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Pre-Order Valve Games Via Steam Next Week, Enter the TF2 Beta

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the time-of-a-million-games-is-upon-us dept.

PC Games (Games) 141

The British Gaming Blog notes that the Orange Box (Half-Life 2, Half-Life 2: Episode 1, Half-Life 2: Episode 2, Portal, and Team Fortress 2) will be available for pre-order via Steam starting next week. What's more, ordering the games via Steam will give you access to an advance Beta test of Team Fortress 2. "The Orange Box contains Half Life 2, Episodes 1 and 2, Portal and Team Fortress 2; you'll have to purchase the entire package to receive the Beta. Valve recommends giving the extra codes for Half Life 2 and Episode 1 (if you already own them) to someone who's been missing out. Not explained on the actual pre-purchase page is an added bonus for early adopters, Peggle Extreme; a special edition of Popcap's Peggle featuring new challenges and Orange Box related artwork." Apparently current HL2 fans will miss out on the Beta ... because we've already paid them money.

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141 comments

Oh, come on now... (4, Insightful)

Gothic_Walrus (692125) | more than 6 years ago | (#20559923)

Apparently current HL2 fans will miss out on the Beta ... because we've already paid them money.

There's no possible way that the beta could support everybody who bought Half-Life 2, or even the fraction of that number that'd be interested in it. Given that you bought and played the game (ages ago, most likely) and I would assume enjoyed it in the process, I'm not sure what there is to get upset about. If you bought the game three years ago at launch, then I don't see why Valve owes you anything after this much time has passed.

Re:Oh, come on now... (4, Insightful)

Nos. (179609) | more than 6 years ago | (#20560159)

Since when do you offer support to beta testers, other than typically informal, forum type support? That's all I would expect from this. As far as allowing people to beta test, why not? Other than the forums may get overwhelmed with posts if there are issues. Its not like Valve will be the only ones running servers.

What I'm upset about, is that as a loyal Valve customer for years, I'm actually being treated worse than someone who has never owned the game before.

Re:Oh, come on now... (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 6 years ago | (#20560485)

Please buy it and send me the codes as they suggest.

Then nothing is wasted.

Re:Oh, come on now... (1)

Thansal (999464) | more than 6 years ago | (#20561157)

exactly.

I prordered HL2, and EP1 and now the orange box.

Sure, I am sorta miffed that the black box is not offered on Steam, but what ever, the Orange box is still cheaper then EP2/Portal/TF2. so my GF gets her own copies of HL2 and EP1 (now I can get her to play Zombie master with me :P)

Don't Forget to preload TF2 (1)

Thansal (999464) | more than 6 years ago | (#20561201)

Bah, I forgot to add:
Any one else preordering:
make sure you set TF2 to Preload NOW so that you are all set up in time for the beta (even if you tick off all of the games to install they don't install any of them, so you have to manually tell it to install peggle extreme and TF2)

Re:Oh, come on now... (1)

Babbster (107076) | more than 6 years ago | (#20562509)

Sure, I am sorta miffed that the black box is not offered on Steam, but what ever, the Orange box is still cheaper then EP2/Portal/TF2.


Well, gee, I wonder how that happened! Such a shockingly great deal that one can't help but wonder why the damn things aren't $10 a piece in the first place...

Re:Oh, come on now... (1)

Thansal (999464) | more than 6 years ago | (#20562611)

b/c they are worth more then $10 a pop?

EP2 is worth at least $20, and might actually be worth the $30 they are charging (supposedly it is much longer then EP1, and I was content with $20 for EP1). TF2 I am content with a $30 price tag, and I am (probably) content with a $20 price tag for Portal (depending on how long it is).

All in all, I will probably get much more play time out of this then I did out of BioShock (And I am also content with the $50 spent on BS). Especially with the amount of time I spend playing mods with my GF.

Re:Oh, come on now... (1)

Babbster (107076) | more than 6 years ago | (#20562977)

Well, bully for you. Me, I'll pay no more than $20 for online delivery of an expansion pack and no more than $40 for online delivery of a full game. Considering how much Valve and company save by not having to produce the physical package and pay retailers to sell it, I don't think that's unreasonable. If it means I have to wait a bit to get in on the fun, well, that's not a crisis either. I've been obsessing over World of Warcraft lately so I'll hardly notice the TF2 gap in my life..."hardly" being the operative word since it looks awesome. :)

Re:Oh, come on now... (1)

TheSpengo (1148351) | more than 6 years ago | (#20563707)

Haha, same here. Sucks the black box got nuked, but my gf did want a copy of hl2. Guess this would be a good time! See you in the beta...

Re:Oh, come on now... (5, Insightful)

Novotny (718987) | more than 6 years ago | (#20560785)

Typical Slashdot whining. I may not have a lot of karma to burn but I'll explain why you're making no sense.

You get into the beta for buying three new games for the price of one, these being Episode 3, Portal & Team Fortress 2. It just so happens they're bucking in the original HL2 and Episode One (both of which I paid for) as well. So that's actually 5 great games for the price of one. Yes, that's right. The Orange box is priced comparably to any singular title also in the market.

And typically, you guys whine because you bought HL2. One of these five titles. Whine whine! We want the last three years of development work for free! This from an Editor too.

Er, no. I'm so with Valve on this one. And I don't give a damn if I come over like a fanboi or you all burn me at the stake for heresy.

Re:Oh, come on now... (-1, Flamebait)

CogDissident (951207) | more than 6 years ago | (#20561283)

episode 2 is nowhere near a "new game". teamfortress was origonally a free mod, which became pay-to-play. and portal is just a new set of skins on halflife with a bit of storyline. And if I want to pay 50$ for a game with one new gun, I'll buy the newest tom-clancy game.

Re:Oh, come on now... (2, Insightful)

Novotny (718987) | more than 6 years ago | (#20562715)

Oh I know he's a troll, but I'll bite.

Episode 2 brings a lot of new tech to the series and has been in development for quite some time. It is a new title. It is made by some of the most talented people in the industry. It will, most likely, be very good.

Team Fortress 2 is extremely exciting to people who like fps online or who enjoyed the original (I didn't like the original much, but that's a different story). You clearly know absolutely nothing about it.

And as for 'Portal is just a new set of skins on half-life with a bit of storyline' - now we know you really are just making this up to annoy people.

'if I want to pay 50$ for a game with one new gun' - is it just the banging noise guns make in game that you appreciate? Sounds right about your intellectual level.

Re:Oh, come on now... (3, Informative)

Ford Prefect (8777) | more than 6 years ago | (#20562961)

Episode 2 brings a lot of new tech to the series and has been in development for quite some time. It is a new title. It is made by some of the most talented people in the industry. It will, most likely, be very good.

I've played it right the way through, and it's gameplay-wise much-much-longer than Episode One, and content-wise much-much-more of a new game. Fractionally, if Episode One was Half-Life 2.1, Episode Two would be Half-Life 2.5 or something like that. Maybe Episode Three will take it all the way up to Half-Life 3.0?

Team Fortress 2 is extremely exciting to people who like fps online or who enjoyed the original (I didn't like the original much, but that's a different story). You clearly know absolutely nothing about it.

TF2 shares rough player class types, some gameplay concepts and some map layouts with, say, TFC - but otherwise it's a whole new product. It's a very different game!

And as for 'Portal is just a new set of skins on half-life with a bit of storyline' - now we know you really are just making this up to annoy people.

I'd say it was the best puzzle-oriented FPS I've ever played, but come to think of it, I can't actually think of too many puzzle-oriented FPSes. And the 'S' is a bit dubious anyway, as I can't remember much shooting...

But I do remember cake, yes.

Re:Oh, come on now... (1)

Novotny (718987) | more than 6 years ago | (#20563333)

I really enjoyed Minerva btw, nice to see you post :) But what are you doing posting here? Go make more levels! ;)

Re:Oh, come on now... (1)

theantipop (803016) | more than 6 years ago | (#20561309)

Perhaps you were not aware but Valve originally planned to offer a "Black Box" with the same content, mines the two older titles, for $10 less. This offering was canceled because retailers didn't like the idea which is perfectly reasonable in my opinion.

But digital distribution is supposed to be the answer to this conundrum. Valve wanted to save their loyal customers a few bucks but apparently ditched the whole idea because they couldn't have parity between their retail and online offerings. I'll probably buy the Orange Box anyway because I have been a sucker for TF everything for almost a decade and want in this beta, but it still shows a side to Valve I don't particularly endorse.

Re:Oh, come on now... (1)

j.sanchez1 (1030764) | more than 6 years ago | (#20561415)

Perhaps you were not aware but Valve originally planned to offer a "Black Box" with the same content, mines the two older titles, for $10 less. This offering was canceled because retailers didn't like the idea which is perfectly reasonable in my opinion.

But digital distribution is supposed to be the answer to this conundrum.


Valve has never said they wouldn't offer the Black Box on Steam. If it bothers you that much, why not wait and see if they do release it? Maybe they are only allowing pre-orders on one box set at a time.

Re:Oh, come on now... (1)

Pluvius (734915) | more than 6 years ago | (#20561805)

Valve's loyal customers shouldn't have to wait for the people just joining in. If anything, it should be the other way around. Besides, if it turns out that there will be no better packages, then you'll just end up missing out on the $5 discount and the bonus Popcap game on top of everything else.

Rob

Re:Oh, come on now... (2, Informative)

Ford Prefect (8777) | more than 6 years ago | (#20562831)

Valve has never said they wouldn't offer the Black Box on Steam. If it bothers you that much, why not wait and see if they do release it? Maybe they are only allowing pre-orders on one box set at a time.

When I was at Valve in June [hylobatidae.org] , I asked about the dropping of the Black Box at retail. Apparently the standalone Episode One wasn't welcomed by retailers since, despite having high-level production values, it was effectively at a budget price - and thus was treated accordingly.

The great-big-bumper-Orange-Box is basically a compilation to bring it into full-price game territory, so retailers should be a bit more generous with regard to shelf-space, promotional material and so on.

I got the impression that the Black Box's non-appearance at retail is partly because of that, and also perhaps so that Valve can effectively undercut retail prices on Steam - I'm not sure how the games might be split up, or even if they will be - but I imagine it could be a fair bit cheaper buying just a few sections of the Orange Box that way. Plus, outside of Valve, I've read stories of retailers essentially forcing Steam prices to be as high as they are - essentially saying that if Valve sells it more cheaply online, the stores won't stock the boxed games at all...

I'd wait a week or two before writing off the Black Box (or equivalents) entirely, anyway. But perhaps this is an attempt at viral marketing of the Half-Life 2 series? Give gamers a load of unused product keys, and let 'em give em to friends who haven't played them yet...

Re:Oh, come on now... (2, Insightful)

Deadbolt (102078) | more than 6 years ago | (#20561195)

You're being retarded. For $45 (counting the $5 off preorder), you get Episode 2, Portal, and TF2. That's, say, 15 hours of single-player game and god knows how many hours of TF2 (at least 24 over the life of the game). Plus they throw in a 10-level Peggle, which is actually pretty damn fun and is even more awesome for being free. $45 for all that is a hell of a value, especially since Bioshock costs $50 for 10 hours of single-player. (Really awesome single-player, yes, but kinda short, and no multiplayer at all.)

And you get a free HL2 and Episode 1 to give to someone.

How is Valve screwing you again?

(Disclaimer: I just ordered it a few minutes ago and am thrilled.)

Re:Oh, come on now... (1)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 6 years ago | (#20561801)

Soft and gently, apparently. Like date rape.

Re:Oh, come on now... (1)

Nos. (179609) | more than 6 years ago | (#20562073)

Yeah, because its wrong to think that as a loyal customer for years, I could actually expect something more than someone just walking in the door, so to speak. Don't get me wrong, the price is not the issue, and they could arbitrarily set the individual prices to anything anyways. The point is, a new customer is getting more benefit than an existing customer (that being HL2 and Ep1). I already have HL2, so giving a gift to give away, really isn't any value to me. I'd rather have seen a $5 or $10 off for people who already have those products.

Re:Oh, come on now... (1)

Stele (9443) | more than 6 years ago | (#20561469)

What I'm upset about, is that as a loyal Valve customer for years, I'm actually being treated worse than someone who has never owned the game before.

Kind of like a loyal Apple customer, who buys a new iPod every year, a new Mac every three years, and an OS upgrade very 18 months.

What bugs me is their "episodes" seem to take as long to make as full-blown games do, and one third the time to play them!

Re:Oh, come on now... (1)

kindbud (90044) | more than 6 years ago | (#20564111)

What I'm upset about, is that as a loyal Valve customer for years, I'm actually being treated worse than someone who has never owned the game before.

Don't worry, I'm still not buying their Stream-powered crap. Not until it gets into the $9.99 bargain bin. That's a fee more appropriate for software rental, which is what Steam/HL2 really is.

Re:Oh, come on now... (1)

aarmenaa (712174) | more than 6 years ago | (#20560747)

I believe may stem from the fact that the Orange Box is going to include the original Half-Life 2 and Episode One (as well as TF2, Portal, and Episode 2), and is currently the only package I see available on Steam. Well, being the loyal fan I am, I already purchased Half-Life 2 and Episode One - I would really prefer a cheaper package that didn't include stuff I already paid for.

Apparently Valve has already thought of this, as this is at the bottom of the order page:

Already own Half-Life 2 or Half-Life 2: Episode One?
Give your extra game as a gift to a friend when you purchase The Orange Box. Learn more here.
But still, it's not an ideal solution for people who are already fans of the game. Valve also quotes IGN on the page, in what I thought was a dim revelation:

"...the package which could legitimately be called the deal of the century." - IGN"
Great. I'm gonna guess there's not a cheaper package in the works anytime soon. Thanks IGN.

Re:Oh, come on now... (1)

regular_gonzalez (926606) | more than 6 years ago | (#20561253)

You're looking at it the wrong way. I personally would pay $50 for TF2, but let's say it's only worth $29.95 to you. HL2:E1 was $20 at launch. Let's say pOrtal is mediocre and worth less than an average budget game, $10. $30 + $20 + $10 = $60, even in the new math. $45 (or $50, if you don't preorder) is a ridiculous bargain. Don't look at it as having to pay extra -- it's getting two additional games (or 1.5, if you like) -- HL2 and HL2:E1 for free! You can even sell them on the open market and make a bit of cash back, if you're that frugal. What would have been a smarter move, is to have the current prices for the three new games, and charge an extra $1 to get HL2 and HL2:E1. That way, the moaners could feel like they aren't being screwed, and those who don't have any of the games yet could pay a token fee to get 2 more games.

Kudos to Valve for delivering massive amounts of gameplay for so cheap.

Re:Oh, come on now... (1)

Pluvius (734915) | more than 6 years ago | (#20561665)

$30 + $20 + $10 = $60, even in the new math.

More like $20 + $20 + $10 = $50 at most, since Valve usually packs online mods in for free (or at least much cheaper than $30) with its other games. So the package is the same price as what the new games are worth, at best. Even though the point of Steam packages is to get discounts from buying multiple games, this still wouldn't be a bad thing if Valve wasn't dishonestly making it look like $50 is a great bargain.

All I'm asking is that Valve offer a package that doesn't include two games that I have already bought and with an accordingly reduced price. $35 would make sense, but I would even accept $40 since that would still be much less of a ripoff than the current insulting "ha ha those dumb fanboys will buy anything, even stuff they already own" nonsense.

You can even sell them on the open market and make a bit of cash back, if you're that frugal.

"May I Buy, Sell or Trade gift subscriptions?
"No. This violates the Steam Subscriber Agreement and may result in having your account disabled."

Rob

Re:Oh, come on now... (1)

regular_gonzalez (926606) | more than 6 years ago | (#20561897)

TF2 was developed from the ground up as a new game. Look at Counterstrike: Source -- $27.99 at Amazon. That's after being out for what, 3 years now? And TF2 has been in development for a heck of a lot longer and is far more of a completely new, remade game from TF:C than Counterstrike: Source is from vanilla Counterstrike. Are you arguing that Quake Wars: Enemy Territory should be free since, hey! Castle Wolfenstein:ET was?
I can't decide if you're being deliberately disingenuous or if somehow you actually believe what you're saying. In any event, more room on the servers for me :)

Re:Oh, come on now... (1)

Pluvius (734915) | more than 6 years ago | (#20562003)

Look at Counterstrike: Source -- $27.99 at Amazon.

Free with HL2, and it always has been. I.e. CS:S isn't worth anywhere close to $30 either.

Rob

Re:Oh, come on now... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20564007)

bzzzt. CS:S was free with HL2:silver edition, which sold at an *inflated* price. Silver is no longer available.

The only way to get CS:S currently is to either buy it standalone or to purchase it in a >$50 bundle. It does *not* come with the $20 HL2 version.

We dont want ALL those games. (1)

cliffski (65094) | more than 6 years ago | (#20561969)

I want TF2. I either own the other games or do not want them for any price. Valve clearly wont let me do that. Does this make me a moaner?
Would you buy World Of Warcraft if it only came in a package with Star Wars Galaxies and Guild Wars?
This is an insane pricing strategy.

Re:We dont want ALL those games. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20562915)

Situation A: Blizzard offers a WoW + SWG + GW bundle for $50

Situation B: Blizzard offers WoW for $50, the same above bundle for $70.

Something tells me you'd complain about A, and would prefer B. . .

Re:We dont want ALL those games. (1)

cliffski (65094) | more than 6 years ago | (#20563067)

something tells me thats bullshit. Can I buy TF2 on its own? thats what I want, and they are not selling it == unhappy customer. its not rocket science.

Re:We dont want ALL those games. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20563283)

I guess it all depends on how much value you would have assigned to TF2 (in the scenario that Valve had never pre-announced their pricing strategy to begin with)

Me, I would have paid $45 for TF2 alone. What would you have paid for it, (considering that it's a game that you were obviously looking forward to)? What other games are you looking forward to? What are their prices?

Re:We dont want ALL those games. (2, Insightful)

Pluvius (734915) | more than 6 years ago | (#20563169)

False dilemmas are no way to argue, son.

Rob

Re:We dont want ALL those games. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20563437)

Hardly a false dilemma. Had Valve initially priced the Orange Box at $60, and kept the black box at $50, a majority of all the whiners here would have vanished.

Re:We dont want ALL those games. (1)

TheSpengo (1148351) | more than 6 years ago | (#20564141)

What are you talking about. They just don't have them available for preorder as singles yet. I have never seen a game on steam that is *only* offered in a package. You can always buy them separately if you want to. You miss out on the beta but oh well. Personally I think episode 2 will be more awesome half life and portal looks like a very entertaining puzzle game. I don't mind buying the whole orange box either because if you look at the prices episode 1 and hl2 are essentially free with it anyways. Now I can even give them to somebody else.

Missing the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20561731)

He's not expecting Valve to owe him anything for his original purchase, he's just asking Valve to let him in the beta for the TF2 purchase when he intends to purchase Episode 2, TF2 and Portal without having to pay again for two games he already has - HL2 and HL2 Episode 1.

I don't think that's a particularly unreasonable expectation, they're essentially saying "Yeah, we know you've paid us once already, but pay us again for the same thing and artificially boost our HL2 sales figures and profits and we'll let you in on the TF2 beta".

that makes me.... (3, Funny)

Chris whatever (980992) | more than 6 years ago | (#20559925)

want to blow out steam.....

Does Valve suck for anyone else? (1, Interesting)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 6 years ago | (#20560047)

This might be slightly tangential but does Valve run slowly for anyone else? They have some great games available and I'm more than happy to pay for the good ones out there but the whole Valve service seems bloated, clunky, and wasteful. I can buy games online without needing a Valve interface, albeit those will be indie games and not professional ons. I can download cracks from bittorrent and not need Valve running in the background. To run even the simplest game it has to fire up the whole Valve app and authenticate online. Very annoying, the sort of thing that makes you want to go back to pirating for convenience. It's as annoying as disc checks. Valve will also go and do updates that will freeze the whole system, not relinquishing control until whatever it wants to do is finished.

Note: this is coming from someone who pirated a shitload of games as a kid, buying the ones I really liked and junking the ones that were crap. I have more money these days and I'm happy to pay for what's good, I'm just sick of doing things legally being such a pain in my ass.

Re:Does Valve suck for anyone else? (2, Informative)

fo0bar (261207) | more than 6 years ago | (#20560195)

This might be slightly tangential but does Valve run slowly for anyone else?
Yes, it's quite slow to pick up Valve HQ and move it. Their employees need to get on the treadmill, that's how slow Valve is.

(Steam is the content delivery service, Valve is the company name. And yes, to a degree. It's a bit slow starting and stopping (maybe 30 seconds to do either), but once it's up and running, it works fine for me.)

Re:Does Valve suck for anyone else? (1)

bbcisdabomb (863966) | more than 6 years ago | (#20560219)

No, I think it's just you. On high-speed internet, the interface is very fast, and only slow if you're using the store on dial-up. If the "authenticate online" function is breaking it for you, all you have to do is set it to offline mode, and it won't call out any more. As for it running in the background, at the moment it's only using 8MB of RAM. I don't see a problem there (Disclaimer: I'm not doing video/image editing or any other RAM-intensive thing most of the time), as long as it Just Works (tm), which it does for me. And booting at startup didn't slow my computer down any appreciable amount, like Symantic Antivirus or Cisco Clean Access.

Re:Does Valve suck for anyone else? (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 6 years ago | (#20561441)

No, I think it's just you. On high-speed internet, the interface is very fast, and only slow if you're using the store on dial-up. If the "authenticate online" function is breaking it for you, all you have to do is set it to offline mode, and it won't call out any more. As for it running in the background, at the moment it's only using 8MB of RAM. I don't see a problem there (Disclaimer: I'm not doing video/image editing or any other RAM-intensive thing most of the time), as long as it Just Works (tm), which it does for me. And booting at startup didn't slow my computer down any appreciable amount, like Symantic Antivirus or Cisco Clean Access.
Hmm. My machine is starting to get to the oldish side. It was fairly kick-ass as of 2002 but it's still running Win2K. That's an oldish OS, not sure if it's going to be having conflicts with the newer software out there.

Re:Does Valve suck for anyone else? (1)

Thansal (999464) | more than 6 years ago | (#20561635)

Steam runs perfectly fine on 2K (I was running 2K up untill shortly after Vista came out when I switched to XP for a few games that are 'XP only')

My old system ran Steam effortlessly, My new one has problems (all of the games end with XP tellign me they crashed, kinda odd, haven't poked at it yet).

Old system specs:
aprox 2ghz AMD CPU (don't remember off the top of my head)
1 Gig Ram
decent graphics card (but nothing overly impressive)

if your system approaches mine, I would check out other things for beign the problem instead of Steam tbh

Re:Does Valve suck for anyone else? (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 6 years ago | (#20564201)

Steam runs perfectly fine on 2K (I was running 2K up untill shortly after Vista came out when I switched to XP for a few games that are 'XP only')
Hmm. Looks like I'll have to poke at it some more. I'm catching up on some of the classics I've missed over the past few years. Loving the new Pirates, it runs fine, it just takes way too frickin' long to load up with the steam crap. I'll have to try that offline thing that was suggested, that might help a bit.

Re:Does Valve suck for anyone else? (1)

deathtopaulw (1032050) | more than 6 years ago | (#20560231)

my computer is midrange this generation and I don't have any problems at all
I even prefer the steam thing, because I can let friends play when I'm away from good computers for months at a time. Or when I reinstall an OS I just grab steam instead of searching for install discs, which are long gone by the way

Re:Does Valve suck for anyone else? (2, Interesting)

labalicious (844887) | more than 6 years ago | (#20560301)

Have you tried the new version of Steam? My computer is 5 years old and runs it just fine. Try downloading the beta, it's really light weight >20mb used at a time. Just in case people don't have the link... http://steampowered.com/ [steampowered.com]

Re:Does Valve suck for anyone else? (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 6 years ago | (#20564155)

I'll check to see if it's updated. I'll also try that offline feature that was also mentioned, that might help a bit.

Re:Does Valve suck for anyone else? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20560415)

Yes.

Re:Does Valve suck for anyone else? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20560431)

It's just you. I have Steam (not Valve - Valve is the company, the product is Steam) load when Windows starts. It then authenticates online in the background while I'm still checking my email and stuff, and it's ready to launch any game I choose instantly. And the games run beautifully, even with Steam running in the background.

If the auto-updates freeze your whole system, I suggest you throw it out and buy a computer less than 10 years old.

My only slight irritation is that it doesn't remember my credit card details, so I have to type them all in every time I want to buy something. But that's a security feature, and I can live with security.

Re:Does Valve suck for anyone else? (1)

stg (43177) | more than 6 years ago | (#20560555)

I don't have any of the problems you mention. You might want to note that you can click on Cancel when it's logging on and it will stay off-line. I haven't tried it lately, but when I only had dial-up on one of my computers, all games still worked fine on off-line mode.

Sudden updates when you want to run a game and THEN has to wait for an update to download are very annoying, though.

Re:Does Valve suck for anyone else? (1)

Pragmatix (688158) | more than 6 years ago | (#20560675)

I use direct2drive, which has a pretty good selection of major titles you can download. They have some activation process you have to go through once you download, but after that you can play the game and don't need to be connected to anything.

Re:Does Valve suck for anyone else? (2, Insightful)

nuzak (959558) | more than 6 years ago | (#20560957)

Yes, I find Steam to be pretty buggy, from not launching games except the second time I select the launch, to losing games in my list until I log out and back in, to a very sluggish store UI, which is merely an embedded IE component.

But it still beats the living crap out of dealing with physical discs, and it's still a much better delivery service than Direct2Drive. I've never found the authentication to be slow, and BTW, it only has to do it once if you're not doing multiplayer.

Your criticisms might carry a little more weight if you even knew what the name of the app was called. You sound like my gf's mother, who says things like "My Microsoft is slow".

Re:Does Valve suck for anyone else? (1)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 6 years ago | (#20562271)

my gf's mother
You know, you can just call her a great-grandmother. (We all know the other meaning of gf doesn't exist for Slashdot :P)

Re:Does Valve suck for anyone else? (2, Funny)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 6 years ago | (#20564233)

Your criticisms might carry a little more weight if you even knew what the name of the app was called. You sound like my gf's mother, who says things like "My Microsoft is slow".
Oh, give me a break, my intertubes were clogged. My interweb company says there's some spam caught in there, they're sending a guy in there to clear it out.

Zonked again! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20560147)

Its available to pre-order right now. And if you already have half-life 2, you can give the new copy you get in your bundle to a friend. Its basically a free copy anyways, since episode 2, portal and tf2 cost more than the bundle if purchased seperately anyways.

Re:Zonked again! (2)

Pluvius (734915) | more than 6 years ago | (#20560831)

And if you already have half-life 2, you can give the new copy you get in your bundle to a friend.

Yes, that makes it worth it, especially since most people who are interested in HL2 already have it.

Its basically a free copy anyways, since episode 2, portal and tf2 cost more than the bundle if purchased seperately anyways.

If you accept the BS inflated prices that Valve gives for those games, anyway. There's no reason for Ep2 to be $30 when Ep1 was just $20, and Portal accordingly should be around $10. And there's no reason to think that the old games are free when they're still being sold for moderate prices individually.

I don't know why people are just accepting the individual prices that are being quoted to them as justification for the $50 price of the Orange Box. I guess the fact that it's Valve turns off the ripoff detectors in their brains.

Rob

Re:Zonked again! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20561371)

From Steam's Site:

"May I Buy, Sell or Trade gift subscriptions?

No. This violates the Steam Subscriber Agreement and may result in having your account disabled."

Not only am I forced to re-buy HL2 and Epi 1, but now I can't even sell it after buying the Orange box? What Gives?

Re:Zonked again! (1)

fo0bar (261207) | more than 6 years ago | (#20561455)

There's no reason for Ep2 to be $30 when Ep1 was just $20, and Portal accordingly should be around $10.
So... EP2 is worth $20, portal is worth $10? That leaves TF2, which should easily be worth the remaining $15.

But if you want to continue complaining, you are welcome to. The rest of us with our ripoff-detector-disabled brains will be over there, enjoying our games.

Re:Zonked again! (1)

Pluvius (734915) | more than 6 years ago | (#20561863)

So... EP2 is worth $20, portal is worth $10? That leaves TF2, which should easily be worth the remaining $15.

$20, and that's questionable considering how other online mods have been priced in the past. I addressed this in another post [slashdot.org] .

Rob

Bah! (2, Insightful)

jacksonic (914470) | more than 6 years ago | (#20560161)

True fans will shell out whatever monies are necessary to get their hands on the ambrosia that is Team Fortress 2.

I am happy with value recieved (2, Insightful)

senahj (461846) | more than 6 years ago | (#20560173)

If Valve has extracted a few more dollars from me than from another person for the same merchandise, I really don't give a toss.

If there is any company in the world that I think deserves my money, it's Valve.
Thanks, guys.

(I can see that my friend the GTA addict has actually gotten more replay value from San Andreas than I have from HL / Blue Shift / Opposing Force / HL2 / Lost Coast / Episode One, but he's welcome to it; I just don't enjoy being Carl Johnson, though it's fun to watch, and the music is superlative)

How do you "give the codes away" to a Steam game? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20560177)

Seriously - I bought the Silver (?) version of HL2 on Steam back when it was released. I would not mind buying the Orange box if I could give the HL2 and CSS games to my dad, but I don't believe you can do that with games purchased on Steam - they are bound to your account.

Re:How do you "give the codes away" to a Steam gam (1)

TychoCelchuuu (835690) | more than 6 years ago | (#20560445)

They added a way to transfer HL2 and Episode 1 if you've already bought them. See this link [steampowered.com] . Also worth noting is the free copy of Peggle Extreme you get when you preorder.

Re:How do you "give the codes away" to a Steam gam (1)

Thansal (999464) | more than 6 years ago | (#20561451)

the other option is to order EP2 from a NEW steam account and just give your pops the old one (Assuming you havn't already bought other games on that account).

If you do have other games you want to keep then you can give him HL2 and EP1

Half-Life 2 owners are not left out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20560201)

The Orange Box package is already $30 cheaper than if you just bought the three new games alone. Valve is literally giving away Half-Life 2 and Episode 1 for free with the Orange Box package.

Price does not determine value, people. It's the other way around.

Orange Box is cheaper anyway (3, Interesting)

Datasage (214357) | more than 6 years ago | (#20560315)

Lets see here: Orange box $49.95, or pre-order for $44.95.

Or if you were to buy the new games separately:
EP2 = $29.95
Portal = $19.95
TF2 = $29.95

I suppose they could make a package containing only the new games, but I doubt that it would be any cheaper.

Re:Orange Box is cheaper anyway (1)

Wooloomooloo (902011) | more than 6 years ago | (#20560401)

I wish they'd sell EP2 alone, since I have no interest in Portal or TF2.

Re:Orange Box is cheaper anyway (1)

Datasage (214357) | more than 6 years ago | (#20560665)

They probably will, but there is no package or pricing on Steam for it yet.

Re:Orange Box is cheaper anyway (1)

theantipop (803016) | more than 6 years ago | (#20561447)

This page shows the game as being $29.95 [steampowered.com] . When you click through though it only allows you to purchase the package. My guess is it will be up standalone around the release date.

Re:Orange Box is cheaper anyway (1)

ShadowsHawk (916454) | more than 6 years ago | (#20560479)

Is this really the final price list? I really enjoyed Half Life 2 and I though Ep1 was pretty good. However, I refuse to spend 30 freaking dollars on an EPISODE. At this rate, they will extract over $80 for episodes 1-3 and that is absurd. I thought $20 was a bit on the high side for Ep1, but this is rediculous.

Re:Orange Box is cheaper anyway (2, Insightful)

MtlDty (711230) | more than 6 years ago | (#20560769)

It's a cunning move. Seeing as I already own HL2 and EP1 my obvious choice is to buy the orange box, and gift the extra HL2 and EP1 to a friend... who then likes them enough to want to buy EP2, and decides the orange box is best choice, so he passes on the extra HL2 and EP1 to a friend...etc etc...

Is it fixed yet? (1)

hr.wien (986516) | more than 6 years ago | (#20560607)

Quite frankly I'm not sure if I dare buying any more Source engine based products. TF2, Episode 2 and Portal all look absolutely awesome, but considering all the problems I've had with HL2 through Episode 1, I'm not sure if I'm willing to spend anymore.

I could barely finish Episode 1 because it kept crashing and hanging and generally running like a bucket of shite (across a couple of different computers well above minimum specs and with reasonable FPS when it actually works). Something is fundamentally broken somewhere in their engine, and Valve support just don't seem to care.

HL2 would hang every other loading screen while (presumably) autosaving. Episode 1 would lock up mid level while autosaving and while loading textures/meshes/whatever it is loading. At one point I couldn't even get by a certain point because it happened every time I went through some corridor. The only thing that eventually worked was falling back to DirectX 7 mode, running past the corridor, and then going back to DirectX 9 mode.

The Valve forums are littered with people with similar issues, but no solution is offered. It's a shame really, as the games taken on their own merit are excellent.

Re:Is it fixed yet? (1)

Stevecrox (962208) | more than 6 years ago | (#20561229)

Meet my antecedental evidence I've run HL2 Episode 1 maxed out on four different machines on XP and Vista without a problem, Two of the machines were apparently below spec's (that warning thing popped up) and yet ran it at maximum settings.

Some off the cuff idea's for your problems, lock ups and crashes usually occur because of three things Hard Drive, Ram or your graphics card/driver. Some games don't like certain graphics drivers for example Uru: Ages beyond Myst has huge rendering issues (with textures) if you used a 5 series nvidia cards with a driver past 57.xx. An old machine of mine used to either crash out of a game or hard reset because I used an Hercules ATi 7500 AiW card with 7500 drivers, that card drove me crazy as using the AiW driver would cause all sorts of texture errors but the 7500 drivers were unstable. I discovered the reason why Deus Ex and HL2 were taking so long to load by using a benchmarking tool which showed my hard drive was transferring data at quite a low rate (much lower than it should have) a new IDE drive fixed that issue. Just last week I discovered why The Sims 2 kept crashing all the time which was because of a faulty memory module in a 512mb stick of ram. Sim 2 was the only thing to take the memory usuage on the machine past 790mb and what ever application caused that crashed, guess what new ram solved that problem.

Instead of attacking the game as many clueless people do why not sit back and try and figure out whats broken or not working as it should, it takes less time. (by the way these aren't necessarily all my machines but ones I've sat down and fixed)

Re:Is it fixed yet? (1)

hr.wien (986516) | more than 6 years ago | (#20561659)

Instead of attacking the game as many clueless people do why not sit back and try and figure out whats broken or not working as it should, it takes less time.

Oh I've tried. My god have I tried!

I've tried drivers old and new, I've tried formatting (several times), I've tried shutting down any programs that may interfere, I've tried messing with the Windows virtual memory and scheduler settings, I've tried every god damned command line option available in Source and I've tried changing hardware (memory, CPU, graphics card both ATI and Nvidia, sound card, motherboard).

I'm out of ideas, and so are everyone else with this problem... have a read [steampowered.com] .

It's also worth pointing out that this is a problem consistent across all Source based games (even non-Valve ones) for those unlucky enough to experience it. And common for all of these people is that no other games are exhibiting these problems, it's only the Source engine. But our hardware's a fault... Of course it is.

Re:Is it fixed yet? (1)

Datasage (214357) | more than 6 years ago | (#20561579)

I had issues with my old hardware, were steam would take 100% power locking up any game running with it. Which made playing EP1 an exercise in frustration. I think it was an issue with the motherboard, or in combination with the RAM and video card. Since I've replaced it, those issues have since gone away.

Re:Is it fixed yet? (1)

hr.wien (986516) | more than 6 years ago | (#20561899)

Steam you say? I haven't been able to bring up the task manager when it locks up, so I haven't been able to identify the process hogging the CPU, but if it's Steam maybe a crack could do the trick? Worth a try anyway...

Re:Is it fixed yet? (1)

Datasage (214357) | more than 6 years ago | (#20562211)

Well when steam is running, you can set its process priority to a lower level, and then launch a game. That way if it does start hogging CPU, you can alt-tab out and not be forced to reboot. Assuming you have the same issue.

It seemed for me, to only be an issue with source engine games. And not all of them either.

Re:Is it fixed yet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20564207)

I recently upgraded to 2 GB of RAM for Bioshock (and other upcoming games, but mostly Bioshock). Since then, no problems with HL2 or HL2:Ep1. I used to get crashes every half-hour or so at various autosave points like you in Ep1 with commentary turned on (less without). Since then I've played all the way through Ep1 with commentary on and not one crash. Yeah, it sucks that you have to pay money to fix Valve's mistake, but at least you're getting better performance out of your other games out of it.

From reading some of the better responses in that thread, it seems as though the Steam engine pushes RAM too hard. The seamless autosaves combined with continued rendering by the Source engine is simply too much for system. More/better quality RAM resolves the issue for most people.

Re:Is it fixed yet? (1)

TheSpengo (1148351) | more than 6 years ago | (#20564229)

Really? I find that rather hard to believe since source engine games run fine on my crap old desktop (p4 2.8GHz, 512MB ram, radeon 9600XT), albeit without the fancy effects and look like absolutely beautiful next-gen games on my new rig with a c2d e6420 @ 2.7GHz, 2GB DDR2 @ 850MHz, 8800GTS @ 585MHz. Hell, I even have friends that run it on computers with geforce fx5500s. Looks like shite, but hey it runs! I've never encountered any of these problems you describe.

Re:Is it fixed yet? (1)

hr.wien (986516) | more than 6 years ago | (#20564403)

That's the thing. It seems it's luck of the draw that determines whether you have problems or not. I've seen several of my friends with more or less equal hardware run it without problems, but as I've said I have two computers here that just won't. Even after swapping out a lot of the hardware.

It's pretty obvious this doesn't affect everyone, or there would be a massive uproar, but the amount of people (with wildly differing hardware) actually having this problem rules out dodgy hardware too in my opinion. It's too just wide spread to be a coincidence.

Peggle Extreme (1)

stg (43177) | more than 6 years ago | (#20560629)

From the summary it would seem that Peggle Extreme is an improved version of Peggle. AFAIK, it isn't - the start screen already offers you to buy Peggle Deluxe. It's more like a themed trial.

I played the original trial, and the "themed" stuff is pretty funny, though.

Not a waste to buy (1)

HairyNevus (992803) | more than 6 years ago | (#20560671)

Even if you own HL2 and Episode 1 already, this Orange box deal isn't a waste. For one, TF2 (which I've been waiting for for about 6 years now) and Portal together should be worth the ~$50, plus you do get Episode 2. Additionally, when you buy Orange box you can give the HL2 and Episode 1 games away to a friend as a gift.


Part of me still thinks the TF2 release will somehow manage to get foiled again. I mean, I remember seeing screenshots for TF2 about 6-5 years ago with a vid detailing what the new sentry gun was like. Then more recently there was some hype before HL2 was even released that showed TF2 in production as more of a military game, the trailer had some tanks and the engi held an MP5 and such. So, now that I've had my hopes up a couple times now for this, it's hard to believe TF2 is finally here...and cel shaded. But, I can't imagine what huge event could stop the release this time (massive climate shift?).

Re:Not a waste to buy (1)

Nos. (179609) | more than 6 years ago | (#20560775)

Part of me still thinks the TF2 release will somehow manage to get foiled again. I mean, I remember seeing screenshots for TF2 about 6-5 years ago with a vid detailing what the new sentry gun was like. Then more recently there was some hype before HL2 was even released that showed TF2 in production as more of a military game, the trailer had some tanks and the engi held an MP5 and such. So, now that I've had my hopes up a couple times now for this, it's hard to believe TF2 is finally here...and cel shaded. But, I can't imagine what huge event could stop the release this time (massive climate shift?).

I'm kind of holding my breath as well, but this time we are a lot closer to the release date (well, the beta release date). I don't want to jinx it, but at least this isn't months before they expect to have something, this is less than a week. And unlike when HL2 was released, and other delays, I haven't done any upgrades to my computer lately

Screw Ep. 2 (1)

revlayle (964221) | more than 6 years ago | (#20560749)

... where can I get Peggle Extreme *independently* ??

Re:Screw Ep. 2 (1)

fo0bar (261207) | more than 6 years ago | (#20561257)

Peggle Extreme is a HL2-themed trial (10 levels). If you want the whole thing, Deluxe is available standalone (and when you play Extreme, it's a big ad for buying Deluxe).

Re:Screw Ep. 2 (1)

revlayle (964221) | more than 6 years ago | (#20561849)

Ahh, I already have Deluxe (which is why I asked), but, the way you described it makes it less note-worthy to me

Re:Screw Ep. 2 (1)

fo0bar (261207) | more than 6 years ago | (#20562177)

It has some neat HL2-themed graphics, but yeah, it's not too noteworthy by itself. Conversely, I had never heard of Peggle before today, but it's fun enough that I'll probably buy Deluxe.

Mission accomplished, Valve and PopCap :)

Re:Screw Ep. 2 (1)

revlayle (964221) | more than 6 years ago | (#20562485)

Yeah, Peggle Deluxe was (and still is, to a degree - trying to get the final trophy) suprisingly addictive... the whole "EXTREME FEVER" and "Ode to Joy" thrown in your face at the end of each level was so ridiculously over-the-top I literally laughed my ass the first time I witnessed it.

Misleading Headline (1)

j.sanchez1 (1030764) | more than 6 years ago | (#20560779)

I just pre-ordered the Orange Box a few minutes ago. The TF2 beta starts next week, but the pre-order is live already. Worth it to me, even though I already have HL2 and HL2 E1.

Re:Misleading Headline (1)

lb746 (721699) | more than 6 years ago | (#20560869)

Feel free to pass me your codes for the new copies then. I have neither but wouldn't mind giving it a run through.

Incorrect summary (1)

stg (43177) | more than 6 years ago | (#20560813)

The article is right, but the summary says that it will be available for pre-order next week. That is incorrect - it is available now (I just got it myself).

The TF2 beta is what will be available next week.

Re:Incorrect summary (1)

weirdcrashingnoises (1151951) | more than 6 years ago | (#20562891)

yea i thought this was a curious headline considering i just did the same, thing, and have already finished pre-loading TF2

Why preorder? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20561063)

Why would I be stupid enough to pre-order another Valve product on Steam?

When I pre-ordered HL2 on Steam, I couldn't play it for a week after release because activation was broken, then the engine was broken and wouldn't start, then the audio code was broken and would lock up on my machine...

Hell, why would I be stupid enough to *buy* another product off Steam when I could buy it at retail?

Then, foolishly I purchased BioShock on Steam instead of at retail, thinking that maybe Valve had finally gotten things right, since hey, I bought a couple titles on Steam like Geometry Wars and Episode 1, and they worked okay... Nope. Securom error, game won't start. Contact Valve support, get told 'go talk to 2kgames, we won't support you'.

I email 2kgames and securom, and don't get a response, so I think, hey, maybe I can get refunded and just buy the 360 version? Nope. Valve: 'We don't give refunds, and if you issue a chargeback we'll revoke your Steam account and access to every game you've ever purchased from us.' So, great.

A week later, securom tells me how to fix the error and start the game, but I then discover that the game still doesn't work because it locks up at load screens due to an incompatibility with my specific video card model (GeForce 79xx). Email 2kgames support again. No response. Awesome.

So, two weeks later, 2kgames finally responds to my support request by telling me that until my hardware vendor releases new video drivers, I'm out of luck. They give me a workaround that makes the game work about 25% of the time, so I'm actually able to play if I spend 30 minutes fiddling with settings and restarting the game over and over.

If I had bought the game at retail I could have been playing it on the 360 weeks ago, and actually got my money's worth. Instead, I'm out 50+ dollars and the game still doesn't work.

Re:Why preorder? (1)

Deadbolt (102078) | more than 6 years ago | (#20561427)

So basically you got bit by the same Bioshock problems everyone else had at launch. These problems are Steam's fault.. why?

Re:Why preorder? (1)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 6 years ago | (#20562401)

Because it's an easy scapegoat.

Please be a bug.... (1)

twoboxen (1111241) | more than 6 years ago | (#20561299)

Though I do think it's crap that owners of the original HL2 don't get a discount, that's not the point of my post. I used to like steam as a distribution method--no need to search for random discs. However, I was trying to host a session of garry's mod 10 I had purchased on my desktop, while connecting to it on my laptop (to separate processing, give me more interaction controls, and provide a 3rd person recording device while i interacted on my laptop) Steam not only told me that I was already logged on and thus, could not do that (bs, since I purchased the *@#$@ game), but it now can't start on either PC. Somehow it crashes upon startup EVERY TIME now. I hope this is some stupid catastrophic bug over the shady alternative of copy protection. Anyone else had anything similar happen?

Re:Please be a bug.... (1)

Nos. (179609) | more than 6 years ago | (#20561925)

You purchased a LICENSE to run the game on one machine. Yes, you can run it at different times one different machines (I believe), but you can't run it on tow different machines at the same time. As for your issues, have you tried reinstalling? I had a similar problem with DoD: Source (as did a friend). Uninstalled the steam client, deleted registry.blob, reisntalled steam, and things were great. Didn't even have to reinstall Steam. Its happened before, and I found the solution on the forums. A 5 minute fix.

Fortress Forever (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20561717)

It should be noted that Fortress Forever http://www.fortress-forever.com/ [fortress-forever.com] will also be released on the 17th. And that is a Mod that's free for everyone who has purchased Half-Life 2. It's a real Team Fortress mod on the Source engine (made by tfc players)! Definitely worth a checkout! (I can't wait!)

Oh team fortress, how I miss you (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 6 years ago | (#20562301)

I remember playing TF over quakeworld, all the different iterations as the y worked through the betas.

Two castles... Alcatraz. Such fun, so long ago.

Maybe I oughta pickup HL2 and TF2 and see if I've still got it as a sniper.
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