tl;dr: We sent over 70 keys to individual tester to play test our core gameplays without the upcoming trading and economics features. The results were encouraging: nearly 2,500 rooms generated in less than two weeks, average gameplay over 17 minutes, & averaged 18 pages per session. We are currently working on alpha fixes and focusing on big features and updates in March.
We will release the next round of claim keys this week to people that have reserved via Twitter. Any play testers whose character died in the last round can get a new key by tweeting “Resurrection” at @EthernalWorld or ping us on our Discord.
Thanks to everyone who tried our first Ethernal alpha release. We sent out over 70 keys to individual testers and have received a lot of useful feedback.
Our goal for the alpha was to test whether on-chain gameplays would be fun (xdai’s transaction time is about 6 seconds), would on-boarding with Portis wallet and burner wallet be easy, and whether players would stay to play the game without the economics of NFT and items trading.
On-chain gameplays that were tested
Exploring the dungeon and discovering new rooms
Combating monsters and collecting the loot
Leveling up your character and equipping higher level weapons
Combating with multiplayers
Overall, our testers enjoyed playing the alpha even without our upcoming trading or economics features. We had only designed 3 levels of monsters and weapons because we didn’t expect players to venture out too far on the map. It turned out that our assumption was totally wrong. Some players continued playing after reaching level 8.
A few players voiced criticism with the wait time in the game, which was partially due to an issue in our graphics rendering code. Most testers accepted that there is the implicit transaction time. (Most of our alpha testers are familiar with blockchain games.) Even with the wait time, the average gameplay was over 17 minutes and each session averaged 18 pages. Tapping into another page or encountering a monster counts as a page.
There were less players after the first few days of release mainly because once a character dies in the alpha, the player would need another key to create a new character and play again.
Since the alpha release (less than two weeks ago), over 2,400 rooms have been generated in the dungeon. Each generated room requires a character to discover it and potentially defeat a monster.
One of our main takeaways is that players care about owning their items, even when the variety of these assets are limited and they are only on the testnet. Many testers asked us whether they will be able to keep the items that they collected when we deploy new contracts. Unfortunately they cannot — new contracts means brand new dungeon. However, once the Ethernal dungeon is launched on the mainnet, all items will be owned by the players for eternity.
Alpha fixes and updates
We are currently working on these fixes for the next group of alpha testers.
- bug fixes
- refactor map canvas and showing more on the map
- leaderboard and display online character info
- more info and instructions in the text
- some minor UI updates
- higher level monsters and weapons
Sending out more keys
We will release the next round of claim keys this week to people that have reserved via Twitter.
This alpha has encouraged us to keep building. There were a lot of great ideas from our testers. The possibilities for a MUD are truly endless.
For March, we will be focusing on some big features and updates to get ready for beta. This includes the following:
- Rare weapons/items, trading, and the dungeon economy
- Multi-floor dungeon and big bosses (!)
- Character death and restarting
Ethernal is a multiplayer dungeon crawler generated on the blockchain, inspired by classic text and grid based MUDs. Learn more about it here.
If you haven’t already tested, tweet “open sesame” to @EthernalWorld to reserve a key for the beta.