Sirwin
Sirwin

Splinterlands | Thoughts On Ranked Changes

By costanza | costanza | 24 Feb 2024


A big change is about to come on the Splinterlands ecosystem as the Ranked Leagues are about to be revamped. These are some of my unfiltered initial thoughts...

 

 

The Main Reason Ranked is Reworked!

Oftentimes when big changes are made, the reasons are kind of hidden and not directly mentioned in the announcement. According to the Official Blogpost, these are the 3 main reasons behind the changes...

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I would argue that all these reasons are kind of nonsense.

  1. The main difference is that players automatically will move up instead of being asked if they want to move up. This just removes the option to choose if you want to play the game in a way where you are sure that you are competitive in most matches.
  2. This can be translated as players will sooner than later face a wall where opponents will have a pay2win advantage
  3. Matchmaking never felt unfair to me with the current system.

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The real reason for the changes though are fairly simple: Rebellion Packs aren't selling nearly as well as hoped so a change needed to be made to increase sales. Looking at the numbers after 3+ months, the rate at which packs are burned and sent to the DAO is rather high at 66% while only 33% are sold. I would say the main reason for this is that everyone who got in on Chaos Legion got totally crushed while there are limited to no new players entering the ecosystem right now and those are better off buying Chaos Legion Cards on the market instead of packs from the store.

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In the last 6 months, less than 1000 Spellbooks were bought by new players.


 

How Ranked Changes Should Boost Sales!

When it comes down to Splinterlands, the choice always needs to be made between Fun Gameplay and Solid Economy and one nearly always comes at the cost of the other. The main things that the ranked Changes will do are 1. Ramp Up The Pay2Win and 2. Nerf Wild Rewards.

 

  1. In the current rank system you can choose to get an affordable Silver/Gold Deck and actually be competitive in matches as you are sure to be matched up with players who don't have higher-level cards compared to what those leagues allow. In the new Ranked Leagues, everyone at some point will face opponents who simply can't be beaten because they have cards as a higher level which will spark a drive to buy more cards and level up or create frustration making the game less fun. New players are now also allowed to buy just their winning matches right from the start. This pretty much gives Splinterlands back the trophy of most Pay2Win Game ever created.

  2. Right now in ranked, the reward pool is divided between leagues and SPS is given out in Chests which are equal for Modern & Wild. This makes it so that Wild Diamond chests that aren't that much milked by bot armies give decent rewards. From what I understand, the changes will fully split the rewards between Modern & Wild with all SPS earnings coming from won matches. This makes it so that the incentives will be pushed even more toward Modern making all the older cards worth less as so many bots are trying to get what they can without any intention to invest in Wild. Leaderboard Rewards are also removed aside from Champion nerfing rewards even more after Packs were removed from rewards before.
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Positive Things about the Ranked Changes!

Most players are quite positive on the changes and while I'm generally not a fan, I do see the upside as well.

 

  • New Players will have an easier time to win and climb ranks if they are willing to pay for it. This should increase the chance of making paying players stick to the game as they will experience more fun compared to those who try to play the game on a budget.
  • Players who were happy with their Collection settling on Silver or Gold now will likely be at least tempted again to buy more cards and level them up as they will face a wall at some point during the season.
  • The Rental market should see a Revival at least when it comes down to Modern Cards at a higher level.
  • SPS should get some more demand as players reach higher levels which will require more Staked SPS to get the reward multiplier. There actually already has been more buying recently after the announcement.
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Disappointments!

While it all remains to be seen how it will play out, my main disappointment with Splinterlands remains that Collection Values of older cards continue to go down week after week after week as all use-case is stripped away from them. I don't see Land as the demand increase that was anticipated. I also understand that it's not realistic to pay once and profit forever but the way older cards are getting crushed makes it impossible to invest in the game. With the ranked changes, new players will likely come in unaware that they will need a massive investment every new year while 2 years into it their previous investment will see a big value decline that doesn't weigh up to the rewards they managed to earn. As a real gamer who sees lots of potential in the actual card game behind Splinterlands, the Pay2Win aspect just ruins all the fun.

 


 

Conclusion

The way I see it, Ranked Changes just amplify the Pay2Win factor in Splinterlands again while moving most of the rewards to modern league in an attempt to boost pack sales as they have been lacking. I'm sure many will like it and it will be better for new players who are willing to pay. As a gamer who wants to enjoy the game though and hold older cards as an investment, I'm mostly disappointed.

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costanza
costanza

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