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Author Topic: Purchasing HL2 through Steam questions  (Read 919 times)
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Gratch
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« on: December 05, 2004, 03:23:21 PM »

Bear with me here, as this morning is the first time I'd even heard of Steam.

I'm not a big PC gamer, but am interested in trying out HL2.  It appears that you can actually purchase the game through their Steam system.   A couple questions:

1.  Does purchasing the game through Steam allow you to download it, or are they shipping it to you?  From the little research I've done this morning, I'm assuming it's download, but it doesn't really say anywhere.  I'd like to DL it if that's an option, but if it's not, I'd rather just head to the Gamestop down the street rather than wait for it to be shipped.  I just really didn't want to get out of my pajamas this morning.  smile

2.  Related to the first question:  In their disclaimer at the bottom, it says something along the lines of "This is an unreleased product and you should not rely on any release date...etc, etc."   Does this mean it's not available for DL through Steam yet?  The physical product is not available for shipping yet?  Or just that they haven't updated their page?  Color me confused.

3.  Again related to the first question:  If you can DL the game off Steam, are you allowed to make some sort of physical copy of the game.  My system is not the most stable thing in the world, and I'd hate to simply be out $50 if my hard drive crashes and I didn't have a physical copy.  

This stuff is probably common knowledge among PC gamers, but HL2 is only the 2nd PC game all year I've had any interest in purchasing.  So sorry for the ignorance about it.  Gawd, I feel like a n00b all over again...
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Autistic Angel
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« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2004, 03:44:27 PM »

Quote
1. Does purchasing the game through Steam allow you to download it, or are they shipping it to you? From the little research I've done this morning, I'm assuming it's download, but it doesn't really say anywhere. I'd like to DL it if that's an option, but if it's not, I'd rather just head to the Gamestop down the street rather than wait for it to be shipped. I just really didn't want to get out of my pajamas this morning.


Purchasing the game through the Steam service will download the game onto your hard drive through the internet -- you do not get a physical copy.

Quote
2. Related to the first question: In their disclaimer at the bottom, it says something along the lines of "This is an unreleased product and you should not rely on any release date...etc, etc." Does this mean it's not available for DL through Steam yet? The physical product is not available for shipping yet? Or just that they haven't updated their page? Color me confused.


I believe they simply have not updated their page -- Half-Life 2 is definitely available over Steam right now.

Quote
3. Again related to the first question: If you can DL the game off Steam, are you allowed to make some sort of physical copy of the game. My system is not the most stable thing in the world, and I'd hate to simply be out $50 if my hard drive crashes and I didn't have a physical copy.


Instead of thinking of this as a purchase of Half-Life 2, it would probably be more accurate to think of this as a purchase of an *activation key* for Half-Life 2.  In other words: so long as you have your own unique activation key for the game -- and so long as the Steam service is in existence -- you will be able to download and play Half-Life 2 on your computer as many times as you like.

As far as downloading Half-Life 2 to a different computer...I have no idea.  I have to imagine that Valve has some fail-safe in place to prevent people from just giving their activation keys to their friends, letting them download the game, and then playing forever in "Offline Mode," but I don't know what that fail-safe would be.

-Autistic Angel
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MonkeyFinger
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« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2004, 03:48:05 PM »

Well, not a Steam expert but...

1) Yes, if you order via Steam you download the product right then. Some of the packages include merchandise and that would need to be shipped to you, but other than that you are in business.  Be prepared for it to take some time, however, no matter which way you go. It not only has to download (or you install) the content, but "prepare" or "unlock" it (I forget the official terms), which is not a speedy process.  :?

2) There's an asterisk for that and it only applies to Day of Defeat: Source right now. Everything else is available. The ordering page is a little confusing as it still says:
Quote
Purchase any one of the three Half-Life® 2 Steam packages listed below, start playing Counter-Strike™: Source™ immediately, and be ready to start playing Half-Life 2 the moment it is made available!

Doh! :roll:

3) Yes. There is an option to "backup" your files, but I can't say for sure what that actually does as I have yet to try it. Also, from what I understand, if something happens and you need to reinstall, it wouldn't require a repurchase. Simply reconnect to your Steam account and it should download it again. Pretty sure about that, anyway. :wink:

I thought there was a "Steam FAQ" somewhere with  answers to questions like this, but I couldn't find it this morning. Anyone?
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Gratch
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« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2004, 03:54:43 PM »

Thanks fellas, I think I'll give it a shot.  I'm just hoping my system can handle it (Athlon XP 2200+, 512 RAM, GeforceFX5900). :crosses fingers:

BTW, I've been digging through the Steam FAQ's for the last hour, and managed to find the answer to #1, but not #2 or #3.
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Jeff
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« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2004, 04:02:14 PM »

2) I think it's referring to the fact that some packages (silver, gold, etc) have products that are as of yet unreleased, like Day of Defeat Source). HL2 itlself is released, and will download to your HD and you can play right away.

3) when you install steam, there is a menu option called "Play Games". when that menu comes up, you'll see the list of games, and from there you right click on Half Life 2, and click on "Backup Game Files".  what this will do is create a a compressed batch of files of your total download. I recommend breaking the batch into CD sized files, which is done via a menu option. You can create these files anywhere on your hard drive. You then just burn those files with your burning app (Nero, etc)

The files will be created like

HL2DL.exe
HL2DL1.dat
HL2DL2.dat
and so on ...

burn all those to a dvd (or each chunk to a CD), and to restore, you just double click the first file, the exe, and it will guide you thru the restore process.
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walTer
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« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2004, 05:36:30 PM »

Plus, you get the added benefit of not having to put the stupid CD in everytime you want play like I do... argh!
/end rant

OH, your system should run it just fine- I have the same specs with a lesser video card- I have the GF3ti200- I did get occastional frame rate drops to 15 but very rarely- mostly I was in the 25 and all my settings were on medium.

Be prepared for extreme sadness though...when you finish the game that is.  smile
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Yossarian
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« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2004, 07:46:01 PM »

I bought the silver package thru steam because it was the best deal.  You get HL2 + all the old games.  I had only played HL before so I like having Opposing Force and the rest of the back catalog.  

All you have to do to backup games is right click in the steam window.  you can select which games to backup, then it compresses them very nicely though it does take a long time.  I fit HL2, HL, and OpFor on one dvd.  note that it doesn't backup save game files.  then you burn the single file it creates (an exe) and to restore you simply start that file.
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