1. Post #1
    Drewsko's Avatar
    March 2011
    1,256 Posts
    Undoubtedly, Valve is still an amazing company. Excellent and enjoyable bestselling games, an extremely profitable digital game service, and a continuing desire to be a friendly, risk-taking, and downright awesome company.

    Yet in spite of all this, many people have spoken of their griefs they've had with Valve's products over the years, ranging from how the games work to the company's decision making process. Some of them are arguably minor, while some would be argued to be major ones that seem to give off bad vibes regarding the company's decision making.

    Intrigued by some of the allegations regarding Valve's actions in recent years and titles, I've come up with a list of common criticism had with Valve and their games over time (Though I lack much to say regarding DOTA 2 and Counter-Strike, due to my unfamiliarity with those games. Anyone more knowledgeable can add more detail if they want to, and not just for those games).


    General:

    -Mod Support: From Left 4 Dead onwards, Valve has used a VPK system to allow users to add content to the games. The purpose of this was to allow people to spend less time "dragging and dropping" various files to get their mods to work, and allow for a simple format and simple location for users to be able to activate their mods.

    However, modders haven't benefited from this addon system. L4D2 is the only game that even allows full mod support (model reskins/replacements, new sounds, custom maps/campaigns, some code changes for damage, weapon stats, and the like). L4D1 and Portal 2 only allow people to add maps and campaigns, and doing anything else involves a clunky method of editing "pak01_000.vpk" files, which can easily be undone by game updates and other factors.

    Even creating entire new games (Like how certain mods like Nightmare House 2 are seperate entities from HL2:EP2) has been made incredibly hard, as the SDKs (or as Steam merely calls them, "Authoring Tools") do not provide a feature for this to allow users to do so. This has given various mod developers extreme headaches, and has made at least one ("Infra") to have to switch from developing on Portal 2's engine to Alien Swarm's.

    Nearly every game Valve has made that doesn't feature Half-Life in the title has its roots from a video game modification. If they're starting to slip off the wayside with mod support, could this say something about their future development process?

    -Game Attendance: In spite of Valve's recent desire to focus on making games "as a service", not all of their titles have had a constant flow of updates for DLC or simple bug correction. For some, it is understandable (Singleplayer games needing less concern due to less activity, lack of development with Goldsource engine), but for others, it has made people annoyed for their lack of attentiveness.

    L4D2 and TF2, in spite of sub-frequent to frequent patching, have this problem in various ways that will be elaborated on later, but various other games have been left behind with not too much concern for their current state. HL2 still has graphics issues from a glitch with font to lighting bugs from use of certain DirectX levels. Multiplayer games like Alien Swarm or Day of Defeat: Source have barely seen a patch in recent years, and have barely been updated, though they could just be due to a lack of interest from players making them a very low priority for development (though low playerbase could be due to the lack of Valve's attention due to low playerbase and oh gawd I've created a paradox)

    Valve staff has said on many occasions that they "cycle" their developers through certain games, leaving many to work on one (mostly upcoming titles) while leaving others less attended. Reports have said in recent months that most people are either on DOTA 2 or CS:GO, with teams of 10 or far less working on TF2, L4D2, and Portal 2. Though updates and DLC takes significantly less effort and manpower to create and implement, it could be said that the lack of people behind it seem to contribute to their lack of attentiveness. While they can't be realistically expected to keep all their games up to date, especially less-played ones, but does it say something about them that even their most popular titles lack certain amounts of attention?

    -Development Methods: Going off on the last part of the previous subject, Valve's cycle of game development is said to be motivated mostly by their desire to work on games they "want to" work on. They've said that most titles have been done under the desire to want to do them, such as L4D2.

    Logically, not everyone can be thought to all work on certain aspects. People like Kim Swift, who envisioned what became Portal, and Viktor Antonov, who provided Half Life conceptual art. Both individuals had certain games they wanted to work on (puzzle games and epics, respectively), that when the majority of Valve shifted away from, motivated their desires to leave the company.

    I have no objection to Valve wanting to determine production by their employee motivation, but could we be missing out on some good game ideas or updates simply because Valve doesn't want to do them?


    Half-Life:

    -Episode 3/HL3: Everyone knows the deal with this one, so let's look into the idea of why we're waiting like Godot's friends.

    Valve is known for, with certain exceptions, to focus less on delivering a product in time in favor of making it just right with minimal problems. They have said a few times that they've scrapped their entire plans for the next Half-Life over the course of development in their search for the right conclusion to the current part of the Half-Life saga. Valve is keeping quiet mostly to avoid giving people false expectations if they plan to scrap everything once again, and that they have nothing really to show us. Development has taken them five years now, and by now the hype for it is something that might even challenge Duke Nukem Forever's.

    They're trying to keep away false expectations from cut material (perhaps a lesson learned from the material released during HL2's beta stages), but by now, they've done the exact opposite by hyping us to a high point with no material at all. Could this come back to bite them when the game is finally released? Can they produce a game that at this point is expected to be equal, if not greater, than Half Life 2 itself?

    Also, are they working on it? Valve's said before that they lack any real content to show us, and that their development process is often determined by what their employees want to do. Could it be we're not seeing anything about the next Half-Life simply because a majority of Valve staff would rather work on something else?


    Team Fortress 2:

    -Attention to Detail: Valve likes to look at gameplay over presentation, that has been made clear. Nonetheless, the amount of various cosmetic bugs has annoyed TF2 fans to no end. Rocket launchers that feature no rockets in the reload animations, grenade launchers that don't have a proper animation, textures and bodygroups that don't appear right, audio sounds that don't sync up or even play right, the list goes on and on and on.

    There have been a few statements that tell us that they are aware of these grievances and want to fix them, but would prefer to work on more important aspects of the game. However, some of these glitches have existed for years without attention, and when updates and patches sometimes launch almost weekly, the expectation is that they would be addressed sooner rather than later.

    Do the developers have their attention in the right place? Or are these bugs a sign that Valve is beginning to not patch games right?

    -Community Content: While their attention to modding has been a subject of concern, the introduction of the Workshop has shown that Valve is paying attention to custom game content and wants to work to let fans have the honor of it being introduced into the game. Even before it, the amount of fan content Valve has accepted into the game is outstanding, and shows that they can listen to fans when they have bright ideas.

    Though with the Workshop, there has been complaints. Monitoring slips for illegible submissions aside, many people were annoyed during the period of time when, between major updates, Valve began accepting in items from the Workshop on a nearly weekly basis. The problem was that most of these items were hats or miscs, and very few of them were among the top-supported submissions.

    While Valve does need time to perfect new weapons, and they have said before that they like to save the best submissions for the next big update, some don't like that they're being treated to "sub-par" content in their long waits for the next big update. They also note that many many of the accepted submissions are often from people who already have had items accepted. While it is all well and good to see reliable content producers have more and work added, some would prefer that underdog, newer content makers could be allowed to see their work reach the top. Also of minor note is a lack of people releasing their custom items as mere mods after their submission, to allow people to use them in the time before they are or if they don't get to be accepted ingame.

    Is Valve prioritizing the acceptance of Workshop items right, or do their methods need work?

    -Hats: Lauded as one of the biggest examples of Valve being careless in what's important in a game (an attitude adopted by the TF2 development team themselves in self-ridicule), hats and other cosmetic items are central to how the game has developed an "economy" within itself and become what it is today.

    It is common to prefer new weapons and game mechanics over simple appearance updates, as the former allow for more variety and playtime within the game. From a technical standpoint, it takes more time to create new weapons and gamemodes and other gamplay-central additions, while adding a new hat or misc item is much easier in comparison. Nevertheless, with several updates, from minor weekly ones to major, brand-spankin'-new-page ones, hats have occasionally been the only thing added to the game in regards to content beyond system features like replays or training or allowing Mac support.

    It is arguable whether or not the many, many hats in comparison to maps and weapons is an indicator of lazy development or the result of simply a quick addition to the game in between the finishing of more important things, but something more major to consider is something that is directly connected to the popularity of ingame hats:

    -The Ingame Store: Next to going free-to-play, the introduction of hats, or the very first content update, this is the most major, game-changing addition TF2 has received. It is how many people manage to find a way to explain how Valve could be starting to feel the sensations of greed that many feel ruin such game companies as EA or Activison.

    People often disapprove of spending money on a store within a video game on general principal. And with good reason: Why would I want to waste good money on small additions that let me give my character a top hat? To their credit, Valve has given players different alternatives to let players earn the items available within the Mann. Co Store elsewhere, and barely any of them are exclusive to it. The problem comes with the limitations of said alternative methods of item-gaining (Drop system is based purely on luck, trading is nigh-impossible with the development of its economy, crafting anything that isn't a weapon relies on a great deal of chance), the keys and crates and their lure of the Unusual hats/"Strange" items, and minor practical issues (backpack limits, F2Players needing to spend at least $5 to unlock certain features of the game).

    There are few things that force people to need to spend money in the ingame store, and Valve, barring a few expectations (Crate keys, Polycount set hats, Holiday 2011) has been good with not forcing people to use the store to access certain content. But there are subtle pushes to it, and are they enough to give us the idea that Valve might one day let greed get the better of them?

    -The Artstyle: This has elected the most controversy in the arguments against Valve's treatment of TF2 in recent years. When it was being finished and first released, it's cartoony, spy-flick-inspired theme and art style was considered core to the appearance of the game. Much care had been given designing the characters and their identifiable outline, as well as what kind of weapons were used. When it first came out, and with the first several set of updates, stuck close to this theme.

    Nowadays, Valve likes to say that the game has a different kind of theme, one a bit more cartoony and time-spanning. Others would like to say that the theme and artstyle is more describable as "dead", "destroyed", "trashed", and perhaps a couple other words not safe for the kids who shouldn't even be playing this game. Many blame promotional tie-in items made to help sell pre-orders for upcoming games, which brings in items from games not always fitting the world to TF2 even after being adapted (most infamously, the Deux Ex items). Others include the blame on the ability to paint hats, which in itself isn't bad, but isn't helped by such infamously unfitting color options as completely black and white, pink, and lime. And many more would simply blame a long list of hats that don't seem appropriate at all, like an umbrellia hat for heavy, a Dr. Seuss-inspired top hat for Soldier, or a seal mask for all classes. Even Valve will admit they've gone too far at times (such as Demoman's Dangeresque Too shades).

    It is highly unlikely that these elements offending the originally intended artstyle and theme can be taken away at this point, and it is equally unlikely that they won't stop coming. All we can ask is if they are really as bad as people say, or if we'll seen enough "fitting" new inclusions to help balance it out.


    Left 4 Dead

    -L4D1's Support: Very early after the game's release, it was once said in an interview that Valve would give Left 4 Dead updates more frequently than TF2. Obviously, things turned out different than expected, and at this point in time, the games most major updates were Survival Mode, Crash Course, and the Sacrifice. Notable was that the Sacrifice was to be a L4D exclusive until Valve decided that they wanted to not let people who had L4D2 only miss out.

    It has also been said that when working on the future update content for L4D1, many of Valve's staff decided that they had enough in the works to make an entire sequel to the first, and combined with other reasons, they decided to do so. This made many fans angry, leading to a memorable boycott campaign from L4D1 fans saying they would not buy the new game. After the heads of the protest were flown to Valve HQ to see the new game for themselves, they gave their approval, retired their positions, and the boycott mostly died out.

    Notable about Crash Course is that people often feel that Valve made it in a rush simply to prove to boycotters they wouldn't give up L4D1 support fully. It can be seen that way in some aspects (extremely short length, based on scraped ideas for connections between the campaigns, failure to acquire Bill's voice actor for it), but Valve has never confirmed that rumor.

    Did Valve perhaps jump the gun too soon to make a sequel? Perhaps they could've treated L4D1 with more additions before then?

    -L4D2's Release: With the announcement of Left 4 Dead 2 at E3 2009 came a release date in November of that year, and Valve made the promise that they were fully intending to make the game on time for that date. Coming from the company that cemented the idea of delaying release of a product in the name of producing the best-quality experience, this was quite a shock. Valve themselves admitted that they were partially just doing the game to see if they could meet a deadline for once.

    And true to their word, the game came out in November 2009 on time. But was this the best idea? There were various problems with the game on launch, ranging from lag to crashes to installation issues, and several shortcomings in the animations (such as no walking movement in firstperson pistol animations and inaccurate aiming of downed survivor models in thirdperson) were present.

    Valve does like to experiment with their game production, with TF2 that much is clear. And perhaps there is a lesson to be learned from L4D2's quick release that they've taken to heart. But as explained in the next part, they haven't quite made up for some of the mistakes seen in their "on-time" game.

    -L4D2's Support: Even though it's now the more supported game in the series, L4D2 still has a hard time with its various bugs and glitches. Updates come rarely, maybe once a month or so. Various exploits or glitches with both versus mode and singleplayer/co-op are left unattended for extreme periods of time. Cosmetic glitches remain unfixed, some even from the time the game launched.

    Valve's L4D team has dwindled, naturally, from their numbers that they were at during development proper. But even still, it seems that they haven't given the game as much attention as it might've been hoped for. With the Passing and the Sacrifice, they have cranked out relatively good DLC in the past, but a more recent release seems to cast the team in a different light:

    -Cold Stream: This was an experiment on Valve's part to try what they did with TF2 and get more user content into the game, letting a fan work on their custom campaign with Valve support and getting the community to help out with reporting glitches and other imperfections.

    The problem comes with the custom campaign developer they chose. IN the fan community, he was known as subpar, not being able to apply his ideas in a manner that really benefited gameplay and somewhat ineffective at actually responding any bug reports given from players. He was often slow with Valve regarding updates, and by the end of it, left the job of finishing it up to the company itself.

    The "update" the campaign came with included all remaining L4D1 campaigns not yet ported to the second game (No Mercy having previously been ported with the Sacrifice update), satisfying the fans who wanted L4D2 features in L4D1 campaigns, while giving much less reason to want to play the first game once more. Furthermore, all campaigns went into the PC version before the official update release, and despite their purpose to simply allow the community to playtest them before official "release", contained several unaddressed glitches and oversights even after official release.

    Did Valve, with this "fiasco" of an update, fall from the level they were at with previous L4D2 updates, and show that they were far less adept at patching the game than they ever were before? Does this show that they are starting to lose any sort of focus on maintaining the game at all?


    I have a few more ideas I can add here, but I think I'll try and edit them in at another point.

    I'll admit, I haven't checked my sources on this, mostly drawn from memory. But I'd like to have this topic here just to serve as a way to approach this subject of Valve's flaws in a single topic, not affected by the spread over various game management. Feel free to add corrections, or your own opinions and information.
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  2. Post #2
    I had a real awkward conversation with my dad asking if I could take a picture of him for free games
    nnoah95's Avatar
    December 2009
    1,532 Posts
    I don't see how Valve's silence on Episode 3 is a problem. They are not obligated to constantly update us with it's status and I found the various concept art that they've released/leaked to be a nice reminder that they haven't "forgotten" it.
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  3. Post #3
    Gold Member
    The Vman's Avatar
    December 2008
    8,138 Posts
    Also, are they working on it? Valve's said before that they lack any real content to show us, and that their development process is often determined by what their employees want to do. Could it be we're not seeing anything about the next Half-Life simply because a majority of Valve staff would rather work on something else?
    This is actually the truth of the matter of Episode 3. Ellen McLain visited our school and said exactly that. The reason HL3 is taking so long is because nobody really wants to work on it.

    Also, I wouldn't say people getting hyped about EP3 with no content at all is Valves fault, what are they supposed to do to prevent people from getting hyped? I can only imagine how much backlash there'd be amongst fans if Valve simply said they weren't actually working on it this entire time, as some naively expect.
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  4. Post #4
    World's Okayest Comic Guy
    usaokay's Avatar
    February 2005
    17,664 Posts
    still mad at Valve for banning the TF2WH bots
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  5. Post #5
    Philly c's Avatar
    February 2008
    559 Posts
    I can't help but feel gabe is disingenuous about his opinion on drm, considering steam is online drm.
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  6. Post #6
    fixture's Avatar
    April 2009
    667 Posts
    if Valve aren't hyped about another Half Life instalment now then I don't think they will ever be

    for me it's gotten to the point where I don't actually care about EP3 or half life 3 at all anymore
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  7. Post #7
    ALPHA MALE
    Dennab
    January 2012
    1,541 Posts
    I was seriously thinking of writing something similar to what you just said, Drewsko. I've been thinking long and hard about Valve for the longest time and I don't like the changes that are happening.
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  8. Post #8
    Gold Member
    Milkyway M16's Avatar
    July 2006
    1,363 Posts
    This is actually the truth of the matter of Episode 3. Ellen McLain visited our school and said exactly that. The reason HL3 is taking so long is because nobody really wants to work on it.

    Also, I wouldn't say people getting hyped about EP3 with no content at all is Valves fault, what are they supposed to do to prevent people from getting hyped? I can only imagine how much backlash there'd be amongst fans if Valve simply said they weren't actually working on it this entire time, as some naively expect.
    But uh, there's loads of evidence supporting the fact that they ARE working on it.
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  9. Post #9
    Gold Member
    Butthurter's Avatar
    August 2007
    9,836 Posts
    But uh, there's loads of evidence supporting the fact that they ARE working on it.
    you do realize vman has been to valve and studied with them right
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  10. Post #10
    Gold Member
    SGTNAPALM's Avatar
    October 2007
    22,214 Posts
    still mad at Valve for banning the TF2WH bots
    I'm still extremely disappointed with Valve when they made changes to the way items were handled in TF2, which in turn broke the one mod that allowed you to play the game exactly as it was on the day of release, with no weapons except the default 3 and especially no hats.

  11. Post #11
    Gold Member
    En Ex's Avatar
    July 2011
    1,702 Posts
    Valve staff has said on many occasions that they "cycle" their developers through certain games, leaving many to work on one (mostly upcoming titles) while leaving others less attended. Reports have said in recent months that most people are either on DOTA 2 or CS:GO, with teams of 10 or far less working on TF2, L4D2, and Portal 2. Though updates and DLC takes significantly less effort and manpower to create and implement, it could be said that the lack of people behind it seem to contribute to their lack of attentiveness. While they can't be realistically expected to keep all their games up to date, especially less-played ones, but does it say something about them that even their most popular titles lack certain amounts of attention?
    Valve noted, in regards to Portal 2, that the further in development a game is, the more people are focusing on it. So it's not really surprising that CS:GO and Dota 2 are getting so much attention right now.
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  12. Post #12
    Bloodshot12's Avatar
    June 2012
    5,810 Posts
    I of course hope that HL3 sees the light of day someday (and it has awesome new tech to follow suit) but personally I'm okay with the lack of HL as it is now.

    I hope Valve finds the opportune time to bring HL back into gamers hearts where as a series it can ride high once again, but for now, I can wait.
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  13. Post #13
    Gold Member
    Overwatch 7's Avatar
    May 2006
    940 Posts
    Good thread, I find myself agreeing with many of your points. While they're definitely a step up above the competition, I don't believe Valve is infallible.
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  14. Post #14
    Gold Member
    Loofiloo's Avatar
    April 2006
    9,454 Posts
    Regarding most of the TF2 stuff:

    With the piling on of massively game-changing updates like trading, the mann co store, F2P status, and crates and keys and all that... What I heard at some point was that TF2 kinda shifted into Valve's "testing ground" where they feel safest just throwing shit at the community to see what sticks.

    Now that the game's aesthetics have effectively been slaughtered by promotional hats, and the ability to buy a sign with some customized MLP decal on it, and paint cans for every color of the rainbow, and garish unusual hats bearing whatever obnoxious scrap particle effects they had lying around, I think we should just accept the fact that the game is effectively a new-feature-testing ground, and let them try whatever weird shit they want without protesting too much.

    Better that they have one game, known to be subject to wild changes, than to have them introduce wild changes to all their games at different times.
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  15. Post #15
    Resident News Bot
    wickedplayer494's Avatar
    April 2011
    11,521 Posts
    Let's not forget about this year's summer sale with the lack of activities. It was definitely lackluster. It's just a matter of hoping the Christmas/Winter sale isn't the same way.
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  16. Post #16
    4yourmalice's Avatar
    July 2007
    327 Posts
    I know Half-Life 3 will come out one day, and it will be glorious. I understand Valve staying quiet, in case changes are made and fans aren't given what they expected. It just sucks having to sit in the dark and wait and wonder if it will be announced tomorrow.
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  17. Post #17
    p0rtalplayer's Avatar
    January 2010
    998 Posts
    Just picking on a minor point here -

    CS:GO seems to have reverted back to the "SDK" naming scheme. I haven't been following the news about it too closely, but wouldn't that seem to imply they're opening the source engine back up for modding? (Not to mention alien swarm, which you didn't touch on at all)

    Other than that, I can't dispute any of your points, only hope that things turn out for the better.

    I'm heading to valve next week for a summer workshop at Digipen, maybe I'll find evidence there to disprove something.
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  18. Post #18
    Resident News Bot
    wickedplayer494's Avatar
    April 2011
    11,521 Posts
    I know Half-Life 3 will come out one day, and it will be glorious. I understand Valve staying quiet, in case changes are made and fans aren't given what they expected. It just sucks having to sit in the dark and wait and wonder if it will be announced tomorrow.
    If everyone's internet is dead, you'll know.
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  19. Post #19
    Gold Member
    ColossalSoft's Avatar
    November 2009
    6,307 Posts
    Just picking on a minor point here -

    CS:GO seems to have reverted back to the "SDK" naming scheme. I haven't been following the news about it too closely, but wouldn't that seem to imply they're opening the source engine back up for modding? (Not to mention alien swarm, which you didn't touch on at all)

    Other than that, I can't dispute any of your points, only hope that things turn out for the better.

    I'm heading to valve next week for a summer workshop at Digipen, maybe I'll find evidence there to disprove something.
    I asked multiple Valve employees about that and they said it was going to be SDK during the beta and then Authoring Tools on release.

    They better have lied to me.
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  20. Post #20
    Dankie's Avatar
    February 2012
    746 Posts
    TF2 has become a HUGE disappointment, the amount of work valve has to put in for an update for that game is shockingly low. Look at it like this, in the case of the new sniper SMG "The Cleaner's Carbine":

    Well, lets take some attributes from this list of attributes we have, mix them up in an uncreative manner.
    Let's take a model that the community made for us.
    And then the biggest slap in the face, lets actually take the same sound of the silenced M4A1 in Counter-Strike: Source and put it on this new weapon.

    Then, let's not do any model fixing or anything and use the same stock animations for every single weapon of this kind. Just like we do with all the new weapons.

    They also never bothered to fix the demoman's grenade launcher model, which has 6 pipe chambers but only can fire 4 pipes on a full reload.

    Valve can be really hard working at times, but what they've done to tf2 is ridiculous.

    What is even worse is that they joke around about hats and other bullshit which really has ruined the game.
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  21. Post #21
    Touching on SDK and modding support.
    I think VALVE's documentation, and supplying of modding tools is fading, we have near no documentation on SFM's shit (Except the people who have reverse engineered it's workings) and even for tools and items that have been released for YEARS, documentation has been from mostly the community, and still misses a ton of stuff.

    And the lack of updated modding tools, Hammer for example, or even faceposer being broken on newer OSes.
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  22. Post #22
    One of these days, I'm going to cut you into little pieces.
    AJisAwesome15's Avatar
    May 2011
    5,917 Posts
    the anger and hype about valve's silence over hl3 is completely the community's fault
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  23. Post #23
    Positive energy is space expanding, negative energy is space contracting. Or reverse?
    onebit's Avatar
    July 2005
    6,477 Posts
    we have near no documentation on SFM's shit (Except the people who have reverse engineered it's workings)
    To be fair, Valve did release tutorials.
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  24. Post #24
    100% Homemade
    ZestyLemons's Avatar
    September 2007
    8,355 Posts
    TF2 has become a HUGE disappointment, the amount of work valve has to put in for an update for that game is shockingly low. Look at it like this, in the case of the new sniper SMG "The Cleaner's Carbine":

    Well, lets take some attributes from this list of attributes we have, mix them up in an uncreative manner.
    Let's take a model that the community made for us.
    And then the biggest slap in the face, lets actually take the same sound of the silenced M4A1 in Counter-Strike: Source and put it on this new weapon.

    Then, let's not do any model fixing or anything and use the same stock animations for every single weapon of this kind. Just like we do with all the new weapons.

    They also never bothered to fix the demoman's grenade launcher model, which has 6 pipe chambers but only can fire 4 pipes on a full reload.

    Valve can be really hard working at times, but what they've done to tf2 is ridiculous.

    What is even worse is that they joke around about hats and other bullshit which really has ruined the game.
    1) That sniper was made by a community member, not Valve.
    2) Demo's grenade launcher was nerfed from 6 pipebombs to 4, and they never changed the model. Sure, it would be an easy fix but it's a tiny detail to be complaining about if you're saying TF2 is a "HUGE DISAPPOINTMENT"

    I think you're just nitpicking for the sake of nitpicking.

    Edited:

    Touching on SDK and modding support.
    I think VALVE's documentation, and supplying of modding tools is fading, we have near no documentation on SFM's shit (Except the people who have reverse engineered it's workings) and even for tools and items that have been released for YEARS, documentation has been from mostly the community, and still misses a ton of stuff.

    And the lack of updated modding tools, Hammer for example, or even faceposer being broken on newer OSes.
    There's no documentation on any of Valve's tools to be fair.

    It's just assumed that everyone knows how they work at Valve. They probably ask other people

    Edited:

    The tools are sort of meant for pros though, modders too but less so.

    Edited:

    I know Half-Life 3 will come out one day, and it will be glorious. I understand Valve staying quiet, in case changes are made and fans aren't given what they expected. It just sucks having to sit in the dark and wait and wonder if it will be announced tomorrow.
    It's Episode 3, please check the Ep2 commentary. They've gone on too long calling it Ep3 not to have it be named Ep3. Yes, I know they said something about dumping the episodic format in an interview, no that doesn't mean it's not going to be Ep3. They're just not going to do things like Portal 2: Episode 1 for example.

    Edited:

    But uh, there's loads of evidence supporting the fact that they ARE working on it.
    Besides concept art, this isn't really true.

    Edited:

    On one last note, I do agree with the OP that the .vpk format was a flop though. Never liked it, hardly used it.
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  25. Post #25
    Pitchfork's Avatar
    September 2010
    353 Posts
    I don't see how Valve's silence on Episode 3 is a problem. They are not obligated to constantly update us with it's status and I found the various concept art that they've released/leaked to be a nice reminder that they haven't "forgotten" it.
    Except the leaked material was from '08.
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  26. Post #26
    Gold Member
    Milkyway M16's Avatar
    July 2006
    1,363 Posts
    Besides concept art, this isn't really true.
    But in my defense, there have been many accidental leaks of snippets in engine updates/new engine branches that brandish the prefix "ep3." Gabe also hinted at ep3 being worked on when asked by an interviewer about "Richochet 2." Gabe also had a cameo in a kickstarter video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0d6yBHDvKUw

    So yea, while there's not a lot of evidence, I'd say that's more than enough to suggest that they are working on it.
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  27. Post #27
    Maestro Fenix's Avatar
    November 2010
    1,400 Posts
    What about they didnt released yet Source SDK Base 2009?
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  28. Post #28
    l l
    lmao
    Dennab
    December 2011
    10,758 Posts
    I don't see how Valve's silence on Episode 3 is a problem. They are not obligated to constantly update us with it's status and I found the various concept art that they've released/leaked to be a nice reminder that they haven't "forgotten" it.
    everyone knows the leaks were instigated by Valve to spark the interest a little, even if they never admit it
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  29. Post #29
    Gold Member
    LMFAO's Avatar
    October 2010
    684 Posts
    hey guis valve is riddled with problems y arnt they rlseasing mor games 4 me 2 pley?

    There's a reason why Valve usually doesn't have release dates posted, and that's because developers have to concern themselves with having to get their product out in time so they dont disappoint the consumer instead of working on the game and making sure it's as good as it can be before they release it. It's no wonder why Valve games are so good, its because they don't have release dates and when they do, they tend to get pushed back a lot because they're perfecting the product.

    The secrecy is creating loads of hype, why would they need to create more when the fact that they haven't shown anything and everyone's already so excited that they're getting angry at them. HL1 is release in '98, HL2 04', thats 5 years. Obviously since the fact it was in the past, development isn't as developed as it is today. Everything is more complex so obviously its going to take longer than before, you need to learn to be patient, we've all waited 8 years, I think we can wait a little longer. Besides, they got other stuff to perfect and release such as CS:GO, and DOTA.

    TF2 has become Hat Fortress yes, but I believe it's due to the fact that they first released items to see what the community would think, and due to the good reception the items got, they decided to release even more items. Now you've got millions of items floating around, with 90% of the community enjoying them. Valve cant just get rid of those and piss off everyone who likes item system just to satisfy the few who dont like it.

    Every company has issues, Valve shouldn't be called out for them because you have such high expectations.
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  30. Post #30
    To be fair, Valve did release tutorials.
    Stuff that can be learned just by playing around, and that other people can teach just as well.

    The real stuff that needs better documentation is model compiling and the sort, we've been left in the dark for much of that (The new biped rigs, wrinkle maps, the new facial system for SFM) and all sorts of that stuff.

    Hell, a perfect example is the sound engine in Source, it has virtually NO documentation what so ever, even though it has tons of features and is really cool.


    There's no documentation on any of Valve's tools to be fair.

    It's just assumed that everyone knows how they work at Valve. They probably ask other people
    Yeah, they did release some of the base / simple stuff on the VDC (Valve Developer community) wiki, but most of that is from modders.
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  31. Post #31
    Gold Member
    SGTNAPALM's Avatar
    October 2007
    22,214 Posts
    By the way, OP, I just wanted to point out that you made a very smartly written essay, it could probably meet the standards required for some of the better newspapers and magazines out there. You could probably get a dime or two out of it if you wanted.
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  32. Post #32
    Wow, never heard of THAT joke before
    SekritJay's Avatar
    April 2010
    903 Posts
    I personally concluded that the reason for much of the original poster's grievances was because of the runaway success of Steam. It has captured 70% of the entire PC digital download market, which in itself is growing incredibly quickly, doubling in size over the past two years alone. Valve therefore has a vested interest in maintaining their current market position.

    Steam was solely responsible for turning Valve into a billion dollar company. Nowadays, the games play second fiddle. Valve really should just drop all pretence and call itself a tech company now
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  33. Post #33
    Dennab
    August 2011
    3,194 Posts
    Welp, Valve doesn't seem to be getting BETTER, that's for damn sure. They abandoned one of the only series I care about (it seems, anyway), and I just overall am managing to lose interest in a series I fucking love. Its heartbreaking to know that I may never get HL3, or Episode 3.
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  34. Post #34
    JCDentonUNATCO's Avatar
    November 2010
    5,285 Posts
    Welp, Valve doesn't seem to be getting BETTER, that's for damn sure. They abandoned one of the only series I care about (it seems, anyway), and I just overall am managing to lose interest in a series I fucking love. Its heartbreaking to know that I may never get HL3, or Episode 3.
    I was going to disagree with you, but I just realized something. It seems like Valves been putting more effort into Steam and other projects than their games.

    There hasn't been a good L4D2 update in ages, the Meet the Pyro update was lackluster, not a peep about EP3, no big Portal 2 updates, DOTA 2 appeals to a very specific community, CS:GO is a $15 game that is basically CSS with new features (although I'm totally alright with that).

    Meanwhile we've got Steam Greenlight, The Workshop, Steam + Linux, and Valve is working on a prototype computer that you put on your head, and other various non-game related things.
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  35. Post #35
    Dennab
    August 2011
    3,194 Posts
    I was going to disagree with you, but I just realized something. It seems like Valves been putting more effort into Steam and other projects than their games.

    There hasn't been a good L4D2 update in ages, the Meet the Pyro update was lackluster, not a peep about EP3, no big Portal 2 updates, DOTA 2 appeals to a very specific community, CS:GO is a $15 game that is basically CSS with new features (although I'm totally alright with that).

    Meanwhile we've got Steam Greenlight, The Workshop, Steam + Linux, and Valve is working on a prototype computer that you put on your head, and other various non-game related things.
    You could say Valve is getting better profit-margin wise, but I feel betrayed, and I know I should stow my entitlement, but damn it, its been so long and I've been wanting HL3 for so long, wouldn't it be in their best interest to actually work/release it? I mean they love money right?
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  36. Post #36
    Gold Member
    Downsider's Avatar
    July 2007
    2,008 Posts
    Modding has never been a part of any Valve games outside of the Half-Life series. CS and CSS are not moddable in game logic, only through the use of reverse engineering the serverside functionality of the game are people able to run game logic mods. The only things you can mod in CS and CSS without literally hacking the server to hook custom scripts are art assets like maps, models, and sounds. Same thing with Portal, Portal 2, L4D, L4D2, etc. The only games with a full source release (sans engine code, obviously) were HL1 and HL2.
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  37. Post #37
    Gold Member
    ColossalSoft's Avatar
    November 2009
    6,307 Posts
    Modding has never been a part of any Valve games outside of the Half-Life series. CS and CSS are not moddable in game logic, only through the use of reverse engineering the serverside functionality of the game are people able to run game logic mods. The only things you can mod in CS and CSS without literally hacking the server to hook custom scripts are art assets like maps, models, and sounds. Same thing with Portal, Portal 2, L4D, L4D2, etc. The only games with a full source release (sans engine code, obviously) were HL1 and HL2.
    He's talking about Sourcemods. As in download them, pop them in the Sourcemods folder, restart Steam, blam there it is.

    Even CSS could do that. I know because my friend was using CSS as a base for a mod.
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  38. Post #38
    What's brevity?
    ironman17's Avatar
    June 2006
    19,526 Posts
    Personally, one thing i'm wondering about Valve is what project they'll start up next after Dota 2 and CS:GO; Epsiode 3/HL3 is still unlikely since there's apparently almost no-one working on it, and the other games like TF2 and L4D2 still have somewhat substantial support behind them (not so much L4D2 but they still work with it on occassion). So what could be next on their to-develop list? Perhaps they'll work with a mod-team to make something like Portal or Left 4 Dead, or will they pool their efforts into a new and exciting IP?

    Only time may tell, but one thing's for sure; I hope they do something with Prospero (speaking of which I went to this show in London called Prospero's Tavern; it was kinda strange but nonetheless I was entertained).

    Also, I expect someone to say Ricochet 2, so i'll say it before they do; if they expanded it beyond simply jumping on platforms and throwing discs, and make it essentially an amazing Tron-like experience that actually was kinda fun to play, it might work.
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  39. Post #39
    Dankie's Avatar
    February 2012
    746 Posts
    1) That sniper was made by a community member, not Valve.
    2) Demo's grenade launcher was nerfed from 6 pipebombs to 4, and they never changed the model. Sure, it would be an easy fix but it's a tiny detail to be complaining about if you're saying TF2 is a "HUGE DISAPPOINTMENT"

    I think you're just nitpicking for the sake of nitpicking.
    They are examples, if I really wanted to give you a list of weapons they shit all over I can name you dozens, TF2 is still a fun game, but it's been whored out with endless uncreative weapons that I don't even bother getting them.

    And the community only makes the model, valve does everything else, albeit little. (Even if the community did make it, since when is that an excuse to be lazy with it, and you didn't even touch on the fact that they took the sound straight from CSS)

    The demo launcher is an example of something that is so easily fixed yet has been overlooked for so long. A professional game dev like valve shouldn't be doing shit like this to their games. Imagine if one of their more worked on games like Portal 2 had constant shortcuts when they were making it, the whole game would be a joke. The only reason it works for TF2 is because the game IS a joke. (Cartoon-like graphics, hats, meet the.. videos, etc.)

    Edited:

    Modding has never been a part of any Valve games outside of the Half-Life series. CS and CSS are not moddable in game logic, only through the use of reverse engineering the serverside functionality of the game are people able to run game logic mods. The only things you can mod in CS and CSS without literally hacking the server to hook custom scripts are art assets like maps, models, and sounds. Same thing with Portal, Portal 2, L4D, L4D2, etc. The only games with a full source release (sans engine code, obviously) were HL1 and HL2.
    You can actually mod CS 1.6 to a full extent, I've seen it done in Serbia while I was on vacation this summer.
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  40. Post #40
    Gold Member
    Loofiloo's Avatar
    April 2006
    9,454 Posts
    You could say Valve is getting better profit-margin wise, but I feel betrayed, and I know I should stow my entitlement, but damn it, its been so long and I've been wanting HL3 for so long, wouldn't it be in their best interest to actually work/release it? I mean they love money right?
    I don't think anyone would call you entitled for expecting development on Episode 3 or HL3. If Half-Life 2 was a finished product, maybe someone could say that, but we're still waiting for the conclusion of a game that came out 8 years ago.

    This would be like if we were still waiting for a shred of news about the third Lord of the Rings movie. Then in like 2009, Peter Jackson suggested that he might not make Return of the King at all, but instead just get started on The Hobbit, and then who knows what after that. People should be a little upset that they aren't getting a conclusion they've been promised.
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