Steam Trading to date has been all about the live bartering experience – the thrill of a counter-offer made in the unbearable heat of the moment; the kind of poker face that can only be maintained from the other side of a monitor; the same catharsis of a great bargain that drives the underground haggle clubs beneath Marrakesh.
Things are going to be a little different from now on. Steam Trading has become something you can do in your own time – even when the other party is offline.
Trade Offers will see users assemble a ‘prepacked’ trade, in which they’ll select items from the inventories of both sides to propose a potential deal. They’ll send it off to a Friend, who’ll receive a green drop-down notification in their Steam client or browser the next time they’re online. That Friend can then choose to accept, decline, or counter-offer.
Offers can be assembled from the new Trade Offers page in your inventory or a Friend’s, or from any badge page. You can even make the same offer to more than one party – once one has been accepted, pending offers involving the same items will disappear.
There are a couple of caveats: trade offers can’t be sent to Friends who have their inventory set to ‘private’, or to anybody outside your Friends list – though Valve have tentative plans to change that down the line. What’s more, trade offers will automatically expire if left untouched for two weeks, like milk.
Is this the catalyst you need to get going with all that Steam trading cards business? Or are you already in too deep to climb out?