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Published on February 10, 2009 By warreni In PC Gaming

What opinions do people have about Direct2Drive? How does it compare to Impulse and Steam?


Comments (Page 1)
on Feb 10, 2009

Hrm, can't really make a direct comparison since it's a web-based service rather than client-based like Impulse and Steam. Every game on it, though, is protected by activations (with D2D) even if the game otherwise has no copy protection, and there is an activation limit of probably 10 or so and then you have to contact their support to get more.

I have a bunch of games through it, though, and for the most part it's been a smooth experience. Download speeds are fast (not as fast as Impulse which caps me out at about 750kb/s at the peak, D2D hangs around 550kb/s). It goes through its activation on first launch and I've only had one issue with it - when I bought NWN2: Mask of the Betrayer, it refused to activate. I had to contact their support and even though the turnaround time was fairly quick (within 24 hours each time), it still took about half a week to work out since they had me run through the "usual" steps of disabling firewalls and all that, even though I mentioned in the very first email that I did. Eventually they gave me a manual activation key that let me do it.

Other than that, there's no worry about a client to run, and as long as you have your account you can retrieve your keys and re-download the games whenever.

So in short.. I don't really have anything terribly bad to say about it. The activations will probably be a turn off if you're a big stickler for that sort of thing, though.

on Feb 10, 2009

Direct2Drive is a different beast than Impulse or Steam.

 

Impulse/Steam are like iTunes.

Direct2Drive is like Amazon.

on Feb 10, 2009

Frogboy
Direct2Drive is a different beast than Impulse or Steam.

 

Impulse/Steam are like iTunes.

Direct2Drive is like Amazon.

 

Okay. Sorry for the bad analogy.

 

I am curious about general opinions on the service though. (Thanks, Annatar!)

 

on Feb 10, 2009

I bought a Civ III compilation a while back from D2D.  It was my first digital distribution game purchase.  I've held off on them for any other purchases for the following reasons:

* Patches and content updates released after the version you've purchased for the games I bought or was looking to buy were either very delayed, on the order of *months* (or in the case of Civ III, never materialized afaik).

* User created content, mods, and addons may not be compatible with the D2D version.  This depends upon the game.

* D2D, at least from what I remembered with Civ III, loads an installable file system and/or pervasive DRM.  I don't recall the details, but I do recall being happy to uninstall the game, then hack at my Registry to remove whatever D2D installed.

Bottom line for me is that there are other (imo, better) options available for digital distribution.  None have been perfect, but I'd recommend Good Old Games (gog.com for old, but highly-rated hits), Impulse, and Steam.  Probably in that order.  Why not Impulse you ask considering the forums I'm on?  Because patches do get delayed (not as much as D2D), and at least one game never got the latest update from the developer (Hacker Evolution, in my case, though that's also on the developer... who emailed me a separate updated registration key/download but never pushed that update through Stardock).  Steam comes at the end of my recommendation because despite their game selection, they use modified executables and do something wacky with the file system - so some of my purchases weren't completely compatible with custom content created by the modding community (X2, X3, Railroad Tycoon series) and didn't contain the full set of modding tools that shipped with disc versions of some games (Railroad Tycoon III).

 

 

on Feb 10, 2009

The annoyance of having to contact Direct2Drive for activation limitations is enough to push me away permanantly. Steam (on non-limited games) and Impulse are of the higher priority for the position. If you can manage, stay away from them.

on Feb 10, 2009

Patches and content updates released after the version you've purchased for the games I bought or was looking to buy were either very delayed, on the order of *months* (or in the case of Civ III, never materialized afaik).

I thought about mentioning this, as I mostly have newer games through D2D I have not run into this issue. I know the older ones had special D2D patches, but as a lot of the newer games appear on other digital download services (most notably, D2D and Steam share many titles), I haven't had that problem recently.

on Feb 10, 2009

Bought a game once, didn't have any problems. I prefer client-based.

on Feb 10, 2009

I've gotten a direct2drive game (bionic commando Re:armed... something I HIGHLY recommend to any 2D gamer) and luckily I have not yet had to deal with what happens when I am forced to upgrade or change PCs.  I will be likely dealing with it as soon as win7 comes live and I officially remove XP from my gaming PC.  (right now I'm duel-booting since win 7 beta is deactivated in august, and I'm not sure I will have a retail copy by then)

on Sep 23, 2010

I've bought from direct2drive, and generally their site is much worse than steam, much slower download and you have to take it up with their crappy downloader.

Worst of all they are misleading customers on their webpage and when you realize it, they refuse you refund even if you havent activated, nor downloaded anything from them.

So my advice would be, use STEAM or gamersgate instead and AVOID dealing with direct2drive if you can.

on Sep 23, 2010

Yeah I prefer Impulse for the company behind it, Steam has the better client, Direct2Drive...exists.  I used to like them as they were offering uncut versions of games but since thats pretty much all in the past I can't stand em.

on Sep 23, 2010

I like the Impulse client the best, then Steam and D2D. However D2D has great deals and I have never had a problem with them. D2D does have Comrade now which is a good client, but usually I just download the game and play it like a box game.

on Sep 23, 2010

D2D screwed me over with Civ 4 BTS.  They DRMed me out after the no-DRM patch.

 

I'll NEVER use them again.

 

My preference is

 

Impulse (for auto-patch updates)

Gamersgate

Direct from developer

retail

getting my foot stomped on

Steam

kick in the balls

D2D

on Sep 23, 2010

I bought Aion on it. They took my order and didn't deliver the game. The customer service said they were out of game keys. They should have never accepted my order if they had no keys. They had no timetable for keys. I was able to cancel finally. I'm never using that service again. Money grab first provide content later. Kind of like day 1 multiplayer.

on Sep 23, 2010

I've made the mistake of using D2D on a few occasions. I wouldn't even place them in the same boat as Impulse, Steam, or Gamers Gate. It's an old, heavy-handed relic of a distribution platform. I've rebought everything worth owning from other sources.

Activation limits, for an online-distributor with draconian DRM already, is just stupid, and insulting.

Their DRM is, like mentioned above, incompatible with most mods, or even do-it-yourself tweaks. As a mod-happy strategy gamer, that's a kick the pants.

Patches do take for-fricken-ever to be retooled for D2D.

 

It's just not a happy experience for the consumer. You put up with a lot of crap and suffer an experience that is far and away worse than any of the other online-distribution channels out there. And you don't get any of the goodies those other channels offer on top of everything else.

 

Don't use Direct2Drive. They're archaic, and shitty.

on Sep 23, 2010

I purchased a few games from D2D however I find they're slow to patch, and heavy handed on DRM/Activations (Not sure if that's their fault though). I like Steam and Impulse pretty much exclusively, I favour Impulse because it's easier to install in other directories where Steam likes everything in the Steam Directory other than that they're pretty close (I don't use the communications aspects of Steam very much). Actually to be honest Steam get's a few more sales out of me than Impulse only because they tend to have the games faster (Also a few exclusives i.e. CIV5 that Impulse doesn't), this is something however that I've seen big improvements on with Impulse over the last few years.

 

Cheers; Snarl