Splinterlands went parabolic recently with registered accounts exploding from 50,000 to 300,000 over just 9 months.
On Discord there are new members joining the Splinterlands server every second. New players means there's onboarding to do. It is no secret that the official team is busy with scaling matters to adapt to this rapid growth of their game. They are doing a great job with this but things like onboarding new players are suffering under this stress.
Some long-term members have now taken on the role of moderators to help new players with their questions and other Mavericks (people who spent more than 1,000 USD on booster packs through the official site) have been helping out as well. I hosted a Q&A session myself some days ago. But for those players who stumble across this game on the internet and want to be given some hard facts before buying into it, I feel like there should be a consolidated resource giving a basic overview of what Splinterlands is and how it works.
I tried to write a short summary on what I would like to know as a new players and the kind of stuff I'm asking before joining another Play-To-Earn game.
What kind of game is it?
Splinterlands is a collectible card game. You know, the same genre as Yu-Gi-Oh!, Magic the Gathering, or Pokémon. There is a major difference though in that Splinterlands is also an auto-battler with variable match rulesets.
Unlike the other TCGs (Trading Card Games), you do not create a deck of 30 cards or so and then play turn for turn with drawing another card at the start of each round. Instead, when being matched to an opponent, you will be given a randomly generated ruleset and have to pick a summoner and 1-6 monsters out of your total collection that you feel fit this ruleset best in 2:30 min time. Once you and your opponent submitted your teams, the match plays out itself with monsters taking turns attacking and using their abilities. The last team standing, wins.
Check out the Splinterlands Wiki for the different rulesets.
How is crypto involved?
The matches are submitted on the Hive blockchain to make sure game results are immutably stored and cannot be altered by the admins or anyone else. One of the great things about Hive are feeless transactions. You only need resource credits to transact on this chain but these regenerate over time and the Splinterlands will stake enough $HIVE to your account automatically so that you do not need to worry about those.
The trading cards are NFTs that can be collected, sold, earned and merged/blended into higher level versions of a card.
There are also other tokens for LAND and TOTEMS which will convert to NFTs once the land expansion is released. Right now the tokens are claim rights that can be traded on Hive-Engine or Atomic Hub. Even unopened card packs can be converted to crypto tokens when you intend to sell them or move them across chains.
Winning games earns you Dark Energy Crystals ($DEC). This is a currency token used for buying Splinterlands assets in the game. You can also earn DEC from completing the daily quests and season rewards (approx. every 15 days).
Brand new and probably cause for the explosion of involvement in the game is the new governance token Splintershards ($SPS). This token will be used in the future to govern gameplay aspects of the game. For instance the health or attack points of a card could change, if Oracles that are elected by $SPS stakers decide on it. This new token crosses another bridge between blockchains being minted on the Binance Smart Chain (not on Hive). Right now $SPS is still in an alpha phase where it does not have any use yet. Best time to accumulate these tokens by taking advantage of the ongoing airdrop.
Is it Play-to-Earn?
Hell, yes. This used to be my dollar-a-day game. Then recently things started to grow. Slowly at first, rewarding me with cards and $DEC worth about 35 USD in a week, then parabolically, allowing me to claim over 250 USD per day. Admittedly, I was lucky enough to have had a big enough card collection before the card prices skyrocketed. But even new players who are just renting cards are reporting on Discord, that they are earning more than they spend on daily rentals.
If you are looking for ways to convert your Splinterlands earnings to fiat money be sure to check out the linked guide.
Is it Free-to-Play?
No. You can try the gameplay for free, but you have to buy a summoner's spellbook for 10 USD to unlock Play-to-Earn rewards like reward cards and DEC. This is the only mandatory investment, although it may pay off to put in some more dollars into renting cards.
This would allow you to play in higher leagues, easily earning back your investment. At least at current $DEC and card prices, which are insanely high at the moment, being fueled by the $SPS airdrop to which holding any of the other assets will contribute.
Am I too late?
Obviously getting in a couple of months ago would have been ideal. However, the game is still in its very early stages. The land expansion is not even rolled out yet, which will introduce a whole new management aspect to the game. The $SPS token is still in an alpha stage. Neither of the game's tokens is listed on renowned exchanges like Binance, KuCoin or Coinbase, yet.
I cannot predict the future and I cannot give financial advice. However, I believe in the project and the team, who are very engaging and very target-focused. I am not selling.
On the contrary, I am excited for how the price of $SPS will behave when $BTC breaks to new all time highs, triggering yet another alt season.
Why am I losing every game?
In the Novice and Bronze level most players are fighting with the same sets of basic cards. So, if you are getting beaten to pulp you may have an issue with the way you are placing your cards.
Check out this guide of mine I wrote about the different attack types and how they should be considered in card placement.
Also make sure you are reading up on the rulesets and abilities mentioned above. It can be overwhelming at first, so rather than trying to learn all of them, just look up those you encounter, instance by instance.
In another post of mine, I reflected on 10 different cards and their abilities and how to use them. This may give you an idea of the kind of thinking to apply, when you are starting to advance your tactics.
I have another question!
Drop it in the comment section. I am sure you are not alone and I will be glad to answer it, providing assistance to other readers as well.
Want more Play-To-Earn on Hive? Check out my Rising Star Beginner's Guide
Promo offer for new players/investors: Use my ref link and contact me here or on discord (handtalk5#6665). I will get a $0.50 referrer bonus if you buy the summoner’s spellbook to unlock the Play2Earn features. If I can confirm you as a referral who made the purchase, I will return that to you in form of Splinterlands cards. Just message me the card(s) you want for up to $0.50 and I will get them off the market for you.
Disclaimer: No financial advice included in this article. Just sharing my personal experience. Do your own research!
Some links in the article might be referral links, feel free to use other sign-up methods.
Images courtesy of Splinterlands.com or @flauwy.
This is a re-published post from my account on the HIVE blockchain.