Welcome to another update on my attempt to challenge the Splinterlands ranked leagues with only the initial set of cards!… Plus, whatever I can earn or win. This is the mid-week update of my “progress” at playing Splinterlands. With my card power limit locking me to Bronze II, I reset back to Bronze III and 200 rating at the start of this new season.
Here is the daily quest breakdown for the week:
Daily Quest #32 – Win 5 with Life. This took 14 games and the daily reward was 6 DEC. I then tried to play another dozen games to get out of Bronze III, which went poorly.
Daily Quest #33- Win 5 with Death. After losing 5 games in a row, I tried re-rolling the quest to Win 5 with Water. This took 13 games and the daily reward was the common Neutral card Sand Wurm (my third copy). Two of the wins were when the opponent failed to submit a deck. I played 4 more games, still trying to get out of Bronze III, but went 50/50 on them.
Daily Quest #34- Win 5 with Earth. This took 10 games, one of which was when an opponent failed to submit a deck. The 4 wins at the end, giving me a win streak, was enough to finally get me out of Bronze III. The daily reward was 6 DEC.
Daily Quest #35- Win 5 with Water. This took only 6 games and the daily reward was a new Fire common Ettin Spearman! I played 4 more games to even things out, but mostly lost them.
He might see some play in the 99 manna games.
Daily Quest #36- Win 5 with Earth. This took 9 games, with one being a draw, one I won with Dragon/Death due to rules, and one where my opponent instantly surrendered giving no quest credit. For finishing the daily I won 9 DEC.
Daily Quest #37- Win 5 with Fire. This took 14 games to complete. There was one draw, that was actually not due to both of us playing identical monsters, which you can laugh at here. I won one playing Death and there was one instant surrender, so no quest credit. For finishing the daily I got 15 DEC.
Daily Quest #38- Win 5 with Earth. This was where the week went downhill. It took 28 games to finish winning 5. I had 1 draw due to identical monsters and just lost the other 22 games. For finishing the daily, I got 7 DEC. One bright spot to the day, I won the rare Water card Captain’s Ghost from a giveaway on Peakd/Hive.Blog.
Daily Quest #39- Win 5 with Water. This took a long 29 games to finish. I won one game playing Earth due to match rules and two games to instant surrenders, which gave no quest credit. After finally finishing the daily, I got 9 DEC.
Grinding out of Bronze III was not particularly enjoyable. I understand wanting to have core only rules initially for new players, but getting sent back to only vanilla matches again was not that fun. There were a lot of games where I could instantly tell I had lost, as my opponent had level 2-3 summoners or a mix of epic & legendary cards.
It also feels a bit telling that my biggest progress for the week comes from winning a random giveaway. Maybe I’m just salty after coming off a big two-day losing streak, where trying to get 5 wins in felt like an awful lot like work instead of playing a game. But, in my opinion, there’s still some big issues with the current structure of this game.
The Bronze league leader board looks pretty similar to last week, with people that could be playing in higher leagues staying back to get packs instead. There were also a few times where the matchmaking system seemed to have trouble finding a good match by rating, as I played against people with about three times my rating and have played against opponents with about a third of my rating. It still seems like the general collection power of players in Bronze is much higher than it was before the last changes to the Leagues.
So, to not just be negative, here are some thoughts on how the game could be improved. First off, the lower tiers should be flattened. There’s no good reason to have people with Rank 3 card sets playing against new players with only Rank 1 cards. Expanding Novice into a real tier, and adding in actual match variations might help any newer players from feeling like punching bags for bots.
Letting players hang back tiers to farm packs also seems like a poor decision, and maybe balancing rewards better would give less incentive for that behavior. For lower league play, giving more players smaller rewards seems like a better plan than what is currently in place. Instead of giving 15 packs to first place, make it something like 5, with 2nd place getting 3 packs instead of 10, and the top 10 getting 2 instead of 3. Then give a pack to the top thirty or forty players. It could even be something smaller, like an extra daily reward chest for 50th-100th place.
To wrap up this midweek update, I signed up for the Kobold Mining novice rules tournament this Saturday. I plan to set an alarm, so that I don’t sleep through it. I have low expectations, but we’ll see how it goes. If the rest of the week goes like the last couple of days, I may switch to writing about a different card game instead. Hopefully things will pick up, and I’ll be back with another update after this season ends.