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Comic for: November 17th, 2004
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Half-Life 2: "Over a Barrel"
Posted: Wednesday November 17th, 2004 by

So, Half-Life 2 finally hit it's release date and flooded out into the market. But, a lot of people that bought the game off a shelf rather than paying to download it via Steam, have been reporting problems authenticating the game. ~ GameSpot [more info]

Now, let me just stop the writeup right there for a moment, and stress my complete dislike of the idea of forcing people to authenticate their games. Sure, it's an effort to squash piracy and such. But seriously, how many hours do you think it will be before there is a hack out there to cicumvent the need to authenticate? So, what has all the hassle really resolved? Nada. It's a lame duck attempt to squash the innevitable. And all it really does is frustrate those people who paid their hard earned money (or their parents' hard earned money) to play the game.

I know when I go to the store and drop $50 on a game, I want to be able to play it the second it's installed. I sure as hell don't want to wait all day on authentication servers that crumbled under the weight of advancing Half-Life 2 gaming horde.

And beyond just the plain Jane problems of too many people trying to access, and thus crashing, the authentication servers, there were a ton of reported problems by people who did not already have a Steam log in account.

All I have to say is that Valve should have been prepared. They knew what would likely happen. And, if they are going to force a step in the process on us JUST so we can play the game we paid for, then it should damn well be fail proof and QUICK. Thus far... it has been neither.

Now, let me just step away from the argument and dip my toes in the cool pond of conspiracy. I'm not saying that Valve would actually sabotage the HL2 for people that bought the game off a shelf, but doesn't it sound odd that no one that purchased the game for download via Steam has reported having any of these problems? Vivendi tried to stick it to Valve because they didn't want Steam taking money out of the pockets of their retailers. [more info] So, in a world of rogue justice, wouldn't it just be peachy keen to stick it to both Vivendi and the retailers all while showing that having gone with Steam would have been a better route?

Today's Comic isn't really meant to stir the conspiracy pot, or to tell people NOT to buy the game for whatever reason. But, I guess it is a sort of plea for the publishers/developers/retailers to get their proverbial shit straight, stop dicking with each other, and just make us some good games that lack HASSLE.

**shrugs** Just thought I'd pass along the news, and bitch a little to boot.

Today's pimpage: Gamer Girl #1 is wearing the Mushroom Hat and Kill Bill Hoody from Split Reason. Gamer Girl # 2 is wearing the "I'm blogging this." shirt from ThinkGeek.

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