The Sale is Here
It is that time once again, for the Steam summer sale… one of two major sales that seem to happen each year on the Steam platform. Over the years however it has changed significantly. The first one I actually participated in was just a bunch of bundles, that allowed you to get the entire game library of a specific company for insane discounts. I remembered I picked up the entire THQ library at the time including something silly like 40 games for $30 dollars. As the years have gone by the sale has morphed multiple times, often times incorporating mini-games into it, and even saw the introduction of the trading card product. The other thing that has changed… is that the discounts are nowhere near as insane as they once were, but instead the same basic price throughout the entire week. So instead of catching a four hour window of a game being 75% off, it might simply be 50% the entire duration of the sale. I guess this is both positive and negative, in that those flash sales inspired a ton of impulse buying… but also a ton of frustration in that if you didn’t happen to be watching the site at 3 am you maybe missed that one game you really wanted to pick up. Instead now it is just a good time to pick up those games that you had on your wish list, but for one reason or another never got around to picking up. Last night for example I picked up The Witness and Firewatch, because both are games we have kicked around as possible AggroChat game club titles in the future. Neither were really things I was in a rush to pick up, but I might as well catch a bit of a break in doing so.
How About MMOs?
Over the last several years a good number of MMORPGs have filtered their way onto the Steam library as a method of expanding their base, so while you won’t find Star Wars the Old Republic, or any of the Blizzard products because they are locked behind their own digital distribution systems… you will find a good number of other games. I thought I would poke my head around this morning and see what kind of deals are out there for those who heavily favor MMOs like myself. The result is a pretty mixed bag, and to be honest I just clicked on some of the games that interest me. There are likely deals out there for titles that I have never even heard of because Steam has been the great equalizer in expanding this genre. Additionally the term MMO has become utterly meaningless… which means you have everything from a MOBA, an Area Shooter, a Creative Building Game, and traditionally MMORPGs all sharing the same generic banner these days.
Final Fantasy XIV
I figured I would start this off with what I consider to be one of the better deals. Final Fantasy XIV is a huge game, and right now you are able to pick it up for half off the already fairly low starting price these days. You can pick up the base game for $9.99 and the Heavensward expansion for $19.99. The collectors edition version of the game is also available but you are only going to get a %20 break there.
Elder Scrolls Online
A similarly good deal is ESO which offers both the base game and the Imperial Edition at 50% off currently. The thing that I did find surprising however is that none of the DLC is actually sold through steam, which means you will have to watch the Crown Store if you want a break on those. The way to skirt all of the DLC issues is to of course subscribe, and still with only the base game you have a bunch of play time there. You can pick up the vanilla version for $19.99, but I would highly suggest just going ahead and grabbing the $29.99 Imperial Edition because it has enough perks to make it worth the little bit extra.
Warframe is of course a free to play title, and you can grab it from Steam at any point you like and start playing. However at some point you are going to want to spend some money, and in our brief experience playing the game… the Steam bundles seem to be a phenomenal deal. There always seemed to be some little perk that pushed them ahead of what you could get for the same amount of money from the in game cash shop. During the summer sale all of these bundles are 50% off making them even better deals. Generally speaking you get some in game currency, a bunch of really nice weapon and armor mods… and then some boosts which I never actually used. Well worth checking out if you play Warframe.
The Secret World
The Secret World has morphed payment models over the years and is now a “Buy to Play” title, which the base game being extremely cheap, and every few months them releasing a new “Issue” that includes new content. I ended up getting in on the ground floor of this game and purchased a lifetime subscription account, and as a result there is honestly no reason for me to ever buy anything else. That has been a double edged sword for Funcom, because it got them quite a few big purchases in the beginning… but a good number of the most devoted players these days are also Lifetimers so not really adding much cash flow to the product. All of this said… this game goes on sale rather frequently and each time I make a big production of spreading the word because it is a really amazing game. It has some of the best storytelling I have experiences in any MMO full stop. Right now you can pick up the base game for roughly $10 and the Ultimate edition that includes a ton of the Issue based DLC content for $20. If you do not own this game stop what you are doing and buy it now… that is all.
Wildstar has been down its own rocky road lately, and it is pretty new to the steam platform. As a result there are a lot of the offerings that are not participating in the summer sale. However if you missed out on the madness that was purchasing cheap retail boxes of the game to turn them in for subscription time and bonus goodies… then I highly suggest you check out the Cute and Cuddly pack. This includes both the Glitterkitty Hoverboard and the Snarflyx mount… and several other things. The discount is only 20% but right now Wildstar needs your love so if you are at all interested check the bundle out.
I have tried to play EVE and it just doesn’t click with me. It is the best asteroid mining simulator ever created, but I can never seem to break myself out of doing just that. It is one of those games that is extremely interesting to read about, but just not that interest for me to actually play. Once upon a time I was supposed to write a four part article series on this game, but I failed miserably to get past part two. All of that said… if you are an EVE player there are some extremely interesting deals during the Steam summer game. The base game is 75% off and the premium edition %50 off… but in addition since this game requires an active subscription steam apparently sells those too. It is hard to tell if those subs are actually on sale, or if they are just showing you the traditional “buy 12 months” discount. In any case it is not a bad time to buy into the game if you have always wanted to give it a shot.
Rift is another one of those games that has seen wild mood swings in the payment model department, however as it currently stands the game is entirely free… with a few caveats. Each time they add new content as in zones and dungeons and systems… those are completely free and you can go from level 1 to the currently cap of 65 without spending a dime on the game. They do however offer you a plethora of methods for giving them money for little incidental things. Where the DLC packs come in is that you enter the game with a base set of souls, and over time they have released a new set with Storm Legion, Nightmare Tides, the recent Ascended Pack and entirely new class with the Planetouched Wilds. These are not included in the base game and have to be added on piecemeal, and this is largely the sort of thing that is being offered on Steam. There is also the grand daddy of all DLC packs the Rift Ultimate edition that packages up and includes everything you can get from the other packs. During the Summer Sale these are all 25% off, so its a good time to catch up on whatever souls you might be missing like the new Ascended Pack which is currently $26.24.
There are also a bunch of games that are not participating at all, like the Perfect World titles Neverwinter Nights and Star Trek online for example. While Rift and Trove are participating, ArcheAge does not appear to be. Basically this morning I wrote this post because at least for me personally… I rarely think of using the Steam sale as a way of catching up on my MMO content that I might have neglected. For those who only have the base game of Final Fantasy XIV for example… right now is a damned fine time to pick up Heavensward even if you have not gotten to that point in the story. Similarly like I said above if you were going to pick up various souls packs from Rift, you might as well do them now at a cost break. The Steam tagging system is often times a pretty horrible thing, but you might check out the Massively Multiplayer tag because it shows most of the deals that I was talking about above and much more. MMOs are kinda the gift that keeps on giving when it comes to gaming, and all of them you will be playing for months and potentially years ahead. It is well worth checking out during the madness that is the Steam sale.