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  1. #1
    Obscure Node
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    Games for Windows Live - A awful tale

    Over the last few years I haven't ever really complained too much about GFWL, it pissed me off the way it updated and how it stores its save files but I never really saw the reason why people hated it so much, until today.

    I was sitting around on a sunday, my first free day of a long week ready to get back into Arkham City and chase down the penguin when the game crashed every time I launched it. I spent ages finding a solution to the problem but nope, so I reinstalled the game and nope nothing happened, then I tried opening GFWL marketplace and again that crashed.

    I tried reinstalling .net 4 that GFWL uses and again no change.

    So I began looking up the error and there wasnt too much documentation for it online just discussions on forums everywhere and one person saying that reinstalling their OS was a solution. After feeling sad and thinking up a preparation to backup for the OS reinstall I tried another GFWL game to see if that was also borked, and yeah it was. So I looked up the error and found that someone on the Fable steam forums had solved the problem.

    They said install Windows Live Essentials 2011 and repair it, I did this and straight away it all worked again. This is installing a messenger program to fix this. By the time I had fixed it I was planning on playing a game of League of Legends with friends before heading to bed. But yeah any developers planning on using GFWL obviously don't care about their users or else they would choose another platform such as Steamworks or none at all.

    Anyone else had any similar experiences with this?

    TLDR;
    I had to install Windows Live Messenger to fix GFWL after spending a day trying to do so.

  2. #2
    Network Hub mr.doo's Avatar
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    oh for fuck's sake. windows once forced me to install vc++ redistributable files to play some game. I gave up, sold my pc, went to the store and bought myself a xbox. Now I cry every night.
    Last edited by mr.doo; 19-12-2011 at 02:56 AM.

  3. #3
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Vexing Vision's Avatar
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    Apart from GFWL being responsible for corrupting my Batman: AA saves whenever I make a Gold medal in the third brawl-challenge room, installing the crap took twice as long as installing Batman: AC.

    It kept auto-updating itself three times, asking me to quit and restart the game over and over again. Even the native Windows-updated works a lot better than this.
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  4. #4
    Lesser Hivemind Node apricotsoup's Avatar
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    I've not had anything that bad, but it did kill some of my DoW2 saves.
    Not to mention the horrible online saving thing that it seemed to use exclusively for that.

  5. #5
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Grizzly's Avatar
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    dirt 2 blatantly refused to start untill I got WLE... damn it.

  6. #6
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Althea's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flukie View Post
    I had to install Windows Live Messenger to fix GFWL after spending a day trying to do so.
    Live Essentials isn't WLM, or should I say isn't just WLM. There's a tool in it called something like the Windows Live Sign-In Assistant, which is irritatingly necessary to use GfWL with any degree of stability or success. I was unable to play BioShock 2 on a re-install until I realised that I'd uninstalled the assistant previously. Reinstalled it, and I could play the game.


  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by mr.doo View Post
    oh for fuck's sake. windows once forced me to install vc++ redistributable files to play some game. I gave up, sold my pc, went to the store and bought myself a xbox. Now I cry every night.
    I love this attitude, that's right we should have to struggle with shit software just to make ourselves feel extra clever when we finally get the game we paid for working.

  8. #8
    Lesser Hivemind Node NecroKnight's Avatar
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    Damn! I heard it was bad, but I wasn't aware it was this awful. No wonder people pirate GFWL games so much.

  9. #9
    Network Hub Megagun's Avatar
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    Hmm, isn't this just some form of DLL hell, specifically "DLL Stomping", which means that it could happen thanks to any stupid application installer being faulty?

    At the very least, it seems like a dependency problem (based on UnravThreads' description), which may mean that it's not GFWL that is to blame for this, unless GFWL doesn't bundle the dependency properly with stuff that requires said dependency. I'm not actually familiar with GFWL, though.

    EDIT: do you still have that error message? Also, did you recently (between when the game last worked, and when the game first appeared to be not working anymore) install some software?

  10. #10
    Network Hub mr.doo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spakkenkhrist View Post
    I love this attitude, that's right we should have to struggle with shit software just to make ourselves feel extra clever when we finally get the game we paid for working.
    You have one simple solution. If installing crap program X to make game Y work is too much for you just don't buy it.

  11. #11
    Yeah GFWL can be a real ordeal to install. It took me about 2 hours to install GTA4 this summer... that is 2 hours spent only on GFWL, with GTA4 already downloaded and installed via steam. I've still got the notes from that somewhere, if I can find them I'll post them.

    It (among other recent experiences, such as Skyrim's drm patch and Dragon Age's servers invalidating dlc) taught me to always research a game before buying it. Getting stuff on impulse or pre-ordering simply isn't wise until you know what sort of drm and 3rd party programs are attached.
    Last edited by Snargelfargen; 19-12-2011 at 09:53 PM.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Megagun View Post
    At the very least, it seems like a dependency problem (based on UnravThreads' description), which may mean that it's not GFWL that is to blame for this, unless GFWL doesn't bundle the dependency properly with stuff that requires said dependency. I'm not actually familiar with GFWL, though.
    If a piece of software neither properly checks for dependencies nor gives a useful message when they're not fulfilled, it's a clear sign of 100% garbage. Godafwl is one such piece of software.

  13. #13
    Haha, I found my notes from installing GFWL. I had forgotten the horrible details, but two highlights stand out.
    1. In the process of re-installing GFWL, it linked my pre-existing hotmail account to my GFWL account. Not only did it link them together, but it changed my emails password as well. At no point did it inform me that this was going to happen. It was a very frustrating experience to discover that my primary email account's password had been changed the following day.
    Apparently these services all fall under the umbrella of "Windows Live", which is apparently different from GFWL, although I'm not sure how. There is no excuse for changing an email account's password without any warning. WTF
    2. My 500gb external hard drive failed in the middle of the installation of the second update to GFWL. There is of course no way of telling how or why this happened, but that sure is some odd timing for the fateful "usb device not recognized" message. I don't know why GFWL would be poking around the external anyways, but there certainly was a lot of hard drive thrashing going on.

  14. #14
    Lesser Hivemind Node DigitalSignalX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flukie View Post
    Over the last few years I haven't ever really complained too much about GFWL, it pissed me off the way it updated and how it stores its save files but I never really saw the reason why people hated it so much, until today.
    Quote Originally Posted by mr.doo View Post
    You have one simple solution. If installing crap program X to make game Y work is too much for you just don't buy it.
    Perhaps read what he said instead of knee jerking? He states he had no strong reason to dislike GFWL games before this, so why should he have known to avoid it?

    Damn near very game made in the past decade that requires DirectX, Dot.net or a certain version of C++ distro includes it in the install or in the games files. For a game to require some other app that isn't listed on the features or a part of the install setup is just a developer being inconsiderate toward their customers.
    Last edited by DigitalSignalX; 20-12-2011 at 04:53 AM.
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  15. #15
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Unaco's Avatar
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    Apart from forgetting my password, never had any troubles with GFWL. Even then, the password recovery system worked very well, A+ Service, would recommend.
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  16. #16
    Network Hub FuriKuri!'s Avatar
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    I've always hated how it obnoxiously binds itself to your Home key. I use arrow keys for movement so home is a prime bit of keyboard real estate for me, usually serving some auxiallary function (bring up inventory or radial for example).

    It wasn't an awful service when I used it for DoW 2 but it was beyond horrible when I tried to play Gears of War. In my opinion there remain some serious issues with how its implemented. The 'new' look and feel is a lot better than what it had circa Gears, but still needs a lot of work. Feels too much like a gamepad driven interface. I think it would benefit usability hugely if Microsoft treat it as a self contained product rather than part of the Windows Live whatnot.

  17. #17
    Network Hub Colonel J's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UnravThreads View Post
    Live Essentials isn't WLM, or should I say isn't just WLM. There's a tool in it called something like the Windows Live Sign-In Assistant, which is irritatingly necessary to use GfWL with any degree of stability or success. I was unable to play BioShock 2 on a re-install until I realised that I'd uninstalled the assistant previously. Reinstalled it, and I could play the game.
    I'm generally OK about GFWL (or at least resigned to tolerating it) but yeah the Sign-in Assistant is the part of the package that irritates the most. I turned it off when Soluto told me it was adding 45 seconds to my previously 90 second boot time then discovered that Bulletstorm and Batman AA wouldn't launch without it. I can get around it by signing in on the utterly redundant Windows Live Marketplace first, all GFWL games then work. But I may have to give in and let sign-in assistant start automatically after the rest of desktop.

  18. #18
    Network Hub jryan's Avatar
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    I had a similar problem to this with GFWL and did some research and found some documentation that suggested I had attended the wrong schools as a child. I am now fast tracking though high school, but get yer fuckin act together Microsoft!

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