The Splinterlands team (with the help of some players) has been doing a thorough review of the DEC and card economy within the game and we have identified a number of issues and potential exploits which we feel need to be addressed as soon as possible.
The first area which we are going to address is the merchant and affiliate payment system, as this has not been updated in a long time despite many other changes to the broader economy.
We understand that many players may not like these changes, particularly those who have been taking advantage of issues with the existing system, but ultimately a sound economy will lead to more value for everyone in the long run and it's our job to ensure that that happens.
Since there should be no API changes or any other changes as part of this update that would break any scripts or services, the following changes will go into effect immediately to avoid people rushing to take advantage of the issues before they are resolved.
The goal of the merchant payment system was to encourage and incentivize third party websites to promote the game to their audiences and bring in new players. The reality is that it is used almost exclusively as a way for existing players to simply get a discount on pack purchases and hardly any new players or new value has been added to the ecosystem as a result of it.
Due to the above, going forward we will no longer be offering merchant payments. Third party sites should still be encouraged to introduce new players to the game in order to receive affiliate payments and may still earn from market fee payments and other services which add value to the ecosystem.
We want to be clear that this only applies to merchant payments for booster pack and Summoner's Spellbook sales through third party websites. This does not affect affiliate payments for player referrals or market fee payments for third party marketplaces.
Affiliate Payment Updates
Affiliate payments are meant to be paid out when a referred player makes a purchase in the in-game shop using an external currency, but after the recent changes affiliate payments are being paid out for Credits purchases which are most often used to purchase cards on the market which was not intended.
As a result, going forward affiliate payments will only be paid out when a referred player makes a purchase of the current edition of Booster Packs, Potions, or the Summoner's Spellbook. Additionally, purchases made using DEC tokens will no longer be eligible for affiliate payments.
Finally, going forward all affiliate payments will be paid out in Credits, which can be used to purchase items in the in-game shop or to purchase cards on the marketplace.
Card Giveaway Promotion
To further encourage players to refer new people to the game, we're implementing a new card giveaway promotion. Whenever a referral purchases the Summoner's Spellbook in the game, both the new player and the referring account will receive a random card from the collection of the @sl-giveaways account.
We have purchased a large number of Untamed edition cards from the market in this account, including legendary cards, gold foil cards, and even some gold foil legendaries! Each time one of your referrals purchases the Summoner's Spellbook, both you and they will receive one randomly chosen card from that account - and it could be a GFL!
Updated Design for Affiliate Popup
Finally, we're giving the affiliate popup in the game a much-needed design update! As always, we want to thank @nateaguila for the amazing design work!
In summary, these changes are intended to reduce exploitation of the DEC economy and ultimately provide more value to all players in the ecosystem over the long term. We look forward to the positive effect it should have for the majority of players and the system at large.
Stay tuned for more updates from the Splinterlands!