When Valve introduced Steam's new "Trading Cards" system recently, I was quite amused because initially, I thought that the card would drop continuously as you play games that support this new "task unlocker" mechanism. I later realized that there is maximum amount of card that would drop per game and that you cannot even unlock all of the trading cards needed to craft a game badge on your own. This system mandates that you trade with your friends and other players. You don't get experience points when you get a card drop - that only happens when you have crafted a badge. Since no one in their right mind would be giving away card drops for free, this whole thing ended up being just an endeavor for those with money to burn. Well, these cards can easily be bought from the Steam Community Market. Depending on their rarities - there are rare card drops that can provide you better experience points when crafted - these cards range from dirt cheap to the cost of a cheap Steam game. By now, it should be pretty apparent that Valve introduced this system so that they could make some money from Steam users since they net a bit from any money transaction made in the Market. So overall, I am disappointed by the Steam Trading Cards. After having the best "task unlocker" in the business with their achievement system, this badge crafting activity ended up being rather foul. Worse still, we now have a new kind of "task unlocker whores" to join the ranks of both the Achievement Whores and Trophy Whores and it sounds worse than those two: Badge Whores. Unless I have friends who fell and knocked their heads hard, you will never see my profile holding any completed game badges. Ever.
It would have been great if the cards only have a 0.001% chance to drop every time
you play a STC game but you are provided with the chance to get all of the cards on your own.
Update Note: 07/13/2013 - I discovered today that you could actually unlock duplicate trading cards and this revelation actually changed a bit of the badge crafting mechanics. This means that even though it will take you quite a long time over many, many games - that is if you, like me, choose to not pay for these trading cards - you could eventually craft a badge if you trade your duplicate cards with people who have duplicate cards of the cards you want. Since the duplicate cards still count towards the maximum number of trading cards you can unlock in a game, we are all then still living in a Badge Whore world and unless you choose to pay for these cards to collect them, you will never, ever be able to craft every single game badges but I suppose at least we normal people could participate somewhat in the fun of "proper" trading.