We are starting to get another wave of marathons in SWCT, something I wasnt quite sure was in the cards for the future. In fact, Im kind of surprised that the marathons are still a thing, even though they have been a staple of all Topps Digital apps for the last few years. Value in the cards have made them more of a collecting quest rather than a way to get premium goods into your collection, so it becomes more about the fun than the actual money the cards are worth. This isnt necessarily a bad thing at all, just different than what originally got me so interested in chasing down every last set during the initial waves in 2015.
The difference this time around is not just in the set themes, as we are seeing major structural changes as well. I actually like that the SWCT team is going a different direction, as it shows that user feedback isnt going unnoticed. Instead of a 30 week marathon, the new sets are only 15 weeks – the biggest change of the lot. Additionally, there are no longer card count limitations on weeks one and two, with each pack getting a timer instead.
I love that things are only 15 weeks instead of 30. By the end of some of these 30 week sets in the past, I was left gasping for a change. It became as much a chore to track down cards I had lost interest in than a joy, and that should be mitigated by this change.
Similarly, it gives shorter timeframe for new users to wait, especially if they join mid stream. Instead of being left chasing down crazy amounts of cards from previous weeks, the task is now much smaller.
Content should also be much more attractive, as it was clear that the team was stretching to fill subject matter for cards near the end. Boiling things down to 15 weeks will help tremendously with that situation.
Nothing, and I mean nothing, incited a battle like a week 1 marathon hitting the sheet. Everyone knew how many people would be looking to get the new cards, and there are coin farmers who would go out and literally drain their gardens to suck up as much of the card count as possible. Without a limitation on the card count for week 1 and week 2, anyone who wants to dedicate the coins can get a copy of each card. That is both good and bad.
Good because it creates opportunities for new users who dont know the history of marathons to get on board. Also good because coin farmers suck, and I fully support all efforts to eliminate their influence. If this was a measure to lessen their impact, im on board. If not, still doesnt hurt.
The change is bad because it will hurt value of cards that were some of the more valuable cards in each period. Obviously, there will never be another Vintage Han. Its just not possible anymore. On the other hand, this does nerf whatever value was left. Adding higher odds doesnt necessarily offset this change all the way, and furthers my point that there is no value left in the app’s primary draw.
Im curious how this update to Marathons will be received, as it seems pretty positive so far. With more and more changes coming to SWCT, its clear the team isnt giving up on fixing some of the issues that plagued the app prior. There are a ton of things on that list, but I love that they are committed to listening to user ideas as mentioned in a post from a few weeks ago. If all we do is complain or stay silent, nothing will ever get better. If we bring feedback in constructive ways, things can change.