If you're anything like me and have heard talks of the mysterious world of crypto, only recently peeling back the curtains to find an enticing, yet bottomless chasm to dive into, you're in luck. Everyone's heard of Bitcoin's rise to $45,000 per BTC (and trending higher), or Tesla's purchase of $1.5 billion worth of Bitcoin. Now, that seems like a tall hill to financially climb. Every time I look at Bitcoin's price it seems further and further away from a reasonable investment (though to be fair I've done minimal research).
Even Ethereum, a meager ~$1,800 per ETH compared to the titanic BTC feels like a steep price to pay for something especially when you're first jumping in. Let's not even talk about those gas prices (think fees for trading/transacting). The idea of simply going on Coinbase and trading crypto like I would do with stocks on Robinhood did not seem incredibly enticing, to say the least.
But when I heard that cryptocurrency was seeping into the world of gaming, I was intrigued. Cue the frantic, bloodshot-eyed Fil surfing through games like Decentraland, The Sandbox, AxieInfinity, CryptoKitties, Worldopo, and many more at 4am on a chilly Monday night. I would stumble on one of these, do research on what it actually took to make money with them (while having fun with the game) and I saw that most of these, namely, Decentraland, The Sandbox, AxieInfinity required at minimum a couple hundred dollars to invest. With these games, think digital real estate (though with Axie you also own digital fluffs). CryptoKitties, a game where you buy, breed and sell kitties (think digital-kitty real estate) had a lower barrier to entry, but the idea of breeding and owning virtual cats didn't float my boat. Worldopo, an AR phone app where you collect a multitude of resources by walking around and build out land to generate more of them, just felt thoroughly unenjoyable, mostly due to the look and feel of the game, as well as its lack of clarity when it comes to how you are supposed to proceed and actually earn crypto. Finally, I stumbled on Splinterlands.
An online CCG seems like a natural place for a blockchain system to fall into, meaning all the cards you obtain have actual, verifiable ownership. This means if you want to grow your collection and show off the cool golds and legendaries you have in battle, awesome. If you want to sell your cards and make a little bit of bank, equally awesome. The basic premise of the gameplay is that you use a Summoner card which dictates what color cards you can use in battle (the colors are called splinters, and they consist of fire, water, earth, life, death and dragon, though dragon is slightly different than the rest, in that dragons attach to another splinter). You then select up to 6 Monsters for your lineup, consisting of some combination of melee, ranged and magic types. The standard rule is that melee can only attack if it's in the front, ranged can attack only if it's not in the front, and magic can attack wherever the hell it wants (duh, magic's cool). These Summoners and Monsters cost mana to play within battles, and since you usually have a different amount of mana each time, it makes setting up your team a unique experience!
Rather than keep giving you a rundown of mechanics that the tutorial and battling a bunch of times will teach you anyway, I want to highlight some key reasons why I'm a huge fan of the game, and why I think you'd do well to start your crypto-gaming experience with Splinterlands.
1. It costs nothing to start playing. While games like AxieInfinity literally require you to own 3 Axies before you start playing (and the lowest price for one last time I checked is ~$70, which means you're spending minimum ~$210 JUST to be able to play the game), Splinterlands gives you a free set of "shadow cards" to use in battles, meaning that while you technically don't own them, they're always in your collection so that you have a base collection of cards to start playing with. This lets you try the game out and even see if you like it before investing any money into it.
2. Gameplay is quick and can be fairly passive. When you load into a battle, you get a 3-minute timer to set up your roster of Summoner+Monsters within the "rules" of the given match. Each match can have a slightly different ruleset, ranging anything from being able to use 15 mana worth of Summoner and Monsters, choose between the fire or earth splinter, or even not being able to use ranged monsters at all. There are a lot of combinations that can occur, so it makes creating your roster fairly dynamic. Now, after both players pick their roster or the timer expires, all you do is hit the big bad "Rumble" button, and watch the teams duke it out! The battles go automatically and function based off of each monster's speed, so the higher the speed, the earlier it attacks. This automatic process means that once you finish your draft and submit, you can literally do something else while you play the game (in my case I do more crypto research because no amount of crypto research is EVER enough).
3. There are many different ways to earn crypto! The most simple one is just playing and winning ranked games. Every ranked game you win gives you an amount of DEC (Dark Energy Crystals) based on your rank, which goes: Novice, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Diamond, and finally Champion. The higher the rank, the more you earn per win. Also, at the end of each season (typically 2 weeks according to Splinterlands' FAQ) you get reward chests based on your rank, giving you anything from DEC to in-game items and even special reward cards!
There are also daily quests which give you reward chests based on your rank. As you might already be able to tell, ranking well can exponentially increase how much you can earn in rewards alone. Next is selling cards. Most of the commons are worth a couple cents, but rares and up can easily be worth several dollars! Also, the higher the star of the card, the more it's worth, so a 5 star of an epic or legendary can easily be worth $50+, if not a couple hundred!
If you're super competitive like me then you can enter tournaments, which have prize pools that even reward you for ending up in the top half of the player pool. What's nice about the tournaments is they have certain restrictions, so you can still play in novice league tournaments without having high-level cards.
Finally, Splinterlands has a mechanic called "leasing". With leasing, you can send any card you have to someone else, letting them use it for a designated period of time. While you can certainly help a friend out by lending them a card they might need, you can also use this mechanic to make money. On the site https://peakmonsters.com/ , you can create an account on the HIVE Blockchain and use that account to lease cards from your collection out to other players for a daily charge. This is a really nice way to generate a little bit of passive income to start out, or on the flip side, a good way to lease out a few strong cards to bolster your collection for ranked games.
There you have it! If you want to give this game a chance, please feel free to use my affiliate link https://splinterlands.com?ref=filzy ! It costs you nothing to set up an account and play with the base collection using my link, and if you do end up buying the summoner's book once you're enjoying the game, we'll both get a free card from the Untamed set (including the possibility of getting gold or legendary cards, which are worth lots of the moneys).
This is my very first post on Publish0x, so I really hope you enjoyed! If you're curious on any further details of anything I mentioned, feel free to comment and let me know, and I can make more articles on specific aspects of Splinterlands or more guides/tips! Any and all feedback would also be appreciated, including thumbs up if you liked this or thumbs down if you didn't. I hope you have a fantastic rest of your day or night! Take care and be safe :).