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Shmacky-McNuts: No they get the hate for bad business practices. Like cigarette companies of old advertising to kids, such was handing out packs of cigs to children and having cig dispensers at schools.

Valve is never responsible for anything, according to them. Just ask them, they'll tell ya *wink* lol
You wouldn't happen to be windows user, would you? *wink* lol
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Shmacky-McNuts: No they get the hate for bad business practices. Like cigarette companies of old advertising to kids, such was handing out packs of cigs to children and having cig dispensers at schools.

Valve is never responsible for anything, according to them. Just ask them, they'll tell ya *wink* lol
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hummer010: You wouldn't happen to be windows user, would you? *wink* lol
Only thing I won't use is Apple stuff, everything else is just masturbation....if it make ya feel good, use it. ;)
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pedrovay2003: Actually, if a Steam game doesn't specifically have CEG, even if it's permanently tied to the client itself and an account that purchased it (which doesn't actually guarantee that CEG is involved), there's a way to run that game forever, offline, without any online checks or downloading any cracked files, on any number of PCs you choose. That's a completely different thread for another time, though... I've been meaning to start a thread here showing people how to do that, actually.
Very interesting. I would definitely be interested in knowing more about your methods, and whether they are fully legal or allowed by Steam's terms of service.

Another though occurred to me, how reliable is Steam's offline mode? Is it possible to just clone a full system hard drive as a backup and then forever be able to use that system drive to play Steam games without ever connecting to the internet?
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pedrovay2003: Actually, if a Steam game doesn't specifically have CEG, even if it's permanently tied to the client itself and an account that purchased it (which doesn't actually guarantee that CEG is involved), there's a way to run that game forever, offline, without any online checks or downloading any cracked files, on any number of PCs you choose. That's a completely different thread for another time, though... I've been meaning to start a thread here showing people how to do that, actually.
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the.kuribo: Very interesting. I would definitely be interested in knowing more about your methods, and whether they are fully legal or allowed by Steam's terms of service.

Another though occurred to me, how reliable is Steam's offline mode? Is it possible to just clone a full system hard drive as a backup and then forever be able to use that system drive to play Steam games without ever connecting to the internet?
You actually don't even need to do that. If you start a game online once, it downloads everything it needs license-wise into the Steam directory itself, and Steam is a completely portable program. All you need to do is download a game, start the game online once, put Steam into Offline Mode, and exit the client. Everything can literally be copied/pasted to as many PCs as you want to now, and you'll be playing in your own offline profile every time. Offline Mode will work forever without any restrictions, and since you're using Steam exactly as intended, I can't see any way in which it would be against the law or any part of the SSA. I've moved my main profile and games to PCs that have never once had Steam on them, and everything always worked perfectly.

The write-up I want to make details the difference between regular Steam client DRM and CEG, since there is a big difference, and how to tell which games have CEG (i.e., the ones that can't be transfered via this method) and the ones that don't.

As far as cloning a hard drive, CEG games still won't work, because CEG actually locks games to the original hardware onto which they were downloaded, until you go online and verify the cache to get another hardware-specific program file. Yes, you read that correctly: Valve, the company that takes every chance it can to crap all over companies that use DRM, the company that requires third-party DRM to be listed on every Steam game page that uses it, created a DRM that actually locks games to specific hardware without asking permission to play them again.
Post edited 4 days ago by pedrovay2003
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the.kuribo: Well, this is the primary issue I have with Steam, and why I treat all the DRM'd games I have on the service as long-term rentals. To put your faith in one company to always be around or to be able to "do the right thing" when the shit hits the fan is to be severely disappointed at one point or another in your life.

Particularly with the current state of licensing and publisher deals through Steam, I doubt it would be legal for Steam to just flip a switch and make all their games DRM-free without creating a fair number of lawsuits from their publishers due to the contractual terms they agreed upon to allow Steam to distribute their intellectual property.

Unless the games are backed up on your own devices with full usage license and the ability to install without the service existing, there are no guarantees as to whether or not you will be able to access the games you paid for in the future. This is clearly stipulated in Steam's terms of service.

Huge corporations, organizations, and even governments can and do fall all the time. Usually the bigger they are, the harder they and their customers/constituents fall.
I can agree with this. I don't expect Steam to do the right thing, even were they legally able. But I don't worry over it. I get my enjoyment out of it while I have it. If it goes away, then it does. I'll get over it I'm sure. There's a very real possibility Steam will outlive me, and in this regard, I just don't care. Already though we're dealing with legal issues on bequeathed social media and gaming accounts... It will come to a head sooner or later. I personally find it funny that companies prefer digital distribution simply because then the product cannot be resold as it is tied to an account.
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the.kuribo: Well, this is the primary issue I have with Steam, and why I treat all the DRM'd games I have on the service as long-term rentals. To put your faith in one company to always be around or to be able to "do the right thing" when the shit hits the fan is to be severely disappointed at one point or another in your life.
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pedrovay2003: Actually, if a Steam game doesn't specifically have CEG, even if it's permanently tied to the client itself and an account that purchased it (which doesn't actually guarantee that CEG is involved), there's a way to run that game forever, offline, without any online checks or downloading any cracked files, on any number of PCs you choose. That's a completely different thread for another time, though... I've been meaning to start a thread here showing people how to do that, actually.
Posting an explanation would be awesome.
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the.kuribo: Very interesting. I would definitely be interested in knowing more about your methods, and whether they are fully legal or allowed by Steam's terms of service.

Another though occurred to me, how reliable is Steam's offline mode? Is it possible to just clone a full system hard drive as a backup and then forever be able to use that system drive to play Steam games without ever connecting to the internet?
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pedrovay2003: You actually don't even need to do that. If you start a game online once, it downloads everything it needs license-wise into the Steam directory itself, and Steam is a completely portable program. All you need to do is download a game, start the game online once, put Steam into Offline Mode, and exit the client. Everything can literally be copied/pasted to as many PCs as you want to now, and you'll be playing in your own offline profile every time. Offline Mode will work forever without any restrictions, and since you're using Steam exactly as intended, I can't see any way in which it would be against the law or any part of the SSA. I've moved my main profile and games to PCs that have never once had Steam on them, and everything always worked perfectly.

The write-up I want to make details the difference between regular Steam client DRM and CEG, since there is a big difference, and how to tell which games have CEG (i.e., the ones that can't be transfered via this method) and the ones that don't.

As far as cloning a hard drive, CEG games still won't work, because CEG actually locks games to the original hardware onto which they were downloaded, until you go online and verify the cache to get another hardware-specific program file. Yes, you read that correctly: Valve, the company that takes every chance it can to crap all over companies that use DRM, the company that requires third-party DRM to be listed on every Steam game page that uses it, created a DRM that actually locks games to specific hardware without asking permission to play them again.
This is all quite interesting, I'll have to test a few things out with my systems and games.

Given that CEG does in fact tie the license to specific hardware, Steam's DRM explanation page to developers seems somewhat misleading: http://www.steampowered.com/steamworks/publishingservices.php

I've seen a few DRM-free Steam game lists floating around, but have not seen any verified CEG or other intrusive 3rd party DRM Steam game lists around. Do you know of any?
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pedrovay2003: You actually don't even need to do that. If you start a game online once, it downloads everything it needs license-wise into the Steam directory itself, and Steam is a completely portable program. All you need to do is download a game, start the game online once, put Steam into Offline Mode, and exit the client. Everything can literally be copied/pasted to as many PCs as you want to now, and you'll be playing in your own offline profile every time. Offline Mode will work forever without any restrictions, and since you're using Steam exactly as intended, I can't see any way in which it would be against the law or any part of the SSA. I've moved my main profile and games to PCs that have never once had Steam on them, and everything always worked perfectly.

The write-up I want to make details the difference between regular Steam client DRM and CEG, since there is a big difference, and how to tell which games have CEG (i.e., the ones that can't be transfered via this method) and the ones that don't.

As far as cloning a hard drive, CEG games still won't work, because CEG actually locks games to the original hardware onto which they were downloaded, until you go online and verify the cache to get another hardware-specific program file. Yes, you read that correctly: Valve, the company that takes every chance it can to crap all over companies that use DRM, the company that requires third-party DRM to be listed on every Steam game page that uses it, created a DRM that actually locks games to specific hardware without asking permission to play them again.
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the.kuribo: This is all quite interesting, I'll have to test a few things out with my systems and games.

Given that CEG does in fact tie the license to specific hardware, Steam's DRM explanation page to developers seems somewhat misleading: http://www.steampowered.com/steamworks/publishingservices.php

I've seen a few DRM-free Steam game lists floating around, but have not seen any verified CEG or other intrusive 3rd party DRM Steam game lists around. Do you know of any?
http://pcgamingwiki.com/wiki/The_Big_List_of_3rd_Party_DRM_on_Steam
Cheers for that, it'll definitely come in handy. No CEG on that one though since they only list third-party DRM.
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pedrovay2003: Actually, if a Steam game doesn't specifically have CEG, even if it's permanently tied to the client itself and an account that purchased it (which doesn't actually guarantee that CEG is involved), there's a way to run that game forever, offline, without any online checks or downloading any cracked files, on any number of PCs you choose. That's a completely different thread for another time, though... I've been meaning to start a thread here showing people how to do that, actually.
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Gilozard: Posting an explanation would be awesome.
I posted it above:
http://www.gog.com/forum/general/list_of_drmfree_games_on_steam/post1071
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Gilozard: Posting an explanation would be awesome.
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pedrovay2003: I posted it above:
http://www.gog.com/forum/general/list_of_drmfree_games_on_steam/post1071
But how do we tell if a game uses CEG?

Offline mode has been squirelly for some people, so I don't consider it a 100% reliable solution.
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the.kuribo: Cheers for that, it'll definitely come in handy. No CEG on that one though since they only list third-party DRM.
There's also the PC DRM Database. I can't say how trustworthy it is, but it also includes games not from Steam and has tools to check game directories for possibly applied DRM measures.
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Gilozard: But how do we tell if a game uses CEG?

Offline mode has been squirelly for some people, so I don't consider it a 100% reliable solution.
OH! Shoot, sorry, I misunderstood. There are two ways that I've found to check for CEG in Steam games:

1. The easiest way is to use a tool called ProtectionID, or PiD for short. It scans entire folders for all kinds of DRM, and if a game has CEG in any of its files, it clearly spells it out as "Valve CEG" in one of the program's windows. The problem with it is that I do believe it was made by pirates, which rubs a lot of people the wrong way, and it does give virus scanners like AVG a false-positive. I've been using it forever, though, and I've never had any problems with anything; I just leave it zipped so AVG doesn't detect it, and when I want to use it, I temporarily disable AVG. The program is completely safe, and I always have a copy of it with me.

2. I just noticed this recently, so I'll have to do some more tests, but if you start a Steam game online for the first time after you download it and you specifically get a Steam popup that says something like completing or finishing installation, the CEG is verifying and customizing your files. This popup is NOT the same as the one that says Steam is installing DirectX and that kind of stuff, it specifically says that it's actually finishing the installation, and it's referring to the game itself. With non-CEG games, I have never once seen that window pop up.

The thing that gets me about all this is that Valve is so adamant about REQUIRING third-party DRM to be listed on each game's store page, but if you want to use their own in-house DRM, they certainly don't mind if nobody makes any mention of it. The only real way of knowing if a game has CEG before you buy it is if someone else has already scanned it and reported the results somewhere online.
Post edited 3 days ago by pedrovay2003
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Kick-aha: There's also the PC DRM Database. I can't say how trustworthy it is, but it also includes games not from Steam and has tools to check game directories for possibly applied DRM measures.
Nice resource, the organization and interface could use some work, but it does seem to have quite a bit of data -- close to 1000 entries if you look at the spreadsheet version. Thank you for sharing!

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pedrovay2003: 1. The easiest way is to use a tool called ProtectionID, or PiD for short. It scans entire folders for all kinds of DRM, and if a game has CEG in any of its files, it clearly spells it out as "Valve CEG" in one of the program's windows. The problem with it is that I do believe it was made by pirates, which rubs a lot of people the wrong way, and it does give virus scanners like AVG a false-positive. I've been using it forever, though, and I've never had any problems with anything; I just leave it zipped so AVG doesn't detect it, and when I want to use it, I temporarily disable AVG. The program is completely safe, and I always have a copy of it with me.

2. I just noticed this recently, so I'll have to do some more tests, but if you start a Steam game online for the first time after you download it and you specifically get a Steam popup that says something like completing or finishing installation, the CEG is verifying and customizing your files. This popup is NOT the same as the one that says Steam is installing DirectX and that kind of stuff, it specifically says that it's actually finishing the installation, and it's referring to the game itself. With non-CEG games, I have never once seen that window pop up.
I appreciate the writeup, it would be great if we could get a master list of CEG affected games going. With respect to PiD, I'm always a bit wary of running unexamined code from untrusted sources. I'd also recommend that you be a bit careful with PiD as even though it may not show any adverse issues on your system yet, good malware is written in a way that it is virtually undetectable. What I usually do with untrusted or potentially suspect code is to only execute it on a spare, isolated testing system that is never connected to LAN or WAN. Additionally, it is best to use unwriteable media (like mastered CD-R that can no longer be written to) to transfer files to the isolated system, so that no data can ever escape it.
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Kick-aha: There's also the PC DRM Database. I can't say how trustworthy it is, but it also includes games not from Steam and has tools to check game directories for possibly applied DRM measures.
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the.kuribo: Nice resource, the organization and interface could use some work, but it does seem to have quite a bit of data -- close to 1000 entries if you look at the spreadsheet version. Thank you for sharing!

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pedrovay2003: 1. The easiest way is to use a tool called ProtectionID, or PiD for short. It scans entire folders for all kinds of DRM, and if a game has CEG in any of its files, it clearly spells it out as "Valve CEG" in one of the program's windows. The problem with it is that I do believe it was made by pirates, which rubs a lot of people the wrong way, and it does give virus scanners like AVG a false-positive. I've been using it forever, though, and I've never had any problems with anything; I just leave it zipped so AVG doesn't detect it, and when I want to use it, I temporarily disable AVG. The program is completely safe, and I always have a copy of it with me.

2. I just noticed this recently, so I'll have to do some more tests, but if you start a Steam game online for the first time after you download it and you specifically get a Steam popup that says something like completing or finishing installation, the CEG is verifying and customizing your files. This popup is NOT the same as the one that says Steam is installing DirectX and that kind of stuff, it specifically says that it's actually finishing the installation, and it's referring to the game itself. With non-CEG games, I have never once seen that window pop up.
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the.kuribo: I appreciate the writeup, it would be great if we could get a master list of CEG affected games going. With respect to PiD, I'm always a bit wary of running unexamined code from untrusted sources. I'd also recommend that you be a bit careful with PiD as even though it may not show any adverse issues on your system yet, good malware is written in a way that it is virtually undetectable. What I usually do with untrusted or potentially suspect code is to only execute it on a spare, isolated testing system that is never connected to LAN or WAN. Additionally, it is best to use unwriteable media (like mastered CD-R that can no longer be written to) to transfer files to the isolated system, so that no data can ever escape it.
Yeah, that's good advice. There's always a risk in situations like that, but I've been using it for so long without any apparent issues that I guess I haven't thought to do any of this; I've even run malware protection programs, and nothing came up.

As far as a list of CEG games goes, this is what I've found so far, both through other websites and my own testing:

007 Legends
3000AD
Aliens: Colonial Marines
Aliens vs. Predator
Bionic Commando
Bioshock Infinite + DLC
Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel
Borderlands 2
Cabela's Dangerous Hunts 2013
Cabela's Hunting Expeditions
Call Of Duty : Modern Warfare 2
Call Of Duty : Modern Warfare 2 - Multiplayer
Call Of Duty : Modern Warfare 3
Call Of Duty : Modern Warfare 3 - Multiplayer
Call Of Duty: Black Ops
Call Of Duty: Black Ops - Multiplayer
Call Of Duty: Black Ops 2
Company of Heroes 2
Company of Heroes 2: Ardennes Assault (with CPUID check)
DeathSpank
DeathSpank: Thongs of Virtue
DiRT Showdown
DoTA 2
Duke Nukem Forever
Evolve Beta (64bit version)
F1 2012
F1 2013/14 (with CPUID check)
F1 RACE STARS
F.E.A.R. 3
Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse
Football Manager 2012
Football Manager 2013
Football Manager 2014/2015
Grid Autosport (with CPUID check)
Grid 2
Hitman: Absolution
Hitman: Sniper Challenge
HOMEFRONT
Just Cause 2
Kane and Lynch 2: Dog Days
Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light
Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light Demo
Left 4 Dead 2
Madballs in...Babo: Invasion
Mafia 2
Prototype 2
Red Faction Armageddon
Risen 2
Saints Row: The Third
Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter
Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter
Serious Sam 3
Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth (with CPUID check)
Sid Meier's Civilization V Demo
Sid Meier's Civilization V
Sid Meier's Civilization V - Gods and Kings
Sleeping Dogs
Sniper Elite V2
Sniper Elite Nazi Zombie Army
Sniper Elite Nazi Zombie Army 2
Sniper Elite 3 (with CPUID check)
Space Marine
Spec Ops: The Line
Risen 2
The Amazing Spider-Man
The Bureau: XCOM Declassified
The Darkness II
The Lord of the Rings - War in the North
The Typing of the Dead: Overkill
Total War Rome II
Total War SHOGUN 2
Total War: SHOGUN 2 - Fall of the Samurai
Total War: SHOGUN 2 - Rise of the Samurai
Transformers: Fall of Cybertron
Viking: Battle of Asgard
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II - Retribution Beta
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II - Retribution
Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine - Demo
XCOM: Enemy Within (with CPUID check)
XCOM: Enemy Unknown

The interesting thing here is that Linux seems to have absolutely no CEG support, as games on this list that are on both Windows and Linux will copy/paste like regular games if you do it in Linux.