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Questions about Steam and running HL2 on a Mac


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#1 clocknova

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Posted 22 April 2006 - 11:47 AM

I've been thinking of picking up a copy of Hlaf-Life 2 for my MacBookPro.  I'd really like to buy a used copy and save a few dollars, as there are quite a few available on Amazon.  I've heard, however, that Valve's rather bizarre DRM scheme, Steam, somehow make used copies unusable.  Is this true?  If so, why are people selling used copies?  Actually, if this is true, I'll probably pass on HL2 altogether.  Or else... nevermind.

Second question is this:  I have absolutely no intention of ever letting my MBP go online when booted into Windows.  How will this affect my ability to play HL2?  Can I download standalone patches from OSX then install them in XP?  What's the deal with this thing?  I've been getting conflicting reports on this issue.  The guy at Gamestop told me that I can absolutely play the game without going online.  Others have said it's a requirement.  Who's right?  What do I need to know?
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#2 yellow#5

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Posted 22 April 2006 - 01:32 PM

You need to go online at least once to activate your files, then you can run steam in offline mode. You do need to go online once, though. Once a CD key is entered in steam, it's tied to the users steam ID, so unless you're buying their steam ID, buying a used copy of HL2 is useless. That being said, I bought my steamID on ebay a while ago with a copy of HL2 on it, and it worked fine. I paid the guy, he emailed me his login/password, I changed the email to my own and switched it to a new password, and it's been fine ever since.

Re: going online in windows: you're being needlessly paranoid. Just don't go online and start searching for/downloading warez and you'll be fine. SP2 has a firewall on by default, so don't worry.

#3 Lord Brixton

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Posted 22 April 2006 - 04:29 PM

FWIW i have successfully downloaded XP demos using Safari in OSX & then copied them over to the XP partition.

Steam just talks to the Valve servers, so - apart from my own paranoia* - it's all cool.




*see parallel thread

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#4 bobbob

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Posted 22 April 2006 - 05:28 PM

View Postyellow#5, on April 22nd 2006, 12:32 PM, said:

so unless you're buying their steam ID, buying a used copy of HL2 is useless

No, they have a procedure to transfer ownership. Kind of nice of them, really, that they'd let you sell your stuff.

#5 Huntn

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Posted 23 April 2006 - 06:31 AM

View Postbobbob, on April 22nd 2006, 06:28 PM, said:

No, they have a procedure to transfer ownership. Kind of nice of them, really, that they'd let you sell your stuff.

If anyone can produce some specifics, I'd be happy to add it to the FAQ. Possibly one of the auctions might address this?

-Hunt'n

#6 bobbob

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Posted 23 April 2006 - 05:03 PM

View PostHuntn, on April 23rd 2006, 05:31 AM, said:

If anyone can produce some specifics, I'd be happy

I'm sorry, I think they handle CD-based games on a case-by-case basis. The Steam-only ones seem to fall under their Steam license, which says you can't transfer accounts. There's a procedure to change the name, password, and email address for an account, though, so you might get around it.

#7 Huntn

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Posted 23 April 2006 - 06:04 PM

View Postbobbob, on April 23rd 2006, 06:03 PM, said:

The Steam-only ones seem to fall under their Steam license, which says you can't transfer accounts.

That's aggravating because I sell most of my finished PC games on eBay. With Steam, Valve has you coming and going!
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#8 Mac_d00d307

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Posted 23 April 2006 - 06:44 PM

View Postbobbob, on April 22nd 2006, 04:28 PM, said:

No, they have a procedure to transfer ownership. Kind of nice of them, really, that they'd let you sell your stuff.

Can we get some more info about this?

EDIT: After doing a bit of digging, I came across this article on the Steam website.

http://support.steam...li=&p_topview=1
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#9 Huntn

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Posted 24 April 2006 - 06:09 AM

View PostMac_d00d307, on April 23rd 2006, 07:44 PM, said:

Can we get some more info about this?

EDIT: After doing a bit of digging, I came across this article on the Steam website.

http://support.steam...li=&p_topview=1

IMO the following quote from your link makes purchasing a used copy of HL2 a risky proposition. It's the note that would make me nervous.

CD Key Reset Process Guidelines
If you recently purchased a used copy of a game which requires activation on Steam and are encountering an error message which states that your CD Key is registered to another account, you will need to contact us to have the CD Key reset so you may use it.

Depending upon the CD Key and the associated subscriptions within Steam, this process may be completed through e-mail or it may require mailing the physical CD Key in for review.

Note: We cannot reset CD Keys which have been disabled for violations of the Steam Subscriber Agreement and/or End User License Agreement or banned by VAC for cheating infractions.


-Hunt'n

#10 Lord Brixton

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Posted 24 April 2006 - 06:26 AM

It certainly makes you lean towards biting the bullet & buying a new copy. Which, luckily enough, suits Valve very well!

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#11 placebo

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Posted 27 April 2006 - 09:47 AM

Games shouldn't be resold in my opinion.

#12 bobbob

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Posted 27 April 2006 - 05:44 PM

View Postplacebo, on April 27th 2006, 08:47 AM, said:

Games shouldn't be resold in my opinion.

And used bookstores support terrorism! True Americans burn books after reading them.

#13 placebo

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Posted 29 April 2006 - 11:14 AM

View Postbobbob, on April 27th 2006, 04:44 PM, said:

And used bookstores support terrorism! True Americans burn books after reading them.
No, it's just that you're paying to experience the game, and hey, if you get bored of it in six months, that's not their fault, and they should be paid for another person experiencing the game which, if you sell the game used, doesn't happen.

Books are different because they have much, much longer lifespans, while a game only maintains its ability to be worthwhile for a few years until the graphics look hideously outdated or something universally better comes out.

#14 Tesseract

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Posted 29 April 2006 - 10:46 PM

View Postplacebo, on April 30th 2006, 03:14 AM, said:

No, it's just that you're paying to experience the game, and hey, if you get bored of it in six months, that's not their fault, and they should be paid for another person experiencing the game which, if you sell the game used, doesn't happen.
Selling used games is perfectly legal. Both the seller and the buyer know that. That is why it is called a sale and not a rental. If the seller is worried about not getting enough money due to the used market, they should charge more initially. If the buyer is going to sell the game after a while, they can take that into account when evaluating the initial purchase price.

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Books are different because they have much, much longer lifespans, while a game only maintains its ability to be worthwhile for a few years until the graphics look hideously outdated or something universally better comes out.
So where do you draw the line? Really unremarkable books that no one would want to read more than once? "Choose your own adventure" books that can be replayed but get boring after a while? You "pay to experience" a movie on DVD, should it be illegal to sell used DVDs after you get bored of them? What about music CDs? The top 20 doesn't seem to have a very long life span.

There is no justification for making it impossible to re-sell certain classes of creative works but not others.

#15 bobbob

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Posted 29 April 2006 - 11:21 PM

View Postplacebo, on April 29th 2006, 10:14 AM, said:

a game only maintains its ability to be worthwhile for a few years until the graphics look hideously outdated or something universally better comes out.

The publishers depend upon people like EB buying and selling their games, so obviously that case is OK. If the publisher's given up on printing more copies, they can hardly complain about people paying for used ones, so that case is OK, too. What we're left with is something in the middle, where publishers not only have to deal with legitimate used sales, but illigitimate pirated copies as well. In this case used sales aren't the biggest problem, nor is it a big problem because it makes initial sales worth more since they can be resold, and they have the bargain-bin re-release market to compete with significant used-game sales and pirates. Mark Rein should be slapped for his simplification of the market.

Heck, if he really cared about it at all, Rein should sell his games directly over the internet at the net amount he gets from retail. It's not like the used game market can compete with accomplished profiteers like the publishers and stores. If Rein is going to call anyone a thief, it should be them, because obviously he can't be held accountable for buying their services or falling behind devs like Valve.

#16 Huntn

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Posted 30 April 2006 - 06:47 AM

View PostTesseract, on April 29th 2006, 11:46 PM, said:

Selling used games is perfectly legal.

Games are intellectual property just like books and movies. I've always believed that when you buy a copy, you can sell it. But you should not be cloning it and selling the copies.

However, I know the publisher who released Guild Wars tells you in their user agreement that you can't sell their game. At least the account is not transferable. While they may be physically able to enforce this rule, I think it's been discussed that user agreements are not really enforceable from a legal standpoint.

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#17 placebo

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Posted 30 April 2006 - 06:59 AM

View PostTesseract, on April 29th 2006, 09:46 PM, said:

Selling used games is perfectly legal. Both the seller and the buyer know that. That is why it is called a sale and not a rental. If the seller is worried about not getting enough money due to the used market, they should charge more initially. If the buyer is going to sell the game after a while, they can take that into account when evaluating the initial purchase price.
So where do you draw the line? Really unremarkable books that no one would want to read more than once? "Choose your own adventure" books that can be replayed but get boring after a while? You "pay to experience" a movie on DVD, should it be illegal to sell used DVDs after you get bored of them? What about music CDs? The top 20 doesn't seem to have a very long life span.

There is no justification for making it impossible to re-sell certain classes of creative works but not others.
Well, you're reselling a game for $10. The actual physical item costs $2 in paper, plastic, and shiny-rainbow-CD-stuff. So you're collecting $8 on somebody else's intellectual property?


p.s. I've been arguing the Devil's Advocate for the whole thread. :P

#18 Tesseract

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Posted 30 April 2006 - 10:28 AM

View Postplacebo, on April 30th 2006, 10:59 PM, said:

Well, you're reselling a game for $10. The actual physical item costs $2 in paper, plastic, and shiny-rainbow-CD-stuff. So you're collecting $8 on somebody else's intellectual property?
Funny, I could have sworn I paid $56 for my actual physical copy of Quake 4, not $2. So even if I sell it for $20 I'm still down $36.

BTW, "intellectual property" is a phrase that was coined relatively recently by the people behind WIPO to try to convince people that ideas are the same as physical property. It is not an actual legal concept, and using the term only muddies the waters when discussing whether something may be allowed under copyright, patent or trademark law (which are all different).

Quote

p.s. I've been arguing the Devil's Advocate for the whole thread. :P
I guess the phrase "in my opinon" threw me off. :P In any case, the discussion is still worth having.

#19 flargh

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Posted 30 April 2006 - 05:48 PM

View PostTesseract, on April 30th 2006, 12:28 PM, said:

BTW, "intellectual property" is a phrase that was coined relatively recently by the people behind WIPO to try to convince people that ideas are the same as physical property. It is not an actual legal concept, and using the term only muddies the waters when discussing whether something may be allowed under copyright, patent or trademark law (which are all different).

The phrase "intellectual property" dates back in American law as far as the mid-19th century, but you're right that it wasn't really put into common parlance until the late 1960s when the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) was formed.

Intellectual property as a legal concept dates back at least to the Jewish Talmud, however. Which predates WIPO by just a bit.
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#20 Tesseract

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Posted 01 May 2006 - 09:21 AM

View Postflargh, on May 1st 2006, 09:48 AM, said:

Intellectual property as a legal concept dates back at least to the Jewish Talmud, however. Which predates WIPO by just a bit.
OK, so Wikipedia tells me that the Talmud prohibits "theft of ideas". But what does that actually mean? Is it anything like the modern concept of "IP"? (The vagueness of the term is even making this discussion difficult!)

I'm all for the moral rights of authors, to be identified as the author of their work and so forth. I also have no problem with trade secrets. But those are respectively issues of artistic/academic honesty and privacy, not property.