The new Splinterlands season has started and everyone has dropped a whole league. I finished Gold I last season and got pretty used to earning 8 reward chests for my daily quest, so obviously I wanted to get back there as quickly as possible. This is the first season I really put an emphasis on grinding my way back to where I was the previous season. I started off in Silver I, but instead of reaching Gold I I lost a bunch of rating points and went back to Silver II.
So the question needs to be asked: How and why did this happen?
There are two main reasons that prevent you from quickly earning rating points at the start of a new season, so let's look at them individually:
Getting matched against stronger opponents
"Why would I get matched against stronger opponents?", you might ask. If everyone drops down exactly one league, the opponents you play against shouldn't change, right? Wrong!
If you belong to the majority of players who are not able to fight for one of the top spots in the league, you will start playing against the players who do and especially so in the first couple of days. So you might be both in Silver I now, but you were place 726 last season in Gold I and your opponent was place 8 in Gold I. The odds that you are going to win this game are going to be very slim. The rating loss however is going to be very severe as the next point will show.
The Elo System
As in many other games, the rating system in Splinterlands is based on Elo. The higher your Elo, the better player you are which makes you eligible to join higher leagues. But Elo also determines how quickly your rating rises or falls.
I'm not going to explain the formula how your rating is calculated (if your interested in the math behind there is a nice Wikipedia article about it), but just give you the general idea behind it. There are basically three cases:
- You play against someone with higher Elo
- Win: You gain a lot of Elo (e.g. +40)
- Lose: You lose only a small amount of Elo (e.g. -10)
- You play against someone with lower Elo
- Win: You only gain a small amount of Elo (e.g. +10)
- Lose: You lose a lot of Elo (e.g. -40)
- You play against someone with the same Elo
- Win: You gain a medium amount of Elo (e.g. +20)
- Lose: You lose a medium amount of Elo (e.g. -20)
As you can see, your Elo increases faster if you win against high rated opponents. The problem is, at the start of each new season, there are not that many people with higher Elo than you (if you are in Bronze/Silver/Gold/Diamond I), because everyone got reset to start in that tier. So if you play a lot to earn more Elo, you will more often face opponents with a lower Elo than you. A win might increase your Elo by 10, but a lose will decrease it by probably 40.
Those are of course example numbers (taken from my own experience though), but the fact still stands:
**At the start of the season your win/loss ratio needs to be much better than later in the
Why does this change the longer the season goes?
The longer the season goes, the more players will increase their rating, making it more probable to play against higher rated opponents. Now your win/loss ration doesn't need to be that good, because a win will most likely give you more points than a loss (at least more often than before).
Another nice benefit is that the players fighting for the leader board places also have their ratings increased. So a loss against one of them won't hurt as much as before.
How does this information help?
With each season reset you need to reset your expectations. It will be highly unlikely to grind yourself back to where you were before the reset in the first couple of days. But you have to tell yourself that this is fine. As the season progresses you will get back up there, after all you earned it last season and you will earn it this season as well.
My advice would be to just earn the daily rewards and try to not lose any rank in the first couple of days. You will know when it is time to push for the next league.
This advice only counts if you are in Bronze/Silver/Gold/Diamond I. If you are in league II or III then you can go for those higher leagues, because there are already opponents with more Elo than you. It will still be more challenging than before though.
But whatever you do, don't tilt as I did and lose 400 Elo and get your capture rate down to 25%. It's not worth the frustration.
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