Splinterlands: Unpacking Land. A deep dive...
Splinterlands held their regular Townhall a couple days ago and spent the vast majority of time talking about the future Land implementation and what it will look like. @yabatmatt spent pretty much an hour straight just speaking about all the different things that may or may not go into it. It was pretty amazing. It's obviously still very early in the process as the "hope" is to get it out by the end of Q3, but once it happens, wow, the whole world changes.
Because there was so much in there, I figured I'd do a little recap, if for no other reason, than it will help me wrap my brain around what's going to be important both now and going forward. So without further ado, here goes...
What is the Purpose of Land?
First things first, yabapmatt addressed why land even came into the picture. On a very broad level, they saw the problem that other card games have in "What do you do with all your old cards?" How do you give them value other than as collectors items? That is what Land was created to fix. The idea is that you will use the old cards to help mint and create the new ones. There will be spells and resources and buildings and other things these cards will be used for on your Land that will allow you, the player, to potentially improve the preformance of some of your current cards, or possibly even make new ones. Details are still to come, but as I say, this is the "problem" the team is trying to solve with Land.
At this point, @aggroed chimes in with his vision of what doing this ultimately means to the Splinterlands ecosystem as a whole. In a nutshell, he believes this is the "most crypto thing we can do" with this game. Ultimately, they built the game and now they're going to turn around and give creation to the players. There will be rules and guidelines, but ultimately the players are going to be able to potentially mint their own cards. Obviously, as I said, it is still very early in the process, but the goal is to give all cards utility throughout the Splinterlands universe.
These cards won't just be useful in game-play, but also in empire building and resource management. Whether its working a mine, a farm, a swamp, whatever; or manning a building, gathering essences by defeating monsters, or maybe even having "Flyers" be in charge of moving resources from one plot to another, or even delivering things to the Keep or Castle. There will be many ways cards both old and new, common or legendary, can be used inside the game to enhance your performance.
What will Land look like?
So what will Land look like? What will some of the characteristics be that affect what we, as players, should be thinking about as we continue to build our decks?
First, there will be fourteen different types of land; two for each Splinter including Neutral. These won't be better or worse than the others. Just different. Plains, deserts, forests, rivers, lakes, calderas, etc., each will have certain resources available on them but they should all be equal in the value they can provide the Plotholder. Not better or worse, just different.
Each Plot will have it's own rarity. There will be commons, rares, epics, and legendaries just like cards possess. Each plot will then have its own "use-case" in that most will be regular natural resources, some will have magical resources, and then the rarest will be the ones that are "occupied" where you will be able to farm "essences" by defeating the monsters occupying that plot. A legendary/occupied plot will be considered the "Goldfoil Legendary" of Land.
What can it be used for?
At this point, each Plot will have one building that can be built on it. There will be a few different types to choose from, but you will only be able to have one at a time. That said, these buildings will have different components to them so they won't just be pegged to one utility. You will be able to upgrade the buildings as a whole, and also be able to upgrade some of the functions inside each building. The example that was used was storage. You might build a building to farm your Land, but inside that building there will also be a storage function you can upgrade to store your resources. So even if you only have one plot, you should still be able to interact with all the other resources in the game by being able to store them and (possibly) use them.
Most of the functions available on Land will be Region based. In other words, if you have more than one Plot, those located within the same Region on the map will be able to "share" some of the functionalities of the buildings. Storage, again, was the example. There's obviously a lot that needs to be fleshed out yet, but that is the overarching concept at this point.
One of the big things Land will be able to do is to create Items and Spells. These creations will only come from people creating them on Land and will ultimately be able to be used in battling. The only source of these things will be from Landholders building/creating them. They will not be available in any other way. So if players want them (which they will) they will either need to create them themselves on their own land, rent somebody elses land to create them, or buy them from the market once Landholders decide they want to sell them. This could obviously have huge ramifications for those owning land and the demand for these could be huge while the supply is very, very limited. I could actually see people "contracting" particular land-holders to build them certain things, with waiting lists and the whole thing outside the game itself. There could very well be people who create an "escrow" business as the intermediary between two parties. Lots to think about.
Land: A Separate Game?
One of the most important ideas that came out of this is the fact that the team is viewing this as a "resource management" game. There is obviously the game-play side of things with Battles and Brawls, but then this side will be all about managing your Land and its resources and building your own "business" that fits into the economy of the game as a whole.
There will be LPs (liquidity pools) for all these different resources. (At this point they're thinking 30-40 different types of resources in the game.) The players will be able to focus on many different things if they want, but the idea is you won't be able to do everything. You could farm resources, you could focus on building things, you could focus on LPs, or many other different avenues for revenue they haven't talked about much yet. There will probably be Arenas you can build and upgrade, and then "host" tournaments or Brawls and receive SPS rewards from the pool. There might be Smithies, or Fletchers, or Magic Shops where people could come to you and use your services to upgrade their equipment. Or maybe you build a transportation company that people can use to move their resources from one region to another. Who knows? The sky is the limit. It will probably be fairly tightly focused at the beginning because all of this actually needs to be coded, right? But the possibilities truly are endless to the point that this could be a massive real-world economy moving literally millions of dollars of "digital goods" around the world of Praetoria. Pretty mind-blowing.
Speaking of millions of dollars, Aggy did mention that one of the whales (Neal) put together a spreadsheet with regards to the assets in the game and came up with about $200M in assets within Splinterlands right now. This ain't your daddy's Donkey Kong. lol Anyway, back to the Land...
Where do Cards fit in?
So where do cards fit into this? Each plot and each building will require cards to "work" them. At this point they are thinking around five separate cards will need to be used on the Land for it to work at maximum efficiency. The benefits these cards will deliver to the workings will be based on the BCX levels these cards possess. In other words, a maxed out common will produce better than a level 5. I'm not sure how everything will translate between rarities and regular foil vs goldfoil yet, but I'm sure that's all being built in as well.
One of the reasons for this function is to give older cards more value. For example, a common Beta card needs 505 BCX to max it. Untamed and beyond only need 400 BCX. This means that a maxed out common Beta will provide better returns on the Land than a maxed out common Chaos, for example. yabapmatt stressed that there aren't anywhere near enough old cards to cover all the "slots" in Land, so the later cards will still also be very valuable. But the old ones will just be worth more. That's the same with anything else in life. All things being equal, a 1920 Silver Eagle is going to be worth more than a 1985 Silver Eagle.
Now we get to maybe the most important question in regards to the Land implementation: How do SPS and DEC fit into the mix?
What are the Roles of the tokens, DEC and SPS?
Basically they are the glue that holds everything together. DEC is going to be needed for Everything, and I mean everything. You will need DEC to build your buildings. You will need DEC to use your cards. You will need DEC to store your resources. You will need DEC to trade your resources. You will need DEC to enter the LPs. You will need DEC to do pretty much anything and everything in this new economy. Much of it will not need to be "spent", rather it will need to be staked. For example, if you want your building to run, you'll probably need to stake some DEC. It's still yours and it doesn't get "used up", but you'll need to lock some up to make things work. yabapmatt used the nice definitive number of "billions and billions" of DEC that will need to be used to run everything in Praetoria. There isn't anywhere close to enough of it out there.
Which brings us to SPS. How will people get the DEC they need to run everything? They will be able to burn SPS to get it. The idea is that these will feed into each other and benefit everyone as the use-cases for DEC will be almost innumerable and the only way to get it will be burning SPS. This should mean that DEC will at the very least, get back to its peg. In the process, there will be continual buying pressure on SPS and the supply will start to slow down and ultimately, once it's all distributed, begin to drop. Seems like a very good plan in theory. Hopefully that's how it works out.
Phew! This is getting long. I meant to put everything into one post and tie it all together, but there is just too much to delve into to get it all done at once. (Plus, I need to get this published to keep my streak going and there's no way I'm going to get it done today if I keep going.) :-)
As soon as I publish this I'm going to keep writing and finish it, so hopefully the second part will be out in a few hours. But in the meantime, I'm going to cut it off here.
Tune in tomorrow for the rest...
Hive is the Way.
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