State of the Splinterlands community + third party DEC update


While boosters valued at $1 are guiding DEC prices downwards, Splinterlands feels stagnant to some despite so many new cards, since there are not that many core updates and, well, tournaments still stuck.


First of all

dgamemarket is now accepting DEC as a payment method for the Steam games you can buy on it. I always promote it and I think implementing DEC in third party services is a very good way to get people to buy and hold it.

That's is third party DEC update from the title.

At the endgame

There is nothing higher to reach than champion 1 and first place in every tournament. But is it fun?

While battling through champion ranks without trading wins can be a really fun struggle, a lot of players feel tournaments are incredibly unfair due to the same old problems of card transfers between participating accounts, volume of players thanks to bots and a gigantic time sink.

By the way, if you want to play tournaments but you're always one minute too late, I suggest turning on browser notifications. They show up both when check ins are enabled and as soon as the tournament rounds start, so it's spot on.

Mid-game

The jump on card levels from gold to max is terrifying. A smoother transition would certainly help, specially at the beginning of each season. If you are a better player for the summoner levels you have, then you should be able to win.

Tournaments should go BOOM

As far as prizes go, it is estabilished that a lot more prizes of a lot less value is a much more popular concept than very few but huge prizes. Unfortunately, Splinterlands has it all backwards at this point.

The lack of community and press coverage during tournaments is also very unsatisfying. A lot of us could be learning a thing or two and picking favorite players we want to follow more often (who would certainly benefit from being promoted in this upvote-driven blockchain).

But right now most of us get nothing from tournaments existing. We don't necessarily have to get money from them. But it's a competitive card game. There's still a lot of other things a community has to gain from better tournament coverage. We could easily grow into an esport.

How to carve better path for new players

What's the most frustrating thing a new player will have to go through after spending $10 on a starter account? They won't feel like they are making any progress at all. Not getting any DEC through not winning with untamed proxy cards means insatisfaction.

I understand $10 is meant to be the paywall for getting access to the reward pool, but how about maybe giving back to these players like $2 or $3 so they can actually buy some cards and get a taste for the game?

This could easily get implemented by setting up a fixed 25 DEC bonus for the first, say, 100 matches of every new account that has paid $10 to get started (so it doesn't include promo codes).

These players not only paid $10, they are also going to hold those cards anyway to get a better playing experience, so nothing can go wrong from that. By giving them an easy way start out without extending benefits for too long, they won't give up for getting only 0.001 dec for their wins.

Last but not least, knowing you are guaranteed to get at least a little bit of your money back even if you suck horribly at the game makes a new customer feel safer because it's like a cashback insurance. This would act as an incentive to buy a starter pack.

Misguided promotion

We've seen some of the press coverage splinterlands is getting out on the internet, but we as players don't see in them the things that are make the game more fun to us. It is a fun trading card game that takes skill to play and actually rewards us with money every time we play it. But that's usually not what general media focuses on.

Telling gamers about how their game's backend technology is technically techy won't get their attention. Some people think of splinterlands as a gambling game, but at it's core it is a traditional TCG game and it will get more attention if it's actually advertised as such.

Reward cards are a lottery ticket

Getting greys every day? Sorry! But it's still a provably fair lottery where you could win 75k dec for a gold foil legendary. You don't think it's that useful? You know, a GFL is worth at least 30 dollars instantly.

Even if you can't make use of it due to not having good cards, you can still sell it and greatly upgrade your collection - or even cash it out.

What you need to remember is every reward card is a lottery ticket. You should not think less of these. Even a legendary, gold foil rare or gold foil epic will make a lot difference in your gaming pocket.

Untamed boosters guilty for lower DEC prices

These cards are made to be an addition to beta cards. They are not supposed to be powerful by themselves. This protects beta-card holders but it sucks to everyone else.

Have you played with a brand new account these days? It's very hard to get above Bronze 3 because the level 1 untamed proxy cards are terrible. Absolutely terrible. They are weak and they are not fun to play by themselves.

All of this has led to untamed kind of backfire. Since the main reason people get DEC is for buying boosters while paying cheaper than they would pay using paypal, but the average value of a booster pack is as low as $1, then it makes sense DEC prices go down.

Mobile will help but it won't be a miracle

The mobile app is in the works and it's pretty much taking every single minute of development time available from the team. We understand how important it is and how it opens up splintersland to a much greater audience. We are thankful, but we are not confident that alone will bring DEC back up.

Still, we really do understand mobile is the dev's number one priority and that we have to wait until it's done to get anything else available to the rest of us. It kind of suchs, it doesn't really help with our anxiety over Splinterlands, but yeah, we get it. Specially those who already play through a phone. Oh, they are begging for the app.

Lower rank levels are not fun

There are too many bots. There are too few rewards. I enjoy playing in low level accounts because I'm good at it but I never watch the results. I just skip them and go straight into the queue for the next battle. Because the playing experience in itself is crappy. New players probably dislike this too.

We want more game modes

@aggroed once stated we'd get a different kind of tournament mode where we can submit a team days ahead of time. Events like this could take weeks or months to finish but they would bring diversity, which is something we really need. Spamming ranked gets tiring.

@senstless talked about how he only played poker tournaments before, mostly in the "Sit & Go" category. Having these in Splinterlands would be great, and it's something "Magic: the Gathering Online" has done for a really long time in a popular way.

We've also heard about boss modes, campaigns and whatnot, but these seem so far away it's saddening instead of cheerful. It's more like "we can only dream..."

Economic changes and broken promises from the dev team have been shit

Yabapmatt had stated Delwyn Dragonscale would be the only summoner outside the water splinter that would get a buff to magic attacks. That was the official answer to why he had a mana cost as expensive as 5. Archmage happened soon after.

As a really big card in the SEED/Germinator-campaign, this was a huge blow on some of the investors' trust. Even a single occurence can serve as proof we should fear it happening in the future.

TCG is a media that relies on trust and to some of us, that trust has taken a few hits lately.

First, the dev team made a major change to the way DEC would be handled without consulting the community. Not everyone was pleased with the new changes of being able to buy potions with cash and fixed prices on packs.

The original way DEC was managed made it easier to draw a line to it's increasing value. More players into less DEC = higher DEC value. If every set was worth 6%-8% (ish) less in DEC value than previous sets, there would be added upward pressure on the price.

If the style of original design was kept in the long term, we would still be able to draw a line straight to DEC being worth more in the future and harder to get with each new set that comes out.

This important because it adds a lot of incentives to getting involved. Even if a new player gets no more than .0007 dec, this is not too bad because in a few short years it would be worth 1 to 10 cents since DEC would become scarcer.

Everyone would be hodl'ing and playing like crazy, and investing and hyping out constantly, which is is what we used to have had all over the place. Now, not so much.

Also that chain golem from the kickstarter campaign... I'm sure it had a lot of financial impact, but it's not explicit how it happened. It was great to jump in at the time, but now I'm not so sure it was a good thing at all.

Not to mention the Prince saga. What if you had bought or gotten that card when it worth $$$ then they changed it on you? It is harder to invest in SL when sudden changes like this have been happening more frequently. Gremlin Blaster, anyone!?

I also have a quote straight from @jacekw on this subject:

DEC price is pretty low, currently at $0.64 / 1000 DEC, but there is no reason for DEC to have higher price right now.

In my opinion, reason of low price are:

  • pegging 2000 DEC = 1 UNTAMED packs (which can be bought for $2) does not help keeping 1000 DEC value around $1, EV from pack is not even close to $2, it’s more like $1. So it’s not like you can buy something worth around $2 with discount paying DEC, it’s more like you just buy something worth around $1, so it’s still much lower than cost taking into account discount
  • a lot of people get DEC from sales, but they prefer STEEM/SBD, so they just sell this DEC for STEEM, moving prices down
  • people that win DEC from tournaments, especially weekend ones with high prizes has to do something with this DEC, if they don’t want to buy packs / potions they will probably sell DEC
  • no way to pay rentals, put bids with DEC, so for this usecases you need to sell DEC
  • not too much DEC sinks, some of them don’t really works (nobody buys skins, they are too expensive), I hope this will change with some Guild Updates, Guild Wars etc
  • Beta cards prices decreased last weeks, but I would say they are just back to normal levels after being pumped before UNTAMED because of FOMO.
  • Reward cards prices decrease because they are strongly dependent from DEC price.
  • Untamed cards price constantly are decreasing, but markets for most demanded cards are rather shallow.
  • Alpha cards prices are high, but that doesn’t reflect the real price that buyer is gonna to pay. You have to make discount like 50% to be able to sell combined alpha card.

In my opinion, still number 1 priority is new players. On the other hand, this game can not absorb too many players because amount of cards are limited. Like there is only 10000 (actually even less) Lord Arianthuses so only 909 could be maxed if they were all leveled to max. So if SplinterLands will have 10000 players, most of the players simply won’t be able to have this card. And cost of the cards is big barrier for new players. Someone with $10000 collection is happy that his cards value is 2x higher than 1 year before, but on the other hand it prevents new players from joining this game. So it’s two two-edged sword.

I hope that mobile app will bring new players. Integrations with other blockchains, OpenSeas are great but they are not too much players because of this.

All of that said, Splinterlands has a future

It can go boom and it can get worse, but it certainly isn't going to die soon.


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Comments 32


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26.01.2020 17:20
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26.01.2020 17:20
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"I understand $10 is meant to be the paywall for getting access to the reward pool, but how about maybe giving back to these players like $2 or $3 so they can actually buy some cards and get a taste for the game?
This could easily get implemented by setting up a fixed 25 DEC bonus for the first, say, 100 matches of every new account that has paid $10 to get started (so it doesn't include promo codes)."

Why not add one or two booster packs and to open this 5 or 10 mystery potions, so with luck the new player can found even a legendary and/or goldfoil card in his "starter package".

26.01.2020 17:20
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I think that doesn't add to the actual playing experience of a new player, just to the pack opening experience, which is less important (even if it is important) to an active player. But yes, that's also an option.

26.01.2020 17:29
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31.01.2020 12:40
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"As far as prizes go, it is estabilished that a lot more prizes of a lot less value is a much more popular concept than very few but huge prizes. Unfortunately, Splinterlands has it all backwards at this point."

With this point I am disagree, as Splinterlands has doubled the prices in most tournaments after release of untamed, so in the tournaments with (before) 32 prices now exist 64 prices and in the tournaments with (before) 16 prices exist now 32 prices. In my opinion it was really a good idea to do so.

26.01.2020 17:24
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In this case, what I mean is having maybe two dozen tournaments a day with a lot more qualifying places for prizes, although much lower prizes. There could still be the occasional grand tournament once or twice a day with almost as much money as the current ones.

26.01.2020 17:28
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OK this is a good point. I think especially with the tournament-quest they must add more tournaments, especially at weekends you have to wait to long for next "regular" tournament. You cannot expect that player have goldfoil- or alpha-cards and if you start this quest from gold-league on you can also not calculate the Diamond/Champions-Tournaments. Just take a look to this at the moment. The last "regular" tournament (max. goldeleague level) was 21 hours ago and the next will be in 13 hours. How you can speak from a daily quest if you can fulfill your mission only every 34 hours ?

26.01.2020 17:58
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" By giving them an easy way start out without extending benefits for too long, they won't give up for getting only 0.001 dec for their wins. "

In my opinion it's not the point as this rewards increase very quick if you play and I think it's better to start low and come higher than to let a player win 25 DEC in EVERY of his first 100 matches and afterwards he will win less even in his won matches (and get only DEC if he win). In my opinion to add a pack or two is a better way and why not to add some potions ? Maybe also one mystery-potion, so that he see what he can buy with his DECs.

26.01.2020 17:31
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Dec gain only gets decent at bronze 1. A completely new player using only untamed level 1 cards is going to have a trashy time...

26.01.2020 17:57
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OK, but you think that's a good idea if a player earn in his first 100 fights 25 DEC everytime and afterwards maybe 0.1 DEC and this only in cases when he win the fight ?

26.01.2020 18:18
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Yes, because then he can buy a few cards to advance to silver, which can be done with just a couple of dollars. Level 3 Delwyin + lv3 commons = silver 3. Not like a newbie will know how to do this, but then there's the community he can ask.

26.01.2020 18:49
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Having some DEC also allows newbies to use the market a bit. It is obvious to us anymore, but when a new player first realizes the market is easy to use and not a scam, it is very relieving. The experience will also make it not feel risky to try learning how to get more DEC by having to trade for eth or steem first.

26.01.2020 18:53
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26.01.2020 17:41
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" Yabapmatt had stated Delwyn Dragonscale would be the only summoner outside the water splinter that would get a buff to magic attacks. That was the official answer to why he had a mana cost as expensive as 5. Archmage happened soon after.
As a really big card in the SEED/Germinator-campaign, this was a huge blow on some of the investors' trust. Even a single occurence can serve as proof we should fear it happening in the future. "

I am completely agree with this point. You are right that Archmage was announcent later than Delwyn, but he was playable before Delwyn, as the Orbs started before you could redeem the TRON-token.

Instead of thinking about their investors of the SEED/Germinator-Campaign the done it later even worth by reducing costs from Archmage from 6 to 5 Mana.
So they sold cards, spoilt their worth worse before you could reedem them and a little bit afterwards make 75,2% (common drop-rate) of this cards nearly worthless and I cannot see any movements in this point. I wrote this also here:

https://goldvoice.club/steem/@schachoberhessen/q1hcxf

two month ago but nothing happens till today.

I cannot understand why - If the investors from SEED/Germinator-Campaign would be worthful I think the mana-costs of Delwyn would be already reduced.

26.01.2020 17:45
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Wow, that is a long and critical post. I agree with most of these points and hope that the mobile version (it is not an app, just an alternative stylesheet for the browser, as far as I know) is done soon. It has been WAY too long. I expect many small changes afterwards in all directions and not that they start the next monster project that needs ALL their resources.

My focus is on SPT, which has seen absolutely no love from the game so far. So we are working on our own solutions to change that.

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26.01.2020 17:59
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I agree with many of the points made.
" Someone with $10000 collection is happy that his cards value is 2x higher than 1 year before, but on the other hand it prevents new players from joining this game."
My collection has not doubled in value as you say, and I have sacrificed a lot in my personal life to achieve a collection that you tell me to lower the price for new ones. So I should lose my sacrifice?
That's why I think they made the untamed, although they should improve a little at low levels.
So that the betas and alphas would have value.

26.01.2020 18:33
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Sorry, but cards really have gone up by a lot when DEC was introduced.

26.01.2020 18:56
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Increase in dec price but not in dollars in my opinion.
I think you could give the seller an option on what currency he wants to sell his card in. Just a thought.

26.01.2020 19:00
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In dollars. Most cards doubled in priced, some went much farther than that.

26.01.2020 22:58
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The alphas went up a lot more and I don't see any complaints.
Just say, my opinion as a user, you can't agree with everything. :)

26.01.2020 23:30
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If you supplement the untamed with betas you can get to gold III or higher with a level 1 deck and few legendaries... I think I have 1 I use chain golem. It would be cool to maybe have @splinterlands delegate some level 1 betas to new players that buy untamed packs for a month, would have to be something requested not just given to everyone that signs up, it would encourage people to rent or buy the cards after that month. Some splinters are ok without betas but some need that little boost beta cards give.

26.01.2020 22:53
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Awesome post,

I could type up a novel quoting all the things you bring up. The sit n go format is a great idea and one that should be implemented to the Splinterlands lobby. It will ensure there's always a game to play.

I was unaware of Dgamemarket adding DEC as a payment option. That's something that is note worthy and I hope the Splinterlands team announce it on their blog (if they haven't already).

I would love to see other tournament formats. I don't think adding new cards is needed to keep players interested. Adding a turbo format and getting behind it with some advertising would spice things up for a little while. Then introduce another game format once the excitment for that dies down as a way to keep the excitment going. There's allot of room for all sorts of different tournament structures.

Good points about the introduction of the USD for Potions. I never thougth about the impact it would have on DEC. I'm willing to bet that very thing is the main culprit for low DEC prices.

As for the point about booster not being worth the $2 spend on them, for the most part all boosters have been like that. Booster are simply a lotto ticket to try and hit a $100 + card for $2 with the expectation of flipping cards not worth the original money spent.

Overall I think the devs and team are doing great. They have many working parts and opinions to take into consideration.

Thanks for linking me this topic @felipejoys.

27.01.2020 01:03
0

Lots of good ideas, some great ones too to explore.
There is a lot lacking from the game in it's current state and that is evidenced by how many suggestions and ideas you came up with.

27.01.2020 14:55
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27.01.2020 15:46
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I agree with most of the things you said (especially the lower levels need some urgent changes) but not with the Delwyn and card adjustment part.
The devs always put a disclaimer in their posts that cards may or may not be changed according to how they perform in game statistics.
Other TCGs solve the "card gets too powerful" problem by placing it on a forbidden card list. As a consequence the card turns useless and you could just as well throw it away from a playing aspect. I prefer rebalancing updates over this practise.

27.01.2020 17:02
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It was officially stated "delwyn would be the only non-water summoner with a magic buff", so yeah, I think it's worth a rant.

27.01.2020 19:32
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Its a great post by implementing some of these strategies the game splinter land will do wonders in future.

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29.01.2020 17:52
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