Current Status, Efinity, Multiplayer
Following some months of amazing progress, I would like to explain where the game currently stands, including the progress of our roadmap, the challenges we faced along the way, and the bright plans for the game.
This is not an article that will beatify the delay of the alpha or anything, the alpha will launch as expected in Q4, but you, the players, are owned to know everything that happened these past few months after the pre-sale.
Q4 pending Efinity release
This was our statement from day one following the pre-sale. Why we had the “pending Efinity release” disclaimer, you might ask.
The way the game is designed to work regarding its blockchain capabilities is not very common across blockchain games. In fact, we can venture to say that we are the first blockchain game that handles blockchain assets in such a unique way.
Craft the same items with different stats on the blockchain, real-time crafting and enchanting of unique items, the ability to put your name on the blockchain asset you create, having the enchants carved on it, fuse it with the amount of Enjin coin you wish, or customize the token fees are some of the examples. In general, your blockchain assets have your stamp on it (read more here). I believe this is how most games will adapt sooner or later when side chains are out, and the games will become more and more complex.
Thus, the design sophistication was the reason we said “pending Efinity release”. Game operations rely on a set of transactions. It’s not the case of a simple minting that can be mass queued; hence, a scalability solution (for low transaction cost and speed) is mandatory to go mainstream.
So what happened?
Regardless if you are an industry leader or a challenger, development is an ongoing, complicated process that you can never fully predict, meaning that sometimes you have to cope with delays you can’t directly control. This is what happened to Efinity, so we had two options: a) Postponing the game’s alpha until the release of Efinity, or b) Improvise and adapt.
Of course, we chose b and designed the necessary workarounds to make it happen. We don’t want to sound romantic, but after our pre-sale, the promise to all the supporters was that we wouldn’t host any kind of sales before we deliver the first alpha testing rounds in Q4 2019. Breaking our promise wasn’t an option, even in the situation where we had a legitimate reason to invoke.
Our creativity and current tools, however, can go up to a point. We had to accept two tradeoffs that even though they don’t destroy the game experience, are still far from the game standards we seek to achieve in our games. The first one is a slightly more expensive gameplay experience (for the player and the developer), and the second one is some slower in-game blockchain features. These limitations whatsoever, are not applicable for simple game mechanics such as blockchain looting or the inventory sync, but mainly for the advanced aspects we recently showcased. For loot drop rates, the fee is covered by the game developer, and the player isn’t affected.
What we did is that we added a dynamic fee system linked to the Ethereum gas fees, so it’ll be cheaper to craft at times with lower gas fees and vice versa. Nevertheless, this decision created a new challenge.
(now it’s the time that the story becomes a bit technical, so please bear with us)
When you send your materials to the crafting station using the advanced send, it's not currently possible (by the enjin smart contract) to also send the required amount of Enjin to cover the crafting fees and complete the crafting process. That means we couldn’t have the dynamic fee structure we described, or we will have to add another trade transaction, which wouldn’t make much sense because of the added cost, again for both parties.
To overcome this hurdle, we are adding a new utility token, which will follow the ERC-1155 asset standard (as every other token in-game), will be instantly exchangeable (you can buy it from us and sell it back for the same price) and always pegged with 1 Enjin Coin ($Enj). As we mentioned, this will be a utility token, meaning that the price will remain stable, and no volatility/speculation instances will ever change its value due to the backing of $ENJ.
Meet The Six Dragons Token (TSDT 😄)
- 1:1 — Pegged to 1 Enjin Coin ($Enj).
- Exchangeable back to $Enj at any moment — You can buy it from us and sell it back for the same price if you don’t want to use it.
- ERC-1155 Fungible Asset — It will be normally viewable in your Enjin Wallet next to your rest TSD tokens.
- No exchange listing or profit-seeking use.
- Zero transfer fees.
The starting circulating supply will be 0. If a player wants to buy 100 TSD tokens, he or she will pay 100 Enin coins ($Enj) that will go to the Exchange Pool (EP), so now the circulating supply is 100 TSD tokens, and the EP has a balance of 100 Enjin coins.
Now let’s say that a player spends 10 TSD tokens while crafting a sword and ends up with a balance of 90. If the players wish to exchange them back and get Enjin, he or she can go at the Exchange NPC in the game, return the 90 TSD tokens and receive 90 Enjin coins. These 90 TSD tokens are then melted, so the circulating supply of TSD Tokens is the same as the Enjin coins in the Exchange Pool (melting will happen in batches). A fee or minimum limit might be applied to avoid exploitation of the system and again, gas fees.
We hope by now you understand the reasoning and use of this token. We would love to be able to just use $ENJ directly for this custom fees system, but as we said “we adapt,” and we will use this mechanism until the Enjin platform allows us to simplify things. Without such intervention, the game should have to wait for Efinity. At the same time, we give an incentive to players to select to craft/enchant during periods with low fees.
Why don’t you just increase the transfer fees of the materials?
Excellent question. Since day one, we have said that the game is developed in a way that will fit the requirements of a scalability solution, such as Efinity. This applies to the fee structure too. We have a consistent architecture of the items’ fees, and it’s not in our intentions to increase them- we might even lower the transfer fees when Efinity is out. Others might ask how they can verify the integrity of this exchange pool we created. Luckily, blockchain is a public ledger that gives the ability to players the ability to audit the game economy in real-time.
edit: A small correction, a pre-mint amount will always be available due to Enjin Trade request cannot mint on demand so a threshold of TSDT will be available in the pool at all times. This info will be transparent and available to players via the upcoming Pool Manager that will be available in-game, which will include all available items at all times.
Next steps before we start the Alpha Waves
We are currently facing three issues, but the roadmap stays valid.
- First, we are awaiting a fix from the Enjin team on a bug that sometimes leads to false reports about the successful completion of a transaction. In simple words, you start crafting, but the game is not informed with confidence when all the items have arrived so that the process continues and leads to a failed craft even though the materials have been sent successfully. This is something that only happens 3–5% of the time, but on a large scale alpha, it can pose important challenges. We start with a small scale alpha so we can identify and fix manually similar instances until the issue is fixed from the Enjin team.
- The second issue is Unity related, we had to move to one of the latest versions of Unity which adds a burst compiler (final version) and some other stuff (will not tire you with details) but has a crash issue which already identified in co-operation with Unity and it’ll be fixed in like a week or so…
- Third, we are facing a challenge when it comes to the melting of broken/used items. Due to the nature of many in-game functionalities (e.g. enchanting), a lot of unique items need to be melted. Currently, there is no mass melt function (per token ID), and we are expecting such a feature from Enjin. In the meantime, we will create a Graveyard Pool, an Ethereum wallet that will only accept broken/used items, and nothing will go out of It. Melting will happen in baches during favorable network conditions. Again, a pretty illustrative example of why an open ledger can inspire trust in a gaming environment.
We know for a fact that some people were not that interested to know all these details, but it is our utmost priority to remain transparent to the community about what we do and how we move forward.
We kept something special for the end after such an information-rich (a.k.a boring ) blog post. We haven’t officially announced this till today, but we have already hired a development team to work specifically on a multiplayer version of the game. This will include a 1v1 & 2v2 Player vs Player (PvP) mode an E-sports mode, as well as a 2–4 Co-op mode.
..for our core community members, do you remember the announcement of the announcement some months ago? 😎 ..
The Multiplayer addition is a really ambitious step that we took the risk to go after and definitely a costly one (remember the game is an open-world RPG, hence building multiplayer functionalities is not a common process). However, I’m a hardcore gamer myself and would love to add this new dimension in the feature-rich gameplay of The Six Dragons. The open builds, a huge world, countless items and many more elements in a multiplayer environment…… Amazing!
The PvP modes that are planned are a) free for all that will let you fight with your full gear with other players, b) an E-sports competitive mode that will have players fight on the same gear, after letting them farm for some time and then fight when they meet in the Open World. This mode will add complex Strategy and MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) elements in the game, and we expect it to be mindblowing.
PvE (Player versus Environment) modes have countless capabilities as well, with World Bosses that require more than one player to be defeated, etc. Also, with full game release, it will allow players to team up and complete the story together.
Before you leave, we would like to make clear that this is not an official announcement that we are adding multiplayer modes. It is the confirmation that we are working towards achieving this huge milestone. If successful, this process will take time and an important investment. We won’t jeopardize the existing single-player roadmap by moving too fast into this. Hence, you should expect more concrete news on this once the existing game modes are playable and the economy is up and running.
But we are definitely heading this direction 🚀 🚀 🚀
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