Riftwatchers: Success, debrief, request, proposal, and future sale plans

What happened yesterday was nothing short of amazing. The Splinterlands team, on behalf of the DAO, launched Riftwatchers, and the community responded with sheer glee. The presale sold out in 1 minute and 39 seconds. 500,000 packs vanished in what seemed like a heartbeat. As those packs sold they took over 25M SPS off the market along with ~500,000 vouchers. In what felt like an instant the whole economy shifted beneath us, and the DAO itself stood $2,500,000 richer.

If that's all that happened it would have been enough, but there was more. A few whales started purchasing nodes at the end of the tranche and it caused a node avalanche. We saw over 1300 nodes fly off the shelf yesterday. Those nodes took over 25M SPS out of circulation. 80% was burned on the spot and 20% went to the DAO. In addition 650,000 vouchers were burned as result. This was another seismic shift for the economy.

If that's all that happened it would have been enough, but the Splinterlands community still wasn't done. 30k Chaos Legion (CL) packs were also purchased, bringing us just 45k packs away from 10M CL packs sold overall and the deployment of the Jacek card airdrop. Once the Jacek airdrop is done, we'll be in the final third of the Chaos Legion pack sale, and it won't be much longer until all of Chaos Legion is behind us.

For this incredible sale that primarily benefited the community, without any SPS going to the company from the "Riftwatchers" or node license sales, we are so grateful, excited, blessed, and ready to keep cranking out more. More code, more products, and more plans to make this company and game as awesome as possible for everyone. We'll continue to do whatever we can to work alongside of our community to bring new use cases to SPS, DEC, and Vouchers. May our shelves be stocked with endless fun and may you never, ever, have enough.


Not everything went perfectly though. Like any popular sale there are some things that went well and some things that didn't.

The first major problem was not a technical glitch, but a UX mistake on the part of Splinterlands. When the window to purchase "Riftwatchers" packs came up on release, it involved manually inputting the amount of vouchers a player would have to spend. Many in the rush to purchase packs didn't notice or understand and clicked furiously to get the packs they came to buy. In that moment they failed to include vouchers they had intended to include in the purchase.

A second problem was that the website went immediately into the general sale following the quick presale sell out, but didn't give notice to the players that they were now buying in the general sale as opposed to the presale. Players purchased packs with the expectation that they would be getting promo cards, but unfortunately did not make the cut and were thus part of the general sale. The buyer had no way of knowing that and was not provided with notice.

A third problem is that the mad rush of the sale excluded some of our community members. Those that aren't able bodied couldn't all participate even if they were there on time and made a good honest effort. Some internet speeds vary and those with poor internet can be completely excluded.

The support team, especially @byzantinist, have worked with players to take in user feedback, calculate the financial impact of what happened, and report it to the team in very short order.


Those problems aren't in a vacuum. Those problems are in a system that's currently undergoing change and we have to figure out how to transition into that change. In the past all effort was made to help make sure that anyone that could have had even the slightest miss in the experience would be taken care of even if it meant altering the rules of how the system would work.

That was much easier to do when Splinterlands (the company) was the one selling the items; however, as this was a sale on behalf of the SPS DAO it's important that any modifications are done in a way that token holders agree and consent to. Additionally, in this case the VOUCHER tokens spent in the sale are burned making them unavailable for refunds.

Our goal has been to listen to the community, and then we've tried to figure out the smallest ask we can make of the SPS holders, DAO, development team, and support team. Please keep in mind this is our first attempt of doing a sale on behalf of the DAO and there are lessons in here that would have been difficult to predict without having this first hand experience.

The following is the proposal we're putting up for public comment. We have another sale fast approaching, so we're planning on allowing 48 hours of public comments before putting up a shortened SPS stakeholder vote.

Splinterlands Riftwatchers Presale Adjustments Request/Proposal

The Riftwatchers presale was a massive success, but also had a few challenges.

  1. The UX confused some players so they missed the opportunity to spend vouchers to purchase bonus packs.
  2. The website went immediately into the general sale and some players intended to purchase presale packs and get the bonuses but accidently purchased general sale packs and are requesting refunds.
  3. Some of our community are not fully able bodied and a nearly instant sell out makes it literally impossible for them to participate.

Because of these issues Splinterlands is proposing the following:

  1. Anyone that purchased packs during the presale, but used less than the full amount of Vouchers be allowed to purchase the full amount of presale eligible packs by submitting the missing Vouchers. This will increase the total number of pre-sale packs eligible for rewards by what we estimate to be in the 2-3% range.
  2. Anyone requesting refunds will be refunded by the exact amount they purchased (in both SPS and VOUCHERs) by the Splinterlands company as opposed to the DAO. Splinterlands will then be considered the purchaser of those packs and will receive the presale bonuses like any other account, but unlike any other account we intend to use the majority of purchased packs and awarded cards as promotional givaways.
  3. We would like to increase the number of packs eligible for pre-sale rewards to allow anyone that purchased packs within the first 3 minutes (60 blocks). This would be a ~10% increase to the total pre-sale packs and resolve 60% of the transactions and 81% of the financial considerations of the presale refund requests. It would also give more time to people who physically can't complete the sale in less time.

By allowing these changes the pack purchasing community would experience:

  • a ~10% increase to the print rate of presale promotional assets (which are fortunately still not in circulation at all).
  • The majority of purchasers would be able to receive the packs they intended to purchase and who acted in good faith to do so.
  • No tokens would be removed from the DAO, or be added to circulation to cover the gap.

By allowing these changes the people on the cusp would experience:

  • A better user experience making it more likely they stay in the community and participate in further sales.
  • They are able to purchase the number of packs they intended to purchase, but were unable to purchase because of some confusion on how the sale page worked.

By allowing these changes there are those that didn't make it in that would experience:

  • Actually missing out, which is a necessary component of fear of missing out.
  • The ability to get a full refund if they purchased but missed the mark.

By allowing these changes the development and support teams will experience:

  • Building a positive experience with frustrated players.
  • A minimal amount of work necessary to make a meaningful adjustment to the player experience.
  • A retrospective and adjustments to improve the player experience in future presales.

By allowing these changes the Splinterland Company will experience:

  • A change of tokens we hold from SPS to Riftwatchers, but will not lose money in the experience of creating a sale on behalf of the DAO
  • Hopefully goodwill from the successful pack purchasers for protecting the scarcity they want.
  • Hopefully goodwill from those on the cusp who get to be included even though they technically missed the deadline.
  • Hopefully goodwill from those that were outside of the sale because they're eligible for 100% refunds.
  • Hopefully goodwill from stakeholders because we're walking the walk of using governance to determine outcomes.

If you have feedback on this proposal please leave comments below.

Future Sales

We have several sales coming in the near future. It's important that we allow everyone in this community a few minutes to make a purchase. So, going forward we're figuring out ways to ensure everyone in the community will get presale rewards provided they make a purchase within 3 minutes of the sale going live.

We will do what we can technically to ensure that there is a clear cut-off between the presale and general sale so that transactions that attempted to get in for the presale but don't make it will be rejected rather than automatically moved into the general sale without the player's knowledge or consent.

Please note that we will not be able to offer this for all sales, for example the upcoming Runi whitelist sale, as those have hard caps that cannot be increased. We will include other mechanisms for those types of sales that will attempt to make them as fair and accessible as reasonably possible.

We're currently working on plans to ensure the same thing doesn't happen when we release Tower Defense packs or any products under the Genesis League umbrella.


Please review this post, the proposal in this post, and then comment below in the next 48 hours. We'll amend the proposal based on feedback, and then put it up for an SPS proposal vote.

While not a perfect day there is a ton to be excited about. The Riftwatchers presale sold out, and we're moving through the first airdrop of Riftwatchers smoothly. We sold out of Tranche 1 Validator Node Licenses and we're nearly at the finish line for the Jacek airdrop. When Jacek hits we'll be down to the final 33% of Chaos Legion. Tower Defense and Runi sales are getting prepped and there's so much going on as well for Genesis League and getting land into place. Thank you to everyone that participated in the Riftwatchers sale. We'll try to take this experience into account for future sales, and please share your feedback below and please share your praise across friends, family, and social networks.

Blessings of Peace, Prosperity, and Freedom,

Matt and Aggroed

Stay tuned for more updates from the Splinterlands!

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NOTE: All rewards from this post will be burned.

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