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Old Jul 14, 2013, 04:34 PM   #1
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Djinn
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Default Steam Cards - What's the Deal?

Ok... So I've been accumulating these Steam Cards. What's the mechanic behind them?

I get the sense that they're awarded simply for playing games. No idea of the amount of time spent in a game matters... If it did, it would be trivial for me to load up "Binding of Isaac" and leave it running overnight, so I would guess that there's more to it.

But the purpose of the cards? On a whim, I put up all of my duplicate cards for sale, for the "going price" listed on the interface. They all sold relatively quickly, with the profits going into my Steam wallet. So the name time I made a purchase, it saved me about $1.25.

So why on earth would people buy these cards? Is there any purpose to having them? If not, why shouldn't I sell every last one, as soon as I earn them?
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Old Jul 14, 2013, 04:47 PM   #2
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I may be wrong, but I just think of them as the next step in achievements.


Achievements crossed with hats maybe.
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Old Jul 14, 2013, 05:06 PM   #3
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You get badges, backgrounds and emoticons when forging a card set. You also level up on your steam profile. It's a status thing and it is a step sideways from achievements. It's an appeal to collectors, whether it's collectors who want all the cards or those who want cards for specific games. I suspect that if things go well, they might even increase the badge level from the current max of 5 but they do have the foil cards as well.

From developers / valve perspective, it's a constant stream of small income for games. Just by having cards exist they get a small amount from every card sold. It might be a few hundred to few thousand dollars a day they get for a card set, depending on popularity.

Currently it takes about 1.5-3 hours to get all the drops for a game. You can just keep the game running to get them. You only get half, so they want you to trade or buy the rest. If you don't want cards, then you can make some money back from all your game purchases. Might be $1.50 per game.
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Old Jul 14, 2013, 06:08 PM   #4
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I've made £40 of my cards in the past week so far. Whatever they are, I'm not complaining!
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Old Jul 14, 2013, 07:02 PM   #5
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Yup, I've probably made around $30 over all selling them. I've bought a few games and crafted a few badges and haven't spent a dime from my bank account yet.

I'd never waste real money on them, but they are kind of fun to play around with... this whole sale has really crashed the market though. Some cards use to sell upwards of $1 per card, now you're lucky to sell them for 10cents.
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Old Jul 14, 2013, 07:10 PM   #6
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How many foil cards have you guys got?

Probably had 50 card drops and only one was Foil.
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Old Jul 14, 2013, 07:34 PM   #7
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I've had 0 foil drops with probably 125+ cards sold.
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Old Jul 14, 2013, 07:37 PM   #8
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I'm just selling the **** out of every single card I earn. No idea if it's a bad idea or not, but I've already earned a whole $1.04 and I'm feeling like a king!
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Old Jul 14, 2013, 11:18 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nutcrackr View Post
How many foil cards have you guys got?

Probably had 50 card drops and only one was Foil.
FOIL card was my first Card, it was a Bioshock Infinite one. How are FOIL cards different then other cards exactly?
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Old Jul 14, 2013, 11:43 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Eisberg View Post
FOIL card was my first Card, it was a Bioshock Infinite one. How are FOIL cards different then other cards exactly?
They are just rarer and give you a different badge. Might give you the rare emoticon / backgrounds if you craft a foil badge too.
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Old Jul 15, 2013, 12:40 AM   #11
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wtb free Alyx Vance card
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Old Jul 15, 2013, 01:20 AM   #12
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So some game cards you get randomly by signing in to steam (and not playing) and some you get by actually playing the game and getting some sort of achievement?
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Old Jul 15, 2013, 01:23 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bob saget View Post
So some game cards you get randomly by signing in to steam (and not playing) and some you get by actually playing the game and getting some sort of achievement?
all game cards you get by playing the game, no achievement prerequisite.

the summer cards are special event cards you get from voting and crafting cards.
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Old Jul 15, 2013, 01:51 AM   #14
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so literally if you leave the game running, but you are afk, the cards will drop? Thanks
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Old Jul 15, 2013, 01:57 AM   #15
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coals, cards, diamonds and gold pressed latinums next?
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I guess it's the trend nowdays with games; either you are a hardcore PC GAME, or you live long enough to see yourself become a console port
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Old Jul 15, 2013, 03:37 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bob saget View Post
so literally if you leave the game running, but you are afk, the cards will drop? Thanks
Yep, I usually leave a game alt-tabbed while at work

It's a pretty "give us your money" system, imo.
You need 5 sets of cards to craft a full level 5 badge. Usually it takes about 8 cards to earn one level, so that's about 40 cards. Out of those 40, only 4 will drop in-game, out of which you have no guarantee you won't get any duplicates.
That leaves you with about 35 cards you need to trade or buy. Imo, it would take farming your entire Steam collection and selling everything in order to get enough cash to buy the set you need.

...unless you pay from the start.
Meh.
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Old Jul 15, 2013, 04:03 AM   #17
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they need to announce the persons who crafted a set, ya know, like the lockboxes.....
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Old Jul 15, 2013, 07:50 AM   #18
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Can't believe people pay for this crap.
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Old Jul 15, 2013, 08:12 AM   #19
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Can't believe people pay for this crap.
I can't either, but I made a whole dollar as I slept last night
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Old Jul 15, 2013, 08:35 AM   #20
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Can't believe people pay for this crap.
Let me put it this way: I'd rather spend the amount you payed for Aliens Colonial Marines in badges and cards, and I'd be much happier than playing that piece of **** :P

Besides, who says you need to pay ? I installed TF2 to farm some cards only to find out I have 29 unclaimed items (from various preorders, maybe ?) which I have sold for about 5 euros total, which I then spent for cards.

You should also be the last person on this forum who comments on other people's decisions to buy crap.

Last edited by Ego : Jul 15, 2013 at 08:38 AM.
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Old Jul 15, 2013, 08:54 AM   #21
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coals, cards, diamonds and gold pressed latinums next?
The Grand Nagus definitely approves!
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Old Jul 15, 2013, 08:55 AM   #22
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Quote:
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I can't either, but I made a whole dollar as I slept last night
It probably cost you about that much in electricity to leave your machine running.
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Old Jul 15, 2013, 09:36 AM   #23
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Thanks for that, very informative. Does actually playing the game do anything then with regards to card drops?
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Old Jul 15, 2013, 10:24 AM   #24
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wtb free Alyx Vance card
Me too
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Old Jul 15, 2013, 10:28 AM   #25
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I'm now up to $2.02!! The dough's-a-rollin' in!
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Old Jul 15, 2013, 10:44 AM   #26
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Thanks for that, very informative. Does actually playing the game do anything then with regards to card drops?
Not that I can tell from my experience and what's posted here.

All my 4 card drops I've got have been whilst playing the game. HL2 I got 1 duplicate out of the four, Scribblenauts I got 1 foil out of the four, all given well before finishing the games.
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Old Jul 15, 2013, 11:05 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by bob saget View Post
Thanks for that, very informative. Does actually playing the game do anything then with regards to card drops?
Nope, absolutely nothing.
They drop randomly, regardless if you play, you keep it alt-tabbed, or go take a shower
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Old Jul 15, 2013, 12:55 PM   #28
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So I'm not sure if anyone here picked up on it, but I think this is, at least partially, an ingenious anti-piracy tool in camouflage. It's basically like MMO style server controlled loot drops for all games. Pirate the game and you won't be earning cards! It's also incentive to get the game through Steam versus some other download service.

Only downside is that I can envision a scenario where some people get way too into this and are buying and playing bad games just to get cards - in the same manner that there are people who buy and play bad XBox games if they can get easy Gamerscore out of them. Those people are victims of their own voluntary compulsions of course, so I guess I can't get too mad about that.

Personally I'm happy to simply ignore this aspect of Steam. I get enough enjoyment out of the games I play that I don't need to "gamify" the act of playing games themselves.
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Old Jul 15, 2013, 01:03 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ego View Post
Nope, absolutely nothing.
They drop randomly, regardless if you play, you keep it alt-tabbed, or go take a shower
... But only four cards per game, right? So once you get your four Half-Life 2 cards, you'll never, ever get any more drops from that game in the future. Right?
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Old Jul 15, 2013, 01:05 PM   #30
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Imo, it adds value to the service that Steam provides.
It makes you spend more time with the Steam client itself, instead of using it just to play games.
I must have visited my own Steam profile 3 times in the 8 years I've been a member; now I constantly tweak it, customize it and "improve" it.
Is there something to be gained from this system ? Maybe, if you are really dedicated and you're the sort of person wanting to monetize everything. For me, it's just the fun of screwing around with collectable cards, and improving things which are fine to begin with


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