I know this is going to be a controversial suggestion, so hear me out.

My brother has been wanting to join SteamGifts since he knows I am on it. We have gotten him multiple games, including some that are not bundled. However, due to the way the join calculation is done (completely excluding any bundled games) nearly all his games are excluded from the calculation. This is due to a larger systemic issue with this calculation. Since an increasing ratio of games are becoming bundled or free, it is becoming more difficult to let people join this awesome community. Even some AAA titles are considered bundled, meaning spending $60 doesn't count for anything.

My proposal is to make the join criteria the same as the CV calculation, i.e. full value for unbundled games, 15% for bundled games, and nothing for games that were offered as a free promotion. Logically this should make the most sense since that is how SG calculated value for both won and sent games for accepted users. On a side note, it would also be nice for a potential new user to see which games count for which category when they are not accepted.

Based on the community stats page there has been a plateau in new users, probably because of this very reason. It would be amazing for new users to be able to join.

Like I said, I know this may be controversial, but logically and logistically speaking I don't think the current model is sustainable. Let me know your thoughts.

5 days ago

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Reserved for future use.

5 days ago
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I see the issue of bots coming up as a frequent theme regarding this suggestion. I think a possible solution to this problem would warrant a separate thread, but I am now curious about something.

Is there a way to volunteer IT expertise? I am a software engineer by both trade and hobby, so I may be able to help come up with a solution to solve this problem when I have spare time. Not sure how cg feels about it though :)

5 days ago
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Here is a random giveaway drop. Thank you for all the civil discussion and constructive feedback regarding this topic.

4 days ago
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If you feel the need to bump for the giveaway specifically, please do so here, not in the main thread. I would like the main thread to still be based on the discussion of the suggestion, not logged with bumps that detract from the purpose of the discussion. Thank you in advance.

4 days ago
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Who is your bro? Maybe I can throw him a key to something to help out

4 days ago
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Steam profile name is lilboi54. He has a profile picture that looks similar to Santa. If you do decide to, let me know so I can give him the forewarning that you would be messaging him. Thank you for the offer :)

4 days ago
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I agree that it would be beneficial to at least modify the current system a bit. I also know people that would be interested in joining, and based on the current criteria, a lot of casual players are gatekept because most games on Steam do end up on the reduced/no CV list quite quickly.

Considering the low quality of a lot of games as of late, the only feasible way to reach the requirement these days is to go for some really expensive titles that are actually worth their price when they're on sale and knowing that they won't be bundled for a while (since otherwise you are basically wasting your money on games you know are going to be a lot cheaper very soon). This means that you're likely going to be locked into some specific genres or mainstream publishers. A lot of casual players will not be interested in that much extra work when their regular library will most likely never pass the conditions unless they go out of their way purchasing games they might otherwise not have.

5 days ago
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It's sustainable, still very much bots come through. Really with a bit of effort it really isn't that hard, just stop giving free shit and get someone a humble choice, humble bundle, or fanatical, if you so much care for your brother, heck get something on a summer sale or let it do himself, problem solved.
Just unlikely new bundles put their games free so quickly, then you waited too long or try to pass free keys you still had.

Also if you are in the same household, write a ticket to support.

5 days ago*
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Hi Lugum,

That is what we have been trying to do. Unfortunately due to the aforementioned criteria for joining, Humble Choice, Humble Bundle, and Fanatical fall under the "previously bundled" category and do not count toward the $100 purchase total for joining.

I have also been in the process of building up his library with games bought directly from Steam or individual games from the Humble Store, but again we run into the problem of the game being in a previous bundle despite it not being bundled currently. Between both of us we have spent past the $100 minimum threshold in real world money, but because of the bundle restriction it does not amount to anything.

5 days ago
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Humble Choice, Humble Bundle, and Fanatical fall under the "previously bundled" category

That isn't always true. For example, Tacoma was in a Humble Monthly, and it's still considered unbundled.

5 days ago
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Oh wow, I wasn't aware of that. Is there a distinguishing factor whether it would be added to the list or not, or was it just missed? I'm curious so that if I decide to go this route, it doesn't backfire.

5 days ago
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Humble Monthlies have always been treated like any other bundle: if the total discount is over 95%, bundle list.
They usually weren't, at least early on; only a few months ever reached the required treshold ($216 due to 10% off coupons).

But this eventually changed, due to a couple factors:

  1. better coupons often dropping the price to as low as $6-8, which obviously made the bundling treshold easier to reach;
  2. grey markets, where resellers dump the least wanted games for prices so low, they're bundle listed to prevent CV abuse.

In the first case, the whole bundle ends up on the list; in the second, only the specific games do.
With the switch to Humble Choice, and the existence of the Classic plan for old subscribers, this means we are effectively getting more (around $300 total MSRP, previously $200) for the same price, and even without that, there're still coupons (back in April they offered a month of Premium for $6), so they'd reach the bundling treshold regardless.

For example, the current month is worth up to $328 total MSRP (if I counted correctly) by picking the 10 most expensive choices with the $12 Classic plan, meaning you'd be getting a total discount of ~96.35%.

TL;DR: Humble Choice games are practically guaranteed bundle listing from the start, since all games are revealed in advance.

5 days ago
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I don't think this would correct any plateau in users. Not with real users anyway.

I doubt that its that difficult to pass the requirements, I got onto the site with a bunch of games I got from Tremor. But making them any looser would make creating multiple accounts even easier.

5 days ago
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Hi WorstShot,

I agree that the risk of bots gaining access is higher with looser criteria, however the spend amount to be able to get there based on my proposal would still be high. If a bot were to only buy bundles, they would have to obtain $666.67 in USD worth of bundled games to join, assuming none of the games in the bundles were offered for free. The reason I bring it up is more to point out a discrepancy in logic for what is considered for account value. I do understand the logic for keeping it as the non-free, non-bundled only games, but over time this will become less feasible to pass.

5 days ago
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I do feel for your situation in a sense, its unfortunate that a size fits all requirement is needed. Maybe they could give some weighting to bundled games but not the full 15% they would normally have. $667.67 worth of bundled games sounds like a lot but when you can get a good portion of that in a HB monthly it becomes pretty easy and could easily cost a lot less than actually having unbundled games to hit that mark.

I'd recommend checking out https://www.steamgifts.com/bundle-games before you buy anything to make sure it doesn't show up in that list just so you're sure that the stuff you're getting to hit the mark will count. You can do the same sort of thing by going into creating a giveaway and typing the name of the game. I'm sure you're already aware of that kind of stuff but I thought I'd point it out in case you're running into any issues :)

5 days ago
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Thank you for the link. I knew about using the giveaway creation page as a pseudo-search tool, but I was unaware that there is a central bundle games list. That helps.

I do agree after seeing the number that it would be fairly easy to hit that point (for instance, the yearly Yogscast bundle on Humble Bundle would blow through that total). Some nominal value would be good, 1% or $1 for example. There are definitely many considerations I probably have not thought of, but this is intended to be a discussion. Ultimately cg has the final determining authority on these things :)

5 days ago
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What are the current join criteria?

5 days ago
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$100 worth of unbundled non-free games, i.e. the stuff that gives full CV here.

Which used to be as easy as getting a single Humble Monthly in the past, but not anymore, since they're pretty much bundle-listed day one, due to them often begging for subs offering deep discounts (plus grey markets selling non-flagship games for pennies).

5 days ago
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How can I check how much money worth of unbundled non-free games my account has?

5 days ago
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I don't think there's any automated method, aside from the check when trying to register.
You could sort your owned games by price, then guess which are unbundled, but that's it.

5 days ago
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Open a ticket and we can tell you. (might not get to it immediately, but there's an option for you)

5 days ago
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Does this link help a bit?
https://steamdb.info/calculator/
I think it takes free games in account.

5 days ago
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Hey,

This one calculates total value of games. It does not do it like SG does.

5 days ago
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Thank you for clarifying!

5 days ago
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On my example:

StamDB:
$1477 — $6150

SG calculation:
$1,383.

5 days ago
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I agree that bundled games not being considered at all is questionable, it wouldn't hurt too much if those games would contribute something drastically low, like 1% or even less of their value.
But it really shouldn't be a problem to reach $100 in unbundled games, so the rules mustn't necessarily change.

Edit: After checking the current sales I admit that reaching $100 might be a greater challenge than I expected, for younger people.
If someone would buy A Plague Tale: Innocence now, for example, they'd have 45% of the required value. But with some bad luck that might end up in a bundle before they can afford to get the remaining 55%.

5 days ago*
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Exactly, and that's the current situation that we are running into. With Humble Choice offering more expensive and AAA titles, even pricey games that normally would allow someone to reach the threshold quickly become "bundled" and ineligible for the account value calculation.

5 days ago
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i like current way, maybe we could even increase it to, let's say $500? :)
And if you spend $60 for a game, you should really like the game. If you do it just to get in here, it's just plain stupid

5 days ago
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I have a friend that want to join the site since 1-2 months. She got games me and is a casual gamer. From her 15 games sky rocket up to 180 games but still not enough to enter the site (in that case because of 3,17$).
It is hard to reach the 100$ if you don't spend a lot of money at a new game that give full cv and if you are honest and don't try to exploit the calculating system.

Did it need a change ?
Maybe because the setting with all the freebies and reduced games increased.

Did it will make it better ?
I don't think so because the ones with bad intentions will find anyway the way (in)to the site.

5 days ago
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Technically, you don't have to spend that much to join the site. Currently, it seems the cheapest and most accessible way for most people to enter SG is to buy a bunch of RPGMaker games which go on sale for 90% occasionally, which allows you to join the site for $10. This just show how broken the current system is - bundled games should be included in the formula rather than zero out completely, .

5 days ago
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I know that the system is broken and that people with bad intentions find, easy, a way to enter the site.
My example of the friend should show it clearly.

But i don't want that a friend are forced to use such a "exploit" or a other way "around" to enter the site not first after one year of collecting and buying (small) games.

5 days ago
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Er, if they go on sale for 90% off in the US, then it's very unlikely that they're not meant to be on SG's bundle-list.
If you haven't already, you should definitely consider putting in support tickets on those games. Staff does rely in part on community information for keeping the lists up-to-date, as they understandably will occasionally overlook a given promotion.

5 days ago
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Who is your friend? Maybe I can throw a key and help out, send me a message if oyu like

4 days ago
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Huh, didn't know this was a thing. I agree that not including bundled games at all is strange, since more and more games are getting bundled everyday and this model excludes out many genuine gamers who don't have enough money to buy expensive games, which is weird for a site meant to be about gifting games to others.

P.S - I can see that lowering the joining criteria could allow people with multiple accounts to enter freely, but considering how many bots are on this site already, I don't see it making that much of a difference.

5 days ago*
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yes a change would be good as my mum has wanted to join for a while

5 days ago
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If bots did not represent a cost, I would be in favor of free - without any restrictions - access. But logically and logistically speaking, it makes little sense to keep maintenance costs skyrocketing for a percentage of real and active users that is tiny. Reaching 3-4 million puppet users (we all have siblings, parents, cousins, with the same IP, right?) is an economically unsustainable model.
The current criteria are fine and should be retroactive ( if they are not already).

5 days ago
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Hi Bladeling,

That is a fair point. At someone who works in the IT field, I completely understand the costs of maintenance and scalability for websites, including ones such as SG. I would be interested to see if there is a way to detect bots (a bot-detection bot?) that could be incorporated into the site to suspend accounts until they can prove that they are not botting. There are other ways to detect bots, but again this also depends on cost, time, effort, and user experience.

5 days ago
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The only safe way to keep bots and, above all, multi-accounts away is to raise the "entrance ticket".
Now the "ticket" costs between $10 and $15 in discounted games. Is it convenient for bots? No. Is it convenient for multi-accounts? Maybe. Having games on more than one account is normal for many people, so with $10/15 per account John Doe buy the games he like and in addition he create puppet accounts for some family member. If the cost of the ticket drops further, John Doe could have 10 brothers and 7 sisters, all looking forward to joining this community ♥

5 days ago
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i have million of children!

View attached image.
5 days ago
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That definitely makes sense. I agree that multi-account scenarios are another problem along with bots, so solving for that based on your given scenario is important too. Luckily there are still some games on his wishlist that are either not released yet or not bundled, so I should be able to snag a couple of those for him as time goes on. He's young. He's got plenty of time to grow is library :)

5 days ago
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Yeah no don't even gonna name that ugly thing called CAPTCHA, not welcomed here.

4 days ago
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I've clearly been misunderstanding the joining criteria this whole time. I think a relatively simple change could help, if I correctly understand how SG determines the value of your steam account. If I understand what other users have said, if a game in your library has ever been bundled, SG values it at $0. This is regardless to when you purchased the game (e.g. before it became bundled, given away for free, etc). Proceeding with that understanding here is my suggestion:

The formula used to asses the value of your account could take into consideration the purchase date of your games and note whether you purchased a particular game prior to it being bundled somewhere. That game would only be devalued if you purchased it after it was included in a widely available bundle. For example, if you bought Game X on April 1st and it was bundled on April 15th, it would still count as full value for you. This is actually how I originally thought SG valued a steam account. It wouldn't completely solve your brother's issue given that he mostly buys from bundles, but would give a static goal.

All that being said, I have no idea how you would go about implementing something like this. Steam does share when you purchase a new game on your activity feed, but I don't know how accessible that info is to secondary sites like SG. Making bundled games simply count for less but still count for some amount of money would obviously be much easier to implement.

Preventing people from creating multiple steam accounts to scam this site is a legitimate goal for the site to have, but it does suck for people like your brother who are either casual gamers or new to gaming. I hope that he manages to join our community soon, however he manages it!

5 days ago
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I agree that bundled games should be included in the formula rather than completely excluded (if that's what is happening right now).

5 days ago
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My nephew, who now uses my secondary account that I used to just dump keys on, still can't join and he has over 300 games XD
I dunno, I agree there is a flaw in the system somewhere.

You know what's funny? When I look at your steam profile, it screams multi-account/bot farmer. I hope this little discussion doesn't affect you negatively

5 days ago*
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Lol, I think I see what you mean. I typically play my favorites for a much longer time (see Stellaris, Test Drive Unlimited 2, Shellshock Live, and Minecraft: Story Mode for instance). Some of the other games that I end up not liking as much I'll play off and on, but not often. I actually just hopped on here after playing a session of Robot Roller-Derby Disco Dodgeball with some coworkers and my brother.

I also hope others don't get the wrong impression :)

5 days ago
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There is no perfect way, it might already be a good enough compromise.

It's $25 worth of 75% off titles you actually want, around 3-6 indies/smaller games, or $10 of 90% off games that you don't want( this makes it sound like a very low hurdle!). Not that hard if you really wanted to enter SG. Sure bundles have "the cheapest" price but they always contain games you don't want, so instead of the "I'll buy this bundle for the two games I want and the rest are 'free extras'!" mentality, go buy the few full CV games you want on sale and have its contribution towards SG's entry requirements be your 'free extras'. There are still many older big games that count as unbundled according to the GA creation list, for example, Skyrim, Doom 2016, Dishonored series, Far Cry series, Saints Row IV, etc. I'm sure everyone can find something on sale that interests them. Make a wishlist and check it all at once during sales would be my advice.

Why not gift your brother some games during the upcoming summer sales from various stores?

5 days ago*
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I agree. There are plenty of great games that have not been bundled.Until the criteria are changed, it should be eminently possible to pick up some reasonably priced non-bundled games during sale periods to meet the criteria.

5 days ago
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I had someone above give me the link to the SG master bundle list, so I was able to cross-reference that with my brother's wishlist. He has a small wishlist for now, but there are a couple games like Ori and the Will of the Wisps that are unbundled, so I will probably snag that and a couple others for him during the upcoming summer sale. The only tricky part is finding games he wants to play that are not age restricted as both my mom and I are sticklers for that (age 17+ for the US to play M-rated).

5 days ago
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A bunch of PG-13 unbundled games that go pretty cheap on Steam sale:

  • Crypt of the Necrodancer
  • Don't Starve/ Don't Starve Together
  • Invisible Inc.
  • Everything
  • Transistor
  • Pyre
  • Grow Up
  • Jet Set Radio
  • Shrouded isle
  • Oneshot
5 days ago
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Thank you for the suggestions. I'll be sure to let him know about some of them. I personally like Don't Starve Together, so I'll suggest that to him so we can play it together.

4 days ago
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I had forgotten all about the join restriction. Speaking of which, does sg give credit for ownership of steam limited / learning status games? Because, it can't seem to detect them to exclude owned in giveaways.

5 days ago
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I'm not sure. It may not if they are not returned by the Steamworks API since they are not counted toward the game count for Steam achievements. Can't say for sure though since I do not use Steamworks for any projects at the moment.

5 days ago
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I wouldn't mind at all if it was $100 of unbundled or say $500 of bundled (rating bundled at the standard CV percent). So that when they are bundled $100 of games become worth $15 (if I did the math right), and needing to reach a threshold of say $500 CV of bundled games. This would translate to (if I'm doing the math right) $3300 of bundled games, which is maybe too high. Maybe some sort of sliding mix of

X-unbundled + Y-bundled = $100 unbundled CV?

TLDR: I think bundled games can be included in the formula at a greatly-reduced rate, but am unsure of how low that rate ought to be.

5 days ago
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+1, this criterion is ridiculous. I have a friend who only buys games in bundles, he's got like 1k games, and you guessed it, he still can't join.
It would really make sense to use the CV calculation, or maybe something different (like, even more reduced CV for bundled games - only not 0% like it is now). Maybe to compensate the threshold could be made higher (like $200 instead of $100).

5 days ago
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I agree that the limited should be relaxed somewhat. Like suggested, using the current realCV calculator would be one way, or reducing the % for bundled even further. Not real harm in trialling it and monitoring, making tweaks until a good balance is found.

5 days ago
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I agree. I have more than one friend who's gotten most of their games from bundles and can't find their way in, which sucks, because those are also the people who'd probably benefit most from a giveaway site. (One friend, for instance, would likely play a much wider variety of games if he could actually afford to.)

5 days ago
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Judging from a quantity of complaints about multi-accounts and bots - joining threshold is actually too low.

5 days ago
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almost works as intended, because the criteria should be global CPI scaled (higher)
joining was originally by invite only to protect members, if I recall correctly
the lower the standards, the higher the staff :: member ratio required, in my experience
can join IG, without investing further in his Steam account

5 days ago*
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It took me 5+ years before asking to join here : maybe adding a limitation on the account age would discourage bot owners...
Something like : $5 less for each year, so 5-years-old account can join with $75... and so on...
Bot or multi-account owners would still be able to join, but it would need planning years ahead, which is discouraging. And the threshold can be raised for the first 1 to 3 years without harming older accounts !
I think it may allow your brother to join, and can satisfies people wanting a higher joining threshold... a sort of mitigation.

5 days ago
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I like that idea. An increased threshold for young accounts, including 15% CV for bundled, and decreasing threshold over length of Steam account would be a great compromise to mitigate some of the issues with bots and multi-account.

4 days ago
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For sure I like it too :-) maybe it needs a bit more thinking to make it work – how to track bundled games prices ?
I'm unsure bundled games reach 15% CV ; and there is tools like ITAD to track sales discounts, which in turn leads to realCV calculations like with SGTools : I know no equivalent about bundled games...
...and this alone opens the royal way to all speculative FUD many people are posting here and there...
Sorting this out needs real facts about prices IMHO. Else you'll make a new formula more complicated and even more prone to criticism.
Moreover, most people really willing to give away games will most probably always find the money to reach the threshold (whatever the formula), and it's only a matter of buying titles before their release date or in early access stage – those are rarely already bundled :-)

4 days ago
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Do you realize that you can easily buy old Steam accounts? You absolutely don't need to plan years in advance.

4 days ago
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I realize it's not fair to create rules to only take care of those who will try to bypass them : at first, rules are meant for those who follow them :-)
There will always be flaws.
Just out of curiosity : how much is worth a steam account with enough value to join here ? More or less than a new account on which one spends money to reach the threshold to join here ? I don't know...

4 days ago
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I think that if someone wants to qualify they are able to. My secondary account for LAN play whatnot has 144 games in its library and is several years old, but doesn't qualify for SteamGifts, that's okay I think.

5 days ago
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  1. The people will complain the requirements are too strict.
  2. The requirements will be relaxed to include bundled games.
  3. People will complain there are more bots than ever on Steamgifts.

I feel bad for your brother and all, but since bots are currently an issue on Steamgifts, and it's proven difficult to fight them, I'd prefer the requirements remain as they are.

4 days ago
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Hi Tzaar,

I agree that there are people who will complain regardless of the circumstances, and changing the join requirements could open up more abuse depending on how the change is implemented. If this change were to be implemented, it would definitely need to be paired with some sort of mechanism (whether in the join policy or within the community itself) for preventing further abuse. I don't feel to bad for my brother at the moment since he is still young (both his age and the age of his Steam account) so I'm not too worried about it. I'm more trying to open up the discussion and solutioning since I know there are people who have been on Steam for a while and can't join. (Whether they are actual players is up for debate).

4 days ago
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