To start off, I want to say a big thanks to the Publish0x community for the massive response to my January Splinterlands Earnings Report. It got many to try out the game with plenty who are still playing daily in the new season.
I learned a couple of things during the days where many signed up trying out Splinterlands using my promo offer and I was barely able to keep up with the card delegations (I currently have 1000+ Cards Leased out!). In order to improve the onboarding process, I made a guide on how earnings work in the game along with an improved offer for all that wants to try out the game itself for free to see if it's something they will enjoy playing (See End of This Post)
The idea of being able to earn money by playing a game is a massive selling point, but also a point of suspicion for many. In the end, the money has to come from somewhere and somebody has to lose.
In the case of Splinterlands, the best comparison is a game like Hearthstone. In that game, you can play-for-free completing daily quests to get card packs to grow your collection while trying to climb in the rankings. If you want to be slightly competitive being able to play with the fun cards, things quickly become extremely expensive. The only ones that can earn from their collection are the esports players and in a lesser way the streamers. Everyone that stops playing at some point pretty much loses all the money and time they put into getting cards.
The reason Splinterlands is a gamechanger is because it gives players ownership of their digital cards. This means they are free to sell the cards they bought or earned at any given point possibly making a profit in the process.
This creates an interesting dynamic where the developers basically earn less because cards can also be bought from other players while at the same time they earn more because there is a financial incentive for everyone to play which gives them a much bigger player base compared to if it was just a regular card game. This only works when the game itself is actually good enough which I believe it is.
Splinterlands Player Rewards Model
The game gives out different rewards to active players in the form of Reward Cards and Dark Energy Crystals (DEC) which can be seen as the native in-game currency. The higher rank you manage to reach, the more rewards you will be receiving. Getting a higher ranking comes down to a combination of having a bigger & better card collection and also how good you are at playing the game. Improving both overtime for me has been a very enjoyable experience.
Every card in the game has a limited supply that will ever be printed which means the only way to get cards that are fully printed is to buy them from others on the market. The devs stated multiple times that the give high priority to making sure cards retain their value over time. Reward cards can be acquired by playing in the season ranked games and completing the daily quests. You can find a list of the reward cards that are currently been given out on Github (Link) Some of the ones that have been fully printed have become very valuable and are only available in limited quantity (Lord Arianthus 7.5$ | Ruler Of The Seas 4.929$ | ... ). If the game grows more popular during the next crypto boom, basic supply and demand can make the prices increase because there simply aren't enough for everyone.
Dark Energy Crystals (DEC)
Every ranked game you win earns DEC Tokens (the higher your ranking the more you earn, see my January Earnings Report to get a better idea of how much). DEC can be sold on steem-engine and also on trontrade or it can be used to buy cards on the market, packs in the shop, Potions, skins for the game, entries for tournaments, ...
If the price of DEC on the market goes down, it is cheaper for players to buy it up and use that to get packs which creates some price stability.
Daily Quests & Reward Chests
Every day, players get a daily quest to complete (usually win 5 games with a certain class). Once this is done they get a certain amount of Loot Chests depending on your ranking. There are also Loot Chest rewarded at the end of each season based on the highest rank you reached. These chests can have in them...
Each reward card also has a certain chance of being a legendary, epic, golden,... so at any given time you could get lucky receiving something really rare and valuable which is quite fun when it happens. If you play the game for a longer period of time completing the quests daily it's only a matter of time before getting something fancy.
Often times, new players come in with high expectations of instantly being able to earn a lot of money to end up being quite disappointed. If this was possible, the entire reward earnings model would not be very sustainable. The most healthy way to look at it is from a Return On Investment (ROI) point of view with your card collection being an asset that allows you to earn. In that regard, the game certainly allows anyone to get a great ROI especially if you play in a way that tries to optimize this. (I plan to make an article on this next month)
Before you can start sharing in the rewards, you will need a 10$ "Starter Set" (this will soon be renamed to "Summoner's Spellbook"). This will make you get a daily quest which gives Loot Chests, allows you to earn DEC from Every Single game you win and makes it possible to join tournaments.
Using your daily rewards to buy more cards (I use monstermarket.io) to grow your collection or level cards up while learning the game will get you higher in the rankings which give you more rewards increasing your progress pace and your overall earnings while your total collection value grows. a lot comes down to getting the ball rolling before being able to really start reaping the rewards.
you can check your collection value on the Splinterlans Discord in the #sm-voters_hut channel with the command $stats username
Once you have an account with some delegated Steem Power for the needed Resource Credits (which replenish each day) you will be able to play the game. At the start, it might be a bit confusing but once you get going you will see it's all very intuitive. The entire game is explained in on the Game Rules Page on the website.
The general rule is that you want to put a high mana tank in the first position and ranged cards in the back since they can't attack from the first position. The best way is to learn as you play and you can't lose anything when you join a ranked game.
Joining A Ranked Game
When you click on Battle and join a ranked game you will see a window with all the needed information of that specific match.
Top Left: Your opponent and the last 5 decks he played (in more advanced play you can look to counter that)
Top Right: Time you have to make your cards
Rules of Combat: Restrictions of this specific match
Mana Cap: The maximum total card mana you can use
Playable Splinters: the classes that are available.
When you press make team you simply have to select the cards you want to fight with and click fight when you are done (team selection needs to be done before the time runs out and can't cost more than the mana cap)
The reason variable game rules are in place is to reward players who have a diverse set of cards and summoners and to keep everything interesting.
To anyone that is interested, I would say the best way to go about it is to test out the game for free yourself. See if you actually enjoy playing it (aside from the rewards) and if you think it has the potential to become way more popular during the next crypto bull run.
I will help everyone who is using my Affiliate Link to create an account that wants to test the game out for free giving...
+ 10SP Delegation: This is needed to make transactions on the Steem blockchain and having an account without SP won't allow you to test out the game for free. I will keep an eye out for sign-ups and do the delegation manually as quickly as possible always within 24h after you signed up, the same thing goes for the following card leases.
+ 8 Leased Cards on Sign Up: By default, you will have all common and rare Level 1 Untamed cards in your account and I will add some that should be useful in the very early stages in the rankings. I have enough of these cards for everyone and will buy more on the market if needed.
+ 4 Extra Leased Cards for Ranking: Everyone that tries ranked playing at least 5 games and winning 1 will get 4 extra cards leased to them.
+ 8 Extra Leased Cards for Starter Set: Everyone that gets the starter set will get 8 more cards leased out to them. Especially the 2 damage ranged attack cards should give a good edge over other players early on in the game.
+ 4 Extra Leased Cards for getting Untamed Pack: Everyone that gets a bit more serious and gets themselves 1 or more Untamed Packs will be leased 4 more cards that should be quite useful.
+ More Card Leases: I'm having more cards to lease out in lesser quantities and will try to keep an eye out to lease these out to those that reach higher level summoners.
The SP Delegation and card leases will remain in place for as long as there is activity on the account and the cards remain useful. I will recycle cards leased to inactive accounts after a month and continue to buy more cards on the market with the affiliate earnings. Each month the deal will probably be changed based on what I have available. Everyone is free to contact me on Discord (SBC Server username costanza#2335) if you have questions or to possibly speed up the delegation process.
To everyone that already tested out the game last time, please leave a comment with your first impression and which of the leased cards were the most useful. If you were unable to play because of a lack of resource Credits, that should be fixed by now so feel free to try again!
Upcoming Splinterlands Posts:
Splinterlands | How Much Playing Earns! (February Report)
Splinterlands | Getting Good Returns Tips & Tricks!