I’ve talked about Splinterlands quite a few times in the past, with my most recent post holding links to all those posts:
For those that don’t know… Splinterlands is a digital card game where you put together a deck of cards from your collection to battle against another player’s deck of cards. Each game has different restrictions or bonuses that will affect gameplay for both teams… so choosing your cards is crucial.
Your card collection is really important, and the kicker is that all of the cards are NFTs printed on the Hive blockchain. This means your cards exist outside of the game… and you’ll see them traded, bought and sold on different platforms like Wax, OpenSea , TRON and others. The market cap for Splinterlands is now over $10 million, which is wild.
The main thing that people commented on back in December 2020 when I last wrote about it was the value of my own collection. In 6 months it had risen by 33%. I had been playing most days and winning cards in the loot chests, but really it was just the value of my cards had appreciated.
Obviously NFTs are extremely hot right now… with them even appearing on Saturday Night Live:
Obviously Splinterlands cards have a benefit over normal NFTs, you can play games with them to earn more cards, and you combine the cards to level them up. This builds in scarcity automatically, and there are a few cards that you can’t even buy on the in-game market anymore.
Fortunately for newer players the team at Splinterlands regularly release new editions of card collections, so there are always plenty of cards available to build a collection with. Alpha and Beta packs are sold out, but Untamed packs and Azmare Dice still have plenty available.
I think the reason that my own collection has risen in value so quickly though, is because of Brawls and Land.
Brawls is a Guild Battle that caught me completely by surprise.
They weren’t on my radar at all… and to be honest I hadn’t really been interacting with my guild Immortal Gods 2 that much. I was really only in a guild for the shop discounts. The few interactions I’d had with them was awesome, and they seemed great, I just didn’t really have any reason to chat to them.
Brawls completely changed that as we suddenly had to organize and strategize about who would fight in which Fray. Essentially there are 13 slots each with a different card level or edition requirement… so you really want the right people in the right slots. We’ve had 3 brawls so far… my first one was terrible, but I then won 5/5 and 5/6 in the most recent ones. The fun is definitely in the coordinating and the encouragement.
I’ve personally bought some new cards with some spare Dark Energy Crystals (DEC the in-game currency) so I could brawl better and I’m sure lots of other people have too.
Currently when you play Splinterlands… the game is in choosing your deck for each battle… and once you submit that team it’s confirmed on the Hive blockchain and the game plays out. You can’t affect the same at all once your team is submitted.
This will change when Land is implemented in Splinterlands… and I have no idea how this is going to work technologically.
I have 7 plots of land… which is tiny, people have thousands… and on those plots I’ll be able to build buildings that will gather or refine resources…. which will allow you to craft items and spells that allow you to affect the outcome of a battle. I assume, but don’t know, that these spells and items might be NFTs as well that can be tradeable on the same markets that Splinterlands cards are.
The reason my card collection has been increasing in value is because the buildings will require workers, ie, your cards, and the rarer the worker card, the more bonuses towards production they generate. I don’t actually know any details… but I think the assumption that those bonuses will be worthwhile has been driving the collection of Alpha and Beta edition cards… which drives up demand and shrivels supply… and considering most of my collection in Beta edition cards then that value has rocketed up.
Potentially I could see a sharp reduction in the value of my collection once Land is implemented and using Alpha and Beta cards as workers doesn’t seem to be worth it… but honestly, I doubt it… people love to maximise these things. I really do think that any cards that have a slight advantage over another will be sought after.
I’ve really been enjoying looking back at my posts and seeing how the game (and my collection) has grown. My post from October 2019 saw me with a card collection value of $350 USD… which I already thought was amazing because I had initially spent a couple of hundred on my collection.
The October 2019 version of me could have never expected that his collection could now be worth the value of say, a second hand car. “Will you be purchasing this automobile by card or cheque today?”, “With cards thanks.”
I don’t know if this is the case, but I do have to wonder if attaching a ‘worker’ card to a building attached to a plot of land will lock that card up… meaning you then can’t use it for normal play, Tournaments or Brawls.
If this is true, then people will have to be really strategic with the cards they lock up… or they’ll acquire multiples of the same cards… which would also increase the scarcity of the older editions of cards.
Personally I hope that the spells and items created by the land aren’t too powerful… it’s going to be a tricky balance to make them worthwhile enough to want to buy cards to create them… but not too powerful that new players immediately feel like it’s impossible for them to win games without them.
Ultimately though, there are lots of decisions for players to make. Do you buy cards to specialize in Brawls to help out your guild? Do you use your gold cards (super rare cards) to make items which you could use to win games or to sell? Do you use your gold cards to play in Gold Card Tournaments where the prizes are higher? Same questions for your Alpha and Beta edition cards… In regular games you earn more DEC for wins with gold cards and alpha cards… so do you keep your best cards for those?
I’m sure people will have lots of different opinions on where they should be focusing their resources, but honestly I’m just amazed with how much this game has expanded in such a short time… and how this blockchain card game might find it’s own exponential S curve in marketcap growth. I can’t help but wonder if the team had a 10 year vision before they even started…
Thanks so much for reading! If you have any questions, or helpful suggestions… please let me know!
Please note : The above post may contain affiliate links.
Below are some product referral links that I love and will benefit us both if you’re interested.
Splinterlands – A super fun blockchain card game that I play almost every day.
Coil – A $5 USD monthly subscription fee provides you access to a ton of content and sites in a way that fairly rewards the creators of that content.
Exxp – The WordPress App to link your blog to the Hive blockchain.
NomadTask – Earn for completing online tasks like following accounts or completing reviews.