Splinterlands | Solutions For Card Value Decline Problem!

By costanza | costanza | 2 Mar 2024

Splinterlands has a problem that cards are almost sure to drop in value over time to the extent that it makes no sense at all buying anything unless you are willing to lose money and just get part of what you paid back in case you ever want to leave. These are some solutions to solve or at least reduce this problem...



The Card Value Decline Problem Explained

Right now if you buy packs or cards of the newest set on the market, you will be able to earn some rewards with them during the period they can be used in Modern League (where SPS rewards are much higher). When they get closer to being cycled out to Wild League, they will slowly go down in value to finally fall off a cliff when the new set comes out. Given that most rewards these days are Soulbound, it makes it so that the decline in value is bigger than the earnings that realistically can be made.


This makes many players unwilling to buy packs or cards of the newest set leaving sales only for players who really want them to have some fun, those who are unknowing or believe this thesis to be wrong. This can be seen in the card pack sales where more are being burned than bought. So many players also got burned on Claos Legion and just can't put in the high cost of a new card set each and every year to keep up. Older players first got crazy rewarded for their loyalty while holding cards during the SPS airdrop period but they have been equally (if not more) screwed by the changes where bots were moved to Wild while Collection Power was changed with SPS Staking Requirements.


The overall value went down meaning cards compared to the top (which was crazy inflated) lost close to 95% of their value, however, the exponential factor in this is that the card supply in the meantime has inflated like crazy.



On top of this, the card rental market also seems to be almost completely dead right now and the Land Expansion doesn't nearly seem to help to with the demand so far. Land also works with a model where the real earnings of Spells and Items having to be paid later down the line which will take up a lot of the money flowing into the ecosystem.



How it Should be...

I don't believe that all cards should have eternal use case and earning potential with their values only going up over time. However, the drop off in value should never be as big that it's nearly impossible for anyone to actually make a profit from the game. One of the goals should be for the company to make money from trading and rental fees instead of only inflating the supply with more and more cards. Also older cards that are powerful and have very limited supply should be the ones that always keep their use case and fully keep ther value as some kind of artifact from the game. All this of course if enough players continue to play and when also new money comes into the ecosystem. Honestly, the inflow if new money right now is part of the problem.


What it all comes down to is that players need to be comfortable to buy cards / packs without being nearly sure upfront that they will lose value which is the way it is right now.


Easy Solutions !!

There are 2 things that I can think off that would make a major boost toward sustaining card values after they get cycled out into Wild.


1. Bring Back Collection Power in WILD
One of the major problems in Splinterlands is that there is an army of bots that only aim to extract value from the ecosystem while contributing as little as possible to the economy. Replacing Collection Power with a staked SPS requirement was the beginning of the end of card values as before, these bots needed to either hold a lot of cards or hit the rental market to meet the requirements.

This right now and going forward is easier than ever with many bots having farmed Soulbound reward cards which include Summoners. So they can continue to play mostly with the only requirement of renting some cheap Staked SPS. There is no requirement to own or rent many cards whatsoever.


Bringing Back Collection Power requirements in Wild would fix this as it would make it much harder for all these bots to extract value. Everyone who wants to continue earning rewards with older cards is required to at least hold a decent collection which holds up the prices and it will also increase the rewards since fewer of those will go to the bot farms.


Right now the ratio between Modern and Wild in the number of matches played is totally off the carts making it so that all SPS value is drained which is one of the reasons why older cards continue to ge crushed hard in their value week after week.

2. Require Card Burn for Soulbound Reward Card Unlock!
From the looks of it, unlocking Soulbound reward cards will be used as a way to burn more DEC and support the price of SPS while it will once again inflate the card supply even more. Why not instead use this unlocking as a massive burn event so the supply only ever inflates with cards that were bought and not with ones that were earned.



Here is how I would do it:

  • The moment a new Reward Card Set is Released, all Soulbound Reward Cards from the previous set get the Starter card status. This prevents the bot armies to mainly use them without any other investment to extract value from the ecosystem. This at least in Wild, maybe allow them their earning potential in Modern where bots aren't allowed.
  • To Unlock the cards which allow them to earn rewards, be rented, be sold on market, 2x the DEC Value needs to be paid (half gets locked in the card and half gets burned) + 1 similar type card needs to be burned. So A Legendary card needs another Legendary to be burned, a Summoner needs a summoner to be burned...

This would create buying pressure toward the cheapest cards of each rarity helping to lower the supply of overprinted reward cards and help players who bought packs giving their cheapest cards some price support. It also avoid any kind of inflation and prevents the game to be exploited by the bot armies who only intend to extract value.

Other Solutions
It's a shame that new players never ever get to enjoy playing with the older cards and it would be nice to have a game mode where card owners delegate their cards to a pool (easy 1-click delegation) earning part of the fees generated from that game mode based on how often their card is used and how many are in the pool of each kind. This would give the powerful ones where not that many are available the best possible passive earning value. It would also make all cards available to players who play on a fully level playing field which should be most fun way to play Splinterlands. This however would require a lot more coding and time.



There is no point buying new cards or packs with the knowledge that their values will fall off a cliff when they rotate out of Modern where all the bot armies are extracting value with as low as possible investments. Bringing back Collection Power in Wild along with requiring a card burn in order to mint soulbound reward cards are 2 very easy ways to help older cards keep their value.



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