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Steam Powered
Broadband distribution system to go live

One game publisher hopes to take broadband distribution of gaming content to the next level. Valve software, the makers of the popular PC-game "Half-Life", are taking the wraps off their Steam broadband distribution system this week. The system allows users to download or subscribe to the company's games, includes an instant messenger program, and allows users to more easily update their software. The beta, which consisted of some 300,000 players, will come to a close Tuesday. The official version is set to be released Wednesday, with a new version of Counter-Strike to be launched soon thereafter.

The beta's release left a less than stellar first impression, as thousands of Counter-Strike players quickly ate through the beta's 500 Megabit pipe and forced new admissions to the beta to be suspended. You can check out a full Steam feature list here. Hopefully the product has better success than Steam's improved gaming network protocol "Powerplay", which died on the operating table.
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Alphy
join:2001-12-31
Troy, MI

Alphy

Member

Got Pipe?

I can only imagine how much bandwith they will need if they plan on offering to release HL2 via steam for a monthly fee. I think I read on a forum you can either buy it for $50.00 and have all the content as is (that is no CS2, no TFC2, no new content) or pay $9.99/month for access to Steam and all the content.

Jaime
Premium Member
join:2001-06-03
Huntington Beach, CA

Jaime

Premium Member

Re: Got Pipe?

You can learn more here »HALF-LIFE 2 NEWS: 3 different versions of hl2?

KrK
Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
Premium Member
join:2000-01-17
Tulsa, OK
Netgear WNDR3700v2
Zoom 5341J

KrK

Premium Member

Re: Got Pipe?

The way I read that is, "Only the people who pay the monthly subscription will get the mods, updates, new maps, etc etc"

The people who DON'T pay will be screwed.

Pardon me, but if that's true, there are two letters for it:

"B" and "S" with lots of "!!!!!"'s.

Jaime
Premium Member
join:2001-06-03
Huntington Beach, CA

Jaime

Premium Member

Re: Got Pipe?

No, they'll get user made mods, updates, new maps but they won't get Valve made mods: TF2, DOD2(?)

KrK
Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
Premium Member
join:2000-01-17
Tulsa, OK

KrK

Premium Member

Re: Got Pipe?

I went back and looked again, and I think I see what they are saying. Add-ons and packs will be sold seperate, the same way they are now.

Ok, I'm happy, as long as I don't have to pay $10 a month to play, I'm happy.

Poopsmith
That's Mr. Smith To You.
join:2003-03-12
Boulder, CO

Poopsmith

Member

Re: Got Pipe?

I may be wrong, but I remember hearing that if you buy the Radeon 9800 XT, you get all the content free until HL2 is released, in which case you will have to go on the monthly plan.

Speedy8
Premium Member
join:2002-08-22
Alliance, OH

Speedy8 to Alphy

Premium Member

to Alphy
Yeah, you can pay the monthly fee and download everything, including the original HL. Also they have a downloadable pay version, as well as 2 boxed versions, one for single player only, and one with multiplayer also.
wentlanc
You Can't Fix Dumb..
join:2003-07-30
Maineville, OH

wentlanc

Member

Need proximity

They need multiple locations and proximity, like Yahoo, in order to be effective. Unless you can send people to closer, less busy sites, they probably will not be interested in the wait. Now bandwidth will be a huge problem upon initial delivery, and new product introductions. But that should go away after.

puritan

Speedy8
Premium Member
join:2002-08-22
Alliance, OH

Speedy8

Premium Member

Re: Need proximity

I was under the assumption that they use multiple locations for it already.

Jaime
Premium Member
join:2001-06-03
Huntington Beach, CA

Jaime

Premium Member

Re: Need proximity

You are correct, there are multiple locations and backbones for the Steam network.
wentlanc
You Can't Fix Dumb..
join:2003-07-30
Maineville, OH

wentlanc to Speedy8

Member

to Speedy8
That still does not mean that they are pushing you to the closest, fastest servers. I just looked at the server stats, and almost a third of their sites are down!

puritan
hroo772
Darkness Fears Me
Premium Member
join:2002-04-05
Mclean, VA

hroo772

Premium Member

Re: Need proximity

said by wentlanc:
That still does not mean that they are pushing you to the closest, fastest servers. I just looked at the server stats, and almost a third of their sites are down!
The only reason is says that they are down is because they are changing the content on those servers. Also they are independently run so there can be problems every once and a while. Anyway all of the servers will be up on launch date giving them enough to max out a lot of peoples connections.

SRFireside
join:2001-01-19
Houston, TX

SRFireside to wentlanc

Member

to wentlanc
Sounds sort of like load balancing. Does anybody know if they were using any kind of load balancing?

Nightfall
My Goal Is To Deny Yours
MVM
join:2001-08-03
Grand Rapids, MI
·Comcast XFINITY
·ooma

Nightfall

MVM

Phater Pipe

They are going to need a bigger pipe in order to deliver all this content. At least initially they will. The multiple site thought is good so long as you have plenty of bandwidth to go around. Broadband users will also have to learn to be a little more patient especially when this service gets started.

statecop
Premium Member
join:2002-09-16
Heflin, AL

statecop

Premium Member

HL community

I like the features of steam but I dont think the community will be so willing to jump on board IF it becomes a monthly fee just to be able to play CS and other mods. I am not so sure I will and I have played HL mods since the very first beta of CS and Firearms. A lot of the people who play these mods are kids who do not have the money to put out for this not to mention adults that play it because it is still free to play unlike other game such as EQ, WWIIOL, and many more.

pnh102
Reptiles Are Cuddly And Pretty
Premium Member
join:2002-05-02
Mount Airy, MD

pnh102

Premium Member

Re: HL community

said by statecop:
I like the features of steam but I dont think the community will be so willing to jump on board IF it becomes a monthly fee just to be able to play CS and other mods.
I agree... considering how much one already has to spend per month just to get any kind of practical internet access, I would be very hesitant to plunk down even more money per month per game just to play online, especially with a system that doesn't even work.

Personally, I like playing network UT2003 games for free with my friends. Even over our cable connections, they work quite well

Jaime
Premium Member
join:2001-06-03
Huntington Beach, CA

Jaime

Premium Member

Re: HL community

Steam works well, it's just trying to estimate how much bandwidth you would need for the most popular game ever along with it being an open beta, didn't need to have half life installed, really surprised them. I've played 1.6b for a while and although it does get slow sometimes while connecting the constant updating really doesn't hurt me since I leave steam on overnight, thats when Valve sends the patches. And as I stated above, might want to read this »HALF-LIFE 2 NEWS: 3 different versions of hl2?

Glaice
Brutal Video Vault
Premium Member
join:2002-10-01
North Babylon, NY

Glaice to statecop

Premium Member

to statecop
I think Valve is beating a dead horse (for a 5 year old mod, heck even Sven Co-op is, but it don't have all the idiots/hackers/morons CS has) to continue supporting this mod. Move over and support something fresh or that has less players.

»www.svencoop.com
53059959 (banned)
Temp banned from BBR more then anyone
join:2002-10-02
PwnZone

53059959 (banned)

Member

expand it out

time to branch out Akamai style with multiple servers around the world to load balance and for redundancy. no single 500-mbit pipe will do when gamers unite. 1337 h4x0r

Jaime
Premium Member
join:2001-06-03
Huntington Beach, CA

Jaime

Premium Member

Re: expand it out

They will be doing that, after the initial release they did exactly that.

Transmaster
Don't Blame Me I Voted For Bill and Opus
join:2001-06-20
Cheyenne, WY

Transmaster

Member

Re: expand it out

Didn't cable try to roll something like this several years ago. Not a broadband system, of course, but a Gaming Channel. It didn't last long as I recall. I am not much of a gamer so I am not really sure why it croaked my guess would be content. If this stimulate broadband deployment then I'll become a gamer.
dsanders16
join:2001-02-24
Auburn, AL

dsanders16

Member

lol

If you have a valid CD-Key I think it's free for any current mod's and games you have cd-keys to.

Jaime
Premium Member
join:2001-06-03
Huntington Beach, CA

Jaime

Premium Member

Re: lol

Well yes, but others are talking about HL2 which you can do pay by month.

Glaice
Brutal Video Vault
Premium Member
join:2002-10-01
North Babylon, NY

Glaice

Premium Member

Re: lol

If you PAY for it fully in the store, there isn't a monthly fee cause your not downloading the game. There is NO pay to play whatsoever. I'm buying the version that included both single and multiplayer.
[text was edited by author 2003-09-08 14:25:02]

Jaime
Premium Member
join:2001-06-03
Huntington Beach, CA

Jaime

Premium Member

Re: lol

said by Glaice:
There is NO pay to play whatsoever. I'm buying the version that included both single and multiplayer.
[text was edited by author 2003-09-08 14:25:02]

Yes there, is.
said by Valve press release:
...
In the Steam world, some people will want to buy it once, like the middle SKU above. Other people will want to buy the game on subscription (e.g. $9.95/month).

KrK
Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
Premium Member
join:2000-01-17
Tulsa, OK
Netgear WNDR3700v2
Zoom 5341J

KrK to Glaice

Premium Member

to Glaice
said by Glaice:
If you PAY for it fully in the store, there isn't a monthly fee cause your not downloading the game. There is NO pay to play whatsoever. I'm buying the version that included both single and multiplayer.
The link also seems to say the people WHO DON'T SUBSCRIBE will *not* get updates, new MODs, etc etc

oliphant5
Got Identity?
Premium Member
join:2003-05-24
Corona, CA

oliphant5

Premium Member

Yeah great...pay the price for the software

And get a letter from your ISP (eg Cox) for violating daily DL restrictions.

Unless it's 1/2 price or something...I'm just going to continue getting it at the store (and benefit from owning the actual media).

This is just Fileplanet with less titles.

Jaime
Premium Member
join:2001-06-03
Huntington Beach, CA

Jaime

Premium Member

Re: Yeah great...pay the price for the software

It's not a "Fileplanet with less titles.", it'll be a content delivery application that will also try to thwart cheaters/hackers from manipulating key .dll files since files will be redownloaded from servers every so often to make sure they are in fact genuine.

oliphant5
Got Identity?
Premium Member
join:2003-05-24
Corona, CA

oliphant5

Premium Member

Re: Yeah great...pay the price for the software

No, it's a new money-tree...Fileplanet with less titles.

Combat Chuck
Too Many Cannibals
Premium Member
join:2001-11-29
Verona, PA

Combat Chuck

Premium Member

Re: Yeah great...pay the price for the software

You can either buy the title at the store or purchase the game for dl over steam. Either way steam will be free for you to use to update those titles you purchase, or to play mp.

Or you can subscribe for x amount of dollars per month and have access to all the games in valves library, until you stop paying.

How is that anything like fileplanet.

Content delivery systems are the future, weather you like it or not. You can either embrace them or let the rest of the world pass you by.

oliphant5
Got Identity?
Premium Member
join:2003-05-24
Corona, CA

oliphant5

Premium Member

Re: Yeah great...pay the price for the software

Content delivery systems AREN'T the future. They have failed miserably EVERYTIME they're tried.

Show me a successful content delivery system. Gigex? LOL.

It's the same thing as Fileplanet and Gamespy...pay for older software (I've tried Steam 2.0...there are no newer titles) and updates you would otherwise get for free. Oh...you want free updates...with popularity you will have to get in the 40 minute line behind the paying customers (just like Fileplanet). You want to find and open server? Be prepared to be barraged with ads (just like Gamespy). Gamespy started out like Steam...small, simple...now look at it...FULL of annoying and intrusive ad content. Even now...there seems to be some free game content...that's how these services start to attract users but soon resort to pay to play or make part of their "premium" services content that used to be free.

Valve doesn't have a large enough library to make this hugely successful...especially if they expect to actually get money for this nonsense. They aren't Activision. Sure they have 2 popular games (HL and CS)...but you can't build a pay to play service around 2 games.

People have been touting content delivery forever...just like online music services. Both have failed time and time again.

This latest incarnation of Steam is no different. Think about it...where's Steam 1.0 of content delivery was so bitchen?

The ONLY way content delivery will work is if the content is reliable (my Steam 2.0 TFC download failed to install Fatal error 108), ISPs don't enforce daily DL caps and it's CHEAP...WAY CHEAP and so far there are no publishers (including Valve) willing to go that route. They try to sell this garbage based on convenience...but that's not what people are looking for. Steam 2.0 may serve Valve well if they continue putting their classic titles up for free and run it ad supported, promoting their newest titles (eg Real Arcade).

•••

FLECOM
Bay Networks Freak
Premium Member
join:2003-03-03
Miami, FL
·Comcast XFINITY
·Atlantic Broadband

FLECOM to Jaime

Premium Member

to Jaime
said by Jaime:
It's not a "Fileplanet with less titles.", it'll be a content delivery application that will also try to thwart cheaters/hackers from manipulating key .dll files since files will be redownloaded from servers every so often to make sure they are in fact genuine.

AHAHAHAHAH!!! then you didnt play beta 1.6 for CS using the Steam beta!!! had even more hacks than the current 1.5! and they were much worse!!! you could kill the entire other team from spawn with the 1.6 hacks rofl...

Valve is stupid if they think im going to pay per month to play a game...

the only people that pay for a game per month are the crazy obsessive people that play everquest etc...

Jaime
Premium Member
join:2001-06-03
Huntington Beach, CA

Jaime

Premium Member

Re: Yeah great...pay the price for the software

said by FLECOM:
said by Jaime:
It's not a "Fileplanet with less titles.", it'll be a content delivery application that will also try to thwart cheaters/hackers from manipulating key .dll files since files will be redownloaded from servers every so often to make sure they are in fact genuine.

AHAHAHAHAH!!! then you didnt play beta 1.6 for CS using the Steam beta!!! had even more hacks than the current 1.5! and they were much worse!!! you could kill the entire other team from spawn with the 1.6 hacks rofl...

Valve is stupid if they think im going to pay per month to play a game...

the only people that pay for a game per month are the crazy obsessive people that play everquest etc...
Please read my comments more carefully. And I have played 1.6 since the day it came out.

Minvaren
Premium Member
join:2001-07-26
Houston, TX

Minvaren

Premium Member

To check on the bandwidth...

You can click here and check. Currently half of the content servers are offline as they prep them for release, so the number as of right now will be lower than is available for "prime-time" release.

As far as using it? I cold-installed Half-Life, patched it to 1.1.0.6 (I think that's the current release) and then installed Counter-Strike 1.5.

Steam client download : 10 seconds.
Steam install (including downloads) : 3.5 minutes
Counter-Strike/Half-Life initial update : 15 minutes

(keep in mind that every major "point upgrade" to CS and HL require 2 70+MB downloads if you use the full installers, and 2 10+MB downloads if you use the upgraders)

Subsequent CS/HL patches were roughly 30-60 seconds each.

This is on 1.5M DSL, and the download was at more like 768k. I have no issue with the pipes available so far for the patching, it's the connect time (as all files get scanned for current versions) that is a bit slower than it was. As "Steam" won't be used for the Client-Server communication while playing, only the initial signon/patching/connect, it should work pretty well.
Maggs
Premium Member
join:2002-11-29
Jackson Heights, NY

Maggs

Premium Member

Re: To check on the bandwidth...

They could load balance the connections with a server in Europe, where not many have high speed access at home. Half Life would probably need a couple OC3s to work reasonably well with online content delivery.

They could place one OC3 with server farm in Ireland, with a population of 3 million people, not many are online. Then they could also try Austrailia, and Hawaii, and maybe British Colombia in Canada, that way the connections are spread geographically so that users nearest a point use those connections.\

In the US, they could have a server every 1,500 miles of land, one in NYC, one in the Midwest, and one in CA.

Also, they could license BitTorrent Technologies that could spread out the connection across a multiple of users. That way bandwidth would be less of a problem.

Maybe this config could work:

One Server/ Connection in British Columbia
One Server/ Connection in California
One Server/ Connection in Ohio
One Server/ Connection in Florida
One Server/ Connection in Virginia
One Server/ Connection in NYC or Upstate NY
One Server/ Connection in Ireland
One Server/ Connection in Austrailia

That way people closest to a point could connect to the nearest area thereby reducing time of bandwidth usage. The more points that are accessible near you the better the bandwidth quality and reliability.

Just my take on things. I ain't an IT expert either, so don't shoot me.
seppytech
join:2002-06-04
Boca Raton, FL

seppytech

Member

Not sure if Steam will be accepted...

I think one of the reasons CS got so big was decentralization. Servers are everywhere: 11,000 of them the last time I checked!

But Valve wasn't making a whole lot off this massive community (besides the 1 time purchase) so the Marketing Dept. comes up with this.

••••
drainbamage
join:2000-10-30
Beverly Hills, CA

drainbamage

Member

steam seems fine to me so far.....

Personally, I have been using Steam and prefer the CS community there ( to date ) over GameSpy's ( or at least I think I perceive a difference). I do not see as many glitchers on Steam but they are there and that still is a major downer that has to be overcome...
I don't have a problem in forking out cash for a title, but online play is not something I will ever pay for.........
I am a dope, I believe that HL2 and DOOM3 will help turn the economy around or at least really help kill the time until it does........so I find it very exciting that HL2 might actually hit 09-30.......

(the above is my opinion and I assure you I will not be swayed by facts.....)
Mishotaki
join:2003-09-10
j0v 1a0

Mishotaki

Member

B S

i won't pay for sh*t that would make us pay to play a game of 6vs6 persons.... that would not even be hosted by steam.... just B S

tWb
@rr.com

tWb

Anon

Re: B S

TBH, i think valve just wants some money, look at it like this. CS has been around for years... its the largest multiplayer game ever and has more then 80,000 players at anygiven time. CS isnt free, to this day Half Life sits in retail store shelves for one reason, the MODS. Valve and sierra have a deal worked out for a percentage... Not one game as old as HL is still sitting in retail stores worldwide. Its kinda obovious that its all about the money, Steam is a nice piece of software, but like alot of people said it wont work out. Think about this, say you buy alot of content off of steam, then one day, they go out of business and shut it down... you lose everything you bought. And for those of you saying apps like steam are the wave of the future.. i pitty you, I would rather go to the store and buy a piece of software with the disk in my hand, then to use a credit card over the net, to buy software from a company that charges kids to play a 4 year old video game... its sad and pathetic, if valve does this it will be the end of CS and HL
drunk3npanda
join:2002-12-08

drunk3npanda

Member

if u guys havent noticed... about cs

i played cs since the good ol days of 2000.
(beta 5s)

back then i would get GOOD UNCHOKED 200 ping.
then after that, EVERY DAMN version their "new netcode" would seriously f*ck things up.
now comes 1.6, this is some laggy sh*t and makes scrimming hard.

no one wants this version to come out (well most of us), why cant we just all wait for hl2. omg
rosmini
join:2000-05-03
Albuquerque, NM

rosmini

Member

I don't play it like I used to but

I joined the beta shortly after it began and have used the half life cd to play online and I can say that not having to download 50 updates to make the cd version current was NICE and even with the updates on cd it can take awhile to get them installed with steam If you choose to you can begin playing within 20 minutes. You can do this with any of the mods it supports. To a certain extent it helped some with the cheating but only when the steam players were separated from the servers using the retail version.

Synergy Games man
@cpe.net.cable.rogers

Synergy Games man

Anon

distributors

anyone know any web sites of video game distributors? I'm starting my own video game store, and want to find a company to buy bulk games off of. any help is highly appreciated