Proposed Improvements to the "Locked League" Proposal


The Splinterlands DAO has recently been discussing a so-called “Locked League” proposal whereby players can choose their league rather than constantly having to constantly fight their way back it, often through a different metagame, after seasonal resets. Psilence has posted one excellent proposal (, but I feel that it still retains too much of the current problematic paradigm that people have long complained about (and, as such, it includes many problematic features that could be eliminated).

The biggest problem with the current paradigm is that it is inflationary. This then necessitates the seasonal resets which are frustrating and problematic in and of themselves – and the major reason for the locked league proposal in the first place. The fact that the system is inflationary also causes the problem that bots can play each other and make progress towards collecting more rewards than their decks and skill level deserve.

What I am proposing is that we use a non-inflationary system (like the ELO rating system from chess) and stop resetting everyone every season.

With something non-inflationary, players are always rated at the level they are competitive/competent at. Too many crappy bots can’t boost the slightly less crappy bots to a high enough level to suck down excessive rewards.

Non-inflationary/No-resets also prevents the problem of bots seeking to make a profit by choosing too high a league to play in. When rewards are always based upon accurate ratings and ratings aren’t constantly reset to reward-gaining levels, the bots won’t get any rewards unless they are in a league where they are actually competitive.
The only place where this paradigm is problematic is with the leaderboard rewards – something that many have long complained about. So why not just put them in a pool for everyone to earn based upon actual playing time rather than supporting the current situation where most leaders rest on their laurels until forced to compete?

Preventing trash bots has long skewed the game and its reward system. Things like collection power and SPS staking also block new players who could potentially play at Champion level with a mostly gold league deck (as my scholar does). With an inflationary system, there must be “gates” that both block bots and allow skillful but poor players through. The community hasn’t figured out a way to do this.

The metagame is very different between the leagues. Having to play across two leagues requires an investment in the most expensive cards for both. We desperately need new players – but the cost of entry is still prohibitive, and it is only going to get worse as consumables start flowing in from land.