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The [steam] thread: What gaming madness lies beyond the portal?

MudzgutMudzgut OhioRegistered User regular
edited December 7 in Games and Technology
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Welcome to the Steam thread!
This is a pretty neat community of people who like to talk about video games, sales, digital distribution, hat economies, classiness and classholery.
We enjoy long walks on the beach, digital hoarding, gifting, the suffering of longtime members, and raising money for charity.


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This is a big, busy thread. There are some guidelines to keep things nice and orderly:
  • Be civil.
  • 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!
  • If you feel someone's acting inappropriately, then quietly report the responsible parties to forum mods.
  • Don't post links to active kickstarters without prior mod permission. Forum-wide rule.
  • Linking your Steam profile in your sig will help community members find you, see what kinds of games you like, invite you to MP games, etc.
  • Do not beg for games.
  • Pixies are not to be trusted.

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We have two core Steam groups. Both of these groups have chat, and both are used sometimes to try to limit giveaways to community members:

Penny Arcade is a general Steam group for folks from the PA forums.
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PA G&T Adventure Team is a group that was originally created to get multi/coop going for smaller or older titles. Because it is actively moderated, a lot of folks use it as a giveaway group (to avoid problems we've had in the past with non-forumers scooping up gifts intended for the community.) Membership is locked during major sales.
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How do I join the Steam groups?
If you've just arrived, hang out here in the thread for a while and talk games with us before you ask for membership. When you do ask, include a link to your Steam profile. Membership to the two Steam groups is for reasonably active community members. If you have been on the PA forums for a while and have participated, post a link to your Steam profile here in the thread and a Steam group mod will take care of you.
If you've been on the forums for three days during a major sale and your only posts have been to casually express your strong desire for certain games, your request is unlikely to find a positive reception. Ditto if your very first post on the forum is to ask for group membership. Sadly this does happen sometimes.
The best parts of this community are available to you now just by showing up. Read some posts, make some posts, ask to be invited as a guest to chat, buy some games, play some games, etc. Group membership is modest icing on delicious cake.

Warning: This guy's going to make you buy games. All the games.
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How do I join the chat rooms of the PA Steam groups?
Each PA Steam group has its own chat room which you can freely join once you are a member. They are happy places with no monsters.
To enter a group chat you must follow these steps:
  1. On the main Steam menu, go to your username submenu and then click on the "GROUPS" option
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  2. Then, click on the link showing the number of people present in the chat of the group that you want to join. This will launch the Steam client (in case it is not already running in your system) and open the group chat in it
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  3. In case your web browser is not able to launch the Steam client, the following window will show giving you the option to open the group chat directly in your web browser (web chat) or to download the Steam client
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  4. Alternatively, you can go to the main page of a Steam group and then click the "Enter chat room button"
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Steam sales are legendary. From small to honking massive:
  • Daily Deals: One game a day goes on sale at 10am PT for 24 hours.
  • Midweek Madness: Starts 10am PT Tuesday and ends Thursday afternoon.
  • Weekend Sale: Starts midday Thursday and ends with the sale rollover Monday. Sometimes accompanies free play weekends for MP titles.
  • Publisher Sale: Many of the publishers games will get a modest discount with a single title or franchise getting a featured day with a deeper discount. Follow the big sale guidelines.
  • Seasonal Sales: Mardi Gras time here in the thread. Huge swaths of games go on discount, with daily specials, flash sales, community vote sales, and whatever else the evil geniuses at Valve cook up to separate us from our money. There are often metagames such as sale achievements or collectibles or other madness that rewards buying, playing and gifting games and participating in Steam's community. The summer sale usually starts in the last week of June and runs for two weeks, and the Winter sale usually runs for two weeks across Christmas and New Year's.

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Other retailers like Amazon and Green Man Gaming get into the act now too, so there are often great values to be had during sales for Steam-activatable games from other sites.
Seasonal Sales Birthdays are basically a big deal around this thread.

Important Note: If you are waiting for a particular game, be sure to mind the countdown timer on the game's store page.

Steam's refund policy, Abuse section:
Refunds are designed to remove the risk from purchasing titles on Steam—not as a way to get free games. If it appears to us that you are abusing refunds, we may stop offering them to you. We do not consider it abuse to request a refund on a title that was purchased just before a sale and then immediately rebuying that title for the sale price.

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Sometimes people gift games.
  • Don't feel that you have to gift games to be a part of this community. It's just one of many things that go on. Some people can give lots of games. Some people can give a game or two a year. Some people make amazing images. Some people find hidden indie gems and report about them. Some people relay amazing gaming moments. Some people report sales. Some people are hysterical. Etc. There are many ways to participate in this community. Gifting is just one of them and is not required.
  • If you run a contest, have entries PMed to you. The thread gets too cluttered otherwise. You can, however, post the winning entries.
  • If you receive a gift, then take a moment to thank the gifter. Use the notification system so they can see your thank you post! ( @NAME. Use quotes around names with spaces.) See below for an example.
  • If you win a Steamgifts giveaway, in addition to thanking the gifter, be sure to mark the gift as received on Steamgifts. You tie up a gift 'slot' for the gifter until you do.
  • In addition to contests, wishlist gifting, ninja gifting, revenge gifting, pile-on gifting and Steamgifts.com giveaways, we have the new [ codes ][ /codes ] tags which can fire off one or more Steam codes (or activation links). More info about [ codes ] below.
  • Steam direct gifting still works, but since we can't use our inventory the same, Steamgifts doesn't work as well anymore, thus you may find this Paypal Steam Wallet link handy should you want to throw Steam Wallet Codes instead.
A Steam thread participant preparing for gifting...
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Rare footage of a gift fight in action...
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Where are you guys getting those nifty Steam Signatures?
Check out Alabaster Slim for his lovely signature generator.
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Has Game X ever been Price Y? How can I keep track of all the sales and discounts?
http://isthereanydeal.com/ is your friend. You can sync your Steam wishlist to it if you like and get notifications when prices drop. Double check that you are getting a Steam key from a 3rd party site before buying.

How do the new [codes ][ /codes] tags even work?
Put a series of Steam activation codes (or activation links, or movie quotes, or winning lottery numbers...) inside the tags, each on its own line like this (without the spaces inside the brackets, of course):
[codes ]code 1
code 2
code 3
...
code n[/codes]
That will create a little box with a clickable link and a number. Each forumer who clicks the link will get a popup and a PM with the next line. Each line can only be sent out once and each forumer can only click once. It was originally designed to allow developers to hand out lots of codes for a game without some goose grabbing the lot.
Just one code thingy per post!
Note: [ code ][ /code ] is a different tag. Be sure to get that "s" up in there!

Steam Game Categories
You can make a copy of of the file below to backup your category tags!
\Steam\userdata\*USERIDHERE*\7\remote \shareconfig.vdf

Trading cards? Badges? Steam profile levels? Boosters? FOILS?! What the hell?
Jrraghen put together this helpful guide: The House of Cards!
Many games now have trading cards. You can earn some of these cards by playing/idling the game. Some of them you'll need to get by trading or buying them from the Steam community market. Completing a set lets you craft a badge, which gives you an emoticon, a profile wallpaper, a coupon (usually) and profile experience. Leveling up your profile increase your friend cap, earns you customization options for your Steam profile and, allegedly, increases your chances of getting a booster. Boosters are packs of three cards that show up in your inventory sometimes. You can open them or sell them on the market. Sometimes cards are foil. Each game has a regular badge with five levels and a single-level foil badge. Oh, and you must be a certain level to get your card drops.
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But that's pure, diabolical evil!
Yes, that's right.

Can we trade cards in the thread?
You can but it's inefficient. Use the Steam feature that shows you which of your friends has the cards you need. Join the Steam group we created for trading cards: PA Card Sharks
Also check this handy tip from HiT BiT:
A little Steam trading trick some of you may not be aware of:
  • Go to your Steam Inventory
  • Click on the "Trade Offers" button
  • Then click on the "Who can send me Trade Offers?" link
  • Below you will find a "Trade URL"
You can share this URL with other Steam users to allow them to directly send you a trade offer even if they aren't on your friends list.
You can share this URL anywhere, including your forum sig.
If you have shared or posted your URL and would like to stop receiving trade offers from it use the "Create New URL" button. A new Trade URL will be created turning the previous one inoperative.

Is Steam down?!
Is it Tuesday? It's probably scheduled maintenance.
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It's not Tuesday. Is Steam down?!
http://isSteamdown.com/

What are you people talking about? Why hats and what is an "Isy?"
Check out the handy Steam Thread Primer, written by Smokestacks!
Steam Thread Primer:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 to try and get free games.
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.
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 Rainslick Precipice of Darkness series. Also developed Breath of Death VII and Cthulu Saves the World, two RPGs that, along with the Rainslick games, are available on Steam.

Also, sometimes shit gets real. Like that time we all murdered each other for bloodsport games. And there was a kabob conspiracy and a kind of Cthulhu bunny. akajaybay took us down that particular rabbit hole.

Why are you people obsessed with Bad Rats and Amnesia?
A moment of ill-advised swagger from anoffday turned into a horrifying LP of Bad Rats which, because reasons, turned into over $6000 raised for Child's Play.
CorriganX raised over $1100 for Child's Play via Amnesia.


December 2018 Classy Christmas total, $2,190.06!!!
I'm working on finding some of the other old totals from Summer Drives as well, if you find them before me, please PM me! Thanks!

Previous Years
Classy Christmas 2016: $5,315.84
***If someone finds the 2015 total before I can dig it up, please PM me, Mudzgut***
Classy Christmas 2014: $9,248
Classy Christmas 2013: $11,903

Fanda shared this with us:
For our Christmas fundraiser to restore TychoCelchuuu's threadmaking privileges (and help the kids), I donated to Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children. This week I received a nice letter from them! I figured I'd share part of it with y'all, since this applies to all of you at least as much as it does to me.
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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. Points for entering giveaways are accumulated over time, so just wait a bit if you need points. Entry to giveaways can be limited by Steam group membership to prevent mooches from getting games.

How do I make one of those cool Steam Gifts signature giveaway banners?
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What are all these bundles you people keep talking about?
In addition to Steam sales and sales of Steam keys on other sites and gifts, we live in a golden age of bundles! Bundle sites sell batches of games for modest amounts of money, often as low as a few dollars. Many, but not all, contribute to charity and many, but not all, give you Steam keys for the games. Sometimes you'll buy an indie gem that isn't even on Steam, and later when arrives on Steam you will get a key through the bundle site. Be careful if you plan to gift some of the games, as sometimes the bundled games will come in a single Steam key. We have a separate bundles thread.

I have too many games! Which do I play?
Steam Roulette randomly picks a game for you to play.
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I have too many games! How do I move them to my new hard drive?
Steam Mover 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 it up.
Steam Cleaner also available through GitHub!

Okay that helped. Now I have more room for stuff. Free stuff.
Isorn wrote:
Someone on a Steam forum made a nice list of all free DLC you can add to your Steam account if you have the base-game but that thread is currently not available so I figure I post it here. Since it is pretty easy to miss some of these.

The sale prices aren't right! What's going on?! Oh God, the darkness is closing in...
During the seasonal sales, you are one of a million monkeys hammering F5 at 10am PT to see the new sales. The system is always borked for 5-20 minutes. Take a deep breath. The Newell will deliver, and the new dailies will be available for 48 hours.

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.

Steam is downloading slowly. What gives?
You can 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.

VR - it's that new thing, you know, with the goggles and the doo-dads.
EvmaAlsar did a great write up about various VR game options on Steam. Check it out!

What was the PA Friday Night Game Fever?
CorriganX had this crazy idea of getting some folks together to play games and thus Friday Night Game Fever began. Each week a game was posted as the Friday selection and at 9pm Eastern/6pm Pacific people would get online and fire up some multiplayer action. The games were typically streamed by at least one or two folks for viewing as well. The game night and its Steam group are not actively managed any more.
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Old PA G&T Friday Night Game Fever banner made by HiT BiT

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Twitch/Mudzgut
Fall down seven times. Stand up eight.
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