Is Splinterlands Bottoming?

in LeoFinance2 months ago

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Today the player numbers and games played seem to be bottoming. Hopefully.

The card market is a little weak but that's to be expected since people think the bots are possibly gone for good so they are selling to buy back cheaper. It's tempting to do and it might turn out to be the right move but this market could also quickly take off without you.

I think older cards dipped a little bit yesterday and the value of my cards dropped a little but the total market cap moved up slightly because these new rewards cards coming out by the tens of thousands a day are holding enough value to buoy the total card value.

I just wrote a post showing a post showing what bots renting to silver 1 look like now with a mix of high CP cards as well as a bunch of rare and gold cards that win often and give bonus rewards. It's good to keep that in mind when considering what we've been seeing with rental prices over the past few days.

Two nights ago we saw the start of bots trying to turn back on and this was the on the lowest day of daily active users by far in close to a year. That's the day when we lost 2/3s of the players but a few bots turning on the rentals for a few hours caused prices on many cards to soar to beyond their usual end of season highs. I think this was possible because many people hadn't yet put their cards back on the market and many other people like me who usually rent everything were playing with some of their own cards.

What that showed me though is that while I was thinking 400k players who owned or rented would be a good start on all this oversupply, there's a good chance those end of season ramps we've seen have been done with just a small fraction of renters going all in. Probably far less than 100k of them.

So while we lost a lot of bot players, most of them weren't renting or buying and the ones that are left, if they now have to rent real cards --not just cards for CP but mainly just play starter cards, but real cards for both CP and to win with-- we could see many cards go scarce with just that low level of players.

So with us bouncing right now off the bottom pretty hard, some evidence that bots are coming back and renting heavily, and seeing what happened the other day when just a few people turned their bots back on for a quick trial of renting real cards, we could be seeing the build up an an explosive combination. If we bounced back up to 250k players who are all renting to win, it could get serious around here in a hurry.

So whereas I used to think 400k in all this supply, seeing this makes me think 400k full renters could lead to a shortage of all the nost useful cards and a lot of the CP cards. At that point, what we've seen in end of season ramps could be dwarfed. I think now that before we get to 400k actives, we will probably get a sellout of CL packs and many of the cards that are currently sitting dormant in whale accounts that have never been used and never been put on the rental market might need to get there to stop the shortage.

But if we grow to 400k players and cards start getting scarce, I don't think we stop there and neither do the devs. Again, last season when we have 350k actives, yabapmatt ended the AMA by saying he was doing things to 10x the growth in the game. So then what does that look like if 400k could start to strain the game?

I know Rift Watchers is coming and I know the Rebellion will come a few months after that but you know what else is coming right? Land.

And land is meant to be a major sink of cards. 150k plots that each require cards. ANd its sounded like high level cards and summoners.

So let's look at some charts real quick.

Screen Shot 20220604 at 5.15.01 PM.png

We're still closer to the bottom than we are to the top and this is only a 1 day recovery so maybe its not anything to get too excited about but it is a 23% bump up from 142k back up to 175k. IBounces don't always mean anything but its much better than another down day, or worse, stabilizing there like no drop off ever happened. I'll be waiting to see tomorrow.

Screen Shot 20220604 at 5.16.32 PM.png

This is the daily new accounts. They started to drop, then popped when we got the details on the new rewards a few weeks ago and now we've stabilized back out at about 1100 daily sign ups. But remember, this actually doesn't need to go up for a while. With all those spell books already sold to old bot accounts that are now being sold off for bulk discounts of #4 per account instead of $10 for a new account, we could see quite a ramp up with this never moving higher.

If this does start to move higher, it means real players coming in though so I still want to see it move. There always was a little uptick in new spell books yesterday but its still well within normal range so nothing much to see here.

Screen Shot 20220604 at 9.27.47 PM.png

Here's daily battles. While this is still under the down trend line and therefore still in a downtrend, it has bounced 44% off the bottom from 390k games back up to 565k games yesterday. If it goes up anymore tomorrow we will have broken the down trend we've been in for a few weeks which has just been an acceleration of the much slower down trend we've been in for months.

One of my markers of a rally coming in the game was this number spiking after the new season but instead we got the bot fall off from the tech issues that left bots impotent. Sometimes a trend just needs a cuminating move before it reverses higher though and that could be exactly what we're seeing here. If you follow charts, you know that all charts act basically the same no matter the reason. If we bust through tomorrow, it could be a great sign a new uptrend is starting.

Screen Shot 20220604 at 9.40.16 PM.png

And here's the card buyers market. As you can see, in the first week of May we started seeing our first turn around since it crashed in October. Please note, crypto is still in the toilet since then. Please stop believing the crypto market rules the Splinterlands roost. It does have an effect but Splinterlands can do just fine in a crypto downtrend and even in an economic slowdown.

This chart is interesting because of its expansion. See how the ranges have been widening out? That's just activity. That's more speculation. That's more people caring about the card market again. And its no longer just happening on the day after the season like where every one of those spikes happened during the down trend. Now they are happening all over the place.

I do think theres a chance this could break the uptrend due to the rental market going down while we wait for bots to come back online but so far its held and that's a great sign. With both the amount of cards being transacted and the dollar value sitting on their trend lines, they have a pretty good base to push off of it they do decide to come back in the next day or so.

Overall, I think we're in a pretty strong spot, even in the midst of losing 200k active accounts.

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I think now is a good time for newbies to get into Splinterlands.
The card price is so low.
After playing for a while, it will be worth opening a few more Season Chests.
Have a great day.
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I agree. Can't wait to see the new players come in.

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Great analysis. Hoping you are right

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D'oh! I probably should have read this post before your other one xP

With all the changes in store for Splinterlands, what do you think is having (or will have) the greatest impact on card pricing going forward? I know land is mentioned quite a bit, but do you share that opinion?

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It's hard to say. I think land makes a lot of sense just because its going to take out a lot of inventory from the game and possible create some game theory in terms of where certain assets will be best utilized.Right now there's only two choices. Play them or rent them out. What if your favorite cards to play are also the best ones for production bonuses on your land?

THe reason I hesitate to say land though is because right about that time Rebellion will be coming out. The amount of packs sold in that release is probably going to take land into account so that would limit the effect of land on card scarcity.

Really, I think what they are doing now with the rewards system has the best chance of bringing us back to glory.

I have a weird way of looking at it. I actually think, consciously or subconsciously the devs pulled the plug on the rally last year with purpose when they cancelled bronze rewards.

Remembering back, I had $1600 in dec go missing when transferring it between the game and hive engine. It took close to a month for it to be returned because support was swamped. The servers were crashing nonstop. They had some new developers but they were all brand new and none of them knew how to do or fix anything yet. They'd told everyone land was a couple months out and there was no way that was going to happen on failing tech and no one to build it. They had no more packs to sell so no new revenue. They didn't even have new rewards cards cued up. Even Hive-Engine was failing. They were drowning and I think pulling the plug on bronze rewards was the perfect way to stop the madness and regroup.

Now it's almost a year since that rally started and they have beefed up every system. Got tons of support and tech modernization. Marketing systems in place. Millions in revenue coming in, new teams for every project who are fully acclimated. Cards are cheap again. Dec is back at peg. Bots are figuring out the rental market. And they are about to decentralize some of the decision making process.

I think the rewards update is their way of resparking last years rally. And since 90% of that rally was about bots joining, they are going to do it again. But this year its different because bots have to rent or buy so they can't sit in bronze and rob it slowly without helping to utilize the assets.

I don't really know what other changes would have much of an impact right now. Some of them will probably dampen the growth even. Like being able to burn $1 of SPS to create 1000 dec. I think that will slow growth of the game and not do much for SPS but I'm curious to see it in action.

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Thanks for such an in-depth reply! I've read some mixed opinions on the new rewards system, but at least if you play frequently enough, the cap was removed. I also find your take on land/bots interesting. If they time the release of land around the release of a new set, it makes sense how that could be a wash.

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I think the rewards system is great but most players haven't found their sweet spot yet. The normal pattern is to push up as high as you possibly can on the last day of the season to get max chests. You push to a place that's higher than you can compete but that's fine because you get taken back down the next day.

If they did that this time (and we know they did because the rental market had its second best day ever and everyone wanted those new rewards cards), they are now in a place where they can't get enough FP for the chests they are competing for.

If you are a normal silver player who went to gold on the last day, you're now competing for gold chests which take more FP to open than you win in silver. And if they just push to gold now they can't win enough to open more chests. Either way they are kind of screwed right now. Unfortunately, I haven't seen many people who've quite figured this out yet.

Once players understand what league they should be in, that the chests they should be competing for should match the league they play in, and that season management is a lot simpler now and doesn't require tricks like it used to, I think this system will gain in popularity over the old one.

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