | (#36447198)

The problem with these one off purchase games with online play, is that most of them don't release the server code and force you to play on their servers... And if they are not making any ongoing revenue, they have very little incentive to keep the servers running - and the online play mode of the game becomes useless once the servers are shut down.

Warcraft is a bit better since your paying for a service so they have an incentive to keep it running, but i do resent being expected to purchase the game *and* pay for service.

Not a fan of the F2P business model (3, Insightful)

Flipao (903929) | more than 3 years ago | (#36447154)

This Penny Arcade strip [penny-arcade.com] pretty much sums it up for me.

Mainly because it's simply not free, yes you can enjoy the games to a certain extent without paying a penny, but they are designed to squeeze as much money out of you as possible and in the long term are far more expensive than purchasing a retail product upfront.

Re:Not a fan of the F2P business model (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36447218)

This Penny Arcade strip [penny-arcade.com] pretty much sums it up for me.

Mainly because it's simply not free, yes you can enjoy the games to a certain extent without paying a penny, but they are designed to squeeze as much money out of you as possible and in the long term are far more expensive than purchasing a retail product upfront.

Some F2P games like LOTR I completely agree with you. The -only- thing that you can buy with real money in League of Legends that you can't buy with points earned from playing is: new skins. So paying customers and non-paying customers are on the exact same level in terms of what they can accomplish.

Uhm, wrong about LOTRO (1)

CountBrass (590228) | more than 3 years ago | (#36447318)

In LOTRO you can buy everything -including the expansions and quest packs- using turbine points you can earn in game.

A member of my kinship (guild) in LOTRO has played from 1-65 (the current level cap) without spending a penny of real money. And she has every expansion and quest pack.

Me? I'm much weaker and richer ;)

Re:Uhm, wrong about LOTRO (1)

julesh (229690) | more than 3 years ago | (#36447414)

In LOTRO you can buy everything -including the expansions and quest packs- using turbine points you can earn in game.

This also applies to DDO, FYI.

Re:Not a fan of the F2P business model (1)

xouumalperxe (815707) | more than 3 years ago | (#36449390)

The -only- thing that you can buy with real money in League of Legends that you can't buy with points earned from playing is: new skins. So paying customers and non-paying customers are on the exact same level in terms of what they can accomplish.

League of Legends is a curious example. You do have XP/IP boosts that give you "more bang for your buck" sort of bonuses, and those mean that two players that start at the same time and only play together will see the paying player be a fair bit more powerful than the non-paying player after a while. But then that difference melts away once you reach level 30 (cap) and, once you have the champions and runes you want, you'll find yourself with enough excess IP that you can just collect stuff because you feel like it.

As a paying player, you can buy champions and rune pages, paying your way into more flexibility earlier than a non-paying player would have it. But then, neither of those things really gives you any in-game edge, and the one single thing that could provide a palpable in-game advantage can't be purchased with RP: runes. In the typical F2P model, they'd charge some cash for better-than-normal runes. Instead, you can't even buy them at all with cash! So cash is only a way to scratch the itches of impatience and vanity.

Re:Not a fan of the F2P business model (3, Insightful)

aiht (1017790) | more than 3 years ago | (#36447284)

This Penny Arcade strip [penny-arcade.com] pretty much sums it up for me. Mainly because it's simply not free, yes you can enjoy the games to a certain extent without paying a penny, but they are designed to squeeze as much money out of you as possible and in the long term are far more expensive than purchasing a retail product upfront.

My strategy to work around this problem is simple and (I think) effective:
Don't buy the extra stuff that costs money.

They're only more expensive than an upfront retail product if you actually spend that much money on them - the choice is yours.

Re:Not a fan of the F2P business model (1)

itsdapead (734413) | more than 3 years ago | (#36447578)

Don't buy the extra stuff that costs money... [snip] the choice is yours.

True, but a "well" designed free-to-play game will quickly lose its playability if you don't regularly open your wallet - either because you can't progress or because the endless pressure to buy stuff spoils the game.

So, yeah, don't whine if you're stupid enough to pay out a fortune, but also don't confuse "free-to-pay" with properly free or just plain good value.

Plus, just because some people are stupid enough to fall for the sort of pressure these games exert, doesn't necessarily make it a nice thing to do.

Re:Not a fan of the F2P business model (1)

mustPushCart (1871520) | more than 3 years ago | (#36447302)

http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2007/5/11/ [penny-arcade.com]

just read this last night and fished it out of history.

Re:Not a fan of the F2P business model (1)

Terrasque (796014) | more than 3 years ago | (#36447922)

And another PA one [penny-arcade.com]

Re:Not a fan of the F2P business model (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36447438)

Being something of a League of Legends fan, and since you are presenting the PA comic without the contrast of Tycho's post I feel that I must offer some insight to the comic which you've missed.

LoL is a really great F2P model. I don't want to get too bogged down in the mechanics of LoL but it's the only F2P game I've spent actual money on because (as best as I can explain this) I didn't feel I *had* to spend money with it in order to get somewhere with the game.

There are two currencies, one which you earn purely in game through playing it and one which corresponds to actual money. So far so normal as these things go. The interesting thing about the LoL structure however is that the items which actually boost your abilities (runes) are ONLY purchaseable with the latter - people simply can't throw money at the game to get the edge in that way, everyone's gotta earn it the same.

Champions (ie who you play as in the game - you control one character at a time only) are unlocked with either currency and this is how they generally hook you in to spending money. There is a roster of champions for any given week which are free to use for that period but if you want to use one outside of that you have to buy them. However it's worth pointing out that the cheapest champions (in terms of the free currency) are amongst the best (or at least, easiest to be effective with). It doesn't take long to have a good roster going even if you don't spend a penny - two matches is usually enough to net you enough IP to buy a cheap champion.

Of course people flush with cash can buy a truckload of champions but there isn't a lot of point to this - it's better to gradually grow your roster because you can only afford to itemise your runes towards one or two champions anyway. Besides, part of the fun is getting a champ that really clicks with you and focussing on that.

Re:Not a fan of the F2P business model (1)

arth1 (260657) | more than 3 years ago | (#36448876)

LoL is a really great F2P model. I don't want to get too bogged down in the mechanics of LoL but it's the only F2P game I've spent actual money on because (as best as I can explain this) I didn't feel I *had* to spend money with it in order to get somewhere with the game.

It's rather obvious that you somehow felt you had to spend money, because you did spend it.

Re:Not a fan of the F2P business model (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36449514)

No, it's rather obvious that he somehow felt that he *wanted* to spend the money. There is nothing about his statement that makes it 'obvious' that the felt he *had* to spend the money.

Re:Not a fan of the F2P business model (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36447660)

This Penny Arcade strip [penny-arcade.com] pretty much sums it up for me.

Mainly because it's simply not free, yes you can enjoy the games to a certain extent without paying a penny, but they are designed to squeeze as much money out of you as possible and in the long term are far more expensive than purchasing a retail product upfront.

League of Legends is one of the worst examples out there. I have played the shit out of this game without paying a single penny. The benefits of paying for the game and at the store are almost exclusively aesthetic and provide no advantage whatsoever when fighting against a skilled player. Practically all of the game content (apart from champion skins) can be unlocked by playing the game normally.

Gotta give Riot Games some credit for giving the F2P users an equal experience. And if you really love the game, you'll end up spending money on it anyway.

Re:Not a fan of the F2P business model (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36447940)

Before making the claims that a F2P business model is "designed to squeeze as much money out of you as possible" perhaps you should look into the game that's referenced in the comic strip you linked. In League of Legends spending money doesn't give you any advantage over any other player, the only thing spending money does in that game is allows you to buy skins. Skins only change the aesthetics of the game.

Re:Not a fan of the F2P business model (1)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 3 years ago | (#36448454)

This Penny Arcade strip [penny-arcade.com] pretty much sums it up for me.

Mainly because it's simply not free, yes you can enjoy the games to a certain extent without paying a penny, but they are designed to squeeze as much money out of you as possible and in the long term are far more expensive than purchasing a retail product upfront.

Well, that's why it's called "free to play".

Nobody forces you to pay for it. Unlike WoW or EVE, I can create a LotR:O account for free. And play all I want, day after day after day. Nobody is going to force me to pay for anything.

But there are some nice things you get if you pay money. And, of course, the things are nice enough to make you want to pay for them. That's the whole idea.

Re:Not a fan of the F2P business model (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#36448688)

I'm trying out a couple of F2P web games now, Grepolis and Lacuna Expanse. (Out of a dozen and a half games I tried, these were the only ones that felt like they were actually worth playing, or indeed, ready for release.) So far it seems like practically nobody gives either one money, I don't know how they stay afloat. Presumably mostly by having low overhead...

Re:Not a fan of the F2P business model (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36449466)

But, and this is a BIG plus for me, I know if I like the game before I spend more than a couple of dollars on it. I don't have to gamble $50 or more....

What are these games? (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 3 years ago | (#36447204)

So what kind of games are these? Never heard of any of those titles.

Re:What are these games? (1)

Dails (1798748) | more than 3 years ago | (#36447300)

Lucky for you, they're free to try:

http://store.steampowered.com/ [steampowered.com]

Re:What are these games? (1)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 3 years ago | (#36448650)

Spiral Knights is one of the titles. It's been in beta for something like two years now. The art style is somewhere between Crystal Chronicles, FF9 and World of Warcraft, plays sort of like Legend of Zelda, A Link to the Past. The first hour or so is quite a bit of fun, but I haven't played past that. It plays sort of like how I would imagine a MMO of Diablo or Torchlight would play out.

Let's let gmhowell tell you all about himself (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36449260)

A quote from the troll gmhowell says it all:

"I do whatever amuses me at the moment. Sometimes that is trolling. As far as AC? I only do that to avoid undoing moderations." - by gmhowell (26755) on Wednesday April 20, @12:49AM (#35877174) Homepage

Your own words prove to us that you're online trash gmhowell, you scumbag troll. This IS why nobody here takes you seriously, or pays you any heed: You're a troll!

The above not enough? Well, here's more from you:

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1907528&cid=34543612 [slashdot.org]

And here also:

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2087330&cid=35846218 [slashdot.org]

("3 strikes, & you're out" - And, there's NO DENYING you are a troll, gmhowell. (Especially when you admitted it there in the links above, literally, in your own words!))

Turkish Delight (Remember Narnia!) (3, Insightful)

Pepebuho (167300) | more than 3 years ago | (#36447272)

This offer of Free games sounds just like Turkish Delights in Narnia. Steam does not care about the games, it is all about extending the DRM'd platform. The more people use Steam (and Steam's DRM) the more Steam can tell developers that to reach a sizeable market they have to be part of Steam and use Steam's DRM.

It's all about the platform and its network effects. The larger the platform, the more relevant it becomes, the worse off we will be (as someone who decided NOT to purchase Civ V just because it uses Steam's DRM.

Re:Turkish Delight (Remember Narnia!) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36447312)

Actually, those games weren't released specifically for Steam, I've been playing Forsaken World since way before it came to steam. I doubt the games now use the "DRM" of steam just because they are available on it. It seems to me more like a way to make those game known by a larger population.

Re:Turkish Delight (Remember Narnia!) (1, Insightful)

twocows (1216842) | more than 3 years ago | (#36447720)

As someone who uses Steam and loves it (among the many who do), I would recommend you try the current version before you bash it. I don't care if it's DRM if it's DRM that makes it easy for me to play my games anywhere.

Re:Turkish Delight (Remember Narnia!) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36448326)

As someone who uses Lysergamides and loves it (among the many who do), I would recommend you try the current version before you bash it. I don't care if it's drugs if it's drugs that makes it easy for me to hallucinate anywhere.

I'm sorry that I couldn't find a car analogy...

Re:Turkish Delight (Remember Narnia!) (1)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 3 years ago | (#36448794)

Plus, they've made a promise to make a DRM removal patch if they ever go out of business. It isn't a legally-binding promise, AFAIK, but it still shows that they mean well.

And pirates have already made their own DRM removal patch, so even if Valve goes out without that last patch, you won't be totally locked out.

Re:Turkish Delight (Remember Narnia!) (1)

arth1 (260657) | more than 3 years ago | (#36449262)

I don't care if it's DRM if it's DRM that makes it easy for me to play my games anywhere.

How about everywhen?
Like letting your son play one game, while you play another?
Or what when a lightning strike has knocked out your internet connection? "Offline play" requires that you go online first to enable offline play.
Or what when you have so many games that they can't fit on a single disk partition?
Or what when you need newer content/patches to play online than what Steam yet offers, and you have to update the game through Steam?
And what about Steam games that add additional DRM, often conflicting, and often without even mentioning it at purchase time?
Or what when Steam one day goes titty up, as all companies do one day?

Re:Turkish Delight (Remember Narnia!) (1)

parens (632808) | more than 3 years ago | (#36449852)

Just addressing one of your points, not the list, but ... it hasn't been my experience that I need to go online to enable offline. For most games, you must launch it once while online, but after that, it'll detect the lack of an internet connection and prompt you to restart in offline mode.

Re:Turkish Delight (Remember Narnia!) (1)

arth1 (260657) | more than 3 years ago | (#36450384)

This is only true if there are no updates for the game. I tried playing The Witcher 2 in offline mode yesterday, but couldn't, because there's a 5 GB(!) update for it. You have to download and install all updates to all games, and then start them at least once in online mode before offline mode works for that game. Until online mode detects another update, that is.

Re:Turkish Delight (Remember Narnia!) (1)

parens (632808) | more than 3 years ago | (#36450438)

Perhaps I've altered settings and don't remember, but all of the games in my Steam library auto-update whenever they detect an update. Since it auto-updates, it's always been ready to go for me. I've grabbed a laptop in a hurry out the door, and still played my games while offline for a week.

Re:Turkish Delight (Remember Narnia!) (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | more than 3 years ago | (#36450244)

Like letting your son play one game, while you play another?

im not sure how that is addressed maybe check the steam FAQs

Or what when a lightning strike has knocked out your internet connection? "Offline play" requires that you go online first to enable offline play.

as somebody else has stated a given game needs to be "unlocked" by going online at least once and then will fallback to offline if the network is down

Or what when you have so many games that they can't fit on a single disk partition?
so you can spend several hundred dollars on games but not US$150 on a 2 TERABYTE hard drive??

Or what when you need newer content/patches to play online than what Steam yet offers, and you have to update the game through Steam?

that may be an issue i would ask about that in the steam forums

And what about Steam games that add additional DRM, often conflicting, and often without even mentioning it at purchase time?

That is a problem with the Publisher not a problem with Steam

Or what when Steam one day goes titty up, as all companies do one day?

plan is the guy that turns out the lights will also post a "Master Unlock" for the games you have and anyway i would see some company buying out Steam first.

Re:Turkish Delight (Remember Narnia!) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36447780)

Getting sick of hearing this sort of winging. Allow me to correct you.

"Steam does not care about the games, it is all about extending the platform. The more people use Steam, the more Steam can tell developers that to reach a sizeable market they have to be part of Steam."

Notice how the mention of DRM has been removed? That's because its not actually their goal to have their DRM everywhere. Why would they care who's DRM is used, as long as it keeps their customers buying games? Its actually in their interest to lower the amount of DRM so that gamers want to get their games from steam, instead of being butt-fucked by the DRM employed by most big-game publishers these days. The bigger Steam gets, the more power it'll have to block bad DRM schemes from its store. This is a good thing from the gamers point of view.

However, I will grant you one thing: Its a horrible conspiracy-type situation for the more paranoid among us.

Re:Turkish Delight (Remember Narnia!) (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 3 years ago | (#36447946)

My kingdom for some points to mod you up, sir!

Re:Turkish Delight (Remember Narnia!) (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36448056)

I don't think you understand how (modern) Steam works. I'm guessing you haven't played it since the original Half-Life came out. "DRM"? Maybe, if by DRM you mean "a system that lets me install a game as many times as I want on as many systems as I want, syncs my save data and achievements, and allows me to play offline and forego the authentication process if I'm not connected". Yeah, really terrible DRM there, buddy.

Re:Turkish Delight (Remember Narnia!) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36448154)

This.

Re:Turkish Delight (Remember Narnia!) (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36448494)

Turkish Delights

You think "OMG EVIL DRM DIE DIE DIE"

I think "Yum, candy!"

Seriously, some of us just play games, don't have any problems with the "DRM", and enjoy the convenience - case in point...i'm moving next month, and I don't need to bother backing up hundreds of gigs worth of Steam games along with the rest of my data, since I can just redownload them at will at any time.

I'm curious as to what the supposed awful DRM is actually stopping you from doing, and (as was mentioned by others) whether you've actually used Steam in a long time - as best I can tell, the only reason you would really have to complain about (besides not being able to pirate the games, and even then you can find torrents) is having problems playing while offline. And even then it's far more likely to just be a glitch on your end or a temporary problem than some evil plot to steal your freedoms.

Re:Turkish Delight (Remember Narnia!) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36448630)

If there is a right way to do internet-enabled DRM, then Steam does it. If that's something you just can't accept, then I guess you can sit on the sideline and watch as far worse implementations creep into every non-Steam title. Just look at what Ubisoft tried a while ago.

And if you actually paid attention to games, you'd realize the "Free" games mentioned in this article are always-internet-enabled MMORPG "freemium" games. They already require you to be connected to the internet just to be able to play at all, and the insidiously try to nickel and dime you into paying more than you would in the traditional monthly MMO model just to "compete", or sometimes even "play the game" beyond the most basic level.

Re:Turkish Delight (Remember Narnia!) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36448764)

Oh, please.

Steam's DRM has been just enough to allow them to effectively sell the games, and they've turned the money right around and plowed it into upgraqdes, patches, and developlemnt. It doesn't interfere with other products, it supports detached play, it provides access to move your games to different systems or re-install them when desired without having to retain a stack of CD's or DVD's, they're constantly bringing in old games that I lost my media for years ago and have wanted to play again (such as X-Com).

They don't use rootkits, they don't interfere with other software by manipulating CD access, and the intrusion of hacks against multiplayer games has been very slight, and overall their minimal DRM has helped restrrain the script kiddies and "griefers" who often make multi-player games useless. They're also handling player accounts and player's credit card information to purchase services, so they do need ot apply some caution to prevent theft.

Steam is the poster child for how to do DRM correctly and safely.

Re:Turkish Delight (Remember Narnia!) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36449856)

i'm okay with this.jpg

Re:Turkish Delight (Remember Narnia!) (1)

Kingrames (858416) | more than 3 years ago | (#36450232)

I'm not seeing it.
Having Steam for these games (which are freely available elsewhere) is like putting all your tools in one toolbox.
But what if someone steals your toolbox?!?
Then you kill them and get your toolbox back.

Free to play doesnt mean free. (1)

Cyno01 (573917) | more than 3 years ago | (#36447276)

I really dont care for this business model, i dont like someone having an advantage over me in a game because they spent more money than me. Its one of the things i like about WoW, that everyone on pretty equal footing, they do have some microtransaction items, but theyre strictly vanity items and have no impact on game play. I also really like what valve has done with TF2, i think it strikes a good balance. Every item is balanced, so one is not necessarily advantageous over another in every situation, so if someone chooses to spend money on those items they dont have an unfair advantage, BUT, every item is also available for free via random drops or a crafting system if you invest enough time. Unfortunately most companies arent rich enough to not be greedy when it comes to this sort of thing...

Re:Free to play doesnt mean free. (2)

hitmark (640295) | more than 3 years ago | (#36447546)

Huh? So far the only real "advantage" i have seen in f2p mmo's are that you can pay to have your character get a percentage more xp for a while. Hell, ever so often they give those away for free. Basically you are balancing time vs money. If you have the time to grind your way to the top, you can do that. If not, then you can pull out your credit card and pick up the slack that way. At the end all characters have access to the same powers and items.

Re:Free to play doesnt mean free. (1)

Shrike82 (1471633) | more than 3 years ago | (#36448860)

You haven't seen very many MMOs then. Have a look at RuneScape as one of many MMOs where paying users are offered absolutely massively more than free players, in terms of map areas (F2P get about 20% or less), items (similar proportion), skills etc. Not that there's anythign wrong with that, it's just not accurate to state that free players don't get a lot less than subscribers.

Re:Free to play doesnt mean free. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36447676)

Its one of the things i like about WoW, that everyone on pretty equal footing

Yeah, they are all retards.

Re:Free to play doesnt mean free. (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 3 years ago | (#36448572)

I can only speak of LOTRO but the difference between not paying anything and paying is grind and extra constraints that require you be a really good manager of inventory / character slots. You could probably work through to the upper levels by shunning some zones, killing everything that walks in front of you, completing all the achievements (for points), not spending points on frivolous things, and continuing in this fashion all the way through. You wouldn't be disadvantaged vs someone of the same level. You'll just take longer to reach the top.

F2P MMO's (1)

mustPushCart (1871520) | more than 3 years ago | (#36447292)

Please note, these are not what GamersGate is doing which is an F2P for single player games that are ad supported:
http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2011/06/14/gamesgate-explain-freegames/ [rockpapershotgun.com]

This is regular F2P mmo's where the payoff for having people play for free is the community is bigger (small community and empty worlds can kill an mmo in a heartbeat). The games just seem to be promoted on steam now, not that much of a story to be honest.

But does it run on Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36447478)

No, it doesn't. :(

It Has To Be Said (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36447540)

Fuck Steam. Seriously.

do not see the point... (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 3 years ago | (#36447560)

all of the mentioned games can be installed and played without touching steam. And being mmo's they are updated as needed anyways. What do Steam bring to this?

Re:do not see the point... (1)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 3 years ago | (#36448696)

30 million active users who are already comfortable buying virtual goods on the internet on a regular basis?

Would you prefer they try to market their game with in-game purchases to grandmothers who are struggling to learn how to use email, and always pay in cash or check at Walmart?

Re:do not see the point... (1)

closetpsycho (1175221) | more than 3 years ago | (#36449020)

all of the mentioned games can be installed and played without touching steam. And being mmo's they are updated as needed anyways. What do Steam bring to this?

Steam brings additional awareness to these games. The biggest problem these games have is a limited player base due to fewer people being aware of them. Also, Steam brings the Steam Wallet. This allows for you to have microtransactions handled by a single, relatively well trusted company, rather than having to trust your credit card info to multiple smaller ones.

Re:do not see the point... (1)

DisKurzion (662299) | more than 3 years ago | (#36449756)

This allows for you to have microtransactions handled by a single, relatively well trusted company, rather than having to trust your credit card info to multiple smaller ones.

This x 1000. While there are risks in having your transactions handled by a central company (hello Sony!), they are mitigated by a few factors:

If you only have CC Info with 1 company instead of 10, you only have to worry about 1 company being hacked.
On average, 1 larger company will generally have better security auditing than 10 smaller ones...especially a company like Valve.
Steam allows you to purchase, but not save CC info to the account (providing a similar level of security as prepaid points cards on consoles).

Re:do not see the point... (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 3 years ago | (#36449890)

Steam brings the ability that, on the off chance you do decide to buy something in the game, you pay someone you (theoretically) already trust rather than a whole bunch of other entities.

The fact that you no longer have separate logins for these games is a plus, too... or at least you don't for Spiral Knights, the only one I've tried.

Least Disrupting DRM (1, Insightful)

Dudibob (1556875) | more than 3 years ago | (#36448192)

I don't understand some of the hate here for Steam, sure I use it and may be a little bias but it is the least most disruptive DRM, you can take your games to a different PC if you want (all you need is a login) and is so easy to join in games with friends if they are already in a game.

Re:Least Disrupting DRM (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 3 years ago | (#36448628)

The hate for steam most likely comes from the fact that Steam the service is tied to Steam the store. It's rapidly becoming a monopoly on the PC and that reflects in the stupid prices it commands for titles. If the two were split apart (e.g. you could buy & download Steam powered games through Amazon, Play, etc. etc.) I doubt anyone would care so much if it allowed proper competition.

Re:Least Disrupting DRM (1)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | more than 3 years ago | (#36448780)

If the two were split apart (e.g. you could buy & download Steam powered games through Amazon, Play, etc. etc.) I doubt anyone would care so much if it allowed proper competition.

Actually, you can often buy games from elsewhere and just supply the CD-key to Steam and from there on it'll work as if you had bought it from there. It seems to work mostly for the bigger games that are also available on Steam Store, the games that aren't available there obviously won't work, and I ran into one re-print of Mass Effect 1 that didn't work that way.

Re:Least Disrupting DRM (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 3 years ago | (#36449332)

That's physical games. I'm talking about download games. Amazon et al could sell Steam games from their own store paying Valve $2 to sign and package a game. User benefits from competition, vendors benefit from sales and Steam benefits from a steady revenue stream and defacto dominance of the platform.

But concerning physical, the very fact that you can purchase a physical title for 30% less than it is on steam including middleman's cut and P&P more or less highlights the point what a scam the store is. Even Portal 2 was cheaper by 30% than it was online.

This of course assumes electronic downloads were governed by the same rules of retail as physical products. Sadly they're not and I wish the EU would do something about it. In physical land the RRP / MSRP is advice, whereas the price sold electronically appears to be contractual with every major vendor more or less engaged in a price cartel through mutually assured destruction style clauses which means the publisher dictates the price and there is very little room for competition.

Re:Least Disrupting DRM (1)

Shrike82 (1471633) | more than 3 years ago | (#36448900)

You can buy games that use Steam in brick and mortar stores. You can purchase physical copies of games that use Steam through Amazon and Play etc. The only thing you can't do is buy digital copies of games from other stores, and that's simply a business decision made by Valve. The crux of it is this: if you think Valve are charging too much for games through their store then don't buy them, and drop them an e-mail to let them know.

Re:Least Disrupting DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36450230)

I bought Civ V from a non-steam store (for $10 less than steam was offering it). Given the result of that purchase was a license key and instructions to enter into steam that would seem to be a digital copy.

Re:Least Disrupting DRM (2)

Glothar (53068) | more than 3 years ago | (#36449398)

The hate for steam most likely comes from the fact that Steam the service is tied to Steam the store. It's rapidly becoming a monopoly on the PC and that reflects in the stupid prices it commands for titles.

Right. Why let knowledge and research ruin a good argument.

You do know that prices on Steam are set by the publisher not Valve, right? At best, Valve picks times for sales. They don't set prices. Want to complain about high prices? Throw those complaints at the publishers.

Re:Least Disrupting DRM (1)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | more than 3 years ago | (#36448810)

I personally really love Steam. It works great, and unlike other DRM schemes it actually gives advantages to you in return for not allowing you to sell your games. All other DRM schemes just restrict you without giving anything back. Tbh, the one single feature that I love the most is the fact that I never ever have to worry about losing my CDs or CD-keys or patch my games up or backups: they're always up-to-date and can be installed anywhere where there's Internet connection.

little love for Mac users? (1)

CongealedSalad (1001838) | more than 3 years ago | (#36448202)

Out of the 5 only 1 (spiral knights) is available for Mac.

Re:little love for Mac users? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36448732)

I'm a mac user and mac gaming sucks, even on my spankin' new quad core imac. I boot to windows just because of the huge performance boost I get using the same hardware. Until apple actually focuses on supporting gaming it's going to stay crappy. Microsoft, for all its faults, recognized this eons ago with directx.

Re:little love for Mac users? (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 3 years ago | (#36450034)

Microsoft, for all its faults, recognized this eons ago with directx.

There's a certain irony here, as from what I remember, DirectX was introduced to make it so you could run the same programs on Windows 95 and Windows NT4 without running into compatibility issues.

Then apparently Microsoft realized they weren't limited to just application stuff, and thus Direct3D was added in DirectX 2.0. Unfortunately, it was inferior to OpenGL until at least DirectX 6, which is likely why most games you run into don't support DirectX less than 7.

I'll pay! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36448456)

If I could get hold of a service which helps me keep Left 4 dead 2 running on Ubuntu between updates so I don't have to turn the world up side down in order to make it run again. Give me a price!

For what its worth... (3, Informative)

RanceJustice (2028040) | more than 3 years ago | (#36448674)

Here's a quick overview of the Steam announced titles.

Global Agenda: Free Agent - I've been playing this for quite some time, back since it was "boxed product" that was going to be a MMO. The devs then actually had the integrity to say "You know what, monthly subscriptions aren't right for this...so we're just not going to do them." That evolved into its current state where it is actually completely free, and you can pay a $20 ONE TIME fee to be upgraded to Elite Agent status on your account (anyone with a boxed copy of the game on their account is automatically Elite) which unlocks a number of things, including speedier XP and more loot. You can also pay for name changes or buy a "booster" which further gives you 2x XP and Loot, plus so many "free" tokens every day. Amazingly for a free game, to get the best in game gear you don't have to buy or pay for anything if you don't want to. Global Agenda plays well on Linux through the use of WINE, at least in my experience. Onto the gameplay itself, mix "Planetside" with "Guild Wars" and you get a MMOTPS/FPS that is actually really, really fun. There's a lot of content available, open world "questing" areas like any other MMO...but you have to use your FPS/TPS skills to take down that enemy you need for the quest. PvE content, PVP content, and Agency vs Agency combat in a meta-game for map control of various "Hexes" on a grid. If your agency (guild) say, owns a hex and have built a special building on it that provides resources, it can be attacked by another enemy agency - 15+ members of your team teleport to an in-game instance of that hex (with special building) and you fight against 15 of the attacking enemy etc... Crafting is more accessible than ever and there's a nice amount of customization. Out of all the "shooter MMOs", I think Global Agenda is one of the best. It may not have the scale of Planetside, but it has a nice "Guild Wars + Tribes" mix that's really unlike most of what's out there, polished to a nice shine. I buy boosters just to keep this business plan viable.

Champions Online: Free For All - Cryptic, the developers from the City of Heroes team, made this "sequel" if you will, to practice for their better known MMO, Star Trek Online. One thing Cryptic does better than most other MMO developers is to make you "feel" powerful. Blasting someone with a ice beam has a real "weight to it" and you feel "super" when you deploy your batman-style grappler to swing around the map. In Champions, Free "Silver" players have a wide variety of prefab archetypes that basically include a balanced set of powers along a fixed progression. If you want to mix and match core skills, you'll need the "Gold" subscription, which is like LOTRO/DDO in that it costs the standard MMO fee monthly. Gold also allows you free access to many of the "travel powers", which silver players can purchase individually if they wish. After selecting your character's powers, you can design a costume from what is likely THE most comprehensive costuming system in a MMO to date. If you want to be a hero with a tiny green head with pointy ears, a barrel chest, red hulk hands attached to robot arms, you can do that. Silver players have a lot of the content unlocked, but there will be some that need to be unlocked with a Cryptic Points (a RMT token). Those that don't want to spend anything can have a great experience and not "fall behind", provided they don't mind losing some access to certain costumes, travel powers and a couple of the Adventure Pack zones of the game. Unlike many, you can level to the cap easily in the zones available and without buying any XP-boosters. Its a good value for Silver players and has what you'd expect from a Super Hero MMO and many of the things you may not. Works in WINE on Linux, in my experience.

Spiral Knights - Anyone play "The Legend of Zelda: The Four Swords Adventure"? Spiral Knights, made by the Puzzle Pirates developer three rings (Amazingly, one of the only devs with the balls to create guild owned pirate ships that players can just work on/crew, instead of every pirate being a captain from the get go), plays a lot like a Legend of Zelda top-down title. Since its a Java game, it works perfectly on any and all platforms Java makes available. You create a Knight who is given basic gear and a tutorial of how the world works before you're sent off to the main town which is situated above the dungeons known as "clockworks". These dungeons have branching paths and between 50 and 100 levels - they seem to be procedurally generated with certain ones being open at certain times. Overall, you descend into the Clockworks and defeat enemies alone or with a group and come back with rewards in multiple forms of currency. These can be used to buy better items (takes a LOT of coins to buy compared to crafting) or make them yourself from crafting plans you've found and materials you've traded for or acquired. The deepest parts of the dungeons are locked to you without proper Tier equipment. You can also use your crystals to "turn in" to not-yet-open dungeons, which will open when enough materials have been turned in. Don't worry, you get tokens in return for doing this. The currency of the gameworld is "energy" and here is where things get tricky. Every 24 hours, your energy tank refills to 100 Energy for free. Most things in the game cost this energy, including descending into a dungeon level (usually costs 10). If you stick to basic gameplay, you can play for free. However, even buying things like an extra slot to carry another weapon or equip an accessory for 30 days costs more than your 100 energy tank can hold, so you'll need to buy. For what its worth, investing $5-10 worth of Crystal Energy does seem to go pretty far, depending on how long you play and what you do, and gives you the freedom to explore. Spiral Knights is a unique MMO with a nice aesthetic and easy accessibility due to its Java heritage, great fun to play, and if you don't mind putting forth a little cash every so often, you'll have a great time with a MMO gametype not readily available elsewhere.

Forsaken World - A beautiful, beautiful game in the vein of the traditional "Post-WoW Korean Grinder". Like many Korean MMOs, character design is amazing and the world is lush. Gameplay is pretty standard for a MMORPG. Classes are "race locked" in many cases. For instance, Dwarves and only Dwarves can be Marksmen, ranged damage dealing with steampunk weapons. It is also the only class available to the Dwarf! The large bruiser race's sole class is the Protector. Humans, Elves, and Kindred have a little wider class selection, for instance. The unique amongst these is "Kindred", beautiful "Castlevania series" inspired vampires. Though they can be Assassins and Mages like other races, they also have the exclusive Vampire class. The gameplay is fluid and a little more complex than most MMOs - I've noticed a trend of Post-WoW Korean games trying to stuff in everything under the sun, for instance the achievement system in this title, but it all appears a bit messy and overwhelming at times. For basic function, I have to say there is a nice tutorial for those new to MMO gameplay and there's even a quest tracker with an "auto-route" feature that you click on the name of the NPC you have to talk to and your character will start running towards them, nomatter where they are. The only downside I've found is that you are expected to spend money, and a fair bit of it. You're informed that when you reach level 20, you'll be given a mount...that lasts for 7 Days. If you want another mount, you'll have to "rent" one again. When I attempted to ask a question on the "world" channels I saw people speaking in, I was told I didn't have the item that would allow me to speak on that channel. All this stuff is par for the course for a Korean MMO, which isn't exactly "Pay to Win" but "Pay to Play in a method that isn't excruciatingly limited". I personally don't favor this piecemeal approach where you have to pay real money for a horse every 30 days (or pay what amounts to more than $15 for a mount, forever) and being nickled and dimed for every little feature, but much of the world doesn't share my view. I've not tried this title on Linux, but I expect it won't pose too much of a problem in WINE...IF its coded well.

Alliance of Valliant Arms - I've not played this title. It appears to be similar to WarRock and one of the many Korean then-CounterStrike now-Call of Duty clones, but with the same pricing scheme as listed in Forsaken World. You pay X amount to unlock access to X gun for 1, 7, or 30 days and in previous titles I've played, this causes a real imbalance between those who pay for the best guns and those who don't. Some games allow you to unlock them temporarily other ways, like winning matches though. I'll not comment further since I've not played, but just be wary that again you'll be expected to spend.

Hope this helps! Enjoy!

Re:For what its worth... (1)

DisKurzion (662299) | more than 3 years ago | (#36449796)

I give you all of my imaginary mod points.

Re:For what its worth... (1)

Remus Shepherd (32833) | more than 3 years ago | (#36449814)

Thank you, that list of quick reviews is *very* useful.

I tried Champions last night. I've been wary of the title because of the bad blood between it and my beloved City of Heroes, but I thought that if I didn't need to give Cryptic any money it couldn't hurt to get a taste of the game. My first impression is that it's not bad but it breaks immersion in all the wrong ways. There's too much complication in game mechanics that should be simple (the dizzying variety of equipment that doesn't seem to have any real effect, for example), and too much simplification where there should be depth (such as in combat, which is more button-mashing than strategy, at least so far in the low level game).

As far as it being free to play, they give you a lot of stuff for free. You get maybe half of the costume options available, and with a character creator as rich as theirs that's a lot. The big drawback is that you only get two character slots, and only one costume slot on each of them. In a game that encourages alt characters that's something you'd want to pay to improve.

Thanks to your review I think I'll try Global Agenda tonight.

Steam timed this rollout of free games just right. I was expecting to play Duke Nukem for most of the summer...but yeah, that's not gonna happen. Glad to have other options.

There's also alien swarm ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36449628)

... which is a free to play aliens vs marines coop playing game. The sdk is also freely available and there's been a community released map pack with over 40 community-made maps ( called the spring 2011 mappack). I highly recommend to check it out.

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