Steam is great. What would we do without it? Well, PC games would still be packaged in comically oversized boxes, for one thing. Game manuals wouldn’t have gone extinct. And hell, we might still be lugging our computers to a friend’s house for a Friday night LAN party (for our younger readers: in the dark ages, you had to be in the same room as the people you were playing online games with. I know, crazy, right?!)
There’s no doubt that Steam has revolutionized gaming, but it’s far from flawless. Steam’s “Offline Mode,” or more accurately lack thereof, has been a thorn in many a gamer’s side. As it is now, you have to log online once every few weeks for the games in your library to work. According to Valve, this is an honest mistake, and they are working on fixing it.
Valve poster Henryg explains on the forum:
Offline Mode is designed to be indefinite. That said, there are many components involved in Offline Mode, and some of them have known issues and bugs which we are continually working to improve. We’re aware that it doesn’t always work as flawlessly as we want it to, but please keep reporting bugs with Offline Mode. It is not broken ‘by design.’
Someday soon, once this work is completed, we will eliminate the old authentication system (represented by the ClientRegistry.blob file) and Offline Mode should immediately become much more robust.
Valve promises that “someday soon” Steam will be able to run indefinitely in offline mode. But keep in mind, the above forum post was from June. It’s Valve-time we’re talking here, “someday soon” could be ages away.