A Glimpse Into the Next Splinterlands Expansion
The Splinterlands team has been starting to plan and design the next major expansion for the game. It's going to be a big one that will take the gameplay and skill component to an entirely new level while also offering new ways for all types of players to participate and earn. We wanted to share the high level plan with the community now, even though it's still in a very early stage, so that everyone has an opportunity to contribute ideas, plan ahead, and hopefully get really excited for what is coming.
Please keep in mind that we are still in the early planning and design stages, so everything here is subject to change before the expansion is released.
Items & Spells
The expansion will introduce two entirely new types of cards into the game - Items and Spells. The way we envision these cards working is that at the beginning of a battle players will be assigned two pools of mana. One for Summoner/Monster selection, and one for Items and Spells. After both players have chosen their teams, and you see both teams laid out on the battlefield, both players will have a chance to equip their Monsters with Item cards and/or cast Spell cards using the second pool of mana. After the Items and Spells have been chosen by both teams, the battle begins.
This will add a huge amount of additional depth and skill to the game as players will have to quickly analyze the battlefield and choose what Items & Spells to use in order to turn the battle in their favor, as well as try to anticipate what Items & Spells their opponents might use to do the same.
Items & Spells can have all sorts of different effects on the battle, such as increasing or decreasing Monsters' stats, removing or adding abilities, switching Monsters' positions, and much, much more. The possibilities are endless.
We plan for the Item and Spell cards to be able to be combined together to level them up, just like the current Monster and Summoner cards, and in addition to their effects many of them will also have a "durability" or "duration" stat that determines how long they last during the battle.
As awesome as the new Item & Spell cards will be for gameplay, we feel that the mechanism for creating the new cards is potentially even more exciting. Instead of being sold through booster packs like the existing cards, the new Item and Spell cards will be created exclusively through a new crafting system that will be added into the game.
There will be a base set of "phantom" level 1 items and spells available for all players to use, just like we currently do with Monster and Summoner cards for new players, but anyone who wants to obtain these new cards beyond that will need to either craft them or buy them on the market from another player.
Splinterlands will not be selling these new Item and Spell cards directly, instead it will be entirely up to the players to create them. This will allow players to effectively set up businesses within the game to produce certain types of Items and Spell cards to sell to other players.
In order to be able to craft the Item & Spell cards, you will need to have land on which you can build a variety of different buildings. Splinterlands will be holding a land sale (more on that later) which will distribute plots of land on which the owners can build buildings with the goal of crafting cards.
We envision many different types of land which are suited to different types of buildings or production. There may be land that is rich in certain resources which can be mined, gathered, farmed, or maybe even summoned, basic land that is well suited for item factories or spell production, and even land that is overrun with monsters that can be hunted for valuable loot.
Individual plots of land may also have unique bonus attributes which make them more or less desirable. For example, one plot may have a 50% bonus to the production of a certain resource while another may give a 20% cost reduction for building construction and maintenance.
The deeds to the plots of land will be transferrable NFTs that can be traded, bought, and sold on the market, just like the current Splinterlands cards, and the various resources that can be found or produced will be transferrable, fungible tokens just like Dark Energy Crystals (DEC).
The purpose of owning a plot of land is to build a building on it. The buildings will require specific resources and time to construct, upgrade, and maintain. We plan for buildings to start small and be able to be upgraded which will give various benefits based on the building type, such as increased production, reduced costs, or higher chances of producing more rare Items and Spells.
Buildings cannot be moved from the plot of land they are built on, though they can be destroyed, which will likely recoup some resources. When a plot of land is sold, it will include any building that is built on it (just as when a plot of land is sold in real life), so buildings can be thought of as improvements or upgrades to land plots which can increase their value.
Additionally, we envision players being able to rent the use of their buildings out for a fee. For example, if you have a high level building that can create certain types of Items or Spell cards, you can allow someone else who has the resources to craft the Items or Spells to use your building to do their crafting for a fee. Items and Spells will take time to craft, so we envision a marketplace where players can see what buildings are available to use and at what prices.
While the buildings in which the new Item and Spell cards can be crafted will require land and the new resources to build, the actual crafting of the cards will require a new type of item that we are tentatively calling "Shards".
The plan is that Shards will come from battling. These battles may include regular ranked season play, boss fights, guild wars, and also battling monsters in new player and/or game controlled dungeons that exist in certain land areas. Shards will also be available as a prize in the quest and season reward loot chests. Having Shards be gained through battling will allow players who aren't interested in the land ownership and building part of the expansion to still participate in the crafting economy.
We envision that Shards will have the same rarity levels as the current cards and also have Gold Foil versions. The different rarities and foils of Shards can then be used to craft Items & Spells and they'll heavily influence the rarity and foil of crafted cards.
We plan for the use of Gold Foil or older edition (alpha/beta/promo) cards in ranked battles to award more shards and/or increased chances of higher rarity and gold foil shards. This is intended to provide added value and utility to Gold Foil cards and cards from older editions beyond to the DEC bonuses provided currently.
As we mentioned above, we plan to do a pre-sale of the in-game plots of land which will likely occur sometime in the second quarter of this year. The pre-sale will happen well before the expansion actually goes live and the proceeds will be used to fund the development of everything described above.
The number of land plots available during the pre-sale will be limited, and will likely be at a significant price discount to land that may be sold in the future and/or have better or more frequent bonus attributes to incentivize and reward players for buying early.
Just as with booster packs and other items in the in-game shop currently, DEC will be able to be used to purchase land plots and will be valued at a minimum of $0.001, or 1000 DEC per $1 USD.
Unlimited Sinks for DEC
In addition to being able to be used to purchase land during the pre-sale, DEC will be a key component throughout the entire building and crafting system in addition to the new resource tokens that will be added. We plan utility for DEC in nearly every part of the crafting process. It will do things like speed up building upgrade or crafting times, pay for building maintenance, maintain the "condition" of items and spells, and more, so we expect this to create significant, ongoing demand and value for the token.
Get DEC at a Discount!
Once again we want to remind everyone that DEC is currently selling at a significant discount to our peg at $0.001 price on both the Steem Engine and TronTrade markets, so anyone who is interested in participating in the land pre-sale may want to pick up and hodl some cheap DEC now in order to get their land at a huge discount to the listed price once the pre-sale begins.