If you are going to give anything, give it just for winning a number of games (like each 20 or each 50).
The reason is simple: if you don't do it that way, people would start games just to conceed them (lose them, surrendering fast).
I agree with the potential problem Geral, but I agree with Schlumpfi that if you switch it to wins it will just encourage collusion to get wins, where the goal is simply to encourage players to play. I had already thought a little about this before my original post. Here are my thoughts:
Suppose the method is, every Sunday at midnight, if you have played X games that week, you get a certain reward.
1) There will be an incentive for a player who is close to this number to make sure he/she is at this number. The worst thing would be for a player to throw games "just to be sure" they have played the correct amount, when they have actually already reached that total. To prevent this problem a ticker or something would be necessary to let players know when they have reached the mark.
2) I'd like to see Geral surrender 20 games worth of rating points to get 15 points and a free pack. I don't think that will happen with legit players, but it may happen with new players, who this system is designed to get to play more. This is the problem Geral was addressing...
My comments regarding this problem:
1) Generally players will only throw games the day before the awards are given, if they have not logged enough games in a given week. I don't think we will see players surrendering all week long, though in the hypothetical situation I presented we may see mass surrenders on Sunday.
2) There are numerous ways to combat this without putting to much pressure on the mods. I would suggest a combination of written in coding that would do the following. Only count a game that lasts min 10-15 rounds. Have the system ignore any game against the same opponent past 2 or 3. The system will only credit one account per IP address, that being the most active account. I'm sure there are other things people can thing of too, in order to combat potential negative side effects.
One person mentioned that no one would buy premium and this would replace it. Well that is assuming that the prize is significant enough to negate the value of premium. First off, the game designers would well calculate the free points or packs they give out and value it relatively low compared to premium.
But lets assume you can get 25 points a week for playing 30 games... in a month, if you contributed playing 120 games of BD, you could get a combination of FOUR 25 point tourneys or packs. (So 4-0, 3-1, 2-2, 1-3, or 0-4).
Right now my membership gets me two free premium tournaments a week, for a total of 8 tournaments. Premium also gives a special unique card each month ( I love the two cards so far, squadron leader and sniper). Premium also gives points and packs, more than the maximum of four free packs you could get each month (and that's if you don't spend the free points on tournaments). Premium allows you to trade, period. Have fun collecting cards on a second account only to not be able to pass them to your primary account.
I think something of this design can be implemented with safeguards to minimize potential abuse, and I don't think it would discourage people from buying premium. It would probably take two years to get a complete deck of cards opening only 4 packs a month, and that is a helluva a lot of games that player would contribute over two years to accomplish this feat.