原文标题：《 有望 2023 年公测！最受期待的 Web3 3A 游戏 Illuvium 如何上手？ 》
Source: Crypto Saving Expert
Bai Ze Research Institute
Cryptocurrency-based Web3 gaming/GameFi is growing rapidly, and as Marketwatch predicts in a report, the total value of the Web3 gaming industry could reach tens of billions of dollars by 2028. Web3 games with integrated NFT (irreplaceable tokens) allow players to buy, own, and sell their game assets or rent them out for passive income, opening up multiple avenues for potential player revenue. Many objects in the game can be generated as NFT, including land, buildings, skins, items, and vehicles.
The difference between Web3 games and traditional games is that you get native crypto tokens in the game. Some games also feature earned or collectable NFT, which can then be sold to other players on OpenSea or dedicated markets, providing another source of income for players.
In this article, I'll introduce Illuvium, one of the most promising Web3 games, and then evaluate the overall quality of the game based on its graphics, animation, and design. I'll evaluate the professionalism of the game based on its funding and investment, as well as the progress of the roadmap. It also analyzes the fun of the game, the existing community, the cost of playing the game, the P2E model mechanics, and the player monetization opportunities.
Type: Sandbox role-playing game
Blockchain: Ethereum/Immutable X
Platform: PC and Mac apps
Development stage: private test (starting from September 2022)
Illuvium is one of the largest Web3 games by market capitalization today, with its token currently valued at $70 million and its fully circulated token valued at around $500 million, and is one of the few major games built on Ethereum.
Illuvium is an engaging open-world role-playing game (RPG).
The spacecraft is accidentally destroyed, and you survive as an interplanetary explorer, trying to survive on this beautiful but dangerous planet called Illuvium. On this planet, there are gods called Illuvials.
You come to realize that you can capture and control Illuvial using crystal "Shards". God beasts vary due to rarity and attributes, with over 100 species. Each god beast has a stat, and gods with similar stats can be combined to increase their combat power. You can also create new hybrid monsters with two different stats that are more powerful in battle.
As an explorer, your job is to explore this planet and uncover its mysteries; Hunt, fight, and conquer rare and valuable gods on the planet. Among these gods, there is one of the rarest, golden appearance of the gods, after the player capture, can get high profits.
In addition to exploring and collecting, many players will enjoy the PvP battle mode, where you can take on other players with captured Illuvial beasts and even bet on the outcome of the battle.
Illuvium has an online marketplace where you can trade the NFT of the Beast.
As with all good open world RPGS, you can mine, find resources to make things like armor and weapons, heal or enhance gods, and capture new gods. These resources can also be sold to others in the market.
Illuvium is an astonishingly detailed Web3 game that uses the Unreal 5 engine to bring players an imaginative feast of alien landscapes filled with various psychedelic plants and animals in breathtaking environments.
There are over 100 Illuvial beasts in the game, each one unique and beautiful." As Illuvium's lead concept artist Rogier Van De Beek explains, "Each of them has to have its own distinct character, and even when lined up on the same stage, the player can see that they have different personalities."
Players will be able to explore a huge "sandbox" environment covering the entire Illuvium planet. There are six main regions of the planet, ranging from the dark and foreboding Shardbluff Labyrinth (Shad Bluff Labyrinth) in the north to the verdant and windy Brightland Steppes (Brightland Steppes) in the east. Each area is divided into eight smaller areas. Each region has its own climate, life forms and resources.
The game team even recorded their own voices to fit their vision for the game.
The animation in the game is rich and wonderful, and the game experience is smooth and seamless. You can zoom in on certain areas with your mouse, even in combat, allowing the player to "be there". Before each battle, you can arrange Illuvial positions on the battlefield according to your strategy, such as putting the bloodier "tank" in front to protect the bloodier beast or to fend off ranged attacks.
The game runs on the Unreal 5 engine as a deterministic C++ coded simulation, which means the game is fast and responsive. On the back end, the game is built on top of the Amazon Web Services (AWS) advanced architecture, facilitating scalability. The game is protected using AMS services CloudWatch, GuardDuty, Inspector, Detective, and Security Hub.
Overall, Illuvium is a highly polished game already in private beta. Beautiful graphics and smooth animation make the game a AAA quality game. Illuvium was recently nominated for awards in five categories (Game of the Year, Most Anticipated Game, Best Graphics, Best Action Game, and Best Role-playing Game) at the first Polkastarter Game Contest, culminating in Illuvium winning the Best Role-playing Game award.
Game quality score: 85
Illuvium was co-founded in 2020 by Kieran, Aaron and Grant, brothers of Synthetix DeFi founder Kian Warwick, and has since grown to include about 200 team members from around the world. According to the white paper, the team is constantly evolving and they are "committed to bringing in the best and most promising professionals" and will eventually grow to around 1,000 people. Illuvium's structure is also a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) that provides $ILV token holders with pledged revenue and governance rights over the game.
Kieran Warwick -- Co-founder and CEO; The Australian entrepreneur and cryptocurrency enthusiast also set up Blueshyft, the world's first over-the-counter cryptocurrency trading platform, before teaming up with his brother to develop DeFi protocol Synthetix. Kieran is also co-founder of Oracle Ventures, a crypto venture capital (VC) firm.
Aaron Warwick -- Co-founder, game designer and story Lead; Aaron is a big fan of games and sports and runs two sports centers in Australia. He studied computer engineering and physics at the University of Wollongong in Australia, where he developed an interest in game design and coding.
John Avery -- Chief Technology Officer, 20 years of experience in gaming and financial services.
Nate Wells -- Game producer, has worked on games for 20 years, including BioShock, BioShock Infinite, The Last of Us and Rise of the Tomb Raider.
Danny Wilson -- Chief Financial Officer Danny is a respected chief financial officer and adviser who has helped lead the rapid growth of multi-million pound market cap businesses. He has also advised many Web3 start-ups in areas critical to the success of blockchain projects, including token economics, attracting VCs, partnerships, integrating DAOs, IDO, money management, exchange listings.
Illuvium's team also includes a lead server engineer, a modeler, an animator, and a concept artist, so they seem to be developing most of the project themselves. Illuvium also outsources its environmental 3D design to other studios, such as Onyx.
Illuvium raised $5 million in its seed round from Framework Ventures, a well-respected venture capital firm. Ten other VC companies and gaming guilds also provide support, including Yield Guild Games (YGG), Bitscale, and IOSG Ventures. And at least ten private investors, including Stani Kulechov, founder of Aave, Sebastien Borget, founder of SandBox, and Anton Bukov, founder of 1Inch.
Illuvium has divided its roadmap into two parts: technical and sales.
So far the sales roadmap has been completed, with all token sales and the first virtual land sale (for Zero mode) now closed. The $ILV token is currently traded on UniSwap, SushiSwap, Binance, Coinbase and KuCoin.
The technology roadmap is ongoing, and the "completed" phases include: initial prototype, transition to Unreal 5 engine, token smart contract, first movie trailer, Unit Agriculture V1, trailer for auto combat feature, and Unit Agriculture V2. The project has been in private beta in Arena mode since March 2022 and in private beta in Main World Mode since December 12 2022. Zero mode is said to be "coming soon."
The roadmap was released without a clear target date. However, in an article written on January 13, 2021, Illuvium noted that "Illuvium is still in development and is expected to be released in the third quarter of 2021." This shows that the game has fallen far behind its original schedule.
Project professionalism score: 79
Illuvium is easily reminiscent of a darker version of the Pokemon series. Your goal is to explore the planet Illuvium and collect as many powerful beasts as possible. Each godbeast has its own stats, and when upgraded to the highest level, two godbeasts can merge to create a more powerful and rarer hybrid godbeast.
Alternatively, you can combine three identical beasts (called Illuvial) and augment them to a higher level, with three stages of reinforcement. For example, three Atlas can be combined to produce an Axon. You can then enter Arena mode and Axon will appear as a card. Then you can set up monster formations against other players or AI bots.
As of this writing, Illuvium Arena is in private beta. Arena Mode is further divided into three types, Survival, Ascendance, and Leviathan. In Survival, you battle wave after wave of AI-controlled gods, and the player who makes it to the top of the leaderboard wins $ILV tokens. In Ascendance, you're playing against other players, but the level of the beast is the same, so the mode is more of a test of strategy, which means zero-krypton players will have a chance to win against paying players. In Leviathan, players can challenge other players, but there are no levels, and spectators can bet on the winner of the match.
The battle mechanics in Arena Mode are all turn-based, so you have to set up formations against your opponent. You need to add powerups and armor to Illuvial, or a combination of them, before the autocombat begins. The game provides data on your opponent's monster as a "guide" to your opponent's strengths and weaknesses.
You can choose the number and type of Illuvial to place in the arena, as well as the number of items and armor you can use on the beast, depending on how many mastery points you have. Allocating mastery points properly for subsequent turns is key to your success in combat.
An interesting part of Illuvium is the main world. This mode is a third person shooter where you explore the entire planet and when you encounter different divine beasts (Illuvial), you try to fight and capture them. The main world will also include a "mining" element that you can upgrade with Polymorphic Subordinate drones to enhance your ability to scan and mine resources.
As of December 12, the Main World Mode is in private beta. In the demo video, you can see the enhanced armor of the player-controlled character, which is able to sprint over speed, make huge jumps, and fly using a "jetpack," making navigating vast terrain faster and more fun.
If you're a big fan of mining, crafting, and selling resources in other role-playing games, you'll definitely want to participate in Illuvium's Zero Mode. Like a meta-universe platform, in a city where you own virtual land, you can harvest important resources to sell to other players, or use them to build factories.
The vast expanse and eight different areas of Illuvium's world means that it takes a lot of time to explore. The variety of Illuvial beasts and complex game mechanics also add to the longevity of the game. The development team will periodically add more gods in the future, and the original gods will be phased out to keep the game fresh and challenging.
The team said they are committed to the long-term expansion and Illuvium, with plans to add numerous modes and mini-games in the future. Illuvium's mobile version will be developed once the PC game is officially released. It is rumored that Illuvium will gradually add more modes, including multiplayer online arenas, real-time strategy, and first-person shooters.
Illuvium will initially be available only on the PC, but will be added to the mobile version later (Illuvium Zero will be the first mode available on mobile). To play the game, you need to connect to the Ethereum wallet and link to Ethereum L2 Immutable X. This relatively time-consuming process can hinder the experience of game players without encryption experience.
Illuvium's community is growing, with 192,000 Discord members, 347,000 Twitter followers, and numerous followers in YouTube, Twitch, and Instagram groups. Their Discord community is very active, with moderators answering questions within seconds to minutes. Outstanding team members are also participating in Discord, and reach out to them directly.
Discord members can enter quests and contests to win prizes. For example, Illuvium is currently running a 25-day Christmas quest where players have the opportunity to win prizes from Illuvium or partner games, These include the Illuvium Christmas NFTs, the Illuvium Virtual Land, the $ILV token, the sILV, the MagicCraft NFTs and the Razer Gaming keyboard, mouse and headset.
Fun and community score: 78
Designing sustainable and successful economic models is key to the success of GameFi's games. If a development team chooses to use the Play-to-Earn token model, a good balance between supply and demand is required if the tokens are to survive in the long run. One aspect of driving demand is the development of interesting games that generate interest and attract speculators to buy tokens. However, this in itself is not enough to ensure that tokens add value or at least maintain their value; a healthy player-driven game economy is essential.
Illuvium is developing an innovative GameFi system that combines P2E, player demand for in-game resources and item NFT, DeFi pledge, and DAO governance.
Illuvium's main world allows players to start games without any upfront costs. As with traditional games, you just log in, customize your character, and start exploring the world. While playing for free limits how quickly you can make money and get into the game area, it doesn't stop you from leveling up.
The game offers ways to make your character more profitable with a small investment. Each player's character is equipped with a Polymorphic Subordinate Drone (PSD) that you can use to dig for crystal "shards" that can be used to capture the divine beast (Illuvial). If you can capture the most powerful and rarest of the beasts, you can sell them on the Illuvium market for a substantial profit. However, you need "Fuel" (an in-game resource purchased for $ETH) to solidify the "Shard" before you can use it.
Fuel is a key resource for many of Illuvium's activities, such as building in Zero mode, traveling to different areas, curing shards, upgrading and healing Illuvial, and forging equipment and armor. You can buy virtual land and mine fuel in Zero mode. Virtual land currently starts at around 0.34 ETH and allows the landowner or tenant to extract some of the fuel from the land and sell it to other players. You can't "get very far" in the game without buying fuel.
You can also use PSD to mine for a variety of other resources scattered across the planet's surface, including minerals and rare gems. Using these resources and some fuel, you can build weapons and armor. These items can be sold on IlluviDEX to generate revenue for players. However, the best weapons and armor are made from the rarest materials, which can only be found in higher level areas. Free players can only enter Level 1 areas, but the higher the level of the area, the more fuel it costs to enter.
$ILV tokens are rewarded in-game for completing quests, challenges, PvP/ tournament rankings, missions, etc. It is not clear how profitable these missions are. The team has allocated $1 million worth of $ILV tokens currently to players for in-game revenue.
$ILV token Economics and Pledge
The maximum supply of $ILV tokens is 10 million tokens, of which 1 million will be allocated to players' in-game earnings, 2 million will be purchased by early investors, and 3 million will be issued as a pledge bonus. The 1.5 million ILVs belonging to the development team were unlocked in March 2022, when they received 1/36 of the tokens, and the remaining tokens will be unlocked every month until March 2024. Holders of $ILV tokens have the right to vote on proposals to change the game protocol through the DAO governance system.
Illuvium currently runs $ILV and $ILV/ETH pledge pools, core pools, and higher yield working capital pools (LPS) on SushiSwap. These pools are based on Balancer Liquidity Bootstrapping, which uses a variable weighting of assets to extract more capital value from a small amount of liquidity. The weighting starts at 96:4, rather than the 50:50 weighting set up in a regular pool of money, which usually causes prices to fall. The team listed the token at a high price of $90 to make that happen. The demand for tokens (discussed below) reduces the number of tokens in the pool, but their value must match the weight, so the price of the token rises to maintain this balance.
Hype around the project led to the $ILV token reaching a record high price of $1,930 in December 2021, but the price has since fallen back to around $40.
In addition to the distribution of $3 million ILV, the pledge receives as a reward all revenue generated by the game in the form of $ILV, including fuel, merchandise and tournament revenue, which is automatically returned to the pledge pool and locked in for 12 months. However, the pledge wishing to play the game can receive sILV2 instead of $ILV; sILV2 is a game-specific token that can be used as fuel. Once used in the game, sILV2 tokens are destroyed immediately. Therefore, the $3 million ILV is allocated as $ILV and sILV2 for a 12-month lock-in period, as the pledgee can choose either as the pledge reward.
As the amount of $ILV earned in the game and the types of P2E missions available have not been finalized, it is difficult to estimate the player's monetization opportunities in the game. Perhaps the most lucrative money making potential is capturing rare mythical beasts (Illuvial) and mining and making desirable game items for sale on IlluviDex. The most expensive Axie (Dragon Axie) from P2E gaming pioneer Axie Infinity came in at $206,000. Illuvium is far superior to Axie Infinity. If it catches on, the ultra-rare Illuvium NFT could well surpass that price. However, it is also unclear whether the hype generated in the last NFT boom will be replicated in future bull markets.
Another potential source of revenue is winning prizes in Arena mode. Founder Kieran Warwick predicts Illuvium will have the largest esports prize money ever, such as a $25 million tournament prize pool in the game's first year of release, and their goal is to attract prominent tournament sponsors and partners such as Red Bull.
Buying virtual land to produce fuel can also be very profitable, since fuel is an essential resource in the game.
Pledging $ILV or 50:50 $ILV/ETH will provide another lucrative revenue stream, as most of the profits from all Illuvium games (including models created in the future) as well as revenues from merchandise, intellectual property and tournaments will be distributed to the pledge. By holding the token, you can become a member of the DAO and receive 1% of all revenue generated by the game.
Token economics score: 87%
Illuvium is one of the most anticipated Web3 games still in development, and it's easy to see what's getting fans excited. Illuvium won the Best Role-playing Game award at the 2022 Polkastarter Game Contest. Exquisite graphics and smooth animation make it a rare AAA game masterpiece in the crypto industry.
So far, Illuvium's tokenomics seems to be very well designed and should be able to produce a sustainable ecosystem. The development team is keen to make the game economy as fair as possible for everyone, and to return the vast majority of dividends to stakeholders.
Once released, the game will particularly appeal to players who like to collect and deploy strategies, as well as those who have the time to invest and want to learn about encryption. If you prefer a game that is easy to pick up, and think the game's economic model sounds like a headache, then this may not be for you.