SPL to the Moon!
aggroed — 09/01/2022
What do you think it'll take for this to really heat up again?
As you can imagine,
When that message dropped into my Discord DMs... I had a LOT of thoughts. I tried to share them, all- all at once. This resulted in a very disjointed and unorganized thoughts getting dropped, all at the same time and interwoven with each other. After some discussion with a few of my fellow Splinterlanders, a few stuck out as ways to improve the game as well as encourage 'heating up' things again.
In my opinion, one of the ways that Splinterlands is failing, right now, is with player engagement. Many of the people I talk with, even though they are very involved in SPL environment, rarely play anymore. Tournaments, Brawls, maybe the occasional grind to Advance or climb a Leaderboard but in general? They either have, or are thinking about getting, Battle Bots to handle the daily grind of Battling to get Rpoints and Earnings from their accounts.
What did we all miss? Why have all these players, stopped playing SPL? The number one thing we all missed were: Daily Quests. We all remembered when the Daily Quest was THE reason we got on and played SPL for an hour (or 2, or 3...) every day. I remember when I knew when my new quest would be available. I would arrange to get on, around that time, so I could get my new Daily Quest- maybe switch it. I would then check my collection; decide which rentals to renew, what other cards would need to help finish the Quest, go to the Rental Market, and RENT UP! for the Quest. I would then start Battling on the Ladder, just to finish the Quest and get my Chests/Rewards. Many times, I would stay online and continue playing for a while- with the 'goal' of earning enough DEC to cover my Daily Rentals, so that whatever I got from the Reward Chests were 'profit', for the day.
As a gamer- I craved that sense of Challenge and accomplishment that the Daily Quest gave me- every day. Every day, SPL had a Challenge for me. A 'Mission'- Win 5 games using a 'Snipe' minion, Win 5 games with a Death Summoner (NEXT!), Win 4 games without using Neutrals.... it was a Challenge and made me think about how to build Teams differently. When I was able to complete the Quest- I got the Reward, immediately. I opened my Chests, immediately. I got goodies, immediately, that were added to my collection.
Conversely- The 24 (23?) hours of 'Focus', where using certain cards just gives you a % bonus to your earnings/Rpoints? That's just more of a grind and TBH- not a challenge. Focus cards aren't even required to earn Focus Chests, since all Rpoints earned count towards both Season Chests and Focus Chests. There's no more point to using your Focus, than there is to Fielding GF cards. Add to that, the fact that you don't get any Chests or Rewards until the Focus is done means:
There's no 'pay off' to doing any of it. No sense of 'accomplishment'. You play, you gather Rpoints, you can watch the (badly labeled) 'FP to Next Chest' bar grow- maybe even see that you have earned a Focus Chest but you don't get it, until the next day. It's just a grind, a grind that Battle Bots are better at anyway- so why play? Easier and better to just let the bot do it, heck setup the bot to claim your Chests, Claim your Rewards from Battling and Chests at the same time- just check in from day to day, see how your bot is doing.
Simple Issue of Supply vs. Demand
Right now, in Splinterlands, this 'simple' issue is playing out in a classic economics fashion- the Supply far outstripped Demand, shoving prices lower.
In turn, this reduced Demand- as who wants to purchased depreciating assets? Prices are falling: I can wait until tomorrow or next week, or next Season- they'll be even cheaper. Delayed consumption turns into lost consumption, investors (flippers) leave the market as there's no way to buy/sell and turn a profit.... as prices and Earnings fall off, so has the number of people getting involved in and investing in Splinterlands.
This is evident by the fact that there are still 5M packs for sale, at $4/ea. Those same packs, on the secondary market, can't find Demand at anything > $2/ea. Whose gonna buy a pack for $3 or $4, when the cards in that pack are gonna average $2.25 in value? Better to just buy off the market- or better yet, rent for a while and buy when the prices drop a little more- or maybe, never.
In order to 'heat things up' Splinterlands needs to stop, then reverse, this cycle- either reduce Supply or increase Demand. I believe, one of the best ways to increase demand- is to increase Player Engagement in the game. One of the best ways to do that, is through the Daily Quest with a Daily Reward.
The Daily Quest should be:
Possible to complete in ~30-45min
Ever Changing- have different Quests available each day. Have the 'set' of possible Quests change Each Season. Remove some, add some different ones- keep it interesting!
Set, known, rewards- finish your Quest, get x chests. Simple, Easy, and easy to understand. Keep the 'tiered' chest system- where the contents of the chest vary by League, just award # of chests by Tier: Tier III gets 6 chests, Tier II gets 8, Tier I accounts get 12 chests of the appropriate League.
I can be found on Discord, usually.
I run a (the best) Rental Management Service for SPL: Dragon Tools (https://www.dragontools.io)
I also run an SPL Hedge-Fund (ASII) that buys/rents/sells cards as well as getting involved in yield farming the various LPs available on HE
As always- Like, Subscribe, and Tip your server. There will be more articles like this forthcoming!
I agree that the instant reward of doing your quest was more exciting then having to wait until the next day, but I also think many would be running their Archmage or Splintermate anyways just because its convenient. I think getting rid of bots and start getting more real players to join the game would be the best way forward.
With the current bot situation in the lower leagues I think Splinterlands is basically burning money trying to attract new players.
I agree- changing the '24hr Focus' back to a 'Daily Quest' won't stop people from using bots BUT I do think:
A) The Daily Quest would help KEEP players who join the game, playing the game.
B) The switch to a Daily Quest would put players more 'on par' with the bots. With 'defined' benefits and 'defined' completion- both players and bots would get the same benefit from the Daily Reward system (as long as the bots could keep up with the ever changing nature of the Quests)
Banning bots? You mean that there should only be real fight's player vs player in a video game? That is so absurd
I am not sure about the Daily quests to increase demand, as I quite like these Focuses :D
However, in terms of supply v demand, I think that while there isn't the demand now, the release of LAND and how that is going to work will soak up a mass of those cards that are currently on the rental markets and for sale. Assuming that there will be benefits for staking better cards to land, a lot of those large holders will remove their cards from the rental market and stake to their land to generate instead - same for the trade market. This means that suddenly, there can be a supply shock of cards to rent and buy, driving prices up, but also affecting the playing users.
There are 150,000 plots and assuming each will need a summoner to operate, that is 150,000 summoners. But, production will also be affected by quality and combines etc. if for example everyone was to stake rare summoners at 115 BCX, that would take 17.25M cards (combined). Then, if the land requires a set of monsters, 1 common, 1 rare, 1 epic and 1 legendary, that would be another 60M commons, 17.25M rares, 6.9M epics and 600,000 Legendary cards. That is 5 cards to a plot.
At the moment, there are 3.5M cards on the rental markets. This means that it is possible that there aren't enough cards at the moment.
So, when you are talking about reducing supply, land does that and, it will also increase demand.
I hope. :D
I agree. The daily quests have been one of the main reasons I played daily. It was something that pulled me into the game every day. The new quests seem to be constant time gobbler, if I don't use a bot. And even that would equal out to be less rewards than with a bot compared to the old system of a set # of rewards for completing a daily quest.
Thanks for sharing! - @azircon
Very interesting! Please keep them coming
Great article with a very interesting point. I never realized how big an effect changing the daily quest to the daily focus would have on player engagement. But now that you bring up these points, it does make some sense. However, I also understand the justification for changing the system, as it was leading to negative consequences as far as encouraging card ownership. Sadly, it doesn't seem like the reward system changes have led to more of an influence on demand for card ownership, but I'm hopeful things will turn around as the player base grows again during the next bull run around Q2 or Q3 of 2023.
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Agree! On the daily quest. We need to make it more challenging and variable
@aggroed Can we have a panel discussion during the fest where we can discuss this and other things about the economy of the game? I will be interested in such discussion.
How to address the 'oversupply' problem, the simple answer could be land, but also how can we incentivize just simple card combine. I think pushing reward curve towards the Champion league is a step in the right direction, but at the same time, we don't want to discourage manual player at the lower leagues, who may not be able to buy $10K worth of cards (yes, rental could be the answer, but is that the only answer?)
Is changing the in-game rewards to SPS essentially turning SL into a faucet for SPS? If it is, I am sure stakeholders don't appreciate that for the long term. Again, where can we discuss this properly and at good length?
Throught provoking post @axrho !
Thought provoking reply, thank you.
as to your 2nd point- that exact idea is the subject of a future post.
as well as the 3rd point, that will be a central idea of my next post in this series: "Player Engagement- Battle Earnings and Rewards"
Better be an activist, than a silent investor or hedge fund manager. In real life, most hedge fund managers are activitists.
By the way, next time when you post, post 'from Splinterlands', as opposed to use it as a tag. You have to subscribe to the Splinterlands community, then you should be able to do it..
Great points and I think you hit the nail on the head, I really miss the immediate gratification and the challenge of the Daily Quest, as there is limited benefit of using Focus cards when I can just use the GF and get the same bonus points - something seems broken for sure - there was so much speculation on CL selling out so quickly which never materialized. So many have opted for battle bots or to just simply rent out their collection rather than play the game.
It went from being a challenge to about getting the most chests for the day which, exactly what you said, battle bots are better at.
As for demand... Just throwing this out there since there's a crap load of CL packs out there.. Why not allow the use of CL packs in the new TD game? I actually dont know why I thought we'd be able to use our SL cards for that game but was bummed out to find that we'd have to buy different packs to play it. With everything going on and all the things to buy on SL, right now I'm out - I simply cant afford to get into TD, but if they let us use CL cards... (hold my beer) I'll be all over that baby!
Nice. 😄 Thanks for the #SIN invite too
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aggroed — 09/01/2022
What do you think it'll take for this to really heat up again?
I would reassign the 2 teams from the other games back to splinterlands and have them develop 2 completely new tutorials for new players,maybe something with lvls or something that gives cards as reward that only work on that account. Then I would chose the best one and implement it into the game. Then I would start by finding a way to protect new players from bot fights as the bot's have a clear advantage and there's nothing worse in a video game than losing to a bot. Maybe even man up and own the bot issue and add a ticker for account's bot/human( Or just ban them like any normal video game). And stop it with the delayed rewards everything has a timer now. All we want as players is to fight the other guy and prove we are better than him and after that fight to get our reward. Maybe try out a battle pass?
Delayed Rewards: Next article in the series, TBH
New Player Experience: Next 'chapter' of the series.
I felt like, the Order of Importance for these things should be:
Keep the players we already have by Increasing Engagement
Improve the New Player Experience, to move those who are 'trying out' the game past the barriers to entry and into becoming Players.
This is very interesting, the truth is the game is still addictive, but I must accept that waiting until the next day loses the excitement, the game will change with the arrival of the lands and I hope they keep the excitement of casting spells and increasing our decks. I like the challenges, even so I hope the demand grows as the whole ecosystem continues to grow.
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