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Valve have detailed some changes coming to Steam in an overview post

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I said before we would see Valve start talking a lot more this year, especially with the Epic Store being a thing and we're starting to see that now. Valve have put out a post giving some background on Steam and what's to come in future.

For those that missed it, a most recent change this January is an overhaul to the DLC list. Take a look at the DLC list for Stellaris for example, which brings it much more in line with the publisher and franchises store pages Valve rolled out last year. Instead of a rudimentary list, it's now a bit flashier.

Even Steam Play got a mention in the post, it really does cover a lot. In particular for us, it's nice to Steam Play get mentioned in such a way alongside their help with Vulkan and the Shader Pre-caching feature of Steam.

As for what's to come across 2019, some of it does sound pretty great:

Store Discoverability: We’re working on a new recommendation engine powered by machine-learning, that can match players to games based on their individual tastes. Algorithms are only a part of our discoverability solution, however, so we're building more broadcasting and curating features and are constantly assessing the overall design of the store.

Steam China: We've partnered with Perfect World to bring Steam onshore into China. We'll reveal more details about this in the coming months.

Steam Library Update: Some long awaited changes to the Steam Client will ship, including a reworked Steam Library, built on top of the technology we shipped in Steam Chat.

New Events System: We're upgrading the events system in the Steam Community, enabling you to highlight interesting activities in your games like tournaments, streams, or weekly challenges.

Steam TV: We're working on expanding Steam TV beyond just broadcasting specific tournaments and special events, in order to support all games.

Steam Chat: We're going to ship a new Steam Chat mobile app, so you can share your favorite GIFs with your friends while on the go.

Steam Trust: The technology behind Trusted Matchmaking on CS:GO is getting an upgrade and will become a full Steam feature that will be available to all games. This means you'll have more information that you can use to help determine how likely a player is a cheater or not.

Steam PC Cafe Program: We are going to officially ship a new PC Cafe Program so that players can have a good experience using Steam in hundreds of thousands of PC Cafes Worldwide.

The Steam Trust upgrade along with the ability for other games to use it could be interesting, especially since that should work with Steam Play titles, something I had a gripe with only recently when EAC stopped me playing Darwin Project.

Discoverability has certainly become an issue as Steam has grow that's for sure. I follow a lot of developers, the vast majority of which have recently talked about how a recent change made their store traffic decrease dramatically. This will only get worse as more games arrive on Steam (and any other store), so hopefully Valve's changes here will do good.

I'm sure a lot of people are eagerly awaiting the refreshed Steam Client, I know I am. The Library feature in Steam is so basic when you've built up a big library of games it tends to be a little unhelpful in how basic it actually is.

See their full post here.

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47 comments
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Dunc 14 January 2019 at 9:14 pm UTC
wvstolzing
QuoteWe’re working on a new recommendation engine powered by machine-learning, that can match players to games based on their individual tastes.

This doesn't sound very encouraging, to be honest; they seem to be chasing the same magically self-regulating minimal-effort dream of a curation model.
Yep. The trouble with this sort of thing, even sprinkled with magical machine-learning pixie dust, is that it only knows what you already own or have on your wishlist. With the limited selection of native Linux games (and my own limited finances), I know that my Steam library doesn't really match my tastes in gaming very well. It's getting closer all the time, to be sure, but there are still major titles that I'd like to play but, for various reasons, can't. At least not yet. Valve's big machine brain doesn't know that, and never can.

And that's not even mentioning the fact that sometimes you want something completely un-like anything you've played before. Human minds aren't machines.
Schattenspiegel 14 January 2019 at 9:31 pm UTC
Stop 0kb Downloads now!....,plx!
Download library Banners permanently instead of every time you scroll through the library, plx!
Make the highlight/middle-click paste work in Steam client, plx!
THEN start thinking about new stuff or redesigning old s(h)...tuff!
Thx!
Kimyrielle 14 January 2019 at 9:35 pm UTC
DuncYep. The trouble with this sort of thing, even sprinkled with magical machine-learning pixie dust, is that it only knows what you already own or have on your wishlist. With the limited selection of native Linux games (and my own limited finances), I know that my Steam library doesn't really match my tastes in gaming very well. It's getting closer all the time, to be sure, but there are still major titles that I'd like to play but, for various reasons, can't. At least not yet. Valve's big machine brain doesn't know that, and never can.

And that's not even mentioning the fact that sometimes you want something completely un-like anything you've played before. Human minds aren't machines.

Don't underestimate machine learning. That the algorithm can make deductions from factors OTHER than just what's in your own library or wishlist is the very point of it. E.g. it can it will take Windows users into consideration that might have libraries just like yours, only sans these games not available for Linux. It's not too hard to guess why you didn't buy these games, then.

The filter-bubble issue is real, but honestly, if you have 250+ games in your library, it's not all THAT likely that there are still lots of genres left you'd like but never tried yet. At least I like to think if I remotely liked car racing games, I'd have bought one by now. The sheer mass of the libraries Steam users tend to accumulate because of all these sales gives them a lot of data to work with, so I expect their AI to make pretty good suggestions.
const 14 January 2019 at 9:37 pm UTC
Mohandevir
eldakingValve has its many flaws (their hands-off approach to curation or their subpar treatment of indies for example). But they are still so far ahead of the competition it's just hard not to support Steam.

Yep! And when you read the complete post... It's quite shocking (unfair? Surprising?) when people say that Valve takes a 30% cut without doing anything... I don't see Epic offering an equivalent infrastructure now and not before a long, long time...

Edit: I hoped we would get news about new hardware, but Valve being Valve, we still may have surprises.

The sad part is that they take the "we want to add all those features" part as an excuse to not support linux.
Lakorta 14 January 2019 at 9:46 pm UTC
I hope the steam library rework will include functionalities similar to https://www.lorenzostanco.com/lab/steam which supports things like filtering games by tags or features and combining or excluding filters. It's a real trouble to find e.g. all local co-op/multiplayer games when you have a big library.


Last edited by Lakorta at 14 January 2019 at 9:46 pm UTC
mirv 14 January 2019 at 10:02 pm UTC
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Mohandevir
eldakingValve has its many flaws (their hands-off approach to curation or their subpar treatment of indies for example). But they are still so far ahead of the competition it's just hard not to support Steam.

Yep! And when you read the complete post... It's quite shocking (unfair? Surprising?) when people say that Valve takes a 30% cut without doing anything... I don't see Epic offering an equivalent infrastructure now and not before a long, long time...

Edit: I hoped we would get news about new hardware, but Valve being Valve, we still may have surprises.

Steam does provide more services, but some of those might not be used, or wanted. So I wonder if Valve might offer a scheme of taking less of a cut, but offering less as well (e.g no forums, limited updates per time block, etc). Can make business dealings more tricky though, I guess.
OLucasZanella 14 January 2019 at 10:13 pm UTC
QuoteI'm sure a lot of people are eagerly awaiting the refreshed Steam Client, I know I am.
Is there a post about that?
Userwithaname 14 January 2019 at 11:36 pm UTC
I am particularly excited about the Steam library overhaul. I wonder if they will be updating the look of the client as a whole, or if this is the same situation as with the chat window.
Hopefully they'll improve the startup time as well in the near future, as it is currently my biggest problem with Steam.
gustavoyaraujo 14 January 2019 at 11:40 pm UTC
I'm just waiting for more Proton updates
tonR 14 January 2019 at 11:56 pm UTC
QuoteSteam PC Cafe Program: We are going to officially ship a new PC Cafe Program so that players can have a good experience using Steam in hundreds of thousands of PC Cafes Worldwide.
I believed it when I see it. All games at cyber cafe (CC) with Steam program here filled with damn DoTA and Counter Strikeses. Not forget, League of Legends.

At least illegal CC sometimes got PS2-era PC games library even do nowadays most of them mainly for online gambling.
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