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Default Realization: GoG works best with old or "mature" games

December 13th, 2018, 19:44
I've come to the realization that Steam just works better than Good-Old-Games (GoG) when you're dealing with new releases.

When games first come out, it is inevitable that there are going to be a series of patches and DLC released over maybe the first 6 months to a year of its launch. Steam's automated patching and installation of these updates is so much more hassle free than GoG.

The GoG direct download ("classic installers") method only supports incremental patches. Lets say your game starts at version "A", and then you come back later to see that the latest version is "D". In order to patch your game to get to level "D", you'll need to download and install patches "B", "C", and "D".

With cumulative patches, all changes and content from previous patches is included in the most recent patch. So in this example, a "D" cumulative patch would contain all the changes in "B" and "C", and you'd only have to download and install "D". GoG distribution system does *NOT* work like this!

To compound the issue: GoG actually *removes* patches after a certain period of time.
So lets say you play a game for a while and take a break because you want to wait until they get the kinks worked out. If you come back at patch "E", there is no guarantee that GoG will also have patch files "A", "B", "C", and "D" still there to download. After a while, they will remove "A", "B', etc…. Meaning that if you wait too long between patches, you are screwed and your only recourse is to re-install the game.

The only way to get the "latest" in GoG without using patches is to download everything from scratch again. Now, granted, with much better Internet speeds these days this isn't that bad. But recall that you also have to go through the local installation process again.

Either way, having updates just "work" like Steam is much more hassle free. I bought Pathfinder: Kingmaker and Bard's Tale 4 both on Steam this time. Turns out this was a wise move due to the insane amount of patches these games received.

I haven't even really started on Pathfinder in earnest. I created my char, played the intro a bit and put it aside. But I know that when I am ready to come back and play for real, I can just fire up Steam and it will update the game to the latest with no hassle.

Now I realize the GoG has Galaxy -- which is their own distribution system that automates updates similar to steam. I don't use Galaxy because I use GoG to have access to direct downloads that I can store and archive locally.

That brings me to what GoG *is* best for. And that is for recent games that have reached maturity and their lifecycle and for older games. If a game is fully patched up, and has all its DLC released….Then that's a good time to use GoG to get a ready-to-go, patched up, mature version of a game that you have local access to at all times.

Technical Note:
I don't know for sure if it is the developers patch system OR GoG that is mandating use of incremental patching for the releases.

I only know that I've only *ever* seen incremental patches on GoG.
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December 13th, 2018, 20:09
I have no clue whether the issue with removing old patches also affects galaxy (if, e.g., you deactivate auto-patches for a single game for some time.).

Otherwise, I do not think incremental patches have been that uncommon. It just is no hassle anymore, because most distribution platforms automate this. And back in the day, when you actually installed a game from a disc and manually downloaded patches from the publishers webpage, patches often were incremental.

But I do agree with your general conclusion. New releases have their problems on gog. Patches / Hotfixes sometimes take longer to arrive, etc.

I don't mind that. My backlog is infinite.
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December 13th, 2018, 20:10
@elkston: Well yeah, pretty much. I'd expect that newer games have more of a piracy issue, and that's probably also when developers make most of their big money.
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December 13th, 2018, 21:31
I quite agree, and since I rarely if ever even dream about playing a new game on the day it releases, great old games works well for me. Now, if they'd only fix their front page, I don't know what they've done to it lately but more than half of it never even seems to render. Even with that issue, I prefer great old games over steam, it isn't even a close thing.
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December 13th, 2018, 22:44
Agree somewhat but what pisses em off is when a single patch is not offered, and you have you to re-download the whole game. This also happens on Steam.

Look at Pathfinder Kingmaker and BattleTech for examples.
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December 13th, 2018, 23:42
Battletech patched fine via gog galaxy but bards tale did not patch and hte full game had to be downloaded even though it patched on steam (this was likely the developers fault).

Given how frequent pathfinder is updated this owuld be a royal headache if it did not patch well either via download patch or galaxy.
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December 13th, 2018, 23:47
Nope sorry I had to re-download Battletech three times.

This happens when the patch is to big.

The keyword is using Galaxy not stand alone patches.
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December 14th, 2018, 01:20
I have found that if you use GoG Galaxy like Steam's front end interface it patches your games automatically like steam does if you have it set to do so. If not set to auto patch it will notify you that your game has an update waiting for it. You can then play it or patch it as you wish. Galaxy was patching Kingmaker just fine when the patches were coming out hot and heavy every couple of days.
The only downside I find is if you install a game with Galaxy it can not make an archive backup like steam does but you need to re-download your backup. If you install from an old version of a game Galaxy will update it to the most current version like Steam does if your archive copy is out of date.
Unlike Steam though if you have an old archive and do not want it updated you still have that choice with Galaxy.
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