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RE: Splinterlands Tournaments Updates

in #splinterlands3 years ago (edited)

I agree that this is a major step in the right direction in the current situation the game finds itself in – finally! (based on first impressions until we see the how it works in practice/see the end result), but I wouldn’t necessarily be concentrating on the "little league's" as such, but more on the "middle class" of player that we desperately need more than anything else. This would solve most of the issues we have at SL, in multiple different and practical ways, without having to constantly interfere/manipulate the gaming environment to get the desired result that would help the game grow even further.

Diamond level tournaments were reduced by 20% for both collection power and payout compared to champion level matches. It reflects a lower expectation on the players and thus a lower payout to the players.

However, there is one problem in the quoted text from the article above, that I would like to highlight.

The fact is, that diamond league players don't really have much lower expectations than champion league players. As it currently stands, a diamond league player is expected to have a champion league standard deck to win the diamond league ranked leader-board and/or win tournaments (apart from a few obvious and powerful in-game limited edition cards - mostly summmoners), specifically because the league limits of both diamond and champion leagues have the exact same summoner/card level limits (have a look at the current standings to see how that is the case, and has been historically up to now, in diamond league).

The cost to both purchase/rent the cards for a diamond league winning player is extremely similar as to that of a champion league deck...when you take that into consideration, it does not make sense that there is such a discrepancy in both the cost vs reward ratio between the two leagues. But that is insignificant, compared with other reasons why diamond league is a fail in general.

As an example, the account that is currently leading diamond league, finished in 4th position in champion league last seasons (and top 10 on a few occasions previously), and is played by what people call a "professional" champion league player (they already play multiple premium decks in-game and are actively advertising to play more) who is now using diamond league to extract more and more of the game's so-called NFT assets (along with in-game currency mainly via tournament prizemoney) that were introduced on the basis that it was supposed to entice more participation or investment from a new/wider group of players/interests. It hasn't's just the same players making more accounts and infesting the same and/or other leagues.

What purpose does this serve? How is this both helping to attract new players and/or investors here, when the same group of so-called "professional" players who have a lot of "free" time on their hands, and are constantly benefiting at an increasingly exponential level. Unfortunately some of the worst in-game behaviour has been rewarded at a very high level up to this point, and those people now get to keep the spoils from that in-game behaviour. But as is always the case, these people are protected, because they are both "professional players", and others want to please them/put their own self-interest above all else and want to keep them "on side", rather than lead by example and stamp it out of the game, because of those aforementioned self-interests. They get the best of both worlds, while others are marginalised and/or have to compete against these types of behaviours that create an "unfriendly" and lopsided playing experience for the majority (irrelvent of their stake in the game - ***real world stake, not free blockchain money printers and circle-jerkers), that some may not even be aware of...which makes it even more insidious and unpalatable.

If this is the result of the so-called mantra of "time, skill and stake", then it's pretty obvious that it's just not how reality works around here. Not everyone is stupid/and or can't see/understand what has evolved/taken place. Yes many things have gotten better, but SL has now been infested with circle-jerks of little private clubs and works mainly on the special interests/secret deals to the point where it has been normalised and become the only way to really progress in the game. This is the direct antithesis of what the selling point of the entire blockchain is supposed to be. Its also clearly what some influential people on this blockchain have massively benefited from, while preaching to the crowd about freedom, openness, decentralisation and transparency. It's turned into the complete opposite in some ways. You can't preach "freedom" while stomping on other people's freedom, as some people like to do on a regular basis. You also can't preach transparency, while understanding that everything is gained by making secret deals and private clubs that benefit the very few. However some people would like you to believe that. Privacy and secrecy are not the same thing. I'm tired of the two faced secrecy that has developed over time in this game. I'm tired of finding out that someone is playing 5-10 accounts in the same tournament/ranked league play at the higher/parallel league levels, that completely goes against the very nature of what tournaments and competition are supposed to be all about. I'm tired of seeing people with coding skills or using other in-game cheats getting an advantage over others, which has zero to do with "skill", and also denies them a fair playing experience/environment and diverts prizemoney from them to other accounts because of those distinct "advantages". It's about time all of this changed, instead of everyone trying to conveniently sweep it under the rug, and pretend that none of this is going on (at least I know for certain what was going on when I was playing). Just because there is no "rule" against something, it doesn't mean it should happen/be allowed to occur. Having no rules, is just another way to justify any action that benefits any individual or group over others. It's a bullshit excuse. Simple and concise rules are always necessary and should be displayed publicly, as a form of expected "transparency".

As you know I played a hell of a lot of matches in the first year and a half or two of SL, until my personal life/situation changed for me, so I know both what is going on and how things work in general in SL (just in case I get accused of being clueless and irrelevant as some would like others to believe - specifically in discord and public blogs/other SL related discussions). I have also been branded as having no skill, time or stake. Well, that's interesting to say the least, since I spent plenty of time playing competitively at the highest level (with a much lesser strength or level deck for the majority of that time compared to my opponents - my current delegated player is playing with a much more competitive/champion level deck than I ever did), money or "stake" on the game and assets before the majority of the current player even arrived. Apparently stake has been relegated to the bottom of the list (for some of us anyway), way down lower than "time", even for those who have barely no real world money/stake of their own in the game. They now get to extract way more benefits/rewards from the game than the aforementioned persons. Apparently you are a socialist/communist if you believe your actual real stake with your own real world money, is treated as less valuable as someone who has plenty of free time on their hands, and no real world stake/free blockchain money. Funny how that works, when it suits certain individual and self-interest based arguments, that emanate and start/get fostered from the very top...

Anyway, on a side note - I understand the synergy between diamond/champion leagues extremely well and I followed that league closely, because my account spent a few seasons in diamond league for a couple of different reasons, but mainly at the specific request/needs of the delegated player who plays my account. My account would be considered by most to be of "champion league" standards, even if there is somewhat of a cap on how high it can reach, both because of card availability (compared with other champion accounts) and skill required to get to the top of the leaderboards - but it's mostly because of the cost involved to compete with the "super elite" decks in champion league. As we all know, not all decks are made equal, and everyone has their specific limits of affordability and don't have access to some of the niche or specifically limited edition cards in the game, which does affect your overall results/standing in the long term (as a general rule), but is absolutely expected as part of the game environment/playing conditions...not to mention any personal life changes that may affect this as well, after having one's initial playing experience/investment into the game.

Not only is a diamond deck expected to be of general champion league standards, but so are some of the players playing the accounts that reside there, mainly because of the generous rewards available at the top of the diamond leaderboard. Even though that's a good thing that should technically entice new players and investors to the game as well as increase competition and participation for a different set of players in a different league, those prizes are generally being recycled among the same small group of players and interested parties who have greatly benefited from this since the inception of SL, on a constant/seasonal and compounding basis. Yes, this is what happens when a small group of the so-called best/heavily supported/invested players have many decks that can play in multiple leagues with the same ownership interests/players. This also has a direct flow on effect into the tournament arena. This is a problem that needs to be thought about at a much deeper level, as it is greatly affecting participation in both tournaments and the game in general, no matter how much certain people would like to deliberately downplay that and generally dismiss/throw ludicrous accusations at people like myself (and one other person specifically, who was more vocal publicly than me on this particular issue) who have brought this up in the past/early days on discord. This has always fallen on deaf ears, for obvious reasons which I will not go into specifically here, because frankly it's just a waste of time, and will always fall on deaf ears.

Both casual players and people who mainly have ownership interests in only one playing account (based on playing on a casual basis, and not "professionally" as some are doing at the expense of everyone else), don't really want to play against literal "professional" players who make a living from the game, only because they have an endless amount of time compared to others. I don't recall this being part of the "selling point" of investing in the game. Neither do I recall, anyone mentioning you need to play and endless flow of daily tournaments and ranked games just to keep up with the Jones's, only to ****stay competitive at the same level they invested in initially***, while others clearly benefit to a much higher extent, irrelevant of their initial stake. The gap has widened since collection power was introduced, so it did not have the intended consequences that were intended at the time....for obvious reasons I have already mentioned to you personally. If you want to make the game more appealing or "popular" to a much larger base of casual players who don't have the same amount of time/resources or access itself to the best decks, then this needs to be addressed in some meaningful way. It's all well and good to appease heavy investors in the game to give them the best opportunity to earn/maximise their ROI in the game, but it's another for them to "beat up" on casual players because of what I would call the ability to "outnumber" them, from many/multiple accounts. This is especially true in tournaments, as multiple lives have a huge impact on the results, not to mention the fact that results have the ability to be manipulated. Tournaments as a concept are not supposed to give a single person/entity multiple lives or opportunities to win a tournament. Your tournament life should have a meaning, otherwise it just ends up becoming a numbers game and throws most of the tournament prizepools into the wallets of the same owners/interests, and therefore diminishes the general notion of gaming skill, into a different type of skill - a different type of "gaming" if you like. The more accounts one plays, it heavily diminishes the amount of skill required, and skews this into a "weight of numbers" and manipulation game. If players think they have no hope of winning in tournaments because they are being "outnumbered", then no amount of changes will attract potentially new players/investors here (apart from corporate interests), let alone keep them here (specifically speaking of lower and middle class type of players). Popularity will always outweigh a few mega whales, as that is where the phenomena of word of mouth has the ability to attract tens of thousands of players. That will benefit everyone a hell of a lot more into the future, rather than the status quo. You can't buy marketing that would create the same effect and buzz as that has the potential to do. In fact some of the short shortsightedness I have observed from some, is a lot more likely to hurt the game long term because they feel that their immediate returns/self-interest will gain them more than potential future returns based on more players that will eventually give them an opportunity to gain a much higher return on their initial investment than they believe to be the point in shooting yourself in the foot in the long term, based on a short term outlook, that won't get more players/interest in the game and make it a "popular" game, rather than just another niche game on the blockchain. There are already plenty of those around.

Back to the main point, being diamond league...

IMO, after considering all the factors at play, diamond league is completely irrelevant at this point and SL would be much better off either changing the diamond league summoner/card limits to address what is basically "two champion leagues", as well as add another league between silver and gold leagues to provide a smoother and more logical transition between leagues and the different abilities that have been introduced with the changes in the "untamed edition" cards - The most obvious example of that is common cards now unlocking most of their extra abiltites at level 6, and rare cards at level 5. These extra abilities are now unlocked at gold level instead of silver level as was previously the case with the alpha and beta editions.

I understand that this would be a huge undertaking and would likely require the potential to re-code the game (since I'm not a coder I can't answer this myself), so it would likely be too much work or impossible to implement at this stage of the game's life cycle with all the new features coming based on the current structure of SL.

In that case, I think it would be more time efficient and cost effective to remove diamond league altogether. This could potentially release some of the funds tied to that league (diamond specifically), and allow more funds to be either spent on marketing/advertising SL, and/or re-distributed into other forms of in-game rewards that covers a larger base of players, whether that be in-game achievement type rewards, or a change for better/more useful/different quest type rewards. Players would also likely be playing in their correct leagues, rather than 2 different champion leagues, which is currently the case.

I'm sure someone has much better ideas than those...but generally speaking I see no point or purpose for diamond league. I don't think this helps SL attract new players or new investors here in the long term, but rather a short term solution for the same group of top 10-20 regular multi-accounting champion league players/ or players who have access to decks other will never have, to expand their reach and influence into more accounts/other leagues, thus making it even more "unfriendly" and lopsided towards new players/investors.

I deliberately decided to spew this rant/comment here rather than on discord - I'm sure some will not approve, but I don't care if this is all about "transparency", then let it be so. (I'm talking to a brick wall on discord in more way than one), while I only garner scorn from some towards me directly. I'm just no longer interested in even attempting to start a discussion on discord about any of this/other similar discussions for those and other reasons that I have mentioned here. I don't have either the energy or time as a general rule like I once did anyway, with the main reason being that the only thing talking about this gets you (IMO), is complete denial, diversion and the opportunity for some to deliberately misrepresent peoples words/arguments/intentions as a way to avoid the issue/reality of it all and their own shortcomings and actions.

It's not my game to run either way...

Discord is also a great way to talk over others/interrupt them in real time while trying to get a point or real argument across in general, so this is a much better medium for that reason alone. Who knows, maybe I'm just being "salty" according to some who have only leached from this game since they arrived, while lecturing people who have actually spent actual real money here.

Again, funny how that works hey?...but not really, if you really understand how everyone's perception is solely based on their own personal self-interest and short term results, rather than the long term good of the entire player base and future of SL (including early investors, even though some of them would not agree to that on face value and short term interests).

Later old man. I hope you don't fall asleep reading this...


lol... I didn't fall asleep (but was close as it took me so long it almost cut into my naptime :P ... I think you have some good points and some that I don't agree with. I do think that you view the league levels based on getting to the top (ie winning in the top ranks), while I on the other hand have NEVER won a pack from finishing in the top whatever of a league. The reason I bring this up is a matter of perspective. I don't view it as unfair because I can be in Champion league and get extra loot boxes for both daily and season rewards. My deck/playing ability is not as good as you, but I choose to move higher while you (and others) fight for those season packs. I don't particularly care which one of you competitive beasts wins, that's is the farthest from my thinking. I am happy with my way of playing the game and I still earn a great return on it.

Regarding focusing on the Gold (mid level players), versus the low end Bronze and Silver... I would say, you have valid points but we can only take one step at a time. This step to encourage more new/smaller people to experience the tourneys is HUGE imo, and of course if its as successful as I think then of course it could be also applied to gold levels too.

Happy New Year (slightly less old guy) :)

 3 years ago (edited) Reveal Comment