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Changes to Steam Trading, Dec 10 2015

Posted on: December 10th, 2015 by Obey

A large TF2 patch with new content is supposed to hit sometime in the next two weeks–stay tuned!

Here’s the new change, quoting Valve’s article:

“…[A]nyone using the Steam Guard Mobile Authenticator to confirm trades is able to continue trading as always. Users who haven’t enabled it, or can’t, can still trade, but they’ll have to wait up to 3 days for the trade to go through. This gives both Steam and users the time to discover their accounts have been hacked and recover it before the hackers can steal their items.”

The Steam Guard Mobile Authenticator is Valve’s newest attempt to help protect you from hackers who would steal and sell your virtual items from your account. This requires your interaction with your Steam account from a second device, ideally from a smartphone. Completing a trade with another user will prompt agreement via the secondary device.

Steam Guard

If you do not use this Mobile Authenticator, your trades will now be delayed for 3 days (or 1 day if trading with a user who you friended over a year ago). Steam doesn’t want to prevent you from trading an item for some metal; they are trying to buy enough time to prevent a person’s items from being quickly sold away. Inconvenience? Yes. Most users prefer the Steam Market anyways, but trading is still used for newer users or for swapping items for items. (They did consider removing trading entirely.)

Consider this: Instead of Steam deleting a stolen item, they provide another, duplicate virtual item to hacker victims. In the cases of rare content such as unusual hats, this decreases the rarity of the item, so that traders are mildly harmed by an item’s lost value. (Yes, this is one of Steam’s expressed reasons.)

Hit the above link to read the full article, which describes Steam’s reasoning. It is nice that Steam attempts to explain their rationale.


[N] Obey

P.S. — Apologies for the lack of posts from the last two months–I’ve had to work around the loss of multiple computers, and an apparent IP block(?)  from the Official Wiki. Don’t expect many more hyperlinks to that site in the future.

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