When the season started, and I saw that contest cards were going to be a part of the gameplay each week, I got VERY excited. Not only were the cards really good looking, but they were insanely limited as well. Although their value has cooled off considerably, the attraction of the cards still gets me playing each and every week.
2015 Bunt had a number of issues with keeping people interested in the contests, mainly because many users felt that the reward of the prize wasnt even close to being worth the effort they put in. A number of times on this site, I asked for contest specific packs, where the contest winners would be able to get a special insert that wasnt available anywhere else.
Huddle was the first to implement the contest card, which was given out to the top 25 on Sunday’s main contest, and top 50 for Sunday night’s game (concurrent with the aforementioned), top 50 for Thursday night, and top 50 for Monday night. It was later expanded into pay to play premium contests that give out cards with a bigger boost and half the count.
Let me say, I love the way the contest cards look. I think they are some of the better looking cards in the game, mainly due to the simplicity of the presentation and the focus on the player photo.
Contest cards are valued similarly to the Best of Huddle cards, which like last year, take a certain person to appreciate them. These cards can be valuable to a team or player collector, and if you can find the right trade partner, they might be willing to over pay.
As a whole, not everyone likes cards that arent pack pulled. Cards that everyone has access to and everyone chases. When a card doesnt fit that format, not every user really wants to consider it part of their chase.
It also hurts that there isnt set rewards on top of the contest rewards, which sounds insane, but is part of the game. Some cards are valuable solely because there is a set attached, and its going to be difficult to achieve higher value without that element.
Some of the bigger named cards continue to be valuable – especially if the player is one of the marquee names in the NFL. Everyone else is relatively interchangeable, and that is part of the issue. Because so many contest cards are now on the market, the lower tier guys are rarely valuable, just like we see with any set.
Challenges with the Format
One of the biggest issues with Huddle in 2016 is player selection. So much of the game is based on player popularity, much like phyiscal cards, and some of the choices are just off. Second tier players are getting contest cards before bigger names on the same team, and that sends a weird message to the users.
Secondly, the boosts on the cards have come and gone with so many higher cards now available. A 2x card a few months ago was significantly more valuable than it is now. Contest play and value for these cards have dropped because it was clear that their gameplay isnt as useful as before.
Lastly, the format for each contest is a bit stale. Although time is required to get the contest formats set up, and that is always of the essence, an investment in updating the formats should be made.
Suggestions – Easy Solutions
- Increase the boosts – The premium contest cards should be no less than 2.5x if not higher, and the secondary cards should be 2.2 or higher.
- Better player selections – look at each team and start to figure out which of the big name skill offense is still available.
- Ensure specific counts – obviously there are some people who are exploiting the delivery system on these cards, with card counts going above the stated number. Delivery by bulletin may help ensure that a 25 count card stays 25 and not 28.
Suggestions – Harder Solutions
- Change the Design – I love the contest card design, and I dont want to see it changed. However, a change in design might give the opportunity to reissue marquee players that have already been done. Obviously, this is harder because of production delays, but its worth looking at for the playoffs and holidays.
- Add the insert element – if you win a contest card, I would see if there is a way to deliver a PACK with the award card guaranteed, with a shot at a special version of that player as well. Better odds for the premium contests.
- Create weekly sets – collect all the 500 count, 50 count or 25 count cards and receive a coin bonus or an award card. This would ensure that more people would play in all the different contests instead of just some. You would still get rewarded for sporadic play, but the added element is there.
- Increase daily bonus for people that score in the top of the contest rankings – Coin economy is heavily monitored in Huddle, this is clear. But this is an incentive that people will definitely want. Sometimes its a good thing to get more people playing along, as it will make the boosts more valuable.
- Remove pack prizes from the fantasy contests – giving a pack of base for these instead of coins isnt working. Coin prizes would be much better.
Suggestions – Contest Formats
- Collection score contests – Separate users into a bracket based on their collection score so they face off against people with similar sized collections.
- Lucky Dog contest – Make a base variant that scores at 2x – set should be about 100 or so cards. Offer a pack of 20 of these new base cards to the entire app for free on a tuesday. Make them untradeable for the week. These are the only cards that can be used in the contest. Its literally the luck of the draw.
- Random lineup contest – the app picks from your base cards at random. Of the 50 cards it selects, you play those cards.
- Crowdfunded contests – charge an entry fee of 1-5k. Entry fees are collected in a winner’s pot. Depending on what place you finish determines the amount you win from the pot. If 5,000 people play, the pot will be huge. If not, well thems the breaks. Recruit your friends!
- Favorite Team Contests – you play with the other contest players who have chosen the same team. If you are a Patriots fan, you play with the rest of the patriot fans for this contest. Scoring average among the contest entrants determines what place you finish. Highest team score wins!
The main issue with many of the suggestions is the time to set it up, and the time in which the contest runs. If we add in new cards being created, production delays could come into play. With only a few weeks left in the season, there may not be much that can be changed before the playoffs start.
However, at that point, it becomes all about how those contests will play. Huddle playoffs are some of the craziest competition there is. Everyone watches the games, so thousands more play along. There needs to be a good format that capitalizes on the new tidal wave of contest players that all want part of the action.