Scholarships for Splinterlands? All you need to know
If you're playing Splinterlands, you probably know what are Axie scholarships. That feature allows players - mostly located on emerging countries - to play the game with borrowed teams. Since Axie is a competitive play-to-earn game, some scholars can make decent money and axies owners take a cut on their earnings. The trend was so huge last year on the Republic of the Philippines that a short documentary was made to document how people there were using scholarships to complement their income.
When done properly, scholarships have next to no downsides: assets are more used, scholars and owners are earning money and the whole ecosystem benefits from having more players. The good news is that you can easily run a scholarship program for Splinterlands.
What do I need?
Still with me? Great, here is a shopping list to start implementing your scholarship program:
- An account with a spellbook. It will be used by your scholar and will enable her/him to do daily quests and ranked fights, the bread and butter of SPL.
- Some cards, staying on the account or delegated. I assume here you know the game basics (power requirements, what is needed per league). If you don't, I wrote a short guide covering setups that work and what to buy. As a rule of thumb, the spellbook is enough to reach Bronze 1 and a decent legendary carries you to Silver 2 if you have enough power.
- A scholar 😀 Sharing a post on big Discord servers with that post to explain what you need will do the work.
How does it work?
This section covers technical details about Hive keys system and the associated security. You can skip it and read it later if you just need the big picture and/or is familiar with Hive.
Your scholar will use a Splinterlands account and play on your behalf. You may ask me if s.he can run with your cards and DEC. The short answer is no.
Hive security is cleverly done and uses an identity and access management based on several keys, having different rights. I wrote a paper on the subject here.
The two credentials you will share with your scholar have the lowest priviledge level:
- Your Account Name: your public identity and is used to receive transactions. It can be shared freely and is displayed when you do something on Splinterlands. Mine is @mann0000 for instance.
- The Posting Key: a key with lesser priviledge used to submit teams on Splinterlands. The Posting Key can be regenerated at any time, invalidating previously used keys.
The key part is to understand that selling/sending cards on Splinterlands or using/moving DEC or another currency require the Active Key while playing is done with the Posting Key.
Caveat: at the moment, the Posting Key is however able to sign rental transactions (and spend DEC that way). Splinterlands team may fix that part in the future. The workaround is to set your terms with the scholar, rentals are an useful tool to progress faster.
The Active Key, the Owner Key and Master Password must never be shared.
For an extra layer of security, you can also delegate cards your scholar will use. They will thus stay on another account, that can for instance be secured by an hardware wallet.
How can I set up a scholarship program?
A Splinterland scholarship can be done through 3 easy steps:
- Setup your scholar account: you have to create a Splinterlands account, buy a spellbook and ask for your keys when your purchase is completed. After that, gather, delegate or send cards your scholar will use to that account.
- Connect to the account and open the settings, as shown below.
The settings above will appear. You have to ensure the option "Require active authority for transferring assets out of your account" is set to yes as shown on the screenshot.
- Get your scholar and send her/him the Account Name and Posting Key of the account.
Why scholars beat rentals and bot?
If you completed previous steps, your scholar is now able to fight on your behalf. The tricky question is whether it's worth the trouble, especially with two great alternatives: using a bot or renting cards. My take is yes:
- Bot vs Scholar: there a great Splinterlands bots around, closed or Open Sourced. They do what they are made for: fighting restlessly. The issue is that they thrive on Bronze leagues but are quickly useless after that. They lack flexibility and drain DEC Capture Rate really fast.
An average human player properly geared will always beat a bot using the ruleset, studying previously teams to hardcounter spam (your opponent has 5 blue magic teams played? Owster Rotwell and a bone golem will wipe it). Another point is that human players can also play outside ranked fights and for instance farm brawls for merits. Bots are also nerfed continuously by Splinterlandsnerfed continuously by Splinterlands devs and won't be as efficient as they used to be.
- Rent vs Scholar: I love the rental market and think it's one of Splinterlands killer feature. The issue is that rentals only give you DEC, while a scholar farms daily quests and season rewards too. They will also create more value from lv 1-2 commons, that are hard to rent except during season end spikes. You can also consider renting cards if your scholar won't be able to play a day or two, or has leftover power near a season end.
Do you have some tips to get the max out of my scholars?
Hard question, every manager has her/his ways and methods Here are some common tips you may or may not consider:
- Set realistic goals and expectations: if your account can't reach Silver leagues or above, don't ask your scholar to make 1k DEC per day. If your guild has no arena, don't ask to farm merit.
- Communicate clearly your terms and conditions: the scholar cut, payment frequency and methods must be cristal clear. DEC isn't really liquid, so you may consider paying your scholars with Hive, tradable on Binance and free to transfer. All you need is a swap on Tribaldex.
- Motivated and enlightened players are the most efficient farmers: open a Discord channel, share your favourite teams, etc. SPL is a complex game and experience matters.
- Equip your guys properly: SPL meta changes over time, what worked yesterday may not be relevant for today. Keep an eye on the meta and level or expand properly cards on your scholars accounts.
Axie scholarship was bootstrapped from scratch and it contributed tremendously to the game growth. It's only a matter of time before people realise they can also run Splinterlands scholarship. If you read this, you are early. Some things to consider: