Returning Recap: A brief guide for returning players
Hello Splinterfriends! I started playing Splinterlands in mid-late 2021, and played avidly through the Chaos Legion release. But then I didn't want to open the packs before more airdrops released, so my deck didn't get much better, I felt stagnant, and I ended up mostly dropping the game (except claiming staking rewards every week or so).
But! The release of Riftwatchers, along with all the other recent excitement, has gotten me hooked again. So this post has some actually useful content in it, I am going to go over everything that has changed in the last 6 months, so other returning players might have all this in one place. I'll also end a bit with my current strategy and strategy moving forward.
Focus Chests & Daily Rewards
The biggest change for me to wrap my head around was the change to the daily reward structure. Now, instead of a daily quest, there is a daily focus. And instead of getting a set number of chests each day, the number of chests is earned by getting "focus point" based on using cards that match your focus (along with bonuses for GF, alpha, etc.).
The EOS chests are calculated similarly, except the quality of the chest is based on the highest league you earned in the previous season.
Overall, I like the changes a lot. It's more fun to see the bar incrementally progress rather than the chunked previous version. The devs also did a good job making sure to incentivize staying at higher ranks, as the rewards are significantly more disparate between leagues than they were before.
The pre-sale for the next mini-set, riftwatchers, just happened last week! This is actually what brought me back to the game, as it seemed like an exciting opportunity for me to rebalance my stuff in-game and get back into playing. And new cards shake up the meta, which I really enjoy.
Excitingly, the 500k pre-sale packs sold out in <2 minutes, so getting in was not trivial. And there were some issues with the UI, making using vouchers a little difficult + vouchers. Due to the issues during the pre-sale I got to participate in my first DAO votea (see DAO proposals below for relevant info on the pre-sale).
I was able to turn a lot of my held SPS + vouchers (thanks to a last-minute pump) into 600 pre-sale riftwatchers packs. I have 3000 of each potion, and will be opening the packs on release day.
Just a few days after the Riftwatchers pre-sale, the devs launched the Splinterlands TD pre-sale. This will be a single player game with rewards. I was excited to see this launched, but am staying out for the meantime, as the game isn't expected to launch for a year, and is being developed by a different team. My potential upside is lower, but I am not willing to back an unproven project at this time, especially with so much exciting things happening in the proven area of Splinterlands.
Days after the Splinterlands TD pre-sale, the devs released another pre-sale, this time for Runis, a generative NFT that will be neutral legendary in splinterlands. 6500 total will be minted, and the devs released 2k for "whitelisting" an ETH address (where the NFT will be held). I did jump in on this for one Runi, as it seems like a strong addition to my team.
Chaos Legion Airdrops
During the last 8 or so months, CL packs have continually been sold, and we are now at >10M sold. With this has come new airdrops, in the form of legendary summoners for Life and Fire. The Life summoner has Void Armor, +1 armor, and amplify. The fire summoner has +2 speed, scattershot, and pierce. I don't love the Life summoner, but he does seem good in specific match ups. The like the Fire summoner more - speed is always a big deal, and the scattershot can either be played around (snipe, sneak, opportunity override it) or it can be used to actively avoid a tanking monster and hit the squishy backline. This summoner seems like more of a counterplay summoner than other heavy hitters, but still powerful.
I didn't do great on the airdrops: I got my minimum guaranteed for both summoners based on the 2025 packs I've bought. But that's what the guarantee is for: to protect against crappy RNG so I can't complain too much.
When I last left Splinterlands, bots were a contentious issue, with bot farms running and sucking up the rewards (more on this in DAO proposals). I never used a bot then, as the bots seemed pretty bad.
That has changed in recent months apparently with the advent of the Archmage bot. With a token purchasable in Hive (ARCHMAGE - $30 when I bought it), you get access to a powerful bot. I don't know the exact underpinnings of it - it might be as complicated as a neural net trained on the MANY previous battles of data, or as simple as a "here is a set of data, which things win?". Regardless, it is very useful and has been winning me a good number of battles the last 24 hours.
It also circumvents one of my biggest issues in games: daily activity. I burn out of games (hence me leaving 8 months ago), and a big part of that is feeling like I need to log in and play every day. This bot will fix that and let me feel alright in not playing every now and then, and I am all for it.
The final change that I've seen has been the DAO and their proposals. The DAO is supposed to be a decentralized voting system where each SPS gets one vote.
The first real vote took place before I came back, and was focused on restructuring the rewards. Now, higher leagues grant significantly more SPS, and entices people to build their decks and move up the ranks, which is great for the game.
The second set of votes took place following the riftwatchers pre-sale. Because of the issues mentioned above, there were 4 proposals which addressed the issues in varying ways. At the end of the day, 3 of the 4 proposals passed, increasing the number of packs eligible for pre-sale rewards from 500k to ~515k. I was fully on board with all the proposals, and was happy to see the community debate the issues (even if personally, I felt a lot of the "no" votes were essentially "I got mine, screw everyone else").
The current set of votes is on whether to award SPS to land and TD pack holders. I have neither of these and have no real skin in the game here, but it's been interesting to see this debate as well.
My strategy going forward
Overall, these changes have all gotten me excited about the game again. and have made me significantly change my strategy.
Previously, I was all about holding SPS and CL packs while maintaining a strong Silver deck as that was a good balance between cost and rewards. With the updated reward structure, Silver is pretty crap.
Moving forward, I am going to be looking to max my deck for Diamond and eventually Champion play. To that end, I'm going to actually open my 600 RW packs once they are released so I won't be sitting on a huge amount of stuff that could boost my power. Before, holding packs was worth because of the airdrop points. Now they only sit there and burn a hole in your wallet.
I will then be liquidating a significant amount of SPS and Riftwatchers chaff/excess in order to pick up cards I've identified as strong in the splinters I will initially boost. This will give me a strong deck that I think will be workable in Diamond Modern (I'll report back).
Anyways, happy to be back and hope to be participating in the community again moving forward!
Come check out the game using my referral link: https://splinterlands.com?ref=badrag