Author Topic: Question about GoG  (Read 6069 times)

Offline Chthon

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Re: Question about GoG
« Reply #15 on: April 18, 2014, 02:07:50 PM »
Well then, I suppose I will continue to use other services then.  Steam provides a convenience that other retailers do not.  When you have an unreliable connection, you need a service that can manage that and still get the game to you without corruption.  That's something I couldn't find with any other provider while over seas.  Sure it required DRM, but the DRM actually made the playing possible.

GOG games are completely DRM-less and except for multiplayer and other services built into the games themselves they are completely independent of outside services. The only time you ever need a connection to use them is when you initially download them, after that you can pretty much do whatever the heck you want with them.

I guess with that in mind the "GOG solution" to this problem would be to download all the installers for games you might want to play offline then put them an external drive or burn them into some disks so you can install them later.
The other solution if you had to download the game through an unreliable connection would be to get them via GOG's downloader.
CDs were what I used prior to Steam.  The problem is both Iraq and Afghanistan have enough micro-fine particulate matter in the air that it will ruin both your cd/dvd rom drive and your discs.  That was the original problem, and thus not a solution.

As for GoG's downloader, it isn't as good as you might think in dealing with packet loss and packet corruption on a poor connection.  You would likely have to download a 3-5 GB game 5-8 times in full before you got an uncorrupted version.

Steam instead checks individual files and just downloads them if necessary, which results in far less time downloading the game for the first time.

Offline Professor Paul1290

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Re: Question about GoG
« Reply #16 on: April 18, 2014, 02:13:58 PM »
To be clear, it's worth saying that the majority of GOG users are not directly anti-Steam. A lot of them do use Steam, buy Steam games on sale, and givaway Steam games on the forums.

What most GOG users are strongly against is the idea of all digital distribution services being connected to Steam. With Humble Bundle, GamersGate, and Desura selling Steam keys as a large portion of their sales, GOG is the the few major digital distribution services left that has no ties to Steam.

So I think it's more accurate to say that most GOG users are more against the idea of "Steam the monopoly" than the idea of Steam itself.

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Question about GoG
« Reply #17 on: April 18, 2014, 02:16:05 PM »
So I think it's more accurate to say that most GOG users are more against the idea of "Steam the monopoly" than the idea of Steam itself.
Sure, and I actually agree with that.  We went steam-only with Bionic only because that was the only viable way to do a linux version of the game at the time.  Now that we have the ability to correct that, we will get around to doing so.

My weariness is with the subset of GOG users who hold (and forcefully argue) a far more extreme position than the one you just articulated.
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Offline doctorfrog

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Re: Question about GoG
« Reply #18 on: April 18, 2014, 03:00:58 PM »
I think the best of both worlds would be a Steam-like client that you just don't have to use if you don't want to. I feel like GOG does a pretty good job of what they do, and Steam does also, and so does Arcen.

I avoid Steam if I can, probably because I'm a weird hoarder from the days where you sometimes had to get a crack just to get a game to run properly, CDs could potentially wear out, and you would rip them to your hard drive and feel like a wizard when you mounted ISOs and games loaded hella fast. And you went out and bought DVDs of movies you liked so you could watch them over and over again, and ripping MP3's was both a dark art and an act against the MAN.

But also I just don't like stuff checking to see if it's ok for me to play this content, and having "storefronts" built into every last thing that I interact with. It's tiresome.

I may not agree with every last thing that Arcen does, but at least they make their Steam releases DRM-free. It's abundantly clear that they're trying to meet the minor expectations of every one of their fans, but someone is always going to find something to gripe about.

Offline doctorfrog

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Re: Question about GoG
« Reply #19 on: April 18, 2014, 03:08:06 PM »
As for GoG's downloader, it isn't as good as you might think in dealing with packet loss and packet corruption on a poor connection.  You would likely have to download a 3-5 GB game 5-8 times in full before you got an uncorrupted version.

Steam instead checks individual files and just downloads them if necessary, which results in far less time downloading the game for the first time.

That's kind of surprising, given how long the thing has been around. I haven't looked in a while, but I think GOG's downloader did (at least once?) download their games in smaller chunks, presumably did a verification on those chunks, before combining them into install files.

It seems like you prefer Steam and are probably well situated there, but you can always complain to GOG and see if they meet you halfway on such a thing. They're a smaller house and maybe more likely to help. Even if not, PM me if you need help downloading a game that you've bought, maybe I can assist.

Offline Chthon

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Re: Question about GoG
« Reply #20 on: April 18, 2014, 03:14:28 PM »
So I think it's more accurate to say that most GOG users are more against the idea of "Steam the monopoly" than the idea of Steam itself.
Sure, and I actually agree with that.  We went steam-only with Bionic only because that was the only viable way to do a linux version of the game at the time.  Now that we have the ability to correct that, we will get around to doing so.

My weariness is with the subset of GOG users who hold (and forcefully argue) a far more extreme position than the one you just articulated.
Yeah, I think it goes something like:  Steam had a good idea, and followed through well with it, as a result they've become a monopoly and bad.  I may be paraphrasing a bit.

I get tired of being treated as a ignorant buffoon by those same people just because I use Steam.  I use it because there was a point where I could not play any of my games.  I bought disc copies of X3:TC on 3 separate occasions through my Iraq tour because of the damage that occurred with them and patching problems (corrupted patch from download).

Once someone suggested Steam, my problems vanished.  Sure I had to wait 3 days to get it downloaded, but I had no trouble setting up an offline connection, and only connected to patch.  All errors were fixed by verifying files.

As for checksums and other file verification proceedures that other services use, it's great if only the occasional bit gets corrupted.  If large portions get corrupted, it can fool the downloader into thinking it's fine.  You might not even notice a problem till you hit a certain point in the game and it became obvious.  Even Steam can be fooled, but with the help of developers I have been able to track down the offending file and delete it prompting steam to download just that file again.  Pretty good when you have a bandwidth limit of 3-5 GB a month.

As for monopolies are concerned, I think Steam should be the least of anyone's concerns.  Steam is by far the most accessible and user friendly DRM around, and has a track record of never stopping support for a game.  Any problem I've heard about steam, whether or not it works offline, can't stop updates, or the like, is usually user error.  If not it's a bug that will be patched soon.  Other issues with games not working, if the files are all correct, is on the game developer, not steam.  If the files are not correct, there usually is an easy way to correct it.

Finally, Steam does give refunds, it takes a little work, but if a game is truly not what it was advertised, or completely broken, you can get a refund.  Sword of the Stars II they openly offered refunds during the first month after the release hell.  X: Rebirth saw some refunds too, but you had to fight a little more with them as the game wasn't as completely broken.  In general it's still better though than buying a PC game at a store and finding out you can't return it at all due to the fact that you opened the box.

@DoctorFrog  As I stated in my post above, the file verification process they use is only good if a small portion of the file is corrupted, like a few bits here and there.  A massive scrambling can fool it into thinking the chunk is good, and thus corrupting the assembled file.

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Question about GoG
« Reply #21 on: April 18, 2014, 03:18:42 PM »
Yea, there's a difference between the error-correction needed for the usual "a little packet loss, a few latency spikes" and that needed for "the place where electrons fear to tread" :)
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Offline Chthon

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Re: Question about GoG
« Reply #22 on: April 18, 2014, 03:23:43 PM »
Yea, there's a difference between the error-correction needed for the usual "a little packet loss, a few latency spikes" and that needed for "the place where electrons fear to tread" :)
Most of our problems were Satalite transmissions through almost constant atmospheric disturbance, and jamming used on bases when transmitting signals wirelessly point to point.

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Question about GoG
« Reply #23 on: April 18, 2014, 03:26:09 PM »
Most of our problems were Satalite transmissions through almost constant atmospheric disturbance, and jamming used on bases when transmitting signals wirelessly point to point.
"We sorry for the inconvenience, but it appears the carrier pigeon delivering your download of X3:TC was... well, shot down."
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Offline Chthon

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Re: Question about GoG
« Reply #24 on: April 18, 2014, 03:35:57 PM »
Most of our problems were Satalite transmissions through almost constant atmospheric disturbance, and jamming used on bases when transmitting signals wirelessly point to point.
"We sorry for the inconvenience, but it appears the carrier pigeon delivering your download of X3:TC was... well, shot down."
The best was when one company who had been providing internet for us suddenly stopped service.  It was found out that they lied about having an official government authorization to do so, they were going to have to shut down when an official service came on base, and then they were told they couldn't use their microwave point to point wireless system anymore as it violated base safety protocols.  They said, "We have to leave anyways, and we're not going to bother burying cable for such a short time.  See you suckers."

True story.  This isn't even your government tax dollars at work.  This could have easily been someone infiltrating our base hoping to sniff packets of conversations where soldiers told their spouses operational information back home.  (Something that shouldn't happen anyways)  Also at the time this was officially a Canadian base that housed many NATO nations.

Offline Tridus

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Re: Question about GoG
« Reply #25 on: April 18, 2014, 05:33:34 PM »
GOG's zealots are kind of funny in that they have a tendancy to praise GOG as the greatest thing ever, and really react badly when people do something for Steam users that GOG doesn't support.

Age of Wonders 3 learned that when they did a beta for the new patch on Steam, using a beta branch. Steam makes that easy. GOG offers no practical way to do it whatsoever. The GOG zealots thought that actually using Steam's extra features was unfair to them.

I find it pretty ridiculous. Steam's featureset is so far ahead of GOG's that they are not playing in the same league. GOG does a niche thing and does that thing well, but Steam is the market leader for a reason.

Offline Ucchedavada

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Re: Question about GoG
« Reply #26 on: April 19, 2014, 06:40:05 AM »

As for monopolies are concerned, I think Steam should be the least of anyone's concerns.
I think anyone should be concerned about Steam being a monopoly, simply because we cannot predict what will happen with the company and/or service in the future, especially not when Gabe Newell is no longer able or willing to lead the company. Preferably, there should be a number of good services that compete with each other in order to prevent vendor lock-in and stagnation (see e.g. Internet Explorer!).


Steam is by far the most accessible and user friendly DRM around, and has a track record of never stopping support for a game.
Strictly speaking the latter part of this is not true any longer; at least one game that I was aware of (Order of War) has been permanently removed from Steam, including from users' libraries. This was a multiplayer game for which the official servers were taken down, so I'll leave it to you to decide whether or not that matters to you. More commonly, games are just removed from the store itself (e.g. due to licensing issues, as with Deadpoll), but that is to be expected, and the same has happened with GOG (e.g. Fallout 1&2).


Any problem I've heard about steam, whether or not it works offline, can't stop updates, or the like, is usually user error.  If not it's a bug that will be patched soon.  Other issues with games not working, if the files are all correct, is on the game developer, not steam.  If the files are not correct, there usually is an easy way to correct it.
IMO, the Steam client is not a very nice piece of software, and troubleshooting it usually boils down to re-installing the client from scratch. The basic Steam client has had a rather slow development cycle, and it is for example only within the last few years that offline mode has started to work reliably. Similarly, something as basic as choosing where to install games was only added within the last few years. Syncing of categories across different systems still tends to result in Steam dropping everything on the floor, and pinning of specific versions (often needed for specific mods) is very unreliable. The interface itself could use a good overhaul (especially the library section!), but Valve seems more focused on the "big screen" UI, instead of the normal UI.

Not the mention the Android client, which has not seen an update in over two years (since March 1, 2012), and which drains battery like crazy among many other issues.


Finally, Steam does give refunds, it takes a little work, but if a game is truly not what it was advertised, or completely broken, you can get a refund.  Sword of the Stars II they openly offered refunds during the first month after the release hell.  X: Rebirth saw some refunds too, but you had to fight a little more with them as the game wasn't as completely broken.  In general it's still better though than buying a PC game at a store and finding out you can't return it at all due to the fact that you opened the box.
It is notoriously difficult to get a refund from Valve, which is why the examples you mention are pretty exceptional. As a consumer, there is simply no argument to be made that their refund service is anything near to that offered by GOG.


If you have a lot of games tied up in Steam (and I certainly do!), then you should be encouraging Valve to improve their service / the client, not excuse their faults.

Offline doctorfrog

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Re: Question about GoG
« Reply #27 on: April 20, 2014, 02:56:21 AM »
Some GOG folks looking for an answer on game updates: http://www.gog.com/forum/the_last_federation/updates

I kind of doubt that either have purchased the game, and depending on their disposition, might just be "policing" rather than expressing a genuine interest, but hey, it's a question that's going to come up.

Offline jorden

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Re: Question about GoG
« Reply #28 on: April 20, 2014, 04:02:40 AM »
Some GOG folks looking for an answer on game updates: http://www.gog.com/forum/the_last_federation/updates

I kind of doubt that either have purchased the game, and depending on their disposition, might just be "policing" rather than expressing a genuine interest, but hey, it's a question that's going to come up.

Or then they simply want a DRM-free update file.

I have the original retail version of Rise of Legends (2006). The only (official) way to update that game to its latest known version is to use the ingame auto-update feature when you run the game. There is no official offline updater to the latest version that you could download somewhere or keep it on your hard drive for future use.

The problem for several years now has been that those update servers are offline, as the game developer went bankrupt, and the publisher (Microsoft) doesn't seem to care enough anymore. So now I can't officially update my fully legit game anymore, just because the developer never released a standalone offline patch for the game, but kept only the "auto-update" as the way to update it.

Does it make me a pirate that I would have very much wanted to have a standalone offline updater for my legit game?
« Last Edit: April 20, 2014, 04:56:56 AM by jorden »

Offline Tridus

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Re: Question about GoG
« Reply #29 on: April 20, 2014, 06:28:38 AM »
The zip file that it's downloading to do the update is here: http://lastfed.s3.amazonaws.com/TLF_1001.zip

I don't know if that's enough to update it or if the updater itself is doing something else, but it would be fairly easy for someone with a GoG version to test.

Once the game is updated, you could also just make a zip of its folder. Boom, fully updated copy for offline archiving.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2014, 06:34:41 AM by Tridus »