Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Pissed at Valve

Alright, so I still haven't gotten time to finish the blog updates. I spend my weekends in California with my girlfriend and almost every other waking second working on Highborn: Chapter Three.

I say almost every other waking second, because for about an hour a night every third night or so, I've been playing Team Fortress 2. My friend Angry Anthony made a Chef's Hat for the Piro, who I usually play, so I logged in after more than 2 (3?) years away and bought it. Then I started playing a little. A lot has changed and you can tell it hasn't been the top valve team that has been working on it.

Two issues I want to rant about real quick. First is they are having these Saxxy Awards for user submitted videos. They advertise this on the main menu. The ad takes up more than half the menu screen and has a gold statue, think Oscars, rotating to the sound of clapping and camera flashes... THAT DOESN'T STOP!! Oh, they die down for a little bit with the occasional clap or flash, BUT THEN IT PICKS BACK UP AGAIN! YOU CAN'T SHUT IT OFF! MY GOD IT IS ANNOYING!!!

Second issue and what really set me off. I logged into Team Fortress just now and when I tried to connect to a server (their new server menu isn't the greatest piece of technology either by the way) it told me that "This account does not own this game" and promptly disconnected me. I tried several severs with the same result. I'm logged in on the main menu, it shows my achievements and past stats, the game is listed in my Steam library. WTF!

I tried searching their support site. When I type the phrase ""This account does not own this game" it told me that the words THIS, DOES, NOT, and OWN were common words and were omitted from the search. Yes, I put the search phrase in quotes. Tried several way of searching for an answer. No luck finding anything relevant, big surprise.

I then just did a Google search and for it and found another post somewhere complaining about. Somebody there linked to a Steam forum post that said they were doing maintenance on accounts created around the time of the Orange Box release and they would be down for about 20 hours.

I know these kinds of things happen. Account maintenance is understandable. No email message about this? Nothing on the Team Fortress 2 twitter feed, though plenty of posting about the new hats they are selling ingame. No news post when I launched Steam, though plenty of advertising for other games I should buy? Not even a warning when I launched the game that some accounts would be unuseable during this maintenance?!

They thought a pop-up saying I didn't own the game would be sufficient?!

And if Valve is supposed to be this leap forward, super-duper, do it right on don't do it at all company, why doesn't their support site have any mention of this that is searchable? Or hey, how about a top issues list on the support home page? Instead... they thought it was acceptable for me to get all the way into the game, and they be told that I was being disconnected because I didn't own the game?

They thought a pop-up saying I didn't own the game would be sufficient?!

I keep saying that because these are the people that pioneered digital distribution. The ones who are trying to get the skeptics to believe that it is okay not to have physical media that I can hold in my hands. Trying to get us to feel safe and secure in the knowledge that if we buy it digitally from them online, that we will still own this game.

...unless... they decide we don't own it.