Blockchain gaming seems to have passed under the radar since the arrival of artists in the crypto-art sector. However, the prospects for video games using Non-Fungible Tokens are explored every day by independent projects like Nine Chronicles.
Soon after the very beginning of cryptos, the idea of integrating entertainment manifested itself. Making access to the blockchain more fun became a part of being able to encourage people to use this complicated technology, nothing is better than a video game that rewards players for their time spent in the game!
The notion of ‘blockchain gaming’ appeared first with the game Huntercoin in 2013 but it was in 2018 that several projects really adopted the concept to democratize the use of NFTs. In a logic that combines innovative gameplay and decentralization, few games have really managed to find this delicate balance.
While the Huntercoin team is currently working on Taurion, a new game that uses the Xaya blockchain to run, there is another game that is exploring the decentralized experience: Nine Chronicles.
When the game was first announced by Planetarium at the end of 2019 the enthusiasm was unmistakable, a MMORPG where everyone could participate, not only in level creation, but also one that limits the use of a centralized server to run the game as much as possible.
From the outset, the intentions of the development studio were very clear: the game will be open source, serverless and transactions related to purchase of equipment, entry into dungeons or the manufacture of weapons and armor, to be recorded on the blockchain.
Since the inception of the project, the team behind Nine Chronicles has never given up and has continued to develop the project step by step. Firstly they began with an Alpha version which was checked on a testnet to fix all major bugs and then gradually other different features were implemented.
Today the game is in open beta, so anyone can download it and start a quest, trade assets, or help keep the network secure. However, be careful as this is not about ‘play to earn’ but only blockchain gaming. Meaning that the game is intended to run on a blockchain, but there is currently no way to get NFTs or in-game money out of the project.
The game works thanks to the Planetarium blockchain which was developed specifically for the project and although open source, no other game or marketplace uses it.
The most important point of interest in Nine Chronicles lies in the game’s decentralized aspect because it offers anyone the opportunity to participate in its proper functioning, as long as there is at least one person involved in securing the network, the game will exist!
In addition, all the complexity relating to mining has been reduced to a minimum. You just state at the start of the game if you want to participate in mining and then certain resources from your computer are put back to contribute to the community. If your computer isn’t powerful enough, don’t panic, you’re not the only player!
With a less technical aspect to manage, what does this blockchain game have in store for us?
The main gameplay of Nine Chronicles is in the various dungeon quests to be completed. There are now over a hundred levels to complete with the difficulty obviously increasing, but there is also a strategic aspect to take into account.
First and foremost, as in any RPG, your character and enemies are going to have characteristics of health, strength, speed or defense and the clash will be a result of the calculation between you and your opponents. Another parameter to take into account is that of the elements: your weapons and armor will be more or less effective depending on their specialty against enemies.
Fortunately, the game is sufficiently well balanced and you realize you have to finish the same level a few times to collect the components used to make better equipment and move up to the next level!
Each level consists of three waves of enemies and the rewards are earned as soon as the second wave is over. Even you if you die after the second wave, you will still gain upgrade materials and experience.
Tip and tricks: Don’t hesitate to start over the same level several times using the “repeat” button to make sure you have enough materials!
Equipment is a key point in your character’s development. The only way to craft any armor or weapon is through the blacksmith who will ask you for several materials to craft the desired item.
Each piece of gear is unlocked as you progress through the game and comes in three rarity levels. The first level only requires materials but to obtain a more qualitative level (and therefore better bonuses) you will have to spend $NCG. This in-game currency can only be obtained by two means: selling items in the store, or mining.
The blacksmith has another use, being able to improve your items. By combining two objects of the same family and level, he will be able to gain one level and gain better characteristics!
As for the store, a great way to gradually earn $NCG is to sell items that you don’t need anymore in order buy a piece of equipment that the blacksmith has not yet made accessible to you.
Tip and tricks: When you buy, sell, craft or upgrade an item, these are actions that can be rewarded in $NCG if you have opted-in to participate in the game’s mining.
There is also an arena in the game that allows you to compete against other players. Of course, you have the choice of your opponent which allows for fairer fights…although there is a strategic dimension to this part of the game.
As we saw above, there is a synergy between the elements of your equipment that will make your character more or less strong depending on the type of opponent you are going to fight against. To have a better ranking, fighting against players with a high ranking can be a solution but be careful not to be too greedy and risk losing all your PVP battle trials!
Nine Chronicles is a very interesting game thanks to its decentralized dimension but it clearly is still quite difficult for regular gamers accustomed to few loading screens, to get used to it.
There are still many bugs that occur regularly and sometimes cause the progress of the game, or even the creation of items to be lost. This is due to the mining of blocks which are sometimes mined at the same time and require a reorganization of the blockchain for the end user which results in loading times that appear randomly and can be painful to wait for.
That said, the potential of the game is really well utilised and it is particularly interesting that the Planetarium team uses a lot of blockchain resources (like Chainlink and MakerDAO) with the goal of having a completely autonomous game in the long term.
The fact that Ubisoft is interested in this game is not insignificant and even if their interest in the project is not publicly announced, we believe that having a blockchain open to any developer wishing to join an independent universe is a brilliant initiative!
In addition, participation in Proof of Work gives anyone the opportunity to get some $NCG bonuses in the game, breaking the notion of pay-to-win.
There is little doubt that Nine Chronicles is a game to watch closely in future, but right now you need to be patient to overcome its bugs..
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