I feel like I write this post every other month, so Ill just resign myself to keep on writing this post until something comes of it. Now that the eminent domain of the new build is spreading to all the apps, its time for Topps Digital to get going on doing something with the showcase to display a set number of cards that we treasure and want to show off.
My main beef is that we are expected to spend hundreds of dollars on cards that have no tangible existence, and yet, we are not afforded the minor functionality necessary to be able to show off the cards we want the world to see above all else.
I have made this a strike issue over the last few years, and I will continue to mention this as much as possible so that it stays top of mind. I want this to be added and soon.
As I have stated now four times before, the showcase is something that was “part” of the apps back in 2013, before Bunt went to its current setup. Because of the way the play mode was set up, users were able to display 9 cards in their profile, and all trades, contests and everything else flowed through the profile page. This meant that when the games werent going, you could display cards in your profile for everyone to see. We frequently saw “cards in profile for trade” posted on the fan feed, and it was easy to show everyone the goods you had from different years worth of the game.
When Bunt updated and put the starting lineup in the contest section, all of that went away. We could no longer showcase our top cards anywhere in the game, and most times, those amazing pulls from previous years were buried in set filters that people never ventured to look at.
We have lost the ability to swing a big stick if you have nice cards.
Solution 1 – Locked Cards
My first solution, as I have mentioned before is to add a space on the card sheet that displays locked cards at the top, regardless of what year they are from. Even if a user has a filter set to display this year’s cards only, this new feature will show the cards you have locked at the top of your sheet whenever a trade is initiated.
Obviously, this isnt the fix that goes 100% of the way, and might actually take up a lot of space if users have 100s of cards locked. At the same time, with easy scrolling, that might not be a big deal. For hoarders on SWCT especially, this is a good way to show your hoard and signal others which cards you are looking for.
Solution 2 – Change the Outbound Profile
When someone initiates a trade, it would be really interesting to direct things back towards an outbound profile page, similar to 2013. Although this would add an extra step, its something that could be shown when the user touches the user icon from the fan feed or article to start the trade process. Instead of showing the menu, launch a pop up profile that displays the goods and gives those same options.
Allow for a certain number of showcase cards to be displayed, and give users a place to show off all the things they have in their collection. It might actually be a good thing for team collectors to give a bit more explanation of what they collect, and ensure that the different users who engage their profile see what is going on.
Solution 3 – Change User Display in the Fan Feed/Articles
Instead of changing the profile or the card sheet, they could theoretically change the way a user is displayed as they post. There is now more space to display pictures in every post, but that doesnt necessarily mean that it wont look crowded or hard to decipher when the user profile is posted with each comment. Its an option, but in the end, I think its probably best to change the trade cycle or user profile itself than to go this direction.
Why the Showcase is Important
In the end, we need this. We need to give users more ways to showcase the way they go about competing within the app, especially if Topps has given up on recognizing top users organically. More and more we are seeing users left to compete among themselves, and that is what creates things like Hoarding in the first place. Users need to be incited to compete, in every level of the apps. This is more than just contests or monuments. This is every last little aspect to give a competitive fire.
Additionally, it will ensure that your value for past year’s worth of purchases wont be marginalized by new filters and new seasons that are introduced frequently. We want an opportunity to let people know we are the top collector of X, or the top hoarder of Y. We want to show that we have been around the block and been to a few rodeos. If we are new, this is an opportunity to recognize that.
Above all else, it will add value to all those old cards that are collecting digital dust in the back pages of our collection. Really too bad. This is a big miss to have gone this long without the digital equivalent of a man cave for all your goods.