I bought Mount and Blade: Warband recently. This is my second Paradox game, I also own HOI3. I really like Hearts of Iron so I figured I would give Mount and Blade a chance. I’ve read some reviews; they describe M&B as less than stellar, but a serviceable game. I bought the game at Fry's and loaded it onto my pc and I am very disappointed.
My major complaint; the Steam Client is mandatory in order for the game to operate. First, since I bought the game retail, as I did HOI3, I expected it to come in the same format i.e. original software that I install on my pc and play. However, with M&B there is a twist, it includes the Steam client. Every single pc game I have purchased prior to M&B comes in a format that does not require third party software for the game to run. Paradox does not make a reasonable attempt to communicate this to the consumer. A disclaimer in very fine print, states, "Notice product offered subject to your acceptance of Steam Subscriber Application”. The disclaimer is not written in a prominent place on the case. Its location and text size is an attempt to disguise the fact that Steam is required. Frankly, Steam is glorified junkware, it clutters up my pc, garners information and discloses it to Ghandi knows who, and wants to run at start up. Some people may be ok with this, but I am not. Steam is an invasive unnecessary breach of my privacy. Why is it important for Steam to know every single software program I have installed on my pc, why does it need to monitor my usage. I am sure there reasoning falls in line with “it helps us to work out game crashes etc.”. Do they want my phone number, a picture of me, my finger prints, my age, sexual orientation, race, blood type too?
I once read an article in which the author, who is from a security firm, concludes that” the internet is a hostile environment”. Now do I really want my personal info floating around cyberspace in trust of some unknown third party without any allegiance to me that does whatever they wish for my info, NO! NO! NO!
I feel deceived I would not have bought M&B had I known steam was required. Paradox does not make a good faith attempt to convey this. Now, I have to figure out what to do: keep that gawd awful invasive piece of crap software know as Steam or take the hit and toss M&B. really, my privacy is that important. Most people accept these applications as harmless inconveniences. I feel they inhibit my right to be on the web with a reasonable degree of anonymity.
In retrospect, Gamersgate seem like a better option than Steam for purchasing downloadable games “As it seems like Gamers Gate is the only digital distributor out there that do not manipulate the games to fit their own system” i.e. include crapware. Oh! I wish I had known. Next time I purchase a game I will have to bring a magnifying glass to read the fine print. GRRRRR Paradox you should know better.