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  1. #1
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Cooper's Avatar
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    Why the SimCity beta nonsense should be a reminder to backup your Steam games

    EULAs are a load of crap. We all know this. No one reads them, they can rarely be enforced and are worth nothing in law.

    But they do highlight one thing: That you are entering into an agreement.

    This is an asymmetrical agreement. Whether it's EA, Valve, or however else you get your games, you are getting service from the service provider. And they are king. (Of their service that they provide).

    You have no rights to recieve this service; its provision to you can be terminated at will, without reason.

    And that happens. You've heard of the EA bans and the Steam bans. These companies do not have to be reasonable. They do not have to hear you out.

    Moreover: These decisions are not made by large, (in)fallible organisations. They are made by people. Customer service people sitting in front of a computer that can ban you at will. No matter if they misunderstand things or get things wrong; they're just doing their job.

    All that stands between you and the loss of all those games is some guy just doing their job. You have as much chance of being a 'false positive' as everyone else. You cannot assume that these people are gonna be reasonable with you.

    The take-home is that:
    It doesn't matter that the EULA contains astoundingly arbitrary reasons for possible bans. Because if they ban you, it can be for anything they like, EULA or no EULA. As arbitrary as they like (and, moreover, they probably won't discuss why they banned you with you)

    You can do two things:
    1) Hope that you won't ever fall foul of some guy doing their job.
    2) Backup your games


    Get a large, cheap, external HDD. Whenever you download a Steam/Origin/Greenman/Gamersgate/Gog etc. game, make a backup. Then, whenever Steam, EA, or a game-download site ban you (or go bust) you can just crack your games and play them.
    Quote Originally Posted by CROCONOUGHTKEY
    KING GEORGE IS A FROG
    le BANG~__-MICHEAL FUCK OFF~~__-INTERPOL KNOW YOU WELLBIENG~—
    OFF
    NOT RUSHMORE MOUNTAIN
    KILL WESTON KILL MUST KILLTHEWESTERNINMYHEADDOESN’TEXSIST
    TEXASISDEADINPARISHEWASAMAN..BINGBING.TETTOHEAD.SP ACEOK,TIMEDEADANDSTOPPED1920HOKKAIDO.UNDERSTOODAT1 ONE.
    UNDERSTANDTHISANDFUCKOFFPIRATEBAY.TIMEDOESNTEXSIST FORMEASIMPATEKPHILLPE.
    BANG

  2. #2
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Honestly, if you are going to crack them you might as well not bother backing up. Especially because incremental patches are hard to come by these days so you'll be re-archiving every time a new patch comes out.

    Also, while RPS sensationalized the EULA there, it really is a no-brainer: EA remembers the flak ArenaNet got when they banned people for exploiting bugs in an attempt to ruin the in-game economy, so they are going with an overly strong EULA that they can choose to pull out when needed (and ignore otherwise). Like many laws/fineable offenses.
    A perfect example would be: in my state (not sure country-wise), new drivers below the age of 18 are given envelopes to keep their licenses in that basically say "Underage driver, should not be driving at night and what nots". And removing the license from said envelope before you turn 18 is against the law. No cop will EVER have a checkpoint where they inspect wallets, but if you are being stopped for something else (drunk/reckless driving, for example), it conveniently provides another charge that can be placed (that is a lot harder to fight).
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  3. #3
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Smashbox's Avatar
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    That's a very silly law.

  4. #4
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    It's still up in the air whether EULAs are legally viable.

    That said, you're basically just advocating software piracy as a form of consumer protection...

    ...and I wholeheartedly agree with that sentiment.
    Nalano H. Wildmoon
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    "His lack of education is more than compensated for by his keenly developed moral bankruptcy." - Woody Allen

  5. #5
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    Um. Would this not be a reason not to use Origin? Considering Steam offer both DRM free options to Devs (at their choice though, so unlikely for most :( ) and backup options? Does Origin?

  6. #6
    Lesser Hivemind Node Shooop's Avatar
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    It's really awful we even need to have conversations like these.
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  7. #7
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Cooper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    That said, you're basically just advocating software piracy as a form of consumer protection...

    ...and I wholeheartedly agree with that sentiment.
    Not exactly. Cracking legitimately purchased copies is not quite the same as outright piracy. Near enough though.

    Given how cheap HDD space is in the past 5-8 years (even given the inflation since the tsunami), it makes sense to backup whatever the source. No matter if that source is a DVD (which can get lost/scratched) a download from somewhere like Gamersgate (which requires their servers to be up/the company in business) or something on a service like Steam (which requires servers to be up and you not banned).

    It's just that with something like Steam /Origin, one of the "selling points" is easy access to a catalogue of purchased games after a couple of clicks & some time downloading. No need to piss about with plastic media or download folders and files.

    Except, if you want to exercise protection / ownership, you probably should be bothered about pissing about with files / folders and keeping backups.

    You could also just view TPB as basically a great big community backup system. I know I do.
    Quote Originally Posted by CROCONOUGHTKEY
    KING GEORGE IS A FROG
    le BANG~__-MICHEAL FUCK OFF~~__-INTERPOL KNOW YOU WELLBIENG~—
    OFF
    NOT RUSHMORE MOUNTAIN
    KILL WESTON KILL MUST KILLTHEWESTERNINMYHEADDOESN’TEXSIST
    TEXASISDEADINPARISHEWASAMAN..BINGBING.TETTOHEAD.SP ACEOK,TIMEDEADANDSTOPPED1920HOKKAIDO.UNDERSTOODAT1 ONE.
    UNDERSTANDTHISANDFUCKOFFPIRATEBAY.TIMEDOESNTEXSIST FORMEASIMPATEKPHILLPE.
    BANG

  8. #8
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cooper View Post
    Not exactly. Cracking legitimately purchased copies is not quite the same as outright piracy. Near enough though.
    In a moral sense, eh.

    In a legal sense, you're still screwed. Hence.
    Nalano H. Wildmoon
    Director of the Friends of Nalano PAC
    Attorney at Lawl
    "His lack of education is more than compensated for by his keenly developed moral bankruptcy." - Woody Allen

  9. #9
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Rauten's Avatar
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    AFAIK, the BattleField 3 beta had a similar clause, and they never made use of it. I have no love whatsoever for EA and I'd rather kill myself than install Origin (until they release Mirror's Edge 2, that is), but this sounds to me like legal mumbojumbo that's there just so they can protect their asses in case of need, not because they really are going to go through with it.

    Plus EULAs are worth crap in the EU, so I can't say I'm particularly concerned.

  10. #10
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    Nothing to see here, move along - just some people thinking they own something they've never owned - and never needed to own - move along whilst we clear the scene ...

  11. #11
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kadayi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cooper View Post
    - snip -
    Alternatively maybe 'not' worry about the sky falling in, and waste innumerable hours backing up games on the basis that somehow you believe you're going to hit the perm ban lottery (with zero chance of reassessment) by sheer happenstance one day.

    Also: -

    http://store.steampowered.com/subscriber_agreement/

    1. REGISTRATION AND ACTIVATION.

    Steam is an online service ("Steam") offered by Valve.

    You become a subscriber of Steam ("Subscriber") by installing the Steam client software and completing the Steam registration. This Agreement takes effect as soon as you indicate your acceptance of these terms.
    In case Shooop missed it in the article comments. ;)

    Too funny (gotta love Valve fanboys)
    Last edited by Kadayi; 22-01-2013 at 09:17 PM.
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  12. #12
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus vinraith's Avatar
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    Amen, Cooper. If you mind losing it, you'd better have it backed up.

    Honestly, I think a few major download services need to go down for a little while, just to remind people how truly tenuous their control of "their" games really is. Personally, I know that GOG's little disappearing stunt certainly made me far more responsible in this respect.

    Convenience culture is making people lazy and careless, a snap back to reality would do them good.
    Last edited by vinraith; 22-01-2013 at 10:09 PM.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by vinraith View Post
    Amen, Cooper. If you mind losing it, you'd better have it backed up.

    Honestly, I think a few major download services need to go down for a little while, just to remind people how truly tenuous their control of "their" games really is. Personally, I know that GOG's little disappearing stunt certainly made me far more responsible in this respect.
    GoG's stunt was to remind people that they're not a free source of endless downloads - it's nothing like a service like Origin/uPlay/Steam or even a DRM-supporting DD supplier going offline at all.

    Real world - if a DD service went offline forever, people would get pirated version of their games and continue playing surely (or some would rebuy - or some wouldn't care 1 jot??).

    Steam - were it to disappear - would be hacked/replaced within hours I reckon. You'd have solutions to enable you to play non-Multiplayer-dependent games almost instantly (most already exist) but a more permanent replacement for the entire concept of 'Steam' would appear pretty quickly I reckon.

    I find the idea of putting all my games on discs somewhere quite quaint tbh - I'm not sure I care about them enough to bother with it even if it were practical and legal (which it isn't).

    All that's needed is for people to realise they're buying a game they should play NOW and enjoy NOW - they're not buying collectables to store and stare at for years to come...
    Last edited by trjp; 23-01-2013 at 01:20 AM.

  14. #14
    Lesser Hivemind Node Shooop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kadayi View Post
    Also: -

    http://store.steampowered.com/subscriber_agreement/



    In case Shooop missed it in the article comments. ;)

    Too funny (gotta love Valve fanboys)
    It's amazing how many people have no idea what the word "irony" means. It's so abundant here I could make a suit of armor out of it. You of all people calling someone else a "fanboy." You're a comedy genius!

    And care to point out in that agreement where you're forbidden from modifying files, from backing up your games, can be banned from your entire game library for forum misconduct, or be banned from your games library for failing to report bugs in public game betas.

    I'll be right here waiting cupcake. Take your time.
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  15. #15
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kadayi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shooop View Post
    It's amazing how many people have no idea what the word "irony" means. It's so abundant here I could make a suit of armor out of it. You of all people calling someone else a "fanboy." You're a comedy genius!
    Well given you now seem to be implying in that very thread that Steam backup somehow means your games are 'safe' when in fact they're still entirely tied to your account (the very account that Valve could indeed terminate at any given moment if they so choose) I'd say 'Valve fanboy' is an entirely appropriate label for you tbh Shooop.

    https://support.steampowered.com/kb_...8794-yphv-2033

    Restoring from Backup Files

    Install Steam and log in to the correct Steam account (see Installing Steam for further instructions)
    If the backup files were copied to a CD or DVD, the process should run automatically when the disc is inserted. If not, run steambackup.exe from the disc
    If steambackup.exe is missing, please download this copy of steambackup.exe and place it in the correct backup folder.
    Continue through the Steam windows to install the necessary games.
    First you have no clue that you're a Steam subscriber, and now you have no idea what 'backup' means? Where does it end. :)
    Last edited by Kadayi; 22-01-2013 at 11:18 PM.
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  16. #16
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sketch's Avatar
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    We have never taken away access to a player's games for not reporting a bug, and quite simply it's not something we would ever do. Players don't have anything to be concerned about there – just some language that was far too broad in the original agreement, and is being updated now.
    sauce (yes it's kotaku)
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  17. #17
    Lesser Hivemind Node Shooop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kadayi View Post
    Well given you now seem to be implying in that very thread that Steam backup somehow means your games are 'safe' when in fact they're still entirely tied to your account (the very account that Valve could indeed terminate at any given moment if they so choose) I'd say 'Valve fanboy' is an entirely appropriate label for you tbh Shooop.

    https://support.steampowered.com/kb_...8794-yphv-2033



    First you have no clue that you're a Steam subscriber, and now you have no idea what 'backup' means? Where does it end. :)
    First of all they're only tied to your account only if they use this thing called Steamworks. Guess how many games don't use it? All of the ones not on this list: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...authentication

    And hey, some of them only have Steamworks if you bought them from Steam. Incredible isn't it?

    Secondly, you can run the backups with Steam in Offline mode. Which basically means Steam is pretty much just a formality. This must be world-shattering for you!

    Now do you have anything of substance and intelligence to add or is your entire defense just "Well you're a FANBOY so there!" bumpkin?

    Oh, and where's those points in Steam's agreement where you're forbidden from modifying files, from backing up your games, can be banned from your entire game library for forum misconduct, or be banned from your games library for failing to report bugs in public game betas? You didn't go and forget again did you boopsie?
    Last edited by Shooop; 22-01-2013 at 11:58 PM.
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  18. #18
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kadayi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woundedbum View Post
    sauce (yes it's kotaku)
    Sensible post from there: -

    Sounds like a badly worded exploit clause. People get banned all the time for excessively exploiting, and thus also keeping it quiet, a bug that allows them to get an unfair advantage against other players in an online game sphere.
    If the game ships and a mass of people come out of the woodwork suddenly abusing some hither too unseen exploit then people would be screaming bloody murder of course.

    Must admit I'm not that au fait with the MP aspect of the new Sim City in terms of causal relationship so it's hard to know how things could go wrong (I assume the games not competitive in the strictest sense Vs co-operative?). Though obviously if somehow people are generating an imbalance of some kind through exploits it would make sense to remove them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shooop View Post
    First of all they're only tied to your account only if they use this thing called Steamworks. Guess how many games don't use it? All of the ones not on this list
    Given that the list includes a large number of last few years better titles I'm failing to see the positives in what your saying.

    XCOM, Dishonored, Mark of the Ninja, Sleeping Dogs, Spec Ops, Borderlands 2, Darksiders II.....

    And hey, some of them only have Steamworks if you bought them from Steam. Incredible isn't it?
    Some of them? So you're saying that people should be happy if they get perm banned by Valve that some of their games that they chose not to buy through Steam potentially might run? Yeah that makes a lot of sense.

    Secondly, you can run the backups with Steam in Offline mode. Which basically means Steam is pretty much just a formality.
    Yes, because Steam offline mode is so famously reliable.

    If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck, or in your case a complete Valve fan boy.

    Still free to blather on more about how 'bad' EA are (even though no ones actually been banned as a result of that EULA), because that totally makes Valves EULA any less questionable.
    Last edited by Kadayi; 23-01-2013 at 12:30 AM.
    Why yes you're right I'm deliciously evil

    Tradition is the tyranny of dead men

    Steam:Kadayi Origin: Kadayi GFWL: Kadayi

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    Quote Originally Posted by Finicky View Post
    Kadayi will remain the worst poster on the interwebs.
    Gifmaster 4000 2014 Year of the Gif

    He who controls the Doge controls the universe

  19. #19
    In my case, Steam Offline Mode is more way more reliable than Shockwave Flash.

  20. #20
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TechnicalBen View Post
    Um. Would this not be a reason not to use Origin? Considering Steam offer both DRM free options to Devs (at their choice though, so unlikely for most :( ) and backup options? Does Origin?
    Origin can save the installers for its games. The directory structure for installed games is much the same as any other really, similar to the "common" folder in Steam where anything that isn't packaged up in GCFs is kept (which is what, every title that Valve don't make?)

    Also while Steam do offer a DRM-free option so that the client isn't needed, how many AAA games actually use it? Some of the indies do, but there are still plenty that don't. Whether you're on Steam or Origin you can pick out scary EULA clauses which say that you'll lose everything if GabeN has a bad day and bans you. So if it's a reason not to use Origin, it's a reason not to use Steam. Not because Origin offers DRM-free access (I don't think it does, never tested it though), but because most Steam titles still use Steam as a form of DRM anyway.

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