Snails on the POA Network!
It’s official: snails are venturing beyond Ethereum.
The SnailThrone has been growing for more than 2 months. Now comes the time for little slugs to leave the nest and spread their slimy wings, so they can return even stronger.
Have no fear, we’re not leaving ETH behind. This move is more of a sidestep.
A sidestep right into the magic universe of sidechains.
The POA Network
The POA Network is a sidechain for Ethereum.
It works as its own blockchain, with its own native currency (the POA token).
Functionally, it’s similar to Ethereum.
You send transactions and pay for gas the same way. The same dApps can be deployed. In many cases, you can even use the same web3 extensions to access it: MetaMask, Trust Wallet and AlphaWallet are all POA-compatible.
So what’s the difference ?
“POA” stands for: Proof of Authority (or Proof of Autonomy).
In Ethereum, miners find blocks through Proof of Work. This is optimal for decentralization.
POA replaces this system with validators. These validators are certified US notaries, and they stake their reputation.
In short, POA is faster and cheaper.
ETH blocks tend to take about 15 seconds. POA blocks are reliably 5 seconds.
Each ether is valued around $110, whereas each POA token is just $0.03.
All validators also accept transactions with a gas price of 1. POA uses the same gas calculations as Ethereum, but between the lower token valuation and this guaranteed gas price of 1, it comes out to a ~1,000,000% effective reduction in transaction costs.
Transaction Fees and Zerosum Games
Let’s take a look at the numbers.
In SnailFarm 3, the average transaction costs 0.00025 ETH in mining fees.
There has been 11794 transactions to the SnailFarm contract.
So in total, about 3 ETH has been spent in mining fees alone!
The lifetime volume of SnailFarm 3 is about ~30 ETH.
In that light, 3 ETH is a significant share of the pot.
While the game remains profitable for the winners, it skews the ratio of winners to losers. A ratio we should strive to improve, in zerosum games.
Running the game on POA will allow us to have negligible transaction costs.
It’s official (again): POA SnailFarm will be the first snail game on POA.
Players benefit from cheaper transactions.
On top of that, cheaper transactions allow for better game design.
Consider the following: SnailFarm on ETH had to take transaction costs into account, to minimize the share of ether “wasted” in transactions.
Despite that, the numbers above show a good 10% of the invested ETH went to miners!
In POA, we don’t have to take special measures to deal with mining fees. Transaction costs will always be negligible.
With that in mind, we can balance the game costs such as buying a carrot or flipping the tadpoleprince as a proportion of the snailPot.
The game becomes more flexible. Instead of having to estimate amounts beforehand, costs dynamically change to reflect the prize.
Is the pot overfunded? Then the playing costs will rise up, and it will balance out.
Is the pot getting drained? Then the playing costs will lower, so player odds remain the same at any stage of the game.
Making a better game
It would be a shame to port the game without using the opportunity to fix several balance issues with SnailFarm 3.
We will list those issues one by one, followed by the steps to solve them.
The most striking problem would have to be the eggPot, rewarding player egg sales. While the snailPot rewarding round winners remained at a high point for a good month, the eggPot was quickly drained.
- POA will be split 40/40 towards the snailPot and the eggPot, as opposed to the 50/25 split in SnailFarm 3. You might notice this doesn’t add up: we removed the Snailmaster, and added his share to the eggPot!
- eggs on the market start at 3000 rather than 300 at the beginning of a round, preventing instant dumps.
- only 10% of the market eggs can be sold at once, for a maximum drain of the pot of only 5% (compared to a maximum drain of 50% in SnailFarm 3).
A notable repeat winner of SnailFarm 3 used a devilish strategy based on several accounts: he would play them all at once, then sell eggs from all but one, as to use the remaining account to instantly buy all his eggs, and consolidate an advantage over other players who couldn’t react to this massive egg dump fast enough.
Beyond this, he pushed his advantage further by waiting near the finish line with his main account, and selling eggs to his alt accounts. This consolidated his lead over several rounds, as his alts were stacked with Red Eggs, allowing them to take an instant lead at the beginning of a new round.
This virtuous loop for our altman proved to be a death spiral for most other players.
- Egg trades were made possible by the quick draining of the eggPot. The aforementioned egg changes will help in that regard. More often than not, the altman would drop 50000 eggs on a market of 300 eggs. In POA SnailFarm, such a dump would result in 49970 eggs disappearing, adding a meager 30 eggs to the market.
- Red Egg rewards have been rebalanced to be more helpful to small players and less helpful to big players. Instead of a straight division per 100 snails, players will receive the square root of their snails. 300 snails = 3 reds before, 17 reds in POA SnailFarm. 300000 snails = 3000 reds before, 547 reds in POA SnailFarm.
- previously, the Red Harvest took place over 4 hours and started at a price equal to the round pot. This led to a long wait before the price was low enough to be affordable, discouraging legitimate players. The Red Harvest will now start at 1/4th of the round pot and lower to its base price in just an hour, making it affordable faster.
SnailFarm 3 was funded through players collectively raising over 9 ETH. In exchange, they were promised their proportional share on each transaction — amounting to 10% of the ETH costs.
While early investing was always a bet on the success of the game, this percentage coupled with the altman’s winning streak and the lack of volume resulted in a dwindling pot and lackluster returns for acorn holders.
- there is no SnailThrone on POA, and therefore no SnailThrone share. We kill 2 birds in 1 stone: acorn holders will receive 20% of the POA used on transactions, rather than 10%.
- volume should hopefully be higher than the ETH version, thanks to the following feature…
PLAY FOR FREE
Reading the article so far, you might be thinking:
“SnailKing, this is fine and dandy. But I don’t know this POA cryptocurrency you’re talking about, and I’m not sure I want to trade my hard-earned Bitconnect tokens for POA!”
Remember how we removed the Snailmaster ?
As it turns out, he’s still around.
But instead of taking a share of the money, he’s decided to redistribute the wealth.
POA SnailFarm has a new exclusive feature: take on the Snailmaster’s Quest.
You will go through a series of tasks outside of the game, starting from [REDACTED], then doing [REDACTED], and finishing with [REDACTED].
As you do the above, you will receive some POA as a reward. With that free POA, you can now play the game!
Of course, having more POA of your own can be beneficial. Whether you want to win the pot or invest in acorns, players with resources will have an advantage.
In any case, POA SnailFarm remains a game in which someone with the right moves can quickly benefit, and compound their profits into a victory.
The game is intended as a low stakes foray into the POA Network. Above all, come play and have fun!
POA SnailFarm will release Thursday February 7th, at 9 PM UTC.
The game starts in Round 0, lasting 24 hours, during which players can buy acorns at half price. A developer buy under the same constraints as normal players will seed the game with 500 POA, regardless of player contributions.
Then, on Friday the 8th around 9PM, the first round will start!
So, next weekend: