Splinterlands Enhancements V: Lower Level Play II: Enhancing Rewards

Another of the biggest problems with lower level play in Splinterlands is that incredibly less rewarding than higher level play. The frustration that this generates can turn off new players and cause them to quit – which then hurts Splinterlands viability and long-term card values. Worse, while some players may accept options like Herons-Unlimited deck delegation, the rewards are halved and it takes far too long before they are able to play with their own challenging and fun cards. This is also a huge barrier to re-entry for previous players who sold their decks but now want to rejoin the game.

I’ve already discussed how Booster Draft can let newbies play with cards from any level, how Monster Training adds a lot of strategy to low-level play and how Forced Growth allows players to get cool abilities earlier. Here, I’ll focus on improvements to the ranking and rewards systems.

All of the rewards systems in Splinterlands (ranked DEC and reward cards, tournament winnings and season’s end reward cards and packs) give overly large rewards to the higher-level players and those who have been around longer and/or spent a lot of money. Given that Splinterlands must operate and reward on a budget, this means drastically reduced rewards to the players who need them the most in order to afford the cards to play at the higher levels.

Next Sunday's tournaments

Last season, I reached Champion II (so I shouldn’t be complaining about my own rewards being too low). I averaged over 2000 DEC per day in DEC rewards and 15 reward cards per day. I also got 120 reward cards at the end of the season – 4x that of Gold I (the highest rank before the Diamond wall). Shifting a good portion of this downwards would help new players far more than it would hurt me.

During each season about $3350 are given away in tournaments. Someday I or someone else should do a thorough data analysis to see where most of this money goes – but I do know that I see the same few names in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place listings virtually all the time regardless of the league level of the tournament. It’s also important to note that over $1200 of that $3350 are the rewards for gold or diamond gold foil tournaments.

Given the paltry sums of money currently given away for lower level tournaments – the number of them should be tripled or more, the winnings should be tripled or more and higher league players shouldn’t be allowed in more than half of them. Rankings should be kept for each player at for each league level and pairings should be made by filling the bracket in ranking order—thus ensuring that the closest ranked players play each other first and the worst ranked player could only play the best ranked player in the last round. For this ranking, I would recommend the ELO standard and not reset it at the end of the season.

The rich get richer . . . .

Most egregious of all are the packs awarded at the end of the season -- $450 worth of packs given to the top 3 players, over $1000 more to the rest of the top 25 and the next 25 get $500 for a total of $1970. For the sake of Splinterlands, this is money that would be far better spent on newcomers.

Another few ideas include changing ranking by 50% on draws and giving the lower ranked player the win for purposes of DEC and win streaks. Anything that will reward players trying to grind up from the bottom will only help Splinterlands. It is too slow a task and the game is losing all newcomers who aren’t willing (or able) to “Pay to Play”.

So, what do you all think? Again, these are just my initial thoughts and I’m sure that they could be improved upon. PLEASE comment below whether you like this idea or not and any changes/improvements you can come up with.

This is the last improvements post (until I come up with something else). If you have a suggestion that you'd like to see me flesh out and write about, please drop me a line (or comment below).

As always may you always hit, retaliate and poison when you need to – and may your opponent not be so lucky.


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I agree that there should be incentive for those who arrive, because not everyone is able to invest, but what measures exactly, is difficult to know, but I hope they do something about it.

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