My Thoughts on Splinterlands 2023 Plan & Previews
Hello everyone, 2023 is looking to be an exciting year for Splinterlands. Amidst the deep bear market that we are in right now, Splinterlands is still building up its empire in a very consistent manner. This is very different from the vast majority of crypto games that are in near-death state after the bull-to-bear market downfall.
Splinterlands has proven through time that it is a game that stays no matter what, and so I can look forward to the future in a very positive way. The roadmaps are not just "hype talk" trying to convince people to invest, but a true possibility that will eventually come true in time.
There had been multiple Hive posts previewing about different subjects and I am here to give my thoughts on every one of them.
Visions of the Future Panel
Image from this recent Splinterlands blog
The most exciting thing, to me, is the art and UI overhaul. I don't ever expect the mainstream audience to accept crypto game before 2030. Their criticisms and refusals are, more of often than not, ridiculous. However, one thing that I really agree with them is that most crypto games don't look impressive at all. Art is often put on the back side in favor of functionality and that's absolutely fair for a game that needed to work on something as complicated as a blockchain. Web3 game studios also aren't as big as a 3A game studio so I can understand the limitation in size and scale.
We are in an era where visual impression is arguably more looked up than ever. Simple layout just doesn't cut it anymore. It's great that Splinterlands has a lot of works done and can now work on the art part of the game. I think it will give Splinterlands a big leg up over any potential competition now and in the future.
The Battle 2.0 looks very good in the preview video and I absolutely love the animation of the cards. I also think that the better look on the cards in future will further impress newcomers to the game. I think the "collectible" aspect of any NFT has value. While Splinterlands cards get their value mostly from its gameplay and monetary sides, we still shouldn't overlook that having them look very good might attract people who are into collecting aesthetically-pleasing items.
The Coming Rebellion
Image from this recent Splinterlands blog
I really hope we get the Rebellion edition earlier than Q3 this year. I think the Chaos Legion had been here for way too long. I think having the pack amount as huge as 15M is one of the biggest mistakes from the team. This is 10x more than the previous edition, Untamed, and that is crazy. Personally, I don't believe this works even if we were to keep the bull run going until now. Splinterlands is never the kind of Web3 game that explodes in a month and then falls into oblivion 2 months later. Thus, it's never going to attract a crazy amount of player at once -- increase the pack amount slowly but thoroughly with every edition is a better play. I think the pack count being 3x - 5x is the highest I would personally agree with.
Maybe the team just wants a lot of time to work on the next edition? I can accept this reason and that's fair. It's also the most sensible reason I can think of. However, the card player in me wouldn't mind a faster pace to the new editions. I have played a lot of card games and nothing makes said games boring more than a stagnant meta. Without new cards, we come to a stagnant meta. A game being stagnant for way too long is bad for business as it makes players play less on average. We are stuck in this phase for a while now and we will be until Rebellion.
Image and data from Splintercards
We still have 2.465M of CL packs to go through. It will take 99 days of burning at 25K pack per day to go through all of them. If we add in the organic sales, I expect it to be sold out in 75-80 days. I really hope we can get Rebellion right after the the CL packs are done selling -- so, around April or May instead of Q3 as shown in the roadmap.
As for the blog itself, the one thing I like the most is the new card frame. It's 10 times better looking than the current one in my eyes. I love the XP bar design the most and the entire design makes the cards look more like actual characters than "just some random cards". It brings me back to the DotA 2 hero selection screen in an instant and that's a very good thing.
Image from an official Splinterlands tweet.
I did not read every official posts so I might have missed the explanation of DEC Batteries. I like anything that makes DEC valuable although I am uncertain all the recent moves had really achieve that. At some point, I feel like the team focused a tad too much on DEC and SPS is getting put on the side. As SPS drops in value, DEC gets dragged down too and cannot go up easily. I feel like we need to get SPS checked out too and not just solely focus on working with DEC.
There two things I am extremely hyped for in Q1 are ranked battle changes and seasonal rentals. I play the game as a renter and I wrote plenty of blogs about renting. I also complaint about seasonal renting not being here for a while now and it looks like we can finally get it soon. I cannot foresee the market and I can't be certain the renters wouldn't charge extra on seasonal renting. I will take daily renting if the cards are cheaper that way as I am a budget player.
If season rentals are fairly priced or only slightly more pricey, I would take that over daily renting. With daily renting, I have to re-rent cards and check on cancellation every day. This gets repetitive and tiring to do every day. Season rentals cut me out of all the hassle and that is the biggest reason I want to see it implemented.
As a daily player, I love the new 3 rules sets per battle. Going from 2 to 3 gives us a lot of new combinations and new possibilities. This will keep me going in this stagnant CL meta as I expect it to freshen up the game a little bit. This also increases importance of the team making which I am all for it as a player.
Land is a thing that people have been asking for a very long time and it cannot come soon enough. To me though, I am on the minority (maybe). I want the land gameplay to be at the absolute best when it's released and I am happy to wait. I think this is important to the image of Splinterlands on the long run.
Axie has been criticized for their land alpha gameplay because it's too barren. We absolutely don't want that feedback here. Furthermore, many development teams ran away after land sales or had their assets dropped to irrelevancy before land ever comes out. I think the image of "Land" is very negative at the moment. It is seen as a scammy move to take money most of the time. I want Splinterlands to defy all of that with their land gameplay and it's vital to do it right on the first released gameplay.
People are going to complaint about the development being slow no matter what, I would personally take that criticism for as long as possible over a quicker but bad release.
I know a lot of people have strong opinions about soulbound rewards. I will wait and see on this one. Of course, I don't like getting them as they have no trading value, but I will see how it is implemented first before I make any comment. Usually when other games do soulbound, it's to give new players on a budget an easier progression. I do believe Splinterlands needs this to get more new players into the game without an investment barrier so I can see why they want to try this. I am happy to give it a chance.
Q2 is not very exciting for me. I don't understand SPS delegation rental market. I only hope I don't have to have X amount of SPS to rent $Y value of card. That would hurt the idea of budget gaming and hurt the beginner's entry into Splinterlands, but I will not assume that until I see what's it about.
I have the same opinion on SPS staking replacing CP requirement. I think it's a good move to incentivized on the value of SPS, but I am also worried if it would ask for a lot of SPS just for me to play in Silver and Gold leagues.
I think Q3 is the biggest quarter of this year if everything stays like the roadmap. Rebellion and phase 2 land gameplay are both there. Gameplay is the essence of any game and this is the quarter to see if Splinterlands can get a big increase in players and player interest in my opinion.
I also support the art and cosmetic update as I have shared my opinion on art in this article. The only reason I am not super excited is because I don't have the spare money for them any way. I like them in the way that I believe it would help the game and that's about it.
Year 2023 is definitely looking good for Splinterlands. I have some concerns but they are not changing my view on Splinterlands being one of the best games in the Web3 world right now.
That's all from me today. If you are not yet a warrior of the Splinterlands, grab your ticket and join us!
Disclaimer: All images are properly credited. All rights reserved.