CP#4 Gods Unchained

On Tuesday, November 18th, the Lab has received and reviewed a proposal from @0x_ql for the formation of a new troop in Gods Unchained.

The complete proposal can be seen here.

Over the next few days, the community will discuss this investment here. When the time is right, and the DAO has provided enough feedback, the proposal will be submitted to a vote.

3 Likes

Hi @SamGab_G,

Thank you for posting my proposal. Hope we get some interest in this, I would love to see the Gods Unchained Blackpool troop happen. Loads of potential here.

I would like to add some further context. This proposal is exploratory and contains several different potential strategies. I consider the genesis of a new troop without financial commitment a low-risk venture for Blackpool. Purchasing Gods Unchained assets (cards, token, boards) is something to consider, but probably to be proposed more formally once the troop had been established and found it’s feet.

1 Like

I agree with you. Gods Unchained was one of the first P2E games that I played. I love it :slight_smile:

2 Likes

I am pretty interested in Gods Unchained. I have been playing since pre-Genesis release…I own quite a few of the Genesis set and a lot of cards post Genesis as well. I would be interested in helping or potentially being part of this in some way. I’m not interested nor do I have time for Twitch streaming but I do see potential in other aspects. Genesis appreciation is going to be very real if this blows up and if official lending of assets is introduced, I could see Troops formation akin to other projects have value. There are other important skills too like being able to identify potentially useful cards in future metas that undervalued now.

Feel free to DM me!

2 Likes

Hey @0x_ql, I’ve had a read of the proposal. Great job putting that together - I’ve learnt a lot. I have some observations and questions I would like to share.

Some prior context; I’m new to this space and have never played Gods Unchained. My aim was to review this objectively from the perspective of: “would I back this proposal?”. My observations and questions are intended to be helpful, not negative or critical :grinning:

  • One of the biggest risks seems to be Immutable’s ability to deliver what they say they’ll deliver. Is it possible to get closer to them to better understand what their capabilities are and how they’re resolving some of their delivery issues? For example…

  • Hiring constraints - do you have any idea what these are? Is it access to talent, speed of hiring, financial constraints or all of the aforementioned?

  • Is there any evidence that Immutable has delivered/met their roadmap - beyond the new token? There seems to be plenty of contrary evidence to suggest the team are not delivering - for example, the game is still in Beta, there are server issues in-game (given there are only a small number of players; 14k) and the community is still (not so) patiently awaiting the return of “forging”.

  • “the build-up of cards players have accrued during this time and will hit the market all at once if not dealt with in an innovative manner (burning for cosmetic items etc.)” - again, it sounds like the Immutable team are the potential weak link here. Have Immutable’s founding team successfully built anything like this before?

  • Do you think there is any risk that a new play to earn loop could impact gameplay, turning the community off the game?

  • “I propose we consider kickstarting the guild by poaching individuals or subsuming an existing guild (Team France?).” - is there any evidence to suggest this would be successful? What would be the approach to “poaching” and is there any reason a conversation couldn’t be started here first, to test the water before jumping in?

  • “The value of Gods Unchained cards have appreciated significantly over the past year.” - this might just be my lack of knowledge, but is there evidence to back this up?

  • “many of the top players are currently unaffiliated and not in need of improved access to cards. I believe we could recruit a strong team of these individuals.” - if these players don’t need improved access to cards, what would be the draw for them to join Blackpool? Again, can this be tested ahead of committing to this more concretely, to de-risk this ahead of time?

  • Blackpool could establish a strategic portfolio of cards which can support guild members/scholars.” - you mentioned that the best players don’t need cards. Why would this work?

  • I understand being early to the party is a benefit but is there a risk that Blackpool joining at this stage, with only 14k players, could stunt the growth of the game - if players negatively construe Blackpool's involvement, for example?

Overall, my gut feel is there is a bit more evidence gathering that could be done around a couple of key points:

  1. Immutable’s delivery problems - It could be worth holding on until there is more concrete evidence that Immutable are delivering what they say they will, to gain more confidence - especially before investing any currency? “We were informed on the 29th October 2021 that the forge would be back online by the end of 2021. Further information is expected the week of 08/11/2021.” i.e will this happen?!?!

  2. “Poaching” top players / subsuming an existing guild - some groundwork could be done here to reach out to these people to establish their receptiveness and interest in joining forces

I think addressing these two items specifically could further de-risk this proposal. Speed is everything, but it sounds like this game has been around for a little while and things aren’t moving quickly, so time could (!!!) be on our side. But again, this is my first proposal review so please feedback if I’ve overstepped the mark or missed any documentation relating to Blackpool's core principles around these types of proposals.

2 Likes

@0x_ql Nice proposal thanks for writing it up.

Could you elaborate on the economics of the lowest risk strategy blackpool could start with?

For example blackpool buys 5 of the most undervalued genesis cards for 5 ETH and then holds those for appreciation.

Or buys 10 cards and forms a troop to play the game where an investment of 5 ETH results in the generation of 10 GOD tokens per day. Producing a 12% annualized yield priced in ETH based on the current GODS token price.

What I’m asking for is a description of the initial investment models that could be used when first being involved in Gods Unchained.

1 Like

Hey @zoltarSpeaks,

Great feedback and questions, thank you for taking the time to dig in to this proposal.

In the text below, I mention the following post several times, it is from 17/11/2021. I’m posting it up here for ease - https://www.reddit.com/r/GodsUnchained/comments/qw9wh3/state_of_the_beta_november_2021/.

Immutable and their timeline - I think it’s important to acknowledge all the development moments good and bad to date. There have been delays and issues which have really frustrated the community such as lack of forging and unpopular balance issues with gameplay. Nonetheless, Gods Unchained has delivered a really solid game, token with impressive market cap, engaged community and healthy game economy to date.

Hiring constraints - Immutable haven’t gone in to too much depth publicly about this. I think it’s important to highlight the extent of the hiring they are still to do, but I am also of the opinion they aren’t behind schedule here. Their series B was announced mid-September, a lot of this hiring will have been enabled by that. Here is the list of roles they are hiring for: Immutable. This is really exciting to me because we already have a very good game and infrastructure with Gods Unchained and Immutable X, this hiring is going to increase their capabilities dramatically.

Delivery - Yes, they have delivered a lot to date. The immutable X marketplace launched this year with gas-free trading. Two token launches with IMX and GODS, soon to be three with GOG. Two card set expansions, the latest about a month ago. Multiple balance changes. Play to earn mechanics (current weekly rewards). Check out the ‘released and completed’ board here - Trello.

Build-up of cards - The problem here was having to offline the forge when eth gas prices became unsustainable. The infrastructure is now in place and has been for a few months with Immutable X, but the token is a crucial part of this. It’s understandable that they delayed until the token launched, and that process was quite prolonged. As per the reddit post, the information we have is that the forge will be live by the end of the year. It’s not a guarantee, but consensus in the community is that this is a timeline they are likely to achieve. However, we’re already earning. We’re in to our third week of weekly rewards, soon to be daily and lots more earning mechanisms being added - check out that reddit post, very encouraging. Also in the post are some details regarding dealing with build-up of cards, the economics that will be employed should actually mitigate against this risk. Shine fusing will also play a role here (you’re going to need lots of copies of a card to fuse it in to a diamond copy).

Risk of turning community off the game - I think there is certainly a risk that any play-to-earn mechanism impacts the gameplay in a negative way. Gods Unchained is more of the play-and-earn approach that Illuvium and Kieran Warwick are promoting than Axie for example. It might get a bit grindy at times, but three weeks in and the rewards are just a bonus from my perspective. Nonetheless, a bit like Axie, there are days you don’t feel like playing but feel obliged to get your games in. I think that is inevitable and it’s up to individual games to protect against that fatigue. Anecdotal evidence I have heard from a Splinterlands player is that they are currently enjoying their daily quests, and that game uses an auto-battler which is arguably a more monotonous mechanic than anything in Gods Unchained.

Guild/Troop recruitment - Yes, this has no grounding yet. I’ve not approached or pitched to anyone in the community regarding this. I have been watching guild recruitment play out and it is my opinion that we would be an attractive guild for a lot of players. Blackpool would be by far the most professional guild in Gods Unchained. All but one guild started with Gods Unchained as their sole game (to the best of my knowledge). The approach to guild recruitment could go in many different directions, there isn’t any reason why we shouldn’t start organically from within the DAO. I just suspect we would hold quite a bit of draw for a lot of Gods Unchained players to take a bit of a step up into a project with much wider ambitions, and because of this we could kickstart the troop. You are absolutely right to highlight the importance of more evidence gathering regarding this point. My opinion is, if we can get consensus that this is a troop we want to go ahead with, if the conditions are correct, then we should agree an approach to guild recruitment and if this involves recruiting externally from Blackpool, individuals/existing guilds should be approached.

Blackpool owning cards - I am keen to stress the separation of acquiring assets from the formation of the troop. I think there is a good case for acquiring assets, but this case has much stronger foundations once there is a troop up and running with players playing under the Blackpool banner. At the moment most of the best players are all decked out with cards, so they’re in guilds for fun, prestige, and future opportunities. However, these players mostly built their collections during the early days when cards were more affordable. New players are arriving all the time, and it’s only once the play to earn mechanics launched that we were expecting the numbers to grow significantly. These new players are unlikely to enjoy the same access to cards as the old hands, but they might have a lot of previous experience in TCGs for example. Playing in our guild might be more attractive with the incentive of card lending for those skilled players without strong financial means. I did a poor job explaining this in the proposal document - the best players don’t need the most powerful cards at the moment, because they already have them, but that is only a small minority of players and there is certainly an advantage to having certain powerful cards.

Negative perception of Blackpool joining the game - I agree this is a non-trivial risk. I think it would be offset by the legitimacy the wider game gains as major guilds join. Nonetheless, there might be some individuals who could see Blackpool’s entry as something unwelcome if they were particularly concerned about guild competition. There is demand within the Gods Unchained twitch community for more streams to watch, not all time zones enjoy the same levels of content. Blackpool contributing to streaming would be beneficial for sentiment in my opinion.

Card prices - Yeah they have gone up a lot, I can absolutely do some formal analysis and present the figures here. I’ll do my best to do something in my reply to @privateidentity below. I think the best way to see the price appreciation is via tokentrove. Click on a card and view the graphs (switch between USD and ETH in settings) - https://tokentrove.com/collection/GodsUnchainedCards?set=genesis&rarity=legendary&quality=4&sort=price-asc

I may go back and edit some of this text for clarity. Let me know if there is anything I’ve missed or further questions you have.

1 Like

Awesome responses, thanks for these answers. The various links add legitimacy to some of the points in the proposal which is reassuring.

Totally agree on your approach of building out the community and acquiring some existing players and support there before investing currency.

It’s certainly clear that you’ve gone a lot of thinking about this and have the expertise.

2 Likes

Hi @privateidentity,

Thanks very much for looking in to this proposal and asking questions. Apologies for the delay in responding.

There are several different investment strategies with potential here:

  • Cards for price appreciation
  • Boards and trinkets for price appreciation
  • Productive assets

My preference is to approach this vote as a troop launch without initial capital investment with a view to creating a future proposal to purchase cards and boards (cosmetic item). At present, genesis cards are a reasonable strategy for individual players looking to maximise their weekly rewards (~$40) and for price speculation. They lack the same level of utility offered by axies and sorare card at present. This is largely because Gods Unchained is competitive even without financial outlay. As the play-and-earn mechanics get more sophisticated, there should be additional investment strategies to maximise yield.

To date we do not have an official guild system within the game à la Guild of Guardians. This would make the investment thesis for productive assets much more appealing in my opinion. However, guilds have been discussed by the team before and we know Immutable do repeat strategies across their products. This is observable through the three token whitepapers and launches, and within the properties of Gods Unchained and Guild of Guardians NFTs. I think it’s a reasonable prediction to make that Gods Unchained will introduce in-game guild mechanics in the future.

Anecdotally we know the God Unchained team want to introduce card lending. Immutable X will also want this functionality for the entire ecosystem. Splinterlands currently has card lending live.

The ‘quality’ or ‘shine’ of cards will be important in the future. See this reddit post for additional information on how using a set of all gold cards (for example) will increase daily rewards. https://www.reddit.com/r/GodsUnchained/comments/qw9wh3/state_of_the_beta_november_2021/

It might be that cards are ‘rotated out’ in the future. The genesis cards are highly scarce compared to current player numbers. In addition many of the cards are overpowered relative to more recent cards. It is inevitable that cards will be banned in certain match formats. The impact of this on card value is difficult to anticipate (Black lotus in Magic: The Gathering is still highly valuable for example despite various format bans). I suspect the best approach to card investment for Blackpool would be to purchase much cheaper cards from expansion sets as they get released. With this approach, we might enjoy price appreciation on the cards over time, but that would be a secondary benefit after their utility in helping scholars improve their competitiveness. In addition, purchasing shiny cards will have an impact on yield. Until we know these exact mechanisms I think it’s best to avoid speculation.

Overall, I think we have enough information to indicate that there will be viable yield opportunities with Gods Unchained in the future. However, these are not a reality yet and it is therefore difficult to make a case for financial outlay at present. Nonetheless, I think it’s a good idea to get ahead of the game, build the Blackpool Gods Unchained troop and establish some foundations for a future financial proposal.

Let me knows your thoughts.

1 Like

Thanks for your response @zoltarSpeaks. Really glad to hear you think building the troop before any financial outlay is a good idea. I’ve just been making this case in my reply to @privateidentity above.

1 Like

Impressive display of knowledge and lucidity from @0x_ql thanks to the excellent questions and feedback from @privateidentity, @zoltarSpeaks and @Surface2AirMissile. I’m really pleased by the quality of your analyses. Beyond this, I must say I agree with @0x_ql. This game is currently slightly off track with respect to the type of games we’re involved in but it is evolving in the right direction. The game and the team’s work are convincing and I can easily see GU take some serious proportions in the near future. I would definitely support the proposed model of establishing BlackPool as a serious guild in the game, even if that means no yield for now with a collection of desirable rare cards for the future. We have a twitch channel that is evolving and GU is good material for let’s play sessions. I see this as an opportunity to open BlackPool to a broader audience while eventually rooting out some talents for our troops and setting foot in a very promising game. When (if) guild features are implemented, we’d be there with a nice collection and experience.
The proposal is nearly ready to be moved to snapshot for a vote. How much eth would you guys consider a good initial investment?

1 Like

Honestly this may seem like a counterproductive comment but I think budget really depends on strategy. Like if the strategy is to buy a bunch of Genesis (and Tiral of the Gods cards) to use/hold it for future accounts vs just forming a guild of existing players (who have a lot of these cards) the starting amount is pretty big.

If we are just going to start a guild, I’m not sure any investment is really needed for now?

If we are going to purchase lots of Genesis/TOG cards the following considerations come to mind:

  • logistically how would this work? Would BlackPool start an account or would aggrements be made with current players?
  • are we buying “shiny” versions of cards. These are more rare versions of cards that come in three degrees of rarity (shadow, gold and diamond). They may have some level of increased utility in the future.
  • depending on our budget, it might make sense to stick to certain gods. It’s more advantageous (IMO) from a utility standpoint to have cards clustered from the same gods then just random cards. Neutral cards could be prioritized but it makes more sense to by all legends/epics from a certain god then randomly buying them from all gods. Might be irrelevant but it also might make sense to have an order of purchasing document.

Cardsunchained com is a very nice place to see current user statistics for the platform in general and for individual card usage. Growth continued this past weekend…

TLDR: budget and strategy are interdependent. I would spend 5, 10, 25 eth etc in different ways…

I have my own opinions about how this work (personally I would just start buying the most utilitized meteorite Genesis and TOG cards) but also I should disclose I’m heavily invested in GU so I’m somewhat biased.

1 Like

I think that Surface2AirMissile is touching on really good points first about forming a guild vs investing on the cards.

Also yes, having a financial report to anchor our strategy is the base, this is why the financial team is working on a yearly report at the moment. It’ll help a lot in the future. We’re hoping to share it before end of year with the community.

1 Like

Thanks @SamGab_G for your kind words and support for this proposal. Really glad we’re in agreement that although we’re not quite ready to deploy productive assets here, there are still advantages to forming the troop in preparation.

Really useful response from @Surface2AirMissile. There are quite a few different approaches we could take. I like:

  • Targeting a limited number of gods
  • Boards - we know there is no utility at the moment but skins can get very popular in games. Helps with guild branding as well on twitch.
  • Shiny cards - we know these are going to have utility for increasing rewards.

If it seems like allocating some Eth is reasonable, I’ll suggest 5 Eth as a starting figure. There are some good boards available for between 0.0075-0.3 (reasonable range, there are more much higher). The card deck I’m currently running costs ~$300. There are cards available which I believe still represent good value.

If requesting funds was likely to add reservations for some voters, I’d be keen to avoid that so the proposal can pass and a future proposal made once we have established the guild and some of the game milestones have been hit (forge, rewards for shiny cards used, cosmetic items etc.). If requesting funds seems reasonable then I would also support that for the vote. @Hazelstar, as you said, you’re working on a financial report at the moment, so I’ll take yours and Sam’s guidance on what is reasonable.

If anyone is interested - might be a hard watch if you’re not deep in to the game - top player Fakemews recently released this video series discussing the guilds in the game. Demonstrates the friendly competition.

Toxic Storytime Thursday Episode 1 (TST) - YouTube - TST
Toxic Storytime Thursday Infinite Mana - YouTube - Infinite mana
Toxic Storytime Thursday Cujo edition! - YouTube - Cujo
Toxic Storytime Thursday Octopus edition - YouTube - Octopus

Forge is open. Huge milestone hit. Next step is ‘fusing’ which is taking forged cards up to different shiny levels. Pay to earn very much in motion with Gods Unchained now. Weekly rewards, forging, token staking soon, weekly pack rewards.

Do you see this as viable on the long term?

1 Like

So over the last 48 hours the Forge being open is an interesting development but not a great IMO. One issue that has become clear is that the economics of the project are both 1) confusing for the average person and 2) not favorable in certains aspects.

The price of a GODS coin (needed for fusing) is such that under the current economics, profits made from P2E would be completely wiped out in any attempt to extract ETH. You have to pay GAS to send from IMX to Metamask and then pay AGAIN if you want to send to brokerage to convert to fiat.

It’s fine if you want to keep the ETH on GU for further purchasing but I wonder how this is going to effect the psychology of a P2E game. I guess this has always been there in some sense. Still early for sure.

1 Like

(I’m going to address some of the points @Surface2AirMissile raised here as well.)

I think these are really positive developments. Firstly, It’s important to give the proviso that we are indeed too early to make any definitive statements on this. Nonetheless, the forge was a successful and popular mechanic before ethereum gas fees became problematic. @Surface2AirMissile, would you agree that is a fair reflection of how the forge was previously viewed by the community?

My biggest concern and the one I’ve seen raised most frequently within the community relates to the static rate of $GODS required for forging. As I understand, Axie has the same problem with breeding - the rate of the token required to breed is held at a static rate, and SLP has increased dramatically in price. This seems like a questionable decision by the GU team to my mind. Surely one can observe the predicament within Axie Infinity, learn from their experience and implement a dynamic rate instead. Nonetheless, there are three reasons why I am not particularly concerned about this at present:

  • The fee rate to forge is not problematic currently, and has been effective at maintaining good card valuations despite the potential for supply shock caused by cards stockpiled by players over the forge downtime.
  • Despite these issues within Axie, as I understand it the breeding mechanic remains viable and the game continues to be profitable for players
  • A dynamic rate can be introduced in the future. The $GODS whitepaper details (albeit limited) governance for token holders in the future. I have no doubt this is a topic which will at least be proposed and discussed. It’s not really to anyone’s benefit to keep the required $GODS to forge a card at say 1 token if the token grows in value to $20.

@Surface2AirMissile, thank you for raising some very valid points. I think it will take some time for new players to understand the mechanics for the forge. Furthermore, the UX needs significant improvement - using both the game client and browser is utterly tedious. Whilst I acknowledge it is very difficult for players to take profit out of the ecosystem at present, I think this will improve over time. Moonpay on- and off- ramps were announced this week, and this should enable individuals to ultimately receive fiat for their efforts. I think it’s a very reasonable expectation that a person should be able to earn in the immutable ecosystem and take those profits elsewhere. However, I think the issue is Ethereum mainnet rather than Immutable X. Any play to earn game that exists within the ethereum ecosystem will face the same problems trying to take profits to fiat. The exceptions to this are ecosystems that bypass L1, which Immutable X ultimately will do, or be on mainnet in the first place and incur the fees for actions such as trading and claiming.

I must say, the reaction I’ve seen within the community has been almost entirely positive. I personally have made some profits already but I’m much more excited about fusing shiny cards for use than selling forged cards at present.

So the ultimate question for the DAO, is can we make a meaningful amount of revenue from setting up a guild and/or a handful of high end accounts?

1 Like