Discussion: Video Games

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Discussion: Video Games

Post by Flamboyant-Pencil »

So. A conversation I had with a few other forumites on the IRC earlier made me think a broader discussion of games would be pretty nice to have. So... Lets discuss them!

Favourite games? Developers? Consoles? Least favourite? Trends you don't like in the industry? Trends you do like? Graphics, gameplay, story, artwork, music, gameplay, what most affects how you view a game?
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Re: Discussion: Video Games

Post by zeekgenateer »

Disclaimer I am an avid gamer. I have MANY MANY strong opinions on this subject and I've argued so many times with my friends on the subject. I hope I don't step on any toes with my massive rage.

Enter, The Rant Zone.

First I'm going to discuss DRM. DRM is for all you console owners is a control mechanism that's supposed reason for existence is to prevent piracy. This is what makes sure your disk is in the drive while playing a game, only allows a certain number of installs, and in Ubisoft's case, forces you to be connected to the internet to play a single player game (a la Assassin's Creed 2). The problem with DRM is that in the long run (long being several months) it does nothing to prevent piracy. All games are cracked within months, and with torrenting and file-locker services it's very easy to download workarounds. DRM then because a frustration for consumers and not pirates. Paying customers are subjected to punishments, why because they actually paid for the game? DRM at best is a lackluster stopgap measure to prevent piracy that for consumers is all stick and no carrot.

Now let's talk about Steam. Steam is probably the best game distribution platform ever, which is really sad. Horrible connection issues and slow game downloads still plague it. The thing that sets Steam apart from any other distribution/DRM scheme is that it is a SERVICE. This is important, Steam provides much to its users. Cheap content (Steam has an uncountable number of sales), Multiple installs (install a game on as many computers as you own), in game chat (xfire is decent, but has no advantages over steam), and steam has many games available on midnight release for download. Steam is the only platform that treats its customers like they're customers. Things aren't always rosy though. If a game is highly anticipated, good luck downloading it quickly without a preload. You'll be stuck downloading at 20k, or worse. If Steam had a P2P system so that clients could upload parts of games to other clients, much of the system load would be alleviated. Basically Steam is the best thing for PCs right now, but there's a lot of room for improvement.

Finally I'm going to rage at MW2 and people who want to make similar games. MW2 is a game based on the premise that people enjoy being jerks to eachother. When you are doing well in MW2, you are given something to destroy other players to strengthen your lead. People are drawn to this jerkery because they like making people angry and upset over their stupid killstreaks. The game is just made to make you rageout when you're not doing well. The nuke boosters, the noobtube spammers, the commando knifers... they don't make ANY sense. How could anyone enjoy being taunted by people abusing the game.

Rant off.

Hopefully not everyone is scared away by this block of text and I'd love to argue with people about my opinions over IRC.
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Re: Discussion: Video Games

Post by Kyderra »

Valve and Blizzard are the best company's , and if you don't think so......I will faceplam in your general direction.
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Re: Discussion: Video Games

Post by Flamboyant-Pencil »

Though Blizzards abuse of the cashcow that is WoW is a bit meh. They make all their other games pretty well, and treat their community pretty good from what I've seen, but Blizzard's no Valve. 25 dollars for a cosmetic horse skin? ._ .
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Re: Discussion: Video Games

Post by dynaslash »

Megaman is a pretty cool guy, eh fights mavericks and doesn't afraid of nothing.
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Re: Discussion: Video Games

Post by zeekgenateer »

I personally don't like Blizzard. I think they're shady and I could never get myself to level cap in WoW whenever I've tried to play it. And now that they've been bought/merged by Activision I see more evil in the future.
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Re: Discussion: Video Games

Post by Adzo »

favourite developers are infinity ward (but not treyarch), and Hideo Kojima. my pet peeve in gaming is rip-off downloadable content.

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Re: Discussion: Video Games

Post by zeekgenateer »

I am taking very deep breaths to not enter rant mode and hate on infinity ward. Oh god, how I would love to see them destroyed, dismantled. The one thing I will say is how much I laughed at their "Stimulus Package" map pack. Oh you MW2 chumps, you chumps you...
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Re: Discussion: Video Games

Post by Kyderra »

In other older news, Halo 2 online got discontinued for no reason other then.... erm.. .nope none at all.
and counterstrike CS at that same time has gotten updated with some new features.

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Re: Discussion: Video Games

Post by Esquire Fox »

- Esquire Fox

What do you mean that's not what the signature is for?

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Re: Discussion: Video Games

Post by Flamboyant-Pencil »

I'd be fine with movement-based gaming if people actually did something innovative with it, but only a few of the games I've seen take any advantage of the Wii Mote and Friends.
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Re: Discussion: Video Games

Post by Buckdida »

Flamboyant-Pencil wrote:I'd be fine with movement-based gaming if people actually did something innovative with it, but only a few of the games I've seen take any advantage of the Wii Mote and Friends.
I want to see a muffins and cookies Paper Mario game that actually does something with the Wii's movement control. Super Paper Mario was fun, but it wasn't the RPG style thing I was expecting to see. With the whole action command battle thing, we could really get people into the game...swing the wii-mote over your head with the right timing like Mario for the hammer...same for jump attacks... I mean, you think that would be a no brainer, but apparently... just argh.
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Re: Discussion: Video Games

Post by zeekgenateer »

I agree with (I think it was yahtzee's assessment) that consoles are going through puberty and that these motion controls are just them acting out. Wii got over it's motion controller infatuation rather quickly, but now PS3 and the XBOX want to imitate it. So XBOX is going crazily over the top with their motion control and Sony is just copyposta-ing the Wii.
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Re: Discussion: Video Games

Post by Typhon »

zeekgenateer wrote:I agree with (I think it was yahtzee's assessment) that consoles are going through puberty and that these motion controls are just them acting out. Wii got over it's motion controller infatuation rather quickly, but now PS3 and the XBOX want to imitate it. So XBOX is going crazily over the top with their motion control and Sony is just copyposta-ing the Wii.
I think the only game yahtzee didn't totally trash was portal. im serious.

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Re: Discussion: Video Games

Post by zeekgenateer »

I don't take yahtzee's reviews seriously because he only rails on the horribleness of the game. I enjoy watching him crush games, but some of the one's he's hated on I've enjoyed.
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Re: Discussion: Video Games

Post by Kyderra »

Yatzee's review on webcomics was awesome
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Re: Discussion: Video Games

Post by Typhon »

Kyderra wrote:Yatzee's review on webcomics was awesome
he reviews web comics too? hm i didn't know that

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Re: Discussion: Video Games

Post by Liam »

Its name wasn't mentioned, but it he basically just ripped CAD a new one. A little detour from his usual stuff, but it is a gamer comic after all (or so it says).
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Re: Discussion: Video Games

Post by Sleet »

I'm primarily a Nintendo fan, but I'm not exclusively loyal. I had a PS2, and now I have an Xbox 360 and play an occasional PC game. My favorite publishers/developers are Nintendo, Rare, Square-Enix, Blizzard and Valve. My favorite game series are Mario, Pokémon, Final Fantasy, Fire Emblem, Super Smash Bros., (old) Sonic the Hedgehog, Banjo-Kazooie, Left 4 Dead and Starcraft. Some of my favorite non-series (or not-yet-series) games are Portal, Tales of Symphonia and Braid.

And on the topic of Yahtzee, I like his reviews since they're funny, but his opinions I don't think are worth much. He does occasionally point out flaws most people miss, but most of the time he points out flaws that aren't even flaws. Not that they're minor and he's dwelling on them, but that they don't exist.
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Re: Discussion: Video Games

Post by Typhon »

It doesn't help that he talks at the speed of light too :/

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Re: Discussion: Video Games

Post by Buckdida »

I watch Zero Punctuation because it's funny. Though its jokes and...locutions are in no way appropriate to be mentioned on these forums.

He mentions at one point that what he's saying is only his opinion, and if you like a game, then a negative review shouldn't change that (unless you have that small doubt in the back of your head that you know it's actually bad).

He spent one episode countering arguments from "fans" that he received as a result of his Super Smash Bros. Brawl review.

And he focuses on the negative because his fans complain when he doesn't. People watch his reviews for the purpose of watching him rip apart games.

...I've also found that I have absolutely no trouble understanding any accent after conditioning myself to be able to understand him in one go. XD
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Re: Discussion: Video Games

Post by Typhon »

You actually have to concentrate to understand his reviews. Since when did you have to concentrate on video game related videos :/

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Re: Discussion: Video Games

Post by Kyderra »

Typhon wrote:
Kyderra wrote:Yatzee's review on webcomics was awesome
he reviews web comics too? hm i didn't know that
just gaming Webcomcis in general
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/ ... -Webcomics
warning: contains strong foul language
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Re: Discussion: Video Games

Post by Sleet »

That was one of my favorite reviews. It's mostly gaming webcomics that he's reviewing, for the record.
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Re: Discussion: Video Games

Post by Flamboyant-Pencil »

It's called Zero Punctuation for a reason guys. It's his gimmick, and it works for him. Personally, I think it's nice to watch his reviews for your favourite new releases, so you can see some of the parts of the game you conveniently forgot cos the other parts are so good.

Also he loves HL2 too, I believe.
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Re: Discussion: Video Games

Post by Typhon »

Flamboyant-Pencil wrote:It's called Zero Punctuation for a reason guys. It's his gimmick, and it works for him. Personally, I think it's nice to watch his reviews for your favourite new releases, so you can see some of the parts of the game you conveniently forgot cos the other parts are so good.

Also he loves HL2 too, I believe.
he may love hl2, but he hates gordan freeman. and the physics puzzles. and the gman. Wait, that's like the whole game...

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Re: Discussion: Video Games

Post by Jersey »

WALL OF TEXT AHEAD

Hoo boy, video games. I was raised with Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time and Super Mario 64, and as such I have a deep love for all things Nintendo. Still, lately I've been very much in the computer gaming scene. If you haven't checked my Steam account that I linked in my signature, I've put 400 hours into Team Fortress 2, 200 hours into Day of Defeat: Source, about 130 into Garry's mod, and more in other games I'm too lazy to list, besides the fact I know you probably weren't that interested in the first place. So I think it's pretty obvious that I'm a FPS guy, but not on consoles. I don't have an Xbox 360 or PS3, and I really don't care about that "gamer score" whatever-the-heck-it-is that Xbox fans always seem to be talking about.

When it comes to companies that make games, these are my favorites;

Nintendo: For the Legend of Zelda series and Mario series. I'd list more, but sadly I haven't really got anything new for the Wii in awhile.

Valve: For the Half-Life series, the Left 4 Dead series, TF2, Counter Strike: Source, and all the free updates (seriously, CS:S was released about 7 years ago and they're still updating it for free. Most major game companies would have made at least 2 sequels by now).

Tripwire Interactive: For Killing Floor and Red Orchestra.

Wolfire Games: For Lugaru and Overgrowth (which I pre ordered).

Trends in the industry I like: personally, I never get tired of killing large amounts of zombies. Be it in L4D or Killing Floor (though if you want to nitpick, those are specimens, not zombies). So long as the games are well made, I like 'em. As for Nintendo, I haven't played either of the Super Mario Galaxies yet but I really want to. The new Legend of Zelda looks great too. While Twilight Princess was a good game (hooray for wolf transformation) and the darker storyline was quite refreshing, it lacked the subtleties that made Majora's Mask great. Majora's Mask, I'm not sure what it was about that game, but it seemed to me it had a certain dark sense of humor going on the whole time just barely in the background that just kept me enthralled. From the Skull Kid's sad story of betrayal, to new friendship, and eventual succumbing to evil, to the story of that one little girl living with her father in the middle of a deadly spirit infested wasteland, the whole game was filled with a excellent sub plots that, when combined, rival the main plot. While some decried the 3 day system, I personally really liked it. Seeing more people becoming terrified by the moon looming ever closer, until at the end of the 3 days you're almost in a ghost town except for a few people. And of those few people, one's an idiot, one's a tough guy who you actually find hiding in a secret back room scared out of his mind, and the post man who desperately wants to leave but his duty to his job won't let him (I'm pretty sure there's a few more, but I can't think of them right now). Of course unless you're beating the game, you just play the Song of Time and the whole thing starts all over again. Yeah, I could go on and on about everything that made that game great, but this isn't a Zelda forum. Suffice it to say, I doubt I'll ever play another game that will really match that experience.

What more games need is story telling like that. For a primarily multi player game, Left 4 Dead and it's sequel have a surprising amount of back story. It's revealed mostly through conversation between the Survivors, but there's more to it then just that. The walls of safe room's and a few other random places are covered with graffiti, from people mourning lost loved ones, telling family/friends where they went and with who, to people bragging about their zombie kill count. You can also infer most of the story from the environment, a fair bit in the first one but particularly in the sequel. Piles of dead bodies fenced off from everything else, a highway full of abandoned cars, traces of last stands (there's quite a few maps that have a single body either holding a gun or having one lying next to them), and the large piles of bodies who didn't look infected but were shot anyway. And still that game manages to be hilarious. THAT right there takes skill.

Of course, to expect such high quality stories in every single game I play is a really high expectation. Some games don't really need a story to be great. If you have truly great game play, you can get away with not having a large complex story that explores the depths of human nature. For example, the Wario Ware series. Yeah, they have mini stories in them, but they're pretty much only there to set up the style of the mini game's you're going to play. Another game, AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! A Reckless Disregard for Gravity, while possibly having one of the best names ever, doesn't particularly bother you with it's back story (though it does have one). All I really cared about was epic futuristic base jumping.

However, what really makes the best game is the combination of those two factors. It's a delicate balance, but it's been pulled off. Just look at Portal and it's sequel. It has that one gimmick, the portal gun, and it changed the way we think about puzzles. And yet, it still managed to keep players entranced with the slowly more threatening GLaDOS and her promises of cake. Also, once again subtleties really make that game stand out. The connection with the Borealis ship that you can see in HL:Ep2 that clearly bears the Aperture Science logo, just makes the whole thing that much more intriguing.

While that's all well and good (I can't wait for Portal 2 or HL:Ep3 to come out), there's other ways of telling a story. In Team Fortress 2, that story is pretty much between the players. Yes, I know TF2 is slowly getting a massive back story explaining the origins of the RED vs. BLU war, but that wasn't there originally. When that game first came out, it had what no other multi player only game had, each class had it's own distinct character. Every part of them is memorable, from the gutsy American Soldier (who actually wasn't a Soldier), the Boston-accented Scout, the huge rumbling Russian giant that is the Heavy Weapons Guy, and every other class, as they'd interact with each other hilarity would ensue. The domination and revenge lines (yes, I know those really weren't added upon to make them the awesome level they are now, but they keep in spirit with the character interaction) are all hilarious (so long as you're not the one being dominated), and again it's the subtleness that makes the game shine. Stuff you would expect, like the character's increasingly frantic call of "MEDIC!" as their health lowers, are there. Also, the TF2 team specifically put in the taunt system (combined with the death cam) for every character to further increase the player interaction and just reinforce the personalities of the already extremely colorful cast. The Sniper jauntily waving to his headshot victim, the Soldier giving the Loser sign instead of a salute while giblets fall around him, and of course the Heavy hugging his minigun.

Yeah, I could go on and on about those games, but let's get to something else.

Trends I don't like in gaming: shovelware. Just shovelware. Whenever my sister comes home with a new game for her DS, and I see it's "Catz 2" or some other crap like it, I die a little inside. She's young, she's seduced by the pictures of the cute kitties on the box and the "edgy" use of a z instead of a s, but I know she'll play it 3, 4 hours tops before she realizes this is a game pumped out by developers specifically targeted at her, because they know almost all little girls like kitties (ok, pretty much I'm the one who'll realize that. She'll just realize it's a stupid game). That, or maybe Grandma will get confused when choosing a game and just get something she thinks looks cute, when she can buy something genuinely good for someone that age (Nintendogs, the DS New Super Mario Bros., etc). Ok, sadly, this problem is largely restricted to the Nintendo consoles much more then the Sony and Microsoft ones. I don't know why, probably because those consoles are generally more likely to have the demographic those developers are hoping to trick into buying their game. Anyway, it's saturating the market and is shaming the Nintendo name.

While that problem is pretty much Nintendo-exclusive, here's one that PS3 and 360 owners probably recognize. First person shooters may be the biggest thing on the market. As such, a lot of them are of the "dime a dozen" variety. It seems at least half of the new games coming out are FPS's. I'll admit, more effort is put into them the generic DS game that replaces the s in a title with a z. Still, new Medal of Honor game, there was that Wolfenstein game awhile ago, new Call of Duty, Halo Reach, so on and so on. Now, while I didn't really care to seriously get into CoD's multi player (I never bought the game, just played it on friend's machines), I did kinda like the single player. A lot of work had been put into it. What bugged me were the infinitely spawning enemies, the entire rooster-and-bull notion that even if you're shot, so long as you don't get hit again for a couple seconds you'll be right as rain, the one-hit-kill knife slash, and the indestructible riot shields just ruined my suspension of disbelief.

Granted, if first person's shooters were very realistic, they wouldn't be much fun (there's a couple of exceptions, like Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising and Red Orchestra, and even they have their flaws). Do you think as many people would play CoD if just one bullet would seriously debilitate you, if not kill you? Deeper then that, gun muzzle velocity and recoil aren't really accurately represented. I feel kind of bad for picking on CoD so much, but it's its own fault. To loosely quote Penny Arcade, "What's modern about a guy running around stabbing people? He's not a modern warrior, he's a psychopath."

END WALL OF TEXT

I will continue with this thread of thought later, but right now it's almost 4 in the morning. Good night (morning) for now.
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Re: Discussion: Video Games

Post by zeekgenateer »

Heh, 400hrs of TF2. I definitely don't have 1123 hrs, getting close to my 50 day mark.... stop looking at me funny...

EDIT: oh and no idling, well maybe some like 10hrs max when the idler program was out.
Last edited by zeekgenateer on Thu Jul 08, 2010 12:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Discussion: Video Games

Post by Flamboyant-Pencil »

I have 340ish total of TF2
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Re: Discussion: Video Games

Post by zeekgenateer »

World of Tanks beta starts WHOOOOO!!!!!!!! If anyone signs up and gets a key give me a hollar.
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Re: Discussion: Video Games

Post by NoelL »

zeekgenateer wrote:If Steam had a P2P system so that clients could upload parts of games to other clients, much of the system load would be alleviated.
Because people mod their game files. Imagine downloading a steam game and then getting, like, half a mod.

To do that, Steam would have to disallow modifying the game's files. I prefer the slower download times, thanks.

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Re: Discussion: Video Games

Post by Typhon »

zeekgenateer wrote:Heh, 400hrs of TF2. I definitely don't have 1123 hrs, getting close to my 50 day mark.... stop looking at me funny...

EDIT: oh and no idling, well maybe some like 10hrs max when the idler program was out.
it disappoints me that people with 50 hours of tf2 get the oh so revered golden wrench :/

edit: i saw one was around 40 -_-

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Re: Discussion: Video Games

Post by zeekgenateer »

NoelL wrote:
zeekgenateer wrote:If Steam had a P2P system so that clients could upload parts of games to other clients, much of the system load would be alleviated.
Because people mod their game files. Imagine downloading a steam game and then getting, like, half a mod.

To do that, Steam would have to disallow modifying the game's files. I prefer the slower download times, thanks.
Umm, core game files aren't modified because VAC and the game itself would go crazy. When you verify game files you don't verify custom exec scripts or maps, so it should work fine. Also a simple hash check would solve most if not all download verification problems. It's how pieces to torrents are checked for authenticity/bad blocks and probably how steam verifies game file integrity. WoW does their patches P2P, why can't steam do games P2P?
Typhon wrote:
it disappoints me that people with 50 hours of tf2 get the oh so revered golden wrench :/

edit: i saw one was around 40 -_-
I gave up on caring about items when they busted everyone who ever used idler. I didn't use it that much, but getting like all your items deleted was unfun.
Last edited by zeekgenateer on Thu Jul 08, 2010 1:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Typhon
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Re: Discussion: Video Games

Post by Typhon »

I found out about the idler when i went into a server and heard several cussing players lol

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NoelL
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Re: Discussion: Video Games

Post by NoelL »

zeekgenateer wrote: Umm, core game files aren't modified because VAC and the game itself would go crazy. When you verify game files you don't verify custom exec scripts or maps, so it should work fine. Also a simple hash check would solve most if not all download verification problems. It's how pieces to torrents are checked for authenticity/bad blocks and probably how steam verifies game file integrity.
Sure, that's how valve games work, but steam has way more games than just Left 4 Dead and Half Life 2. For example, I have a ton of mods installed for Grand Theft Auto IV that replaces in-game textures and models. Would you want to download the game and discover you suddenly have one, and have no way to restore it without reinstalling the game and hoping you get lucky?
WoW does their patches P2P, why can't steam do games P2P?
Because users don't modify those.

edit: Besides, it defeats itself from the start. For it to be P2P, one of two cases has to exist:

1. Users can voluntarily upload game data. No one would do this.

2. It would be involuntary and automatic. Not everyone has unlimited bandwidth, and no one wants it being stolen by some random internet people they don't know. It would also create lag in online games. It's also sort of invasive.

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zeekgenateer
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Re: Discussion: Video Games

Post by zeekgenateer »

I feel like you didn't read my post...
zeekgenateer wrote:Also a simple hash check would solve most if not all download verification problems. It's how pieces to torrents are checked for authenticity/bad blocks and probably how steam verifies game file integrity.
Hash Check (Data Watermarking). Not especially hard to do. You run the check at both ends, uploader and downloader. Plus the servers act as web seeds to seed missing pieces and provide unique (if needed data). Plus even if you couldn't do non-Valve games P2P, doing the valve ones this way would save A LOT of server bandwidth. It's an obvious solution to a frustrating problem. Ever try to play TF2 on an newly released update? I love getting the "Steam Server is too busy to handle your request" message.

Edit in response to edit:
Stolen by random internet people.
I really did a "Huh?" here. I assume you mean a man in the middle sappin your download/upload. There's a simple solution called encryption and the hashing would also server to help. A MitM attack could happen to even an HTTP download now, so its no big loss in security.

Then for bandwidth issues, steam already does not download while you are in a game. You could have a by enabled by default opt out system that only uses a very small part of the bandwidth available. Or it could only upload while you are currently downloading a file off Steam (when you're already sapping your bandwidth anyway).

I'm not seeing any significant problems that would prevent P2P from being used. I know I'd volunteer to share my bandwidth that I'm not using.

Edit 2:
Had a nice chat with Turnsky in IRC, who made a valid point about people who have quota's on their internet bandwidth (connections to steam servers don't count for him). An opt out system could make your client only connect to the Steam content servers and not the client swarm.
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Kyderra
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Re: Discussion: Video Games

Post by Kyderra »

http://www.gameranx.com/features/id/650 ... ery-happy/

his face.... I'ts happy.. i am in agreement
"Why would you ever want to connect the dots?"

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zeekgenateer
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Re: Discussion: Video Games

Post by zeekgenateer »

My face, it is happy, knowing i won't soil my mind playing an InfinityWard title ever again.

I AM FREE!!!! Also ZING! (MS zings Acti over PC support)
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Kyderra
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Re: Discussion: Video Games

Post by Kyderra »

zeekgenateer wrote:My face, it is happy, knowing i won't soil my mind playing an InfinityWard title ever again.

I AM FREE!!!! Also ZING! (MS zings Acti over PC support)
and is called, "owned"

next up in game class....
"Why would you ever want to connect the dots?"

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NoelL
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Re: Discussion: Video Games

Post by NoelL »

Yes, I know what hash checking is. It's not exactly reliable, though - I've had plenty of corrupted torrents, and it's possible to fake. I don't know, it just seems like a system like that would be way too open to abuse. It would only take one really smart guy, tired of spies sappin' his sentry, to give everyone downloading TF2 a horrible virus.

And then there's the community backlash. It just doesn't really seem worth it.
zeekgenateer wrote:An opt out system could make your client only connect to the Steam content servers and not the client swarm.
If this were available, then almost everyone would use it, should they need to or not. If you disagree, then I'm not sure you know the internet very well.

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