Welcome to The Northern Lights.
Recently, The North Pacific hosted a Cards Symposium, a gathering for all members of the cards community. Featured in this edition of The Northern Lights iare five lectures and Q&A sessions with prominent members of the community. We hope you enjoy reading this issue!
The 2021 Cards Symposium was a large-scale cards festival hosted by The North Pacific during the end of February. Activities relating to this festival were held throughout the span of 1 week, with minigames, guest speakers, and fully-fledged competitions comprising the majority of what took place during the Symposium.
The Symposium marked one of the very first festivals celebrating the cards minigame, with over 110 users attending the event and enjoying it in one way or another. An entire month was spent planning its release, so we hope that this issue of The Northern Lights provides you some perspective on what took place if you weren't there!
Mikeswill: Welcome to the 2021 Card Symposium.
I would first like to give my thanks to The Infinite Hell-Sage Empire of Destructive Government Economic System for inviting me to share my experiences and opinions on this platform. I am truly humbled by the honor. It represents a degree of success in this endeavor based on much effort.
I do not have an agenda to promote. Instead I am willing to share my experiences in the Card realm over these two plus seasons. A brief history:
The initiation of the Card game during the April 1, 2018 limited period found me in an advantageous position given my long history of creating satellite Nations representing different points and interests in my Nation States life. As such I was able to move cards from these satellite Nations to my main resulting in a top 10 finish at the end of the first run.
When the game resumed in earnest I began as a Heister (a nation that undercuts a sell bid to gain profit); a Penny Bidder (a nation that raises buys in penny increments), and an inflator of Legendary cards (I pushed the price of Legendary cards to $10). The first two tactics brought ill-will and retaliation by a group of card players.
After a few combative conversations with Frisbeeteria I was invited to join a card Discord to the chagrin of many. It was via this Discord that I was able to evolve out my initial game-play and into a more community considerate style of play. Nevertheless, I was guilty of numerous antagonistic conversations for a period of time as I slowly evolved as a trader.
I learned about trade dropping ? buying low and selling high on a trade. I learned how to protect a bank transfer after numerous times losing profits to heisters. (I used to transfer bank via 0.50 Rare sales). I learned how to create puppets to facilitate greater card/ bank and gain an advantageous position during pull events. And so it goes.
My intention, therefore, is not to present a position but rather to address any questions a Nation may have. Thus the format will be Q & A.
A few ideas for questions: How setting a reasonable goal can make card trading fun....Why Koem Kab is the only trader I completely trust? ... Dropping on Legendary trades: How to drop and why it is OK... How do I maintain my top 5 position without using scripts?
Event Participant : That last one is interesting. How do you maintain your top 5 position without using scripts?
Mikeswill:This was a trick question. The answer is unwavering perseverance. I am a bit older than many of the players in NationStates and have had a difficulty understanding the creation and use of scripts or programming or coding or whatever it is called that automates or facilitates a more efficient manner of answering issues and junking cards for bank. So I work harder and longer ... one issue and one junked card at a time.
Event Participant :What do you mean by Koem Kab being the only trader you trust and why?
Mikeswill:In the course of relationships it is easy to create expectations only to be let down at some point. In the card game as in most speculative endeavors one seeks consistency and over the 2+ years of play Koem has been the most consistent trader that I have experienced. Moreover, from my experience, he has yet to act upon emotion over logic.
Other players, me included, have exhibited emotion reactions that go against expectation. Usually these are one time occurrences but they are enough to create doubt in future transactions.
Examples: getting heisted by a Nation who for months gave and received the courtesy of non-interference. Purposefully have one?s pull event blocked so as to deny the opportunity to obtain a card by a player who abused the same system many times over.
Players have changed tactics from time to time for whatever reason. I am not going to necessarily judge why an ally all of a sudden decides to interfere with a bank transfer but I will alter my trades in the future to minimize the interference. (I used to get mad and that will be discussed via a different Q & A.
On the other, Koem trades in Legendary cards as I do so we have a common goal: to maintain and grow the value of these cards. I know that in a bidding war he will have 4x my bank so if he decides he wants the card I am not going too far above MV without encouraging him to drop me. He seems to know that if I am bidding on a high priced Legendary I?m going to buy the card and will back off once MV has made. Even though we seldom if ever converse via telegram we seemingly give and take when a series of Legendary cards hit the market at below MV bids.
So I trust him. I trust him because it is always good to trust at least one other player.
Event Participant :How do you look at your trading style in the past and reflect on it today? What was your process for growth in that way?
Mikeswill:I am far more confident today than I was in the beginning. I began as a penny bidder and heister trying to win every trade for the sake of winning the trade. When I focused on a goal I was able to pin point the trades I wanted to be involved in. This took a degree of trial and error. Moreover, no one likes a penny bidder especially in the Legendary market. It can bring up antagonistic emotions and communications. So I quit being a penny bidder. I also realized that the market is incredibly large. It isn't necessary for me to try to get every card.
One more thing: If you see me buying a non-Legendary card I am probably moving the card from a pup to my main... that means I can inflate the card as high as I want because the bank is secure.
Event Participant :What would you say is a good goal to have when beginning as a trader? For this answer, please draw from your own learning experiences and/or mistakes when you were first starting out and explain how it translates to setting a reasonable goal, if you would.
Mikeswill:When Season 1 began in earnest Legendary cards were the most desired. Although I was in the top 10 in Deck Value, the number of Legendary cards I owned was nowhere near a complete set of 184 cards. Additionally, seven Legendary Nations had ceased to exist since the April 1st rollout making acquisition of those cards far more challenging. And so I set the goal of collecting every Legendary card.
What I found was that I was initially tentative in my trading. I was easily intimidated by players such as Koem Kab and Fris and The Northern Lights who had far more bank and better trade tactics. I can specifically recall needing to get the CTE Legendary Mindless Contempt and knowing that my 200.00 bid ? the extent of my bank ? would be surpassed before the trade was completed. It can become disheartening when you feel like other traders have the upper hand. And so I changed my goal.
Actually I changed my attitude. I decided that I was not going to allow another Nation intimidate my card play. I got realistic on the amount of bank necessary to successfully consummate whatever trade I wanted to participate in. I decided that I was willing to purchase at 10% above Market Value (sometimes even more) to get the card I desired. I didn?t concern myself with penny bidding in an effort to get the lowest purchase rather I attacked the trade at Market Value. In other words, I got serious about obtaining my goal. And to me that is the ultimate goal, to decide what you want and then go out and get it.
I see so many traders trading to get the best deal and then missing out on the card because they weren?t willing to go the extra 0.25 ? the value of a pack. Just yesterday a player bought one of my S1 obscure Epics to beat me out of .01 while another player battled me when all the while they could have spent an extra .02 to get the card.
So to get to the question in more tangible terms: depending on which Region you reside in you might want to start with the goal of collecting every Regional member. I am thinking of collecting both S1 and S2 cards of every WA member in my region. Setting goals which are attainable can bring much satisfaction and in the process develops one?s ability to consummate trades and communicate with card holders in order to persuade them to sell.
Event Participant :1. Texan here, how long was your power out, lol
2. As someone looking to farm puppets for cards, how many puppets would you say is a good amount while not giving my life to the trade?
Mikeswill:1. My condo is near a Fire station so I only lost power for about 2 hours
2. I don't know the answer to the optimum number of puppets to have while still maintaining a real life outside NS. I have 345 active puppets. If I knew how to use scripts or whatever that is called I would probably be far more efficient than I am. I am certain that manually going through 345 pups a day takes up a lot of time.
Event Participant :Hi! As a mere enthusiast to this game I find the collecting satisfying, but the sociology fascinating. Though communicating through telegraphs is the clearest way to convey information, I find most interesting the concept of attempting to communicate through bidding alone. Watching players get scared off by a large jump in bids, frantically scouring their trades to see if a puppet of theirs has another copy, attempting to discourage people from penny bidding by immediately jumping to MV, watching people bid .01 below MV as though that number matters at all.
What have you found to be effective methods of conveying intent to other players while bidding (or asking)? How do you discourage those who seek a "good deal" from taking a card you genuinely want?
Mikeswill:The Sociology of assessing another player by the way they bid is an awesome study. If I see a player penny bidding I presume that their expectations and confidence levels are low... they probably lack sufficient bank to adequately buy cards they want and are playing a game of hope. A large counter bid will usually dissuade them. If a player tries to heist a bank transfer I find that I can wear them down by penny bidding the clock knowing that I have at least one other bank transfer card copy. (I did this to Momo on a Legendary trade an extended the trade for four hours). One of my projects has me buying up some cards and initially I fought off the other bidders by raising my Buy price to deny them the copy of the card. But in retrospect I am just over paying on a card that by the time I want to take advantage of my ownership position, the other player may cease to exist making their ownership moot. And then I use the old fashioned style of communication: I send a telegram. Be careful with telegrams... there are a lot of angry Nations out there.
Event Participant :Also, piggybacking off of [Event Participant #2], I assume you trust Koem Kab because their bids are consistent and clear, but do you think their complete monopolistic domination of the legendary market - essentially price fixing the entirety through plurality ownership - is detrimental to the competitive nature of auctions?
My questions are perhaps not technical enough for this Q and A.
Mikeswill:No. Keep in mind that though Koem owns 11,000 Legendary cards, r3n and I each own over 3,000 apiece. Thus Koem does not have a complete monopolistic domination of the market. Any player has access to the market and is no way curtailed from being successful in the market bank permitted. Whereas I am probably a Democratic Socialists at heart, I have no issue with someone like Koem utilizing his means and talents to arrive at his level of success especially where no one else is denied the same opportunity. I am a perfect example. I have successfully collected every S1 and S2 Legendary without any barriers.
As to the second point - the competitive nature of auctions ? Koem has shown far more constraint in maintaining the status quo. The competitive nature of auctions is a myth. Either you have sufficient bank to obtain the card you want or you don?t. The fact that you can pull the desired card removes any barrier to competition. Koem doesn?t arbitrarily inflate Legendary cards (That was Noah in 2020). He simply attempts to maintain the current MV but will aid the inflation of a Legendary on a trade by trade basis as will I.
Now the purposeful inflation of common cards to artificially raise one?s DV as detrimental... :)
Event Participant :Ahh, my question was worded poorly. I mean that Koem does not have to abide by the same issues of competition that I do when bidding on a legendary. They are able to undercut/drop any player on nearly any legendary; the result being that even obscene deals (such as when 9003 accidentally dropped [Zamri1138] for 2 instead of 20) go to Koem by default, and are frequently uncontested. I can do that with my own card and a few others, but they have domination in this respect to (nearly) the entire legendary market. I find the frenzy of bidding on a good deal to be exciting and fun, but don't bother on legendaries because the end result is known.
Mikeswill:You might want to ask yourself why are you so consumed with Koem Kab at the detriment of your own personal goal... I am not picking on you alone. I think man has an innate nature to criticize the highly successful and thus legitimize their own self-inflicted victimization. For instance: your complaint about Koem in the Legendary market could easily be applied to me. I have sufficient power and bank in that market to dominate any trade. But because I am #3 in the game I don't get the same negative attention that KK does. I am also amused by the frenzy of greed when someone purposefully or not places a low Ask on a Legendary... it means bank for me because if I get to the card before Koem I will drop you and then the ensuing outrage by the player who got dropped is delightful. Because it is outrage based on emotional greed. Keep that in mind in the future. I have been busy with a project so my involvement in the day to day Legendary market has waned but I will be back soon!
Event Participant :I think my comments on Koem came off as antagonistic instead of esoteric. I don't mind them as a player at all, I was trying to get your thoughts on how monopolies and oligarchies skew the market and was using my experience as a comparison, not a complaint. I'm not much of a legendary hound, just trying to compare how market forces are asymmetrically applied to different players. Thanks for your answers!
Mikeswill:[Reacts with sunglasses emoji]
Event Participant :As someone who has been active since the beginning, what is the most enjoyable facet of the card game for you?
I sometimes forget the connection between cards and the nations behind them. Do you place value on cards of players you have a good relationship with? Or are there cards you value due to memorable events (like first Legendary find)?
Mikeswill:The most enjoyable facet was and is the increased interaction with other game players. Prior to the card game I was basically just keeping my region going as the longest serving WA Delegate in the history of the game (15+ years). Because of the streak I was still active but isolated to my region. I don't participate in the Security Council because I find it either a popularity contest or a travesty to the game mechanics. The General Assembly has gotten incredibly stale as Nations write Resolutions for personal recognition and then Repeal the a week later. (I truly believe that there should be a 6 month wait time before Repeals can be considered). So when the card game arose it gave me the opportunity to branch out far beyond the confines of my nest. I have built relationships with Nations from many Regions reminding me of the joy I had in my first year in the game where players from across the globe engaged. In December I decided to blow past the constraints of Deck Capacity. This has allowed me to increase my collection from < 2,000 to over 15,000 cards giving me the opportunity to collect cards of Nations I have appreciated as players but whose card value might have not fit the prior limitation of deck space.
Event Participant :What tactics should you be aware of when you try to card flip in Nationstates?
Mikeswill:I'm not sure what card flipping is. If that is the Buying low and Selling high trade style I am not a participant as it has no long term return for me. I am mostly a collector of Legendary cards. I will drop on any Legendary trade where I can garner a 5.00 profit or more. Now I do see players buying low on my CTE S1 Common transfer cards thinking they are going to get the 4.00 MV price at some point in the future not realizing that every historical trade has been made between me and my pups. It is the same with Buying inflated Commons thinking that because the card is at 200.00 someone is going to Buy at 50.00. This is Fool's Gold... a waste of bank because eventually the card, if traded, will only decrease in value.
Event Participant : With people obviously hoping a Season 3 comes out this year, what can you do to increase the rarity of your potential future card?
Mikeswill:I have no idea. I am certain I will never be a Legendary because my activities in this game over 17 years tends to go against the grain of the the elite. I think that writing proposals might help. Maybe write a bunch of inane Security Council resolutions and the Repeal them a week later might get you a higher Rarity. Some folks try to manipulate the acquisition of badges. If that is your choice check out this link: http://www.mwq.dds.nl/ns/results/ - I just play the game. I was Commended once and then that was repealed out of spite. Other players have tried to both Commend and Condemn me I guess to help increase my card rarity which I have appreciated.
Oh, and S3 will never happen.
Event Participant :I've noticed that you have valid concerns regarding whether Season 3 will ever occur, but if we were to be hypothetical and say that Season 3 decided to appear, what do you believe are some of the most important things players should do in order to prepare for the upcoming season?
Mikeswill:I'm not planning on doing a thing different specifically to plan for Season 3. I know some players have stocked puppets with packs waiting to open them at the time. I don't understand that logic. If S3 is inevitable them S2 cards will become rarer thus why hold onto packs for the future when you can open those packs and replenish them. I am doing something completely separate regarding S2 cards which will mean nothing if S3 doesn't occur. When S3 does begin I will try to get a list of the Legendaries and begin collecting them.
Event Participant :Oh, one thing I've been meaning to ask you. It's a very little thing but I'm curious. Why did you decide to bid one cent above junk value on all your puppets' cards? I rarely see others do that - whenever I see a 0.06 bid on an uncommon I almost immediately know it's yours :P
Mikeswill:I want to incentivize the Seller by bidding above junk. I know that in S1 I never sold at junk, instead taking the bank immediately instead of waiting an hour. I have since changed that policy giving someone else the opportunity to raise the Buy price.
Event Participant :Yeah - I can understand not bidding at JV. As small of an increase over JV as it is, the logic seems to follow from my experience. A lot of people do not honor JV bids.
Event Participant :Any advice for starter traders who are struggling to earn bank? Further, do you have insight on how to maintain the collection bank balance?
Mikeswill:One aspect of trading power is a decent Bank and building bank while building a collection is obviously counter-productive. What helped my in S1 was pulling a Farakhan and then selling it at peak which at the time was 800.00. Back then my goal was to never fall to 200.00. This season I have adjusted that figure to 2,000.00 (inflation). In order to do that it takes discipline to stop buying until such time your comfort threshold is met. On that note I am always rather amused when a Nation pulls a Legendary and immediately sells for less than MV. With players like KK and me, said player might get half the bank between his ask and MV. This is a short term satisfaction over long term gratification. Either wait for a MV trade or create interest by having a puppet but at MV.
Event Participant :With collecting legendaries, do you focus on building your ownership of any particular cards? Like CTEs or high value, or do you have any other landmarks you're working towards?
Mikeswill:Good question. As I already own every Legendary card I get to pick and choose which cards I will continue to buy. It is almost a guarantee that I will buy any Legendary whose MV is above 50.00. I do like S1 CTE Commons but as I have 5,000 already I'm not buying though I do have a project in the works which will see me move all of those cards to my main. In doing so I could buy extras. I am thinking of collecting every WA Nation in my Region. Since they have each endorsed me I ought to appreciate them more. I seem to be acquiring copies of my pups for future prosperity and am currently moving my S1 Epics to my main. Any card Gio has a 2.00 bid on goes to Utmost Brownies until such time as it is inflated and then gets sent to MikesHope - currently with 20K DV.
Event Participant :You mentioned how blowing past your deck capacity opened up your deck to larger and more personal collections. Can you talk about your thought process behind making that decision, and perhaps how others should face that decision?
Mikeswill:It simply made financial sense. I kept to my deck space limit of 2,000 cards into December 2020. Keep in mind I had to pay extensive bank to reach this amount although my starting point from the initial April 1 was extensive. Most serious traders I know had long passed their deck capacities giving them an advantage for growing their DV. What I had to over come was my previous comfort in being able to Gift high bank Legendary cards to my main and how to move future bank to my main. So I observed what other players were doing and gave it a go.
Event Participant :I realized semi recently that I?m sort of in the same position. My deck capacity is currently 900 and I?ve just started a collection that will assuredly cause me to think twice about expanding it any more. What are some things you?d recommend for those of us who are in the process of making that switch? I suppose, what are the things you observed people doing that made you feel comfortable with making the switch?
Mikeswill:My greatest challenge was transferring bank as I used 30 CTE cards in rotation. I had to get comfortable transferring large bank (500.00) in small increments (4.00). I watched Gio's inflationary tactics to get comfortable with large bank transfers. Additionally, I had a lot of S1 Commons that I knew would benefit me in the future but I didn't want to put them on the mark. Instead I moved 100 Legs to puppets, Gifted the 100 Commons, and then rebought the Legs - inflated of course. As such, I do my small transfers to MikesHope and Mikes Faith and then my large transfer at a later time. It also meant that I needed to be comfortable with my Bank spread amongst these Nations. All in all it is working out quite nicely.
Event Participant :That's good to hear. Definitely the piggybacking and transferring large amounts of bank and cards from my storage nations to my main is the part that I'm most hesitant about. I have over 100 copies between the three different cards I use for mass copy transfers, so I'm not really worried about that bit, but the large amounts of bank and stuff about transferring legs is very helpful. Thanks a lot!
W&S: Hi everyone and welcome!
Firstly, I?d like to give a huge THANK YOU to DGES for inviting me to speak at this event, and to 9003, McMasterdonia, Noah, and everyone else who was involved in making this possible. It is an incredible honor for me, as such a new trader, to be featured as a guest speaker at an event like this, and I am so incredibly grateful for the opportunity.
In many ways, this talk is going to be a contrasting viewpoint to Mikeswill?s, who spoke before me. We have very different backgrounds and the goal of this talk is both to provide a contrasting point of view and approach, as well as give new traders a chance to ask whatever questions they might have about how to either start out or transition into large-scale farming. While Mike and I have both been around NS since well before cards (though even there he has about a decade?s headstart on me), Mike has been involved in cards since day one, whereas I only picked up the trading card game in November. Mike does not really use scripts; I have been almost completely dependent on them to rise quickly. It is a good contrast, because while we have similar approaches to some aspects of the game, we have achieved our goals in very different ways. Though we oppose each other in other parts of NS, I have tremendous respect for his persistence and dedication and his commitment to honorable and respectful trading.
So what follows is my card origin story:
On November 26, 2020 I had about 5 bank worth of cards. I occasionally opened packs on my main, but I wasn?t really into it. I was playing on the TRR Minecraft server and putting most of my energy into that. The next day, November 27, some who were on the server (Dakota, Sakana, and Jamie among others) mentioned a pull event was going on.
What is a pull event? They didn?t tell me much except to answer issues on as many puppets as fast as I could and open packs.
So, like a total idiot, I joined in. I started furiously answering issues, manually, on all my puppets. And then, like magic (ha), a S1 Aleisyr appeared.
That was all it took. I was addicted to card farming. The feeling of opening legendary cards and getting so much bank for them was just? especially in government-mandated lockdown, it was that rush of serotonin I had so desperately been missing. It was truly an addiction. And even more so, just like in defending, I wanted to go as fast as humanly possible. Within a few days I discovered scripts, and within a couple of weeks I had tripled the size of my puppet army.
I documented my climb up the ladder. I achieved top 50 global in one month and top 20 global in 2 months. Currently I sit at number 18 on the global leaderboard, with a peak rank of #17. It was a torrid ascent up the rankings - 9003 commented recently that he had not seen anyone climb to page one of the rankings so quickly since the early days of cards.
Along the way, I also gained a reputation for two other things: collecting every single Season 2 legendary card within just a few weeks, and refusing to use MV inflation to maintain or gain deck value. Some others have ascended faster than me, only to see their deck value plummet as the cards that were propping them up deflated. Others have managed, through diversification and creativity, to maintain that ranking, but the community should know by now that I?m not a fan of inflated commons either way. But I digress. That is my story and my claim to fame.
But that is quite enough about me.
I just gave that introduction so y?all can know a little about my background and my position as a trader. But one of my biggest goals in this game is to help new traders access the market and cards they might not have the time or means to grind for. So now I want to hear from you! What do you want to know? I want this to be a no-judgment, no-question-is-dumb, new-trader-friendly space where you can ask me anything about how I gained deck value so quickly, what strategies I used in auctions, or what you can do to either start out in card trading, or make the transition from new player to elite trader.
So with that, enough of my ranting and raving. Let the Q&A begin! I will be happy to answer any questions today, tomorrow, up to the end of the event, or even after.
Event Participant : Would you farm if you were away from your computer and on your phone or another device without your scripts?
W&S: It would certainly be hard for me to keep my interest or have as many nations as I do now. When I started one of the main reasons I switched to scripts was because I went on a huge dry spell without finding any pull event cards or any legendaries at all in around 400 nations. I was really demotivated by that and I wanted to find a point at which my luck would sort of average out.
Still, I think my perspective has changed somewhat now. When I started I farmed to try and get cards; now I farm to get bank. That I think is something a lot of new players could learn from - and something that might keep me motivated in a world where I didn't have scripts. Farming is best for getting bank, not cards.
Event Participant : How were you motivated to do cards for that long?
W&S: I had goals. They were lofty goals, but I was making measurable progress. As long as I was making progress that I could see, I continued to be motivated. Every time I added a S2 legendary to the collection or passed another person in DV, it only fueled my desire to reach higher.
Event Participant : When you talk about respectful trading, what are some tips you'd give to newer traders so that they don't accidentally (and unintentionally) step on anyone's toes?
W&S: The main thing is paying attention to who is taking part in the auction and what you know about them. Is it a main and a known puppet of theirs? Do they have a standing, unmatched bid? Is it a collector trying to buy a card that you don't also need for a collection?
In general it is okay to make mistakes and accidentally step on people's toes, and a lot of the big players will understand if a new player doesn't know. Usually you'll know if that's happened when you get a telegram or a discord ping from someone like "hey that's my transfer". :P
As long as you acknowledge the mistake, the no-harm-no-foul rule applies if you correct it and don't make a habit of getting in the same person's way repeatedly.
Event Participant : How do you find time for cards during the day? Do you go and sit and do all daily card stuff at once? Or split it into few parts? Do you have any tips (other than gold retriever and issue script) to save time during doing cards?
W&S: It really depends on the day. Some days, especially when I'm not working at my IRL job, I will spend hours at a time just spamming enter for as long as I feel like. But more recently I have found that for the sake of my personal health and well-being, especially as the days get warmer here in Austria, I've been splitting it up, so I'll do however many I want, then go outside or walk or go to the store, then come back and finish whatever card work I was doing that day.
I'll also often combine tasks; like when I'm doing a mass-copy transfer, I'll usually also do some farming to both condense the tasks into the same timeframe while also having a chance to TCALS another copy of the card.
Hotkeys are really helpful. If you don't have 9003's hotkey tool, get it. Pressing F to flip, J to junk etc is way faster than clicking. :P
I also like to place "reminder asks" on low-owner commons or uncommons I think would make good piggyback-transfer cards, so if I find a second copy of it I will see that I own another copy of that card, and then be able to hold onto both copies in the inevitable eventuality that I need to start doing a lot more piggybacking (when I run out of deck space).
Event Participant : And a bonus question:
Do you open your packs asap or do you collect them and open when you have X amount? What is more satisfying to you? :D
W&S: I always open packs right away. Saving packs is pointless for me. I get that some people wanna save them for S3, I just don't feel the need to.
Event Participant : (Who knows if we?re even gonna get a S3 tbh.)
Event Participant : Oh and didn't mean S3. Rather like - do you prefer to eat one cookie a day or a cake at the weekend? :D
W&S: Farming is eating the whole cake for me. I need that serotonin immediately. :P
I have so many nations that farming by itself is the cake, lol.
Event Participant : How's the S1 Legendary Collection going?
W&S: 55/184. Been on a bit of a hiatus lately. Trying to kick it back into gear soonish. S1 legendaries are HARD O.o
Event Participant : Meanwhile me at 18..
W&S: LOL :P yeah I did add another to the collection just now! TUMS sniped one of them because I wasn't looking but I'm ok with not fighting TUMS all the time, lol.
Event Participant : What's your preferred method of transfer?
W&S: Mass copy. 100% mass copy is my favorite.
Event Participant : What is flipping?
W&S: Flipping has two meanings. Flipping over the cards when you open the pack is what I was talking about.
But flipping also means buying a card for a low price and immediately turning around and listing it for higher.
Event Participant : Oh, then I'm weird. I open packs, don't flip and keep opening packs until I open all without looking at cards so I have a nice surprise if I get a TEP Card / high MV / Leg ;D
W&S: Ah, you're like HS then. HS does the same thing.
Event Participant : How does your timezone affect your pull event availability?
W&S: For US based pull events it is usually quite good. Most take place in the afternoon in the US, which is evening for me. Perfect. But evening in the US is like 3 A.M. for me usually :P
Event Participant : If you're in a pull event who has time to look at what you pull? Lol.
W&S: Me because I need that rush.
Event Participant : If you could speak to yourself from time when you started doing cards, what advice would you give yourself?
W&S: Ooooo, that is a good question. The biggest piece of advice would be to not beat myself up over losing out in an auction or going on a long streak without a particular card. On that note, maybe the best answer is that farming is for getting bank, not cards. One of the most demotivating things as I was starting out as a trader was going on long dry streaks without finding a legendary or a card of the type I wanted. On the one hand it made me hungry to make more puppets, but in that quest I may have overextended myself from time to time.
When you farm cards, really you are farming bank to buy the cards you want. Bank is the most important piece of leverage in auctions and the most important thing when it comes to doing what you want to with cards. It does feel good to get that card you want in a pack, but just like IRL TCGs (i was a semi competitive magic the gathering player for a while), it is usually far easier and cheaper to just buy the card. Unless there is a pull event. Pull events are the exception. :P
Event Participant : How's TSP's card program going?
W&S: It's good! Got a little slowed down because Vietnam and I were both running for Cabinet, but we are expecting it to kick back into high gear here in the extremely near future. I've put several thousand bank's worth of cards and bank into it, and I'm really excited for what we will be able to offer in terms of programming and rewards for those who join. We've spent a ton of time and energy planning this and I think it will go really well.
(That is also the main reason for the hiatus I mentioned in the answer to your previous question.)
Event Participant : How do you suggest one should prepare for a pull event? I've never participated in one so any advice is probably cool :D
W&S: Make sure all your nations have 5 issues and then just answer them! The most important thing is having a full slate of issues, not card packs, because TCALS only works for a very short time after you receive the pack. You need to open it right away in order to have a chance to pull the card at auction.
Event Participant : Oh interesting. I didn?t know that.
Event Participant : Do you get your DV from magic?
Event Participant : Knew it.
Abra cadabra, summonus Testlandus!
Event Participant : Testlandia's DV just plummeted 100 bank >>>
Event Participant : I?ma try that.
Abra cadabra, sommonus Xorietus!
W&S: Sad she isn?t here :?(
Event Participant : What do you believe is key to driving regional engagement in cards?
W&S: Accessibility, approachability, and good incentives for participation. I think that is one of the things that has gotten people to be interested in TSP's org - we've kept our cards planning channel pretty open to people who want to help out, and we've run giveaways and especially pull events already on rare and unique cards that aren't often featured. So it gives people a chance to get something they wouldn't have been able to get otherwise. And that is a really big part of driving interest, I think.
Event Participant : Who got you into cards?
W&S: That is a little complicated. Certainly the event that sent me off the deep end was TNP's Aleisyr pull event, which I believe you, Dakota, and Sakana told me I should try. But there is a laundry list of people that were prodding me to try it for a while - you three and HumanSanity were probably the ones that did the most damage though. :P
Event Participant : HS does cards? o.O
W&S: "Does cards" is a strong way of phrasing his tendency to lie dormant for weeks at a time until he decides to wake up and pull 6 copies of a card without realizing it in a pull event.
Event Participant : Other than Legendaries, are there other cards that you're interested in collecting?
W&S: I will be doing a collection for Founderless in season 3. Otherwise - usually I just collect friends and prominent defenders and gameplayers. And my own Season 1 puppets. A ton of my nations have S1 ex-nation flags. :P
Event Participant : Considering that the market is only increasing, do you think the barriers of entry (into the market) are also only increasing?
W&S: Certainly the barriers to gaining ranks quickly are increasing as more traders get interested and the inflation meta is taking over. And Season 1 cards are much harder to come by than they were even a few months ago. But Season 2 cards, especially legendaries, are continuing to balloon in supply, so it is actually getting (IMO) far easier to collect sought-after cards, since supply is only going up for Season 2.
Event Participant : How to get Testlandia?
W&S: IDK, just farm more :P - I pulled one today.
Event Participant : Oh this isn't Card Google, sorry.
W&S: It?s ok; I?m used to being treated like a search engine :?o
Event Participant : What do you recommend for players like me who are currently not really farming but want to up their card game?
W&S: So the main thing before you really get going is ask yourself what you want to do. What are your goals? What sort of cards do you want to collect? Do you just want to focus purely on deck value? Or is there a rarity of card you like? Or a region? Or a flag? These are all questions that can guide you. The thing that really got me going was having concrete and achievable DV, rank, and collection goals. I said OK I want top 500 by X date - got that, now I want top 10 TSP by x date, and I wrote these things down. I still have a note in my phone with all my rank milestone dates.
Event Participant : How many farms are considered "bare minimum" for someone who is attempting to start farming a decent collection (of say...all nations in a 100+ member UCR)? Or, in your opinion, this minimum doesn't exist?
W&S: I don?t think there really is a minimum - you can achieve something like that with very few nations. The number of farms you have only affects the speed with which you get the necessary bank and cards, not your ability to collect them.
Event Participant : So if I can't collect cards like everyday, maybe I could consider having more puppets? (To make up for it?)
W&S: I mean, that depends on the time you want to dedicate to it. If you want to put a lot of hours into farming every day and collecting cards quickly, absolutely. If you only have a little bit of time, then having 1000 nations to farm every single day probably isn?t feasible.
One of the reasons I was able to go so ham in December and January is because I had an absolutely insane amount of time and not much else to do with it. I couldn?t leave my apartment except to walk along the river and go to the grocery store.
Event Participant : Having completed the S2 Legendary set, and not being a mass hoarder of the entire rarity, what is your approach to selling duplicate copies received from farming? I understand the "Farrakhan" approach to dump for whatever bids are present contributes to deflation and newbies getting dropped by KK/Mikeswill. Though I've also seen asks below MV sitting for weeks (either unwanted or unknown about). Does a middle-path exist, or what thoughts do you have on selling Legendaries?
W&S: My approach to selling is that I basically keep all the cards unless I see that someone is looking for one, or I see a reasonable bid. There are only a few legendary cards that I hoard - notably Glen-Rhodes and Pencil Sharpeners 2. otherwise I just keep what i find unless someone is specifically looking for them.
Eventually I will look to increase my market share on a lot more legendary cards, but that is a long way off. I've moved on to collecting Season 1 legendary cards for now.
Event Participant : Mikeswill has mentioned how blowing past their deck limit has allowed them to gather more cards of their friends. You said you want to collect your friends' cards, do you intend to blow past your deck limit?
W&S: Basically the only reason I increased my deck limit for a while is because it made it easier to send myself legendary cards and others I liked that I got from farming. I don't anticipate doing that for much longer - I plan to use one of my existing nations as a storage nation for bank, transfer cards, etc, and then start transferring things to my main. I think the magic number will be 1000 cards - once I hit that I will stop increasing my deck limit and just blow past it.
Event Participant : What would be your advice to any new players that want to collect all legendaries?
W&S: Great question! First thing is that you need bank and a lot of it. Yes, it's possible to get most of the legendaries by farming, but that takes a lot of time and you can't collect them all that way.
Unfortunately, buying legendaries means dealing with a lot of traders who have a lot more resources than you. Mostly Koem Kab and Mikeswill, but also flippers, MV sharks, and others looking to make money. The most important thing for legendary auctions is to know that you will almost always be at a disadvantage in terms of leverage, and will thus need to know how and when to cut your losses.
My favorite strategy, because I have a strong distaste for long auctions, was to match a below-MV ask, and then whenever KK or someone else with a leverage advantage showed up and overbid me, just bid straight to MV and allow them to drop me there. Thus I would get the card at or near its market value, and they would make a profit from the drop. Everyone gets what they want.
The golden rule is to never, ever, ever bid more than you are willing to buy a card for, and likewise never, ever, ever ask less than you are willing to sell a card for. That is how you lose money.
Still, for some high value CTE cards like Ramaeus, Caelapes, NERVUN, Altmer Dominion, Drasnia, etc., pull events are your best friend. Those cards are extremely expensive because they are well-known players who CTEd, and thus quantities are limited. Finding sellers is hard, and when someone is willing to sell it is often for very high prices.
Event Participant : You said that the best way is to match a below-MV ask first, then allow people to drop you. What if there isn't an ask below MV? What should people do then?
W&S: If there isn't an ask below MV, you are often safe from getting dropped. Koem Kab usually does not get involved in auctions going on at or slightly above MV.
If the auction is significantly above MV (say, a Season 1 legendary with an MV of 25 that is being sold for 50), he will often placea bid and ask of his own to inflate the card, but he will not fight or drop you. He is only inflating his own deck value more by creating a second match, so for your sake it's benign.
Event Participant : [In response to Event Participant #11?s question] Get a friend (or several) with farms that are willing to donate spares to you. ;P
W&S: Having friends helps a LOT. :P
I got Ramaeus, Altmer Dominion, Nova Hollandia, and several other hard-to-find ones from gifts. And YOU gifted me my Soops. <_<
Event Participant : For Season 3, do you think we can expect an increase or decrease in legendary cards?
W&S: That?s a really good question. I think in the short term Season 2 legendaries will go up, but there are so many copies of most of them that I don?t know how far. The thing about the S2 leg market is that there is just so much supply especially compared to S1. I notice this the more and more I try to hunt for season 1 legs - supply simply far outpaces demand in the S2 market.
Still, if the continuous influx of new copies slows, we can at least expect the general deflation to slow as well.
Event Participant : [In response to Event Participant #13?s question] Do you mean the value of legendaries or the number of them in circulation? Going by previous seasons, they're fixed at 0.1% of all nations at the time of the snapshot, so we'll be seeing ~240 of them for S3 based on the current number of nations.
Event Participant : Number in circulation; sorry if that was unclear.
Event Participant : No, your question was clear; I wouldn't have assumed you were talking about value. :P
W&S: Oh, sorry. I did assume it was the value. I was also extremely tired and had drank about half a bottle of wine that evening. :P
But [Event Participant #12] is right. Both previous seasons had 0.1% of all cards as legendary. So I would expect a significant increase for S3.
The next part of this TNL can be found here.