As I have now been playing Steem Monsters and Drug Wars for several months, I've wanted to contribute something of ACTIONABLE value to my fellow players (and FUTURE players) - but NOT just fill my Steemit feed with daily images of quest rewards - or battle - SPAM, (no offense to those doing so). Ultimately, Steemit is about ADDING VALUE to the social experience - that is the magic of blockchain technology. So, after some serious pondering, I decided that a weekly "Steem Monsters + Drugs Wars player strategy diary" type series, with CONCISE and ACTIONABLE tips, would be of most value to my audience. Please let me know your thoughts (good and/or bad), and I hope that readers (now and into the future) will benefit from this series. If you gain a better understanding of blockchain, gaming, "blockchain gaming", marketing, and/or any other area of knowledge I end up exploring as this series naturally progresses, then I will have done my "good deed" (of providing value) for the week. Also, feel free to hit me up on the battlefield...
1 ) My SteemMonsters "bid-bot" upvote was increased for the first post I have invested 2,000 DEC since the hard fork. I was pleasantly surprised to see this increase, as it seems that the admin has adjusted the vote amount to account for the decreased percentage of the total post upvote which is paid to the author (versus the curators). So this appears to make it continue to be viable to invest 2,000 DEC in my ONE weekly post of this series. I will continue to monitor the upvote and payout amount of these posts to ensure that this remains a productive use of my limited DEC.
2 ) I mentioned recently that I was limiting myself to doing ONE (1) job per day, simply because of the TIME required to replenish battle units after they were wiped out by the job. I first tried experimenting with doing the one daily job as my LAST major daily Drug Wars task before bedtime (that is, doing the "job" and then doing a "overnight batch recruit" of enough battle units to make up for the ones lost during the job (since some of the lost troops number into the several hundred units per job). However, what I realized was that there is also ANOTHER way to approach this, and that is to use the training centers of my OTHER FOUR bases to replenish the units. I started experimenting with this, and found that I can actually recuit enough units (leveraging the other bases) to do ADDITIONAL jobs each day. It still takes time to replenish those units (ex. around 2-4 hours to replenish 200 "rowdy" units (which are the primary ones which are eliminated during the jobs), but with FIVE bases to recruit 200 "rowdy" units each I can be ready for a new job every few hours instead of once per day (that is, sticking with the lower level jobs for now). The next thing I am focusing on now is upgrading the "training facility" and "operation center" and "training" skills of ALL bases so as to decrease the amount of time required to recruit units, which will increase the number of jobs I can do. I am using the asset payout from each job to updgrade these, and recuit new units (in addition to the booty I grab from my "daily rounds" of attacking other bases (using my running list of "high potential" prey).
3 ) I made another major discovery about harnessing the power of gold cards to increase DEC earnings. It turns out that it is INDEED possible to FILTER your battle cards (by choosing "gold card") using the drop-down filter menu on the battle page, where you choose your cards for the battle. The only issue with this is that you will most often need to uprade each of your cards to the same, or higher, level than your non-gold cards, in order to have as powerful a battle team per battle - otherwise, you will end up having your card abilities limited by the lower level. However, since you earn extra DEC for each gold card that you use, you will need to weigh the cost-benefits of using a lower-level gold card versus a higher-level of that same card - that is, is it worth it to lower the strength of your card (and chance of winning each battle) for the sake earning some extra DEC if you win the battle (using the gold card)? This is an ADDITIONAL strategic choice you will need to make for each battle. I am now in the process of slowly upgrading my gold cards to get them closer to the level of my non-golds, for this very reason.
4 ) Following on from #3, I realized this past season that the guild I am a member of is advancing at a consistent (yet SLOW) pace, and when you look at the BENEFITS of advancing the levels in the guild (a few percentage points of discount on store items, plus a few percentage of bonus DEC per won battle) it seems that (aside from the sense of community the guild provides) the fruits of the guild membership reap more in the "long term". But since I am now earning bonus DEC on the gold cards I use in battles I decided to DOUBLE the amount of DEC I contribute to the guild daily (from 100 DEC to 200 DEC). This extra 100 DEC is MORE THAN made up for by my daily bonus gold card DEC, and so it is a way to help the guild speed up the process of advancement WITHOUT spending an excessive amount of DEC on the guild when that DEC can produce HIGHER and MORE IMMEDIATE return by investing in more gold cards. This is also exactly what I am now doing. That is, I am now investing 200 DEC per day (and one completed quest) to the guild daily, PLUS the 2,000 DEC per each of the (one) weekly posts of this series (in the bid bot), and then the additional DEC I am using to upgrade my gold cards (one card at a time - for instance, right now I am working on maxing out my "Creeping Ooze" gold card, which is selling for ~ $1.00 - $1.30 USD per card on the market. I have around 20 cards remaining to max, and I am able to earn enough DEC per day to buy ONE additional card (using DEC directly - instead of tapping into my Steem reserves). This daily gold card buy also helps give a sense of how much I am earning daily through game play, For instance, if I am able to earn enough DEC each day to buy the one "Creeping Ooze" gold card then that means I am earning at least $1.00 - $1.30 USD per day from playing the game. This is a cool metric, as you can extrapolate that out to $1.30 x 30 days = ~ $39.00 USD per month, to get a sense of your . Finally, any investment of DEC that you make into gold cards (new cards and upgrades) progressively increased the amount of bonus DEC you can earn via using the gold cards in battles, and so this is a way of "re-investing" your DEC for long-term "dividends". Since there is ultimately a LIMITED amount of DEC in production, this means that in the long term you will be simultaneously ACCUMULATING and UTILIZING your DEC, instead of just spending it or storing it (latent) in your Steem-Engine wallet. The same "reinvestment" principle applies to any "alchemy (+ gold card) potions that you buy in the store. Since they increase your percentage chance of getting gold card in your rewards dumps, investment in these potions has long-term ROI potential. So far, between the previous and current seasons, I have scored around 6-10 gold cards - a few of which are valued at $15 USD+, and so for the ~ 6,000 DEC investment for the "+25% gold card chance" (alchemy) potion the ROI has been WELL JUSTIFIED, and after the remaining 300+ (card) changes using the "+25%" potion it is prudent to bump up to the next higher level "+50% potion). At my current general number of reward card earnings per season (~ 50 - 100 season reward cards PLUS the ~ 100+ quest reward cards) the long-term ROI on the gold cards (and their perpetual DEC earning potential in battles) it only makes sense to continuous hold these potions. I will try the "+50%" potion, and then based on the results of that one, I may likely go all-in with the "+100% gold cards" potion. The long-term ROI of these GREATLY outweighs the cost.
5 ) I have further tweaked the LOGISTICS of my DrugWars overall playing strategy to take advantage of several factors related to TIMING and replenishment of resources. What I now do daily is, firstly (upon waking), use all of the assets accumulated overnight from ALL FOUR of my base stations to upgrade assets, buildings, storage, etc. I then do some "batch recruitment" of battle units each morning (ex. 200 "rowdy" units, to prepare for the daily job later in the day (overnight actually)). Once that is finished I then go and transport MOST of the assets from my primary base to the other four bases, and then further upgrade all of the bases again. Then I do the "daily rounds" of sending out spies to my list of "high potential" prey bases (which I have compiled into a runnning list over time). Based on the information returned by my spies I attack the most appropriate bases, and then use those assets to transport to the other bases, and/or recruit more units. While the attack battlions are attacking I then work through one or two new "territories" from the map, sending out spies to those which seem to be likely to have significantly available assets, yet small enough battle armies that I could potentially attack them with success. Based on the data returned by the spies I will attack those which show potential, and if that is successful I add them to my running list of "high potential" bases, and then attack them again during future "daily rounds". With this routine I am getting a consistent return of assets, and reinvesting those into production and battle units, and progressively increasing my earning potential of DWD (Drug Wars Dollars) which I can then use to convert to DEC and buy more SteemMonsters cards/upgrades (preferably gold cards). This is proving to be a winning formula right now.
I hope you find some/any of these tips useful in increasing your understanding and/or skill level in the Steem Monsters (Splinterland) and/or Drug Wars game(s). More JUICY tips to come with each weekly update, as I become more experienced and successful in the game.
See you on the battlefield...