The Journey to Addiction…
Do you remember when Splinterlands first came out? Back then it was, of course, Steem Monsters. There was so much hype about it, so much belief in it, but I didn't really get it. I probably would never have given it much more thought, if it weren't for @mattclarke.
Generous as always he would gift me packs to open. At this point I think opening packs was all you could do as the game wasn't fully up and running yet. Needless to say, I still didn't get it. It seemed like a game of card collecting, virtual cards at that.
Then people started to talk about playing the game, but when I tried it wouldn't work, because I use a tablet, not a desktop and it wasn't mobile compatible yet. So I still didn't get it.
At the Adelaide meetups they'd talk about the game and Matt and @holoz0r even showed my daughter, @svitlaangel, how it worked and got her set up with some cards to play. She started playing it on her laptop, but I still didn't really get the draw of it and thought maybe I could just send her the cards I held to help her with her game. Unfortunately (or perhaps luckily), it still wasn’t working for mobile devices so I couldn't send her any. She lost interest after a while anyway.
So that was my excuse for not trying to take any further interest, I couldn't play the game on my tablet. Then Matt undermined that by telling me there was a mobile app in the works. It was okay, though, it was slow progress; until one day, when it was done. I couldn't find it in the app store, though, so that was that…
…no, not getting away that easily…it's Splinterlands.io in your usual browser apparently. So I ended up giving it a go.
First I had to buy a starter pack, presumably to get the summoners. I'm actually not sure, because I didn't really know what I was doing at the time, only that I was supposed to get this pack in order to be able to play, even though I already had some cards. I guess there was a reason I'd held onto some SBD…
My first few games I tried doing the daily quest, which was to win 5 matches with death splinter. I think Matt must have been following my progress, because he messaged me with some suggestions, mentioning some of the abilities which gave me an idea how they worked. He also gave me a leg up by delegating some cards. I mostly lost, but eventually lucked out enough to win 5 games and get to open a reward chest.
All I could think at the time was how slow things would be to build up my game because the DEC rewards were low when I won and only one reward chest per quest wasn't much per day, so the game still wasn't really capturing my interest. However, I persevered a bit longer and soon realised that as you work your way up the leagues the rewards get bigger. Then I discovered that at the end of a season there's a bigger reward which is dependent on the league you're in. The higher the league you're in at the end of the season, the more reward chests you get to open.
By watching each battle play out I learnt a little bit each time. When cards did strange things I'd look up the ability on it to find out why. Then if I got really confused I'd ask about it in the Adelaide chat and Matt or @shaidon would clue me in. Thank you for putting up with me and my questions guys.
I'll be honest, I still didn't think I was going to get into the game. They'd be talking about rulesets and I had no clue what they were on about, until I got into silver league. That's when things started getting interesting. Instead of just playing the same sets of cards that seemed to work best at the given mana, I started getting the different rulesets to work with. Suddenly the cards that were the best choice in a standard game, lost their advantage with a certain ruleset and other cards had advantages they hadn't had before. It was more of a challenge to try and pick out a team, more strategy was needed. It was getting fun! I think that was when I got hooked (I blame you @MattClarke!) I've had to try and curb myself to just doing the daily quest, or I'd get little else done. @michealb was right, doing well on Splinterlands leads to neglected families!
The Mobile Interface
Now that the mobile version is up and running, it seems that the desktop version also works on a mobile device, but I prefer the mobile version because everything's too small and fiddly on the desktop one to use easily.
The load screen when you first open the app.
The main screen, with nice, big, easily selected buttons!
For anyone reading who isn't familiar with the game or the mobile app, there is a walkthrough on how to play the game and it's easy to get started.
However, improving your game and familiarising yourself with all the abilities takes a bit more time. At this point, advice from more experienced players is helpful. I also regularly go back to the abilities help screen to remind and familiarise myself with what they do.
Upgrading my summoners to level 2 (yes, I'm even spending some crypto on this game), made a big difference in stepping up into gold league when I'd been stuck just on the cusp at the top of silver for so long. Now I'm just trying to get my eldest interested again...