Splinterlands | Still Worth An Investment ? (& How To Go About It...)
First things first, the way the economy of many of these play2earn games go, is that everything is fine as long as new buyers come in compared to players opting out. This is one of the main questions to answer when wanting to know if it's still worth the investment. I think it's safe to say that most of the crazy early adopter 100x gains are a thing of the past in Splinterlands. On the other hand, the high risk of everything going to zero that those who are able to make 100x gains take also are no longer there. Splinterlands has an established team of developers, a brand name in Crypto Gaming, and a reasonably big loyal player base. The safest assumption to take is that Splinterlands will be around for many years to come.
Minimum Requirements To EarnWhile Players are able to earn just from buying the 10$ Summoner's Spellbook competing in Bronze 3 League just with the starter cards, I would say it's not worth it. The game needs to make sure bots aren't able to just milk the rewards which comes at the cost of new players being able to actually organically grow. If you are in bronze just playing with the starter set unwilling to either rent or do an outside investment into the game, you will be stuck there forever pretty much. The full earning potential only starts in Silver League where Loot Chests give much better Rewards.
What Does it take to get into Silver 3 ?
With the Needed Skill, I believe it is possible to get into Silver League even with the starter set and possibly some extra cards that aren't that expensive. In order to get rewards from Silver 3 though, you need to have at least 15000 Collection Power which for most is a massive step.
This 15000 Collection Power can be reached in 2 ways:
Renting Cards: This is certainly a valid way but it needs some skill & strategy to get more in earnings from the game compared to what it costs to rent. A known strategy is to Start a new quest, wait for 23 hours, rent cards for 1 day, complete the quest and get another one to complete right after. This allows you to get double the rewards for 1 day of rentals and you should be able to get quite some DEC by grinding down your capture rate down to 50% Do this every 2 days using your earnings to slowly but surely get yourself to build your own collection.
Buying Cards (or Packs): Each card has a DEC Burn Value attached to it & these burn values represent Collection Power. So buying cards directly increases your collection power and you can do it on the market in a very targeted way. Once Chaos Legion Comes out, it will be possible to buy card packs of which are a bit of a gamble with a change to get really great cards or be stuck with 4 Common cards & 1 Rare on most packs.
This is the chart of how much Collection Power Each card has in it...
How Much Does 15000 Collection Power Cost ?
When you use the formula (Price of Card / Collection Power It Has ) x 15000 you will know how cheap or expensive it is in reaching the needed amount. The cheapest way to get to 15000 Collection Power is to find the cards that have the best ratio in this regard and just buy those. You can find a Best Collection Power To Cost ratio Chart on Peakmonsters
Based on this Chart, the lowest cost for 15000 Collection Power is around 390$, this however, will get you a bunch of duplicate reward cards that are extremely common and that won't improve the power of your Deck whatsoever making you wil a lot fewer matches giving you a hard time and fewer returns. I personally would not recommend doing this. A cost of somewhere around 600$ to 800$ will give you around 15000 Collection Power with much better cards that are actually useful. (See Below what I would buy right now just based on what I think I know). So I will go with the upper price of 800$ going forward.
Expected Earnings In Silver 3 ?I recently made a post calculating the expected value of an average Loot Chest in the game (See Splinterlands | Calculated Reward Chest Value (1000 Chests)
When counting the Potions as worthless (which they aren't if you buy or earn packs) and calculating a slight decrease in reward values, the average chest should be worth about 0.50$. In Silver 3 when Completing the daily quest each day while getting the end-of-season rewards, you are expected to get 84 Loot Chests Each month or 42$ worth of Earnings. Each Won Ranked Game also will earn your some DEC. From what I have heard in Silver 3 this is on average 8 DEC. DEC has been quite stable at around 0.010$ and you should be able to play 30 matches each day. With a conservative winning rate of 40%, this brings the DEC Earnings in a month roughly at 30$.
So just the Loot Chests and the DEC Earnings in Silver 3 In a month right now come in at 72$ which is a low-end calculation. (You also literally can earn 570$ from a single Loot Chest when you are lucky which for sure is a nice feature of the game)
If you are able to rent at a cost of 1 DEC for each 100 Collection Power it would roughly cost you 45$ for a month of rentals, you likely will have a higher win-rate since you can rent more aimed at what you need each day. It will always be somewhat of a hassle though.
Of course, when the price of DEC would drop due to supply and demand (near the end of the SPS airdrop period this will most likely happen), the rewards go down and the prices of cards also go down. In case the price of SPS goes up, the prices of cards also will go up at least during the airdrop period. None of it is set in stone.
Extra Earnings on Top!One of the great things about Splinterlands is that it allows you to earn in multiple ways and making use of all of them really adds up like crazy.
SPS Airdrop: When you invest in cards, your collection power will count toward the airdrop giving you passive SPS each day. 15000 Collection Power right now will approximately give you 1.7 SPS each day. It will go down as time passes by especially if you don't compound everything you earn) so let's say 1.25 SPS each day with currently 238 days left in the airdrop. That comes at around 300 SPS over the course of that period. Currently, the price is 0.4$ for 1 SPS which means 120$ if the price stays the same. I would argue that there is still quite some upside price potential for SPS but nobody really can say for sure and there is a chance that it all goes down.
SPS Staking Rewards: If you stake your SPS each day, you will earn extra SPS (right now around +48% APR) on top of what you have. This will go down over time as more SPS gets staked but it's a nice way to at least offset inflation.
Vouchers For SPS Staking: There will be a 2nd phase of vouchers that are needed to get packs (and bonus packs) that will be given out to those that have SPS staked. These vouchers have shown to be worth quite a bit as they went for as high as 18$ in the initial pre-sale stage. It for sure will be lower in stage 2 but they still will provide a nice way to get returns and vouchers will continue after
Future SPS Staking Benefits: The plan is to give SPS a lot more use cases in the future and from what I understand SPS will be part of ranked rewards based on how much SPS players have staked (don't quote me on this)
Blogging Earnings: While no investment is needed, having some stake in the game kind if makes it easier to start blogging getting engaged in the community. This still by far is the best way to get good returns and I would argue the only real way for players that aim to fully grow organically to do so. Blogging will possibly also earn your SPT tokens which are part of the SPS Airdrop and also give more passive SPT tokens when delegated to @monster-curator (as I am still doing)
Guild Earnings: If you are somewhat invested in the game, you are in a better spot to get accepted by a guild and get some earnings from that which will help you grow in the game. Personally, I already got over 15k Collection power just from guild rewards since they started and those are also the matches I tend to enjoy playing the most. SPS will also become part of the Guild Rewards.
Rental Earnings: If you ever grow tired of the game and want to take a break, it is very easy to put your cards on the rental market and make some passive earnings that way. If you get duplicate cards, you also can rent those out.
Is 800$ Worth the Investment To Get In Silver 3 ?There are many factors that come in play when answering this question and it very much depends on person to person.
1. Total Calculations: Just Going by the numbers, a 800$ investment should get you on average earnings of 100$ monthly calculated at the low range. When adding some optimization, you should easily be able to get it up to 150$+ right now. The cards and assets you earn both have the potential to go up or down in price and it's safe to say they won't become worthless.
2. Game Enjoyment & Commitment: If you enjoy playing the game and being engaged in the community while having the consistency to do it daily, it's a much better starting point to actually invest as opposed to when you just care about the earnings and have to drag yourself through it each day.
3. Financial Situation: If 800$ is not an amount you can easily miss at any given point or when 100$+ monthly earnings are totally neglectable I would probably say it's not worth it at this point. In the other case when you also enjoy the game I would say it's quite safe to make the investment.
4. Time Horizon: These games tend to favor those that have a long time horizon and are committed to it. If you have that mindset and are willing to play even in bronze, I would say it's much better to just make the investment at the start instead of aiming to fully grow organically as it will save you so much time and effort. If you are in it for the short run you, it's probably not worth it.
What I would Buy as a Starting Player!I had a rather quick glance of what cards I would personally buy to get to around 15k Collection Power if I was a starting player. I guess one of the most important things right now is to avoid the Beta and Promo cards (that have more Collection Power) which won't be able to be used in the upcoming Modern Format. I would most likely also focus on Golden Cards who give a extra DEC Bonus for each Won Game in Ranked. In order to complete quests more easy, make sure you have some cards with Sneak & Snipe Ability.
Again, this combination of cards is the result of having just a quick glance and I don't recommend anyone going by it. Getting fewer cards with higher collection power makes things a lot less complicated also if you would ever sell them or rent them out compared to many smaller cards. Combined they have 12500 Collection power at the cost of 677$. The most expensive card is a very useful Summoner and it has a mix of cards that work well with the divine shield ability it gives. At the average price of these cards you can get 2500 Collection power extra for a total cost of around 800$. Some of the cards like the Lensmaster I do expect to do well over time as the amount that are in circulation is very limited. (See Splinterlands | Reasons I Bought Some Legendary Lensmaster Cards!)
ConclusionSo is it still worth investing in Splinterlands as a new player, I would argue yes under the right circumstances. If it is a game you can enjoy and you have some money on the side, you should still easily be able to recover the initial investment during the 238 days that are still left in the SPS Airdrop. Each day that you wait pretty much makes it less and less favorable to get in (unless there would be a major dip in prices). If you are looking for crazy 10x to 100x gains however, you are most likely too late when it comes down to Splinterlands. For that, you need to get into games that haven't had the massive adoption (or hype) boost yet. I personally can recommend Clash Of Streamers which I am heavily into as an early adopter as one of those games.
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