Ownership is vital to collection games. If you don’t own your collection, the entire value proposition falls apart. This is why digital media has struggled in this space and why games with tangible assets, such as card games, have stood the test of time. But with the investigation of NFTs, this all changes.
So what is an NFT?
An NFT, or non-fungible token, is a crypto token representing a verifiably unique entity that is mutually interchangeable. The first NFT-like token was launched back in 2012 and was built on the Bitcoin blockchain. However, the most common NFT, ERC-721, is built on the Ethereum network.
NFTs became popular with the launch of CryptoKitties back in November 2017. Being a blockchain based game built on Ethereum, CryptoKitties was prone to many scalability issues. However it was the rarity in owning an NFT that captured everyone’s attention. Since then, add-ons and NFTs have found their way into many games, art and collectables.
Why did Illuvium choose Immutable X?
One of the primary issues NFT projects and users are currently facing is the cost of performing transactions on the Ethereum network. With limitations on the number of transactions Ethereum can handle, users on the network have bid up gas prices to ensure their transactions quickly settle. With the average cost of transferring an NFT averaging $15 at the time of writing, trading volume for NFTs has plummeted.
Immutable X changes this, allowing users to trade their NFTs without paying gas fees using what is known as a Zero-Knowledge (ZK) Rollup. Aside from just the savings in gas fees, this provides you with a variety of benefits, including:
- You maintain self-custody of your NFTs with the same level of security as mainchain Ethereum, something not seen in alternative scaling solutions like Matic and xDai.
- Transactions are instant, and moving back to mainchain Ethereum is trustless and verifiable.
- Unlike other solutions, there is no need for you to own a unique L2 token to buy, sell, send, or receive NFTs.
- You get more interesting and attractive game mechanics and design from Illuvium thanks to off-chain minting (more on that later).
- Immutable X will provide turing-complete general computation in the near future thanks to Cairo, technology developed by their partners over at StarkWare.
Immutable X also focuses on improving NFT liquidity to ensure as a buyer you find what you’re looking for, and as a seller, you can find someone who wants your NFT. This is done in a couple of ways:
- They’ve created what is known as a “metadata order”, or the ability for buyers to quickly and easily purchase assets (single, or in bulk) based on an NFTs underlying properties (or “metadata”). This is a major advancement over today’s high-friction trading, where users are often forced to sort through thousands of NFTs that differ ever so slightly to find what they’re looking for at the best available price.
- Immutable X offers pooled liquidity, allowing assets to be listed instantly on every exchange that supports Immutable X.
If you’re not familiar with ZK Rollups, why they’re considered the best solution for scaling on Ethereum, and want to learn more, we’d recommend Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin’s recent guide on Rollups.
Illuvium’s Core Mechanics: Minting, Burning, and Exchange
From the very beginning, the standard paradigm of most NFT games bored us. Buy a thing, own it, and hope it goes up in value. Some games allow you to buy NTFs and then play with them in a game. This is much better, but we felt there has to be more to the experience. There must be a way to create an emotional connection between the player and their collections. We aren’t the only ones to see the simple truth in this, but we want to provide the most emotive experience possible throughout the entire process from discovery all the way to exchange.
Inside Illuvium you will encounter creatures called Illuvials. On your journey through the many regions of this broken planet, you hunt, defeat, and capture them. To do this you need a Shard; a specially constructed sliver of crystal that traps the quantum signature of the beast inside. The quality of your Shard determines the chance of capture. A successful capture results in a new NFT token representing the Illuvial being minted and stored in your wallet. When you manage to capture a few of the same type, you Fuse them together which burns the existing tokens and mints a more powerful creature.
Immutable X makes this vital process much easier, by taking away distraction and letting players simply explore and enjoy the world. Players are not bombarded by constant GAS fees for every little change to their collection. And transactions happen much faster, so players can stay focused on what they came here to do: Explore, Collect, Battle, and Earn.
Illuvium is still under development and is anticipated to release in Q3 2021. In the meantime, we are working closely with the Immutable X team to ensure Illuvium offers players the experience they crave. While some of the game mechanics mentioned in this article may change, we know one thing for sure — Immutable X will be a huge part of Illuvium’s success.
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Immutable X alpha release is expected in March 2021 for Gods Unchained, and coming to Illuvium and all other games soon after.
Stay tuned for further communications.