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Half-Life 2 Preloading from Steam

CowboyNeal posted about 10 years ago | from the chomping-at-the-bit dept.

First Person Shooters (Games) 534

Nos. writes "For those of us using Valve Software's Steam platform, we can now begin 'preloading' Half-Life 2. The article explains that this will download an encrypted version of the game that you can unlock when you purchase it. They only say that purchase options will be available soon."

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534 comments

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Don't bother trying (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10085329)

It's been pre-Slashdotted. You get an error saying their servers are already too busy doing preloads and to try again in a few hours. If you want to see the in-steam announcement though, go here [steampowered.com] .

Boo friggin yah! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10085386)

I just got it to start pre-loading despite failing during earlier attempts. I can't wait to start not playing it.

Re:Boo friggin yah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10085500)

i'm going to buy the game in a cardboard box so I have a tangible key to look at.

Encrypted? (-1, Redundant)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | about 10 years ago | (#10085333)

I click on "Read More" and all I see is "Nothing for you to see here. Please move along."

Do I need to unlock the encrypted story page?

Re:Encrypted? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10085404)

How is it redundant if it is the second post?

Re:Encrypted? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10085461)

Because it's not the first post?

TFC2 (4, Funny)

Redge (318694) | about 10 years ago | (#10085336)

As long as the Sniper rifle still has the red dot, I'll be happy!

Re:TFC2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10085511)

how about a big black "+" marks the spot!?

FP (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10085338)

GNAA / Google confirms: Linux is dying. GNAA / Google confirms: Linux is dying.
By GNAA Staff

Here you have it: it's official; Google confirms: Desktop Linux is dying.

Now, you might be thinking this is just another cut & paste troll based on the typical *BSD is dying bullshit.
It isn't.
As you might have know, your favorite search engine, Google [google.com] , has been running a little statistics service, called "Zeitgeist [google.com] ".
Since about a year ago, they started providing statistics of the operating systems used to access their search engine worldwide.
I will let the numbers speak for themselves:

Operating Systems Accessing Google in January 2002 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in March 2002 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in April 2002 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in May 2002 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in June 2002 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in July 2002 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in August 2002 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in September 2002 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in November 2002 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in December 2002 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in January 2003 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in February 2003 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in April 2003 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in May 2003 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in June 2003 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in July 2003 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in August 2003 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in September 2003 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in November 2003 [google.com]

If you've looked at even a few of these links, you don't need to be a Kreskin [amdest.com] to predict Desktop Linux's future. The hand writing is on the wall: Desktop Linux faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for Linux on Desktop because Linux is dying. Things are looking very bad for Linux on Desktop. As many of us are already aware, Linux on Desktop continues to lose market share. Red ink flows like a river of blood.

According to Google Zeitgeist [google.com] , there are about 80% of Internet Explorer 6 [microsoft.com] users. The only platform supporting Internet Explorer 6 is, of course, Microsoft Windows. These statistics are consistent with the earlier presented graphs of the operating systems used to access Google, with the Windows family consistently taking the top 3 ranks. Out of remaining 20%, the split is even between MSIE 5.5, MSIE 5.0, both Windows-only browsers. Netscape 5.x (including Mozilla) counts for only a measly 5% of browsers used to access Google. As you can see from the graph, this sample was calculated starting from March 2001 until September 2003.

Linux "leaders" will have you believe that Linux is gaining market share. However, according to Google [google.com] , "Linux" was never a top 10 search word at *any time* since Google began tracking search statistics. This can only mean one thing: Linux is dying.

All major surveys show that Linux on Desktop is something never meant to happen. Repeatedly, reputable organizations review Desktop Linux offerings, and consistently [osnews.com] give [com.com] it [com.com] unacceptable [yahoo.com] scores, compared to even Apple [apple.com] 's MacOS X [apple.com] , which is actually based on the "claimed to by dying long time ago" *BSD. If you paid attention to the operating systems used to access Google graphs earlier, you will notice that MacOS has consistently scored higher percentages than Linux. Infact, the obscure "other" category, which we assume is embedded systems, PDA's, cellular phones, etc, has at times ranked Higher [google.com] than even Mac OS - and of course, Linux.

In almost 2 years worth of statistics, Linux [linux.com] has NEVER outranked even such a truly "dying" OS as Mac OS, and infact, never raised above the 1% mark. When Windows XP [microsoft.com] was released, Google searches for Linux drastically decreased [google.com] . This clearly demonstrates that Linux on Desktop is, for all practical purposes, dead.

Fact: Desktop Linux is dead.

This commentary brought to you by a proud GNAA member.

If you have mod points and would like to support GNAA, please moderate this post up.
By moderating this post as "Underrated", you cannot be Meta-Moderated! Please consider this.

________________________________________________
| ______________________________________._a,____ |
| _______a_._______a_______aj#0s_____aWY!400.___ |
| __ad#7!!*P____a.d#0a____#!-_#0i___.#!__W#0#___ |
| _j#'_.00#,___4#dP_"#,__j#,__0#Wi___*00P!_"#L,_ |
| _"#ga#9!01___"#01__40,_"4Lj#!_4#g_________"01_ |
| ________"#,___*@`__-N#____`___-!^_____________ |
| _________#1__________?________________________ |
| _________j1___________________________________ |
| ____a,___jk_GAY_NIGGER_ASSOCIATION_OF_AMERICA_ |
| ____!4yaa#l___________________________________ |
| ______-"!^____________________________________ |
` _______________________________________________'

YOU FLAIR IT! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10085363)

To be the first post, you've got to beat the first post! WHOOOOOOOO!

WTF? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10085393)

How can you beat the first post? By its very definition, a first post cannot be beaten. Or is this one of those spiritual journeys? If that is the case then please jump in front of a bus, you faggot hippie.

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10085402)

No, if you intended to have first post, you needed to actually beat the current first post, which they did not.

Oh, ok. Thanks for clearing that up. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10085413)

I thought he was trying to be philosophical.

Re:FP (-1, Offtopic)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | about 10 years ago | (#10085383)

Looking at all of those pie charts proves nothing. Linux is 1% on EVERY one of those pie charts. How is that a loss? The only thing it proves is that linux has been steady at 1% This post is useless and off topic.

Re:FP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10085487)

WHAT jackie chan fan you do not understand (in japan, man) that lunix is DYXXORING, red ink flows like a river of blood, another failed corpse turned over to the charnel-house you SUN OF A BITCH MOTHER FUCKR

EAT A BAG OF HELL

Re:FP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10085530)

Google probably rounded the numbers up a bit to give Lunix a little bit of help.

Hrmmn (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10085340)

"You get Half-Life 2 yet?"

"Yup!"

"Boy, I can't wait til next year when we can play it"

Re:Hrmmn (1)

halowolf (692775) | about 10 years ago | (#10085415)

Now all thats needed is for them to announce the price for the online version. I mean surely they will knock a couple of dollars off for not having to ship a box with media in it to stores... :)

tick.... tick... tick.. tick.

Re:Hrmmn (4, Insightful)

eliza_effect (715148) | about 10 years ago | (#10085459)

Incidentally, I think there's a good chance that they won't knock off a few bucks for an online purchase. AFAIK the boxing/duping/printing outlay is done by the publisher and in the end is removed from the profits of the studio. I think Valve may see this as a very good way to make back what the publisher takes. I remeber Sierra not being to happy when plans for Steam were announced, and now it's obvious why.

Re:Hrmmn (2, Interesting)

halowolf (692775) | about 10 years ago | (#10085488)

Yes I very much expect this to be the case. However for once, for a major release, I won't have to be bothered with putting the CD in my drive when I wan't to play it. That will truely be refreshing, as will not having to wait for the box's to hit shelves in Australia. Though Doom 3 coming out on August 3rd was a nice suprise, take that Europe! :)

Re:Hrmmn (3, Informative)

eliza_effect (715148) | about 10 years ago | (#10085492)

Yeah, I've actually had very few problems with Steam. Few enough that I am going to pay-to-download instead of buy the box, in fact. All in all I think it's a good system, aside from getting overy busy at times like.. well, this.

Bloatware. (0, Flamebait)

uberdave (526529) | about 10 years ago | (#10085512)

You know you've got software bloat when you have to preload the game before it even hits the shelves.

Torrent... (3, Funny)

EvilCabbage (589836) | about 10 years ago | (#10085341)

... available in five, four, three, two....

Re:Torrent... (5, Informative)

Magila (138485) | about 10 years ago | (#10085427)

Re:Torrent... (5, Interesting)

Mazem (789015) | about 10 years ago | (#10085485)

Last year Bittorrent's creator Brahm Cohen was hired [ferrago.com] by Valve to improve Steam's content distribution system.

Also in terms of overloading servers, slashdot has nothing over the hordes of counter-strike players.

Re:Torrent... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10085497)

on it!

Hurry man, switch to a gun!!! (1, Redundant)

Guitar Wizard (775433) | about 10 years ago | (#10085342)

Is it just me or is the only real benefit to this "feature" the fact that you will not have to load as many installation files onto your computer (rather, you'll be using a key to unlock content)? Needless to say, I'm still very excited about Half Life 2. Let's just hope they don't try to add "suspense" to the game by only allowing your character to use a lamp OR a gun (ever hear of duct tape?)...

Re:Hurry man, switch to a gun!!! (2, Insightful)

WormholeFiend (674934) | about 10 years ago | (#10085398)

everyone knows that in the first iteration of HL, the gimmick was that your flashlight's batteries drained and you had to let them recharge once in a while.

didnt you play it?

I wonder..... (0, Flamebait)

thebroken (761356) | about 10 years ago | (#10085457)

Does it come with the source? ;)

To put it mildly... (2, Interesting)

Tuxedo Jack (648130) | about 10 years ago | (#10085344)

As if we didn't have enough problems getting Steam and the patches - they don't /. on their servers too!

And anyone who actually plays with Steam knows what I'm talking about.

yay (5, Funny)

Rotkiv (807314) | about 10 years ago | (#10085345)

I felt my heart jump, just from the word soon. A tear came to my eye too, but that's because my eyes hurt from staring at a monitor too long.

eh, this could be bad for Valve (5, Interesting)

rambo_command0 (807765) | about 10 years ago | (#10085346)

I wonder how long it will be till hackers find away to spoof half life 2's pre-loading authenticiation and users can play hl2 without actually buying it.

And a good thing, (1)

Bender Unit 22 (216955) | about 10 years ago | (#10085433)

if you compare it to Id's Doom 3 roll out.
After all the hype I think it is better to be able to provide it to everybody at one time.

Re:eh, this could be bad for Valve (-1, Troll)

DarkMantle (784415) | about 10 years ago | (#10085469)

First HL2 would have to be more then an urban legend, or fantasy tale if you will. I hope as much as the next guy that it's actually gonna come out some time before I die of old age (should be 45+ years.) However, considering how many time's release dates have been rumoured..... (I'll let you conclude that)

I wonder how long it will be till hackers find away to spoof half life 2's pre-loading authenticiation and users can play hl2 without actually buying it.

It'd be awfly hard to hack that garbage file they're sending on behalf of the RIAA to fill up hard drive space so that there is less room for MP3s on peoples computers.

You may now call me troll...

finding the key (5, Funny)

mikeymac (801110) | about 10 years ago | (#10085347)

Now if i could only find that damn ati coupon thing, *looks at desk*, shakes head.

Re:finding the key (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10085374)

You and everyone else I know have that same problem; I'm going to ripping apart my basement to find that damn card.

Re:finding the key (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10085381)

at least you got one. I was supposed to have received one with my ATI card but there wasn't one in there. Called newegg and the only thing they could do was offer to replace it. No advance rma option though and I couldn't be without my card.. Tried ATI and got no response to any emails and couldn't find a free number to call....I for one will enjoy using the hacked version that I'm rightfully due.

Re:finding the key (1)

Rotkiv (807314) | about 10 years ago | (#10085391)

I'M NOT ALONE!!!!

i compare my situation to being stranded on a desert island, miserable, then i find that someone else is here, and i'm still miserable.

Weird. (1)

dhakbar (783117) | about 10 years ago | (#10085348)

Interesting idea.

I can imagine myself appreciating this on the HL2 release date, being able to jump in and play immediately without making a trip to the store.

Bah, Steam (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10085349)

I stopped playing CS when Valve force-fed their DRM, buggy, memory-intensive heaping pile of poo they call "steam" onto their userbase.

With Doom 3 who needs them!

Re:Bah, Steam (4, Funny)

nuclear305 (674185) | about 10 years ago | (#10085392)

Don't you mean STEAMing pile of poo?

Just wait (1)

screwedcork (801471) | about 10 years ago | (#10085351)

You just KNOW someone's gonna figure out how to crack this encryption within a couple days

Re:Just wait (5, Funny)

techsoldaten (309296) | about 10 years ago | (#10085519)

Already on it.

I got the game to boot using a kernel debugger and a little trial and error. SoftICE revealed the installer makes a call to something in _vis.dll, which in turn checks to see if hl2_acf.nfo exists within the steam install directory.

Decompiled _vis.dll with DisC, replaced the function call to a new function that always returns true. Recompiled _vis with Visual C++, nogo, then tried with Borland and the game booted.

Posting a crack tonight.

M

---
Always read sigs for important words like syyyyke.

QCrack.exe (5, Interesting)

jwlidtnet (453355) | about 10 years ago | (#10085354)

Interesting...does anybody here remember the a vaguely-similar route taken with id for the Quake shareware release? An encypted version of that game (and essentially every past Id game) was on the shareware CD, and could be unlocked when purchased. And then along came QCrack.

Valve's distribution idea is interesting, but I hope for their sake that the security's very strong, requiring all sorts of authorizations and whatnots. If not, Doom III's slightly-premature leaking to the internet might seem like a far more ideal scenario than a Valve-aided distribution of compromised content.

Re:QCrack.exe (5, Interesting)

Spezzer (101371) | about 10 years ago | (#10085400)

The pre-load most likely does not include core game files like the executable, just the static libraries of models, maps, textures, etc that will not change until the game's release. When the game is 'released,' Steam will probably just download the rest of core game files (which should be a relatively small download), and then will launch the game.

It seems like the only danger of breaking the encryption is getting access to files that may spoil the plot, but I've heard there's already a file out there that does that.

Re:QCrack.exe (1)

timeOday (582209) | about 10 years ago | (#10085416)

Valve's distribution idea is interesting, but I hope for their sake that the security's very strong, requiring all sorts of authorizations and whatnots.
Aren't cracked versions of all games available via p2p anyways, for people willing to go that route? If this game is somehow "uncrackable," it would be a first. Even if the game is cracked, limiting official distribution to CD or DVD wouldn't change a thing.

Re:QCrack.exe (1)

halowolf (692775) | about 10 years ago | (#10085443)

Considering that the entire product is software based and in the users possession, the term "uncrackable" becomes relative. I would imagine that the "online" experience could very readily be crippled without properly registered software but the "offline" experience could most probably be very playable.

Until of course cracked servers exist for the cracked clients and then all bets are off.

Re:QCrack.exe (0, Redundant)

timeOday (582209) | about 10 years ago | (#10085516)

Again, my point is that it doesn't matter if the downloaded version is cracked. If the game were only officially available on CD/DVD, it would still be cracked and distributed online. The only difference is whether to save on distribution costs for paying customers.

Re:QCrack.exe (5, Insightful)

Xepo (69222) | about 10 years ago | (#10085505)

I dunno what everyone's worried about. I mean, it says encryption...not like, product key and verification crap. If Valve was actually worried about it, then they would have put some 128-bit, maybe even 256-bit single-key encryption in there, stuff which would never feasibly be broken. Now of course, that assumes the scheme only has one working key, which if they did do it like a product key thing, wouldn't work.

But, at least, if I was valve...encrypt a seperate copy for each player, with an id to identify which key valve needs to give that player when they buy the game. ::shrug:: Practically unbreakable. I don't know if that's feasible under steam either, but my point is that all it takes is some easily found strong encryption (gnupg stuff, even) to make this practically uncrackable until the game is released.

Re:QCrack.exe (1)

KB1GHC (800065) | about 10 years ago | (#10085521)

well, i remember back in about 1996-1997 DOOM2's CD came with quake and a few other games on it, you call up ID software, give them your credit card number, they send you back a little code, you typed it in, and you had quake, and you didn't even need to leave your house!

i think it was quake, it might have been another ID game, i have a bad memory.

but, i'm sure somebody hacked that.

10 minutes later.... (-1, Redundant)

servognome (738846) | about 10 years ago | (#10085355)

Half Life 2 encryption has been hacked and is now available for P2P downloads

Hmmm. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10085356)

I don't know. Even though I know I am going to buy this game, I prefer to have a "hard" copy on CD-ROM (this goes for audio CDs and DVDs, as well). Also, I don't like the idea of a system that pushes things onto my hard drive. If I want something, I'll pull it in myself, thank you very much. Pushing this onto hard drives is just asking for someone to break the encryption.

Re:Hmmm. (1)

dhakbar (783117) | about 10 years ago | (#10085378)

Having a hard copy of a game which is going to be popular for its multiplayer mods is much less important than having a hard copy of a game that is primarily single player.

If I play online, I have very little reason not to take advantage of game content distributed online.

Re:Hmmm. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10085440)

That's true in a perfect world, but what happens if "they" (whoever "they" are) decide to lock you out of the content? It is very hard to fool the master server(s) for modern multiplayer PC games, and the content would probably remain encrypted. At least with physical media, you could play the single player game if you got locked out of multiplayer.

Steam.... (-1, Troll)

jhoegl (638955) | about 10 years ago | (#10085358)

This steam crap really irks me. Why the crap do we have to pay for a game, then, to be able to play it online we have to pay a monthly fee? Just another way to try and gouge the consumer...

Re:Steam.... (4, Informative)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | about 10 years ago | (#10085367)

Steam is free. I use it to play the version of cstrike that came with my platnum Half Life pack I got a few years back.

Re:Steam.... (1)

Coneasfast (690509) | about 10 years ago | (#10085407)

steam IS free, you don't need even your cd, only your cd key. you can even download opposing force expansion for free (which was once a retail item)

problem is you need to connect (at least on the first time) to play/update it.

Re:Steam.... (3, Informative)

doofsmack (537722) | about 10 years ago | (#10085385)

Steam doesn't charge a monthly fee.

Re:Steam.... (3, Informative)

McKinney83 (687821) | about 10 years ago | (#10085390)

Steam is and always has been free.. plus it updates itself without me having to wait in one of those filefront.com download lines.

Re:Steam.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10085417)

Steam is irrelevant, you can play the games online without steam. FSCK STEAM and that whole type of system.

Diablo 2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10085414)

Because games like Diablo 2 makes such a huge profit for Blizzard right now.

Thats fine.... (3, Insightful)

cr0y (670718) | about 10 years ago | (#10085359)

Well if you can 'pre-load' HL2, Wouldnt that suggest that it is totally done? Unless you are just downloading libraries and such. This sounds promising, But what on earth is Valve waiting for?

Re:Thats fine.... (4, Interesting)

Radish03 (248960) | about 10 years ago | (#10085442)

what on earth is Valve waiting for?

Fixing bugs as many little bugs as they can, especially in level design I believe. They've said its very close to being complete, it's just being playtested to death at the moment.

Re:Thats fine.... (2, Informative)

eliza_effect (715148) | about 10 years ago | (#10085482)

There are also some engine tweaks that need to be done, both from Vavle's side and from ATI's side. ATI cards aren't functioning at their best at the moment. I assume the last thing download when your purchase it will be the executable and some key engine files.

Yeah, except.. (1)

doofsmack (537722) | about 10 years ago | (#10085362)

Preloading - Error
The Steam servers are currently too busy to handle any more preloads of Half-Life 2.
Please try again in a few hours
[OK]

Its an evil plot.. (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10085364)

How can we delay HL2 again?

Lets release it with a fancy encryption scheme, when someone cracks it, we'll pull the shame-shame bs, sue some 'hackers' and the push back will 'teach everyone a lesson'.

Give me a break

Hexen (1)

Zorilla (791636) | about 10 years ago | (#10085368)

I remember something along the lines of a shareware version of Quake being released that could be unlocked to be the full version. Naturally, a crack was found for it. I think timing is everything for Half-Life 2, as the time window to do this is small before a potential crack.

Also, if you can "preload" the game, does that mean the game is finished and there's a product availible in theory?

Re:Hexen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10085387)

Oops, forgot the change the headline. When I started typing, I thought it was Hexen that had this "locked" shareware version and ended up leaving the headline alone.

-Zorilla

Re:Hexen (1)

oneiron (716313) | about 10 years ago | (#10085520)

I was so sad when I lost my copy of that unlockable Quake CD.

Already flooded, but....... (4, Insightful)

MightyPez (734706) | about 10 years ago | (#10085369)

The download servers are already at max capacity, but I have a little hypothesis. Since Half-Life 2 is such an anticipated game, and since everyone and their cousins will be downloading it, Valve realized this will cost entirely too much in bandwidth, especialy on days like today. To compensate, they set a user/bandwidth limit.

What will happen is this. Currently, Steam acts as a peer to peer hub (remmeber Valve hiring Bram Cohen, Mr. Bit Torrent?). Anyone with a sizeable LAN Cafe will know this because empty chairs with a copy of Steam running kills their bandwidth. Once people have the preload completely downloaded, they will begin uploading it and add more bandwidth to the mix. The more people that have it, the more it becomes available. I get the feeling LAN Cafes get a little more sway in terms of firsties since they generally have better connections than Counter-Strike junkies at home.

Not that getting the pre-load at this point is a necessity. There will be waves of preloads with content. This first one just being some static art that won't be changed, like textures, voices, and some models.

Re:Already flooded, but....... (3, Insightful)

asdfghjklqwertyuiop (649296) | about 10 years ago | (#10085499)


Currently, Steam acts as a peer to peer hub


No, currently Steam acts as a worthless piece of crap which makes it impractical to play the latest counterstrike at an offline LAN party since you can't just download a specific version when you want.

It also forces you to spend 20-30 seconds each time you connect to a game server to download a 'security module' to prevent cheating. Needless to say, counter-strike is full of cheaters once again despite this security module garbage. However at the rate Valve is screwing up HL/CS, they won't have to worry about cheaters in the future anyway because it will not be worth anyone's time to play their games.

Good work Valve.

Re:Already flooded, but....... (1)

Torgo's Pizza (547926) | about 10 years ago | (#10085501)

Great! When can I expect Valve to pay me for performing this service without my consent?

Anybody Remember the Quake Promo CD? (1)

Monkelectric (546685) | about 10 years ago | (#10085370)

Back in the mid 90's, when Quake came out they had a CD that had EVERY ID product on it (and demos of them). And you could unlock it?

Took a few weeks to crack it, then we had every ID product for free (tuff to download on a modem) for the cost of a 5$ demo cd.

Re:Anybody Remember the Quake Promo CD? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10085471)

I don't remember it having every id product, but it did have the full version of quake. Best $5 I ever spent.

The big internet blackout (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10085373)

So this will be the cause of the big internet blackout, not cyber-terrorist but gamers downloading HL2. :-D
I knew it when Valve delayed the preload.

How long before.... (1, Redundant)

tiny69 (34486) | about 10 years ago | (#10085380)

... someone breaks the encryption or guesses the correct key? Since they will probably allow for seperate keys for each person who purchases a key, the number of valid keys should be fairly large.

Re:How long before.... (1)

shird (566377) | about 10 years ago | (#10085418)

While this thought was the first thing to come to mind for me, and probably lots of other people, I dont think its such a huge deal. It requires you to download a copy of the game, and illegally unlock it. Its not really any different to getting a cracked copy from p2p.

And id imagine everyone gets a uniquely encrypted version with a different public key, and they give you that public key. You quote the public key to valve/steam whatever, and they give you the private key.

So it actually prevents piracy a little bit, as people would download this encrypted version - realise they cant crack it without paying - then choose to just pay for the key rather than download a cracked copy and waste bandwidth and time.

Re:How long before.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10085506)

And id imagine everyone gets a uniquely encrypted version with a different public key, and they give you that public key.

I would imagine they dont since the overhead for such an activity would be just slightly insane.

Re:How long before.... (1)

shird (566377) | about 10 years ago | (#10085524)

Why is that? https uses uniquely encrypted channels on each connection. Theres overhead sure, but I wouldnt call it 'insane'.

dangerous distribution (2, Insightful)

Paralizer (792155) | about 10 years ago | (#10085382)

This sounds dangerous. It's only a matter of time before someone cracks the encryption rendering Valve the medium by which pirates obtain an illegal copy of the game.

We all know how [i]efficient[/i] Valve is in their security endeavors, ha.

Ummm. (1)

j0nkatz (315168) | about 10 years ago | (#10085397)

Valve sucks. Get over it.
Next story please.

Pre-Releasing DnD Games (4, Insightful)

Landaras (159892) | about 10 years ago | (#10085403)

OK, this isn't on Half-Life 2, but it is on the concept of pre-loading / pre-releasing aspects of a game.

One thing I've never understood is why the publishers of highly anticipated role-playing games (I'm thinking Baldur's Gate and NeverWinter Nights here) don't pre-release the character generator.

By the time a specific release date has been set, the character formats should be firmly decided. Allowing players (or potential players!) to pre-create their characters is only going to create buzz and give people a reason to want to put those characters to use. It's a realizable benefit for the publisher without a significant financial cost.

But alas, I have never seen this happen.

- Neil Wehneman

I've got the Asus 9800 CD key for this game... (1)

today (27810) | about 10 years ago | (#10085411)

...now what? It is pre-loading right now very slowly, but am going to be able to play it once it is downloaded since I already registered this key with Steam?

More Valve Bullshit. (0, Flamebait)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | about 10 years ago | (#10085412)

I'm tired of Valve. Half Life 2 was to be released september 30 2003. Valve was conviently hacked and their flagship product was revealed to be a fraud. The game was less than 15% complete as of their anounced release date of sept 30, 2003. Valve continues to publish little tidbits to remind us that they're alive. Tidbits such as pushing back the releaste date again and again. So preload their game. I hope its worth the amount of bullshit everyone has put up with from valve. It better be good Gabe, you lying fuck :)

Re:More Valve Bullshit. (5, Funny)

ftgow (791708) | about 10 years ago | (#10085467)

Word up dude. Valve makes one game 6 years ago, and now is somehow living (leeching) on the mod community for more content to their aging quake 1 engine. Fuck them, fuck them up their stupid asses.

Re:More Valve Bullshit. (2, Interesting)

Nermal6693 (622898) | about 10 years ago | (#10085483)

I also have difficulty believing the status of HL2. Last I heard, which was a couple of months ago, HL2 was officially 'dead in the water' because they couldn't find a publisher for it. Are they self-publishing now or something? Presumably Steam would facilitate this.

Haha, mod parent up +5 Funny! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10085522)

Do you seriously think that nobody would be willing to publish the sequel to one of the best selling and top-rated games of all time?

John: Hi, Bob. I don't like making money. What should I do?
Bob: Whatever you do, don't distribute Half-Life 2!

Sure is nice of them... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10085437)

to cut out the middle man (bittorrent) and just download it direct. I'm guessing there will be a crack for it in less than a week or two after it's totally released.

Re:Sure is nice of them... (1)

sqrt(2) (786011) | about 10 years ago | (#10085490)

Probably closer to a week before it's released.

For those spectulating... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10085441)

About being able to play if you could crack the encryption of the GCF you should know that it doesn't contain the things necessary to play the game. According to Valve it only has textures, sounds and other art that won't be changing from now to the time the game is released. That being said, I hope it's not too long before that encryption is broken as I'm looking foward to a sneak peek of what the game could look like. :)

Re:For those spectulating... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10085480)

Ummm, then HOW in the WORLD are we playing the new counterstrike based on the HL2 engine?! So if the engine is there, and then we get textures, sounds etc.....I think we can punk!:)

haha (4, Funny)

josh crawley (537561) | about 10 years ago | (#10085465)

Maybe if they used that encryption before they wouldn't have got their source code stolen... ZING!

Have they fixed the keys? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10085475)

If they haven't fixed the ease in which their keys were cracked is this even worth it? I cannot play my game online because somebody generated the same key as mine using one of the freely available online key generators. What good is it if you go out and buy a game and then you can't play it because of a crappy encryption algorithm?

So I'll ask again... Have they improved this? I'll stick to Doom 3 and wait for the mods until they have...

Waitaminute (1)

FractusMan (711004) | about 10 years ago | (#10085478)

If it's preloading, I'm going to assume HalfLife is going to be... what? Two gigs? More or less? What about the people who don't buy it, but have other Steam products? Wouldn't this just waste a full 2 gigs of space on their HD?

Re:Waitaminute (2, Informative)

eliza_effect (715148) | about 10 years ago | (#10085509)

You have to actively select "Pre-load this game" from the Steam Games menu. It won't do it by itself. You can, though, have Steam "keep this game up to date" if you have a game already downloaded, in which case it will update itself in the background.

Amount of protection schemes -VS- working ones (1)

sqrt(2) (786011) | about 10 years ago | (#10085481)

How many protection schemes do you remember that worked (never been cracked)? This could be potentially very dangerous for VALVe, I expect to see HL2 available for download before it hits the stores, just like D3, only this time it will be a <10mb crack, and much easier to obtain.

Torture (5, Funny)

thebroken (761356) | about 10 years ago | (#10085491)

Valve should get the war for The Game Company That Managed To Torture Its Fans By Having Code Stolen, More Release Dates Than Jerry Seinfeld Had GirlFriends, Leaked The Plot, And Gave You A Game You Could Download But Not Play Until They Let You Award. Wonder what the award would look like...probaly a figure of Duke Nukem.

Anybody remember the Quake I shareware disc? (4, Funny)

venomkid (624425) | about 10 years ago | (#10085498)

Has anybody *ever* been gotten away with distributing encrypted files without somebody cracking it?

It's like giving the entire geek world a good, hard puzzle with an irresistable payoff.

Re:Anybody remember the Quake I shareware disc? (1)

sqrt(2) (786011) | about 10 years ago | (#10085526)

Exactly, there's no shortage of incentive to get people to try and crack it, and think of the fame the person/group would get for cracking Hl2.

steam = SUCKS (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10085515)

The only reason Valve is getting away with this steam crap is because of Counter-Strike. They've made it so you MUST download Steam in order to play CS because they shutdown WON last month. Any other game in the world and the gamers would have said "fuck you Valve", but becuause it's CS we have to put up with it.

I don't want to run your crappy Stream POS in the background all the time. I don't want to be required to play the newest version all the time. I want to be able to play the game I BOUGHT on a LAN without authenticating over the net. I JUST WANT TO PLAY THE GODDAMN GAME I BOUGHT. But Valve can't let me do that, they have to push their crap on me. Valve, you can suck my dick you bitches.
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