Regarding Steam version issues - is there a way to delete saved game from GUI? Also 3D sound support is missing. It can be added back with MetaHook plugin MetaAudio, which shouldn't be used online because MetaHook is a gateway to modify engine operation at runtime, which again, is against rules.
If this thread is anything to go by, there's supposedly much more players using the means to play the game without Steam, I guess using the regular Steam version with Steam emulators, at least most of those interested in playing online I guess.
Then I read about the WON2 network, which is the unofficial replacement for the old WON network, which was a thing before Steam for online play. So that's another route for those who want to avoid Steam at all costs.
If cheating and piracy is such a widespread issue, then Xash3D being casually accepted doesn't come of as too surprising.