Splinterlands Blockchain Game: The New Worse Experience In Blockchain Gaming.

in #splinterlands3 years ago (edited)


Like many people here on the Hive blockchain I was excited about the many things Splinterlands has had to offer as far as being entertaining, as well as raising the profile of our humble little corner of the blockchain space. I have had periods where I have complained about the bots and still am. But only recently have I decided I'm pretty much done with the game.

I get that in the blockchain space that announcing partnerships is a great way to expand the brand and generate hype. The Splinterlands team is great at this, and on the basis of small increases in value of their NFT's the game has managed to dupe a large number of investors as to it's potential someday. But lets look at what a game must be in order to survive... Fun. Plain and simple. Strategic challenges new gamer's and old gamer's can go up against and figure how to overcome. Next is community. Though Splinterlands came baked in with an inbuilt community here on the blockchain, it is quickly becoming bot centred. The game now resembles a cheap shovel game with unrewarding grinding. No sub features, alternative challenges, and a dying sense of community for the weaker or novice player.


I get the changes around the larger invested players having their own precious leagues protected from less invested but equally skilled players clawing up. I do. It's a system that was supposed to curtail certain behaviours and hopefully bring the bot issue under control. Oddly I didn't mind it as I don't game for monetary reward. It hasn't bettered the game though unless you are in the top tier. For the novice player there are no incentives or progressive challenges to feel a sense of reward over. Just...bots. Splinterlands successfully punished anyone stupid enough to pay to play. It has made the issue of user retention now what's going to kill the game long term.

I know there are a number of occult like supporters behind this game. I've been buying and selling crypto since 2010 and played a lot of games in the block chain space. I know how followings can get. But ask yourself if a game can survive if after a couple hours of play it becomes a chore and loses all entertainment value? Yes there will inevitably be a sharp rise in NFT value when we have the next bull market kick, but the game has no long term prospects if it can't get and keep long term users. Pay to win is largely despised by most smart gamer's, (not to be confused with pay to play which is widely accepted) and the game is to clunky with zero value for entertainment past your first couple hours of play.

From where I'm sitting it seems that Splinterlands studio has screwed up majorly. It soon will be down to players who are too largely invested to back out so are going too Hodl while being delusionally optimistic about it, and bots. New users, and players who enjoyed the game for the most important part (fun) will leave. Many already have. The hype I've seen in discord as well as here on hive that is pushed by screaming "partnerships" by the crew over at @splinterlands is sheer bullshit cover for the fact that the product has changed into a lump of bot ridden shit. A small amount of research will show you this method of raising funds around a game is pretty common and it only works for a short period. Eventually the game tanks in user numbers and then cascades down to the bottom. Those largely invested lose their shirts.


Look, I game for fun. That's it. I don't care about the NFT rewards as much as I care about the game and the challenges it presents feeling rewarding. I don't mind bots, but if it's all I'm playing then why the fuck should I continue? Where is the community that @splinterlands fed on so heavily to build itself up? The game will someday have a peak in hype and price but is it worth the risk to invest in at this stage? Hell no. I never went large on Steem or Hive for that matter when it was at higher value because it struck me as to risky. Better places to put my money. I love hive and blogging but I put just enough in to play and have fun. I had the choice months ago to put 10k into SL, instead I invested in Chainlink and cashed out at last peak, and bought back on the drop with a hefty skim. Putting that money into SL would have been far less rewarding. At this point there is less risk in putting my love spuds in a meat grinder and hoping for it to tickle than investing serious money into their product. Added to all of this it's shaping up to be a shitty product.

If SL cared about their product then they would create more entertaining features to the game. They also would address the bot issue in a balanced way. Instead they have finger fu***d around with more focus on rejigging the rewards, favouring bots, favouring elite players, and completely left the new player and mid range player with very little reason to stick the game.

This little area of the blockchain world has been filled with unrealised hype since the days of Ned Scott , Dan Larimer, and Steem. Hype and internal conflicts with very little promised being lived up to. Splinterlands through a serious of umms and ah's is heading straight down that path. If you are invested in it as a game and intend to dump and jump when the unrealistic euphoria kicks then great. But that euphoria may never come. There are far better places to invest that are less risk (some areas of defi) and far better games that are working on user enjoyment in a balanced way against rewards.

I don't mind meaningful changes and reforms to a gaming platform. I really don't. If they are balanced and help onboard new players and thereby create a more diverse environment then great. If I have heavily invested, and I have a super strong deck but get my backside kicked by a weaker deck on the basis of their arrangement I don't care. They showed more skill. The match was rewarding. The other player feels rewarded as well by beating a stronger opponent.


So in this post I've bitched thoroughly. I'm rarely negative on my blog, but sadly this is a logical response to damaging changes to a product I used to enjoy interacting with. Having made my feelings known on this I'm doing the following:

  1. I will log in over the next three days to check out my mystery potion rewards, then I'm done playing. I won't be playing another match though. Done.

  2. I'm taking five other players with me. Human players. Not alt accounts. People I got into the game with me and enjoy playing with over skype, in person, and when we feel like mucking around. They used to play all the time until a couple weeks ago until we all started to feel doubts about the game as it is now. This isn't large but if the game doesn't figure out how to favour new and mid range players and not penalise them then I have a suspicion that may grow.

  3. I'm going to actively discourage anyone from wasting their money on the game in it's current form. I've gotten over a dozen people to sign up and play in the past year. Most have quit except those that play with me who will be walking to play better games with NFT's elsewhere. In the past week however I did manage to get over ten people to sign up to play Hash Rush and we actively game on twitch. I'll be pushing people to games that are more fun, challenging, and rewarding. Splinterlands won't be one of them. I've never included SL on my twitch channel anyway. I've kept my hive and steem id's separate from twitch and my 3,000 plus followers there. Not a big number, but their active and I carefully built the following. Here I can say what I want, on twitch I have to be a bit more pc and careful. So I keep them separate. I'm more active over there anyway. But no way would anyone promote SL as it has just become another crappy over valued card game. I certainly won't.


I have no doubt that my actions will have no impact over all in the game. I know this bitching I'm doing in this post isn't going to change anything. Splinterlands will become a niche of high dollar players at the top, and a bunch of suckers feeding the bots with every purchase they make. In short the game will become what it's founders and designers want. A cash grab. Splinterlands will become a dump and jump game at a market high peak with zero top no reason to carry forward. There will be "exciting partnerships" but like with so much in this corner, it will fizzle out into hype and unrealised promises. There will be exciting announcements no doubt like most do when plugging a shitty product. Again, with a tilted system that's bot ridden and can't hold new players... how does that work long term? It doesn't. There will be small appreciations in value on the NFT front, but again.. there's better places to put ones money for a better return.

If you've made it this far into reading then thanks for sticking. @splinterlands is done for me now unless they figure out how to make the game fun again, deal with the bots, and above all find a way to onboard and keep new players. Sorry to be negative here,I rarely am on my blog. But it is what it is so I'm not holding back valid criticisms on an increasingly shitty product.

Thanks for reading again guys and best of luck on your posts and projects. If anyone from the SL crew has read this all I have to say is:

.... Until you improve your product. Until then you've lost yet another player.

Image credits:
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the queens journal


It was fun in the beginning, but then far to many bots and the fun died out. It has been quite some time since I have played, I guess not much improvement in the fun department, it is a shame they did at one point have a nice product.

Couldn't agree more my friend. Their user numbers are dropping as well according to all the stats I've dug up. Apparently they have the lands sale coming in but I fear that after the euphoria dies down over that that they will be back at square one. User retention will continue to be an issue. Most in the gaming community hate pay to win models anyway. Micro transactions for small advantages are fine. But over all pay to win is a huge turn off.

if you were playing the game with the cards that match the league you think you could win first in the bots would never bother you cause you would beat them 99% of the time you guys gotta wake up...

I don't know if that is true or not for today's game play. It was not true one year ago when I sold and moved on from the game, there was no fun at the time, I left just before the guild system was started, I woke up, to me the game had lost the fun factor during that first year. I still play Civilization V because it is still fun, same with Fallout Vegas, and Skyrim.

The Splinterlands game for me just did not have any longevity for fun. So in response to your you guys gotta wake up... I did wake up it lost its fun for me, I am glad it is still fun for you.

100% with you on this, This was the first season Splinterlands stopped being fun mostly because I was getting matchups 7 out of 10 times were you instantly knew who was going to win the game because of the difference in card levels. I'm not ready yet to fully give up on the game though but I'm certainly getting closer to it.

Yeah, I stuck with it to see how it was going to shake out. In the end I had to call it quits as it became a chore to play. Thank you for stopping by and the comment. Hopefully SL figures it out rather than ignoring the users who continue to leave.

your playing with a 240k collection score in diamond league do you even bother to look at the prizes for leaderboards go into gold or silver win the packs and your making money than ever the way the dec capture rate was restructured as well smh,*wave

Yes I am. But the game isn't about monetary reward for me. My main issues are game enjoyment, and the system being in favour of player retention as well as on boarding new players. The game has ceased being fun do to most matches being bots, and there is limited survival prospects for the game long term if it's losing users which it is. Look at the stats since the changes came into effect. There's been a steady decline in user numbers and inactive accounts. In short people are being switched off. It's stopped being fun. Not due to monetary reward (I could care less about that) but rather due to a heavily bot mined system and a game stacked against newbies in an unbalanced way. User retention is important and atm SL is tanking in that department. This creates a stale environment that's not fun. But as @bashadow said in his comment, I'm glad it's still fun for you. There will still be hype and misplaced optimism around the product to ride and I hope you do well out of it. I hope the same for everyone else in the game as well. A lot of the hard core SL folk who are sticking are people I like and get on with. But for my part I'm done with the game until they figure out how to balance it out and make it fun again. If they don't I'm done for good. I appreciate your feed back and comment and best of luck with the game.

Lol. Fair nuff matey. I see you still have your infamous way with words. lol. I'll holler at ya later on discord and we can shoot the shit. It would be good to catch up anyhow outside of the SL rant I just did in this post.