In the end, it is difficult to find anything directly negative to say about Steam and their annual Summer sale. Complaining that something isn’t discounted enough tends to ring a bit hollow.
Sure, I was a bit bemused at the Brave New World expansion for Civilization V going on sale just two days after it launched. Valve seemed a somewhat embarrassed about that as well.
But lots of things were on sale. Literally everything on my wishlist was marked down at least 25%. The fact that I did not purchase everything on my wishlist probably says something about the nature of my wishes.
Towards the end of the sale, while chatting with Gaff, I did end up purchasing two games.
I picked up Chivalry: Medieval Warfare for $6.24, a price it seemed to hit three or four times during the sale. In the end, I am glad it was that cheap if only because it is practically impossible to play the game with my trackball. Two key attacks require using the scroll wheel, which means removing my fingers from the trackball mid-fight, so I can either aim my attack or make my attack, but not both.
I managed to struggle through the initial tutorial, but the guy who attacks you immediately afterwards killed me so easily due to my fumbling with the balance of aim and attack that I quit the game. I need to steal my gaming mouse back from my daughter if I want to play this.
In the last hours of the sale, I decided that being just one dollar from my target price shouldn’t stop me from buying The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. And then I opted for the deluxe edition, which was more expensive. Go team logic! Given that it was at the top of their sales chart at the end, a lot of people were with me on that one.
My experience with Skyrim, limited though it might be, was much better. While combat is similar to Chivalry, I did not need the scroll wheel and I was able to zoom out into a third person view, which years of MMOs has trained me to use, and which made me feel more comfortable and situationally aware.
I got through the opening scenes, followed my fellow prisoners in escape, fell off of the tower and ended up following the sympathetic guard, which at least Yahtzee seemed to think might not be the brightest of plans. Sympathetic or not, his lot was just about to lop my head off, no? Anyway, now I am dressed like him and running around in some tunnels. I would have gotten further, but it was time for dinner.
Probably the most amusing and/or embarrassing time during the sale was when Gaff was trying to get me to buy things he just purchased on the theory that we might play them together. It turned out that I had purchased most of them already in past Steam sales, yet had not played any of them. The argument against buying anything new during the sale, certainly.
I did get him to not buy the Train Simulator 2013, which was marked down something crazy, like 95%. They want you to be able to buy their thousands of dollars of DLC. I repeated the list of cons from one of my posts about the game, and the fact that the game pauses when you tab out was a deal killer.
At the end of the sale my Steam profile level remained exactly the same, helping to reinforce my complete lack of understanding as to what it means.
I played some games during the sale. I played a lot of Civilization V, which earned me some Steam trading cards. So I have some of those. Again, not sure what they do or why I should care, but I am armed with some now.
So here we are, at what must be one of the quietest times for the Steam sales team. Who buys something the day after the big Steam Summer Sale? Yes, they still have a couple of items on sale. Something is discounted at all times. But after so many things were marked down, it is almost a let down to look at the store now.
And, of course, what this has really done is taken our training to not buy anything except during the big sales. I certainly got the big rolled-up newspaper over the nose for pre-ordering Brave New World for only a small discount when it was marked down even further just two days after launch. Way to go Steam.
Do you feel the same way? Do you have a pile of unplayed games due to such Steam sales? Will you wait for the big Steam sales rather than purchasing in between? Have they trained you yet?
And how many more days until the big Steam Holiday Sale?