The Steam Review

Comment and discussion on Valve Software’s digital communications platform.

Bumpy launch for Red Orchestra

March 14th, 2006 :: Events, New products :: 12 Responses

Steam’s run of smooth releases since Half-Life 2 came to and end tonight as confusion, invalidated content and slow downloads marred the release of Red Orchestra: Ostfront 41-45.

Troubles began immediately after release, with the small download usually consisting of final binary files delivered at a snail’s pace, as slow as 6Kb/s for some users. When their download eventually completed impatient gamers then found that the game would launch and immediately crash, an issue usually associated with outdated version of DirectX when seen with Source games, but here resolved by manually validating the game’s caches. When this process was complete users discovered that 20% of the game, probably representing the content from the second phase of the preload, needed to be downloaded again, once more at low speeds for many. The first reports of people entering the game eventually began to filter through at 7:35GMT, over half an hour after release. Complaints of ‘outdated server’ error messages followed, seemingly related to outdated account rights that could be resolved by logging in and out of Steam.

Causes are still unclear, but several possibilities are already emerging. Steam’s content servers are not experiencing unusually high load except for those in Europe, where, critically, the majority of Ostfront’s fan base is installed; load balancing taking its toll once again. Also, that a chunk of game data equal to the second preload required downloading again after manual validation suggests some form of corruption between the two preload phases: phase one’s decryption perhaps performed during validation, but phase two’s 20% being discarded as invalid.

This post will be updated if and when new details emerge.

Manual validation is no longer required: Steam will now do it for you.

12 Responses to this post:

  1. Tom Edwards Says:

    The good news is, once you get it running the game is absolutely stunning!

  2. Mark Says:

    Not good news for the Steam Platform I guess. Luckily, I decided to leave purchasing and installing Red Orchestra for a few weeks to let the bugs die down (and my funds to increase!).

    Hopefully the end result is still great for you guys who have purchased πŸ™‚

  3. RP Says:

    Wierd, it seemed like everything was going smooth for STEAM recently, no problems for a very long time, pretty smooth releases for the former games (pirates game and the other one), and the resurrection of friends and dare I say fix of the infamous stutter bug…
    And now this, guess this is life :/
    Hopefully they’ll draw conclusions out of this before the release of HL2:Episode 1 (still sounds shit :P), which where the pressure on thier content servers will be much much higher than in today release.

  4. DiSTuRbEd Says:

    I would think the reason for the bumpy launch might be because they are bringing up their own servers to 3.0, but who knows. I am waiting for a demo for the game before buying, I don’t trust reviews anymore πŸ˜›

  5. Ron ,the Netherlands Says:

    after a lot of installing problems, it workt one evening.
    and the last day,s only this shitt


    I wish i didn,t ordert it

  6. DiSTuRbEd Says:

    Ron, open up taskmanager and kill the RedOrchestra.exe, it won’t say Game is currently unavailable anymore πŸ˜›

  7. Smash Says:

    Has anyone gotten an “VALID POSITIVE OFFSET error” during launch? I can’t find any info on it.

  8. jelder77 Says:

    on “VALID POSITIVE OFFSET error” I haven’t found any info other than working on problem. Hate to have a game that can’t be played

  9. Tom Edwards Says:

    This isn’t a support forum. Go to to get help.

  10. Jeff Says:

    I wish I had never bought it.. what a heap. Took forever to load.. graphics were horrible, now it doesnt load due to some runtime error.
    I want a refund!!! 30 bucks down the pan, steer clear!

  11. Tom Edwards Says:

    You can sort out the load times by defragging your hard drive. Other errors can be dealt with from the link in my last post.

    Even if you do fix them though, you don’t sound like the sort of person who would appreciate RO’s finer points.

  12. Jeff Behuniak Says:

    I got so frustrated by STEAM crashing on install that I smashed the CD-ROMs into a dozens pieces and mailed it back to Bold Games with my compliments. I know I threw my money away but I felt much better afterwards. There are too many other great games out there to waste your time on software that uses third-world installation routines.