The Death of the Casual Player


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The Death of the Casual Player

Welcome. Let me preface this long-winded post with an objective truth: I love this game, the community and the team.

What we've managed to build over the last 6 years (of which the last 2+ I've been along for the ride) is truly incredible. We've seen ups & downs, bears & bulls, players come & go, shifts in management, but the game has remained through it all.

I've made some great friends, established long-lasting rivalries & spent hundreds and hundreds of hours discussing this game with folks from all across Praetoria.

However, and for the first time throughout my tenure here, I'm fearful for the future of the game. I fear that we may have made our most costly mistake yet: the recent changes made in ranked.

Although it will become clear as you progress through this post, it is important that I first define "casual player". I simply mean a player not willing/able to acquire max cards.

And we've alienated these players. For whatever reason, they are not willing/able to acquire max cards to play this game at the highest levels and we have left them no room to succeed, much less thrive.

Prior to these changes, leagues served the critical purpose of identifying a player's level of comfort with the game - whether that be due to investment, the respective meta, friends, etc... and the truth is: the why is really irrelevant.

The recent negativity surrounding the game seems to have spiked to all time highs. It's anyone's guess as to what's specifically to blame, so take your pick: the CEX proposal (among others) and subsequent fallout around the DAO proposal system, token inflation and the corresponding depreciation, ranked changes, tournament changes, rewards changes, etc...

As some of you all may know, I have been passing around a Ranked Feedback Form geared to gauge the overall sentiment amongst our player base with regards to the recent adjustments to our ranked format of gameplay.

Before we get into the nitty gritty, I want to first extend a huge thank you to all that helped in collecting this data.

So, without further ado...

Show Me the Data

Quick & dirty data details:

  • 103 respondents
  • 68 Modern
  • 35 Wild
  • 52 Bronze/Silver/Gold (Both Modern & Wild)
  • 51 Diamond/Champ (Both Modern & Wild)
  • Sentiment was gauged via a 1-7 Likert scale where 1: Total Flop; 7: Nailed it!

The Good (?)

First, let's take a look at the Modern Champion player sentiment. Good looking chart - majority of folks in this demographic are happy.

On average, a Champion player is closer to satisfied than unsatisfied with the ranked overhaul, but still not quite where I believe any of us think it should be.


Chart details:

1: 4 players
2: 5 players
3: 2 players
4: 5 players
5: 6 players
6: 10 players
7: 3 players

Mean: 5
Median: 4.3

The Bad

Now let's look at the group of players that are playing in predominately the Wild format.

Not a bad looking distribution.

In fact, the majority of wild players indicate that they are more satisfied than any other subset of respondents.

So, you might ask yourself why I would indicate this as being the bad. And to that I would respond: bots.

Perhaps its anecdotal, but I would indicate myself as being satisfied if I were looking at the ranked overhaul based purely on my own alt account's Wild deck performance. Empowered with XBOT, I don't own a single summoner beyond Silver level (4 for rare, 2 for legendary) and my bot has handily navigated my account clear into Diamond 1.

This is great.

I pull Diamond level chests with minimum investment in the game. I am scoring more than one half SPS per battle (with ~12k SPS staked on the account + an 8k delegation) and I am collecting Soulbound cards to push my deck's abilities to a more competitive place.

As a community member and lover of real player gameplay, I find this concerning. Wild, and the option to be enabled via a bot, now pose the most compelling offer for all of these casual players.

There is zero fun when pursuing this route. I login to collect my chests, maybe submit my brawls and spend all of maybe 10 minutes every few days on the account.

Lore? Snore.

UX/UI? Who cares.

Player experience? Nah!

Streamline the DeFi 'game' for me and just make it easier to collect? Yes, please.

We can throw all the glint in the world at Modern players, but I'm afraid it won't be enough if the joy isn't there.

Is this the only way for casual players to thrive? By sending their hard-earned decks off to DeFi world?

ejQY5-wild-players-sentiment (1).png

Chart details:

1: 2 players
2: 2 players
3: 3 players
4: 6 players
5: 4 players
6: 6 players
7: 11 players

Mean: 5.06
Median: 5.5

The Ugly

Finally, the ugly. By far the largest subset of respondents in the survey (52/103) and, boy, did they drop some charged comments (see sentiment analysis below).


Major flop.

60%+ of this subset of players are far from happy with these changes and this spells trouble.

Major trouble.

Co-host of @thepeoplesguild podcast, @hepthorn, has put it best (hear his full thoughts on the new system strewn throughout the 2 episodes, #93 & #94, linked below) but the gist is that these "casual players" have been forced into mediocrity.

Once 60%+ win rate, highly competitive Silver & Gold players are now forced to punch weigh above their weight with decks far more advanced than theirs and settle for a 50% win rate.

Where's the fun without fair competition?


Chart Details:

1: 22 players
2: 8 players
3: 2 players
4: 10 players
5: 4 players
6: 2 players
7: 4 players

Mean: 2.77
Median: 2

Overall Sentiment Analysis

Negative Sentiment:

  • Many players express frustration and dissatisfaction with various aspects of the game, particularly regarding recent changes.
  • Removal of league caps is a significant concern for a large portion of the player base. Players feel that this change discourages competition at lower levels and alienates players who cannot afford maxed-out decks.
  • Players in lower leagues feel overwhelmed and discouraged by facing maxed decks, which makes the game unenjoyable for them.
  • Concerns are raised about cheating, exploitability of the new points system, and the prevalence of bots in certain game modes.
  • Some players feel that the recent changes have negatively impacted their gameplay experience, leading to decreased enjoyment and motivation to continue playing.

Neutral Sentiment:

  • There are suggestions for improvement in various areas such as reward formulas, energy systems, and matchmaking algorithms.
  • Players propose reformation of the current ranked system and adjustments to the rating system to address issues with matchmaking and rewards.
  • Some players express mixed feelings about certain changes, acknowledging both positive and negative aspects.

Positive Sentiment:

  • While negative sentiments dominate, there are still instances of positive feedback and appreciation for certain aspects of the game.
  • Players acknowledge the efforts of the development team and express gratitude for addressing issues and making improvements.
  • Positive feedback is given regarding the design of card progression and certain game modes like Wild.

Overall, the sentiment expressed across all datasets leans towards negativity, with players voicing concerns about recent changes, dissatisfaction with certain game mechanics, and frustration with matchmaking issues. However, there are also constructive suggestions for improvement and some acknowledgment of positive elements within the game.

(See below for the full, unadulterated air of grievances section)

So What's Next?

In our past few episodes, we've hosted @davemccoy, @azircon and @mondroid (episodes linked immediately after this section) and along with us here at TPG, Hepthorn and myself, @bjangles, we've begun the conversations around what options we have to fix ranked both more completely, and arguably most importantly, more fairly.

The primary goal for all of us citizens of Praetoria at the moment should be to accumulate, welcome, and keep more players in the ecosystem.

One of the first suggestions brought up is the reintroduction of leagues in some capacity. Allow players to select which league they'd like to play in for the course of a season and cap card levels at the corresponding league level. This avoids leaving our prized mid-level player base from feeling ostracized & forced to buy beyond their means and/or comfort level. This idea is discussed at length in the Roundtable discussion linked below.

A second idea raised is an adjustment to the rating resets at the end of seasons. Not forcing players to revert back to lower leagues where they're able to clean up competition quickly to proceed to the next, more appropriate league for their respective deck, would go a long way in solving this same issue. This idea is also discussed at length in the Roundtable discussion linked below.

Finally, and perhaps the idea with the greatest implications, is the thought put forth from Mondroid. Raised in passing in the Roundtable discussion and covered in much greater detail in the Mondroid episode, the general idea is allowing all players access to full Chaos Legion + Rebellion decks with several exclusions, namely Reward and Promo cards. The leveling of the playing field for all players, regardless of veteran status or investment level, fully embraces the new player. Players are free to come in, play the game and experience different leagues & the associated gameplay at their full capacity. Battle rewards would then be a product of owned assets in play - rewards would obviously need to be re-worked in a fashion that would provide very significant incentive to own cards. For this, we reference the model currently employed by the likes of Parallel TCG, where there is an exponential reduction in rewards for every ghost card in play. To hear the full thoughts on this approach, refer to the Mondroid episode also linked below.

I believe, while none of these ideas independently would offer a silver bullet to both the current ranked qualms or our ability to secure new players longer term, a combination of these would certainly move the needle in a significant manner and in the right direction for us.

@nateaguila and co. are hard at work on improving the Player Experience for new and existing players alike, but I'm afraid no matter how great a UX/UI is brought in, if the ranked play doesn't encourage folks to stick around through a fun, rewarding (not necessarily financial rewards) experience, this will be all for nought.

It is absolutely imperative that we provide a fun experience for anyone to come into Praetoria, regardless of investment.

Financial investment into the game should 100% dictate earnings but should have zero bearing on experience.

@yabapmatt has, on multiple occasions over the last few weeks, requested patience of us but I am not convinced we have the time to spare.

Let's revive our casual player base before it's too late.

Episode 93: A People's Guild Roundtable featuring DaveMcCoy & Azircon

Episode 94: A Mondroid Conversation

Full Comments Section

"Modern battles hit a new ATL again. The problem is getting worse. Must take action to stop the bleeding and reverse course.

Our game is top heavy, it will not work itself out naturally. It's working exactly as designed to push people down to their 50% win rate threshhold, this means max decks end up in silver / gold. It's killing the game for non whales without maxed decks."

As a silver, borderline gold player i could previously always hit 1900 ranking, with the new system i got sent back to bronze this season and can barely get out of silver iii. The rewards are so much lower all around. I love being able to use my cards to the fullest, it’s just I fear every season now I’ll start lower and lower and there will be only those in bronze or up in champion with no one in the middle and nowhere to go

I am playing in Diamond/Champ with max deck so i didnt found problems that others may be having.

Hard to gauge how well the system works or does not work in modern until the bots are addressed. The rating system and rewards may be perfect but it hard to tell for players who get an automatic loss by playing a max deck with battle helper.

"It takes time to adjust community to fast with critique IMHO.

I want to play modern again only with my last loosing streaks my bots plays in wild now.

Match liquidity is not that much of a problem for me only missing notify when match is found, I tend todo some other stuff in the mean while.

What could help is spl throws in a bone when ever you are on a loosing streak just to keep you motivated. Match with a low level or not so smart SPL bot or something...

Looking forward to the sps battle rewards update :) Should push more people into modern!

The only issue I see needing looked at is the math on the reset points. With inflation being very limited now I am curious if overall we are collectively losing more rating as a whole than we are gaining. If this is true when the gap max decks and others will continue to get closer and closer and ruin the experience for not maxed decks.

Non-max decks are no longer welcome. Brutal reality for any casual players considering putting any semblance of a more serious investment into the game

I like the new ranked system. Encouraged me to max some of my chaos from gold to max level. However it has prevented me from purchasing any addition rebellion cards because I don’t have any hope of maxing at current prices. Doesn’t make sense to max for gold or silver anymore as those cards mostly get crushed. There are some exceptions while silver/gold rebellion level cards can be played with max decks. I am excited for rewards rework.

I've played lots of games in my life, I know about how many people should be better than me. This game does not match that. I've been here since 03/2021. The problem started when bots came out, got worse when battle helpers came out and keeps getting worse. This tells me that not only are people cheating but multi-account cheating. There are accounts and guild names with the words bot, farm or extractor in their name playing in modern so they are telling you what they are doing. How are people in some of the countries with the poorest wages able to play max level decks and always be on top? I have to wait until 10am my time to get a decent win rate.

"I have always avoided to face max cards and now I'm forced to do so with the subsequent result of being frequently overpowered. Lightweights and Welterweights facing Heavyweights... not good.
The formula to calculate RP's could have been adjusted instead of setting fixed values. One of the arguments I've heard is that RNG had something to do with the decision but we also have card levels and skill involved ( a good thing if you ask me ).
I responded ""satisfied"" with regards to match liquidity from the standpoint of finding opponents when I log in to play but player liquidity is still a challenge so it's not unusual to face accounts that are 100, 200, 300 RP's apart in any direction.
I feel I've been receiving the message that being mostly a CL player makes me part of the ""lost generation"" of SPL, now the message seems to be that being a ""Gold League"" player compounds into that notion. We still have a BCX combining system in place for card levels with some very specific Promo card exceptions, if the game is heading to a place where it will only appeal to whales then the future is getting rid of BCX's and simply having summoners and monsters, all abilities there, royal rumble.
I understand that the game needs to survive at any cost, that change brings pain many times before achieving progress, that the team works with the intent to benefit the ecosystem as a whole but I can't help looking at my specific situation and somehow moving towards a conclusion/perspective that these changes might imply decisions like distancing myself from the game itself, probably renting (although gold league level rentals are not optimal at all) or selling assets, switching to a more DeFi position, or evaluate when and where to cut loses and frustration and simply look for an exit.
I write this from a place of concern but also great respect and admiration for what Splinterlands has achieved and hopefully will keep achieving going forward. As for me, I'm still here and haven't really seriously considered throwing the towel just yet when the rewards rework is imminent, the markets are moving, crypto projects are many times just a catalyst away from becoming trendy, and TBH I truly believe SPL has so much going for itself. Let's just try to survive and not self-destruct long enough to catch that break that will push the project forward to the next level.

/rant off"

Battle Helpers, I hate them

Battle Helpers should not be allowed to run freely, violate terms of service, and steal rewards from players that play by the rules

I think the ranked system needs a bit of tweaking since what we have right now is a partial Hearthstone-like rating system. What makes Hearthstone's system better though are a few additional things - first of all once you get to a given threshold for the season, you can't drop below it no matter how many battles you lose (in Hearthstone you just get to 0 stars out of 3 at level 10 of the given league and you can't drop below that). The season reset also works in a lot more efficient way. Even though everyone is reset to 0. If you were previously in Legend (Champ), you get 9 stars per battle at first, then 8, 7, 6, etc until they normalize so you basically get back to Legend very quickly, and people are also matched based on their hidden MMR so Legend players are matched against most Legend players, etc. I think some of these additional things can also be implemented here, not necessarily in the same way but it will definitely improve the experience.

Too many BH users. Stop Sylar

It's a work in progress. I don't expect perfection. Tokenomics is what I salt about.

Seems like a big step backwards and team has not been proactive giving community warm and fuzzies they the team agrees and is working on solution, quickly.

"Battles have become much more competitive in modern. Maybe more skilled players are renting max level cards or maybe people are again using battle helpers in modern. I can't tell either way but regardless it is out of my control. With all the new tournaments added, I find myself so busy getting my daily battles in tournament events that I have turned my Wild bot back on and have been automating my ranked play this season.

Typically I can battle into Champ 1 or high Champ 2 each season, but this past season (the first with the new rating system) my record was almost exactly at 50% (220-218) and I was basically range bound in mid Champ 3 the entire season, leaving me in Diamond 2 to start the modern campaign."

3 league system is the way game should be, providing max use cases for existing cards by having bot league, human ONLY wild and human ONLY modern and ban hammer mercilessly accounts going against tos in human wild and modern. new players shouldn't be punished for not having or not having chance to buy gladius cards and those should be in play probably only after let's say rating 3000. Introduce "1 wild card playable" rule set to game play (increases card use cases thus value of old cards). DELIVER on things we were expecting almost a year ago aka big june. Focus on creating a fun gameplay experience (npe), easy onboarding (fiat/bridges), new player friendly game modes etc it's a countless list but that's a good start

I think the new system is great. I think it accomplishes what we want it to accomplish. If we could solve match liquidity with Matt's idea of 1000 non earning bots (using real cards) in modern, it would solve many problems. But the issue of players being mad because they are facing max level deck in silver isn't going away. Even if its 1 in every 10 matches, players will inflate the occurrences in their own minds in the same way that we all think RNG is out to get us personally.

Think about what you can do for the game as opposed to what the game can do for you.

This system works great for champ players, or players with a more full deck. I can see how there are issues for players who have until now played in their preferred league with the card level restrictions.

"I have been playing for more than 3 years and made peace with myself from day 10 of playing that I can and will ONLY play gold league level.

I want to enjoy the game long term and the most feasible for me to enjoy and keep playing is the gold league. The price of advancing to max level doesn't appeal to me as I know new sets will always be there and I do want to own them as well BUT limited to GOLD level.

The previous system works being matched with the same level as mine. I am very satisfied as I find it FAIR in every aspect.
With the NEW rank system , it's VERY discouraging, frustrating and helpless to be paired with those max decks. What's the point?!

You guys are sending a WRONG message to everyone that the ONLY way to enjoy the game is having a max collection.
We need to RECOGNIZE the small time players or deck owners, EVERY league level matters and need to be VALUED and celebrated.

It came to a point where I have to STOP playing... how can we be encouraged to keep playing when we know that the match up is MESSED UP?! Even you would agree with it?!
I am in a CROSSROADS with SL and I do own lots of assets but MAIN enjoyment is the card game and totally bonkers. This is my VERY first time that I had to STOP and loose interest in my daily chests.

PLEASE fix a BROKEN system and restore our belief in the game.. restore the OLD league system and just change the REWARD system. It's working and not broken guys..

Make the change before its too late..."

I used to play modern until I hit gold and then switch to wild because I dont have the sps staked for optimum rewards past gold 3. However, as it stands right now, with a silver/gold leveled deck, I would just be banging my head against the brick wall that maxed decks are presenting because they don't have the skill to move out of silver/gold but you don't need skill to beat down on non-maxed cards

Rewards store will be a good change, particularly now a lot of my rewards cards are maxed.

I actually don't mind most of the ranked changes. What annoys me is that the staked SPS formula punishes me for ranking up, so every day I need to intentionally lose a bunch of matches just to get myself back to decent rewards. I also think that removing the summoner limits has made Modern unplayable. My (previously) Silver deck now struggles in mid-Bronze (which is why I play modern almost exclusively now)

It’s easy to complain. I’m going to make an effort to be more positive. The new changes are great though. We just saw everyone level their accounts up though, and maybe everyone didn’t realize how many people have super solid decks. It’s great though because it has forced everyone to make some moves. Cards are actually moving and packs are selling. Yeah, accounts went down because people consolidated. Anyways that’s my thoughts. Cheers!

I play almost everyday in mobile app, its so frustrating getting that bug playing dragon summoner auto surrender. and then to my dismay, instead of fixing it, they will deprecate the use of it. we need to expand the gaming experience so people can play whenever and wherever, not all of us can be in front of computer/laptop every time or even own a laptop/pc. its so convenient having to play splinterlands in mobile app and playing in mobile browser is so much different. we want to expand player base but we are limiting our audience by not having a more versatile mode of gaming.

"I have been playing this game non stop everyday since I found it in 2021. While I am very happy with the direction the company is moving in and the moves being made by Matt is fantastic in most aspects I do feel that there is a problem here in our ecosystem that I feel if we do not address we may not have as great a future as many of us imagine. I wish I could say I have the solution. I do not but I think lets draw some attention to ecosystem as I see it currently. I would also like to add that I do believe we have the right people in this community to come up with some solutions to fix this.


  1. I have been playing in gold league for at least the last 10 seasons consistently.
  • While I am very happy about the simplification and rework of the system and its intentions.
  • I do not think we have achieved what we wanted.
  • I am not able to climb above the gold 1 mark into diamond even though I am able to maintain about a 50.1 % win rate.
  • In theory this should enable me to climb higher and once again taste the sweetness of diamond play.
  • This is not what is happening I am hovering around the gold 1 mark in rating and just see saw for the whole season.
  • This is not a pleasant experience
  1. Battle Helpers in Ranked.
  • I do believe there is a problem with BH chasing leaderboard prizes and in meaning so much to these people that they do not care who they hurt in the process.
  • I also think continued behavior like this will drive away any and all of your players of the game.
  • These are the people like myself who have been playing this game day in day out for a while.
  • I am pretty sure these are the type of people that is keeping this economy moving.
  • Get rid of them if you have a way to get them out please for the love of god help us out.


  1. I love playing against other players win or lose as long as I feel I have a chance.
  • I do feel this way in the Rebellion tournaments currently
  • I cannot say that for any of the other tournaments currently in game.
  • the BH infestation is so severe that there is 0 chance of achieving anything below 64 I would say that number is closer to 150 so that means 0 earnings. That means I do not want to play anymore.
  1. I have created a space where players can interact with other players.
  • Player based tournaments in small intimate spaces creates a better environment.
  • The feeling of being part of a community is made stronger and experienced directly.
  • the BH infestation is so severe that there is 0 chance of achieving anything below 64 I would say that number is closer to 150 so that means 0 earnings. That means I do not want to play anymore.

Elephant in the room (BOTS)

  1. Bots as a service provider
  • I do believe that there is a place for bots in our ecosystem
  • We need to capitalize on what they can do which is work 24 /7 ( This fills a need)
  • Can we get the buy in from the bot farm owners to work with the economy or will they continue to work against it ?
  1. Bots as an extractor in our economy
  • This cannot work long term this is destructive and breaks everything to the point where it may be the end of the game if we are not careful.

New player experience

  1. Creative and devs thank you so much for finally making this a priority.
  • I do believe this is the key to solving many problems we have.
  • This can bring more players that will allow for more evenly matched battles and make the dream work
  • It will dry up economy issues with there being this perception of too much cards.
  • It will solve the problem with there not being enough liquidity for battles.
  1. Please get this in front of every dev and creative team member that is working on the new players experience
  • I cannot stress how important it is for them to see this

The Game is fun. I have no problem finding a match. My Bots in Wild are my earners & my playing is purely for enjoyment.

"I feel like its good that we cna use highest level cards possible.I just started in Modern at 0 and played through to Silver Last night.I juts wish there were no robots in Wild.Please create a 3rd and possible 4th league just for bots is my suggestion which is much more important than this.Also we need to mobilize with a better mobile app in regards to Gods Unchained new facebook posting 1 post a day.I dont use facebook but on the socials it be best to utilize free advertising whilst also upgrading to better mobile's an app that takes us to next.splinterlands...why not just have a direct application?why not advertise it on twiiter?it will help grow the game...

I am satisfied with the system, the only issue that is stopping me from playing Modern are Battle helpers. I use a bot in wild but at least it is fair.

I think you should bring back the leagues.

Overall, I'm actually quite happy. I don't have significant match liq issues (only ever need to wait 1 minute or so), and although I think the new rating system isn't perfect I think it's way better than before. However flat +20/-20 isn't perfect either, I think it should be tuned a bit, maybe something that's halfway between ELO and flat.

Would like more of a marketing effort.

The new points system creates an enormous spread, so cheaters with battle helpers can quickly exploit the game to steam ahead and become uncatchable. Very frustrating.

Building a deck off my income that finally can top bronze most season in the top 50.. then you go and change it so now im facing maxed out legendaries in bronze and earning almost nothing and then when i face a opponent thats 300-500 elo higher then me i get 20 or lose 20 and vis versa. This change absolutely sucks. I told my guild leader that I will most likely be selling everything the end of this season.. This patch ruined the game. For alot of people I am sure of it.

people without maxed decks are fleeing to wild. Rewards for a GF and a RF deck are the same due to the cap. +20/-20 rating system makes the game boring. I'm only happy with matchmaking cos I'm in diamond/champ - the only spot where matchmaking is kinda okay

Maybe bring back tiers in ranked and the ability to stay there even without leaderboard prizes (Leaderboards for Champ only - for those willing to move up a league to compete for these LB rewards). If battle rewards are good enough even for lower leagues, I think people will want to play more or even unretire (especially for lower leagues like Gold and Silver).

Way, way, way too many proposals. Way, way too much impatience but not a lot can be done about that. The DAO is influenced and controlled by too few people. Too much is discussed by too few in Discord and not enough in the game or other channels. Lack of updates for people who aren't in Discord. I would rather not have to hang out in Discord as it's mostly negative and full of egos talking about stuff they are not qualified in but acting like they're world experts. However, there have been a few major changes to the game that, had I not been in Discord, I wouldn't have known about. If I was confident I wouldn't miss anything important I would spend no time in Discord at all. I'm talking Mavs and I've been here since before there was a game.

Overall the change seems positive. I think the decreasing modern matches are not just a result of this change. In my personal situation, I started playing less modern matches a month or two before this change was implemented simply due to feeling burnt out with the gameplay and rewards. Rebellion and the new rules/abilities are great, but it's not enough for me to play as much as I used to. I will say, at some point the increase in sps rewards will draw me back in, I've noticed this already. 10-20 sps per win is awesome and makes me want to play more. IMO better rewards(or reward system) I think will go a real long way in getting more modern matches again. Keep your heads up, team! We appreciate all the hard work.

I put in unsatisfied with rewards, but it's not too bad. Potions generally suck. The depreciating of the mobile site sucks.

I hope over time the match making will improve, however i am still facing more than my fair share of Gold / Diamond decks which is keeping me at the low end of Silver (3) and dropping down into Bronze for a few days every season reset, a place i havent been in over 18 months! I track my EOS rewards in excel and have noticed a massive drop off in the amount of chests i earn and SPS per season, but i hope this will improve once i face more silver level decks. Prior to the changes i always finished in silver 1, even gold 3 occasionally, these feel a distant dream currently

The survey doesn't quite fit as it is. I had a reasonably good silver deck for the modern format. But when the changes came, I only lost in modern. I was about to give up. Then I realized that there's a lot more going on in wild and there I can make it to the gold class with the silver cards. It's also fun to play in wild. But the modern format is completely broken and so no new player will start here. My suggestion is due to the decreasing number of players. Make only one league for everyone again. In addition, game rules such as max 4 or 5 cards also make the mode max level 1 cards may be played or max level 3 cards. Or the rule in combat only Common up to max lvl 3. Furthermore, not only dec for the top 20 players, but the most combative player or the player who has won the most big level difference fights. Then dec who has used the most old school cards (alpha) in the season. Not just stubborn number 1 gets 200k dec number 2 150k dec and so on. That's boring.

As a Silver player, the match linked pretty much sums it up. It's been 3 weeks now since the change. I've been patient. I'm not sure whether it's too difficult for some bad players with max decks to advance past Gold and get to Diamond or what but I get the same matchups when fighting to get out of Bronze. I should NEVER see a maxed deck in Bronze or Silver and when I do of course it's an auto-loss. With the way the rating system works it's so difficult to get any traction to get to where I should be playing. Before the change, it would take me about 4-6 days to get to Silver 1. Last season I got to within 10 points of Silver 1 which of course put be all the way back into Bronze. I'm still going to be patient because I believe that the rewards changes will help with the rewards problems as they are right now. The coming changes appear to be positive but I haven't seen the numbers yet so I'll reserve judgement. There are many other things that could be improved but with such a small team you're being pulled in so many directions. In theory, these changes should work. The problem is any time you dangle monetary rewards in front of people they will do whatever it takes to maximize profit. Your current player base probably consists of 85-90% people that are investors and are looking to make a quick buck (which is why many have left after you changed the leaderboards). They can't suck the DEC from the leaderboards any more so they're outta here. You could have done this 2 years ago and the same would have happened. It's also why since the change with tournaments (free entry) we now have 60-70% of the entries are from Diamond and Champ accounts. Before there was a disincentive for them to get in, but that's been removed for some reason. I'm sure it's to compensate the same people that have been overcompensated since the beginning of the game. People aren't stupid they can see how rewards are being handed out and eventually they all leave. The worst part for me is I really love this game. I've pretty much abandoned all others because even with all the issues I still love it (but I'm a gamer... the 10-15% that will play the game because we love the game).

"Low leagues need to be able to enjoy the game too and especially if we eventually want new players to stick around, allowing max cards in bronze will make people quit after 1 day.

Also release soulbound cards for land, you already decided the unlock cost for that, follow through on it now.

Then let's finalize an unlock (possibly the same price) to allow them to be traded or at least delegated so an unlucky account with 0 bcx of a card can finally at least get access to 1 copy, its been like a year of daily play and cards are still at 0bcx. "

revert tournament changes. only top players get rewards

The only thing that made me play is the league caps. Now that it's gone, it's NOT fun all.

This is my second entry for this based on another account I play. Note that while this is only a bronze level deck, it has a lot of different cards. It has a wide breadth but very few cards beyond level one.

"Im getting bored with the game, I dont enjoy playing ranked anymore. I dont know if its the meta or the +- 20/20.
I only like playing tournaments right now but that also took a big hit when clayborn decided to make them very top heavy."

This new system is devastating to a lot of small to mid players that want to play competitively but do no have the budget for a maxed deck. Many have exited the game because of the unfriendly system for low investment. Always go for a higher level deck is not as important as to retain players that are willing to spend to increase their collection during every new release. A healthy game system should consist of masses of low investment account for stability. Instead, it has gone to the direction of top heavy and chase away low level investment.

Please consider updating and keeping

"I dont like any of the changes. They have all had a negative impact on my gameplay and my earnings. This is only good for a minority at the top of champion league. Its always the same minority of people who benefit the most. Banning botting was also a bad idea. There are plenty of players with a lot of money, who are still using black market bots or battle helpers to earn way more than everyone else. Banning does not work, or solve anything. The problem was the amount of accounts being spun up, to farm lower league rewards. When bots and battle helpers were democratized and accessible to all, everyone was on a level playing field. Now the players who can access a black market product ahead of everyone else have a massive advantage, and making a killing. The distribution of rewards, is getting more top heavy with these changes, and ruining the game and earnings for everyone else.
The ELO system was way better, and fairer to all. Just because a handful of players with the most money and cards cried, we changed it for them so they can dominate the leaderboards and rewards for them, even more. Nobody will want to play this games with the new ranking system, other than the handful who cried to get it changed. It has made things way worse in a lot of different ways."

Cheaters in modern champ ldb and the team doing nothing against it.

"1. Should reset champ/diamomd/gold to silver minium evry season.

2a. (If 1 is not approve) Implemend a brawl like daily battle (24hr) with 5 battles preset rules and mana for both format. By making min 5 game per day play the total game per season will likely be 50-70 and can be used as base rating calculatiion. This is to eleminate campers sitting on high tables with only <20 game per season.
2b. Lookinto Setting ELO system for cards instead of player as part of rating calculation.

  1. If(1&2ab not approved), set a MINI (autobattle) GAME BATTLE using the current land staked monster. Reward can be grains.

I have found that the key component I hate about new ranked play is how hard it is to get a 3+ win streak now. This is purely due to the fact that we are facing max level decks in ALL leagues. You win two in a row against evenly matched opponents, then you have to face a max deck that you have little to no chance of beating. It’s infuriating. Win streaks are the only way to climb in rankings, and for players below diamond level, it’s nearly impossible to achieve them now. Fighting sports have weight classes for a reason. It’s not fun or fair to compete against overmatched opponents in any competition.

I've invested a lot of $$ in older cards - I am someone who plays her deck (I don't bot it or use a battle helper). It's frustrating to be a long time player and either get less rewards in wild, or play modern and not use the cards I love playing with. At least with the new system, my investment in leveling up my deck is not wasted. I am now consistently playing in gold whereas I was barely making it to gold by EOS. Thanks for hearing my grievances - lol.

Don't reset in Modern at beginning of the season for now. Lets keep better decks at levels that are more appropriate so we don't scare all the smaller players away.

I really think that their have been identified accounts that are really abusing the new system yet whilst they are known, nothing is really done about it. I am happy with the overall mechanics of the new ranking system however find it extremely frustrating to play at times. We have spent a lot of money on cards, sps, rent etc and believe that fair game amongst persons should be apparent and if certain accounts are questioned, the appropriate process should be taken in identifying and banning those individuals.

I think the removal of the leagues is a deathblow to the game. COST OF ENTRY is a HUGE concern of mine if we want to go mainstream, and expecting everyone to get maxed cards is insanely unrealistic (if we want to go mainstream). With league caps, we have REAL COMPETITION at many levels, and players can play competitively to suit their budget. If players can only afford a bronze, silver or gold deck, they should be encouraged to play competitively, daily, in those leagues without guilting them or forcing them to but maxed cards. It's simply not economically feasible. I'm hearing a LOT of players in lower leagues who are so discouraged by this change they will likely stop playing. Issues are the fun factor, competitive factor being eliminated, and economic factors. League resets also destroy what the current setup is attempting to do regarding accounts playing 'proper' opponents. There are many ways to address the pervious issues, ie let player CHOOSE what league they want to play in each season and let them stay there. We NEED competition on all levels if we want to be a real E sports platform eventually. The way the cards are designed as they progress through levels is brilliant for the most part (Rebellion had some flaws we saw in Beta where a card gets a vital stat at L9 and only 1 health at L10 - it should be the other way around) but for the most part each league has its own type of gameplay and that should be emphasized and showcased, not buried. And again, players should be allowed to play competitively where their budget allows. This is a feature, not a bug.

Modern is in a rough spot. Liquidity may help. Wild is fine for most of it. The reward formula needs to be reworked. The top of champ is a bit of a mess. Ask Magic about the prestige system which may help it.

The energy system needs to change. Make ranked unlimited play and reward your best 12 wins perday or more if you buy more energy. This will help match liquidity and make the game more fun and challenging without giving bots an exploit.

Need reformation current ranked system

I'm going to try to do this twice, one for Modern, one for Wild - if you see this again - Jakkal

I'm going to try to do this twice, one for Modern, one for Wild - if you see this again - Jakkal

Modern is unplayable for me, because I only face mostly maxed out decks, even in silver. I don’t earn enough SPS or RP to make it worth playing. I have switched to playing Wild, but my Gold deck is easily able to make it into diamond. I quickly progress to the point where my modifier drops because I don’t have enough SPS staked so I earn very little in Diamond, not enough to make it worth playing. I’m not happy enough with the game the way it is to want to buy or rent SPS so I just lose battles on purpose until I get down into Gold 1. Then I win a few, then lose a few intentionally to keep my rating where I can actually earn. Its frustrating, I wish I could just reject advancing to diamond like I used to be able to do.

rating system needs tweaking, like it was before just with less difference between win/loss. not 3 and -36

I spent a lot of money to build a gold level deck that I own. Now I have to have max-level cards in order to compete at gold level Modern, which for me means renting. So why should I ever own cards? There is no incentive for me to manually play and grind in Modern Silver when I can just bot in wild and be in Diamond league.

Every area outside diamond/champ is a disaster, small investors feel alienated facing max decks in silver/gold, before they could slowly progress and eventually get more cards but now its completely unfun for them to lose vs max decks.

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Thanks for the thoughts and the long exercise of sharing community messages. I generally align with many of the concerns and the sentiment with the changes but often find myself believing that it needs time to sync in before making changes again. Either way, I am sure that Matt and team and gathering this type of feedback and calibrating with the data to decide on the best path forward.


Cheers NewAge. And while I understand that time may be the secret sauce we need to let this thing work out, I really struggle with the fact that so many of the lower league all-stars have completely removed themselves from the game as a direct result of this.

Either way, I'm sure we'll figure out that happy-medium, but I felt it my duty to share my thoughts and findings.

After all, we are called the People's Guild ;)


This is by far the longest post written by an individual on subject related to Splinterlands!

I have already talked about in on audio so I will hold my comments. Let us see how the “casual” players chime in


I don't deserve all the credit - a lot of that is comments directly from the community via the Feedback Form!


same here. Thanks for encouraging the discussion too AZ


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I appreciate you sharing your thoughts; but I feel like we need to give the change, and the upcoming change, a little longer to take effect.
Somebody who's rightly proud of their win-rate, and resigned themselves to a particular level, will take a while to come around to the idea of being proud of their level, and resigned to that 50:50 win-rate.
My personal experience, I felt trapped before the change. In Wild I faced optimised bot teams, but when I tried playing in Modern, I couldn't get close to the top of Bronze 1 in order to break out into higher levels.
I get that we're a bit more pay to win now. (Buy a few more BCX, unlock that next ability, and win a few more of those close matches), but previously it felt like pay to lose, where I had a max level card that could only perform at a fraction of the level I'd paid for.
Again, that's just a personal perspective. I completely understand if others feel differently.


Appreciate you chiming in, MC. Always value your insight.

It's a sticky wicket, man. I am not sure what the best solution is (though, as you just read, I have my opinions on what the best solution could look like), and maybe time is the X-factor and we just need to let things pan out, but given all the folks we'd already shed over the course of the bear, it makes it particularly difficult to see those folks that stuck with us now, and all of a sudden, feel completely left out in the cold directly as a result of this update.

We all know Yaba's a bright dude and I trust he'll figure it out. That said, I felt obligated to help gather some feedback and represent, to the best of my abilities, all the voices.

Cheers hombre!


Sticky wicket!

I haven't heard that in a long time!


Allowing players to choose their league for the season completely eliminates the 'being trapped in bronze' situation. I understand he wants to give it time, but damn man, we have to hope there are still players here by then. If you see an iceberg dead ahead, you don't wait to see if you're still headed for it a little later. You correct course asap.


I agree with AZ that I've already shared my thoughts and happy for others chime in. Thanks for taking the time to gather all the information and display it for us @bjangles !!!


Awesome post dude! Thanks for gathering all that feedback and posting all those responses. The results are about what I expected but still really interesting!


Let me add some of the things that I have observed about the SPS rewards. while the rewards got increased due to the modern reward pool combined into one, it seems like rewards have been capped or something. First, you can take a look on this 2 accounts by which I played which have the same rating and only played the battle around 15 minutes apart but still get around the same SPS reward despite the difference on SPS boost and the other one have 5% more bonus. Looking at the top of the leaderboard, they are also getting around as much regardless of their SPS staked and bonus. Even when matt says that it was because the reward was adjusting because of the ranked overhaul and the combining of the SPS pool, Having a bigger SPS staked and going to higher leagues should have bigger impact on the SPS reward that a player get when they won a match to incentivize them which is not what's happening right now. Will this keep to happen after the changes on april 2nd? I don't know but if having 70k SPS staked owned or delegated was more than enough for me to earn the same as the players on the top leaderboard does, then I might as well to do that with my other account that rent 360k SPS to have that 10x SPS boost.



Anyways, I would like to thank @bjangles , @azircon and @mattclarke once again for delegating SPS last season for my alt account @agonyaccepted. Not renting SPS for more than a season was a big help for me.


Hey Saydie! Thanks for swinging through and taking the time to add some thoughts. The cap on ranked battle SPS is an interesting one - it exists throughout the leaderboard, too. It's my understanding that the folks at the very top of the leaderboard are earning about the same / per win as folks towards the lower end of the leaderboard. I'm sure we'll get this addressed with the update coming tomorrow and/or in the next TH.

And yea, we've got some pretty cool whales to hang with :) Glad it helped!


What an awesome post, bjangles! Great job! Sorry for voting it until today, for some reason it caught my eye just now.

Reading a comment about a player that says that Splinterlands is doing nothing against bots, it made me think about something. I know for a fact that the team is working hard trying to spot the borg in our ranks, however, it seems as if they need to be more open about what are they doing. For example, from time to time in Discord we read a message from a team member and that's OK. Nevertheless, I think they need to make an official full report, weekly here on HIVE about this topic. Maybe it can consume a lot of time, but it shouldn't be long. I think that will help with the perception that team is doing nothing when clearly they are. The rewards from those reports could even help fund this effort much better. I don't know, it's just an idea!

Thank you so much for bringing this up!



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Spot the borg in our ranks


Agreed, there are more than a few things that are currently happening in the background that could/should lead to a much better overall experience for us humans here. I love the idea of an (un)official weekly report - I know there are some community members that have done some exhaustive research into tracking BH/bot users and would love to see that stuff see the public eye.

Good to see ya, Cpol! Thanks for droppin in, amigo :)


hmmm I think it still needs time. It's only been like one season or two since the change. People don't like change especially when it's negatively impacting them so I think the response was not that surprising. The change definitely did have more of an impact towards casual players but it's hard to say that they are dead. One of the issues is that there's more people with either owned maxed out cards or they are renting max out cards. We don't have enough new players or casual players to match with the casual players hence why they have a negative experience fighting all these maxed out decks. I think the system was designed so people would eventually just battle to where their deck would hit a 50% winrate and then they would have to upgrade to climb higher. I guess people are uncomfortable with that 50% winrate but I also think that would be good as it would help people push to upgrade their decks. Where they can truly shine should be the tournaments but problem with tournaments I feel is that their are people using battle helpers. I have no proof of this but it does seem sketch when seeing the lineups and winrates of certain players consistently performing.

What I think we can do in the future though is just to have each league have their own mode. Like max modern, gold modern, silver modern, bronze modern and of course the wild half as well. Then people can just choose where they want to play and of course the rewards from max modern will be more than bronze modern. It should scale based on the cost to own a deck for a certain league.

I feel this would help a lot but the only problem is we lack the playerbase to do this or I guess we could have Splinterlands nonspellbook bots to fill the match liquidity.

Let's give it a bit more time though. I still think it's a step towards the right direction just potentially needs some amendments from the team but they need more data. I don't think 1/2seasons is enough to go ahead and make another change but that's just my opinion.


You, and others that have called for the same, may be right re: time - though I do think it important to start calling attention to this stuff early. Big changes have big ramifications. And this was a huge change. Either way, we'll see. Hopefully, in a season or two's time, this data represents an immediate overreaction from the community.

Appreciate you taking the time to drop your thoughts here! Cheers, Shawn!


Yes Hopefully. Will just have to see how it goes. You're welcome!


Great post and I love seeing the "trapped in Modern Bronze" from Matt Clarke and others - I "whined" about it and sure enough, it's a bitch lol

Another thing: Bots and BH's in Modern definitely need to go so when I take my L's it's to a Humie not a Necron lol


Thanks for giving it a read man! Yup, completely agree. I've completely given up on my Silver account in Modern and sent it to Wild. It's not a fun experience at all. Max cards being the ticket to fun is not sustainable and I have serious doubts it's the best way forward. Hopeful that iterations and adjustments that support the smaller league players come soon.