2020 was a difficult year for me and I didn't found much time to be active on Hive & Co. but I still played Splinterlands on a quite regular basis. It was one of those Dapps that I really liked right from the beginning and I enjoyed playing it all these months. I had a lot of bad days playing it but also succeeded every now and then. But after all this time I've decided to not play it anymore, at least for a while. Wanna know why? Let me explain.
What is Splinterlands?
Splinterlands (or Steem Monsters) is an online card game originally running on the Steem blockchain but nowadays it runs on the Hive blockchain (I guess, correct me if I'm wrong here). You can collect different cards, battle other players and get rewards for your rank at the end of each season.
You can buy packs with crypto to get stronger cards and to improve your chances to get better rewards but you can also try to improve by playing a lot and get better with the cards you'll get as rewards. Splinterlands has an own currency called DEC which you will get as well for every battle you win. You can sell DEC or use it to get more / better cards.
Why I started playing
I was never really addicted to games like Pokémon, Yu-Gi-Oh and other battle card games. I don't know why but I just didn't liked them a lot. So it was not obvious that I would love an online battle card game. But Spliterlands changed that.
I remember that I was excited right from the beginning and I wanted to start playing as fast as possible. Although I didn't liked that kind of games a lot (like I mentioned) it seemed like a cool way to battle with other players, improve the own card deck and get to the top. I invested $50 in cards and started playing. It didn't took long and I was addicted. The chance to earn rewards was a nice extra and motivated me even more but I don't think it was the crucial point that got me playing. It was more the excitement to join such a thrilling competition and the overall great experience made me play this game for almost 2 years. In this time I had more than 12,000 battles and won over 6,000 of them.
What has changed?!?
A lot of games running on the Steem / Hive blockchain are gone or have changed a lot. But Splinterlands, besides some little changes now and then, stayed the same and was fun playing all the time. Until now...
In the beginning you would receive cards at the end of the season based on the rank you've reached. At some point they changed that and since then you receive reward crates instead of cards. They can still contain cards but also DEC or boosts. I don't say that I don't like receiving DEC (some DEC rewards are actually quite high) or boosts which increase the chance to get better cards. But it kind of ruined the fun for me. I really don't have to get the best cards but it is really frustrating when you open a dozen crates and only get 2-3 cards from them. I know they made this change so fewer cards would be distributed and card prices wouldn't drop too fast. Nevertheless it kind of ruined the fun opening rewards at the end of the season. I played nevertheless because the game itself was still a lot of fun and I liked to battle other players to get into higher leagues.
But then they made another change that completely ruined the game for me. Now your card deck needs to have a certain value in order to get into higher leagues and get more rewards. So it doesn't matter if you are a good player anymore because even if you make the right calls in every battle you can't reach higher leagues just because your cards are not good enough. Sure, you can still play and get free rewards which you can use to improve your cards and get a more valuable deck. But players who buy cards / packs with crypto have a clear advantage. And that advantage is that big that it takes away all the fun. I don't have a great team but it's really not that bad. Still, I lose a lot in the silver league to players who have incredible good teams (although there in a silver league as well). A few months ago I always reached a gold league and I also made it to the diamond league once or twice. It was a great time because (almost) anything was possible if you just made the right decisions. Now it seems impossible for me to at least reach the gold 3 league. That sucks. And no, not only because I get fewer rewards. Mainly because it is annoying that I have nearly no chance to reach a higher league. Well, at least if I don't want to invest in new cards / packs. And I'm not the only one who feels this way. I can really recommend you the post from @costanza where he shows how Spliterlands has gone Pay2Win.
In addition to that a lot of "players" are bots. That is something that has bothering me for some time now but in the last weeks I encountered them more often. I love playing against other players and to see who made the better decisions & has the more powerful cards. But fighting bots is just boring and this makes Splinterlands even more unplayable for me.
I hate playing Splinterlands under these circumstances. At first I continued to play the game on a daily basis because I wanted to give it another chance and hoped that it would get better. But it didn't. So I just finished my daily tasks which was often pretty tough and frustrating as well.
So now I've come to the decision that I will quit playing Splinterlands. I'll sell my cards, leave my guild (the Spirit Animals, a great guild by the way, maybe you will take my spot 😉) and look for other blockchain games. That was no easy decision because I loved Splinterlands a lot and I really hoped it would get more like it used to be. But I have to accept that it is not the same game it was 1 year ago. I'll still keep an eye on the future development and maybe (hopefully) one day I'll start playing again.
This is only my personal opinion. Please don't hate me for what I said, I guess a lot of people don't see it like I do and still have a lot of fun playing Splinterlands. And if you're a new player, you should check it out, maybe the points I mentioned doesn't bother you as much as me.
What are your current experiences with Spinterlands? I would love to read your opinion in the comments 👇