As I write this, there's only a few days left to claim land in the Splinterlands FINAL Pre-Sale. However, I'm not going to focus TOO much on the plots available for the Pre-Sale. Why? Because nitpicking between 14 bucks and 20 bucks is like debating whether you should have bought Bitcoin when it was $100 or $200. Sure, buying cheaper is better...but when things go nuts, do you really think it will matter that much?
If you're reading this AFTER the pre-sale is over (which ends on December 31, 2020), do not despair. And definitely do NOT let saving 6 bucks prevent you from jumping all over an astounding opportunity.
If you have already purchased your claims in previous stages of the Pre-Sale...you've got your plots, your title, and your raffle tickets...you're patting yourself on the back and feeling good...
...well, I'm sorry. FOMO isn't done with you yet.
Here's the problem:
If you think you've got enough land, you probably don't fully understand what's happening.
So let's break it down, shall we? And before we go any further, let me remind you that this is ENTIRELY subjective opinion on my part. This blog article does not represent Splinterlands the company in any way. It is just me, explaining my thought process and personal journey through the ever-evolving digital landscape.
To many, Splinterlands represents THE best game in blockchain. Some of that is due to accessibility, compatibility, design, and a host of other reasons. But by and large, I think it's safe to assume that the majority of players get excited by the ROI (Return on Investment). The idea that you can buy NFT (Non-Fungible Token) digital playing cards, then sell them later for a profit is extremely cool.
The fact that you can also PLAY with those same cards and earn digital currency (which can also be sold for profit) is mind-boggling.
And now we're presented with an opportunity to buy Land in the same game...and use that Land to produce a wide variety of digital goods (including playable NFTs within the game). Okay, that...that's...insane.
Let's discuss just how CRAZY that is.
We'll start with some NFT basics. Like for any digital currency, you'll want to look at things like Scarcity, Liquidity, and Demand.
The island continent of Praetoria (where the land sale is currently taking place) is the most resource-rich area on the planet. Every plot sold, regardless of its geography type or rarity, can be considered PREMIUM.
As a result, some have taken to calling these plots "alpha land" (since many of the older players can recall that the very first "alpha" cards in the game continue to provide unique, innate bonuses to earning more currency rewards when winning a ranked match). These specific plots of land will provide bonus modifiers that no other land will have (assuming that someday other continents are ever explored).
There are, of course, only a finite number of Praetoria plots available. 150,000 to be exact.
And as of today, about HALF of them are already gone.
There are approximately 5,000 - 6,000 active users. If land plots were equally distributed to all active accounts, each account would have 25-30 plots each. NOBODY would qualify for a title, keep, or castle. On top of that, it is unlikely that anyone would be independently self-sustaining (we'll get into that after a bit).
But hold on. That's going by TODAY'S numbers. Since when have our numbers ever been stagnant? As Bitcoin continues to make waves in the media...as cryptocurrency continues to step closer and closer towards mass adoption...as large international companies continue to integrate blockchain and crypto into their products and services...an influx of new users stumble onto the scene, looking for UTILITY. Looking for easy, fun, and entertaining ways to either USE or EARN MORE of this magic internet money.
Splinterlands will be waiting.
It wouldn't surprise me at all if we doubled our user base next year. In fact, that might even be too conservative. But let's say we jumped to the 10,000 - 12,000 active user range.
An even distribution of plots with that number of people only equals 10-12 plots per person. If there was still land available to buy, a new player may not have the option to even spend more than $200. It's quite possible that they won't be able to get land at all.
If land prove as profitable as I think they will, existing land owners will demand absurdly high prices on the peer-to-peer marketplace.
As we already discussed, I think the scarcity of the land will make the land itself extremely liquid. I'm guessing that anyone grabbing up these premium Praetoria plots will have no issue whatsoever selling them later at a profit.
But that's not the liquidity I'm referring to.
I'm talking about what the land PRODUCES.
Let's say you end up with a common, run-of-the-mill Forest plot. Nothing special. It's not magic. It's not occupied by monsters. It's just some trees.
So you decide to construct a Saw Mill building on your land. And this dinky, little low-level Saw Mill starts spitting out Wood. Guess what? Wood will be a tokenized resource. You can trade it or sell it to other players on the open market. In other words, it's basically a digital currency.
Let that sink in.
The first time your Saw Mill produces Wood, your first instinct will be to whip out your phone and open the calculator app. 5 seconds later, you'll be figuring out how long it will take to produce enough wood to break even on the $20 investment you made to buy the land. 10 seconds later, I'm guessing you'll be researching how much it will cost to buy MORE land.
Cuz here's the thing: when land is finally implemented into the game, you know what's gonna happen. It's a GAME. And it's populated by crypto enthusiasts. That's a recipe for the most competitive launch you've ever seen.
Players are gonna be RACING in a MAD FRENZY to level up their buildings as FAST AS THEY CAN!
As a result, the price of resources is probably going to soar through the roof. You'll have to decide whether to re-invest your resources into leveling up your Saw Mill to create even MORE Wood...or...SELL the Wood to the players focused on the actual crafting.
Yeah, we haven't even touched on CRAFTING. Just producing a raw resource like Wood is already making land ownership sound downright AMAZING.
What do you think's gonna happen when land owners start popping out rare item and spell NFTs? How much do you think just ONE, SINGLE Gold Foil Legendary card will demand on the open market? Who knows, right? It's extremely speculative. However, we can look at the current market for Gold Foil Legendaries and possibly hazard a vague GUESS as to what the future holds.
To stay competitive in Ranked Play and Tournaments, the top players invest in things like Gold Foil Legendary cards. That's the way this works. Someone is gonna buy them. And someone is gonna SELL THEM.
Once more, we whip out the calculator and ask ourselves, "How long to make back my 20 bucks". How much you wanna bet the answer is "Not Long".
In fact, how much you wanna bet that as soon as the reality of the situation sinks in--land becomes one of the most desirable and coveted assets in blockchain?
I think it's obvious that once the Land expansion is released, the demand for plots will be overwhelming.
The demand for resources will be overwhelming.
The demand for player-created NFTs will be overwhelming.
So I guess it's not really a question of whether there will BE demand, but whether you will be positioned to fully benefit when the floodgates open.
Before I push any further, allow me to once more emphasize that nothing I say here is official. There is so much that is yet to be determined and still in the planning stages. But having said that, let me share my personal strategy in buying land...
I knew from the very start that I wanted to buy a Tract (100 plots) at the very minimum. If I could buy a Region, I would. However, I just bought a house (in the real world), and most of my finances had to revolve around that.
But I definitely knew that at least one Tract would provide me with a Keep and a decent chunk of plots that were joined together. For those who have been following the Splinterlands blog posts and AMA (Ask Me Anything) discussions, you already know that we expect there to be a Travel Time modifier. In other words, there will be a benefit to owning lands that are within close proximity. In theory, it will take less time to transport resources to the buildings that need it. And since time is money, it makes sense that you'll want to strategically place certain buildings near each other (to better optimize production).
Thus, there's a very good reason to buy Tracts and Regions. These are lands that will perform at maximum efficiency.
However, I believe there may also be a benefit to spreading out a percentage of your land to other parts of the continent. It boils down to geography. In order for there to be forests and rivers and lakes and mountain ranges...there HAS to be threshold for diversification. A plot by itself does not constitute a "forest". Rather, you need a large number of such plots (that are all the same geography type) to make an actual full forest. The "forest" plot you own is actually a small part of a much larger forest.
In other words, a Region owner will have a high amount of diversity when it comes to the land types available within their region. But will they have ALL land types? Maybe, maybe not. I suppose it depends on where their region lies within the continent.
A Tract owner will have a medium amount of diversity, but will they have ALL land types? Probably not. I mean, it's always POSSIBLE. But I'm guessing it's going to be unlikely. Maybe 25% of the Tract will consist of Hill plots, another 25% are Mountains, 15% are Badlands, and so forth. You'll probably get a decent mix.
But there's 14 different land types. FOURTEEN! Each of the land types is capable of either producing different resources or constructing different buildings.
So my recommendation would be to purchase either a Tract or Region (whichever you can afford), then buy an equal number of claims as individual plots. That way, you have the best of both worlds. Half your lands will be joined (and thus benefit from reduced Travel Time), and half your lands will be sprinkled everywhere for the sake of diversity (and a greater number of geography types).
This will further increase your ability to be self-sustaining. To be dependent on other players for different resources means you will be subject to market fluctuations for those resources. If you want to minimize your dependency on other players, try to balance your land investment between "joined" and "floating" plots.
Bottom line: As more and more people realize the immense value that land represents, it's going to disappear very quickly.
If you've already bought some plots, try to buy a Tract or Region. If you've already bought a Tract or Region, try to buy a bunch of individual plots. You'll thank me later.
THE OTHER STUFF
You'll notice I didn't bother talking much (if AT ALL) about the Titles, Keeps, Castles, Raffle Tickets, Totems, etc.
That's because I wanted to keep things in their proper perspective. WITHOUT all those perks and extra fun stuff, Land is already a NO-BRAINER. One would have to make a pretty extreme argument based on blockchain, crypto, or the game simply failing or disappearing to cast any sort of shadow on the opportunity.
I'll leave it up to you to gauge the likelihood of any of those things happening.
But let's assume that blockchain, crypto, and the game are only going to grow...
Tossing in the "other stuff" (like titles, keeps, raffle tickets, etc) makes this stupid obvious.
It boils down to one simple question: How much can you grab before it's gone?