Ember Sword: An Epic Metaverse to Push Play-To-Earn Forward

Ryan Zurrer
Published in
7 min readMay 27, 2021

Ember Sword is a new metaverse that combines the evolution of MMORPG gaming, DeFi yielding and NFT ownership. We outline why Dialectic spent more than $2M on in-game land assets in this unique virtual world.

Dialectic, along with a group of leading investors including Delphi Digital, Animoca Brands, Yield Guild, DeFiance Capital, Coingecko Ventures, Mechanism Capital, Weak Simp Capital and others, have made a strategic investment into Ember Sword assets in support of an amazing journey to combine digital ownership (NFTs), deep gameplay storylines and play-to-earn opportunities for gamers around the world seamlessly in the browser. We invite you to join us on this journey to build Ember Sword into the most epic online gaming experience ever. Today (May 27th), you can purchase land and begin your own incredible story within Thanabus (the world of Ember Sword)

When we look back on 2021 at the intersection of crypto and gaming, we will remember this as the moment when “play-to-earn” gained traction and changed millions of lives while massively expanding the adoption of both crypto and gaming globally. Games like Axie Infinity have enabled Yield Guild, a DAO of gamers, to play crypto-enabled games to earn real-world income. Yield Guild has successfully lifted tens of thousands of people out of poverty by allowing users to earn real money playing an online game. We see Ember Sword as an evolution of play-to-earn games with an elegant crypto-economic model and a set of key innovations that look to build on the foundation forged by Yield Guild and Axie.

1- New crypto-economic dynamic allows for income opportunities while mitigating whales

The fantastic team at Bright Star has built Thanabus into a rich metaverse that allows investors and players to support game-play and earn income by earning the in-game token (Embers). Embers can be earned passively by landowners or players venturing out into the world and winning battles, killing monsters, completing missions or collecting resources and crafting. For the first time, we can look at in-game land or metaverse objects as income-generating assets akin to DeFi, with predictable yields over time, allowing for professional investors to support the development of Thanabus.

We at Dialectic are building out an entire team that will operate our cities professionally with key infrastructure to make our areas the most dynamic experience for gamers and provide stable fixed-income for capital deployers. This is a massive step forward into the dream of the Metaverse.

We observe the mixture of digitally scarce assets (NFTs), DeFi income yielding, and rich gameplay is somewhat of a ‘Singularity moment’ for crypto gaming, which will lead to massive new adoption globally.

However, Ember Sword is thoughtfully designed to complete missions and improve your ranking in the game. You don’t need to be rich to compete, and you can’t buy your way to the top. You can certainly buy a differentiated experience, including cool skins and cosmetics, but winning comes down to skill, not capital. We think this is an important breakthrough for crypto-gaming. For the first time, we see a crypto-economic model that pairs incentivization with checks and balances to be more inclusive in a new, more elegant crypto-economic model.

2- Rich MMORPG graphics in the browser

Bright Star has built an impressive custom engine that allows rich graphics on a massive 4-nation map within Thanabus to be run natively in a browser and on mobile seamlessly. This means anyone worldwide can enjoy next-level 3rd person RPG graphics independent of their device and immerse themselves in the beautifully designed gameplay of Ember Sword. The Bright Star engine required building from the ground up with the idea of including as many computational platforms as possible.

Actual gameplay of Ember Sword

3- Life-changing play-to-earn model

Ember Sword enables gamers to grow within the game, discover new assets and earn Embers, which can be traded for other cryptocurrencies. This model of gameplay is known as “play-to-earn.” The importance of the play-to-earn model and its impact on communities around the world cannot be overstated. As millions of lives were impacted by COVID lockdowns, play-to-earn offers life-saving income for families globally, especially in developing nations. I encourage you to watch the below documentary on play to earn to understand just how impactful this movement is.

Play-To-Earn Documentary featuring Yield Guild and Axie Infinity

Not only will we see productive guilds and warring clans rise up and coordinate or battle within Thanabus, but we will also see entire communities lifted out of poverty by playing Ember Sword, collaborating and teaching each other. I can’t wait to witness the groups from Rio de Janeiro to Mumbai self-organizing in play-to-earn teams, and I am optimistic that we’ll see signs of global culture splattered throughout the 4 Nations of Thanabus.

4- Deep storylines & interesting gameplay

Without revealing too much, I can relay that gamers will find an array of “Easter eggs” and surprises as they grow and develop their profiles in Thanabus. The Bright Star team has thoughtfully laid out many storylines and missions that individuals or groups can complete for an epic online collaborative gaming experience. Some missions absolutely require a group effort, so social interaction and self-organization will feature prominently in Ember Sword.

5- Inclusivity in the land sale


Bright Star wanted to make Ember Sword inclusive for gamers and the wider community who have been patiently waiting for Thanabus. So they have priced this initial land sale, to be held today (May 27th), at an attractive discount for the community. Much of the NFT and in-game land ownership has been dominated by crypto-rich actors known as “whales”. A single Sandbox land, for example, cost more than $3,200 in their recent sale. In contrast, in the Solarwood initial land sale, you can get involved with Ember Sword with the purchase of a plot of land for as little as $40 or even buy an entire city for only $80,000. However, do note that Ember Sword’s community already counts well into the tens of thousands, and this land sale will likely only last a few minutes at these prices.

Some Dialectic commitments

Dialectic is committed to helping build Ember Sword into the most epic MMORPG for play to earn. In addition, we want to help support the community in every way possible. To that end, we have some initial fun offers for the community:

Solarwood or Ember Sword Tattoo: We will give away 300 prime plots of land in Solarwood to the first 100 people that demonstrably get a Solarwood or Ember Sword tattoo. This game will be permanent. We want the community to be fully bought in.

All you have to do is record the tattoo process, take at least 4 up-close pictures to demonstrate the finished tattoo and tweet it to @playembersword and @dialectic_CH along with your address. We’ll reach out directly, perform a second verification step as our team is filled with tattooed veterans who know what to look for and then send you your land to your chosen address.

Community Grants: We will make a series of community grants to groups that want to set up shared spaces where players can come together and play Ember Sword to earn income. Together and in support of our partners at Yield Guild, we are willing to donate Android tablets, Embers, lands, and cash to support teams in developing countries around the world to get started with play to earn on Ember Sword.

Further Crypto-Economic Research: More crypto-economic research is necessary to find the right balance between play-to-earn, skilled players winning over rich players and the delicate Nash Equilibrium among all the different constituents within Thanabus. Dialectic is happy to offer research grants and invite you to join the community as we continue to evolve the crypto-economic model of Ember Sword in anticipation of its full launch. We will follow up in the coming weeks with more information about the proposed crypto-economic design and invite community feedback. Ember Sword implies an incredibly complex incentivization model, and we need bright minds from around the world to contribute to get this right.

Today marks a major milestone in the most epic journey to build Ember Sword into a truly massive online experience with millions of players interacting in various ways. We invite you to join us on this historic adventure.



Ryan Zurrer

Founder of Dialectic (dialectic.ch) a family-office focused on alternative assets & Vine Ventures (vine.vc) a differentiated fund focused on psychedelics