Splinterlands a lot harder than I thought
So I might have created my first post in support of Splinterlands a little too soon. If you are thinking about starting Splinterlands to earn maybe read this first. If you already play Splinterlands let me know your experience and if renting (and to what level) is worth it!
To start off, let me put my disclaimer that the following is just my experience and you shouldn't follow it as financial advice. Please do your own research and thinking first. Your experiences may be different from mine.
Paying the initial $10 is fine to start off but you quickly learn that without putting more money into the game you cannot get rewards.
The daily quest that you can will take you much longer than if you had better cards. As a result your DEC capture rate also falls from just trying to finish the quests. It is much easier to play higher level (silver,gold, etc) because there are rules that come into play that limit what you can play (melee only, no melee, everyone has snipe, etc). This gives you more of a chance to win if play the right cards even if they are not the best. However, in bronze most people have the same cards and if you face someone with better ones you almost have no chance. This results in a long time to just finish the quests and you are losing DEC capture rate the whole time.
The rewards from the quest are also terrible in Bronze, if you are lucky you can get a bunch of credits or maybe one low cost card.
Renting sucks. It will always cost you more in the long run to rent rather than buy. This is pervasive throughout life. Renting a car daily, renting furniture daily, renting anything daily will cost more than buying long term. But it can get really expensive to buy enough to get to silver or gold, several hundred dollars per Splinter type. If you are trying to make just with the initial 10$ you will have to stick to renting as the rewards you get will never be enough to buy cards at Bronze. What makes it harder, though, is that you have to pay rent per day but you should only play a certain amount of games per day before capture rate gets too low.
Let's say you do rent. That is a daily cost of DEC which you cannot play infinitely because the DEC capture rate decreases each game you play. At the end of the day, it is recommended to optimize your DEC capture rate by playing only until around 75% as it replenishes around 25% a day. If you rent really well, and get really lucky, you are winning maybe 20 games. But consider the fact that you will also be limiting yourself for a while due to trying to complete whatever quest you have so 20 wins out of 24 or 25 is still being REALLY optimistic. In Bronze later in the season I was gaining less than 1 DEC per win. Beginning of the season when more people play I was getting like 1-2. So let's say 1 DEC per win. That's 20 DEC per day. Essentially you will have to pay around 20 DEC/day and only be able to play 24-25 games/day.
Now, let's look at rental cost. Right now on peakmonsters it is around 500CP/dec which is really good. I think usually it is around 400. But the good cards that you will actually play and that will actually help you win will be much less than 400cp/dec. But let's live in fantasy land and say you can get 400CP/dec and get all the cards you need to win all the games. Winning 20 DEC per day means you can rent 8000CP and stay even. 8000CP will only get you to Bronze 1, Silver 3 requires 15000+ which means you would have to pay a bit less than 40DEC/day again being really optimistic with this. With these calculations if you rent only 5000 CP to get to Bronze 1 and stay there collecting rewards you MIGHT be getting return with the addition of the quest chests and end of season rewards...but that brings us to another issue.
End of Season Rentals
Unless you are buying, you will need to rent cards. As I said above, a really good rate is 400cp/dec. However, those who are renting out cards understand that EVERYONE wants to rent more at the end of the season to have enough CP to stay at their higher league to get the most end of season rewards possible. Thus, the CP/DEC rate drops. From what I remember, last end of season people were autobidding to get enough CP at 200cp/dec. Meaning that they were renting any CP for 200cp/dec. That will double the cost of you rental at the end of season. Let's also not forget about the better cards that you a renting to win games which may come at a higher cost.
You should also consider the time it takes to go shopping for the cards you want to rent. You need to compare prices, makes sure other cards aren't better CP/dec, consider if you want to Bid and wait to get even better prices, etc. This can feel tedious.
BE CAREFUL WITH BIDDING I found out the hard way that it will automatically refresh and take your DEC daily if you have the highest bid and forget to cancel the bid. It was unnecessarily complicated to see what bids you have going on and to find them on peakmonsters to cancel them, they should really make an easier way to see and cancel them unless I am missing something obvious
Should you just get to Silver??
This is all to say that to earn from Splinterlands you will most likely need to put in more than just 10$ for the initial spellbook. You might be able to do it but it will take an insane amount of time and mental health. Maybe your best bet is to plan to rent a bit to get higher, maybe even into Silver 3 to get extra daily quest rewards and higher DEC rewards (I got around 20DEC per win at the very beginning of the season in silver). But also remember, every season you get reset so you will start at bronze if you ended in Silver. And then remember again, you only really get 25 games at most per day if you want to optimize DEC capture rate. Sure if you have the 15000CP to get into silver, getting out of Bronze may be easier than if you didn't have anything else but this means you are losing out on the beginning of the season which usually has the most players/DEC per win rewards just trying to get back into Silver. Now, say that you get to Silver...remember how you fell back to bronze? Everyone in gold fell back to silver. So in Silver you are competing against Gold players who usually have much better cards. Say bye to that optimistic 20wins/day, at least at the beginning of the season. The good thing though, is that you get more daily rewards and that the chests can contain 100+ DEC if you're lucky. At the end of the day it will be hard cause of all the CP you need to rent to get to silver but you will probably have a better chance of breaking even in Silver than just staying in bronze.
The obvious solution would just be to buy cards and slowly make your investment back. This gets rid of all the rental cost headache. However, a gold account may cost a couple thousand and silver a few hundred at least. It will still take a while to get the investment back but you will have more fun and less worry.
If you plan to rent, I think it would be best to rent to higher leagues (out of bronze) to more daily quest rewards and better rewards. In Bronze you can only earn credits, potions, and a small chance of cards in the daily rewards. In Silver you start earning DEC, potions, and much higher chance of cards. It might seem like a lot to rent 15000+ power but let's take a step back. DEC right now is around a third of 1 cent USD. This means 1000 DEC is around $3 or less than a cup of Starbucks coffee in the US, which should be plenty enough to rent to Silver. If at the end of the day you spend a total of $15 on this game and realize it is still too hard to climb and profit, losing $15 to learn this is not too bad.
What I plan to do
I honestly did not want to spend more than $10 so I am planning just to slug it out in bronze and slowly collect the free rewards. It only takes me half an hour or less per day especially if I skip the battles. It feels like even less time if I just play while going to the bathroom or walking somewhere. It is also less mentally taxing as I don't really have as much pressure to win since I'm not renting anything! If you regret putting in the $10 and don't want the headache of renting, just do this to at least get something.
If you want to try renting to Silver but don't want to spend more than $10, join Coinbase (my referral link if you want to use it but you don't have to, there's really no benefit to either of us unless you spend 100$) and do their "Learn and Earn" section. I was able to get $16 worth of various tokens through this for free. From there, what I did was convert it to LiteCoin then move that into hive-engine.
Additionally, I am using Brave browser to get free BAT tokens which I think I will convert and spend in the game to slowly buy cards that will make winning in Bronze easier.
See you in 5 years when I hopefully finally get some return LOL