Huddle Tip of the Day – Breaking Down the Set Card Conundrum

Inserts are an important part of any Topps digital app. The users have been conditioned to base most of their playing experience around the collectability and rarity of many of the cards (rightfully so), and thus, inserts are the manifestation of that perspective.

We saw in Bunt most of the year, that set cards can be some of the most coveted cards in the game. The rarer the set cards, the more they were chased by the collectors. With official licensing and a bevvy of photos to use in each of the inserts, the sets were fresh and rarely seemed under-appreciated. No doubt there were some duds, but when these cards only scored 1x common, and were still traded for some of the better cards available, you knew there was more than just play power involved in their allure.

In Huddle, I dont envy the job of the set card designers, because for lack of a better term, they are expected to put lipstick on a pig each week. The player head shots are rarely interesting, and to have to use them OVER AND OVER again is brutal. They have done a really good job making the most of some of the cards, as I love Allen and Ginter, Chrome and the new Aces set. However, there are also quite a few sets that I could do without. Again, this isnt on them necessarily, as there isnt much you can do with one photo redone a ton of times.

Naturally, Huddle has focused on improving gameplay elements, which has kept the app fresh in my opinion. The throw-down format has been tweaked enough that makes it something to look forward to even in a blowout, and the boosts have definitely generated the buzz we saw in the insert cards in Bunt. Think about how many people are going nuts trying to collect each set in a similar fashion to what we saw during the baseball season! I think we dont give them enough credit, even though its clear that not everyone is happy with the format.

Does that mean that all set cards should be ditched in favor of a fifth level of boost? Not even close. I do think that to make the set cards worth the chase, they have to be tweaked a bit. Most importantly, the reward card has to have the 5x boost attached, minimum. Sure, coins are a motivator, but nothing like an ultra playable card plus coins. More than that, when a good set comes into play, like we saw with Chrome and the rarity is more due to the fact that people chose to open boosts instead? Im not a fan of that. I think the two elements can be married and generate a very collectible set.

Lastly, I think the checklist element of many of these sets needs to be addressed. Its HARD to build a checklist that appeals to the masses. There are only so many Peyton Manning cards you can make. However, there are also 50+ players who deserve more representation and have yet to receive it. Players like Sammy Watkins are close to the league lead in TDs and Yardage, and he only has 6 cards in the game. None of those cards is boosted over 2x. Although he will likely get a blue boost come Thursday, it is a clear representation that there are guys out there who need cards.

Lets face facts here, Topps has a tough situation to deal with. However, I think that among all the different programs, the set cards are the ones that could use the most attention. When I cant give the cards away, its representative that the community isnt responding the way they probably need to.

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