- DeFi Kingdoms Dueling Guide: Something is Better than Nothing - November 4, 2022
- Infinite Fleet Game Overview - October 30, 2022
- Best NFT marketplaces for gamers: All About Those Non-Fungible Tokens - October 9, 2022
The world of web3 gaming is a dangerous place for creative ideas. For every successful game that’s managed to sustain both community and economy, there are a dozen games that didn’t. The road to success in web3 is littered with broken projects and dead coins.
So when a game succeeds in web3 gaming–by whatever standards one places upon it–it is usually received with much acclaim. Hoorays and Congrats pepper the project’s social media as players celebrate the milestone.
I’m still waiting for Cryptoblades’ celebration party.
Somehow, this humble yet relentless game has survived for well over a year in the crypto gaming space. And while it’s seen its fair share of ups and down along the way, the community is fierce to defend their beloved game.
Cryptoblades may not have the flashy animations of Axie Infinity, the pixelated emotions of DeFi Kingdoms, or the high-quality art of Splinterlands (of course I’m joking, relax). Still, it does have PVP, dungeon raids, and a robust player-driven marketplace.
Welcome to another web3 game guide by yours truly. So far, I’ve educated you about Enjin-based games, Ethereum-based games, and I’ve shown you the wide world of Axie Infinity rip-offs.
Today, let me take you on a tour of the laid-back atmosphere, the wildly unprofessional attitude, and the shady shit going on behind the curtains of the one and only Cryptoblades.
Key Info Up Front
Allow me the honor of summing up this game in a single sentence.
In Cryptoblades, you buy these dudes (sorry ladies) who are NFTs and use them to quest or raid or duel other players, but there’re also swords and armor and junk items to forge or sell on the marketplace, not to mention you can burn your dudes and weapons to get dust which buffs your other dudes and weapons which allows you to earn more SKILL–the native token–with each action you take throughout the game.
And that is just the tip of this elemental iceberg.
What Is Cryptoblades?
Cryptoblades is an NFT play-to-earn game based on fantasy combat with multiple ways to fight, strategize, and earn. It’s a game where everything you do revolves around taking your NFT character with their NFT swords and fighting NFT monsters to earn cryptocurrency as a reward.
And that’s about it. It’s not a metaverse, so you can’t interact with other players except through PVP duels. It doesn’t come with virtual land and doesn’t let players create their own NFTs, aside from generating more swords and characters.
It does, however, come with a secondary market entirely driven by players. There are characters, swords, customization items, and all sorts of junk to buy on the marketplace.
Crpytoblades And Web3
Cryptoblades isn’t built on a single blockchain. No, that would be too easy for this ambitious title. They deployed across seven chains.
The game is entirely playable on each blockchain; players won’t miss out on features by only using one and neglecting others. But this then begs the question, why is Cryptoblades deployed on so many blockchains?
In short: Interoperability.
While plenty of web3 games out there exist entirely on a single blockchain, many of them attempt to exist on several. This allows them to use more than one currency when onboarding new players.
Say, for example, we will play a web3 game built on the Enjin blockchain. This means to onboard our money into the game, we will need some Enjin coins. If the game were built on the Avalanche blockchain, we’d need some AVAX coins to play.
Some players don’t have the ability to transfer their currency on the fly, usually because of regulations enforced by their government. Meaning, once they have AVAX tokens, they’re stuck with AVAX tokens for a while. So if there’s a game on Enjin, they can’t play that game, they only have AVAX tokens. And it may take hefty fees and many business days to convert their AVAX to Enjin.
To alleviate this problem, some games build on multiple chains. This makes it easier to onboard new players. Instead of forcing every would-be player to find some Enjin tokens, they can instead use one of the tokens they already own, like MATIC or AVAX or Ethereum.
Some games use bridges, connections that ‘bridge’ the gap between different blockchain environments–Harmony to Avalance, Solana to Polygon. But bridges are hella sketchy, and pretty much every large-scale crypto hack in recent memory capitalized on the vulnerability of blockchain bridges.
Other games choose to build their entire game multiple times on multiple blockchains. It’s a serious investment of time, and the smart contracts that run the game must be adapted to the differences in each blockchain layer. But if done correctly, it’s the most scalable and secure way to build a blockchain game.
And Cryptoblades is one of the few games to do it successfully across not just two or three blockchains, but SEVEN.
Their approach isn’t as secure as it was initially; they’ve since added bridges for players to quickly move assets from one chain to another. Which brings up the age-old tradeoff between the two: do you want more security but less convenience, or do you want more convenience and less security? Can’t have both.
Some blockchains are better than others. But in the end, it depends on which blockchain you prefer. I already play games on Polygon and AVAX, so I had plenty of those coins to put into Cryptoblades. Which leads me to the next major web3 aspect of Cryptoblades:
SKILL and How To Get It
SKILL is the native token in Cryptoblades. So you’ll need a bunch of it to do anything in the game.
Yes, you also need one of the coins I just mentioned above. But once you have that token, you’ll need to convert it into SKILL to start playing Cryptoblades. But you’ll also need to keep some of that precursor token to use as gas fees when you play.
If you’re new to web3 games, that’s probably a lot to take in. But in case you didn’t know: anything you do on a blockchain requires gas fees. Your goal, then, is to find the blockchain with the lowest gas fees.
Hint: it’s not Ethereum.
SKILL is used to do anything and everything in Cryptoblades, and it’s also the token you’ll receive as a reward for your actions. Want to mint your first NFT character? You’ll need some SKILL. Are you buying a weapon in the marketplace, collecting upgrade dust, or burning characters to get soul power? SKILL, SKILL, and more SKILL.
SKILL is a legit cryptocurrency and can be purchased on several swaps. The easiest way to get some SKILL is through the Cryptoblades platform. Just connect your wallet, click the “Buy more SKILL” button, and convert your tokens over. The good news is once you start grinding your way through the game, you should be earning enough SKILL from your characters that you don’t need to convert any more tokens over.
Who Made Cryptoblades?
The company behind Cryptoblades is called Riveted Games. They’ve been around since 2014 and have a few awards to show for their work. Previous projects include games like Magic Connect! and Lightspeed Frontier.
There is little to be learned about Riveted Games. They keep transparency to a minimum, which is a bit of a red flag, and they don’t update their official documents very often. Or at all.
The CEO of Riveted Games is Philip Devine. He’s first and foremost a game developer, but his leadership and project management skills put him at the forefront of the company.
According to official Cryptoblades documents, there are only five other employees in all of Riveted Games.
- Cryptoblades doesn’t update their white paper or website very often. And by very often, I mean they haven’t done it in the past seven months.
- The development team is much bigger than six people. There’s a community development manager and partnership acquisitions, and yadda yadda yadda. But since Cryptoblades doesn’t update their documents, we have no idea who these mystery employees are.
- These mystery employees sometimes pop up in Discord to drop info on the players, but they are serious about keeping their profiles anonymous. No faces, no names, no socials.
That does not inspire confidence in me. Transparency in web3 is essential for building trust in a project. If I don’t know who’s behind a project, I’m not joining it. Period.
The silver lining here is that I don’t think this lack of transparency is anything nefarious. The atmosphere at Cryptoblades seems incredibly chill. Laid back. ‘We’ll get to it when we get to it,’ kind of attitude.
Why do I think this? Because Cryptoblades was just at NFT Expoverse, a large web3 convention in California, and the entire team was out in public. People could ask questions, demo the game, and sit down with the team.
So it’s not that they’re necessarily hiding. It’s that they have other things to do.
As I said, they’ll get to it when they get to it.
How Do You Play Cryptoblades?
Oh boy, that is a question with many answers attached to it.
There’s a lot to do in Cryptoblades. I don’t look at the gameplay of Cryptoblades as gameplay per se, but as actions to perform that increase my daily rewards. If you’re expecting to join a game with tight combat mechanics or deep lore, it’s not Cryptoblades.
Before I break down the core elements of Cryptoblades and how to play, let me explain what items you need to play in the first place.
- Native blockchain currency
You can only have four characters in your roster at a time. To get your first character, head to the plaza and mint it. With each character you mint, the price of minting goes up 10%. Each character is tied to a specific element, which doesn’t matter much now but will down the road. So if you have a preferred element, keep minting until your roster of four is complete. Any heroes that don’t fit into your roster will be sent to your garrison.
Once you have your character, head to the blacksmith and mint your first few weapons. You’ll want to forge weapons with the same elements as your characters. The price of each forge will likewise go up 10% each time. If you’re feeling rich, you can instead head over to the bazaar and buy some buffed-up weapons for a higher price.
Got your characters? Got your weapons? Still have some SKILL left over? And you’ve got MATIC, SKALE or AVAX in your wallet to cover gas fees? Alright! Then we’re good to go.
See that button in the top right corner that says “PLAY TO EARN”?
You’ll be shown three options: adventure, raid, and arena.
Adventure consists of PVE battles. You can only do one battle with one character at a time. Pick your character, pick the amount of stamina you’d like them to use, and pick their weapon. You should choose the weapon that matches their element. Now you’ll be shown four different enemies to fight. They have different power levels, different rewards, and offer different amounts of experience. At the top of the adventure screen, you’ll see a helpful graphic that shows the cycle of elements in Cryptoblades.
Fire beats grass.
Grass beats electric.
Electric beats water.
Water beats fire.
So if you have a fire character with a fire weapon, you should be looking for a grass enemy. Or at least not a water enemy. Click the enemy you want to battle, cover the gas fee, and wait for the digital dice to roll. If you win, a results page will pop up and display how much you won.
Raids are still PvE, but they’re against a single raid boss. Think dungeon raids from World of Warcraft back in the day (do people still play that game anymore?). You join a group of 20-50 other players, combine your powers, and battle the boss to earn some sweet, sweet loot.
On the raid page, you’ll see all the details about the upcoming fight: when it’s happening, the boss at the end of the raid, and the potential rewards. Pick the character you want to go raiding–you can only pick one at a time–then pick the weapon they’ll use. It’ll cost stamina and durability to enter the raid, and once your character is signed up, they can’t do anything else till it’s over. But raids offer an easy way to snatch up some rare rewards.
The arena is where players go head to head in PVP duels, duking it out to see who’s badest of the bad. The arena is a wholly different monster than the rest of Cryptoblades and shouldn’t be attempted unless your characters are a high level, and I’m talking at least 50. It costs SKILL to enter the arena, where you can be attacked anytime. If you leave the arena before you’ve entered a duel, it will also cost SKILL. So PVP can stack up some hefty SKILL fees quickly, and if your character is weak compared to other players, you’re just wasting time and money. The arena shouldn’t be entered until you’re generating a good bit of SKILL from your other heroes, you have a five-star weapon of the correct element, a shield, and are ready to strategize.
Quests may exist outside the Play To Earn tab, but it’s still part of how you play Cryptoblades. Quests are a way to earn more rewards and items for your characters. Often they don’t cost stamina, so you can do them alongside your adventure or raid. When you complete a quest, you get a reward and a small number of reputation points. The more reputation points you earn, the rarer quests you’re offered. And the rarer the quest, the better the rewards. Quests can be anything from submitting two weapons of two-star quality to completing a raid.
You’re allowed one free quest skip per day, which resets the quest to something else.
Quests are often a better way of collecting rewards than raiding, as you can do them without consuming stamina and you can you see the exact reward you’ll receive.
Ah, the chaotic bazaar. It’s the player-driven marketplace of Cryptoblades, and it has everything you need to play the game AND MORE.
Sure, it has powerful weapons and pre-leveled characters for you to buy, but it also has rename tags so you can rename your characters, it has potions, it has land deeds (when they’re not sold out), and tons of customization options.
In short, it’s a great place to spend lots of SKILL. So don’t go overboard.
When first starting out, I was tired of rolling the dice with weapon forging and just went straight to the bazaar. It cost less SKILL in the end, and I got a super powerful weapon. When I forge or receive a powerful weapon now and don’t have a character to pair it with, I put it up for sale. The bazaar offers lots of options for Cryptoblades, both necessary and unnecessary.
Making Money In Cryptoblades
When I first started playing Cryptoblades, I focused on nothing but adventure. Mainly because it was the most direct way to grow my SKILL balance and because it was the most straightforward part of the game.
But it can also be the most boring.
After I understood more about the project, I branched out to complete a few quests and tried my hand at a raid. I realized the gameplay of Cryptoblades is synergistic. Don’t do what I did and focus on just one aspect of the game. Play all of it.
The more raids you go on, the more weapons, dust, and junk you get. And the more junk you get, the easier it is to complete quests asking for junk. The more dust you have, the more powerful you can make your weapons. And the more weapons you have, the more you put for sale in the bazaar.
The more quests you complete, the more items you have. The more items you have, the more you can sell and burn. The more you sell and burn, the more SKILL you have. The more SKILL you have, the more you can do in Cryptoblades.
I was narrow-sighted, focusing on just adventure. Yes, it’s the quickest way to build your SKILL wealth, but it’s not the only way.
While there are advanced strategies to maximize yield in Cryptoblades, they all require a lot of work for not much more reward. The easiest way to make money in Cryptoblades is just to play the game. The better you get, the more you accumulate, the more you make.
Another reason I only focused on adventure initially was because that’s all I had the money to do. I only put in about $25-$30 with my first Cryptoblades investment. I figured that was more than enough to explore the game a bit. I was wrong. It was just barely enough to get weapons and characters and adventure. So then, what is a good initial investment for Cryptoblades? Well thankfully, Philip and his team give a reasonable estimate of what you’re looking at.
So if you want to reach that self-sustaining level where you’re making so much from playing the game that you can cover your gas fees, compound your rewards, and still have SKILL to play around with, then you’re looking at ~ $150 investment.
Now, you’re earning a % of that back each month. Hell, you’re earning a % of that back every day you play. But if you don’t have hundreds of dollars to throw at a game, maybe stick with Pokemon and Left 4 Dead for now.
The Future Of Cryptoblades
Bear markets are hard to weather for even the most prominent established institutions. They are terrifying maelstroms for smaller projects. While Cryptoblades has been around for a while, they aren’t a massive entity in the web3 community. They’ve managed to survive the bear market thus far, but not unscathed.
Recently there was a long post in Cryptoblades’ discord channel–which they use more often than their website or email address–about how they’ve been adapting and changing to the difficult times. They altered how their rewards are paid out; they withdrew their focus from partnering with other crypto games to double down on their own community; they invested less in their metaverse and more in their current gameplay.
In short, the post summarized Philip’s and the team’s commitment to sticking around and building even in the bear market.
Potential Pitfalls/Red Flags
- They don’t update their white paper.
- Their website has inaccurate info on it.
- Their development team is half hidden.
- They focused more on partnerships than building their game for seven months.
- They come up with tokenomics on the fly.
Yeah. That’s a big list, considering most games have only one or two items. Most of the list pertains to their lack of tokenomics and in-game economy. If they updated their white paper, it should have their full tokenomics on it. Instead, this is what you’ll find…
THAT’S IT. THAT’S THEIR ENTIRE ECONOMY. 5 FUCKING SENTENCES.
That is so wildly unprofessional, I don’t even know where to start.
But wait, there’s more!
Let’s talk about how convoluted and manipulated their payout system is.
So, you have a bunch of SKILL accumulated and want to withdraw it and convert it to BTC so you can put it in your savings. Cool.
In order for you to withdraw your SKILL, there needs to be SKILL in your blockchain’s treasury.
But even if there’s SKILL in your treasury, you must wait for the multiplier to be one or as close to one as possible. Otherwise, you’ll lose most of your money.
See that multiplier right there? See how it’s red? See how it says x.03240? That means whatever amount of SKILL you withdraw will be multiplied by that number.
I don’t know how good at math you are, but this results in a SMALLER NUMBER THAN YOUR BALLANCE.
If I tried to withdraw .0642 SKILL, I’d actually only get .0209 SKILL.
Expand that out. If I tried to withdraw 64.20 SKILL, I’d actually only get 20.90 SKILL.
I can’t stress this enough, but THAT’S A FUCKING HUGE RED FLAG.
First of all, the treasury runs out of SKILL all the time. It’s only refilled every few months, and that multiplier is only at one for a few hours. If you don’t withdraw within minutes of the treasury being refilled, you’re literally losing money. Your SKILL is stuck in the game indefinitely.
That is so manipulative and controlling. Suddenly the possibility of earning disappears almost entirely.
Play to earn? Earn what?
If there’s no way for me to get my money back out of this game, then why did I invest in the first place?
Looking for a game where you quest with NFT heroes and earn passive income for your work? Looking for a game where you have access to your funds at any time and aren’t manipulated by charismatic liars?
Head over to DeFi Kingdoms. Purchase yourself some cool, pixelated NFT heroes, and get to conquering the land.
At no point will you have to wonder when you can pull money out of the game. At no point will you question the project’s tokenomics–or even wonder what they are.
DeFi Kingdoms is a solidly built game with more financial backing, a stronger community, and a fully doxxed dev team.
Tell ’em Victor sent you.
Question: I have all this junk in my inventory and don’t know what to do with it?
Answer: Use them in quests. Sometimes you’ll get quests that ask you to submit junk based on its star level. That’s the best use for junk in Cryptoblades.
Question: How can a game exist if that’s all they show for their white paper?
Answer: I am constantly shocked and appalled at how few people actually read the white paper or pitch deck. Many don’t understand what they’re looking at anyways.
Question: What is Cryptoblades Kingdoms? Is it related to Cryptoblades somehow?
Answer: Yes. Kingdoms is the metaverse aspect of Crpytoblades. But it’s gone nowhere. Many land deeds were sold, but the dev team bit off more than they could chew. They’ve since doubled down on Cryptoblades’ gameplay.
Web3 is full of games for players to enjoy. But players should do extensive research before investing in any project. And they should ask themselves, why am I playing this game?
To be a part of the crypto community?
To be an early adopter in a web3 project?
To earn passive income?
Cryptoblades is a game with a passionate a loyal community; you can talk to any of them on Twitter or Discord. It’s a game that’s survived for over a year in a deadly and dangerous industry. But that survival is less from their skills or capabilities and more from them flying under the radar, hoping no one notices the blatantly shady shit they’re pulling behind the scenes.
For more interesting reading check out: