Yesterday, for some reason, I found myself reading almost every thread here in an effort to find out what rail simulators are available. Then I discovered that I still had my TS discs so started grabbing all the essential extras plus a few tasty morcels. My plan is to install TS today and play a while ... waiting to make a decision on whether to get RW while it's on offer. It looks great but there's a lot of bad press out there related to its use of Steam. I tried browsing their website looking for answers to some questions but they don't exactly give a lot away and keep a lot hidden. For example, I tried to search their forum and was accused of being a bot - well, I failed the anti-bot test anyway, because, even with my exceptional eyesight, I couldn't make out six characters in their image, and I changed the image at least twenty times ! The contrast difference is set way too low.
So, here I am asking some real users whose opinions I do value.
1 - I found quite a few references to "RailWorks 2010" but couldn't find anyone who actually sells it. The only RW on sale has been on the books since last summer. Is there such a thing as RW 2010 ?
2 - can you actually run / play RW while offline without an active Internet connection ?
3 - how often does Steam force you to go online so that it can "check for updates" ?
4 - how often are there actually updates that it needs ?
5 - if Steam "keeps your program up-to-date all the time", then what's the possibility of it screwing up some of the free add-ons that you've downloaded and installed yourself ?
6 - I think I saw somewhere that you're given a free program when you sign up for Steam / RW. Do you have any choice about whether you want that program installed on your PC ?
As you can probably tell, I'm very wary of "products" like Steam and, if I could buy RW and use it without Steam, I'd be quite a happy bunny. I have no problem with update systems like M$'s, and love the Linux package system (one central place from which virtually all your apps are updated), but the key difference is that I am in control of when I get updates - not the ******* program. To me, Steam is more of an invasive copy protection system, so the question is, is RW worth the effort ? If you can answer my questions above, it will help me to make that judgement,
thanks in advance for any help,