Announcing Free-to-Play Splinterlands Accounts

in #steemmonsters2 years ago (edited)

Aside from the upcoming launch of the Untamed edition, a major focus of the Splinterlands development team has been getting ready for large-scale growth of the game. We are gearing up for a significant marketing push in 2020 and we want to make sure the product delivers an experience that converts as many new people as possible into dedicated players. We're excited to announce the release of the first major initiative geared towards that goal.

As most of you know, in order to create a new account in the Splinterlands game and to play it requires the purchase of the $10 Starter Set. This purchase both covers the cost of the actual Steem account creation and the indirect cost of unlocking the ability to earn in-game rewards.

The downside, however, is that it creates a large barrier to entry for new players who would like to try the game out a bit before having to fork over $10. While we don't have any exact numbers, we believe that we have lost a decent amount of potential players who were initially interested in trying the game but weren't ready to buy the Starter Set up front.

As a result, we have been working on a way to allow new players to create an account (a real Steem account) and start playing the game for free, but then still require the $10 Starter Set purchase in order to "unlock" their account and the ability to earn rewards in the game.

We expect to release this new feature on Monday, October 28th, and it will work as described below.

New Account Creation

Players who are new to the game and who do not already have a Steem account will be able to create an account for free in order to try out the game before deciding whether or not to purchase the Starter Set.

They will be prompted to choose a username, which will serve as their Steem account name, and then they will be prompted to enter their email address and choose a password which will serve as their login credentials for the game.

Splinterlands will then create the Steem blockchain account with the player's chosen name, but will NOT provide the master password. Instead, the master password for the account will be securely stored and encrypted on our servers and will be provided to the player only upon request (more on this later).

When the player logs in with their email address and chosen password, only their private posting key will be made available to the game website in order for them to sign and publish transactions to the Steem blockchain and play the game. This will all happen behind the scenes and as far as the player is concerned they will just log in with their email address and password and be able to play.

Starter Set Changes

With this new system, the Starter Set will no longer be required in order to participate in both Practice and Ranked battles. Without a Starter Set, however, players will be unable to earn DEC through winning Ranked battles, complete Daily Quests, earn Ranked Season Rewards, or participate in tournaments.

Additionally with this change, anyone who has an account will have access to use level 1 versions of ALL Common and Rare cards in the Beta edition set in battles. Accounts created after the Untamed edition release (currently scheduled for November) will have access to level 1 versions of all of the Common and Rare cards from the Untamed edition instead of Beta.

The reason for increasing the number of cards available to all players is that we want new players to have as much of a fun and interesting game experience as possible right off the bat so they will be more inclined to stick around.

The current set of 30 cards that are available to new players means that they only have access to 9 Monster cards to choose from when making a team (4 splinter-specific cards and 5 neutrals). This gives extremely few options and little variety when creating a team. By opening it up to all Common and Rare cards, the number of Monsters available to new players will increase to 15, which we hope should make things more interesting and help get new players hooked.

The purchase of the $10 Starter Set will then unlock the following features:

  • DEC rewards for Ranked battle wins
  • Access to Daily Quests
  • Access to Ranked Season Rewards
  • Ability to participate in tournaments
  • Ability to purchase Booster packs through the game website
  • Access to the master password for the Steem blockchain account

Master Password Access

Once a player has purchased the Starter Set, they will have an option in the Settings page in the game to request their Master Password. This will require a manual verification process over email or Discord.

If a player wishes to request their master password without purchasing the Starter Set, they can contact us via email or Discord and we will handle on a case-by-case basis to prevent abuse.

Other Changes

"Playable" Card Collection Filter

The card collection screen on the game website will now default to a new filter option called "Playable" which will show all of the cards that the current player has access to use in battles.

This is different than the "Owned" filter as it will show cards that are available to all accounts to use in battle even if the player doesn't actually own them, as well as any cards that are delegated to the player from another account. The "Owned" filter will now only show cards of which the current player actually owns real copies.

New Player Help Popups

While ultimately we're working towards a robust new player tutorial system, in the meantime we've added some basic help popups that will appear the first time a new player visits certain screens in the game such as battle, collection, and the market.

We expect that this will be a big improvement over what we have currently and at least provide new players with a little more information about what's going on, what to do, and where to get help.

Stay tuned for more updates from the Splinterlands!

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This will all happen behind the scenes and as far as the player is concerned they will just log in with their email address and password and be able to play.

Abstracting the Steem account creation is a cool solution. And it's great that users that would like to take possession of their own keys still can. These changes should really help onboarding and seem to be resilient to abuse. I love updates.

greetings, @steemmonsters

excelent notice, thank you a lot for this!!!!

Wow incredible work here excellent ideas. This is a big time leap forward as you said ...

Aside from the upcoming launch of the Untamed edition, a major focus of the Splinterlands development team has been getting ready for large-scale growth of the game. We are gearing up for a significant marketing push in 2020 and we want to make sure the product delivers an experience that converts as many new people as possible into dedicated players. We're excited to announce the release of the first major initiative geared towards that goal.

Stellar work here @steemmonsters this is some more brilliant stuff. Keep the hits rolling you are getting dangerously close to going viral thanks to internal infrastructure moves like this.

Awesome. A f2p version will make onboarding a lot easier. Nice call on making more cards available too 👍

yep, I completely agree @simplymike! :)

This is great! I suggested a system like this some time ago in the discord. Now I just want you to add events and I'd be happy 😁

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This is great news!!
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that burns nice

This sounds like SOLID news... we love hearing that there could soon be many many more players.

Great news !!!

This is great news, thanks guys.

A step in the right direction indeed. This will go a long way in wider adoption of SM game and bring more users to steem blockchain.


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Will these players be placed in ranked battles or just practise battles ?

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Pretty great news and an encouraged way for new players to try the game before investing themselves in it. Player enrollment and retention is quite important for the economy of the game and the more the better.

Nice, this should make it easier to get people to try the game. Also gets you ready to put out an app people can try for free. Great work guys.

Many people don't see it, but a f2p account is essential for mobile app. This is looking more and more like Clash Royale, great work!
But I am rather worried about the conversion from f2p to a real account, seems like a lot of work to be done verifying the user. This needs to be well taken care of so as not to 'scare' the player away.

To convert from f2p to real account they just need to purchase the starter set. There is no work or verification necessary. The only thing that will require verification is if they want to get access to their master password and if that becomes common we will make it easier.

I have registered and purchased the starter pack but everything about the Splinterlands game looks so complicated.

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Stick with it friend. It is difficult at first. But you will slowly grow. Just don't give up and stop in the discord with any questions

Alright thanks @johndoer123

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Great updates! How about also creating a email data base so that you can mail new and currency players with updates? 😀

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Good news

Opening up more cards for players to play in the starter set was a good move. The game and players have evolved to the point that its next to impossible to have any success with just the starterset cards.

The way you set up the F2P accounts is interesting to say the least. Yous are basically loaning players accounts with the choice of paying $10 for full access to the game and chain.

What about Guilds, will Free To Play accounts be able to join guilds? I'm hoping the answer is no.

If someone accepts them in a Guild for their level, why not? They shouldn't be able to access the DEC benefits anyway.

I think accepting them from guilds can encourage them to buy starter set coz the guild members can teach them and encourage them to buy real cards

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I think so too. Plus, they also experience team play on SM.

Yes agreed!

Good news!

This post has been included in the latest edition of The Steem News - a compilation of the key news stories on the Steem blockchain.

Great news!
This post almost re-translated to Russian

  • some explanation for the newbie, why he would to ask for the Master Key (if he won't to purchase the Starter Set for the game playing)

I’m gonna have to try it out then. Paying for something I don’t know if I’ll enjoy has always stopped me. 002C21134D8E4303B5BF8CC35A670D75.png

I'd be interested to know what happened here. Did you end up jumping in?

All this sounds remarkable!! To good to be true rather! Steem on!

I agree with you that the "paywall" is an inhibitor of growth. I think you found a nice solution to that problem. Cheers!

@steemmonsters, No Surprise, you are doing continuous effective work and i really want to appreciate your efforts team. Keep up the good work and stay blessed.

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Love the idea of allowing new players access to all the cards to see what fun combos they can come up with..'s not clear if after the purchase the $10, do they still get all cards ro defaults back to the usual 30? I assume defaults back, right?

Good idea. But how about an ADDITIONAL option whereby current players can LEASE cards to a new player (aka "sponsorship"), whereby the sponsor earns the DEC which the new player earns during the trial period. In this way, sponsors earn some DEC on cards they are not using, and can help the recruitment process of new players. Plus, new players can have access to a larger selection of cards from the beginning, and both new AND veteran players have some incentive...

That sounds a lot like the Herons service that tcpolymath is offering. I have two decks loaned out to newcomers; we split the DEC 50:50.

I would call this decision a good move. Even before reading the comments of other players :)

I presume that you are aware that this will increase the load on your support team, aren't you?

What about creating accounts parallel to steem? I guess you've discussed this scenario internaly?

These are amazing news! I'm really looking forward to how these changes will unfold. Now the app may come :)

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