I've been posting about Steam lately and excited to get some new games to play while waiting for Ulduar to roll out. I've had a mostly positive experience with the service and recommended it so far. Over the last couple days tho, my opinion of the service is starting to lessen.
First of all, I haven't been able to get Sacred to work multiplayer at all. I get distinct errors when trying to join and create multiplayer games, and so far have had zero response from anyone at Steam reguarding this issue (using the forums). Now this game I got for $5 and it was released in 2004, so I am not going to throw a hissy-fit. This is pretty lame to start with. I will probably head over to the forums of the developer, but last time I was there it was a bunch of ppl complaining about Sacred 2 problems.
Now Sacred 2 is out, but for some reason the good people who bought this game from Steam have yet to recieve the latest patch for the game, which came out nearly 3 weeks ago now. I beleive this patch is neccessary for multiplayer to work in this game too, although I haven't read the details. In any case there has been no real response from Steam to it's customers reguarding this issue, except there was one post about a week ago that said that the "guy" (yeah one dude) who is responsible for doing the patches at Steam was out of the office or something and wouldn't be able to address this until the 14th (tomorrow). Yikes. (steam Sacred forum here)
Then there's Titan Quest. The game Sacred has been compared to, and it's another Diablo II clone. The "Gold" edition has been on Steam for $19.95 and this was going to be the next game I got, however guess what.. more problems here too. Apparently both the original game and expansion play fine (both included in "GOLD"), but the CD-KEY is invalid for the expansion. So you can play these single-player, but multi-player is a no-go. This has recieved almost no recognition from Steam, they keep selling the product, and every CD-KEY they give (for the expansion part of it anyways) is invalid. /facepalm. (steam Titan Quest forum here) I have heard that the Direct2Drive version works ok, so that's where I'll pick this one up from.
Looking over some of the other steam forums, there are more problems like these with other games. The biggest negatives I can see is lack of communication and support from Valve on their forums. Another is that you can't really take any action on your own (if you do a charge-back, for example, because you didn't get what you paid for then your steam account may be banned and the games you purchased held for ransom) Sound like fun? Not to me.
At this point the only games I'll get from Steam are ones I'm fairly positive don't have any technical problems, and/or those on the weekend deals. You can see what games they've had on their weekend deals and typically they're pretty good stuff. This past weekend it was Peggle Deluxe/Peggle Nights combo-pack. Fantastic games, $10 was a great price. Now if they would put The Witcher up on sale.. I'm there!
Just be careful. Before purchasing any game check the forums and see if others are having problems first. I'm glad I checked out Titan Quest's forum or I'd be another unhappy customer.