Splinterlands | First Impressions Of Open Battle Beta


As someone who has been in a lot of open betas for games, I was quite shocked by how well everything went. I had a great time getting crushed and watching announcements come out on discord. While also just talking with some guildmates over on Contestking discord while it was all going on.

First Day Of Open Battle Beta


For those not in the know even on release day for the most game out there they always have what seem to be endless issues for the players. Double goes for beta and good luck getting in and staying in. Log in queues are endless and you seem to always be crashing, endless and long patching, and bugs that were never fixed.

Splinterlands was different. Outside of a very short delay due to commination, there were very little issues as far as being able to play. Very few in discords said anything about having issues accesses their website. Matches where rather fast even more so after more players got online. I had zero strange errors and only one minor glitch when trying to cancel a match (it found me a match), and sometimes saved team settings going missing. This was the best experience I’ve ever had in a video game during a beta and a major launch such as the combat system being enabled.


Screenshot from Splinterlands Discord

During my gameplay they even made changes. I was just playing along checked in on discord and there was a message stating a change was made to matchmaking. If this is the future of gaming and being able to make changes in real time with very little downtime if any to the player base. Well darn, I wish more games were like this. I would not have even have noticed if it was not for that announcement about the change.

Trying Out Different Decks


I found it rather enjoyable, not over complicated, and hassle-free to just change what I was playing. I was planning around the idea of having a 20 mana cap team and I’m glad that is where they started at least for the first couple of days. So I was somewhat ready to go.

Like many, I made some premade teams just based on some prior knowledge of some CCG (collectible card game) I have played in the past. None of the decks really are that great knowing what I know now and I’m more than happy with that. I can and will build up my decks moving forward little by little. That will be my long-term plan for this game.

I found myself playing a lot of 4 or 5 monster size decks. If you have played other CCG games that sounds like a really low number. While it is, it was also nice not have to try and work out a 30-50 card deck every time I hit a wall or many were starting to run a countering my playstyle.

With just a couple cards to a deck, it more about just having the cards than anything else. In other games, you could be spending hours to days or longer trying work out a decks synergy. Spending days of trial and error in battles to see how it holds up and making changes. In an environment like we had today everything was moving far too fast for that. What worked a few hours ago that everyone was rushing to now play is now what those leading the way are countering.

Also rather funny when you get defeated by a full-on level 1 team and you are rocking a level 3 or 5 deck. I can really see someone having dozens of different decks ready to go that they just rotate around to keep any one meta for far too long locking in and farming them.


I started off the day with a premade fire deck I had ready to go. All level 5 with fire in their eyes ready to burn down anything I faced. Yep, I got murder. I think I was down to a 10%-20% win ratio after a few hours before I thought it’s time to try a few different things out. I had some things to learn and one of them was about what unit can attack and when. Turns out having Serpent of the Flame and Pit Orge in the same deck was not a bright idea. While I did get a 3 win streak with it. It really fell short more times than not.


Since decks are not that hard to put together I made a few trying out different things after getting crushed like I did use my fire one. They were ok but not what I had the most fun with for the day. I just sat in the preparation for battle screen making a deck out of what I already had. They make it really easy and my end goal each time was just getting to 19 or 20 mana cap and thinking what card I could substitute out for another I had. I spent no more than 2-3 mins each time before I was off seeing how it went for a couple of rounds. I really like how short of a turnaround time I had in creating something new even if it was not that great.

Sure I could have put more time into thinking about them. Since most of my cards are level 1 to 3 there not too much thinking since they are lacking a ton of abilities. After a few weeks, I think I’ll just get a gut feeling about what will work with what. How it will rank with what is currently going on out there. It will be fun making a small change to a deck and having to do it again a few hours later. Least that is my first impression of how I will go about it. Perhaps I’ll settle into a more predefined deck like I thought I would have after a few weeks or months playing depending on current battle rules.


The battle rules themselves change every couple of days (I assume based on the current countdown.) They will be changing based on what we know what splinters will be active and the mana cap. Which means what everyone is playing today might not be an option in a couple of days. That I think will keep everything refreshing and fun. You are not sure what is coming next and you will have to think on your feet when you find out to get back to playing right away.


I did get a good laugh when just about everyone was playing the Death splinter. Even if all you had were level 1 cards. Since some of mine were level 3 I was crushing them and just about everyone for a few hours. I was running Zintar Mortalis with Haunted Spirit, Skeleton Assassin, Haunted Spider, Undead Priest, and Twisted Jester. I went on an 8 win streak at one point. Then I hit the wall and it was time to change yet again. Everyone I was now facing where beyond the party trick of this dead splinter.


A few times during the day and night I made it into the top 100 and then I fell out of it again. I expect in the first few hours of a new season that might be something I’ll be able to achieve. Days from now I expect to be nowhere near the top 100. That was fun while it lasted. I made sure to take a few screenshots so years from now I can make the silly claim of seeing my name in the top list!

Combat Itself


This part of the game is really easy once you have a deck in mind. While I think it is a tad too easy and I would love to see a little more player input during the battle having an effect on it. I also understand many are happy with how the battles are auto combat and in the short term, I expect to enjoy watching them.

To even start combat all you have to do is log into their site, have some cards, click on the battle. Next, you selected one of two options at this time: practice (no risk of losing ranking points) or ranked (you gain or lose points based on outcome past 100.)

You also get to see your battle log from here. Which has the last couple of matches with options to see battle details (who played what), a replay to watch the match over again and the best option of them all --share battle! Here is me getting my Dead deck murdered by a random person I played –match. I really love the ability this has for making content with including replays in them like this.


Once you are in the battle type you wanted you just pick a splinter: fire, water, earth, life, death, or dragon. Make your team up to whatever the mana cap is and then click the giant battle button! There is also the option to save and load teams which is great (mine keep going missing but they do show up sometimes its beta so I expect not everything to be working as intended).


Since fights are auto and already determined once the combat screen opens you can choose to watch it play out, speed it up, or just get the results. For now, I rather enjoy watching it play out. I like to see the damage, animations, and go “OMG NOOOO” when my guy misses 7 times in a row and cost me, victor!!!! It has a bit of thrill to it at least in the short term. Will have to see how that holds up 100’s to 1000’s of battle down the line. Some also choose just to see the results and battle again as quick as possible. I find the battle part of the entertainment part of the game so I am not skipping seeing it play out!

It was also fun to see how the different ability you have on cards plays out. Like having two Serpents of the Flame attack each other and trigger retaliate back and forth till one of them is dead. Seeing poison trigger each round to help take down a healer. Having your Pit Orge get enraged every time it takes damage till its one hitting everything left on the screen like a crazy monster. While also being saved by having a shield on a tank or having your support in the back taken out by a monster with snipe. I look forward to discovering the ones I want in my own play styles and trying to build them into a team.


You do use a small amount of RC due to the custom json being created. With over 1k SP I did not even notice the costs. Every time I looked my RC was still at 100% or at worst 99.99%. While smaller amounts will be more limited. I think if you do not go overboard you should be fine. This also might be a way to combat bots who are trying to farm 24/7. Also just adds more “value” for holding SP by being able to play a game like this with no worries if you are a holder in running out on RC.

Final thoughts


The first day I had access to this battle system I think went quite well. I have played over 90 matches and even ended the night down to 332 rating with my highest being 427. Bit of a losing streak in the end as I work out what I’m going play next. My win/loss rate is quite horrible. I expected this much since you expected many of the big boys to be out and about on the first day. I’ll also admit I was never great at these kinds of games.

In a couple of days from now, I hope to see more people of my level around where my rank is. I more than expect the ranking systems to take a few days to start working like even likes. By then it will be trying to just get more than a 50% winning rate to keep progressing. Otherwise, once you dip back below 100 rating you stop losing points. Which makes it rather easy to at least make it to 100 and stop if you choose.

I have my eye on a few cards in fire, undead, and water splinters. Since buffing and nerfing are expected to happen and is only beta so lots of changes are expected. I’m in no rush to invest more than I have outside of just building up a couple of Steem at a time worth here or there every couple of weeks.

For me, I think that is an issue with most blockchain games out there. It’s always having to pay out of pocket for gas, or whatever token. Thankfully you recharge RC over time and once you have some cards you are not being forced to buy more to keep playing. Which makes this game an example of how blockchain games should be and why Steemit should be the home of gaming on the blockchain.

Looking forward to getting crushed tomorrow! Have a great one.


Screenshots were taken and content written by @enjar. Screenshots are from a game called Steem Monsters now called Splinterlands.

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