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Splinterlands and HIVE-Engine - A Guide

By Chris Roberts | Non-Fungible Stew | 22 Dec 2020


Because of the way that Splinterlands has approached the world with a crypto agnostic mindset, many things have gone unnoticed by many of its collectors and players. Don't worry though, this is a good thing. Here you are, and I'm about to let you in on the secrets. ;)


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More Than Meets the Eye

As I have said for years and in dozens of articles, there is far more to Splinterlands than meets the eye. One of their main goals has been to lower the barrier of entry into crypto enough that normies can easily join. They have accomplished that in incredible ways and to this day, Splinterlands has the lowest barrier of any blockchain game I have yet played.

As the Content Director for Splinterlands, I struggle with even referring to it as a blockchain game. This is because we are after mass adoption, not a niche market of crypto investors. The Splinterlands founders and marketers realize that eventually, the word "blockchain" will be placed neatly behind a curtain, where it can be found by the most tech savvy collectors and players, but little needs to be known about it to get the most out of the game.

Co-founder Dr. "Aggroed" Reich likes to put it this way: "We want to offer web 3.0 utility with web 2.0 conveniences." This means that new players should be able to buy in with Paypal and multiple options. They should be easily able to play the game and collect cards without having anything close to a blockchain PhD. Part of the Splinterlands mission is to bring play-to-earn to the masses, and we cannot do that if the majority of players feel unable to wrap their heads around the technical aspects of the game.

While Splinterlands is incredibly easy to join and to begin earning, there is a vast world of opportunity just beneath the game's surface. These opportunities will become available to you if you do your part to become educated on things like exchanges, Defi, and how blockchains work. In this article, I will discuss the best ways to use HIVE-Engine to get the most out of Splinterlands.


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What is HIVE-Engine?

This is from the front page of HIVE-Engine.com:

"Hive Engine is a platform that empowers communities, project owners, fundraisers, developers, and businesses to quickly and easily build on the Hive blockchain like never before."

Use of Hive-Engine is not at all limited to Splinterlands, and once you become familiar with it, you'll see a vast world of possibilities and you'll begin to understand the true innovative power of not only the HIVE blockchain, but all blockchains

HIVE-Engine is what we like to call a 2nd Layer of the HIVE blockchain, and it is quite literally an engine that powers blockchain activity. It allows HIVE owners to do many extraordinary things with minimal blockchain knowledge. But even that minimal knowledge takes a degree of understanding that is far beyond that with which we're familiar from our smartphones and virtual assistants. It is important to understand many of these things yourself if you're even dabbling in controlling your own finances as crypto allows. Otherwise you can (and will) be easily taken advantage of somewhere down the line.

Here is a video describing the potential of HIVE-Engine from its founder, Dr. Jesse Reich (co-founder of Splinterlands as well) at the recent HIVEFest virtual meetup:

I especially like the way he sums it up at the end: "I'm trying to make it so HIVE-Engine is one beautiful big back end that can power all of your front end businesses."

I encourage you all to learn more about HIVE-Engine and what they're doing for the future of blockchain and innovative development. But without further preamble, let's get into the Splinterlands aspects of HIVE-Engine.


Splinter Engine

Every asset that can be owned by players within the Splinterlands game can be transferred to/from (and be traded on) HIVE-Engine. This means that not only Dark Energy Crystals are traded there, but tokenized Booster Packs, Plots of land, and even Raffle Tickets from the Praetorian Land Sale.

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Just like any exchange, these assets are freely traded between collectors every day, at the prices that are established by the market alone. Notice at the top of the list that PLOT tokens have dropped in the last 24 hours based on market activity. This type of day-to-day fluctuation is to be expected, but where it will land is very difficult to predict. No matter what the market is doing, with all these tokens there are always opportunities.

Looking more closely at the PLOT market, we can understand a few more things..

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The last filled order was sold for 60 HIVE, or $7.64. In order to understand the "BID" and "ASK" values, we'll look below at the Buy and Sell orders. For those who are not familiar with how exchanges operate, they are merely lists of buy and sell orders that are connected with one another when orders are completed.

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You can see from the above image, that there are currently far more PLOTs attempting to be sold than those attempting to be bought. As soon as there is a price match from both columns, an order will be filled and a sale will be made. The most likely explanation for this particular list of Sell Orders is that many Splinterlands players bought land in the 1st or 2nd Stage Presale for a greater discount than is currently offered. Additionally, the bulk discounts and added value of purchasing larger quantities of PLOTS at a time (TRACTS and REGIONS) has allowed people to split them up and sell individual PLOTS for HIVE. 

Even though there are PLOTS available on HIVE-Engine for seemingly amazing discounts, there is more to consider. The added value from the presale includes transferable titles, Raffle Tickets and more, and these benefits are not available when buying tokens alone from HIVE-Engine. These are merely the tokenized version of the Plot Claim, with nothing extra. These are difficult decisions for each collector and player to make, but thanks to HIVE-Engine, everyone has multiple options and ways to make money.

Going a bit lower on the market page, you'll see the Trade History of the token. These are simply the trades that have been completed on HIVE-Engine. Because the main Presale is still happening until the end of the year, there has not (yet) been a lot of activity with these tokens.

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Available on HIVE-Engine

While it can never be guaranteed what exactly is available and for how much, exchanges of the following Splinterlands-related tokens are there when you need them, either as a buyer or a seller.

ALPHA Packs
BETA Packs
ORB Packs
UNTAMED Packs
DICE Packs
PLOTS of Land
TRACTS of Land
REGIONS of Land
DEC (Dark Energy Crystals)
SPT (Splintertalk - the blogging reward token of Splinterlands)

Currently, Potions (Alchemy, Legendary, Mystery and Quest) are not available to be traded on HIVE-Engine, nor are they transferable between players. This may change at some point in the future, but for now they can only be purchased in-game on a per-account basis.


Interacting with HIVE-Engine

As a Splinterlands player who has purchased the Summoner's Spellbook upgrade to earn rewards, you have created a full-blown HIVE account in your name. This is the same account that you can use to access the features of HIVE-Engine (ideally by using the HIVE Keychain Extension). Once logged in, you'll have access to all the 2nd layer tokens that you own on the HIVE blockchain.

If you have been blogging about Splinterlands or sharing your battles on Splintertalk, you will have earned rewards in the form of the SPT token, which can be traded or staked through HIVE-Engine. If you have been playing Dcity, you may have earned some SIM tokens for your efforts. These are just a couple of examples, but there are hundreds of tokens that have been built within HIVE-Engine, most of which can be earned somehow.

DEPOSITING MONEY

At the top of your Wallet page, you'll see the options for Deposit and Withdraw...

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In addition to HIVE, the native currency of the blockchain, you can deposit several other cryptos into your Engine wallet, including Bitcoin, Litecoin, EOS and more.

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When you deposit, these cryptos are automatically converted into a "SWAP." version of themselves. For example, Bitcoin becomes SWAP.BTC and HIVE becomes SWAP.HIVE. Then when withdrawn, they are converted back to their original form. 

This is important to know because all exchange pairings on HIVE Engine are 1/2 SWAP.HIVE. No matter what token you are looking to acquire, you must first have SWAP.HIVE to make the exchange via HIVE-Engine.

If you deposit BTC into HIVE-Engine and are hoping to buy Splinterlands Booster Packs, you'll need to first sell your SWAP.BTC for SWAP.HIVE. There is not always a ton of market volume for trading SWAP.BTC (yet) on HIVE-Engine, so I would recommend using a larger, centralized exchange like Bittrex to first acquire HIVE. Transacting on HIVE-Engine will be much easier (and more readily available) if you come in with HIVE.

MAKING ORDERS

First, locate the token that you want to purchase in the list, either by scrolling or using the search field. Then click the "Token Market" icon on the right, pictured below.

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This will take you to the Market page, the components of which I shared earlier in this article. In this example I am looking to buy RAFFLE, which each represent a chance to win my share of over $100,000 in Splinterlands prizes in a January drawing. I love raffles! I do not need to pay much attention to the chart with all the candlesticks. Instead, I'll scroll straight down to the BUY and SELL orders section of the page...

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According to this data, the cheapest price for which I can pick up Raffle Tickets is 1.37410 HIVE. However, there are only 4 of them available at that price and if I want more, I'll have to pay a little more by filling the next Sell order at 1.38800 HIVE. You must be exact with these numbers, or else your Buy Order will just hang there until someone comes in and places a Sell order that exactly corresponds to your Buy.

First (if I actually had the HIVE) I would purchase the cheapest 4 in one order, filling out the Buy fields with the information from the Sell Order column. If I filled everything in correctly, that order would be instantly filled, moving the next Sell order to the top. Then I would simply repeat the process until I had acquired the Raffle tickets I was seeking. Spoiler: I'll never have enough Raffle Tickets ;)


Buying Booster Packs on HIVE-Engine

There are a few important things to consider when buying Booster Packs on HIVE-Engine. First and most important, there is no added value to these purchases. That means that while you can usually find better deals on packs from the current set (Untamed), you also will always miss out on things like bulk discounts and airdrop credit when packs are purchased in this way. The only way to enjoy those benefits is to purchase your packs onsite at Splinterlands.com.

Another thing to consider is that these packs must then be transferred to in-game in order to be opened and shown in your Splinterlands collection. Until you have done this crucial step, the packs will exist as tokenized versions of themselves on HIVE-Engine, similar to the way that SWAP.BTC and SWAP.HIVE work there.

Transferring Packs Into the Game

This is quite simple, but would be impossible to guess without help. Instead of doing a withdrawal, you simply SEND the pack tokens to a particular account owned by Splinterlands. That account then automatically makes the conversion and awards the packs to your in-game collection.

TRANSFER TO:
@STEEMMONSTERS

You may be thinking, "What is Steem Monsters?" Steem Monsters was the original name of the Splinterlands game, which was originally built on the STEEM blockchain. It is still the name of the company that owns the game. This is the only way to convert your purchased HIVE-Engine packs to the Splinterlands game. Because your Splinterlands account and your HIVE-Engine account are one and the same, the system knows easily where to send your packs.

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(no memo is necessary for this transfer, which happens very quickly)

Thanks to HIVE-Engine, you are even able to trade in unopened, tokenized Booster Packs from sets long passed, such as Alpha or Essence Orbs. If you watch the markets for these packs closely and often enough, you can sometimes get incredible deals on cards that have been long out of print!

As you can see below, ALPHA Booster Packs are trading today for just over $10. Every time another Alpha Pack is opened, the supply diminishes substantially. Opening them is a blast of nostalgia.

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Transferring Dark Energy Crystals Into the Game

This is done through the Splinterlands.com website using the Dark Energy Crystal menu. First click on your Dark Energy Crystal balance in the top right corner.

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This will open another box in which you can several things with Dark Energy Crystals in-game.

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Simply specify the amount of Dark Energy Crystals you would like to transfer into the game, select "HIVE-Engine Wallet" from the dropdown, then choose "Transfer In." This will create a transfer and pull your Dark Energy Crystals into the game.


That's it! You now know the basics of using HIVE-Engine to do Splinterlands trading. I encourage you to use HIVE-Engine as much as possible, but also to do so at your own risk. Care must be taken when using decentralized exchanges, but if you take that care, there are many opportunities from which you can consistently benefit.

I hope this guide has given you some idea not only of trading Splinterlands assets on HIVE-Engine, but of the wider potential of applications like this in the blockchain world, the world of the future!

See you on the battlefield, and thanks for reading Non-Fungible Stew!

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-Chris


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Chris Roberts
Chris Roberts

Content Director for Splinterlands


Non-Fungible Stew
Non-Fungible Stew

As I have delved into the world of blockchain gaming and Play-to-Earn, I have discovered many incredible projects (beyond Splinterlands) that deserve my support and attention. Here you'll find new projects and opportunities to explore so that we can all spend our time playing (and earning) together. Here's to the future! Welcome to Non-Fungible Stew!

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