Dark Frontiers In-Depth Economy Overview
Recently we have received a great question on Gamestarter’s telegram channel.
“How does the Dark Frontiers team plan to address the problem of P2E tokens going to 0? Literally, all games, even the most successful ones that launched until now are struck with the problem of their tokens rewarding players heading to 0 due to their lack of utility”.
This is a valid concern as worthless P2E tokens are abundant in blockchain gaming. Balancing online game economies has been a challenge ever since the inception of online multiplayer games in the late ’90s. Even experienced developers working with conventional online video games have to deal with numerous market factors and variables.
It doesn’t help that blockchain games, as a more recent technological development in gaming, come with additional layers of complexity, with in-game currencies linked to cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) establishing complex economic interactions that, if not carefully designed and managed, can potentially be susceptible to significant price movement.
As highlighted by the question forwarded by community members, solutionism within blockchain-based games often results in imbalance within in-game economies in the best-case scenario or the critical failure of tokenomic systems and economic mechanisms in the worst. As usual, new technologies offer exciting possibilities but also present novel challenges.
So, what is the answer? Let’s begin with some economics.
When monetary economies emerge, the value of the underlying currency is always the question of market factors, especially concerning supply and demand. If supply outpaces demand, the value of an oversupplied item will drop regardless of whether it is a good, a service, or a currency.
Conversely, if demand is higher than supply, the price and value of the desired item will skyrocket. The main goal should be to develop a sustainable balance. Unlike governments or financial departments, game developers often have more freedom to implement the necessary changes to optimize the game’s economy.
Our main goal with Dark Frontiers is to bring quality gaming and rich gameplay to the blockchain. We seek to finally introduce blockchain gaming to mainstream gamers by focusing on high-quality experiences combined with the opportunities blockchain offers for Play to Immerse, our improved iteration of Play-To-Earn.
Hence, a fair and sustainable economy driven by engaging gameplay is a central focus for Dark Frontiers’ developers. In other words, the value of assets and in-game currency should satisfy and deliver value to both gamers and investors, as well as work well long-term with the P2I/P2E concept while providing the best possible and most fair gameplay experience.
Now let’s discuss how we plan to accomplish this.
Online Game Economy
Regarding gameplay, our approach is simple:
Dark Frontiers will utilize similar mechanics that other successful and more conventional game titles and major game franchises with robust game economies use to maintain balance.
If you are familiar with traditional online video games — MMORPG titles in particular — and have been following the development progress of Dark Frontiers, you should already have an idea of what this will look like. The Dark Frontiers Economy will consist of:
- Limitations: quests, skills, oxygen, etc.
- Costs: equipment maintenance, entrance costs for certain activities, fees, penalty mechanics
- Meaningful in-game purchases: equipment, upgrades, crafting, items, etc.
These mechanics are widely considered an industry standard and have been proven to establish robust, stable economic structures time and time again. Why then are these mechanics not present in many blockchain-based games?
In short, development teams operating at the vanguard of blockchain gaming generally possess plenty of experience capitalizing on opportunities and developing businesses in new and exciting areas, but often lack development expertise and knowledge specific to video games.
In many cases, the enthusiasm surrounding the potential of blockchain-based games can cause developers to prioritize tokenization or blockchain integrations over these crucial gaming compounds, which are often overlooked and neglected by other blockchain games.
Basic P2I/P2E Mechanics (in-game)
P2E poses an even more interesting challenge to developers seeking to establish stable economic models. Gameplay loops and overall design must be centered around a sustainable, long-term model, namely, efficient management of supply and demand.
Firstly, Dark Frontiers will feature a necessary buy-in cost and demand for NFTs in the form of spacesuits for all new players. Secondly, all items, from equipment required to gather various sources to various weaponry and spaceships, are represented on-chain as non-fungible tokens.
Thirdly, NFTs will follow a tiered system that will give them different stats and random abilities to allow variety and customization for players’ characters and builds. Finally, NFT items will be craftable, upgradable, and even mergeable, allowing for a more in-depth and personalized experience.
Through these mechanics, Dark Frontiers establishes built-in recurring demand for NFT items in the game.
While the initial batches of NFTs will be supplied on the marketplace, Dark Frontiers’ non-fungible tokens will eventually be crafted in-game by the players who will have to gather resources, conquer enemies, complete quests, level up skills, and challenge game bosses to acquire the necessary materials.
This mechanic will further provide the ability to profit from the main economy loop. For those players not in the late to end stages of game content, gathering resources in different game areas from the environment, enemies, questing, and selling them to players in need or non-player characters (NPCs) will provide them with alternative opportunities to earn.
Similar to some blockchain titles, Dark Frontiers will feature an additional system of in-game credits: DFCC (Dark Frontiers Corp Credits). Due to the very high number and frequency of in-game transactions, these credits will not be on the blockchain but can be converted to $DFCC (Dark Frontiers Corp Credits).
$DARK will play a central role in Dark Frontiers as well. $DARK will be necessary for all activities related to NFTs such as crafting, upgrading, and merging. As you may recall, all items from spacesuits and resource gathering equipment to various weapons and spaceships in Dark Frontiers will be non-fungible tokens with different stats and even random abilities that present the possibility for different player or activity builds, value, and a wide variety of combinations.
The goal of having dual tokens is to provide more stability and control for the overall value in the Dark Frontiers economy. Finally, game resource prices and costs will be tied to real-world token values, trading volumes, and an active player base — thus flexible and able to adjust to the actual market conditions.
Advanced P2I/P2E Mechanics (outside of the game)
The P2I and P2E systems present in the Dark Frontiers ecosystem aren’t limited to in-game mechanics. In addition to recurring demand for in-game NFT assets, Dark Frontiers incorporates land and spacesuit staking mechanics within the Dark Frontiers marketplace.
The Dark Frontiers marketplace, launched on April 20th, provides players with a number of advantages in order to encourage its use as opposed to external or third-party marketplaces. Consisting of a store and an auction section managed by the Dark Frontiers team, and player-driven community store and auction section, the Dark Frontiers marketplace offers a 90% profit portion to sellers, with the remaining 10% directed towards burning, and land staking and community rewards.
Players that possess land in Dark Frontiers are able to receive rewards for their land assets, promoting stability within the Dark Frontiers economy. Owning land prevents large-scale sell-offs of $DARK tokens, ensuring economic stability within the Dark Frontiers ecosystem while simultaneously rewarding players that hold land assets.
Spacesuit staking allows players to stake their spacesuit assets prior to the launch of Dark Frontiers, stabilizing $DARK token movement and providing spacesuit holders with additional rewards.
Dark Frontiers spacesuit NFTs, recently launched via a Binance NFT sale that sold out within just 20 minutes, play a critical role within the Dark Frontiers gameplay loop. Spacesuits are critical items for players of all levels, with higher tier spacesuits providing additional benefits such as protection from attacks, faster movement speed, and other powerful advantages.
Spacesuit staking mechanics will be present only until the launch of the game at which point spacesuit staking will be replaced by spacesuit renting, allowing players to rent their spacesuit assets to other players in order to generate profit. Prior to the launch of the game, spacesuit staking incentivizes players to refrain from selling their spacesuits and further stabilize the Dark Frontiers economy.
The rewards provided to players for holding land and staking spacesuits within the Dark Frontiers economy are derived from adoption incentives and the 10% Dark Frontiers marketplace fee — 5% of all marketplace fees are redirected toward the Dark Frontiers community and staking rewards, while the remaining 5% is burned automatically.
By creating carefully balanced gameplay loops and mechanics that encourage consistent ongoing demand for in-game NFT assets and rewarding players that participate in the Dark Frontiers economy, Dark Frontiers ensures that $DARK tokens provide critical utility functions within both the Dark Frontiers in-game and external markets.
Additional P2I/P2E mechanics such as land holding minimize the drift, accumulation, or mass sale of $DARK while rewarding players, while pre-launch mechanics such as spacesuit staking ensures the stability of $DARK during development.
Dark Frontiers is created first and foremost as a game to be played and enjoyed, with $DARK functioning as the primary economic vehicle through which players will trade with each other, craft unique and powerful equipment, and explore the universe of Dark Frontiers.
About Dark Frontiers
“Dark Frontiers” is the newest, gamified space realm governed by a Gamestarter produced DAO. As NFT standards and values are shifting towards promoting use-cases, Dark Frontiers’ goal is to drive mainstream adoption by enhancing the usability of NFTs through staking, item ownership, and the creation of real-world value through in-game items.
Embarking on the gamified metaverse, players will pilot their own spaceship and conquer new planets, defeat oppositions, form guilds and capture new and unique NFTs that can either be built on or sold on the open markets.
The $DARK token in Dark Frontiers will cover an array of opportunities. For players interested in dominating entire sections of a universe, say, by owning a moon, or a planet, they can use this digital plot of land to earn interest on their $DARK. The token will not only be used for staking, but players can also purchase and upgrade their starship Galactica’s using $DARK. After upgrading your ship for universal domination, you are prepared to stand head-to-head with other opponents that are in your way!