How to improve Splinterlands? (my humble opinion)
It's no secret that the in-game economy has been falling steadily over the past few months, there has been a lot of talk about it in the discord and different posts have been made on Steem, everyone has given their point of view, put in their complaints and a few have shared possible solutions.
There are many variables inflating this debacle, some of which may go unnoticed while others simply cannot be controlled by users or developers. However, The Elephant is there in the room! There are factors that are damaging the game that are easily identifiable and can be controlled in one way or another.
What's wrong with the game? (My humble opinion)
I recently shared this opinion in the SM Spanish Discord.
Personally I think that, one of the main problems of the game is the distribution of the rewards very similar between a league and another, while it is much more expensive to have a collection that allows you to move up to a higher league, this does not encourage the player to improve their cards and therefore will not be interested to invest part of their earnings in the market or new packs to level up the cards in their collection. This is one of the reasons why both the market activity and the price of the DEC fall to low levels.
For example, let's say that with a collection of lvl 1 cards I can get to silver league without problems, but to move up in league I need to improve that collection and for that I would have to buy 4 copies of it, I would be multiplying X5 my investment in the game to not even double the reward I can get in the next league. Then, it is more profitable for me to use those 4 new copies in separate low level accounts, only in this way it would be possible to multiply the profits at the same level as the investment, take into account that in some card levels this gap is even bigger.
This is also why in the market lvl 1 cards are generally more in demand and therefore more expensive than cards with more competitive levels, this cards do not generate a better return on their value.
What seems to be wrong with the game? (but actually it's good)
First of all this is my personal opinion, and I may be wrong, but I've seen many people blame it on some factors in the game that are actually good or necessary for an economy or functional gameplay, or at least that's the way it seems to me.
Many blame the fall of the game on the last expansion but I completely disagree with this point.
This isn't the first trading card game I've played and I can tell you that these games must constantly be bringing in new cards, otherwise the metagame stabilizes to a point where the game becomes boring, plus selling packs is one of the ways we bring new money into the game and move the economy, the cards have (or should have in my opinion) a lifetime of playability and then become collector cards.
In many other card games the new expansions are specially designed to kick the assesment of the previous expansion and the truth is that Untamed got halfway there, so we can't even point it out.
The problem is not the bots, but the number of bots. This leads me to point out again to my elephant in the middle of the room there is no real incentive to improve our cards, the real rewards are being obtained by playing by volume not by quality and in that aspect the bots have an advantage over humans.
A reasonable amount of bots can be beneficial, many card games facilitate battles against the game AI through which the player can learn the game mechanics or access certain rewards, this is good, and is better when that AI is actually a decentralized entity, the problem is when that AI completely drains the reward pool
The problem of the DEC and reward cards (potions are air), I don't think it's their existence or little value, but their distribution as I explained before.
The current system does not reward the most skilled player or the one with the best cards, it rewards the multi account player and this needs to be solved.
Block splinters at the moment of selecting the team
I'm fine with the blocking, it encourages more variety in your collection and decreases the monotomy of the game of using the same equipment over and over again.
Of course this is just my opinion, but I also think this doesn't have a big impact on the economy and we can disagree.
Some ideas to improve the game (some quite crazy)
Ok, the solutions seem to be simple but in many cases we give the solution from our point of view without looking at the whole picture, it would be logical to think of solutions like:
"Just increase the rewards."The more volume in the rewards, the more the price would fall, the more we'd be.
"Remove the rewards from the lower levels."But this would affect any potential new user and we really want to welcome him with open arms.
"To enter a certain league you must have a certain level of cards"You would be condemning any potential new user to compete against bots that will dominate the lower leagues and will not be able to advance.
"Ban the motherfucking bots"This is a blockchain game that tries to be a little decentralized, it is not very easy to do actions like this and possibly it would be counterproductive to go against the philosophy of the game.
Desperate measures deserve desperate actions, the solution to this problem would have to be a little more creative, I bet to increase and diversify the gameplay and distribute the rewards in a way that encourages us to improve our collection to go higher in the ranking.
Some ideas I can come up with would be:
Fork over the ranked mode
In many card games there are two main modes of play, a "professional" or "wild" mode where you can use any character in the game and a "novice" or "standard" mode where you can only use the cards from the latest expansions, in @Splinterlands you could subdivide the ranked mode in a similar way making it possible to use untamed + promo + reward in a "standard" league and all the existing cards in the "wild" mode.
This would diversify a bit the type of players, it would give utility to cards that currently do not have it and so each player could participate in the league that feels more comfortable.
Of course, I'm not talking about multiplying the reward, any player could participate in wild or standard, but would only receive the reward of the league where he went the furthest.
Yes, further diversify the ranked mode. Imagine this, two friends make a party to fight in team, in the battle they share the mana, each one chooses a summoner that will bring the bonus to the combined team and then they go choosing by turns the members of the team until completing the mana, when the two couples finish to arm the teams they send the custom json to steem and the battle is processed.
This would be a way to encourage interaction within the game as it would require a level of coordination between players, it would be good to combine this with a kind of in-game chat.
Just do it from time to time, big tournaments organized in discord, where each player must be present and interact with the others, come on, something similar to what was done before the automatic tournament system was made. Don't you miss those old tournaments?
Besides, you could do some streaming of these kind of tournaments, share them on Steem and other social networks, show the world how organic players are rewarded by the game.
Let's suppose that when you reach gold league you can unlock an incubation capsule and have access to the breeding system, in this system you can block for a period of time two of your cards that will be mating to spawn an egg that will result in a new card, the quality of this new card will depend on the level and rarity of its parents and you must burn DECs during the mating process, obviously you can't use the cards in battle while they are mating
This system would give some value or utility to some cards that may possibly be bad in battle, but very good parents.
So, when you get to gold league you unlock one capsule, then when you get to diamond you unlock the second one and in champion league you end up unlocking the three available capsules.
The simple solution
Okay, let's put all these crazy ideas aside and be practical and direct. I apologize for making you read all my nonsense to end up here.
The immediate solution from my point of view is to increase the reward significantly between the different leagues, as we are encouraged to improve our collection in order to improve our rewards all the economic activity of the game will be reactivated and the economy will improve.
I'm not talking about increasing the amount of DECs or reward cards that are being dealt, but rather adjusting the percentage dealt in each league, making differences between the different leagues.
Thank you very much for reading this post and don't hesitate to leave your comment with what you think about the economic situation in @Splinterlans.
See you in the game.
The images used in this post belong to or are inspired by Splinterlands. a TCG game integrated to the STEEM Blockchain.