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Post by trog @ 11:31am 11/02/09 | 28 Comments
Valve Software have released a new Steam beta client, testing the addition of some more download regions for Australia and fixing a couple other bugs. The forum announcement post has the info:
There's a new Steam Beta client available. To access the Beta, go to File -> Settings, and on the Account tab will be a drop down. Select Steam Client Candidate, and then allow Steam to restart itself. Here are the specific changes:

- Added more download regions for Australia
- Fixed several update news links for games going to the wrong page
- Added more information to the game launch display when first-time install steps are being ran
- Several Steamworks updates
- Fixed HL2.exe hanging on shutdown
I've just fired up the beta but I get nothing in the dropdown list which I'm guessing might be a bug, so stay tuned.

In response to these new changes in the Steam client, we've swapped a few emails with the Valve Software guys to figure out how these changes might affect Australians. Valve have confirmed to us that these settings will not guarantee that your download comes from those servers. For example, if you select the region for your ISP (assuming there is one), Steam will use those servers if it can - but in the event that it can't (for example, if the content isn't on those servers or the server is overloaded), you'll be directed to another server.

The practical upshot of this is that, at the current time, you need to be careful when downloading from Steam if you're on a limited download plan, as it is possible your downloads will be metered - even if you have set the region for your ISP. Beware!


Latest Comments
Posted 11:56am 11/2/09
Steam will use those servers if it can - but in the event that it can't (...), you'll be directed to another server.

That's good from a probabilistic point of view, but generally if you're in a position where you care about your download source then this feature achieves very little. gg valve.
Fixed HL2.exe hanging on shutdown

Finally. So sick of that black screen when quitting TF2. Hard to End-Task as the crashed black screen HL2.exe is the top-most window and doesn't let Task Manager show (have to bring it up on the second monitor in advance).
Posted 12:24pm 11/2/09
Steamwatch.exe ftw.

I think valve could possibly add a check box that says "Only download content from selected mirrors" with a notice that this could mean content may be delayed unavailable. Then people can manually authorize content from other servers as they deem necissary.
Posted 12:34pm 11/2/09
Steamwatch.exe ftw.

By itself it's not a very elegant solution (can cause Steam to give up before it even tries your whitelisted servers). Combined with Steam's region/server selection it would be good - Steam will deliberately try your server first, then Steamwatch will stop it from going anywhere else. Win for Bigpond users (who need all the help they can get!)
Posted 02:04pm 11/2/09
This beta displays a whitebox in the top left corner of the screen when someone signs in and then hides after about 2 seconds...
Posted 03:01pm 11/2/09
I'm on bigpond and couldn't care less about what you're talking about parabol
Posted 03:26pm 11/2/09
Still no f*****g schedular. Why don't they just f*****g add one instead of different regions and screwing around with different settings.
Posted 03:28pm 11/2/09
When I see "Last Post: Jim" in a thread I recently posted in, it's a safe bet that Jim's there to randomly disagree with something I said. So no suprises as usual.

Btw, a Bigpond user on a 12GB plan wanting to download their newly purchased L4D (~4GB download) would probably care if Steam could not guarantee that their free mirror would be used.
Posted 03:39pm 11/2/09
aww that's a bit rough parabol
how safe a bet do you reckon that is? should we defer to the database?

besides, I thought my response as pretty fair especially in light of the exaggeration of yours
Posted 04:16pm 11/2/09
judging from whirlpool and our support channel there's plenty of bigpond users that care about steam usage.. jim just doesn't care because he's already got L4D and there's no other games out there that even register to him any more!@#
Posted 04:19pm 11/2/09
Pretty cool dudes.

You have the choice of:
Internode NSW
Telstra NSW
Internode SA
Gamespace VIC
GamingSA SA

Also I read this from some valve guy:
If you're in a region for ISP "X", Steam will try to get content from all servers on that ISP before it tries the other ones. EG, if you're in the "NSW (Internode)" region, it will try the SA Internode server before it tries the NSW 3FL or NSW Telstra servers.
Secondary to that, it is now smarter regarding the geographic regions. EG, if you are in the "VIC (Gamespace)" region, it will try the servers in NSW and SA before trying the ones in WA.

Some guy from gamearena also made this little website to tell you what games are hosted on AUS servers.
Relatively simple to use... has a bug though if the game you are searching has an age verification (such as CoH)
Posted 04:29pm 11/2/09
It's awesome to see how well-represented Australia is. I still feel like we're ahead of the curve for services because of our quotas/metering ISPs. Imagine being stuck in some loser country where they didn't have a veritable SMORGASBORD of Steam Content Server selections like we get here!@#
Posted 04:31pm 11/2/09
sweet mine is on Qld
Posted 04:32pm 11/2/09
yeh imagine how good there bandwidth are over in Europe compare to here...
Posted 04:34pm 11/2/09
Actually I bought a bunch of steam games over xmas, and 3 copies of them to boot cos I had both sons at home and we were lanning it up. I didn't need steamwatch or any region/isp selector - I just clicked download and checked where it was coming from and it said GA - except for GTA4 which probably wasn't on the bigpond steam content servers.

Normally I'm on a 25gb plan, a couple of times I've kicked it up to the next one if I think I will run out

Anyway I'm not saying bigpond users don't care about steam usage - I'm saying, in direct response to 'bigpond users need all the help they can get', that I'm on bigpond and manage fine without steamwatch and/or a region selector - I don't need any help thanks.
Posted 05:10pm 11/2/09
I just clicked download and checked where it was coming from and it said GA

How did you check, the banner? That doesn't necessarily correspond to where it's getting most of the data from.
I don't need any help thanks.

Good for you. But as I said, many people are on low quotas (by choice or otherwise) that they are absolutely fine with most of the time, unless something goes wrong with unmetered traffic. I know some people in this situation and I've helped them monitor/control their Steam traffic when downloading big games.

Anyway it's already been proven that people care about region/server selection, so I don't think further defence of this point is necessary.
Posted 05:12pm 11/2/09
I just made a task in windows scheduler to start steam at 1am and close it at 7am.
Why not just do it that way?
Posted 05:12pm 11/2/09
the banner out of interest, but netstat to be sure
Posted 05:19pm 11/2/09
anyway, the reason I responded to you at all was cos of your comment "Bigpond users (who need all the help they can get!)"

well, I'm a bigpond user with over 100gb of steam games and I'm fine with help from noone so f*** you and your anal retentive comment buddy!

hardly cause for your claim that I've just come along purely to disagree with you either
Posted 05:23pm 11/2/09
I just made a task in windows scheduler to start steam at 1am and close it at 7am.

That's what I do to, but it'd be nice to have the functionality built in.
Posted 05:28pm 11/2/09
I just made a task in windows scheduler to start steam at 1am and close it at 7am.
Why not just do it that way?
The same goes for this region bulls***, why not just use steamwatch.exe? It's simple because we all want Steam to do it, instead of messing around with an external app.
Posted 05:31pm 11/2/09
Steamwatch doesnt always work. More often than not, my downloads would never start until I unloaded steamwatch. Its now uninstalled.
Posted 05:33pm 11/2/09
anyway, the reason I responded to you at all

you're still going on about this?
That's what I do to, but it'd be nice to have the functionality built in.

It would also be good if "Do not automatically update this game" actually worked. Sometimes it just starts by itself, so I've uninstalled games/mods I don't play anymore to minimise these surprise downloads (along with the lag they bring!).
Posted 05:34pm 11/2/09
you're still going on about this?
so are you
Posted 05:55pm 11/2/09
oh! the drama!
Posted 07:08pm 11/2/09
are you still going on about this chucky
Posted 08:00pm 11/2/09
Setting it to Australia QLD or Telstra NSW still has steam downloading content from freaking internode.

Posted 09:31pm 11/2/09
Jim is a silly man.

Anyway the client took a while to switch over to the beta mode, almost to the stage where I was about to end-task and give up on it. Eventually it delivered ...

Posted 05:49pm 27/2/09 might be handy for a few people; it's still really rough but we'll fix it up over the next few days/weeks
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