The prize structure doesn’t seem to work for players who actually do well in the event (typically, people who are good at drafting in general.)
Let me introduce myself briefly. I’m Craig, I’m “reziel” in Eternal, I’ve been playing CCGs in a tryhard-casual manner for over a decade, and I love limited formats in particular. I contribute to Jank Junction here and there. My greatest Eternal accomplishment was peaking at 6th on the Draft leaderboard in Season 1.
Using my own experience with this “Seeds of Unrest” event as an example case, I went 7-3, 6-4, and 7-3. (And for reasons that will become apparent in a moment, I’ll mention that in all three cases the losses were roughly evenly distributed or came toward the end of the runs).
As of writing this, I was ranked 29th on the leaderboard. Optimistically, I’ll stay in the top 100 for the 11th – 100th prize bracket, although that’s by no means a guarantee because I’m writing this late on Friday night and there’s still two days left to go. (Edit: As of 4:03 pm Saturday, I’m already down to 70th).
Assuming I stay in the top 100, this means that after paying 22.5k gold for 3 drafts, I walk away with 10 packs, 3 “Free Drafts” (AKA Strictly worse 15k gold), and 3 premium strategizes. Pretty cool! But wait. . .
Let’s convert the records I had to normal drafts, which are available 100% of the time.
Hypothetically, after paying 15k gold for 3 drafts, and with roughly the same records I had during this event, I would have walked away with about 15k gold to completely nullify the cost of entry (This is granting that I’d probably get a gold chest and two diamond chests per run instead of three diamond chests per run, due to the arrangement of losses vs wins in a standard draft run). It’s also worth noting this is worth as much as the “draft tickets” I might win, but more flexible. Then throw in somewhere between 7 to 9 additional packs from the gold or diamond chests and some random premium uncommons / commons.
I actually lost 7.5k gold by playing this event instead of normal drafts, as well as lost some monetary flexibility with the “15k gold” in draft tickets I won. The only unique upside I gained from playing in the event instead of standard drafting was 3x premium Strategizes, which I would argue are not worth as much as 7.5k gold to a competent drafter. This is exactly the type of player getting these Strategizes in the first place. The premiuim strategizes also break down into a pittance of shiftstone barely worth mentioning for those who don’t care about premium cards.
One thing I should mention is that because each event entry requires ten games, it insulates players from unlucky “3 losses right away” starts, which would normally force an end to the run in a standard draft. However, the unpleasant truth is that whenever you draft a “7 win deck”, it’s probably not going to lose three times in a row and THEN win seven. That’s just not how “7 win decks” would play out most of the time.
Now consider that I might not even be in the top 100 by the end of the event, and we’re looking at 5x packs, 2 draft tickets (10k gold), and 2 strategizes.
My conclusion here is that for players like me who are fairly competent drafters, this event is a waste of in-game resources except for:
- Competing with other drafters on a seperate, temporary leaderboard,
- The opportunity to play with the “Eternal Draft Packs”, which will feel slightly like a new format (In reality it plays similarly but you see more playable cards), and
- Playing with a single draft deck, even if you’re getting stomped every game, for a full 10 games. Relevant if you expect to get stomped upwards of 50% of your games, but not relevant for the semi-competitive players who will perform above-par anyway.
As a side note, the leaderboard gives players zero context for how many players are currently present on it and what percentile of players falls into, say, “11th – 100th” place. I see “1001 – 5000” on the prize table and I can’t even figure out how to contextualize that relative to player count because this information is hidden. Is that as low as a 5 win record, or is the cutoff actually 10? That can be a tremendous difference to a player with limited in-game currencies trying to maximize their play time and card collection.
I believe this prize structure simply doesn’t work because the normal draft option in the game exists. Constructed format events have the benefit of no comparable outlet for in-client tournaments and leaderboards. You can get away with relatively sparse prize support in those and most people won’t complain because they just want to play constructed in a universe where WINS COMPARED TO LOSSES matter, not VELOCITY OF WINS (also known as grinding the ladder)
My suggestions are simple. Load up the top 10% – 15% of players’ prizes a little bit more so that players who aren’t in the LITERAL TOP 10 out of thousands of players still can come out ahead of the same performance in a standard draft. Then, improve the leaderboard so players can actually contextualize the prize support in a way that is meaningful.
Anyway, thanks for reading and hopefully I didn’t bore you. Let me know what you think, and if I missed anything important, please do let me know.