So ... I'm just wondering. (Bioware question)

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Re: So ... I'm just wondering. (Bioware question)

Post by MusicallyInspired » Sat Feb 20, 2021 2:11 am

EA Play is Netflix for EA games. It's not required.
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Re: So ... I'm just wondering. (Bioware question)

Post by DeadPoolX » Sat Feb 20, 2021 3:52 am

Like MI said, EA Play is a subscription service (that's not necessary at all) to get access to EA's entire roster of games without purchasing them individually. This is actually pretty good if you're someone who likes to play a bunch of different games within a short period of time and/or you're someone who burns through a game quickly and then never touches it again.

If the number of times you've replayed DAO is any indication, you don't fit into that category, so I wouldn't bother with EA Play.

I know I've never subscribed and if/when I want an EA-only title, I wait for a sale and there have been many of those.

That said... Rath, don't buy any of the ME games yet. Wait for Mass Effect: Legendary Edition to come out on May 14, 2021. I'd also suggest you wait for a sale as well. After all, you've gone this long without playing the ME games, what's a little longer if it means getting a better price?

The Legendary Edition includes ALL three games (I don't think Andromeda is in it and you're not missing out) and ALL of the DLC. Plus, the Legendary Edition has been reworked so ME1 plays more like ME2 and ME3 and, as far as I understand, the graphics of all three games have been updated. Naturally, ME1 will benefit the most from this, but I imagine the other two titles will look better as well.

And as far as "offline play" is concerned, there might be an offline mode (maybe... not sure with Origin), but chances are the games will need you to remain online and, of course, you'll need to download them all. Even back in 2007, when ME1 was released, the game required online verification checks and that was long before EA ever rolled out Origin.
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Re: So ... I'm just wondering. (Bioware question)

Post by Tawmis » Sat Feb 20, 2021 4:54 am

DeadPoolX wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 3:52 am
The Legendary Edition includes ALL three games (I don't think Andromeda is in it and you're not missing out) and ALL of the DLC
Well, all the DLC - except one of them - "Pinnacle Station" DLC (which is pretty much a "training facility" DLC) is not included.
Apparently the source code was lost - and it's not worth the effort to reprogram the entire thing.

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Re: So ... I'm just wondering. (Bioware question)

Post by Rath Darkblade » Sat Feb 20, 2021 7:41 am

Ah, fair enough. No problem. :) Thank you all!

DPX -- yes, I'm not thinking of buying any ME games yet. I know Steam has regular sales, so I'll just wait for the sale and then see if it includes ME, how much etc. I'm not in a hurry; I just thought I'd gather some intel - i.e. look at the hardware stats, see the prices/promo videos etc.

If ME: Legendary Edition comes out in May, my guess is it'll cost about $90 AUD (about $70 USD, or $90 CAD). That's the normal price I see for new games on Steam/GOG (e.g. Baldur's Gate 3 lists at $90). Is that what you see, as well?

Also, if it comes out in May, I'm guessing it probably won't be reduced until the Christmas 2021 sale at the latest (and possibly not even until Christmas 2022). What do you think?

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Re: So ... I'm just wondering. (Bioware question)

Post by DeadPoolX » Sat Feb 20, 2021 8:08 am

Rath Darkblade wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 7:41 am
DPX -- yes, I'm not thinking of buying any ME games yet. I know Steam has regular sales, so I'll just wait for the sale and then see if it includes ME, how much etc. I'm not in a hurry; I just thought I'd gather some intel - i.e. look at the hardware stats, see the prices/promo videos etc.
Just remember that if you buy an EA game on Steam, you'll still need to use Origin as well. In some ways, you're better off buying the game straight off Origin because if you get it on Steam you'll need to run two programs — Steam and Origin — as opposed to only Origin if you buy it on Origin.
Rath Darkblade wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 7:41 am
If ME: Legendary Edition comes out in May, my guess is it'll cost about $90 AUD (about $70 USD, or $90 CAD). That's the normal price I see for new games on Steam/GOG (e.g. Baldur's Gate 3 lists at $90). Is that what you see, as well?
Depends which games you look at. It's pretty standard to see AAA games at or around $60 CAD (which means it'll be less in USD, but probably more in AUD) for the non-deluxe versions.

However, the vast majority of games on Steam are from AA devs or indie developers, so it's common to see prices of anything from $10 to $45 CAD. If you got rid of all the AA/indie devs (especially those in Early Access*) you'd probably lose at least 75% of the titles on Steam.
Rath Darkblade wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 7:41 am
Also, if it comes out in May, I'm guessing it probably won't be reduced until the Christmas 2021 sale at the latest (and possibly not even until Christmas 2022). What do you think?
It really depends how well the game sells. Some games, like Battlefield V, Star Wars: Battlefront 2 (the version from 2017, not 2005), or Mass Effect: Andromeda went on sale very quickly, but others (like Battlefield 1 or any of the Madden NFL titles) took a little longer to go on sale.

You're right that ME:LE probably won't go on sale during the summer, but it'll probably go on sale (even if it's only 15% or 20% off) by Christmas. Every digital distributor has sales around the same time (usually the summer, fall, winter, and specific holidays), so you'll see Steam, GOG, UPlay, Origin, and online storefronts like Humble Bundle or Fanatical have sales within a week or two of each other.

Because of that, it's worth it to check every platform for whatever game you're looking to get the best price. For ME:LE, this would mean checking Steam, Origin, Humble Bundle, and Fanatical. You won't see ME:LE on GOG and it'd make absolutely no sense to see it on UPlay.

Avoid the Epic Games Store at all costs. It's known for having severe security issues and practices horrible anti-consumer policies by using console-like exclusives to force gamers to use their platform, as opposed to letting the developer put their game wherever they wish. EGS sees the developers as the customer and the gamers themselves as the product, as opposed to every other platform that recognizes the gamers first and foremost as the customers and sees the games themselves as the product.

* If you look at any of the forums on Steam, you'll see people refer to Early Access games as EA games. So on Steam, you need to read posts carefully to see if people are talking about Early Access games or games from Electronic Arts.
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Re: So ... I'm just wondering. (Bioware question)

Post by Rath Darkblade » Sat Feb 20, 2021 8:26 am

Oh, OK. I haven't really thought of any other platforms, other than the ones I have (Steam and GOG). I prefer to connect to them (or "go online" with them) only when I download a new game. Once that's done, I go offline and leave them offline.

It's pretty simple: I don't see a need to be constantly online, either on Steam or GOG or anywhere else. I know I can get various "achievements", but so what? All it does is give Steam, GOG or what-have-you an excuse to bombard me with ads etc. while I'm just trying to relax for an hour or two.

This is why I don't like Origin, either - it must be "always on", or at least it did when I played DAI. This ruined my enjoyment of the game; I could be in a quest somwhere, focusing on something, and suddenly - DING! - here's an ad! Here's an update! Who cares. :x

Is Origin any different now (i.e. am I allowed to play a game while offline)?

Also, am I right about DRM (i.e. that it's always bad)? Or are there different types of DRM?

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Re: So ... I'm just wondering. (Bioware question)

Post by MusicallyInspired » Sat Feb 20, 2021 9:45 am

Ads? What ads? I'm pretty sure you can disable notifications on all game clients. Steam just has a popup window when you first start it (if you're the type of person who closes it and doesn't leave it running) showcasing latest releases or new deals, but you can disable that too. Otherwise I'm not sure what you're talking about by "ads" as I've never run into any.
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Re: So ... I'm just wondering. (Bioware question)

Post by Tawmis » Sat Feb 20, 2021 11:54 am

Rath Darkblade wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 8:26 am
Also, am I right about DRM (i.e. that it's always bad)? Or are there different types of DRM?
DRM is just a protection thing. It's more annoying than anything. Even the original Sierra games had a "DRM" - where they purposely put a "bad sector" so the disks couldn't (easily) be copied.

And Origin should have no ads. It also should only update before the game.

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Re: So ... I'm just wondering. (Bioware question)

Post by DeadPoolX » Sat Feb 20, 2021 3:17 pm

Rath Darkblade wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 8:26 am
It's pretty simple: I don't see a need to be constantly online, either on Steam or GOG or anywhere else. I know I can get various "achievements", but so what?
It's not about achievements (although it is for some people, I guess) it's that these platforms run best when always online because they can continually get updates for installed games, and if you have any downloaded and installed Workshop items (the Steam Workshop is a player-created resource available in some games) or specific items in your Steam inventory, you need to be online in order to access them.

Maybe the games you play don't have that, but many do.

TF2, for instance, has a lot of items stored in your inventory and although that's an online-only game, if it did have a single player component, you'd need to remain online to access your inventory of items. Otherwise, you'd be stuck with the default items.

The Steam Workshop is also something seen in a LOT of games. Space Engineers, for instance, has thousands (if not millions) of differently-sized ships and modifications available that'd been made by people. None of these will be available to you if you remain offline.
Rath Darkblade wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 8:26 am
All it does is give Steam, GOG or what-have-you an excuse to bombard me with ads etc. while I'm just trying to relax for an hour or two.
MI, Tawmis, and I are very confused by this because there are NO ads. Steam, GOG, Origin, and UPlay don't have ads and nothing "bombards you" while using those platforms, so what are you seeing that you are mistakenly believing are advertisements?

Are you talking about that splash page that appears ONCE when logging into Steam that shows you new stuff available the FIRST time you log in? If you are, you can shut that off permanently. I know I have, so if that's the problem, go disable it.
Rath Darkblade wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 8:26 am
This is why I don't like Origin, either - it must be "always on", or at least it did when I played DAI. This ruined my enjoyment of the game; I could be in a quest somwhere, focusing on something, and suddenly - DING! - here's an ad! Here's an update! Who cares. :x
Updates are necessary for the program and sometimes the game itself to function properly. You can usually ignore both for a while, although updates for the platform itself are necessary at some point. Whether or not you like that is irrelevant because the updates are needed and keeping the program or game un-updated is a dumb thing to do. Updates are designed to fix problems and add new content or features.

I've used Origin quite a bit and I've NEVER seen a single advertisement ever. I really don't know what you're mistaking for ads here.
Rath Darkblade wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 8:26 am
Is Origin any different now (i.e. am I allowed to play a game while offline)?
I don't know, but even if it is, it's time to wake up and realize you're in 2021, not 1990. Rath, you can't reasonably expect to play everything offline like you did decades ago. Gaming doesn't work that way (even GOG has been slowly forcing Galaxy on its users), so you need to adjust or stop playing games.

I'm sorry if I seem very unsympathetic here, but I've never met someone (under the age of 60) who's so stuck in the past and resistant to change as you, especially over something as unimportant as gaming.
Rath Darkblade wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 8:26 am
Also, am I right about DRM (i.e. that it's always bad)? Or are there different types of DRM?
DRM isn't always bad. It's just a copyright protection scheme, although some forms (especially in the 2000s before platforms like Steam appeared) were invasive and could potentially cause software and/or hardware problems. That's not really an issue anymore, and although some people on GOG are anti-DRM to the point of insanity (yes, DRM is needed so long as assholes insist on illegally sharing games online), overall DRM is relatively harmless in its current state. In the end, I vastly prefer the Steam method of DRM to every game having whatever DRM the publisher chooses. Back then, it was a complete minefield.
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Re: So ... I'm just wondering. (Bioware question)

Post by Tawmis » Sat Feb 20, 2021 5:23 pm

Yeah - I just installed ME2 from Origin and played it - no "ads" or anything.

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Re: So ... I'm just wondering. (Bioware question)

Post by Rath Darkblade » Sat Feb 20, 2021 6:12 pm

DeadPoolX wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 3:17 pm
It's not about achievements (although it is for some people, I guess) it's that these platforms run best when always online because they can continually get updates for installed games, and if you have any downloaded and installed Workshop items (the Steam Workshop is a player-created resource available in some games) or specific items in your Steam inventory, you need to be online in order to access them...

...The Steam Workshop is also something seen in a LOT of games...
Yes, I know what you mean. I've used the Steam Workshop for modding games (especially Skyrim, etc.) But I've noticed that too many mods slow a game or cause it to become unstable.
DeadPoolX wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 3:17 pm
MI, Tawmis, and I are very confused by this because there are NO ads. Steam, GOG, Origin, and UPlay don't have ads and nothing "bombards you" while using those platforms, so what are you seeing that you are mistakenly believing are advertisements?
Ah ... whoops. The Steam splash screen doesn't bother me, no. What I meant was this: every time I start a game with Steam, the game's splash-screen is slowed down while it loads ads for the game (e.g. "here's an extra DLC - BUY IT!!!").

Oh, well. That's not Steam's (or GOG's, or Origin's) fault; perhaps, subconsciously, I just associated it with them. But I see what you mean; sorry!
DeadPoolX wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 3:17 pm
Updates are necessary for the program and sometimes the game itself to function properly.
Yep; sorry about my earlier post. Too little sleep on my part (due to several factors) == open mouth, insert foot. *blush* Sorry.
DeadPoolX wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 3:17 pm
Is Origin any different now (i.e. am I allowed to play a game while offline)?
I don't know, but even if it is, it's time to wake up and realize you're in 2021, not 1990. Rath, you can't reasonably expect to play everything offline like you did decades ago. Gaming doesn't work that way (even GOG has been slowly forcing Galaxy on its users), so you need to adjust or stop playing games.

I'm sorry if I seem very unsympathetic here, but I've never met someone (under the age of 60) who's so stuck in the past and resistant to change as you, especially over something as unimportant as gaming.
[/quote]
[/quote]

Sorry, I know what you mean - and perhaps I phrased it badly! All I meant by "offline" was "connect to client, update the game, then disconnect from the client and play the game". I didn't mean "disconnect from the internet entirely". It's obvious that many things have changed since 1990. ;)

I'm also on a 50 Gb/month plan with my ISP, but I'm not sure how downloads add up over the month, and I'm charged a small amount if I go over that limit. But, obviously, the occasional updates don't add up to that much. As I said above: not enough sleep == brain-fart on my part. Sorry about that. :roll: @ self
DeadPoolX wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 3:17 pm
Also, am I right about DRM (i.e. that it's always bad)? Or are there different types of DRM?
DRM isn't always bad. It's just a copyright protection scheme, although some forms (especially in the 2000s before platforms like Steam appeared) were invasive and could potentially cause software and/or hardware problems. That's not really an issue anymore, and although some people on GOG are anti-DRM to the point of insanity (yes, DRM is needed so long as assholes insist on illegally sharing games online), overall DRM is relatively harmless in its current state. In the end, I vastly prefer the Steam method of DRM to every game having whatever DRM the publisher chooses. Back then, it was a complete minefield.
[/quote]

Ah! Now I get it. :) Sorry about this: I simply haven't kept up with these developments. When I thought of DRM, I associated it with the "Sony DRM rootkit" episode, which (when I look at it now) was a very long time ago. Obviously, if that's all I could remember - plus the lack of sleep ... no wonder that I thought "DRM == Evil". :roll: Oops.

All right, now I can see what DRM is for, and yes. Obviously developers want to protect their product (as they're allowed to do), and obviously Steam wants to help them - it's the law.

Thank you for your patience, and explaining things so clearly. I didn't know these things, but still, I feel dumb now. Sorry! :oops:

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Re: So ... I'm just wondering. (Bioware question)

Post by DeadPoolX » Sat Feb 20, 2021 6:53 pm

Rath Darkblade wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 6:12 pm
Yes, I know what you mean. I've used the Steam Workshop for modding games (especially Skyrim, etc.) But I've noticed that too many mods slow a game or cause it to become unstable.
Yeah, I've noticed the same, which is why I generally use as few mods as possible in games like Skyrim. In a game like Space Engineers it doesn't matter, but you can really break things — including quests — in an RPG.
Rath Darkblade wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 6:12 pm
What I meant was this: every time I start a game with Steam, the game's splash-screen is slowed down while it loads ads for the game (e.g. "here's an extra DLC - BUY IT!!!").
I've never seen any game advertise anything like "here's an extra DLC, buy it!" when starting the game itself. Which games does that happen with for you? I'm interested in seeing if that happens with me (assuming we have the same games).
Rath Darkblade wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 6:12 pm
I'm also on a 50 Gb/month plan with my ISP, but I'm not sure how downloads add up over the month, and I'm charged a small amount if I go over that limit.
Christ... no wonder you prefer disc media. 50 GB per month? I've seen game updates that're larger than that!

It's funny, Maia and I felt our 550 GB/month plan was limited*, so we spoke to Telus (our ISP) and they gave us unlimited data for the next two years. Maybe you should try complaining to your ISP? Sometimes they'll throw in upgrades and/or discounts if they think they're going to lose you as a customer.

* It might not seem like it, but 550 GB/month can get used up very quickly when you watch a lot of streaming shows and movies on Netflix or Amazon Prime. Generally we don't go over the limit unless it's around Christmas because we're usually downloading a bunch of new games at that time, in addition to the regular streaming shows and movies we watch.
Rath Darkblade wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 6:12 pm
When I thought of DRM, I associated it with the "Sony DRM rootkit" episode, which (when I look at it now) was a very long time ago.
And that's a particularly nasty form of DRM, which makes relatively benign DRM like Steam look... well, not too bad. Sure, it'd be better for the consumer if no DRM was present, but unfortunately too many people take advantage of that.

Hell, Maia and I have taken advantage of GOG's normally DRM-free games in that if there's a single player game we both want, we get it on there so we can both play it without needing to purchase it twice on Steam. In general, I don't think most companies have a problem with people sharing games within the same household. I think the real problem stems from one person buying the game and then sharing it with millions of people online.
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Re: So ... I'm just wondering. (Bioware question)

Post by Rath Darkblade » Sat Feb 20, 2021 7:30 pm

DeadPoolX wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 6:53 pm
Rath Darkblade wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 6:12 pm
Yes, I know what you mean. I've used the Steam Workshop for modding games (especially Skyrim, etc.) But I've noticed that too many mods slow a game or cause it to become unstable.
Yeah, I've noticed the same, which is why I generally use as few mods as possible in games like Skyrim. In a game like Space Engineers it doesn't matter, but you can really break things — including quests — in an RPG.
Yeah. I'll have to try and get rid of some of these mods, I think (which I got from both Steam Workshop and, later, NexusMods). The trouble began after NexusMods, and I have fewer mods there - so it shouldn't take too much time.
DeadPoolX wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 6:53 pm
Rath Darkblade wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 6:12 pm
What I meant was this: every time I start a game with Steam, the game's splash-screen is slowed down while it loads ads for the game (e.g. "here's an extra DLC - BUY IT!!!").
I've never seen any game advertise anything like "here's an extra DLC, buy it!" when starting the game itself. Which games does that happen with for you? I'm interested in seeing if that happens with me (assuming we have the same games).
It happens every time I open the Age of Empires II remake, or Civilization 6. However, it only happens during the splash-screen - not during the game itself. Something like: "We've now released this DLC for the game, and it's FUN!" etc.

It only takes a second or two to ignore, but the splash-screen itself takes longer to load. (Not that I'm complaining; just an observation).

I get it; the game company wants me to buy extra stuff. If I was that interested, I would. As it is, it's irritating.
DeadPoolX wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 6:53 pm
Rath Darkblade wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 6:12 pm
I'm also on a 50 Gb/month plan with my ISP, but I'm not sure how downloads add up over the month, and I'm charged a small amount if I go over that limit.
Christ... no wonder you prefer disc media. 50 GB per month? I've seen game updates that're larger than that!

It's funny, Maia and I felt our 550 GB/month plan was limited*, so we spoke to Telus (our ISP) and they gave us unlimited data for the next two years. Maybe you should try complaining to your ISP? Sometimes they'll throw in upgrades and/or discounts if they think they're going to lose you as a customer.

* It might not seem like it, but 550 GB/month can get used up very quickly when you watch a lot of streaming shows and movies on Netflix or Amazon Prime. Generally we don't go over the limit unless it's around Christmas because we're usually downloading a bunch of new games at that time, in addition to the regular streaming shows and movies we watch.
Ah, whoops! :shock: Sorry, I made a mistake. It's not 50 Gb/month; the data itself is limitless (apparently? At least according to my ISP), but my speed is limited to 50 Mbps (between 7pm and 11pm).

Next time I will actually look things up. D'oh. *blush*

I don't have either Netflix or Amazon Prime (although my ISP offered). I don't watch TV much, so I don't want or need either.
DeadPoolX wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 6:53 pm
Rath Darkblade wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 6:12 pm
When I thought of DRM, I associated it with the "Sony DRM rootkit" episode, which (when I look at it now) was a very long time ago.
And that's a particularly nasty form of DRM, which makes relatively benign DRM like Steam look... well, not too bad. Sure, it'd be better for the consumer if no DRM was present, but unfortunately too many people take advantage of that.

Hell, Maia and I have taken advantage of GOG's normally DRM-free games in that if there's a single player game we both want, we get it on there so we can both play it without needing to purchase it twice on Steam. In general, I don't think most companies have a problem with people sharing games within the same household. I think the real problem stems from one person buying the game and then sharing it with millions of people online.
Ah, that. Yes, even as long ago as the Win95/dial-up days, I remember seeing an instance or two of people building websites to share software -- normally by taking old software and calling it "abandonware", even when the company was still selling it.

Nowadays, with torrents and what not ... I can only imagine the problem's become worse. (There's also the fact that some countries, e.g. China, don't respect other countries' copyrights.

It's outrageous, the way that books like "Harry Potter and Gandalf Meet a Dragon", or "Harry Potter Goes to a Chinese Academy", are published and no-one does anything. Yes, a cease-and-desist is issued, but it's also ignored in some countries (China included).

Harry Potter and the Incredibly Obvious Theft, more like... grumble. Yes, from the Chinese point-of-view, Disney stole Mulan - but it's not the same thing. Mulan's character isn't copyrighted, like Harry Potter or Gandalf. Sigh...)

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Re: So ... I'm just wondering. (Bioware question)

Post by DeadPoolX » Sat Feb 20, 2021 8:09 pm

Rath Darkblade wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 7:30 pm
It happens every time I open the Age of Empires II remake, or Civilization 6. However, it only happens during the splash-screen - not during the game itself. Something like: "We've now released this DLC for the game, and it's FUN!" etc.
Okay, I don't know if any of these will work, but if they do, you should be able to skip the launchers when playing AoE2 and Civ6.

As always, make sure to create backup copies of the files you intend to edit or remove (although using the "verify the integrity of game files" option would likely fix any problems and replace all edited or deleted files).

Age of Empires 2:
NOTE: Do not type in the quotes.
1. In your Steam Game Library list, right-click on Age of Empire 2.
2. From the pull down menu, select Properties
3. About the middle of the opened properties window, click on Set Launch Options...
4. Type in "NoStartUp" and click OK.
5. Click the Local files tab.
6. Click the Browse local files... button to open the game folder.
7. Rename "Launcher" to something else (i.e. Old_Launcher).
8. Make a copy of "AoE HD".
9. Rename the copy of "AoE HD" to "Launcher".
10. Go back to the Steam properties window and click Close.

Civilization VI:
NOTE: Type the quotes for Step 4 only. Make sure to adjust the drive letter if your game is installed to a drive other than C.
1. In your Steam Library list, right-click on Civilization VI
2. From the pull down menu, select Properties
3. About the middle of the opened properties window, click on Set Launch Options...
4. Insert the following line as is, with the quotes and the %command%, but using your custom path:
"C:\Games\Steam\SteamApps\common\Sid Meier's Civilization VI\Base\Binaries\Win64Steam\CivilizationVI.exe" %command%
5. Close the Properties window.
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MusicallyInspired
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Re: So ... I'm just wondering. (Bioware question)

Post by MusicallyInspired » Sun Feb 21, 2021 12:48 am

I can confirm that it will work for Age of Empires II HD (2013) anyway. What's happening is Steam launches the Launcher.exe file and not the actual game EXE. The launcher itself then launches the actual game EXE when you press "Play". Replacing "Launcher.exe" with a copy of "AoK HD.exe" and renaming it to "Launcher.exe" will force Steam to think it's launching the Launcher when it's actually launching the game itself. No ads :).

But it's important to note that this is the game itself and not any game platform client showing these updates and ads. You'll get the same thing from the Windows Store version or Steam. It's not a part of Steam. Steam being online or offline should have zero affect on this. Clearly you're noticing a difference though for whatever reason, so follow those instructions and you'll skip it entirely and don't have to worry about it.
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