Why Splinterlands is amazing, what my concerns are and a hopeful way out
First thing's first: I think everyone's gotten so caught up in the craze of how much they can make that its clouding the first reason we got into this: earning while having fun. Splinterlands does just that and it does it brilliantly.
After buying the spellbook, you can start earning immediately. Sure, its slow at first but it gets better over time as you keep winning and quickly you realize that the higher up the rank ladder you are, the better your earnings will be: bottomline - git gud and make money.
After getting to bronze II, reality kicks in a bit. You're limited by power and the power limits your earnings so you have to use your precious DEC/earnings to get more power to go up the ladder to earn more. This is where it gets tricky. Finding the optimal balance of power, cost and utility is a challenge. Fortunately, as you play more and learn more, you realize what's worth the cost you'll pay. Eventually, you may even buy a card or 2 and that's great.
Once you hit silver, this where real strategy starts to kick in. There isn't a one size fits all approach any more and battle conditions and opponent deck strengths and preferences really matter. Unfortunately, this means renting or buying more to get through these hurdles. Now, if you're really clever, you can absolutely wreck with just a few good cards (you won't win them all but you'll certainly win a majority - e.g. phantom of the deep, valnamor, yodin, mylor, kraken, to name a few). This could even take you all the way up to silver 1.
And this is where my concern is. I've been playing for 6 weeks. Its absolutely thrilling; I'm so addicted my wife will leave me. But that's not the (a?) problem. Renting cheap isn't a possibility if you're trying to get out of silver. And for what? 2 extra quest chests or a few more season chest rewards? That give you 20 DEC/chest most of the time? So I decided to buy some more cards. Only I figured why put all my money in excellent, but expensive cards (which I may never be able to flip if I wanted to without losing) when I could buy underappreciated but strong gold foil cards (sand worm, ant miner) and hope they moon. Plus, I gain some good power to hold my rank and I get SPS via airdrops as a bonus. But at the end of the day I won't really gain ranks. Feels a bit hopeless if I'm frank.
I'm being cheap with renting and I know it. I realize I could renter better cards and gain more ranks but I just don't see the trade off as worth it financially. Feels like trying to get top rank silver/bronze is the best - it pays a bunch of DEC directly. Instead, I think the real bonus of my gold foil strategy is the SPS drops (which are also stakeable). Sure you could argue I could've just bought DEC (DEC:SPS airdrop ratio is far more favorable than anything else, except maybe land). But I feel like it gives me power without having to rent, gives me SPS drops, and gives me the luxury to rent them out if I feel like it too (added bonus of power loss if I'm trying to play 4D chess and drop leagues to hopefully end up at the top of bronze).
Why is SPS such a big deal? Here is where the hope comes in. In approximately 4-6 weeks, chaos legion pre-sale pack vouchers are to drop, These drops are directly in proportion to staked SPS and the packs are going to be sold for $2 each (DEC or credits, regardless). My plan, as I'm sure is every regular player's, is to grab as many as I can before they sell out. They're cheap and the cards will be worth it. As print runs out, the packs themselves go up in price. Hopefully, I can even get lucky and get rare/legendary or gold foil cards. That's where the real returns will be.
The best part of my plan is that I get to chill out for a while. Just casually game and some here and there with my small collection of regular and gold foil cards. I think this is the best plan for anyone interested.
If you're new and didn't get any of that, DM me and I'll explain to you further in detail why Splinterlands growth still has a ways to go. If you're considering starting, use my referral link and I'll even delegate some cards to you to help you along in the process:
Full disclosure: I will gain a bit of credits every time someone uses it. So you don't have to if you don't want to. But if you learnt something or I got you thinking, I'd appreciate it if you did. If you see a flaw in my logic, reply and we can hash it out.
P.S. Game management is brilliant.