Steam Trading Cards Are Now a Thing

Steam Trading Cards Are Now a Thing

Steam Trading Cards

Valve has launched a beta for virtual collectible cards that can be turned into badges or traded for other exciting stuff on Steam.

Because Valve's biometric feedback systems revealed that you were going to ask for it, the masterminds behind Steam have rolled out their very own digital trading card sets! Offered for a limited but growing number of games, Steam trading cards can be collected and then turned into unique game badges that can earn "marketable items" like emoticons, profile backgrounds and coupons. And because the badges have experience levels, collecting sets multiple times will level them up and bring you even more items.

At the moment, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Team Fortress 2, Dota 2, Portal 2, Half-Life 2 and Don't Starve are set to drop cards as you play. Up to half the cards in a set will be added to your inventory simply by playing the games, while the rest will have to be collected from other Steam users. Once collected, full sets can be crafted into badges, which bring with them the aforementioned random items as well as 100 experience points toward your Steam level.

And what are Steam levels, you ask? Maybe you should check out the Steam Trading Cards FAQ, which explains things like showcases, what you can do if you make a bad trade (hint: nothing), foil trading cards (which aren't actually foil) and all sorts of other interesting stuff. It all seems a little silly to me, but I said the same thing about achievements and look how that turned out.

The Steam Trading Card beta is live now; to join, you'll need to opt-in to the beta program in your Steam account and then hook up with the Trading Cards Group group. Invitations will be sent out in the order of members joined - and since at last look there were a little more than 17,000 members, you might want to get a move on.

Source: Steam Trading Cards

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Reading that FAQ...

EA's Origin finally has something over Valve's Steam. No bloody ridiculous leveling system tied into a bullshit badge system, all wrapped up nicely in a crap-stained foil of "trading cards".

Seriously... "Level up your Steam Account to increase your friend list limit!" isn't exactly all that amazing a seller if you ask me.

Though now I'm sure EA is going try and outdo Steam in this. Probably by offering $10 "Booster Pack" for "cards" from its own games, with the reward being that for every $100 of cards you get (has to be unique, if you get a double it doesn't count!), your account levels up and you get to play an hour longer in their games! Oh, and all the accounts instantly start off with a 2-hour limit on games a day, and you have to play 100 hours after this is instated to get access to the "booster" packs...

Great, even more needless clutter for traders to obsess over in TF2. Because it obviously hadn't devolved enough into an e-peen waving clusterfuck of a collect-a-thon with hats, metal, paint, crates, keys, unusuals, stranges, tickets, robocrates, etc.

Are people incapable of enjoying a game on its own merits anymore without having some sort of metagame bullshit shoehorned into it?

Awesome! I got a Foil Heavy with Vintage Sandvich and an Unusual Ushanka!

Neverhoodian:
Great, even more needless clutter for traders to obsess over in TF2. Because it obviously hadn't devolved enough into an e-peen waving clusterfuck of a collect-a-thon with hats, metal, paint, crates, keys, unusuals, stranges, tickets, robocrates, etc.

Are people incapable of enjoying a game on its own merits anymore without having some sort of metagame bullshit shoehorned into it?

Err...no, people aren't? Could be fun, could be crap. I don't believe I've ever felt that I couldn't have fun just because of the existence of what is ultimately something that doesn't exist...oooeeeoooh, creepy that, and I've bought stuff from the TF2 store. o_O

Actually, it more ties into my fetish for dress up. It makes TF2 the best damn RPG around. Yeah. RPG. Real hard core too, all you've got is a set of hats and your boundless imagination.

cursedseishi:
Reading that FAQ...

EA's Origin finally has something over Valve's Steam. No bloody ridiculous leveling system tied into a bullshit badge system, all wrapped up nicely in a crap-stained foil of "trading cards".

Seriously... "Level up your Steam Account to increase your friend list limit!" isn't exactly all that amazing a seller if you ask me.

Though now I'm sure EA is going try and outdo Steam in this. Probably by offering $10 "Booster Pack" for "cards" from its own games, with the reward being that for every $100 of cards you get (has to be unique, if you get a double it doesn't count!), your account levels up and you get to play an hour longer in their games! Oh, and all the accounts instantly start off with a 2-hour limit on games a day, and you have to play 100 hours after this is instated to get access to the "booster" packs...

I don't see a problem with the friends list, they don't shrink the current limit or remove your friends,I'm pretty sure the default limit has been 250 for a while and no one ever really complains about that. It was probably just there because they needed a reason for the levels other than e-peen.

You can avoid this whole system and not have a problem if you wanted to.

http://penny-arcade.com/comic/2013/05/13
Other than that: Meh. At best I will ignore this, at worst it becomes an active annoyance. God knows I don't trust the Steam community to not be dicks about this, the constant hat E-peen contest already drove me away from TF2.

cursedseishi:
Reading that FAQ...

EA's Origin finally has something over Valve's Steam. No bloody ridiculous leveling system tied into a bullshit badge system, all wrapped up nicely in a crap-stained foil of "trading cards".

Seriously... "Level up your Steam Account to increase your friend list limit!" isn't exactly all that amazing a seller if you ask me.

Though now I'm sure EA is going try and outdo Steam in this. Probably by offering $10 "Booster Pack" for "cards" from its own games, with the reward being that for every $100 of cards you get (has to be unique, if you get a double it doesn't count!), your account levels up and you get to play an hour longer in their games! Oh, and all the accounts instantly start off with a 2-hour limit on games a day, and you have to play 100 hours after this is instated to get access to the "booster" packs...

Wow, first post and someone is already moaning.

This trading card system is entirely optional. It doesn't take anything away from your gaming experience at all.

The whole thing about a friends list thing does sound a bit dodgy, but that would only really be dodgy if there was no limit prior to them introducing this system.

I just find it amazing that people honestly find a way to complain about everything.

Andy Chalk:
coupons

And that, right there, is why I'm on board with this.

frobalt:

This trading card system is entirely optional. It doesn't take anything away from your gaming experience at all.

The trading card system that you so ignorantly assumed I'm "moaning" about isn't what I have an issue with. Is it exactly all that necessary? No. But perhaps instead of jumping to conclusions you should try re-reading the post you quoted.

My post was centered on the rather non-optional leveling system being shoved in where it doesn't need to be. If we have 250 spots on a friend list, and they aren't chopping that number down, then what is the point of "increasing" a limit that is already so highly set? There isn't a single justifiable reason to implement "leveling" into Steam, and locking off "customization" for your profile is just doubly as stupid.

It would only be worse if they do actually decide to lower the friend cap, as it punishes any new users that might sign up after the fact who might have a decent chunk of friends who use steam.

And honestly, I find it amazing that people will take one look at the headline, and blindly assume that any negativity shown in the posts afterwards HAS to be towards that particular headline item, instead of anything that might be mentioned within the article.

Coach Morrison:

You can avoid this whole system and not have a problem if you wanted to.

Pretty much addressed it above, but I'll repeat just for clarity's sake.
Trading Card system? Entirely optional. Don't really care about it.
Steam Leveling and Account Restrictions tied to it? Entirely NOT optional, and is completely pointless.

cursedseishi:

frobalt:

This trading card system is entirely optional. It doesn't take anything away from your gaming experience at all.

The trading card system that you so ignorantly assumed I'm "moaning" about isn't what I have an issue with. Is it exactly all that necessary? No. But perhaps instead of jumping to conclusions you should try re-reading the post you quoted.

My post was centered on the rather non-optional leveling system being shoved in where it doesn't need to be. If we have 250 spots on a friend list, and they aren't chopping that number down, then what is the point of "increasing" a limit that is already so highly set? There isn't a single justifiable reason to implement "leveling" into Steam, and locking off "customization" for your profile is just doubly as stupid.

It would only be worse if they do actually decide to lower the friend cap, as it punishes any new users that might sign up after the fact who might have a decent chunk of friends who use steam.

And honestly, I find it amazing that people will take one look at the headline, and blindly assume that any negativity shown in the posts afterwards HAS to be towards that particular headline item, instead of anything that might be mentioned within the article.

Coach Morrison:

You can avoid this whole system and not have a problem if you wanted to.

Pretty much addressed it above, but I'll repeat just for clarity's sake.
Trading Card system? Entirely optional. Don't really care about it.
Steam Leveling and Account Restrictions tied to it? Entirely NOT optional, and is completely pointless.

How many people have 250 friends?

Not much, only the real popular people, traders, internet personalities.

Traders live for this stuff, the popular people would be known in game, and internet personalities would be the same.

They all get their caps increased in this system. They get cards by playing games, which unlocks backrounds for your profile and increases friends caps. They WONT cut down friends list numbers, and even if they do, you won't fucking need them unless you're Jim Sterling, or Toboscus.

TLDR: You are moaning for some hypothetical shit that won't happen, and moaning just to moan. Its all FREE. The only reason its only a few select games is because its a BETA.

Jesus Christ, give people free shit for something they ALREADY DO and they still moan.

Ultratwinkie:

How many people have 250 friends?

Not much, only the real popular people, traders, internet personalities.

Traders live for this stuff, the popular people would be known in game, and internet personalities would be the same.

They all get their caps increased in this system. They get cards by playing games, which unlocks backrounds for your profile and increases friends caps. They WONT cut down friends list numbers, and even if they do, you won't fucking need them unless you're Jim Sterling, or Toboscus.

TLDR: You are moaning for some hypothetical shit that won't happen, and moaning just to moan. Its all FREE. The only reason its only a few select games is because its a BETA.

Jesus Christ, give people free shit for something they ALREADY DO and they still moan.

8000 posts and completely ignorant to what I was saying, on top of focusing upon something I wasn't talking about. Congratulations buddy.

Try reading the FAQ posted next time. The trading card system being put in isn't exclusively tied to the leveling system, as any badges earned (such as the "service" badges or holiday badges) count towards it. I could care less about the Trading Cards being put in, that's all fine and dandy.

Its the idea of locking off options behind some unnecessary gate that bugs me here. And you are right, it would be bloody rare to need more than 250 spots for the friend list, which makes the inclusion of a "boost" even odder with all this.

Though I do find it rather funny that the "hypothetical shit" you claim I'm "moaning" about, is all stated plainly in the FAQ. The only hypothetical in my post was a lower limit on the FL spots, because that is about the only way to justify adding in FL boosts.

TLDR (just for you): What's the point of the leveling system, and why bother at all with adding it?

cursedseishi:

Ultratwinkie:

How many people have 250 friends?

Not much, only the real popular people, traders, internet personalities.

Traders live for this stuff, the popular people would be known in game, and internet personalities would be the same.

They all get their caps increased in this system. They get cards by playing games, which unlocks backrounds for your profile and increases friends caps. They WONT cut down friends list numbers, and even if they do, you won't fucking need them unless you're Jim Sterling, or Toboscus.

TLDR: You are moaning for some hypothetical shit that won't happen, and moaning just to moan. Its all FREE. The only reason its only a few select games is because its a BETA.

Jesus Christ, give people free shit for something they ALREADY DO and they still moan.

8000 posts and completely ignorant to what I was saying, on top of focusing upon something I wasn't talking about. Congratulations buddy.

Try reading the FAQ posted next time. The trading card system being put in isn't exclusively tied to the leveling system, as any badges earned (such as the "service" badges or holiday badges) count towards it. I could care less about the Trading Cards being put in, that's all fine and dandy.

Its the idea of locking off options behind some unnecessary gate that bugs me here. And you are right, it would be bloody rare to need more than 250 spots for the friend list, which makes the inclusion of a "boost" even odder with all this.

Though I do find it rather funny that the "hypothetical shit" you claim I'm "moaning" about, is all stated plainly in the FAQ. The only hypothetical in my post was a lower limit on the FL spots, because that is about the only way to justify adding in FL boosts.

TLDR (just for you): What's the point of the leveling system, and why bother at all with adding it?

Why bother with trading? Why bother with anything?

Its just more stuff for people to do. Its more stuff for traders like me to hopefully make a profit on when the inevitable hype shoots up the stuff that can be traded.

People pay 85$ for a severed max's head, and overpay for getting an item on day 1. They even buy vintage class tokens, bugged token that do nothing.

Its for the internet personalities to expand their lists, and traders to hold onto more contacts.

Its for people to just customize their profiles.

It effects nothing, but makes people happy. The criteria is so low anyone can get anything by just playing games, leaving no one out.

Ultratwinkie:

How many people have 250 friends?

I had over 300 on MSN, grnated theres a bit less on Skype now, Xfire is kinda dead as service, and i dont use Steam, but it is entirely possible.

So... Is anyone in the beta and has some invites left? Because I would appreciate this very much and maybe even write you a Hulku (Haiku about Hulk).

PM me.

On Topic: So, praty tell: What is the problem with something completely optional?

thanks steam but I'll just sit here playing magic the gathering.

Also what are steam going to start selling next, so far they have hats, games, other software and now a ccg, not to mention the other merchandise available. I am guessing that they are going to start a chain of restaurants specialising in steamed food. Not complaining but I am just wondering what the idea whiteboards in the valve offices look like.

cursedseishi:

frobalt:

This trading card system is entirely optional. It doesn't take anything away from your gaming experience at all.

The trading card system that you so ignorantly assumed I'm "moaning" about isn't what I have an issue with. Is it exactly all that necessary? No. But perhaps instead of jumping to conclusions you should try re-reading the post you quoted.

My post was centered on the rather non-optional leveling system being shoved in where it doesn't need to be. If we have 250 spots on a friend list, and they aren't chopping that number down, then what is the point of "increasing" a limit that is already so highly set? There isn't a single justifiable reason to implement "leveling" into Steam, and locking off "customization" for your profile is just doubly as stupid.

It would only be worse if they do actually decide to lower the friend cap, as it punishes any new users that might sign up after the fact who might have a decent chunk of friends who use steam.

And honestly, I find it amazing that people will take one look at the headline, and blindly assume that any negativity shown in the posts afterwards HAS to be towards that particular headline item, instead of anything that might be mentioned within the article.

I read your post perfectly fine, thanks.

You are still moaning about an optional system. Your classification of it as not optional is moronic.

Do you have more than 250 people you'd like to have on steam? If you answer yes to this question, then the leveling system is good for you as it means you have a way to increase the amount of friends you can have on steam. If not then it is totally optional.

Hell, you might have to use the leveling system to get these extra friends, but surely it's better than them leaving the cap at 250 and leaving you high and dry.

Or is the reason you're moaning because you're not automatically given the extra friends and instead have to do something to get them?

By the way, if you're saying that the leveling system is mandatory, then that makes trading cards also mandatory since collecting them is currently the only way to level up.

Using the logic of 'why do we need it?' to something nice is just plain stupid.

I now firmly believe that everyone at Valve are, in fact, evil and will not stop until they have a solid monopoly on our souls. They also crowd round one enormous computer chanting "ONE OF US! ONE OF US! ONE OF US!" as they roll out new ways to keep us hooked...

frobalt:

-snip-

Obviously, you didn't read the article enough then. Right from the Steam FAQ

Are there ways to get badges other than playing games?

The Steam Community badge, earned by doing some basic tasks on Steam, is the easiest way to get a badge. The Years of Service badge (granted on the anniversary of your account creation) will automatically give you more XP the older your account is. Special events on Steam also frequently have badges. We hope to keep expanding the ways you can get badges.

The cards are just another way of gaining the badges, which is why I actually don't have anything much to say about them, unlike you who keeps putting the words in my mouth by acting as if that is what my whole post is about.

People shouldn't have to "earn" extra friend slots on a social program, and at the already large cap of 250 its practically redundant as is except for rare exceptions. And for those? Well, why not just boost the cap for everyone anyways if they are planning on doing it with levels.

They could do a whole lot more with the idea of leveling than "Friend List +1". Adding some extra customization with profiles for gaining levels is a decent idea, but it just seems like gaining these levels are essentially meaningless.

For instance, they could of always gone for a token route, where you gain tokens with each level up that can be redeemed for a bunch of things, similar to how they had going during some of the Summer/Winter sales.

And yes, the leveling system isn't optional. Considering "Optional" means having the option of using it or not, the level system is obviously going to be a standard part of Steam, and thus integrated with everyone's accounts whether or not they want it. But it isn't mandatory to use, and I never said it was.

cursedseishi:

frobalt:

-snip-

Obviously, you didn't read the article enough then. Right from the Steam FAQ

Are there ways to get badges other than playing games?

The Steam Community badge, earned by doing some basic tasks on Steam, is the easiest way to get a badge. The Years of Service badge (granted on the anniversary of your account creation) will automatically give you more XP the older your account is. Special events on Steam also frequently have badges. We hope to keep expanding the ways you can get badges.

The cards are just another way of gaining the badges, which is why I actually don't have anything much to say about them, unlike you who keeps putting the words in my mouth by acting as if that is what my whole post is about.

People shouldn't have to "earn" extra friend slots on a social program, and at the already large cap of 250 its practically redundant as is except for rare exceptions. And for those? Well, why not just boost the cap for everyone anyways if they are planning on doing it with levels.

They could do a whole lot more with the idea of leveling than "Friend List +1". Adding some extra customization with profiles for gaining levels is a decent idea, but it just seems like gaining these levels are essentially meaningless.

For instance, they could of always gone for a token route, where you gain tokens with each level up that can be redeemed for a bunch of things, similar to how they had going during some of the Summer/Winter sales.

And yes, the leveling system isn't optional. Considering "Optional" means having the option of using it or not, the level system is obviously going to be a standard part of Steam, and thus integrated with everyone's accounts whether or not they want it. But it isn't mandatory to use, and I never said it was.

You really aren't making much sense.

Sure, there might be ways to get badges other than trading cards, but from the look of the section of the FAQ you posted, these ways aren't going to be common, meaning that trading cards are going to be the primary way of leveling up, for the time being.

I honestly don't understand your problem. Seems to me like you're just whining for the sake of it.

From what I can gather, your main complain is that it is part of everyone's account and therefore levels aren't optional. You also say that only having an increased friend limit size as a reward isn't enough, making the system pointless. If it is currently pointless, and most cosmetic, why don't you just accept that steam are adding on to it?

Or am I getting the wrong end of the stick here completely?

frobalt:

You really aren't making much sense.

Sure, there might be ways to get badges other than trading cards, but from the look of the section of the FAQ you posted, these ways aren't going to be common, meaning that trading cards are going to be the primary way of leveling up, for the time being.

Just a quick note, but I doubt collecting these virtual cards will be any faster for most people than earning the service and seasonal badges. You only get up to half (which requires an investment of time), and considering you'll likely not find people just giving them away for free, that will be two games just to facilitate some trade. With the limited number of supported (though major) titles at the moment, I doubt a lot of people will be actually finishing full sets of cards and crafting the badges. It may be quicker sure, but its more about luck and hoping you actually have cards other people will want (or play TF2 enough to have items to trade for cards).

I honestly don't understand your problem. Seems to me like you're just whining for the sake of it.

From what I can gather, your main complain is that it is part of everyone's account and therefore levels aren't optional. You also say that only having an increased friend limit size as a reward isn't enough, making the system pointless. If it is currently pointless, and most cosmetic, why don't you just accept that steam are adding on to it?

Or am I getting the wrong end of the stick here completely?

My first post was a show of dislike for this leveling system, with a hefty majority of it dedicated to snark aimed at EA. People's first reaction (namely yours) was to just assume I'm "moaning for the sake of moaning", and not that I might actually just dislike the idea and presentation of the system, because Valve could of done much better than what they are showing.

My complaint has nothing to do with it being a part of everyone's system or the levels not being optional. I added those last bits in because, once again, people were wrongly assuming my entire post was simply towards the headline-featured items of trading cards, and not the bigger bit of news sandwiched in the article itself.

Valve's biggest announcement with this level system is the idea of being "rewarded" with extra friend slots. My biggest complaint here is why not push for more than that? Which is why in the post you quoted I threw out an idea. Give people tokens when they level up, let them spend those tokens on little bonuses. It could be backgrounds for your profiles, it could be friend slot increases if they'd like, or hell maybe put up cosmetic items for games that support it for people to grab with them, or little bits of DLC or coupons for games.

It feels highly underutilized, and just plain simply lazy, to me the way it is. It's all technically one giant beta still though, so maybe they'll actually add to the rewards or tweak them.

It sounds pretty cool if you ask me. If anyone has an extra invite I'd appreciate it. :-) I joined the group but they aren't sending any more invites out until next week.

 

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