Splinterlands - Beginner's Guide to the Best Trading Card Game on Blockchain
In recent months I have written about many games implemented on blockchain, but the most attentive and informed of my readers will certainly have noticed that something were missing. Alien Words, Rising Star, Prospectors, are all very good projects , but in my opinion none can compete with Splinterlands. If you have been in the crypto world for a while, you’ll surely have heard of the most famous trading card game on the blockchain word (and soon, in my opinion, the best game ever). If you are new to the crypto-sphere, Spliterlands will allow you to become familiar with wallets, tokens and NFTs trough the simplicity, speed and cost-effectiveness that only the Hive network can guarantee. A fun, fast and challenging game that will make you regret not having discovered it sooner.
The absolute protagonists are cards, naturally configured as Non-Fungible Tokens and therefore tradable or salable according to the owner's will, they can represent monsters to be sent into battle or summoners. We will have cards of different rarities (common, rare, epic and legendary), with different characteristics based on the type of monster, and belonging to one of the seven factions created in the Splinterlands universe: Fire, Earth, Water, Life, Death, Dragon and Neutral. Each monster or summoner can have one or more special abilities, such as increasing vital points or reducing the impact of a certain type of attack.
Matching cards, the famous duplicates, can be combined to level up the card itself and make it more powerful. But there’s more: the cards can be sold in exchange for crypto on different platforms (and therefore in exchange for different tokens). Even if the game was born on Hive, it is possible to connect to it with accounts of other blockchains such as Wax or Eos. Furthermore, thanks to crosschain technology you can link your wallets belonging to other networks, such as Ethereum or Binance Smart Chain, to the game, in order to have all the assets related to the game, but stored on other networks, under control and available when needed. You can trade the game cards on AtomicHub, OpenSea, PeakMonsters and other marketplaces. In addition, you can choose to rent cards for a certain amount of time to and from other players.
In the image above, taken from my collection, you can see that each card has a series of specifications. Let's take the first card, "Harklaw", for example:
- At the top left, the number 8 indicates the cost in terms of Mana;
- The toothed wheel indicates the type of attack (Melee) and the damage inflicted (2);
- Under the type of attack we find speed (in this case, 2);
- On the top right we find the presence or absence of the protective shield and how many defense points it cofers (3);
- Under the shield there are the vital points (9);
- In the center is the faction of the card (the skull is the symbol of the Death faction);
- Under the name of the card we have the level (in this case 1);
- Below the level of the card we find the special ability (that flash indicates the ability "Shield" which reduces the impact of melee and ranged attacks).
Let's move on to the actual game: to enter the magical world of Splinterlands, you just need to create an account and purchase the Spellbook for $10. The latter will allow you to have a basic set of cards to start playing with. By purchasing the Spellbook (through the PayPal circuit or paying with supported crypto) the player will have the opportunity to buy packs, cards or lands, earn DEC (one of the game's currencies) or Credits from the battles won, participate in season’s rewards or in daily missions and transfer cards or credits outside the game. In short, before purchasing the Spellbook, we will only be able to experience the game in trial mode, with the Spellbook the real fun (and earn) begins. When you register, a Hive wallet will automatically be created for you, in which the cards and tokens acquired in the game will be stored. Once you have the Spellbook and your Hive account, you can start playing for real.
The game is not so easy and can be difficult at first. I still have a lot to learn after months of playing. Each battle can have specific rules and therefore we’ll hardly play two identical battles. Basically, at the beginning of each match we will have a certain amount of Mana: summoning a card costs a certain amount of Mana, we will not be forced to spend it all but we will not be able to overcome it. It will be necessary to choose a type of summoner in order to choose the monsters: if we select a summoner from the "Fire" faction, we will then be able to choose between Fire monsters and neutrals (which, as "mercenaries", can be summoned by all factions).
The monster will have different attack characteristics: Melee, ranged or magical. Usually, it is good to have monsters of the first type in first position, because those with ranged attack will lose the possibility to hit if they are in first position (so it will be better to deploy them in the rear). Monsters with magic attack can also attack from the first position but usually, due to their characteristics, they are deployed between melee and ranged attackers, in the middle. There are also monsters that have no attack abilities, but that will be worth fielding for their special abilities or to serve as a shield in first position against melee attacks. My advice, to start, is to watch some battles, read the "How to play" section (you’ll find it immediately next to the "Ranked" battles), study all the special skills present in the game and play a few practice games. With experience you will learn to field the best formation with the cards at your disposal.
LEAGUES AND SEASONS
Depending on the set of cards and on experience, the player will be able during the season (which usually has a variable duration ranging from 12 to 16 days) advance in the leagues by winning battles and by having a certain "Collection Power" (power given by the value of all cards held). You’ll starts with the "Novice" league, the only one in which losing games does not entail a retreat in the score, and then moves on to the "Bronze III" and up to the top, ie the "Champions I" league. Each league will have its own end-of-season reward (a number of chests containing cards, credits, DEC or potions) and a rule regarding the limit level of monsters / summoners that we can deploy, which will increase as we go up to the top leagues.
In Splinterlands there are three tokens that have value: Credits, DEC and SPS.
- Credits are used exclusively for in-game purchases and therefore cannot be exchanged outside the game. They can always be purchased through the PayPal circuit or with one of the supported cryptocurrencies. The value of Credis is fixed: 1000 Credits = $ 1. They cannot be transferred between players and can be earned through the affiliate program (by the way, if you want to sign up with my ref, here it is).
- DEC (Dark Energy Crystals) is the main currency of the game. Once the Spellbook is purchased, each player will have the opportunity to earn DEC by winning Ranked Battles. The amount of DEC earned will change primarily based on the amount of the "Reward Pool", which will be constantly divided among the players who win the individual games. The DEC won will also vary according to the league in which you are entered, the total number of players (which is constantly increasing), the streak, the Guild bonus (each player can join an existing Guild or create one) and the type of cards used in battle. Another determining factor is the DEC Energy Capture Rate (ERC), which will decrease by approximately 1% for each battle played (so more battles in a row will equate to less earnings) and will regenerate at a rate of 1.04% per hour. To always have ERC at 100% it will be enough not to play more than 25 "Ranked" games per day (a great reason not to abuse of a so additive game). The supply of DEC is variable and, to offset the daily emissions of DEC in the Reward Pool, these tokens can be "burned" in different ways within the game. It’s also possible to burn the cards in our possession in exchange for their equivalent value in DEC. DEC are finally a real cryptocurrency, which can be exchanged in different DEX (decentralized exchanges) including Uniswap and Hive Engine. DEC also offer the possibility to participate in Liquidity Pools paired with another token. From the graph you can get an idea of the growth in the value of the token.
- Splintershards (SPS) were recently listed and represent the official governance token of the game. The SPS token will be configured as a DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization) through smart contracts published on the Binance Smart Chain (BSC) and an "oracle system" (a sort of bridge) will allow the interaction between the game (implemented on the Hive blockchain) and the SPS token (on BSC). Owning SPS will allow holders to participate in the game’s Governance and purchase assets (such as upcoming new packs) of the game. 400 million SPS (13.33% of the total supply) are distributed through an airdop, on a daily basis and for the duration of one year, to all players in proportion to the total value of the assets held (DEC, cards, packs, Land, etc. ). The distribution started two months ago so, if you want to participate in the airdrop, you'd better start your Splinterlands adventure right away. SPS are currently tradable on PancakeSwap, among others DEX, where an SPS/BNB Liquidity Pool is also available. In the chart below you can see the strong appreciation of the token in the last month.
No matter how hard I try to wrap the Splinterlands universe into one article, I know I would fail. Let's say I tried to give you the essentials to get started, you’ll have to find out the rest for yourself. Among the points not covered and that I leave to you the pleasure of deepening, we certainly find the Land and the role they’ll have in the future developments of the game, the Events, that are configured as real virtual tournaments with specific rules that allow players to earn large rewards, the role of Potions and an in-depth study on the Guilds. Not to mention the community that revolves around the game and the benefits that can be obtained by being part of it.
On October 18, it will be possible to purchase the new Chaos Legion packs, but for more information and a more accurate analysis of this topic, I refer you to an impeccable article of the great @libertycrypto27. Among his articles you will also find several useful tips on how to maximize the returns from this magnificent game.
I hope this article will help you orient yourself within this amazing metaverse. Personally, I only regret not having started playing earlier, because I consider Splinterlands truly the best blockchain game currently out there. Now you have all the elements to evaluate whether to embark on this adventure, the choice is yours.
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