Contrary to what everyone thinks Steam DRM isn't The Client and it isn't forced on the Game makers. If you go to GOG, the home of DRM free games, there's a thread on the forum listing all the DRM free Steam games.
Though Serial keys are DRM many users don't consider it as such, basically it's DRM they can live with, so to them it's not DRM.
The fact is all the bad practices once used to make even a Serial key a chore for users, like
19th letter of 20th line on 12th page of manual
20+ other silly letter hunts
28th letter of 67th line on 45th page of manual
that sort of thing, has gone now but still no key = no play = DRM.
Anyway many games don't need Steam running after install and the key is only entered once if it has one, then it's saved as part of game.
If Distant Worlds decide to use Steam Workshop for Mods it then becomes a requirement to use Steamworks (Steam's DRM), I think this is the case.
Currently you can play without Steam, you can get the normal version and are still given a Steam Key.
Steam version doesn't come with the normal version though.
A week ago, I bought from Matrix and got a Steam key as well. I haven't used the Steam key, but it may be required in the future.
Steam Offline Mode is buggy though, 9/10 when i try to run Steam in Offline mode when i do not have an internet connection established it insists it "failed to connect".
The buggy part would be if it lets you in this way at all, to use offline mode you must be logged in to Steam first.
Most users have Steam set to login when windows starts, which is set by default as I recall. Combined with a remembered password they login in the background, they aren't actually aware of this fact and think always offline being set means they are not logged in at all.
The always offline setting is a per game setting and Steam must be connected to make it aware which games it's set for.
Any game you manage to run is likely one of the ones that can run without Steam, as mentioned in the first part of my post
< Message edited by UhuruNUru -- 7/18/2014 10:05:47 AM >