With a strong play to earn economy and a robust rental system in place, Splinterlands has begun to find that bots and the ability to play for nearly free (with just a one time spellbook purchase), are causing issues with the game economy. To combat this, the Splinterlands team revealed details of their new Ranked Rewards system, expected to go live at the end of May.
Many play to earn economies have run into issues with rampant devaluation of their assets as a result of a heavy influx of players. Whether due to real humans or bots, this has destroyed some game economies completely. In Splinterlands, part of the problem stems from the free, starter cards that anyone can use to play. Players able to earn income without any investment in the system (either via their own funds or through a rental/scholarship program), leads to increasing inflation, devaluing the rewards for all the players. Rather than get rid of the starter cards altogether, the Splinterlands team decided to reduce rewards for wins with them.
First off, it’s important to understand the concept of Reward Shares, as this now applies to all rewards in Splinterlands. Basically, Reward Shares are points you get for winning battles. Rewards shares are calculated by the following formula:
You can see that rating plays a huge part here (important note: rating is capped at the maximum for your league). ECR is your Energy rating and bonuses are things such as using Alpha cards or gold foil cards. Reward Shares determine how much DEC you earn when you win matches. And with this new, upcoming update, they will also affect how many chests you earn from seasonal and daily rewards.
As for the starter cards — for each starter card used by the winning team in a battle, the DEC reward is reduced by the percentage of starter cards used. IE, if the winner uses all starter cards (100%), they will get zero DEC rewards. Players will need to own, rent, or borrow non-starter cards to earn DEC from wins.
Seasonal rewards will use a new Seasonal Reward Points system. Reward Shares from each win are added to your Seasonal Reward Points. The more Seasonal Reward Points, the more chests earned. Everyone can earn up to a maximum of 150 chests during a season. Though each league has its own reward chest with different levels of rewards. And in a new twist, reward levels are based on the maximum rank achieved during the previous season! To prevent abuse of de-ranking to try and earn easier wins, the number of reward points needed to earn chests also increases with league. So while someone may have earned Diamond rank the previous season, if they’re trying to grind out wins in Silver, it will take them a lot longer to earn chests than if they played in a higher league.
Therefore it’s almost always better from a rewards standpoint to have the highest league achieved in the previous season be one that you can reasonably play in and achieve a reasonable win rate in the following season.
Daily quests will also change significantly. They will be renamed to Daily Focus, last for 24 hours, and allow players to earn as many as 30 chests a day. Like the current quests, Daily Focus will feature a particular Splinter. Each win with that Splinter contributes towards focus points. Accumulate focus points to earn chests. Points are based on Reward Shares.
Quest potions will be removed from the game. Anyone with Quest potions remaining in their inventory will be refunded the appropriate amount of DEC.
Loot Chests and New Reward Cards
As mentioned earlier, everyone has an equal opportunity to earn the same, maximum number of loot chests. Each chest contains only one item, but the contents vary based on the associated league. For example, a Bronze chest only has a 0.2% chance of containing a legendary card. A Champion chest, on the other hand, has 3.2% chance of holding a legendary!
Along with this new reward system come 12 new reward cards. And though we don’t yet have much information about the cards themselves, we do know that they will include a new ability, Reflection Shield. Reflection Shield makes a card immune to all secondary damage, including Magic Reflect, Thorns, Return Fire, and Blast. Apparently, the new reward cards will also include three new legendary cards.
Though the code release is planned for May 22nd, the changes to quest, season rewards, etc, wont kick in until the start of the next season on May 31st, However, the change to DEC rewards from using Starter cards begins immediately on release.
After reading up on the details of this new system, I am excited for these changes. This gives a lot of extra encouragement for players to play in as high a league as they can. It also opens up additional earning opportunities for those with lots of time to play. And with the potential to earn up to 30 chests a day and 150 chests every season (which last two weeks), new players who are into the game should be able to start building their own collection at a much quicker pace. Overall, great news for Splinterlands players and a significant update to the game economy. Personally, I’m looking forward to trying out the new system!