Steam Summer Sale 2018 is on: A quick look at the “Saliens” game

Steam Summer Sale 2018

As every year, Steam’s summer sale is on. This year, the company has added a game based on aliens, enabling Steam users to enter giveaways to win games for free. 

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​Yes, we are indeed late by 4 days on this event. Anyway, the 2018 Steam Summer Sale started the 21st June, and will last until the 5th July, which seems to be longer than past years. As per usual, thousands of games are on sale, from 1% off to (probably?) 99% off in some cases. Most big & well-known games seem to hover around 30% to 50% off, as usual.

​There’s also the usual Summer Sale badge, with cards that can be obtained in various ways, emojis and backgrounds.

Let’s start by the cards. Cards for badges can be obtained in various ways, as every year:

  • 3 cards a day by browsing the discovery queue (have to be Steam level 5 or higher)
  • 1 card given for every 10$ spent
  • 1 card per badge crafted
  • Can be bought on the Steam marketplace for around 0.05€ each
  • Can be traded from forums or friends
  • By playing the game “Saliens”, which we will cover below. The game gives up to 3 cards a day, just like browsing the discovery queue.

Here are all the cards & a level 10+ badge:

​Moving on to the “Saliens” game. In a few words, it’s a clicker game. By playing waves in different planets, it enters you to giveaways for specific games. Each planet has 4 games, and there’s 100 copies of each game to win, so 400 copies per planet. Once a planet is fully conquered, it unlocks another one, and so on, until they are all “conquered”. The giveaway is done once a planet is conquered. Click here to play the game (requires a Steam account).

​Customization for the character is pretty impressive for a basic free game that is only available for this event:

​Some of the items are exclusive to those who completed the Steam Cleaning Event (event which gave a box in the Steam inventory, box containing some cosmetics for the “salien”), but the rest of the cosmetics can be bought on the Steam marketplace or just obtained by playing the game and levelling-up.

Once the player selects a Planet and clicks on one of the yet to conquer tiles, he’ll have to survive a 2 minutes wave. 

There’s no real way of losing. If you don’t defend your base, you get less XP, as XP is awarded while the base is operative. Also, the more aliens are defeated by the player, the more XP is given. XP is used to level-up the salien, unlocking new abilities & cosmetics.

​Levelling-up also gives an extra badge for your Steam account. This badge seems to be quite hard to obtain. Level 1 is awarded by playing the game, but level 2 requires attaining level 6 in the Salien game. Level 3 is obtained by attaining level 9 in the game, and so on, theoretically up to level 6 for the badge, which corresponds to level 18 in-game. A grind, basically.

​There are various ways to achieving this faster. Tiles are divided in three types, called “Threat levels”: Low, Medium and High. The more difficult, the more XP is obtained per wave, and therefore the faster one can level-up. Players have understood this and focus on the difficult tiles first. For every 2 minutes played, low-threat tiles give around 500 XP, medium-threat give around 1000 XP and high-threat tiles can give around 2000 XP. The maximum XP is respectably 600 XP, 1200XP and 2400XP.

For the give-away, here’s a look at all the planets available: All Saliens planets

It is not possible to “cheat” for give-aways. The longer you spend per planet, the higher the chance of winning. These chances do not increase with how long you actually play the game. BUT, obviously, some people have found a way around this: having multiple accounts. The more accounts, the more entries, thus the higher chance of getting a free game. Real question is, is it worth it? Sure, maybe a family could, as they probably have 2 or 3 accounts anyway, but a regular user? Most of the games cost 2€ anyway, so why putting so much effort for so little?

For the XP for the badges, the amount increases per level. Supposedly, Valve may release new ways of getting more XP over the coming days, as the game evolves, but currently, a large amount of people are running scripts to get the XP. The idea behind this isn’t just getting the badge, each level-up also provides an item that can be then sold on the community-market.

The Salien game is rather interesting overall. Obviously, most people won’t spend too long on it, and just playing one wave per planet enters the player in the give-away. He can then pick which games he is most interested in and stay on that planet. 400 games per planet may seem quite a lot, but seeing the millions of users Steam has, it’ll be quite hard to win anything. In total, there are 50 planets, with 400 games per planet, giving a grand total of 20 000 games being given away for free by Steam.

We will probably update this article if Valve adds something to the game to speed up the XP-grinding process.

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