Splinterlands & EXODE Reward Events & Amounts: A Comparison

in Splinterlands8 months ago (edited)
After my two previous posts on Splinterlands & Exode Reward Types and Splinterlands & EXODE Reward Purposes & Gameplay: A Comparison, today's post will complete the series by giving more detail of when the various rewards are given out and how the amount and specific details are determined.


EXODE and Splinterlands are both digital collectible card games built upon the Hive Blockchain. I'm pretty thoroughly addicted to both. Other than that, they are nearly as different as they can be.

GenreSpace ColonizationFantasy Battle Arena
Primarily PvPNoYes
BotsNoSubstantial % of players
Length of GameMonths<5 minutes
Pay for Best PlayNoYes
$$$ Requirement$10-$20$1000s
RewardsCards, In-Game Assets (including New Assets)
Card & Asset Upgrades (including Experience
Points, conversion to Elite, etc.)
Cards (including Potions)
DEC cryptocurrency
Reward MechanismsMission/Quest/Epic QuestLine Rewards;
Research, Discovery & Crafting Rewards;
Weekly Rewards; Season Rewards;
Legacy/Post-Game Rewards; and
Tournament Rewards & Contests
Game-Winner Rewards;
Daily Quest Rewards;
Season Rewards and
Tournament Rewards
& Contests
Pay For Best RewardsNoYes

General Differences

Due to it's very short game length of less than five minutes, it makes no sense for Splinterlands to give out in-game rewards. On the other hand, with EXODE's months-long games, there are plenty of opportunities for in-game rewards. Indeed, it would be cruel to make players wait months to receive any rewards and while the end-of-game "Legacy" rewards are more substantial, there's something really cool about immediately gaining experience to advance and/or using the rewards from an early part of a quest-line in order to succeed and complete an epic quest.

As mentioned in Splinterlands & Exode Reward Types, Splinterlands rewards are limited to cards and DEC for the sole purpose of maxing out your collection and then being able to make more money. Unfortunately, however, this generally amounts to a less than 10%/year return on collections valued at $20K at today's prices (40% lower than in January) as discussed in Splinterlands & EXODE Reward Purposes & Gameplay: A Comparison. Exode rewards are much more varied including cards, normal or player-created in-game assets, and improvements to both cards and/or in-game-assets so that game-play is constantly expanding as the infrastructure of civilization grows. Given the low entry price of EXODE and many more options in terms of how cards evolve (thus leading to fewer identical cards and thus higher card prices -- not to mention in-game asset sales), the rate of return in EXODE is primarily driven by game-play rather than collection value.


EXODE Rewards Opportunities/Events

EXODE gives out rewards for six different reasons (completing a Mission/Quest; successfully discovering, collecting, inventing and/or crafting in-game assets; finishing a week of play; finishing a month-long season of play; completing a game; and placing highly in a tournament). There are also awesome team- and community-led contests of EXODE skill complete with days of excellent narrative/action-reports describing how the contests played out (as summed up in A Backstage Tour to the Baldie Challenge and A Backstage Tour to the Federal Database Challenge).
Mission/Quest Rewards
Certain cards can “unlock” special missions or quests which grant rewards immediately upon completion. For example, all faction cards have chances to trigger 'faction missions'. In particular, Faction Leaders (Rebel General, The Kumicho and many more to come) can unlock major plots or epic quests for that faction which consist of progression through a series of increasingly more challenging missions or quests. In addition, all faction missions (both major plots and normal missions) also contribute “faction reputation points”, a currency to be announced and used later to unlock cards or other rewards.

It is particularly important to note that Mission/quest rewards are given during the game and are likely to be helpful in the next mission/quest in the series. This is in direct contrast with the end-of-game "Legacy" rewards (often increased by achievement rewards).

Discovery, Collecting & Crafting Results
There are many in-game actions that you can perform where the results are rewards that can not only be used by your colony but also sold on the in-game Supply Market. For example, exploration gives you coordinates of habitable planets. Once you scan and “discover” a planet (watch out for aliens here), you can sell these coordinates on the market.

When starting colonies (and subsequently), you can always discover, identify and collect materials on your planet and sell them as resources. Some of these resources are used by other players in their production – but they can also include basics like food, water, energy, and construction materials that may be in short supply on other planets. Or, they could include unique items like medicine from your planet's rain forests.

Once your colony is mature you can design new assets like vehicles, buildings, software, ships or other products (such as, for syndicate cartels, new drugs), produce them, and sell them. Of course, many of these assets can take a lot time to research and produce (especially ships; ships being large projects that only very experienced colonies can start).

Weekly Rewards
While the most experience points are earned at the end of the game in Legacy Rewards, weekly experience points are very important as well as they can advance your in-game characters (and ships) by applying them either:
  • directly against the asset (advancing it more quickly but losing it at the end of the game except for a small fraction that is passed back to the collection card) or
  • against the collection card that generated character/ship, which will then be advanced by a lesser amount which greater than the amount that would be passed back at the end of the game. Note also, that the same lesser amount of experience (and any benefits that it causes) is also immediately applied to the in-game asset.
Season Rewards
Players receive season rewards at the end of each month-long season according to their activity and ranking for the season.

Season rewards are scored for each active game. However, there are also some scores that are per account, so there are both game rankings and account rankings. For example, faction reputation points are acquired with games but are an account total. Game effects upon such rankings are then displayed per account and affect all of that account's games.

Legacy Rewards
Legacy Rewards are the loot that you get at the end of an EXODE game. The longer you survive, the better the loot you obtain. Surviving a long time needs a combination of resources, friends and strategic skills. Thus, in order to obtain the best Legacy Rewards, you will have to invest time and resources, and be cautious with risks.

Almost all cards give Legacy Rewards, but some give a lot more than others. For example, each Origin card gives access to a specific Legacy table with guaranteed chances if certain conditions are met. Similarly, cards with the Achievement keyword unlock other tables, such as “major legacy rewards” for that card's faction, which again have a specific scoring system for awarding chances. You can find more information about Achievement awards on that subject's wiki page.

Note that the rarest and most difficult to obtain Legacy Rewards are extremely precious and will become very valuable.
Tournament rewards
For the most part, EXODE is not a player-vs-player (PvP) game; however, in the future, there will be tournaments made up of simulated battles, as if characters and ships were in a VR simulator with tournament rewards. This is likely one on the only places in EXODE that collection size and value might matter -- but there will also be tournaments where all players are givenidentical resources.

Note that while Tournament rewards are expected to be nice, they certainly aren't going to overshadow Season Rewards (much less, Legacy Rewards), as is the case with Splinterlands tournaments.

Note: most of the details above were pulled from the Reward wiki pages which I regularly edit.

Unlike Splinterlands, it is not yet easy to put monetary values on EXODE rewards. This will likely change somewhat as the market becomes larger -- but the calculations will always be post hoc and difficult due to the fact that many of the cards sold on the Starbase Market -- and probably an even higher percentage of the assets sold on the in-game Supply Market -- will be unique items and thus their value can't be calculated until they are actually sold (as opposed to DEC and the limited number of identical Splinterlands cards whose value can always be immediately determined). Further, the monetary value of EXODE rewards is likely to be much less important to most EXODE players than the major enhancements to game-play that they afford.


Splinterlands Reward Opportunities/Events

Splinterlands gives out rewards for four different reasons (winning a game, completing a daily quest, finishing a season of ranked play and placing highly in a tournament. There are also frequent community contests and raffles that give out minor rewards. An important thing to remember is that your Splinterlands win rate (and thus your ranked play league placement), is at least as heavily influenced by the quality of the cards you own as it is by your play skill, if not more so. As all rewards are determined by league, as described in the sections below, this means that you must pay to have the best cards in order to reap the best rewards.

Splinterlands currently has a problem with the ecosystem being flooded with low-level, poorly playing bots sufficient to push many players into leagues they should not be able to reach without better decks. The team is currently, therefore, implementing a Collection "Power" Fix which caps the league a player is allowed to reach based upon their collection's monetary value. This will hopefully ensure that minimal value and poorly-playing bots are no lucrative enough that it is worthwhile to flood Splinterlands and pillage undeserved rewards.

Unfortunately, this fix pays the price of further emphasizing the pay-to-play nature of the game and annoying (and vastly reducing the rewards of) those players who are no longer capable of reaching the Leagues they could achieve with bot help. Note that it is actually the case that the new collection power caps are unlikely to affect players with more than the most minimal decks because most players will no longer be competitive enough to actually reach a league where the cap stops them. But, of course, for the players receiving fewer rewards, this is merely clouding the issue with facts.

Once the bot situation is alleviated, I expect that we'll go back to having a "diamond wall". When I first joined last October, it was reasonably easy/inexpensive to reach the Gold I league -- but breaking into Diamond III for any length of time required that most of your cards be maxed. For this reason, I will be comparing prize values for both the easily reached Gold I and the expensive top-level Champion I.

Winning a Game (Gold I - 7.5 KDEC/season, Champion I - 22.5 KDEC -- assuming no bot flood)
Winning a game earns you DEC. How much DEC is determined primarily by your ranking -- but modified by a number of multipliers based upon which cards (gold, alpha or promotional) you use, how many matches you have recently played (DEC capture rate), the length of your current winning streak and the level of your guild. Note that gold and alpha cards are normally, of course, rather more expensive that their regular counterparts (and don't even think about trying to buy gold alphas unless you are independently wealthy). I am assuming that the Champion I player likely has a reasonable number of gold and alpha cards while the Gold I player does not.

The total amount of DEC game rewards given out over a 24-hour period is calculated to be as close as possible to a constant, so the more players playing and the higher the level they are playing at, the fewer the rewards for everyone else. Thus, one result of the low-level bot flood is that game rewards are currently well less than half of what they were at the beginning of the year. However, the Collection Power fix should return the rewards of those not subject to the Collection Power cap to approximately where they were before (at higher levels roughly 1500 DEC/25-game day).

Completing a Daily Quest (Gold I - 11,500 DEC/Season, Champion I - 28,500 DEC/Season)
Each day, players are given a daily quest to win a certain number of battles while following a specific requirement to use a certain splinter or to not use neutral monsters. Players may "re-roll" the conditions of their quest once per day and upon completion of their quest are rewarded with one to twenty loot chests based on the player's current league per the chart below. Each chest can contain a Reward Cards (33%), DEC (33%, amount varies with burn value of cards), Potions (33%) and available packs of promo cards or boosters (1%). Loot chests have an average value of about 10 DEC apiece. This means that a player who progresses quickly from Diamond I (where Champion Is are dropped to after the end of a season) will make about 28,500 DEC in a 15-day season. A player who progresses from Silver I to Gold I makes about 11,500 DEC.


Finishing a Season of Ranked Play (Gold I - 3,000 DEC, Champion I - 15,000 DEC + 2-100 boosters)
As you can see from the chart above, finishing the 15-day season in the Champion I League is very lucrative with 150 loot chests. While this averages about $15, my Champion I seasonal loot has ranged in value from less than $8 to over $80. But wait! There's more! If you finish in the top 50, you also get from 10 to 100 booster packs for another $20 to $200. Compare this to Gold I's whopping $3 reward.

Placing Highly in a Tournament (Gold I - negligible, Champion I - 200K DEC/Season or more
The quickest way to win the most money in Splinterlands is by doing well in tournaments. For example, the winner of the monthly Splinterlands Brawler currently gets 100,000 DEC with a total of over $560 distributed. Currently, ordinary novice league tournaments award a total of $17, bronze $29, silver $54, gold $114 and diamond $228. Non-Alpha Gold foil tournaments generally award about 50% more with about one-third the number of players participating. Note also that the lower league tournaments normally have a substantial number of top-level players playing in them -- which generally means that, unless there is a "No Legendary Summoners" rule, your average low-level player stands very little chance.

Top 100 players with a Gold I gold foil collection (NOT cheap) can make 200,000 DEC/season in tournament rewards without participating/placing well in the Brawler. Top 10 players with maxed gold foil collections can make double that.

Not counting tournaments and top-50 booster packs, in normal times, a Gold I player should make about 25,000 DEC/Season and a Champion I player 65,000 DEC/Season. This isn't a bad discrepancy at all given that the Champion I player has likely paid an order of magnitude more for their collection. Of course, that Champion I can also make another 200,000+ DEC/season in tournaments -- but that still represents a lower return than that of the Gold I player. Also, and probably more importantly, the Gold I player doesn't get to enjoy the strategy and vastly improved experience of high-level play.

For more information, Chris Roberts has written a very complete post on the details of Splinterlands Rewards Explained while Byzatinist recounts the history of quest and season rewards in Splinterlands: A History of Reward Systems.

Note: I'm continuing my Special Offer: Double your money back if you try eXode and don't like it.

First, simply use my referral code 777c835 when you buy your first starter pack ($10) or the triple starter pack ($20) and you will receive two additional booster packs. Then, if you try the EXODE Evacuation version E and decide that you don't want to continue playing EXODE, simply send me your starter pack cards and I will send you twice the purchase price ($20/$40) -- assuming, of course, that HIVE verifies that you actually really did try an evacuation. There are also additional rewards if you join my EXODE alliance, AILF. If you are interested, details are at the bottom of my first post in this series: Economics & Rewards in EXODE and Splinterlands.

For more information about the awesomeness that is EXODE, check out the short (five minute) introductory video and the wiki. There is also the EXODE Pilots Hive community (which has a bunch of terrific tutorial videos as well as many posts entering and detailing the results of recent contests) and a Discord Server. Oh, and the game itself is at https://exodegame.com/.


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