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Splinterland Self Challenge

My Splinterlands Blog #39 – A Tough Season Ahead and The Players Of The Future

Welcome to another weekly update on my attempt to challenge the Splinterlands ranked leagues! Initially it was a self challenge, to see how far I could get with the initial set of cards plus whatever I could win. But, that kind of fell apart around week 30 (with the game integrating with the WAX network and users being able to buy and sell cards on Atomic Hub).

It has been an incredibly busy past couple of weeks, with both lands and Untamed packs selling out from the in-game store. Lands sold out first, which spiked interest in my pack pool proposal – which I had just about given up on finding members for at that point. Right before the last Untamed set air drop I picked up 500 packs, getting the 75 additional bonus packs for buying that many at one time.

Lands and Untamed packs are now only available on secondary markets at higher prices than they were originally selling for.

I would like to thank @grosh, @capjacksparrow, @acolytelite, and @cornavirus for participating in the pool! I ended up getting a few packs myself, incidentally turning fiat money into a bunch of Dark Energy Crystals (DEC), some extra copies of the final Untamed air drop card, and the Maverick role in the game’s Discord channel out of running this pool. Speaking of the new, and final, air drop card here it is:

A tanky ranged monster, that doesn’t seem that useful to me until third level.

The other big item of news that the Splinterlands team announced during one of their recent weekly AMA calls was that they were trying to establish some sort of delegated player arrangement with Yield Guild Games. Per my understanding, this is a group that connects people who own expensive digital gaming assets with people in poor countries to play games with leased/loaned out accounts or assets for a cut of the profits. This is apparently a big thing in the game Axie Infinity, where it costs more than a thousand U.S dollars to get started.

Judging by the number of people joining the Splinterlands Discord chat channel requesting someone loan them an Axie account, there still seems to be some kinks to work out. The Splinterlands team has stated that gaining more players is their top priority, but are these the players that they had in mind? I guess if this is a replacement for the current horde of automated bot accounts, that would be a step in the right direction.

Robot workers grinding away for DEC (image from https://www.information-age.com).

Though I’m not sure a game where only a handful of whales own the majority of cards, and the rest of the players are just competing (or paying) to play with them is something I’m cool with. The rising price of cards is making it increasingly costly to get into playing the game, as well as making it take longer to advance via playing the game. Legendary cards have doubled or tripled in price, while some commons have gone up by closer to thirteen times in price.

I consider myself to be a decent player, and one initially ready for a very slow pace of advancement, but I’m starting to feel that it’s nearly impossible to advance now without throwing hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars at the game. While some of this may just be the ever increasing number of cards needed to level up, I would argue that this is not the only cause. As prices have risen, the earnings from playing the game have remained relatively stagnant. To whit, I’m earning the same amount of DEC I was a month ago, but it buys far fewer cards now.

It seems that the developers are planning for their upcoming governance token to make up this gap, increasing how much players earn from the game. I am just concerned about the increasing barrier to entry making the game less likely to attract any new players. Anyhow, on to the weekly status report:

Daily Quest Rewards:

Daily Quest # 280 – Win 5 with Earth. For finishing this daily quest, I got 86 DEC (40 + 46), a Legendary potion, and a 14th copy of the rare Water monster card, Kelp Initiate.

Daily Quest # 281 – Win 5 with Death… re-rolled to Win 5 with Fire. For completing this daily quest, I received 2 Legendary potions, 14 DEC, and a 15th copy of the common Life monster card, Warrior of Peace.

Daily Quest # 282 – Win 5 with Snipe. For finishing this daily quest, I got 17 DEC (12 + 5), a Gold potion, and a Legendary potion.

Daily Quest # 283 – Win 5 with Snipe. For completing this daily quest, I received 76 DEC (60 + 16) and 2 Legendary potions.

Daily Quest # 284 – Win 5 with Water. For finishing this daily quest, I got 1 Legendary potion; an 11th copy of the common Earth monster card, Nectar Queen; a 12th copy of the rare Earth monster card, Centauri Mage; and a 20th copy of the common Water monster card, Demented Shark.

Daily Quest # 285 – Win 5 with Death… re-rolled to Win 5 with Water. For finishing this daily quest, I received 72 DEC (59 + 13); a 17th copy of the common Earth monster card, Barking Spider; and a 17th copy of the common Neutral monster card, Sand Wurm.

Daily Quest # 286 – Win 5 with Life. For completing this daily quest, I got 10 DEC; a 15th copy of the common Death monster card, Phantasm; a 7th copy of the common Life monster card, Chain Spinner; and a 23rd copy of the common Water monster card, Wave Runner. Rather than jump into Gold III, I decided to try to stay in Silver in order to drop back to Bronze for the upcoming season!

Tournaments:

Sunday Bronze Blunderbuss, no legendary cards, all sets allowed tournament: I had a strong day one, going undefeated at 11-0. Day two was a much poorer showing, and I finished in 18th place for 347 DEC with a 17-5 record.

Thursday Bronze Blunderbuss, no legendary cards, all sets allowed tournament: I had a mediocre first day with a 9-2 record. I finished with 14-7, to come in 33rd place for 195 DEC.

Friday Spring Training #13, Silver League rules tournament: Coinciding with my dismal Day 2 above, I had one of my worst Spring Training tournaments, going 2-7 to come in 78th place. I still got the free WAX NFT packs, which are the prizes for participating in these tournaments.

Saturday Live Brawl, Bronze League rules tournament: This was one of the Live tournaments hosted by @clove71. You can watch her recording of it here (on YouTube). Some of my matches are highlighted, as I ended up going 13-2-1 to come in first place! This was my first real time tournament where I made it to the final round, and a nice ego boost after my previous tournament beatings.

Sunday Cardauctionz.com, Bronze League rules tournament: I went a decent 8-3 on the first day. This was a fairly brutal tournament, so even with a final 14-8 record, I still came in 7th place for 2,000 DEC. No one went undefeated, and most of my losses were from people who owned Yodin Zaku.

Sunday Bronze Blunderbuss, no legendary cards, Untamed set only tournament: I also went 8-3 the first day of this tournament. I had a similar result on the second day, finishing 16-5 to come in 13th place for 300 DEC.

Guild Brawls:

Guild Brawl #16, playing Gold foil Bronze, Untamed set only. I only had one opponent again this brawl. My notes seem to have gotten messed up, likely when we lost power. I only noted that it was a match Vs MChurchM of LVLUP SPARTANS. I didn’t get the link to the battle, but I did win.

Trading & The Rest:

With prices skyrocketing I sold most of what I had listed on the market, except for a handful of Alpha cards I had put up at decently high prices. Though, I did also pull off a number of cards to loan out to people, so I still have some extra legendary cards kicking around. Most of my free cash (well, WAX) went towards buying extra Untamed packs before they sold out.

At the end of the season, I made a push for the top 25 in Silver League. I got up to about 40th place, before a couple of losses erased hours of playing. I did end up in 46th place, when people above me jumped to Gold III. I was still about 250 points of ranking off from the 25th spot and the lowest prize.

My season end rewards.

I decided to take yet another run at the top spot in Bronze next season, which is why I didn’t jump into Gold III at the end of the season. I’ll probably regret this and end up settling for someplace in the top 10 again, but we’ll see how it goes. I am a bit hesitant to spend DEC right now, since it is one of the biggest items to hold for the upcoming governance token airdrops. So, not sure what to do about improving my deck.

I feel like I went on quite a bit at the start, so I’ll just wrap things up here! If you made it this far, thank you for reading! And, if you have any comments, suggestions, or feedback please let me know in the comments below!

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