A quick update on the account’s progress before I move on to some observations. I now hold 51 unique owned cards and my collection value is closing in on the 5000 I need for bronze I.
It's week 9, two weeks on from my last update and the season recently restarted. So I've collected season rewards and I can now say for certain there is little chance of making the rest of my outlay back in 5 more weeks. Two weeks on and my collection value has grown by less than $1, so at this rate it will be another 8-10 weeks before I break even and this is down to the collection power changes which keep those with smaller collections in the lower leagues with lower rewards.
Note, I'm not complaining about it, because this is purely experimental, so it's just interesting observations.
With regards gameplay, I'm enjoying it, as long as the daily quest isn't with a particularly weak splinter. However, I have recently discovered that if you don't like the daily quest you get, you have a chance to request another one is selected. It's still random, though, so no guarantees you won't end up with another quest that's just as tough a competition.
One of the new changes is a league board for each league, the idea being to still give the chance progress in your league and earn a little extra reward at the end of the season. Currently that reward is Untamed booster packs. I was curious as to what the chances were of me getting anywhere near the top 50. Not that I'd expect to while mostly just playing the daily quests.
Judging by those ratings the chances aren't very good. I'm already encountering stronger and more levelled up teams than mine. Until I can level up my Summoners I'm not going to be able to battle any of my monsters above level 1. Again out of curiosity, I had a look at the top position, @pionerbank’s, collection. It's huge and could easily have them battling in champion league, but it looks like they're leasing most of their cards out. So this account’s goal seems to be investment over gameplay. They might be on a bot to also earn the league and game rewards, or they could just play occasionally for the enjoyment of the game.
Next on the leaderboard is senojuro, who again has a higher collection score which could take them to silver league if they wanted. This account seems to be keeping all its cards for use, not leasing them out. A recent update means that you don't automatically go into the next league if you have enough power and your rating is high enough, so have they chosen to stay in this league or is the account on a bot and not able to league up?
I'm going to play devil's advocate here and ask if you think these accounts are taking away an aspect of the gameplay experience, if you've got no chance of ever reaching these levels as a small account, restricted to that league and who actually plays for the enjoyment of it?
Today a friend just said this to me: “Ultimately happy investors is more important than happy players.”
Yes, he is more of an investor than a player, but still enjoys the gameplay. Yet a player might say the opposite, if too much of the gameplay is lost to the investors sitting in the top of the lower league tables permanently. Does it matter if those with nothing extra to invest get disillusioned and leave the game to those with the money?
My thoughts, at this point, are that if you don't have more than the $10 upfront investment, then you shouldn't play this game with the hope of earning from it, but instead, play it because you enjoy playing the individual games and adding to your collection when you can. It's going to be a looong haul to reach any earning placings on the leaderboard and move up through the leagues. Your account will build up slowly, but try not to think too much about that side of it to start with.
You could just make little personal goals and try to improve your place on the leaderboard each season, which is actually a good idea, if I do say so myself. ;D My current standing is the 1,083rd position. I'm pretty sure I've been higher than that before, but as I've never made a note of it before, I'll start from here.