Splinterlands: Why Gold Foils Should Be Viewed As A Blessing

in #splinterlands2 months ago (edited)

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Splinterlands just released their "collection power" ranking. And within the collection power consists values for alpha, beta, promo, reward, untamed, and of course gold foil versions of each.

There's currently a panic going on by two groups of people that are trying to convince others that 1) the collection score is going to make the game "pay for play" and 2) "collector" versions of cards (ie...alpha vs beta or regular foil vs gold foil) are not being calculated properly. While I'm sympathetic to anyone that has true concerns about anything (I've had my share of rants), I'd like to address both of these arguments.

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"Pay To Play Argument" Is A Red Herring

First, the pay to play argument is silly. Of course, if you want to play in the Champion league level and be in the top 50, then of course you must pay to play in that league. Also if you want to enter the "gold foil" tournaments, then you must pay to play in order to get those golds. But, if you want to invest a modest $20 ($10 for the starter deck, and $10 for either buying or leasing key cards), then you can certainly get much enjoyment from the game.

On top of that, you can also earn something from having those cards as you will earn DEC on every match, plus also earn loot box rewards from both daily quests and season ranking. So of course its pay to play at the top levels, but what on earth would anyone expect? There is nothing in this world that gives people something for nothing, and this argument is a red herring for people seeking grievances for other reasons.

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Gold Foils Are A Blessing

Second, a few people are making the argument that making the collection power reflect the higher DEC value of promos, alphas, and gold foil versions this somehow disadvantages people that don't have a lot of money. Let me give an alternative view of this argument.

When the collection power is implemented to encourage decks of certain sizes to play in certain leagues, then that calculation will be made by the developers to determine what is a reasonable size account to be in a certain level. So for instance, they may determine accounts of say 50,000 DEC should be in Silver level or below (note this is just an example, I haven't done the math yet). I'm sure they will do this by calculating a sufficient level of summoners and monsters needed to provide a competitive playing deck in the silver ranks.

So there are 6 splinters + neutrals; plus all the cards combinations over the 4 different versions: 1) alpha/beta 2) reward 3) promo 4) Untamed. When you add up all the DEC requirement for say 80% of the total of all these cards for level 5 common, level 4 rare, level 3 epic, and level 2 legends, then you will get a DEC score that you would EXPECT a good competitive Silver Level deck to be.

So for argument's sake, lets assume that is 50,000 DEC. Now here's the point where the Gold Foils become a blessing. Lets say you are super smart and feel that you can "win" with less than a 50,000 DEC level, and you feel you can progress to the NEXT league up the Gold League. In order to do that, you will need to have at least a 50K collection score.

So here's where the Gold-Foil versions of the cards enable you to effectively "cheat". A gold-foil version is worth 50x more than a regular-foil version. So if you have 45,000 DEC score, then you can either a) change some of your regular foil versions of the cards you love for the gold foil versions, or b) you can just add any gold foil cards to your collection and boost your score. In essence the gold foil versions enable a good player to go without all the cards that other players would typically have, and thus enable them to advance to the next league at a fraction of the cost. (NOTE: gold foil versions (while 50x more rare) are nowhere near 50x the price of the regular foil version, in fact in many cases they are substantially below that)

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So for the people that say that Gold Foil versions shouldn't be counted in the collection power based on their DEC value, I say be very careful what you wish for. The gold foil version valuation metrics will enable the good players an opportunity to efficiently play their decks at a higher level than if all foil versions were treated equally. Said another way, you will have to meet the collection score either way, so having a way to do it cost efficiently is not a curse, but instead a blessing.

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I don't agree, Dave.
Basically, the idea of separate leagues is to get people with the same deck strength to play each other in a certain league.
Collection power like it is calculated now, will never achieve that, just because alpha/promo/gold foil are weighted heavily, and all playable cards are taken into consideration.

To me, it would make more sense to count only the highest level of a card, and give the same value to all editions. I mean, there's no difference when it comes to gameplay whether a card is an alpa/beta/gold foil summoner of a certain level.
Once again, they are looking at it from a monetary point of view, not a gameplay point of view (surprise, surprise, lol)

If you see that my deck is complete and maxed - but beta and regular foil - and I'm only in 99th place in the list of collection power, I really wonder how they are gonna go forward with setting tresholds. The results are already completely off, just because of those - imho - wrong parameters....

I do get your point about a good player being able to go up a league by buying a gold foil, but if he can do that, so can all the bots... which means that pretty soon, we'll be right back where we started...

As always, I'm never mind if you disagree with me :) ...

First, I think your point below to PK is correct for sure, they will need to make sure the incentives to stay in the proper leagues are also there too.

Second, I think you are not thinking about how high they set the levels. I think they will set the levels high enough that there will be many that say "I can win in those leagues with way less than that needed DEC"... And then the complaint would be, why don't you lower the levels, I don't need ALL those cards to be competitive.

The reason they would say this is because they will easily win their quests with a much smaller deck. For instance I do my quests every day and have next to no untamed, very few leveled epics or legends. But I get my loot boxes and I might feel that I am competitive since I win quests. But I have never even been in the top 100 at the end of the season. So unless they make that Collection Power reflect at least a minimum sized deck that they feel is economical, then we will be right back in the same boat.

In other words, competition is subjective. Winning quests isn't the same as winning in either tourneys or season rankings. I think they plan on setting the bar high with the collection power, and then GIVING people (or bots) a way to move up, but that way will require an investment in the game.

If they didn't give people a way to move up, then everyone would complain that they can't move higher without all the cards. I can guarantee you that you will fit in the league you should fit in, and I think this approach will go a long way to fixing the abuse of the bots... And ps... if I'm right about them setting the collection power towards the high end, then it will mean 5000+ bots having to buy tons of cards if they do indeed want to take the same rewards... I don't see that happening, but that wouldn't be the worst thing. The bottom line is this is a loophole to give people access to something better than they would normally have (chance to earn higher loot boxes), which in my eyes is a good thing, but only if they have a minimum size DEC being hodled in the cards.

All the collection power is for is to require players to have a certain "value" of cards in their collection in order to be able to earn higher levels of rewards. It's really just a simple reward tier mechanism. It's not meant to group people into leagues or assess players strength in battles or anything like that. The league leaderboard changes will include their own mechanisms for grouping players and making getting to the top at each league competitive.

Question: Do you think it may be necessary to have a different collection power calculation formula for rewards cards, as opposed to cards opened from packs? Possibly even exclude rewards cards altogether from the collection power value?

This may incentivise players to make a slightly higher initial investment to improve their collection power and deck strength, instead of mass botting level 1 starter decks for rewards cards. Would that in turn make buying packs or cards from the market add more value to both sides.

Thanks.

I hope you don't mind me responding to your comment before old man Dave gets back from his long slow walk😛

I completely understand where you are coming from with your comment, and share some of those concerns in general. It's true about the bots being able to use them to their advantage, but so will real players (as you said). I think that's where collecting early data and then using it to adjust the thresholds based on the results of the different testing phases will help alleviate some of those concerns, going forward.

At the very least, it will partly solve the huge amount of level 1 decks sucking up a big proportion of the in-game rewards, so in that instance - players will be highly incentivised to level up more accounts (and more crucially their summoners), and that's a good thing....otherwise they will linger at the very bottom because of collection power limitations.

You are not wrong about a gold foil deck having an advantage and being able to climb higher up the ladder with the same "levels" of cards in direct comparison to a regular foil deck. I do think however, that there is a long term view being being taken into consideration with this method of calculation, by weighting gold foils at their higher DEC value as part of the collection power. As usual, it always comes back to more players in the game, as one of the long term needs and considerations to be taken into account.

However, there will also be the scenario, where if you climb too high up the ladder with a lower level deck, then you will get beaten at a much higher percentage due to the different playing tiers that are being implemented. There would therefore also be less incentive to climb higher up the ladder as opposed to winning at a much higher rate at your own league level. It would also make earning DEC and completing quests a lot more difficult overall, if you were to climb too high.

It's a delicate balance between a great playing experience for all levels of players and the game economy. Especially when it comes to the value of your cards and overall deck in general. The card market is still an important part of the game economy and if that fails, then the game fails long term as well. Allowing gold foils to be part of the calculation would create more demand for them, therefore increasing their value both from a monetary perspective and game-play perspective - especially when all the expansions and different game modes get implemented into the overall game structure.

Players will want also want to buy more packs and find more gold foil cards both in packs and by completing their quests.

That will also create some good opportunities to advertise the game to a wider audience. Higher card values (long term), should attract more players, through in-game rewards and specifically bigger tournament prize pools.

Of course a lot of this is theoretical in nature, and there are pro's and cons no matter how you implement collection power.

I am certainly not an expert or have a ready-made perfect solution as some other claim to😉

I am personally just going to wait and see how it plays out in the early phases, before being overly critical and judging the overall pros and cons.

Great reply PK!

I guess it all depends on how they will restructure the rewards. There need to be enough incentives to stay in 'your own' league. If season rewards/DEC earnings/DQ rewards are exponentially better in a higher league, it will make it more interesting to go there anyway. Get enough of your accounts in that same league, and they will eventually be matched with each other, and you can get wins 🤷‍♀

I really like how jacekw put it in his reply to my comment on his post:

1lvl deck with some gold foils (epics / legendaries) is not Silver/Gold level deck. It is still a 1lvl deck (...)

I guess it all depends on how they will restructure the rewards. There need to be enough incentives to stay in 'your own' league.

Yep, agree - that's all a part of it. That's why it will be interesting to see how it works in practice during the initial phases, and then they can adjust the rewards and collection power thresholds if necessary.

It may end up being necessary to have a summoner level limit as well, which is why I mentioned that players levelling up summoners will be good for the game. Good for the card economy too.

We really need a big influx of bronze and silver level players, which would make it much harder to climb the ladder, and then that will help in eliminating most of the problems.

1lvl deck with some gold foils (epics / legendaries) is not Silver/Gold level deck. It is still a 1lvl deck (...)

Yes. The only thing about that, is that gold foil epics are not really that cheap - so it will be an expensive excercise to make an army of low level bot accounts and be as profitable as before. I actually have a deck like that myself lol. But that's to earn more DEC per battle rather than to climb higher.

Anyway, I'm going to leave it to the more influential players to decide. Time to exit the conversation.

Great Splinterlands post as always! ~@clove71

Thanks @steemmonsters aka Splinterlands :)

Another great post by the Splinterlands O.G. himself! It's truly people like you who make this such a great place to be! Thank you!

Thank you @clove71 :) ... and back at ya! The best community due to the efforts of people like you that encourage us every day!!!

Gold foil cards must be included in the DEC ranking. Otherwise the price of regular cards will go up while gold foil cards will go down which is counter-intuitive for a card collecting game. You want to make people excited to be getting rare cards. The more the rare cards are worth, the better the publicity for the game.

I agree @johnhtims! Very good points!

My higher level account having lower collection score than my lower level account. Though my DEC value of card is higher than than DEC value of lower level deck.

What a big screw if my higher level deck is pushed to lower league (because of low score) and lower level deck pushed to higher league because of high score.

@r1s2g3, can't you move cards between accounts? The bottom line is you will be able to adjust your strategy and no one is getting "screwed" because everyone will have the same rules. Once those rules come out, I'm sure you will make sure that you are playing in the highest leagues that you are qualified for.

Let see how the leagues get distributed then I will definitely put some corrective measures.

That's fair!