Jump to content

HEY, LISTEN! PLEASE READ THIS

 

HEY, welcome back to GP! You should probably check this thread out here if this is your first time back on the forum since our upgrade. Suffice it to say, some things have changed! CLICK HERE to read more about it, including some new functionality.

  • entries
    44
  • comments
    232
  • views
    76,259

Steam Trading Cards Conundrum

Ludono

1,341 views

QTr.png

 

About a month or so ago Valve launched a trading card beta for Steam. This allowed users to earn cards by playing games that supported the system. Initially launching with only a handful of games supporting cards, there are now dozens of games getting support with more being added constantly. Trading cards came out of beta last week, and are currently the core of Valve's Summer Sale metagame.

 

Before I delve deeper into that, let me start by explaining how the system works a little more thoroughly. As I said before, you earn cards by simply playing a game with card support. Once you've collected at least one of every type of unique card tied to the game ( ranging from 5 to 10) you can craft the cards into a badge, which will grant your Steam profile XP, as well as giving you an emoticon and profile wallpaper. It's a nifty little way of adding user interaction with Steam beyond simply just buying and playing games. However, after a certain amount of time you might notice something, you can only earn a certain amount of cards per game, namely, about half the required amount to craft a badge. And this is where our journey begins.

 

So you start playing Left 4 Dead, which requires 8 unique cards to craft a badge. However you can only earn 4 cards by playing the game. Well, you ask, how do I get the other 4. This is of course assuming, that you got 4 unique cards, and no duplicates, which I might add, is VERY likely. Going off the assumption that all 4 cards were unique, you have two options. The first is seeing which of your friends has the card, and ask them for it, perhaps in a trade for another card. Your second option is, well, to just flat out buy the card.

 

Yeah.

 

So you have fairly deep pockets and decide to buy the cards you need rather than go through the hassle of bugging your friends for them. Once you've gotten the cards you craft them into a badge which gives you the emoticon and wallpaper you were after all along. Oh wait, you can just buy those too, in fact, it would be cheaper to do so in most cases.

 

Yeah.

 

So begins my problem with Valve's extortion racket here. And yes, that's basically what it is. Valve implemented a system where they reward you for playing games you bought, with cards, which you can, or rather, are encouraged to buy and sell. Every time a card is bought or sold, Valve takes a cut, somewhere around 10%. They've created a system where they make money off of users buying and sell what are essentially, absolutely worthless bits of data that took some intern 5 seconds to draw up. And you know what the best part is?

 

It's genius.

 

At least, from their perspective. Easy money for them right? Unfortunately I am not Valve, and I'm not enjoying the tidy profits they are likely raking in from this whole little thing they've got going on here. I am however, someone who enjoys using Steam very much. In fact, I LIKE the idea of trading cards. They're a fun way of interacting with your games and Steam. I used to collect Pokemon cards when I was younger, just as some people like to collect baseball cards, or Magic cards or whatever. However, the moment money is brought into the equation, the entire idea is ruined.

 

The badges formed from trading cards contribute to your overall Steam "level" much like the amount of trophies contributes to your PSN "level". Ideally, and I know this sounds like an ego-trip, the people with the highest levels are, to put it plainly, bigger gamers. These are the people who put the most time and effort into their gaming, or at least, thats what it should be. Quite the opposite, it's turned into the gamers with the deepest pockets. What's the point of this whole system when someone with too much money can simply buy into the system and max out their rank within minutes?

 

PTr.jpg

Only $3.56 for all these!

 

Indeed, why even bother going to the trouble of collecting cards to craft badges to attain that elusive emoticon when you can simply just buy those too? There simply isn't a reason for any user who doesn't wish to purchase cards to care very much about leveling, ego aside, there isn't even any self satisfaction to it.

 

This current Steam Summer Sale centers squarely around cards, sure voting on community picks will grant you a card every so often but for every $10 you spend you get a card, doesn't that sound so much easier? Just spend money on games and boom you'll get some cards, which of course, you'll need at least 10 to craft the Summer badge.....

 

Well, why don't you simply trade then?, you ask. Because who will you trade with? If you earn a card, you can immediately put that card up on the market and make some money, which you could put towards some more games. So why would you trade something that you could just sell and get something out of? That's right, you wouldn't. And therein lies the problem.

 

Of course, Valve won't fix the problem because doing so would negate their current revenue stream. Fixing the problem would entail eliminating any sort of monetary value tied to the cards and simply have them be tradable cards, the sole purpose of which is to have a fun little metagame on Steam with.

 

But people spend money on trading cards all the time right? Whether it be Pokemon, or baseball cards or Magic, cards aren't free! Why shouldn't Steam cards be buyable? I don't have a truly good answer to this, other than my belief that injecting money into a system that would serve its purpose better without.

 

Then again, it's entirely likely that the purpose of Steam Trading Cards is simply money for Valve.

 


 

What are your thoughts on this? Have you been participating in any sort of trading card activity on Steam? Should or shouldn't they be purchasable? Am I completely wrong in thinking this way?

  • Like 2


8 Comments


Recommended Comments

I GOTS 103 CARDS WOO THAT'S LIKE $15 PROFIT! $$$$$$

 

Just kidding. I'll probably sell some in the future, but I'd like to craft at least a badge or two for some games I like. It's a good idea by Valve, and if you own a lot of games (like me) that you don't play much, cards might be added for the game and it might make you want to play the game suddenly. :)

  • Like 1

Share this comment


Link to comment

I GOTS 103 CARDS WOO THAT'S LIKE $15 PROFIT! $$$$$$

 

Just kidding. I'll probably sell some in the future, but I'd like to craft at least a badge or two for some games I like. It's a good idea by Valve, and if you own a lot of games (like me) that you don't play much, cards might be added for the game and it might make you want to play the game suddenly. :)

 

Yeah, that's a point I forgot to mention. Adding little things like this trading card system is also beneficial in that it gets you to replay (or finally play) titles in your Steam library you might otherwise not have tried.

Share this comment


Link to comment

Lol I didn't realize I have trading cards. Actually got them from Gun Monkeys thanks to Pixel giving the game to me.

Anyways it's a fun idea from Valve, although I care less about it since I'm not much into trading cards. I might sell them for money or trade for games if I feel like getting rid of them. It's nice to have them for a fun collection and various features for profile, but it does motivate me to play my unplayed steam games and earn some. It would be like hey we'll give you something for playing our game. Seems like a nice incentive for gamers. I should be active more and try to get something out of this steam sale as well. xD

Share this comment


Link to comment

I"m not really all that interested in the Trading cards, but then again, I've never really liked things like achievements or trophies either.  If I get some, that's neat, but it's unlikely any badges will be made or anything.

Share this comment


Link to comment

I sell most of my cards, but I enjoy crafting for games I really like (for instance Super Meat Boy). Most people who aren't simply OCD about collecting seem to feel the same way. They get their cards, see it only costs $0.50-$1 to complete the set, and to them it's worth it.

 

Is it ultimately pointless? Well yes, but so are a lot of things people pay money for. Will it last on the other hand, well we are already seeing the market crash. I would like to point out though that each game you own does earn you XP, so even people on my friendslist without crafting any badges are now well past 10.

 

But hey, it is good for Valve, good for the devs (who also get a cut), good for the people selling, and somehow good for those buying (people like pointless things, it's a fact). I don't really see why them being another source of money for Valve is such a bad thing. We love steam, so why get angry when they try and make a few bucks off of all the games we DIDN'T buy through steam? 

  • Like 1

Share this comment


Link to comment

I sell most of my cards, but I enjoy crafting for games I really like (for instance Super Meat Boy). Most people who aren't simply OCD about collecting seem to feel the same way. They get their cards, see it only costs $0.50-$1 to complete the set, and to them it's worth it.

 

Is it ultimately pointless? Well yes, but so are a lot of things people pay money for. Will it last on the other hand, well we are already seeing the market crash. I would like to point out though that each game you own does earn you XP, so even people on my friendslist without crafting any badges are now well past 10.

 

But hey, it is good for Valve, good for the devs (who also get a cut), good for the people selling, and somehow good for those buying (people like pointless things, it's a fact). I don't really see why them being another source of money for Valve is such a bad thing. We love steam, so why get angry when they try and make a few bucks off of all the games we DIDN'T buy through steam? 

 

In terms of market crashing, it might be because of the the summer sale and people wanting the extra money or because people are already over the fad, but the card prices are dropping like a rock.

 

I never said it was a bad thing, nor am I angry about it. Ultimately it's just a nifty little system on gaming platform. I was simply pointing out the faults I found with it, and suggestions on how I think it could be improved.

 

That said, I enjoy reading your guys's thoughts on this, especially since many of you seem to have very differing opinions :D

Share this comment


Link to comment
But hey, it is good for Valve, good for the devs (who also get a cut),

 

I actually didn't know this until when I was schmoozing around the developer of Gun Monkeys' twitter feed. He wasn't aware of it either but when someone tweeted him a screenshot saying his cut he was happy that he decided to put them in with the game. :)

Share this comment


Link to comment

I'm still not even sure exactly how it works, how are booster pack drops determined? I've gotten all the card drops from playing Alan Wake and I'd like to complete the set, but I'm not sure how long it takes to get a booster pack, or even if I will get one.

Share this comment


Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×