ORIGINAL: Chris H
My advice is avoid it like the plague. Many games (probably all) bought on steam can only be played through steam. You don't get a disk nor can you download digitally, in other words you don't own them.
I do not want to be the guy stick up for Valve, but frankly trying to avoid steam is getting harder and harder. Excuse the turn of phrase, but it is almost like pissing in the wind.
There are a number of games where Steam is the only distributor--you'd just have to avoid those totally--or the only outlet for multiplayer play.
Plus, the economics of Steam--as of right now--really favor the consumer. There is a lot of pressure on games distributed by Valve to correct lower in price, at least for sales, which gives the consumer a shot of buying $100 niche wargaming titles, for example, for $70, or the entire CIV5 library for less than a $1.
So I totally understand the motivation behind trying to avoid Valve and Steam, but it's just really hard when Valve's competition is so weak, and when Valve is providing pricing (and products!) that have a huge impact for the consumer.
For example, take me. I purchased Command: Naval and Air War at something like a $40 discount from steam. I buy a lot of games, honestly, but I'm still at a point in my life--even at 38--where I can only justify financially spending over $70 on a game once every few years.
Mostly, I can *afford* to go crazy and get things I want with a high price tag when Steam puts them on sale. Another example, I just bought XCOM2. A game I've wanted since launch, but only because the steam Summer Sale got the price down to under $35.
I used to be a Steam resistor. Five years ago. Then Fallout: New Vegas and that pricing. Also, a lot of games now require DRM activation through Steam. I think Fallout:NV might have even if not bought there. Given some of the horrible DRM schemes of yesteryear Steam's is easy and painless. (Anyone recall Starforce on Silent Hunter 3? It could break your CD drive.)
I go to my local Target and look at the game section and it's just pitiful. BestBuy as well.
Steam has completely changed my whole gaming architecture. If I see something I want I am playing it inside an hour, even for multi-gig downloads. No driving, no gas, no time, no storage. In Minnesota, not driving on a January Sunday is not a trivial variable. Patches come as they are issued; I don't have to go look for them. I don't have to save libraries of old patch zip files as in the old days.
And yeah, the sales. I got Sid M's Civ in Space with DLC ("Beyond Earth") on the first day of the sale last week. Under $20 for a two year old game. I had already played a free weekend (Steam does that too) when it was just out, but didn't want it $40 bad. Half off was a good price for me. Next summer it will probably be under $10, so the time/value trade-off is there. I paid a lot more than $.82 for the Civ 5 libraries, but I've been enjoying the game for a couple of years. I will get Xcom2, but the Steam sale right now is still more than I want to pay, as I have other games in line. By the Christmas sale I'll probably jump in.
It's hard to remember what a hassle gaming was before Steam. I haven't had my DVD drive door open in over a year. I probably should see if it still works.
< Message edited by Bullwinkle58 -- 6/28/2016 9:06:51 PM >