The Secret of Praetoria

in #splinterlands4 months ago

An important part of the upcoming Land Expansion is the Secret of Praetoria which, as the name suggests, is a well kept Secret that we know almost nothing about. In this post I will attempt to analyze the best options available for people that plan to focus on the Secret of Praetoria, or for people that are wondering whether they should do so, using the limited information that we have.

First things first. When Land 1.5 goes live, we will have three options to choose from, when it comes to "working" our land plots:

  1. SPS
  2. Grain
  3. Research Points

SPS is pretty straightforward. If you choose to work your plots in that way, you will be getting SPS in return.

Similarly, you can choose to work your plots for producing Grain. I won't go into details about Grain here, as this post is about the Secret of Praetoria, but suffice it to say that the cards/monsters you assign to a plot consume Grain, and given the fact that this is a new resource there might be some arbitrage opportunities in the early days of Land 1.5.

But what about Research Points? This is a well kept secret. We can choose to "do Research" on our plots and in return we will be getting Research Points, although we know almost nothing about them, apart from the fact that these Research Points will contribute to unraveling the Secret of Praetoria. However, @yabapmatt, the Splinterlands CEO, has repeatedly mentioned that he plans to focus heavily on Research, when Land 1.5 goes live. This is the equivalent of insider trading in the stock market. Here we have one of the few people on earth that know what the Secret of Praetoria is all about, and this person has repeatedly told us that he will focus on Research.

Do we know anything at all with regards to the Secret of Praetoria? Gathering bits and pieces of information here and there, this is my current understanding of the situation:

We know (Matt has said so) that gathering Research Points for the Secret of Praetoria will be a "territory thing", in the sense that when you work your plots for Research then the Research Points that you accumulate contribute to the total Research of the Territory. So it looks like the Secret of Praetoria is going to require team effort.

Please note that he has said Territory, not Region. How many Territories do we have in Praetoria? Seven. I will present them to you below, but while looking at them please notice the borders between each Territory (the colored curves). They all follow the mountain ranges that we see in Praetoria. More on that later. So, from top to bottom, left to right, these are the seven Territories that will be competing for the Secret of Praetoria:

Pristine Northwest
Pristine Northwest2.png

Broken Lands
Broken Lands.png

Land of Prosperity
Land of Prosperity.png

Central Fire
Central Fire.png

Wild Northeast

Wild Northeast.png

Great Lowlands

Great Lowlands.png

Shimmering Coasts
Shimmering Coasts.png

Land owners in the above Territories will have the option to do Research in their plots in order to accumulate more Research Points for their Territory, hoping they will outpace the other Territories in the race for the Secret of Praetoria. I think it is safe to assume that, if you own your plots in a particular Territory, the more people on that Territory do Research, the better your chances are for winning the race and benefiting from it. We don't know how long will this last. It could be a seasonal thing (biweekly), or monthly, or yearly. Who knows. But Matt said it will be worth it, and he plans to focus on Research. If you do focus on Research as well, and your Territory ends up winning the race, then your rewards will probably be proportional to what you have contributed to the pot of your Territory's Research Points. It remains to be seen what the other Territories will get (the ones that lost the race) but if Brawls are any guidance then they will get some rewards, but not the best rewards.

Having said that, if you plan to focus on Research, what should you do? Assuming you don't already own land or are planning to trade land plots to relocate yourself, then you should consider the following two things:

  1. Choose to buy/work "Magical" plots for Research Points. This is a no brainer. These plots give a 100% production boost for Research.

  2. Choose a Territory with the "right people" in it.

What does that even mean? Well, first and foremost, you want to choose a Territory with active land owners. Therefore, the Shimmering Coasts is probably not suitable for maximizing your Research chances/rewards. That's because the Shimmering Coasts will never be completely claimed, for reasons that are beyond the scope of this post. So if you choose to do Research there, and given that Research is going to be a team effort, you will have a disadvantage to begin with.

But what about the other Territories? Let's go through them one by one, and see who are the people with the most presence in each one (many thanks to @tehox for his amazing website Keep in mind that what follows is just my personal viewpoint. As we go through the lists, there are two questions that you can ask yourself, for the people that appear in them:

  1. Who do you think is more likely to let go of some SPS and Grain and focus on Research instead?

  2. Who do you think is more likely to follow Matt's lead and focus on Research?

Top 10 land owners in the Pristine Northwest:
Pristine Northwest richilist.png

So, in Pristine Northwest @azircon who leads the richlist is an SPS maximalist and a very active community member. Will he focus on Research instead of SPS? It remains to be seen.

Top 10 land owners in the Broken Lands:
Broken Lands richilist.png

Interestingly, in Broken Lands the top 3 land owners have more than 6000 land plots, collectively. On top of that, these are familiar names. They are not going anywhere anytime soon, and if you look at their DEC holdings these guys are probably going to be among the most active land owners. @cryptomancer is also a team member. It is possible that he already knows what the Secret of Praetoria is all about and he may act accordingly. Even if that's not the case, given that Matt will focus heavily on Research, other team members that are close to him or trust his instinct could do the same. And @mattclarke, apart from being a great guy, is someone to reason with. If these two decide to go after Research, then Broken Lands is a horse to bet on, for winning the Research race.

Top 10 land owners in the Land of Prosperity:
Land of Prosperity richlist.png

So here, @leveluplifeph is as active and loyal as one can be, but the unknown factor is which is an investment company (from what I can tell) and therefore I have no idea what they are going to do with their plots or if they will even have a common goal.

Top 10 land owners in the Central Fire:
Central Fire richlist.png

@vugtis is the determining factor in Central Fire. He is an SPS maximalist, like @azircon , but that doesn't mean he can't focus on Research instead. One could think that these guys already have enough SPS so they could focus elsewhere, but another one might argue that they will Dollar-Cost-Average their SPS investments or that they care more about their voting power instead of Research. No one knows. Other than that, accounts #2 and #3 are unknown factors, and then we have @moriarty95, who is a great member of the community but I have no idea of his intentions, research-wise.

Top 10 land owners in the Wild Northeast:

Wild Northeast richlist.png

The great power of the Wild Northeast, when it comes to Research, is none other than @yabapmatt himself. This the CEO of Splinterlands and the person that has repeatedly mentioned that he plans to focus heavily on Research for the Secret of Praetoria. He owns 1700 land plots in this Territory, and we know of his intentions. Will the rest follow? It remains to be seen. But the Wild Northeast is possibly a great option for focusing on Research.

Top 10 land owners in the Great Lowlands:

Great Lowlands richlist.png

I have to admit I don't know who @promote.helper is. But the people in places #2 and #3 are @byzantinist and @cryptoeater , both very active community members, although I have no idea of their plans when it comes to Land.

To summarize the above, given that the Secret of Praetoria is going to be a team effort at the Territory level, if I had to choose a Territory in order to focus on Research I would go for either the Broken Lands or the Wild Northeast, for the reasons mentioned above. I didn't take into account the Shimmering Coasts, given the high probability of unclaimed plots in that Territory.

We had a look at the top 10 land owners in each Territory, but what about the rest? I can't possibly estimate what each land owner will do, but here is how many plots are for sale in each Territory, just to give you an idea of the diamond hands in each one:

Plots for sale:

Pristine Northwest328
Broken Lands171
Land of Prosperity362
Central Fire141
Wild Northeast223
Great Lowlands227
Shimmering Coasts289

So here, Central Fire has the least plots in the market, followed by Broken Lands. If we take into account the total number of plots in each Region, these numbers are insignificant, but they could give a general feeling of future inactivity in some plots of these Territories. Please note that the above numbers are just the numbers I got at the time of writing this post.

Last but not least, the Secret of Praetoria itself. I have no idea what it is. But last year there were two lore stories that were published which mentioned the Obelisk Shield. To make a long story short, there are eight Obelisks in Praetoria and there is a network that connects these eight Obelisks. If this network is brought online and the Obelisk Shield is restored, then Praetoria will be safe again.

As mentioned before, we have seven Territories in Praetoria. Together with Mount Praetorous in the center, we have eight places of interest. I believe, and this is pure speculation, that the Secret of Praetoria will have something to do with these eight Obelisks, with the ultimate goal to restore the Obelisk Shield to its former glory. Here are the relevant lore stories, for reference:

Obelisk Shield - Part 1

Obelisk Shield - Part 2


This is an interesting analysis. I am very bullish on the NorthEast, not only for Yabapmatt being there, but this is also where YGG Brawlers and Kingdom of Glory, my two guild alliances, have claimed their territory. Although azircon and vugtis claimed regions in other territories, they also have land plots in NorthEast as well.

I'm quite bullish that we can be the leading territory for research in NorthEast, but I am concerned about the amount of alpha GF that people like Cryptoeater have. It will be very interesting to see how assets are allocated in the early days.

Indeed. It remains to be seen how the land whales (in terms of plots and cards) will choose to work their assets in the early days of the land expansion. Which is getting very, very close.

I also think that the Wild Northeast is a very possible Research winner.

Nice write up! I’m in the Great Lowlands myself and have been trying to analyze things as well to see “guess” how productive we will be. I know I’ll be gunning for it as well as some of my guildmates…gonna be interesting to watch play out!!!

Cool post! I love speculating on these sorts of things. Thanks for providing your insights.

Thank you!

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Thanks for this analysis, and your kind words, mate :)

I don't have anywhere near enough cards or DEC, to utilise most of my plots.
That said, the cards I have are fairly high PP and will be assigned to my rarest plots. I also have a heap of totems to really jackpot those earnings.

Of all the landhodlers I'm probably the keenest to see serfing rolled out. I'm thinking I'll offer some sort of moratorium, to attract serfers. "I won't kick anyone off any of my plots until {specific date in 2025}" for example.

That's when having a presence and credibility in the community really helps :)

Hey man, thank you for sharing!

Nice idea. I was thinking of doing a Guild thing with our plots, so that Guild members can benefit somehow from surfing, but I'll have to wait and see the details before I decide. I don't think it's coming with Land 1.5, but hopefully soon after that.