#292 A look back on the Steam Trading Cards

As an unexpected result of working through my Steam backlog I have been receiving constant notifications that I now own another batch of cards for the Steam Trading Card system. With a cluttered inventory and a few months between us and the launch of Valve’s latest program I thought it would be the perfect time to look back and talk about the experiences we had with it.

I think it's safe to say that it was suppose to be like a new TF2 market for the entire gaming library

I think it’s safe to say that it was suppose to be like a new TF2 market for the entire gaming library

 

When the trading cards was first launched I was excited to say the least. Because of the addition of trading cards I was now playing games that I have not touched in ages and during the sales I bought games that advertised the cards that I could collect. I even traveled to the forums and chat channels aggressively trying to finish my Super Meat Boy and Summer Getaway badges.

But since the 2013 Steam summer event ended I lost quite a bit of interest in the new Trading Card program. Which is a shame because it has everything I would want; collectibles, profile customization, coupons, badges, and bragging rights.

I lost interest in it because the badges are just too difficult to collect and the major problem (for me) is the amount of cards you can get from the game is too limited. Most games will only give you half of the total number of cards in the pack, meaning that you are forced to trade with other players. After getting rid of the card collections I had no interest in building I had to entertain the idea of cutting into my other side collection to complete the badge I was currently working on.

There are just so many badges from good games that I want to build, but not enough cards from games I don't like to make complete them

There are just so many badges from good games that I want to build, but not enough cards from games I don’t like to trade away to complete them

 

I mentioned at the beginning how I think Valve want this to take off like Team Fortress 2’s market but I think the reason that the hat/weapon economy works is because there is a constant, universal resource provided by the game. If you play the game an average amount of time you will get a small trickle of dropped goodies, whether it be a new gun or a cosmetic item. While you can trade it to other interested people, if you have extra items or unwanted items you can break them down into scrap or tokens and craft them into other -more desirable- items to trade.

But Steam’s Trading Cards do not give you an option to perform a mulligan. Their is the chance to receive a booster pack that contains three more cards, that only drops after you use up all your single card drops you get from buying the game, but packs just do not drop enough to encourage me to go through the effort of trading to craft the badges.

It’s funny, when the Steam Trading Cards first came out I argued that the limited card drops were a good thing because it forced me to go out and communicate with other players but with the ever-growing list of games and cards in the program it is getting more difficult to scan the forums and chat channels to find that one person that has that I want and is willing to trade for a specific card in my inventory.

Now I am currently eating my words because now I want nothing more than to play my own single player games and slowly work my way to craft the game badges by myself.

But I want to know what you think

Have you tried your hand at the Steam Trading Card program? and Do you activity hunt and collect game badges?

Now that it has been a while for everyone I would love to hear about your thoughts and opinions of Steam’s Trading Card program in the comments below.

P.S: I still refuse to pay for the cards I need on the A.H. This is a free service provided my Valve and I plan to keep it that way.


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Be MOP focuses on the world of videogames with my own reflections about the current news and developments that happens throughout the gaming industry. Updates Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “#292 A look back on the Steam Trading Cards

  1. Andrew Farrell

    While you can trade it to other interested people, if you have extra items or unwanted items you can break them down into scrap or tokens and craft them into other -more desirable- items to trade.

    But this basically is the auction house? You break cards down into the ghost of money (it fails the main criterion for being real money – you can’t buy chocolate with it) and can use that to get other cards. I mean, someone somewhere has put some real money into the system, but there’ll always be fools.

    • I completely forgot about the trading card market place, Nice catch. I should take a closer look and try to get some half completed sets out of the way. Thanks!

      Out of curiosity, have you crafted any badges from the Steam Trading Card program?

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