As most of you know who follow my blog I got into Splinterlands about 2 months ago. I just want to mention a couple of things.
The new cards look like good additions. I would expect that eventually all will end up having similar cards like fire getting a tank healer. Also a new ability which is to be expected. Either you have to make a game more complicated or start a power creep. Making the game more complicated would help counter bots, but it also scares away new players.
Now on to the bad news. Over concerns over bots prevailing in low leagues two changes were announced. In order to combat this they have raised the cost of quest potions "and the quest rewards for the Silver league tiers and the first two tiers of the Gold league will be reduced." This can't be the best option. Who is in gold II with bare minimum starter cards? I didn't even manage to break into gold II last season with $200 worth of cards. How much can these bots be draining the system? The rewards card prices are low, but of course reward cards are going to be low.
I would also like to show a comment made by @yabapmatt that I disagree with.
I don't understand how he is saying that smaller players are earning a lot more than they spent on the game. The big players do make less roi than a new player. But still it's not possible to free-roll your way to a good deck. You still need to put money in to get a good deck. Getting one or two reward cards that on average might be $0.05 a day is not enough to get more out of the game than you put in. How are new players sucking value out of the game? If you buy a $10 starter deck and you on average make $0.15 a day in daily quests that means it would take 67 days to break even. Who is going to play for 67 days and have 0 interest in buying more cards? No one is going to spend that much time to make $10. A player in champion league though might actually make enough where it is not only fun but worth their time to play. Plus you have access to a lot of cards and more creative options which make the game more entertaining. A new player does not have either of these advantages. In any game with in-game purchases the top 1% are the biggest spenders. I'm not saying they shouldn't have a good roi, but new players should have a better roi to draw them into the game. Old players are more likely to put up with the grind to get new cards and upgrade than someone who just started. Without new players how is the price going to go up or even stay the same? These rewards cards do not need to be valuable while they are still being printed. That's the trade-off for the bot accounts right? Most of the cards are on the market driving the price down, but after the rewards cards run out the people who held might have a good time to sell.
I'm a little disappointed reading this announcement just after I mentioned how I was really liking the game to someone on discord. This news isn't going to make a huge difference but I think that thinking like this is concerning. To me this sounds like the game is taking a first step heading in a direction where there is going to be herons accounts and players. Is that good or bad? I think the main part of the game that keeps players hooked it building up their collection. It's one of the most addicting part of any game. The gameplay isn't as fun as other games, but the collection feature makes up for this. If it is only herons account I don't think player retention will be too good.
What are your thought on the update? How do you think this train of thought will impact the game?