So I woke up at 4:30a, as I do sometimes, being old and cranky. However, today it had a bright spot in that I was able to play Half Life 2.

This is a good thing, since apparently no one else can. Even the retail, in a box versions of Half Life 2 require you to be connected to Steam’s servers EACH AND EVERY TIME YOU LAUNCH THE GAME. So when the Steam servers melt – from, say, everyone launching Half Life 2 wanting to play – the Steam wrapper simply burps and doesn’t let you do anything.

You can play Half Life 2 offline, by first connecting to Steam (which you can’t do right now) and then saying “disconnect me please” AND THEN YANKING YOUR INTERNET CABLE FROM YOUR PC. I’m not making any of this up. Really.

I was all in favor of Valve’s using a Steam authentication as an anti-piracy measure, and recently purchased a few Neverwinter Nights modules which also require online authentication every time you launch, or load the game. But this is a bit much. If Bioware’s auth servers go down, I can still play another NWN module. Unless Valve casts an An Corp on their server, I’m not playing Half Life 2 tonight. Even though I, you know, paid for it. And stuff. Meanwhile the people who didn’t pay for it will be playing it. And laughing at me. Oh, how will they laugh. I can see them now, in my window, laughing. While eating candy.

I want candy.

At any rate, I guess I’ll be finding the No-Steam Crack or the Dry Cleaning Crack or whatever clever name it’s called, so I can play the game I paid for. Hurrah for the Internet!

(Note: Now that I’m home, Steam seems to be back up for me. FOR NOW. Lots of other people complaining of woes, though, mostly people who’ve bought the box in a store and have no idea why they should be Steamed, particularly.)