In this piece, we will review the issues the Trident team has identified, in not only crypto games, but in the broad gaming industry
In this piece, we will review the issues the Trident team has identified, in not only crypto games, but in the broad gaming industry.
We will briefly go over the game mechanics we plan to implement as well, although those have been mostly covered in our roadmap (some are secret). That article can be found here.
Trident will be a Free to Play game, with all Pay to Win removed at the base level.
We don’t want to just build this game for crypto, but for the normal gaming industry.
That industry is dying, with games being homogenized as Western developers hash out the same formula over and over within existing IP’s.
The time is right for a freshness to be restored, and it is often indie games that bring new mechanics to light, unbound by the creative dilution that occurs when running a large Triple AAA game studio.
Expect the game to contain the following mechanics (not all upon alpha release in Q1 2023, but most of them)
Procedural-generated infinite universe
There will be a cap on the amount of planets generated as an anti-bot measure, which would be implemented via challenges that require human intelligence to be completed
Items dropped upon death
Inventory as well, obviously. Player banks are available, although limited in slots to prevent hoarding.
Combat with invincibility frames, activated with rolling
(or other combat mechanics, but mostly rolling)
Triangular combat system
Like rock paper scissors, but, magic, archery, and melee.
Horizontal Progression highly preferred over vertical progression
(qualitative values rather than quantitative values. Mechanics and player choices are weighed moreso on a subjective comparison of “what is stronger?”, rather than an objective one. Vertical progression leads to hyper-optimization and homogenization of a meta generally.)
Near-Zero Pay To Win
(One cannot completely prevent Pay To Win within a game that contains accounts and items that are objectively better than others, but it can be mitigated to near-zero with many features)
Free to Play
Planetary Warfare and Destruction/Terraforming
Player Housing (custom built via tiles and materials)
Pets, some capturable, some available only through the shop. These will be procedural-generated, out of a given set of limbs and body parts. Fun stuff!
Crypto UX abstracted away at some point, to make onboarding non-crypto natives an easier process.
Lets dive into why Trident exists, what issues Trident aims to solve.
(Problem presented first, and subsequently, the solution to that problem.)
Play To Earn does not work at the economic level. One can analogize the way it works to Universal Basic Income. It doesn’t take an essay to reveal this, one may just simply look at Axie Infinity and other web3 games to see the economic issues that arise when P2E’s buy pressure falls below a necessary threshold, sending it into a place where you are playing in hopes to earn. Could add some other examples if necessary “Look at Axie Infinity, Pegaxy, Thetan Arena, and many other web3 games…”
Games should not be structured as a job, but as an entertainment outlet, providing opportunity to those putting the time in to increase skill, and offer value to any spectators of their gameplay content (aka, streamers, esports competitors, etc)
P2E only works when there are participants speculating on the in-game assets, but fails when those conditions are not met, since the game does not hold attention past the gain of its economic participants. You could also add that p2e also only works when there are continually new users feeding the ecosystem yet fails when immense growth halts (very reminiscent of a ponzi scheme)
The solution to P2E, is to simply not have it.
When a user base engages in a P2E economy, their playtime is not converted to anything, since, their data and/or time is not accruing anything to the protocol. The only thing the user gives up when engaging in P2E, is the initial cost of the assets. This results in inherent Pay To Win, since those assets contain quantifiable stats which can be valued against each other, and skill becomes less of a factor in the winner of an in-game competition.
Rather than an economic game being run off the fumes of new entrants, it should be run in a zero-sum structure.
That zero-sum structure is RiskToEarn (R2E), something conceived roughly around October of last year by the Trident team, but by no means a new concept outside the world of web3.
Games like Runescape, whether it is very over to the player or not, are built on this foundational principle. The Grand Exchange in Runescape incurs a fee, removing gold from supply, at a 1% fee for every transaction, buy, or sell. Another example from Runescape is, the Wilderness. The Wilderness is a vital component of keeping the game economy stable. The best resources exist within areas of high risk. Within the Wilderness, PvP is always enabled, and players drop almost all their items upon death, ready for the surviving player to pick up and take home with them. Kind of like a financial market when one is trading against a counterparty, except, in this case, the factor of who wins is the skill of the player in the game.
Risk, and reward, are one and the same. It should be no other way, and anyone touting troves of reward with no risk, is often shilling farce and fantasy.
RiskToEarn is a new model for web3 games to operate on.
Within RiskToEarn, those who are skilled and efficient will receive the attention and scores, whilst those who are not may practice, or play for free without needing to engage in the in-game risk. The protocol simply takes a fee for hosting this platform.
Within the RiskToEarn system, the rewards are tied to something tangible that can be relied on, rather than frivolous inflation of a token with no inherent risk or value tied to its growth. The ability to outperform other participants within that system, whether it be by identifying those with higher skill, or being one with higher skill than others.
This does not mean all players would be funneled into competitive esports, by any means. One could band together with friends within the open world, massacring unsuspecting players in transit from point A to point B within the universe.
One could choose to play competitive modes separate from the MMO progress, such as the in-development pet games.
There are many ways to benefit from the RiskToEarn system.
…Folks may even use the composability of the blockchain to trade derivatives of the in-game lumber markets, should they choose to build this…
It is within the realm of possibility that folks also choose to make their own sub-games based off preset mechanics we provide to them, and hook into our RiskToEarn contracts.
Some examples of R2E mechanics that would exist within the Trident game are:
1) Pet battles, where, players capture procedurally generated pets in the universe, or purchase them, and pit them against each other in a turn by turn strategy style.
2) Open World PvP, where, players are seeking to extract resources from each other via action combat with invincibility frames, projectiles (bows, magic), and claim the items dropped upon death from those players.
3) R2E Spectator Betting, where, players may simply place wagers upon other players that they deem good at the game, in competitive matches, whether it be MMR matched pet battles, or Duels PvP.
In spectator betting, those being spectated, if they win of course, receive a fee from those who are betting on them. This way, they are incentivised to spread the word and produce more content focused around their gameplay, while improving their skills and benefit to the spectators.
4) Duels PvP. Players fight each other using the triangular combat system (magic, melee, archery), in an MMR matched competitive mode that carries over little to no progress from the MMO Open World, which allows for a more “pure” PvP experience.
R2E provides a necessary and healthy outlet for supply of things to be removed or transferred to another player, in a skill based manner, providing opportunity to those willing to put in the time to become a worthy adversary. This is how anything in the world works, and in web3, it should be no different.
The possibilities reach quite far here.
Crypto games should not be as “expensive” as they are, by any means.
These are often grifts.
The general populous is not fond of paying exorbitant prices to try out a video game that has no reputation tacked on to the game studio it is built by. The games are not fun so far either.
This needs to change drastically, if we expect those skeptic of crypto to take web3 games seriously.
So, to reduce this barrier for entry, our game will be free, simple as that. It is a growing trend in the normal gaming industry with games like Fortnite, Genshin Impact, League of Legends, and as such, should be the same here.
With composability and the option to anonymously contribute towards a change within a system, one can only imagine the possibilities within a game this can bring to light.One example is being able to re-generate a planet, if the players widely decide that the resources on that planet are lackluster. Yes, this would affect the in-game economy for those resources, but that is the beauty of it. There is a near-free market via the players collectively deciding what happens within the universe. They could also put their decision power towards destroying a planet completely.
Of course, this means that anyone keeping their house on that planet would lose most of the resources within it, only able to recycle some of those scraps for a % of the raw materials. But that is the RiskToEarn system, just as it is in real life.
Power to the players. Bad games contain choices that have no effect.Great games give meaningful and impactful choices to its players.
If the player base grows, so should the monetary supply.
If the player base shrinks, so should the monetary supply.
It’s about as simple as that.
There is no such thing as a crypto gamer. There are crypto speculators. There are gamers.
These are not intertwined, as, I plead one to try and find a robust community of folks who make a significant audience in esports, or any streaming platform, that solely plays crypto games.This is because they are not up to par with the traditional gaming industry.
Games must be built with the normal gaming industry at the helm, and crypto in where it fits.
Crypto should not be forced and shoved into a square hole, when it is a round peg.
The Triple AAA gaming industry is not where it used to be.
Gamers have grown tired of the same formulas, and the same mechanics, being slightly tweaked over time.
For this reason, it is games like Fortnite, with unique mechanics like building, that swept the audience of gamers very fast. Within a year of its release, it had become a wide sensation, gathering young folks to try their hand at becoming a streamer and esports competitor.
Unique mechanics and riveting gameplay is what brings the players, and with those pieces in place, it is apt for gathering a strong and loyal user base.
The UX for crypto is not where it should be to bring in this strong and loyal user base from outside the crypto-savvy population.
For this reason, we will not be forcing folks to use such tools like Metamask and self-custody wallets. We will allow them to sign up with email, and pay with traditional payment methods, using custodial wallets. This breaks the barrier that crypto has with non-crypto-savvy folks, allowing them to simply enjoy the game and engage in its mechanics with friends.
The cost and obstructions must be removed as much as possible for the potential player, at all steps.
With P2E, there is inherent Pay To Win, since assets are available for purchase with quantifiably better/worse stats. Land sales are a plague in the web3 gaming industry. This is generally disliked by any player not purely speculating on the “price” of an NFT. If a player wants to play the game, they will not desire to be rent-extracted by someone who bought a plot of land early, or a character with higher stats than the one they can acquire for free in game.
This is a ponzi by nature, and is a virus within the industry that forever bars the wider population from enjoying the game’s mechanics in a natural and fair way. That is PlayToEarn in the current state, and it must be cleansed away.
That is a large part of the R2E and Trident thesis. Fairness in ability to rise in the ranks, based off skill in the game, regardless of which point in time a player decides to create a character with us.
We have avoided at all points, the investment of venture capital thus far, and plan to keep it this way. We would not wish to impose VC oversight and vision upon the player base. They want a good game, the Trident team is composed of gamers at heart, and we want something to play and be proud of as well. We have seen many venture capital injected web3 games become ill with a change in vision, towards the norm of web3 games, being P2E, and bad tokenomics, all for the benefit of the VC, not the player.
This is not the way to bring in folks from outside crypto, it must be done from a passionate position where the gameplay comes first.
Without good gameplay and game design vision intact, there will be no player base.
We look forward to solving these problems for the masses, and are working very hard to do so.
Feel free to reach out to us for any reason, any time.