Game stores & clients (Steam, GOG...)

[Lestrades.com] Nao 尚

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Game stores & clients (Steam, GOG...)
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Trying to open a new topic to talk about game stores such as Steam (which just unveiled a new beta), or GOG, and their associated communities and launchers/clients (Steam library beta and Galaxy 2.0 are the talk of the town.)



First, in case you didn't notice, Rockstar released their very own launcher for... their very own games, obviously. It's never a good sign, because it adds to fragmentation, but it's not like the store didn't exist before, so I'll let it go. The launcher is limited to Rockstar games, and from what I've heard, it doesn't even have GTA 4 in it, but it should allow you to launch your Steam Rockstar games (eh, what a bargain..... Ahah.) It also offers GTA San Andreas for a limited time. Has anyone heard about differences with the Steam version? I've read that the Steam version crashes a lot, and that the Rockstar version supposedly doesn't, I don't think I'll ever play the game, but that would still be enough to entice me into opening a Rockstar account just to make sure.



Now...

I just want user opinions on the Steam library redesign!

I don't know about you, but I'm on the fence. On the one hand, it looks nice, and it adds extra filtering options such as Steam tags and sort by playtime[1]

On the other hand, it's slow! On my computer at least, and it's not some old crap computer. It's clearly web-based.[2] I'm used to switching between library games with the arrow keys, so I could find out what games needed more achievements to be completed, and it was nearly instantaneous. Now it takes a good couple of seconds to switch to another game! So yes, looks nice, but when I want to be efficient, it's annoying. Especially with my 4500 games. I can't imagine how it must look like on a library with 10k+ items...

Also:

- Scrolling through the text list of games is also slow! It seems to take time to load icons, but if you filter games by name, you'll see it takes a second or so for the list to update, when previously it was instantaneous. Cache, please!

- The library tab in settings is very limited. It allows you to select a smaller, less obnoxious size for game thumbnails, which is great, but doesn't allow you to switch to horizontal banners for them[3], and allows you to disable animations, but that doesn't actually do anything, for me.

- I can no longer group my games by category. The option "Group by category" is there, but it's grayed out. I found no way to re-enable it.

- Where's the Hidden category? I can still hide my games, but can no longer find them.

- I've heard that free games are no longer hidden from your library when you uninstall them, which is great. No need to manually put them into the Hidden category (which is the only reason I used 'Hidden' at all!), which was a trick I found to make them remain in my accessible game list, even when uninstalled. But I'm starting to wonder if they haven't simply removed the hidden category, and my games now show up in the main list..? I'd have to check.

- Can't add multiple categories to a game anymore, I'm not seeing any way to do it. I have to manually right-click, select Add to, select a category, then start again. Way to go for user experience, Valve..!

- Game entries:
* Custom categories no longer show up. Neither does the DLC tab. I remember the store pages don't always have all DLCs available to see, so I often accessed the list from the library page, as sometimes I would get a free soundtrack DLC on them that wasn't listed on the store page.
* They now prominently feature 'activity'... What do I care that a friend added to their wishlist this game I already own? That might be understandable were it a multi-player game, but it also does it for single-player games... Also, I do not, and probably never will, play multi-player, so I'd appreciate if I could disable that... I do care if a friend adds a review for the game, though, that'd be a great place to read about them.
* Community content? I don't care about screenshots! Most community content is that. Make them smaller, maybe. I'm fine with guides and even discussions being linked there, but they're lost among the countless screenshots.
* The 'i' button to show the game description is great, and was really needed. But who thought it'd be great to remember that setting per game, instead of per session or generally..?! If I want to see a game description, I probably want to see them for all my other games at the same time...

Needless to say, right now my experience is very, very lackluster. If at least half of these issues aren't fixed within the next couple of weeks, I'll eagerly go back to the 'old' version, fearing the moment I'll be forced to 'upgrade'. Gosh, Valve, what's happening to you guys..?
 1. Up until now, Lestrade's was actually the only way I was aware of to be able to view your library by playtime in a timely manner when you have thousands of games-- although Lestrade's still has the upper hand because it gives more information, removes farming times, and shows playtime accurately, not rounded by the hour.
 2. I'd have to look into it, with a packet sniffer or something.
 3. Which would make a lot of sense considering only a fraction of my library has vertical thumbnails... Of which I'd like to find the URL scheme, by the way... Again, I'll need to run my packet sniffer... Unless it's already all cached on disk... Hmm...

Raggart

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Re: Game stores & clients (Steam, GOG...)
« Reply #1,  »
I haven't played around with the beta library much, basically only filtering for controller-based games or tag-based filtering. I can tell you, however, that it runs faster on my PC than the regular library does. Not much, but significantly enough that I noticed. I switched between the libraries a few times and everything is faster on the new one.

[Lestrades.com] Nao 尚

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Re: Game stores & clients (Steam, GOG...)
« Reply #2,  »
So maybe their new system doesn't scale well on larger libraries, I don't know.
I'm getting used to it, but I sure hope they'll fix most of the problems soon.