Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Master Levels on Steam

Over the past few months you'll have noticed my focus on id's Master Levels for Doom II, consisting of 20 individual PWADs by six different authors. The maps enjoy a wide variety of difficulty and size as well as aesthetics as befits such a collection. I was preparing to write a full retrospective highlighting the package itself to flesh out its current page under the Features section of the blog, which intended to answer the question of whether these maps are worth your cold hard cash. And, uh, that's a tough question to answer. The package isn't available as an individual purchase on Steam, and in the two packs it's included in (the Doom Pack Complete and the id Super Pack) it's separately listed at $69.99 and $34.99, respectively, before package discounts.

I have no idea what's going on here. Is that a pricing gaffe? Is it supposed to be $6.99 and $3.49? I could have sworn that was the price range I saw it at back when I bought the id Super Pack a few years ago. Possible explanations:

  • It is indeed a pricing gaffe, and it's supposed to be listed at a tenth of the estimated price. (plausible)
  • It is not a pricing gaffe, but has legitimate reasons for being priced at $70 (ha!)
  • It is not a pricing gaffe, and its unavailability outside of the packs suggests that its inflated listing price allows them to claim a greater discount (plausible, but shady)

I don't know the reality of the situation, only the appearance. That said, under current conditions I wouldn't recommend buying the Master Levels for Doom II. Even if you ignore the suspicious pricing, it's only available as part of a package deal. If you don't have any (or most) of the included games already, then yeah, go for it. The difference assuming reasonable pricing is a 50% deal as opposed to a 75% one, at least for the Doom Pack


  1. I believe the id Games package on Steam is priced as such because it contains all the Doom games as well as all the early Quake games. This includes Doom 3 and Resurrection of Evil. Not trying to be a Steam PR agent here; just trying to answer the question posed.

    If the Master Levels are the only thing you need to complete your Doom collection, I agree that this is hardly a practical way for you to get them. You'd be better off just sending a friendly request via e-mail to a friend who has the files and isn't afraid the Gaming Police will track them down if they share them.

  2. Given your answer, I don't think you understand my question. Hop on Steam and look for id's Doom Pack. Look at the individual price listings. Doom 3: $19.99. RoE: $9.99. Doom II: $9.99. Final Doom: $9.99. Master Levels: $69.99. Ultimate Doom: $9.99. The Master Levels is priced at half that when included in the id Games package.

    I'm not about to advocate piracy of any sort. I just think this is curious. And I'm not really slagging Steam, especially if one look at my library as of this moment. I just want to know why it looks like the Master Levels are being used to pad out savings on id's games, recognizing the fact that few people actually bought the Master Levels on their own before this virtual price hike (that isn't really a price hike because you can't buy them on their own anyway, and if you take into account the inflation, both packs are still excellent deals).

  3. Sorry, I should have clicked a few more times before I typed my comment; I bought the id Super Pack fair and square a while back so I thought I knew what I was talking about.

    I'm guessing that it has to be a typographical error. Have you attempted to contact our fine friends at Steam about the issue?

  4. I dropped a line yesterday via their troubleshooting system but nothing under their categories really applies to "Hey, it looks like you might have messed up your pricing here". I'll see what happens.