I'm getting sick and tired of this.
As many people here know, I play Left 4 Dead 2. I've racked up 150 hours of ONLINE play, with the majority of my play being actually offline or over LAN. I'd estimate maybe 400 hours into this bloody game, it's great.
The community is usually fantastic too, particularly the Australians. I've played games where I suffered 760ms latency, and still finished campaigns on Expert without some prick vote-kicking me (which I have to admit is fairly generous; most people couldn't play anything with that latency.)
Except for Versus mode, granted. As much fun as the zombies are to play, it's a completely different player-base. Mostly wankers. I usually have no issues with them, since I'm not a bad Versus player. They're still fairly okay though.
As much fun as the game is though, I'm petrified every time I go online, because the new model for video gaming is just plain bullshit.
Developers are never satisfied. They're continually bringing out patches to fix minor bugs and localization issues (excuse me? A mandatory download in order to fix the Thai subtitles?!).
"Downloadable Content" is nice enough, especially when it's free, but the problem is, many games are completely locking you out of playing when your online gaming platform (Steam, Windows Live, etc) isn't available... or when you need to download a patch.
Which you're not asked about. It downloads automatically.
And it's 4GBs. No information given as to what the actual patch is yet. If WoW can tell me why I need to download 4 gigs of bullshit, you guys can too. Really. I won't mind.
The problem is, I can already imagine the asshole response: "Get a better connection, you poor bum!"
Sorry, but go fuck yourself. I paid for this game, and because I made the mistake of signing into Steam today to play it, I'm suddenly locked out of it until I download a pointless patch that I don't want right now.
A pointless patch that downloads automatically, so if I don't catch it and STOP it, or shut down Steam entirely, it will continue silently in the background. I don't have a "cap." I have a "download more than ten gigs a month and we charge you exponentially more."
In short, Steam can conceivably cost me $600 without me even knowing about it. As has happened before, and it's not a laughing matter.
I'm not alone, either. There is a reason why over 60% of consoles aren't online. I am not the only person in the world who wants to play a fucking game now and then but is stuck with a "mobile broadband" connection or worse. Even if all that happened to me was I got shaped, reduced download speed, perhaps I want to manage my downloads?
Granted, L4D2 requires you to have the updates so you can play with other people seamlessly- depending on what it is, this is NOT true in all cases, don't tell yourself that it is. Except for the fact there's a single player.
But why download silently without asking permission? This shit is actually being touted as a benefit of using gaming platforms like Steam! How can it be? All you need to do is bring up a little dialogue box telling me the size of the patch and a "yes" or "no" button. If you want to set things to be automatic because clicking "Yes" when Steam alerts you is too much effort, then fine.
Yet there's no option to stop automatic updates.
It's just inconsiderate and unnecessary. Especially since I know the patch is so large because they're updating the damn "Cold Stream" campaign, which is nice and all but I'd sooner be able to play the other 95% of the game, and perhaps my older version of "Cold Stream" in single-player, without worrying about my download allowance being decimated in the background.
Or being locked out of the game until my friend deigns to let me use his connection.
There is no defense for this. It's a bad model to base gaming on. Repeated mandatory downloads, even for a game like L4D2, that happen with irritating regularity, mostly just to "enable" game modes (mutations) already in the game - and I have an addon that enables me to play every single one, including over 30 community addons* - is just piss-poor.
I can handle everything except for it being automatic and god damn silent.
Steam is NECESSARY for a lot of games nowadays. If not Steam, then another similar program. Like I said, it's therefore inconsiderate to make it download patches this large automatically without warning. It's not a matter of "if you can't handle it, don't use it" or "just go get a proper connection."
Oh, and the reason we don't have a "proper" connection? It's because of the sheer stupidity of our local government and ISPs. Apparently, a lot of Americans can empathize with that.
God dammit, I'd be happy with a 512kb connection. Please! PLEASE! I'll sacrifice virgins and shit, just give me a connection appropriate to the fucking epoch I'm living in!
* - Many of which are great for single player, I might add.
EDIT: A certain Squirrelfox just pointed out you CAN disable auto-updating for games, and I just realized I've DONE so for another game.
Rather than bawleeting this journal, I'mma leave it up and eat my humble pie. I still don't like the mandatory downloads, and the game with the updates disabled still has a habit of not loading when I click it, then starting a download silently in the background.
Either way, I'm pissed off I can't play with my friends tonight. Rrrgh!