- Sale Status: four threads in twelve days, equating to roughly 1,000 posts a day.
- The Summer Sale 2013 has ended, so maybe try playing those games for once.
- Trading cards are a thing now. Play games, get cards, and finish card sets for unique profile wallpapers, chat emoticons, and more.
- Game lending may be coming.
Welcome to the Steam thread! This a magical place full of generosity and chilling displays of over-consumerism. Let this post be your guide.
Steam is a store/program by the Valve Corporation. It is both a storefront as well as a sort of launcher program for games bought from it. The easiest way to describe it is as iTunes for video games, and it's a rather apt comparison as Steam is just as much a juggernaut in its market as iTunes. We're talking THE biggest digital distributor of PC games, with a market share that is actually pretty comparable to Apple's little program.
Why use Steam?
Steam's real claim to fame is sales, which started about 6-7 years ago and have been increasing in variety and frequency as the years go by. Let's go down the main types of sales.
The Seasonal Sales: These are the two "big ones" that Steam does twice a year, and both run for roughly two weeks. You have the Summer Sale, which typically starts in late June/early July, and then the Winter Sale which starts a few days prior to Christmas and typically ends a few days after New Year's Day. These are chock full of varying sales, which I am now going to list.
- General Sale: During a seasonal sale, just about EVERYTHING goes on sale by some degree. This is typically around 25% or so, but deeper cuts do happen. The only games that don't go on a general sale are recently released titles and games released by stingy publishers (Activision).
- Daily Deals: A bit of misnomer now, but these are around 6-10 games that get even deeper discounts than the general sale. We're talking 50% or more in most cases. "Dailies" used to last 24 hours, thus the name, but recently they tend to last 48 hours. There are new dailies every day until the sale ends, and dailies tend to not repeat.
- Flash Sales: shorter sales of around six titles. SOMETIMES flash sales are deeper discounts than the Daily Deals, but this wasn't the case in the last Seasonal Sale. These tend to last 12 hours and do repeat.
- Voter Sales: The same as a Flash Sale, only Steam users voted on it. Three games will be up for vote, along with the discount that will be offered for each game should it win. Once the previous Voter Sale is over, the winner of the current vote goes on sale for 12 hours and a new vote begins. Vote options repeat frequently, though not always against the same other two games.
Seasonal Sales are basically a big deal around this thread.
Holiday Sales: A typically week-long sale around some holiday, typically Thanksgiving and Halloween. There are daily deals, and sometimes the other deals pop up (Thanksgiving sometimes get a general sale).
Publisher Sale: A publisher greases Valve's palm and gets a sale. These are similar to holiday sales, only there is generally a daily deal for one game each day, and the games will be unsurprisingly connected to the publisher.
Midweek Madness: Occurs every week, roughly starting midday Tuesday and ending Thursday afternoon. A game or two will get a decent discount for the duration of the sale.
Weekend Sale: Same as Midweek Madness, only slightly longer and TENDS to attract more AAA titles. Happens every week, starting midday Thursday and ending midday Monday.
Daily Deals: Literally a sale every day! Tends to be a decent discount that, as the name implies, happens every day for exactly one game. Deals goes up middday and lasts for 24 hours. Utter crap is generally up for grabs on daily deals, but sometimes you find some really good stuff here.
Note that, during bigger sales (mostly seasonal sales), the Midweek Madness, Weekend Sale, and Daily Deals are suspended until the bigger sales ends.
This is a big thread, and thus there are some guidelines to keep things nice and orderly throughout. Refusing to abide by these guidelines could get you in trouble, which includes being kicked out of the thread entirely if you are a real pain.
- This thread is for Steam-related discussion. Try to look for other, more appropriate threads before discussing games or other topics in here. Let's not drain other threads of precious content!
- Do not beg for games. This will make you unpopular and probably less likely to get anything.
- If you did get a gift, then thank the person for their generosity! Use the notification system so they can see your thank you post! ( @NAME
OF PERSON )
- Likewise, if you give a gift, then you should probably mention your PA handle somewhere in the message.
- Do not whine over who got a gift.
- The person is spending money to give back to the community, and they have final say in who gets the gift.
- If you feel something is amiss in the thread, then quietly report the responsible parties. Posting about it will accomplish nothing, and probably just exacerbate things.
- Giving away games via contest? All entries must be PM'd to you! The thread gets too cluttered otherwise. You can, however, post the winning entries.
Steam Thread Primer - What gives with all the inside lingo? Here's your chance to be part of the in crowd today!
Steam Thread Primer:
I have too many games! Which do I play?
Gaben/The Newell - Gabe Newell, Director of Valve Software. Called "Gaben" because in the commentary for older Source Engine games he would tell players to email him at "Gabe N. at valvesoftware.com" with user feedback. Used to be the subject of a lot of weight-related jokes, but those have sort of fallen out of fashion.
Serve the Newell - To buy games on Steam, to give Gaben your money. From this comic edit.
Bad Rats - An incredibly awful 'physics' based puzzle game, available on Steam, notorious for being as awkward as it is broken. Will haunt your dreams. Popular gift to give to people.
Gifting - Buying a game on Steam and giving it to another person.
Class - An attribute demonstrated by people who will generously purchase games and then give them to internet strangers.
Class War - When two or more forumers buy each other games back and forth until one of them gives up. I know this sounds really crazy, but it happens.
Bundle - Originally the Humble Indie Bundle, which was a "pay what you want" system for a group of games, now usually means any website selling a group of games (usually able to be registered on Steam) for a low price.
The Group/The Steam Group - The Penny Arcade Steam Group. Although this usually refers to the main PA Steam groups, there are many PA groups on Steam for various games (for example, PA Crime Time for Payday: The Heist).
Giveaway/A Giveaway - Usually refers to a giveaway on Steamgifts.com, a website where you list a game you want to give away, people enter, and then a winner is randomly decided among all entrants after a set time period.
Tuftoo - A corruption of "TF2" (Team Fortress 2)
Hats/The Hatconomy - The purchase and sale of in-game hats or sometimes other items in TF2. Some hats are very valuable, which is funny because they are just hats for videogame characters. People who have valuable hats or other items in their inventories sometimes get messages from random people on Steam begging for those items.
Boner Toots - Bientôt l'été, a game on Steam. Super artsy-fartsy pretentious "art" game. Also sometimes gifted as a joke.
Backlog - The list of games you have purchased, but have not gotten around to playing yet. Tends to grow over time, often to immense proportions. If you do not have a backlog yet, between the thread and the sales you will get one.
Spies/Russian Spies - People who lurk the thread or try to get into the various PA Steam groups not to participate in the community, but instead in order to try and get free games from the classy people here.
Steamsigs - Custom forum signatures that display a link to your Steam profile, as well as an image of a game you are currently playing, have played the most in the last two weeks, or have played the most over all time (if you haven't played any games on Steam in the last two weeks). Available here courtesy of forumer Suds. Having a Steam sig (or some sort of clickable link to your Steam profile in your signature) makes it considerably easier for people to add you to their friends list.
Child's Play - A charity started by the writer and artist behind PA that raises money for videogames/toys that go to children's hospitals, originally started in '03, has grown every year. Helps sick kids feel better about their time in the hospital while simultaneously refuting the idea that gamers are antisocial jerks.
Isy - Big Classy, a forumer. Formerly known as "Big Isy", he was granted the new name after donating a hefty amount of money to Child's Play during a fundraiser. Sometimes referred to as Isy, which might cause confusion to people who haven't been around very long.
The Sale/Summer Sale/Winter Sale/etc - Seasonal Steam sales. Home to absolutely ridiculously good deals. We are edging closer to the Summer Sale right now. I recommend saving up a few bucks because there will be deals galore. Seasonal sales have their own general guidelines to follow to maximize your purchasing power, they are posted in the thread often before and during the sales.
Summer Dale - A phone's auto-correction of "Summer Sale", which through some sort of internet voodoo produced an actual entity, a smooth voiced funk loving man who lives in a world where the 80s reign eternal and supreme. Also sometimes used to describe the upcoming Summer Sale itself.
Rainbow and/or Slash - Two forumers by the name of Rainbowdespair and slash000 who are notable for developing the third and fourth installments of the Penny Arcade: On the Railslick Precipice of Darkness series. Also developed Breath of Death VII and Cthulu Saves the World, two RPGs that, alone with the Rainslick games, are available on Steam.
randomly picks a game for you to play.
I have too many games! How do I move them to my new hard drive?
makes transporting your massive library much easier.
But wait! I have ALL OF THE GAMES installed! I need more space on my hard drive! wat i do?
You download Tikione Steam Cleaner and clean up that shit
How do I make one of those cool Steam Gifts signature giveaway banners?
Why did Steam reject this CD-key?
Only games that also run under Steamworks will have their CD-keys accepted by Steam if bought elsewhere. If a game is not Steamworks, then it will ONLY install on Steam if you buy it via Steam. Most digital distributors will now mention Steam if it is required to run the game, but another list can be found here. Note that you can make shortcuts in Steam that will play non-Steam games through Steam. As far as your friends list is concerned, you will be "In-Game" but it'll just give a generic "Non-Steam game." Also, no community perks like achievements.
Why are some games not available in my region?
Publishers determine what countries get what games. Someone in a suit decided that it wasn't worth the money to make the game available to your region, so it isn't available on Steam. This also applies to cases of games having edited/censored versions showing up on Steam in certain countries. The good news is that you can generally get around this by having someone from another region gift or trade you the game.
What is this Steamgifts site? I wish to create a giveaway! I cannot enter a giveaway!
Steamgifts is a neat site that lets people create giveaways for games on Steam. If you cannot enter a giveaway, then you either lack points or aren't in a group required by the giveaway. Points are accumulated over time, so just wait a bit if you lack points. The group thing is generally done by communities to prevent mooches from getting games. If you are new to the forums, then spent a few months in the thread proving that you are serious about being a member of this community. Eventually, you will invited to the group that is required to enter our giveaways.
Steam is downloading slowly. What gives?
When a big title (or Team Fortress 2 content patch) comes out, you may notice really shitty download rates. This means you are likely on one of the default servers for downloads, which is being assailed by millions of people. Head to Steam -> Settings -> Downloads + Cloud and change your download region until things improve. Since other regions are typically less populated, you will probably get somewhat better results even if the new server is in another country. There are other ways to force Steam to switch which server you are downloading from, but these are just video games and maybe you should learn a little bit about patience.
Where are you guys getting those nifty Steam Signatures?
Check out Alabaster Slim
for his lovely signature generator. Also, don't click the Calculator link in the top bar unless you want to discover how much money you've put into your Steam account. Because there'd be absolutely no reason you'd want to know that.
The Steam thread has a proud tradition of marrying our love of Steam and Penny Arcade in comic edits:
GALLERY OF EDITS:
Go forth, and SERVE THE NEWELL.