When 2015 Bunt Started, I was really excited to see that there was going to be a change to the way the fantasy sports elements of the game were going to operate. Last year’s structure was a grind for 162 game season, forcing users be a slave to the MLB scoreboard in order to achieve any of the top spots. With contests, it was a day by day opportunity to start from scratch, adopting the Fan Duel one day league structure. I thought it was going to be awesome. The question still remains of whether or not it is working as well as I had thought it would.
If you have the time and the collection, contests can be a VERY lucrative venture. With each contest offering a relatively big prize, you can make quite a bit of coinage if you can operate similarly to last year. Even if you dont have the time, playing at least one or two contests per day will get you some nice little bumps in the amount of spending power you have.
Additionally, Best of Bunt is now a one day contest as opposed to a week long contest. Its much easier to plan out a lineup with a focus on the specific players you will need to finish in the top part of the contest week by week. Like we saw in Huddle with the throwdowns, people can stock up all month for a specific few games, and really kill the competition.
There are also a number of free elements to the game that give casual players a place to participate without risk, and still walk away with a shot at some coins. If you play the three contests each day, you will get an opportunity to make a lot of extra daily coins without paying in at all.
Lastly, as discussed above there is no longer a tie to the scoreboard on a daily basis. You play when you want to play, which can provide a lot of respite when you need it. So many times I crapped out on a week last week because I had to miss a night here and there. Not anymore. Missing time doesnt cripple you anymore.
Its pretty clear that points isnt as big of a deal this year. Because there isnt the weekly and yearly chase to rise to the top, the competition is only between a few select people that still love playing along. Last year, more than 5000 users would compete and play during the course of the week, where as this year, only a few hundred play the daily contests.
I think it has to do with a lot of different reasons, but the fact that the chase doesnt extend past that one contest is a big deal. There is no incentive to play and play hard on a regular basis unless you want more coins to spend the next day. That isnt a good situation for the people who were driven by the competition that lasted the full year in 2014.
This is only exacerbated by the fact that the Champions packs are still relatively uneventful. Although they guarantee a Gold and an Insert, those prizes just dont have a good reason to dive in. Coins are great, but doesnt really do much for a lot of people from what it looks like.
Lastly, having the same contests available every day isnt really keeping things fresh. Although its a lot of work to build new contests, I dont see much variety, other than the occasional fun one that gets loaded here and there.
I thought we would have more opportunity to have contests that were SUPER unique. We need more variety and we need a bigger reason to play every day.
Contests need to be changed and build on a daily basis. Make them fun. Something like ONLY 9 cards allowed, or ONLY pitchers, or ONLY hitters, maybe game by game one day. Hell, what about ONLY players that have been in the majors more than 5 years? Make it really fun. Do a contest where you can ONLY play one type of boost, or a contest where only inserts are allowed. The best part is, you can still have these along side the normal contests in case people dont like them. Its only a day long commitment to the format at a time, so if something doesnt work, it doesnt need to come back for a second day.
The Champions packs need their own draw. Add in a raffle ticket for a special insert only available in those packs. Add in coin cards that deliver some big bonuses like 100k or something like that. Develop insert sets that are only available in those packs, maybe something like the Bowman Diamond cards last year. Have the opportunity to pull a card that when traded to the producers gives you one level up on your VIP. Something awesome like that.
I would also add in some sort of weekly leaderboard. Give points for winning a contest, and then scale down those points for finishing in the money. Create a reward for people who finish with the most points on a weekly, monthly or yearly basis. Starting in May is okay, we know things are new and will be adjusted. Dont write off a yearly contest because it got started late.
I realize the IT, design, and development commitment that will be necessary to build these elements, but I feel like it will be worth everyone’s time. These are just suggestions that dont factor in those limitations that we know exist. Hopefully some of them are possible.
Overall, make points a focus again, and do it by something other that FORCING people into a 10k challenge to drive up numbers. Do it the right way.