Game Theory Behind the Double Stacked Monster Max Cards Proposal

6개월 전

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Just recently I did a post about the concept of "double stacking" maxed out cards for The Splinterlands card game. Here is a synopsis of the post as a refresher or introduction to the concept if you did not read before:

Cards can now be "stacked," at the max levels. Meaning, if you have a max card, say for example a level 10 common you are able to "stack" these two cards, merging them as you do when you level up. It would only apply obviously to maxed out cards because when you stack two 8s you get right at about a level 9, and so on. But the reason to do such a thing would be enhanced rewards for doing so. This would include for example... a 2.5x DEC burn value on regular cards (would be about a 20% premium per card stacked together), and a 4x DEC burn value for gold cards stacked together. This would also include a 2.5x improvement on both regular and gold cards as they are played in daily quests. It would be limited to be done once, so no more than two cards combined would gain any additional credit to be burned or in daily DEC rewards for playing them.
I feel that if something like this were implemented people could "bet on themselves" even more than they currently can. If you want to play for additional rewards when you run your account dry on capture rate, then typically people start up another account or borrow or rent one from someone else, which is perfectly fine and has done nicely to drive the game and card scarcity-to a point. I think this could contribute immensely to scarcity in a few intended ways for sure, it would increase the desire for massive card hoarders to level up their "double stacked," or "double maxed," whatever you would want to call them, and either play them, rent them out, or burn them for a king's ransom in DEC. As of right now when a single player gets a maxed out card quite often the thought is "I'm done on that card, now onto maxing out the next one." This way all of the top tier players, or renters, or hodlers would have an option to merge a couple of maxed out cards together and form a DEC generating behemoth.

There were some obvious intended consequences for this proposal in relation to the state of the game card economy and some sneakier methods to the madness of this concept. Starting with the obvious "stacked cards" are going to allow people with the want and/or the means to play with two maxed decks at the same time and earn a premium on them while playing the game is a clearly pointed objective. In allowing people to "bet on themselves as players," as mentioned above in the synopsis players can gain more without having to play so much, or having to delegate play as much, opening up other players' time to play their own or other similar lucrative opportunities. This will certainly not be a "cure all" for generating instant scarcity due to these larger chunks of cards becoming consolidated into one as I am sure there have been several similar ideas thrown out in somewhat similar fashion.

The reason this works so much better than ever conceived in the history of the game is because time is simply right for it. The base of players has become well established, yet another immensely kickstarter campaign has been launched and completed and this would be a great opportunity to present a possible reward to the "stalwart base" of players that have either stuck around for quite a while, or just recently showed up and found out for themselves what this hidden gem of a game is all about. Doing this now while affecting actual game play zero percent renders a result of increased DEC rewards at enough of a bonus level to make the idea worth attempting.

With decent quantities of people attempting to do this with cards it will certainly entail less cards lingering on the markets but will also bring some other consequences. Some of these consequences I can imagine that at least someone will try or multiple people will try each of these.

First, the hoarding concept of a single card. We all have the seen flesh golem phenomena, and how one person gobbling up virtually an entire series of a single card and what that does to its rarity and eventual return on investment over time. If people see a card that is under appreciated, in many cases more than one person attempting this can make a card virtually impossible to attain via the market unless you are willing to pay above the set premium on the bid on the market. This can be any card, from any series quite honestly. If @mattclarke were able to do this he could conceivably cut his supply of maxed cards in half, which is a startling reality when you consider the finite amounts already out there that he is currently renting out. Cutting in half in that instance creates more than a 2x premium on rarity and on just the increased premium that was proposed above for having two maxed cards stacked.

Outside the hoarding culture that would be a boon to the game it also generates a "crash and burn concept" that could come about. Let's say I am on the way out of the game, I have had my cards on the market, or I need fairly instant money and don't want to keep manually lowering cards on the market I could take for example my maxed card and either get with a friend and make them a deal on splitting the DEC and the bonus DEC that would come about in burning the cards. Or if I had the means I could go out and buy the cheapest maxed out version available on the market if it were feasible and have a pile of DEC that I could list and very likely sell fairly quickly to the DEC hoarding public. In the meantime I am "really sticking it to the public burning all of these cards in the game," :) or at least that is what you can tell yourself for making that card even more scarce to the people that are currently in possession of that card.

We may also get more combining to reach the top versus so many lower end decks that are used to farm by "non-autonomous players." If these "non-autonomous players" want to play their cards at higher levels however they are programmed by their overlords that is perfectly fine, and actually great in my opinion as well. The problem is that the reward cards are being sapped because of season rewards being worthwhile to do this. If players were paid due to their performance in daily games rather than having season rewards draped on top of them we would see much more of these farmers consolidate decks, or have others consolidate more cards and make them readily available on the rental market due to their blatant daily utilitarian value in the game. I would guarantee each person building one "master deck" as high as they can getting daily rewards added at the expense of season rewards would see a boon in daily rewards. Plus there would be a massive rush to get yourself into the higher pools of rewards to get more cards if the season rewards were done away with. We could of course reward the very highest performers at Champion I as we currently do, but by adjusting the ridding of season rewards much more cards would be consolidated and far less "dummy accounts" would be used. Thus leaving several people with open starter decks with no one to play them unless...perish the thought... they find someone is not already playing the game on steemit or... [hush, then gasp] they find someone is not on steemit to play the deck.

There also can be gamesmanship applied to this method in guild games, in the mining/world aspect of the game to come out, really all sorts of things that could happen from this move. Think beyond the scarcity created of the same person on the rental market renting a set (or more in some cases) of two maxed out cards among a giant roster of other people renting out that same card. Or imagine the same thing and the massive holder would want to get more exposure of their collection and burn the old and buy more of the new. Especially if there are far less on the market to purchase and own on the market so cheaply. If the packs are made valuable enough again by the central creators of this game again the same kind of "pack splitting" phenomena can happen like they did in the Alpha version when people were acquiring hundreds of packs a day, dumping them on the market, and buying more. If this were the case people could do the same thing, and if they were to keep what they had until they maxed a card out twice, or went to the market to get what they needed to acquire a "double stacked" maxed out card to take advantage of discounted pack prices this could create some serious momentum over time that would be great for the game and the economy as a whole.

All of this can be done and if those of us that are users within this game can wrap our minds and begin to understand that perhaps **not all of everyone's collection may not be meant to be owned-some of it may have to be rented or delegated to play with everything needed to be competitive at some of the highest levels. Renting cards is actually a far easier sell to new people than having to fork out hundreds (sometimes thousands) of dollars to have a fairly competitive deck that they own. But I can have these same cards to rent monthly for say $8/month... That can be a much easier sell and much less of a commitment. **I will guarantee the longer someone plays the more booster packs the user will buy and the more cards they will own, burn, and purchase from markets so that others may do the former as well to drive the game economy.

These are just some theoretical happenings I feel that would occur if this idea were incorporated. I thank you for reading the post and certainly welcome your comments that either for or against anything I mentioned in this post.

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