[Axie] January Dev Update!
Putting a bow on an incredibly productive 2022 with a massive list of updates to share!
We continue to build relentlessly alongside our stalwart community and look forward to a year of steady progress in 2023.
Axie development is proceeding at a blistering pace. Notably, we’ve launched the Axie Infinity Homeland Alpha, shipped a flurry of upgrades to Origins with Season 2, and introduced accessories, a key component of Axie Core.
Ronin Network activity is heating up with the launches of a revamped Mavis Hub, Katana Liquidity Program, and an all new developer portal. RON staking preparations are proceeding smoothly and we have selected an internal launch date to push for.
2023 is off to a blistering start. We are delighted to have ended Q4 with an absolute avalanche of releases and improvements to the ecosystem. As usual, our community is the absolute foundational bedrock upon which all progress rests… so before we get into the updates, we wanted to start off the new year by thanking each and every Lunacian for their steadfast support through the good and more challenging times of 2022. Hopefully many of you are feeling the same level of excitement we are about Axie and it’s long term potential. The momentum is clear, and it’s building rapidly. So hang on, we’ve got a lot to review!
♻️ Ecosystem & Axie Core
In our quest to build an infinite gaming universe, we are hard at work building various core aspects to Axie Infinity, including an underlying lore, recognizable characters, a distinct and beautiful visual style, and various gaming and collector-centric experiences that allow players to engage the universe in varied ways. If you didn’t already see the quick peek into the foundational story of Lunacia, take a look at the “Tales of Lunacia” trailer recently released:
We also announced the concept of Axie Core last month. In the same way that Axies give players access to a growing number of gaming experiences within our ecosystem, Axie Core provides players the means to advance, personalize, and bond with their collectibles in a growing collection of meaningful ways. We shared the first iteration of Axie Core with the release of Lunacia’s Stocking Stuffers last month:
This event introduced the community to Axie accessories, by allowing Axie holders to claim limited-edition holiday decorations for your assets. These on-chain heirlooms will deepen the bonds we share with Axies by allowing players to uniquely customize their appearance. Plus, the event coincided with a new and improved “Axie Management” page which was well received by the community. We were excited to delight our community with the first step of Axie Core.
There were also a number of other visual refinements we released, such as new Axie egg and incubator art, and various Axie part art upgrades.
Expect to see many more of these enhancements to all of your collectible items released continuously over the months to come!
🌋 Axie Infinity: Origins
Season 2 Adjustments
Season 2 is officially underway! We introduced considerable improvements to the game, as we continue to prepare Origins for broad app store release:
New Game Mechanics: we continue to refine card balancing and various gameplay mechanics based upon your feedback. We’ve described all of these in depth previously, so if you’re interested in details, have a look at the Notion guide.
Faster season pacing: we shrunk the game’s season length to six weeks, and are rewarding top players incrementally throughout the season to create more engaging, regular momentum into the game
Eras: we want to reward consistent effort within seasons, and to do this, we are progressively unlocking various parts of the game incrementally throughout the season and rewarding players that participate in each era with AXS leaderboard rewards and special item unlocks.
Daily Rewards: we introduced a new mechanic where progressively valuable items will be rewarded to players who come play the game consistently.
If you haven’t already gotten into the mix, get battling and compete with thousands of others for the 112,500 AXS of prizes up for grabs!
We have completed multiple contests within Origins since the launch in late October, and we're just getting started! We kicked off these contests within some intentional goals over the past few months and we’re incredibly pleased with the progress:
We started in late October with "The Premiere" to test all of the engineering work behind the scenes and orient players as to how contests would work.
Soon after we followed with "A Special Occasion", celebrating players who owned unique Axies while also giving all players, including those without any special Axies, something to play for.
Next was "Plantstravaganza" where we focused on a specific Class of Axies, while also introducing the on-chain "Release" and "Buy" functions as missions for players to complete.
We’re excited to introduce "in-battle" specific missions, where players might be asked to "Deal 300 damage", "win a battle before round 3", and/or "Win a battle using at least 4 attack cards". Until then, don't miss out on participating in these various Events, including the newly released Lunar New Year Contest!
We intend for Contests to be fun, accessible challenges for all players at all skill levels, whether you are brand new to the game, or competing for a top arena position. There is still so much to explore with Contests, and we're looking forward to bring more Contests to the Axie universe!
Our community provided us considerable feedback that we're excited to leverage as we prioritize our work in 2023. Specifically, players love the team composition and inter-season theory crafting that comes from the wide variety of choices players can choose from. There is also consistently positive feedback on the graphics, sound, and user experience.
Our current top priority is making the battle game itself more engaging and fun for players. A key to this will be greater choices and consequences. We believe an important component to increase the fun in Origins is for players to have more impactful in-battle decision-making. There should be multiple different paths players can take throughout a match that impact their available future options, the other player's decisions, and final match outcome.
Just below that in importance, is adding in more progression within the game for everyone. While climbing the Leaderboard and having engaging matches at the competitive level is exciting, it's important to introduce more progression for players who may not be able to continuously climb all the way to the top. This can come in the form of more sealed Axies/Runes/Charms players can earn each Season for free as well as other types of leveling and collection progressions. You've all responded enthusiastically to the new Eras feature in Season 2, but there are many more mechanics that we intend to pilot. We have also been exploring an Origins Battle Pass as well as Daily/Weekly Missions that will give players a lot more goals to achieve.
We also need to mention cosmetics. Our players love the stickers and other cosmetics, but we think there's so much more potential in cosmetics that'll enhance the battling experience. For example, we've explored some new ideas that could potentially allow players to decorate their side of the battlefield (imagine planting a Guild flag, or conjuring up the fog of war), and to enable players to mint and share cosmetics with others. Our community is incredibly creative, and we can't wait to see how players leverage these kinds of items to taunt, tease, and have good-natured fun with their opponents.
Finally, another key priority for Origins in 2023 is onboarding the next wave of mainstream gamers. While we continue to polish the core game, we will also begin to shift our teams' efforts into improving Origin's core accessibility by adding tutorials and other learning systems. These kinds of features will make it easier for traditional gamers to onboard to the Origins gameplay as well as the newer Web3 components that they're likely less familiar with. If you're interested in reading more about this and other future plans, we'd encourage you to read Phil's excellent New Years reflection post.
Bringing Axie Infinity: Origins to Google
In December, we were thrilled to announce that we passed Google Play Store review after working closely with their trailblazing team over the past year. This was one small step for Axie Infinity, and a giant leap for the future of Web3 games: blockchain gaming is progressively becoming truly accessible around the world.
We revealed our plans to soft launch a feature-limited version of Origins in the Malaysian Play Store to give our team the opportunity to continue testing and improving the game. This will allow us to make Origins even better by the time it starts going live in other countries.
🌾 Axie Infinity: Homeland
At long last, we were proud to release an early alpha of Axie Infinity: Homeland exclusively to Axie Infinity land holders. Project K now has a name… it’s no longer “land”, or “the game that’s coming soon”… it’s called Axie Infinity: Homeland.
Our vision for Homeland is that it serves as a forever evolving, challenging, fun gathering place for our digital nation to play, socialize, and build. We have massive plans for Homeland, and are excited to introduce people to the world of Lunacia through an incremental gaming experience that encourages players to build a truly living real-time world as they play an engaging, deceptively complex game.
In the game's first act, land owners guide Buba, Puffy and other friends of Lunacia as they work together to create a vibrant, productive Homeland. Support native adventurers before they battle waves of monsters by arming them with the weapons, armor, and other supplies they need to persevere on the battlefield. Compete against other Homelands for bragging rights and prizes, all while creating a vibrant, player-created world where a number of future experiences will unfold for all!
You all seem to really love the game thus far! Your encouraging feedback and support are a shot of energy to the team:
Our backend analytics for the game also show some very promising trends. Players tend to play long sessions, and overall retention over the course of the season is excellent. Additionally, despite the early stages of the game’s UX, players show considerable progress in advancing their plots (by measuring current town hall levels across all players). The game also kicked off a broader distribution of land assets to a greater number of players. As of the release of this Dev Update, Lunacia is supporting an all time record number of land holders. We’re excited to introduce these new property holders to Homeland and all future land-based activities!
The primary goal of this alpha Season 0 release is to transition the game’s development to an iterative feedback and refinement stage. We want Homeland to benefit from your input. Thanks to your feedback, we’ve already released three mid-season updates, and are continuing our focus on improving the user experience and bug squashing.
The inaugural Season 0 will end on January 31st. It will be followed by a two week period where the game will be offline, all in-game progress will be reset, followed by the kickoff of alpha Season 1 on Feburary 15th.
2023 will be chock full of surprises and updates to Homeland and we’re ecstatic to finally have it in your hands.
🌅 Axie Infinity: Raylights
In October of 2022, we released Axie Infinity: Raylights in collaboration with the talented Quicksave Interactive team from Finland. Landowners can now cultivate their beautiful plots in Lunacia by sowing minerals and growing plants. This landmark event was a glimpse into the future where your axies unlock new experiences over time as a base layer asset.
Here’s a brief summary of releases we’ve shipped to the game since then, as well as upcoming player-requested features:
🏅 Achievements: Players can now unlock achievements and earn achievement points by completing various tasks in the game. This adds a brand new level of depth and replayability to the game. A total of 24 achievements and 60 tiers in total have been added thus far, and more are planned for future updates!
❄️ Seasonal Minerals: Raylights now has surprise “limited-time” minerals that are added to the game to celebrate holidays and special events. For example, during the recent Christmas / winter season, players were able to grow five unique plants using special holiday minerals. Keep an eye out for additional minerals!
🎯 User Experience (UX) Improvements: Our players have been quick to identify ways to make the game more intuitive to play. For example, players can now double-click on a mineral to add it to the nursery. If you haven’t played the game in a while, go check out the various other additional improvements!
🌱 New Mineral - Celestine: Players can look forward to a new mineral called Celestine, which will bring with it multiple new plants to discover! Just like it sounds, Celestine will unlock multiple celestial plants, and further allows players to customize the garden of their dreams.
⌚ Reducing Plant Grow Time: Another BIG update that players can expect is a new feature that will allow them to reduce plant growth times. This means that players will no longer have to wait for long periods of time for their plants to grow. Instead, they will be able to use their already-grown plants for more than decoration. This feature will enable players to harvest plants faster, which will make the growth process more efficient.
🌎 Non-landowner Gameplay: We want to make Raylights more accessible to the community, and with an update coming soon, landowners will be able to share access to their land with others. This will open up the game to non-landowners.
The game team is hard at work, so why not join them and get gardening!
👷 Builders Program
We are tremendously proud of what our various community ecosystem partners have accomplished thus far with the Builders Program. Building games is an incredibly challenging process, and identifying the full set of skills, abilities, and resources needed within a team to release a successful game takes persistence and commitment. However, it’s easy to take the incredible progress of the Builder’s Program participants for granted, as they’ve made it look easy with the quality and breadth of their efforts. We polled the participants to check for updates, and many of those teams were eager to share their progress with you. So, let’s get into it!
We wanted to pass on a note sent from the Across Lunacia Project Lead, Artic:
"Our team has been working diligently to make Across Lunacia an enjoyable, replayable, and beautiful experience for all Axie holders. Since onboarding our fourth team member, we have revamped our art direction and further defined our gameplay experience. We will have a new public build to share with the community in Q1, so stay tuned @AcrossLunacia!"
While we all continue to root on this team’s continued success, we thought you might like to see a sneak preview of the updated visuals from the game’s next release:
Inter the Dungeon
The team behind Inter the Dungeon is thrilled to announce that they’ll have a limited access alpha for the game in the next couple of weeks! In Inter the Dungeon, players embark on an adventure through treacherous dungeons and face off against fierce monsters. The game is packed with intuitive gameplay and beautifully designed graphics:
Here’s a sneak preview of the upcoming gameplay as well:
Inter the Dungeon is currently taking applications for alpha testers. Interested in being a part of the team? Use the button below to apply!
The team behind Axie Quest have been hard at work building a game that blends puzzle matching and RPG game elements. In Axie Quest, players bring Axies they own into the game so that they can train in the gym and battle against wild monsters. Success in training and battle levels up your Axie, which unlocks new abilities and skills as it progresses. The battle arena also allows players to compete against one another and climb up the competitive leaderboards. A playable demo was released at the end of 2022 and the game has entered into closed alpha. Here are some screenshots to give you an idea of how it’ll play:
Interested in giving the game a try, and providing feedback to the design team? Sign up for the closed alpha below:
TactiCards is an addictive tactical battle card game that allows players to leverage Axie Infinity assets they own to compete against other players in the community. For those of you who were able to attend AxieCon last year, you might have had a chance to play the physical TactiCards card game at their builder’s booth:
The work in the months following AxieCon has brought us to today, as the team is launching the first public demo of the digital version of game in January! Take a look at a preview of the gameplay below:
The goals of this demo are to introduce the community to both the solo and multiplayer game modes and get feedback from early players to further prepare the game for broader release. Stay tuned on their Twitter @TactiCards to be one of the first to try it once the game is available!
Axie Infinity War
The team behind AIW continues to make considerable progress, adding considerable new features since the last Dev update, including a new user authentication system, the ability to deposit, withdraw, and leverage SLP within the game, an in-game chat system, alongside noteworthy enhancements to graphics, gameplay, and the user experience. In fact, a new alpha of the game was recently released to the community. Take a look:
Join the emerging fanbase behind this game by downloading and giving it a try!
Mech Infinity is a Battle Royale video game based on the Axie Infinity universe in which players can acquire Axie Mechs and participate in epic battles with chances to win SLP, AXS, and more. Over the past few months, the Mech Infinity team created a ranking system to measure player progress and skill. On top of that, they implemented a new login and account recovery system to improve security and ease of use. The team has also added a new Bird Mech to the game, which has increased the fun and variety of characters available to players. To avoid waiting at the start of matches, they have even implemented a system that allows users to start playing more quickly. Finally, they’ve created private rooms so that content creators in our community can organize tournaments and events at their leisure. Check out the Bird Mech below!
Other Builder’s Program Games
Of course, all of the Builder’s Program teams have made progress since our last update, but there’s almost too many updates to share! A couple of quick teasers before we move on:
We’re also happy to welcome the Axie Raids project to the Builder’s Program! For those community members who like tower defense-style games, join them in the development process by following them on Twitter.
The mission of App.Axie has been to provide core infrastructure for the expanding Axie and related IP platform. Since our launch in September (where we replaced the legacy marketplace), it has been exciting to see the foundation we built being put to good use. Third party games have been added to our games section, new collections have been added to our marketplace, and we launched another Lunacian Express event. A quick look at the progress we’ve made:
Third-party Games on App.axie: in the Q4 of 2022, we successfully integrated two third party games onto App.axie - Raylights, a land mini game, and DoLL, a graduate of the Axie builder’s program. The integration of third-party games such as Raylights and DoLL on App.axie marks the expansion of our game universe and the expanded role of App.axie’s position as the primary platform for players to access and engage with the Axie universe.
Accessories: with the Christmas event, we introduced a new addition to the App.axie marketplace - accessories. This is a huge milestone - for the first time since inception, owners can interact with their Axies in ways beyond in-game experiences. To augment this experience, we have also launched a new “Axie Management” page where owners can attach and detach accessories on their Axies. Additionally, the marketplace has been upgraded to support displaying fully dressed-up Axies. Users can also collect and sell accessories on its own dedicated marketplace.
Lunacian Express: In the spirit of Christmas in Lunacia, owners came together for the “Lunacia‘s Stocking Stuffers” event by releasing their Axies into the wild in exchange for festive accessories to adorn their little companions. A noteworthy feature that helped streamline this experience is the bulk release option. The bulk release feature allows users to conveniently select multiple Axies and release them all at once.
We are constantly working to evolve our platform and are thrilled to announce that the highly requested feature - offers, is now at the forefront of our development efforts. The team is neck-deep in development and anticipate its release in Q1 of 2023. We are proud of the progress we have made and look forward to another exciting year of new releases and improvements.
After two successful esports grants, our third grant of 160,000 AXS received massive interest, as we received a record number of proposals with a collective total of over 400,000 AXS of value. This meant that we needed to make a number of hard decisions, and we ultimately decided on a selection strategy that supported tournament organizers who have been proven long term supporters of the community.
We are excited to move forward over 52 events, which featured tournaments in the Philippines, India, Argentina, Indonesia, Nigeria, Thailand, USA, Brazil, Dubai, Venezuela, and Vietnam. Axie esports is truly becoming a global phenomenon, so we wanted this season to reflect a truly global tournament schedule. Additionally, the tournaments provide a wider variety of events, including dailies, weeklies, leagues, and large one-off tournaments. Take a look at the planned calendar below!
We’ve also had a number of notable tournaments since our last update which deserve brief updates:
256 of the greatest Axie players from around the world gathered to close out the Philippine Web3 festival. American competitor, Andrew “Spamandrice” Lee took home $80k USD out of the $160k prize pool after edging out Zaratustra in the best-of-seven finals.
Axie Masters League
After 3 phases of grueling competition, the top 8 teams met in the Philippines to crown a champion, double elimination style. After getting swept in the winners bracket finals, Metat8 fought back to force a final set where YUUUUU swept and raised the $70k check!
Axie x Cloud9
We are thrilled to partner with one of the world’s largest gaming organizations to increase the scope of Axie esports. Our first joint event saw some of Axie’s top players (Xero, kyroh, 1ogic, wack0) compete with Cloud9’s top players (C9 mang0, C9 Zellsis, C9 Jack, C9 Blaber).
Our community tends to attract a considerable number of mission-aligned gamers who are committed to helping us develop Axie Infinity into the digital nation that it’s destined to be. The community has literally thousands of people who regularly build and contribute to the ecosystem on a regular basis.
We believe that these people are incredibly important to Axie’s future, and we’ve made considerable progress on identifying and empowering these “contributors” through our Contributor Program. The long term goals of this initative are to:
Progressively empower and encourage mission-aligned community members to further develop Axie Infinity in sustainable, consensus-based ways
Better harness the collective wisdom of our passionate community
Iteratively develop the governance infrastructures that will enable collective action at scale
At the end of last year, we successfully kicked off our pilot Season 0 of the Contributor Program, welcoming close to 1000 contributors into a special place on our Discord where we are working collaboratively alongside them to make progress in developing our community governance. Our goals for the six month season are to:
Learn how to sustainably identify Contributors to Axie Infinity
Better understand Contributors and what makes them unique
Empower Contributors to identify priority, near term opportunities to improve Axie Infinity
Build first iterations of community infrastructure that enable consensus building that can lead to concrete change/action
If you missed out on the application process for this season, no problem! This is a pilot season and all of the information is publicly available for you to follow along on Discord in the “Governance” section. If you want to make sure your ideas get across, please do reach out to your fellow Contributors to speak on your behalf. There will be plenty of opportunities for you to apply and share your Axie Contributions with your peers in the months to come!
🌎 Regional Updates
In October, we hosted CabsyCon – the biggest in-person Axie event held in the Philippines with close to 900 attendees. It was hosted in one of the regional birthplaces of Axie Infinity - Cabanatuan City. Key partners that helped us mount this event were Blockchain Space and community members KooKoo and Spraky. This was one of the most successful IRL events we held all year, and it definitely won’t be the last!
In November, two big tournaments happened in the Philippines: Axie Open Manila and MMG Tournament. We already had a presence in the Web3 PH festival where Co-founder Jeffrey “Jiho” Zirlin gave a keynote speech to talk about the future of Axie (as well as some juicy leeks!).
In December, we hosted a couple holiday-themed community events. Community member and Pro Player RuthlessRedge hosted the RuthlessCup Meetup which had over 150+ attendees. We also had two events that were meant to give back to communities in need: the Basketball Cup (in partnership with SpamandRice) and the Cabanatuan Community Drive (in partnership with Spraky and AxU).
The Latin American region continues to be an area experiencing both considerable interest and long term community engagement. A quick selection of important regional updates:
La Bitconf Buenos Aires: as the largest crypto event in Argentina, we were happy to collaborate with our allies Sura Gaming to host a panel, a gaming experience booth, and an esports tournament at the event. These collective activities registered over 5000 attendees!
Welcome Team Queso: Team Queso, one of the biggest gaming guilds in Spain officially announced their participation in the Axie Competitive Ecosystem with the integration of Rojan, Enefetero, Azaria, Polaco and Monsai! The Community received this news with a lot of excitement and open arms.
New Year Greetings by Axiespresso: more than 80 creators, pro players, Sky Mavis & community members participated in a community created project called Holiday Greetings from the Lunacian Family. The resultant videos coordinated by Latin American community members, AxieAlathea and Axietopia shared the joy of belonging to our digital nation family during this festive time of year.
We continue to focus on Japan as a strategically important country for future growth. We’re excited to see significant progress and interest in the region. Some quick items of note:
We were excited to see AXS officially listed within Bitbank, which is the first exchange in Japan to support our token.
We continue our outreach campaigns, hosting multiple events in both Tokyo and Osaka in the last quarter. In each of these events, we host presentations and live battles from professional players alongside introductions to Axie Infinity (including a Ronin wallet tutorial, an App.axie walkthrough (including how to purchase and transact), live gameplay tutorials, and giveaways.
Our Japan regional Axie representative Albert joined a panel with other Web3 developers and guilds at Japan GameFi Night, attended by hundreds of future Axie community members. They discussed various topics including Axie Infinity and expanding the larger GameFi ecosystem in the country.
We launched Ronin in 2021 as our flagship franchise, Axie Infinity, needed a more efficient L1 to process the enormous growing transaction volume from active players. Today, we’re proud that Ronin is fast becoming an accessible and competitive blockchain for a broader gaming collection in addition to Axie. We’ve begun cultivating robust partnerships with world-class gaming studios and have shipped critical infrastructure enhancements to match as we fulfill our vision of becoming the next generation Web3 publisher.
Here’s a snapshot of Ronin’s progress from the past few months:
Ronin began an important journey towards greater decentralization with Saigon Testnet’s successful launch in November 2022. Saigon gives developers the ability to test and deploy their own smart contracts on Ronin infrastructure. That means anyone, anywhere can now show the merit of their work and make the case for its deployment on Ronin. Read more about what this means for Ronin.
Saigon Validator Program
This month, Saigon Testnet migrated from a Proof of Authority (PoA) consensus mechanism to Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS). This allows our team to battle-test the groundbreaking migration before going live on mainnet. We were encouraged by the huge volume of applications to become a Testnet Validator from the community, so thank you to everyone who applied. We reviewed over 250 complete applications! Recently, we reached out to the 25 short-listed applicants for another round of review before selecting our final 16. Stay tuned for more information coming shortly!
2023 Katana Liquidity Mining Program
The Katana Exchange is at the heart of mainnet Ronin: it’s where everyone trades RON. In January, we implemented the 2023 Katana Liquidity Mining Program to increase RON liquidity while decreasing inflation. This involved transitioning WETH token pairs to RON token pairs and adjusting the token’s emission structure.
Sky Mavis Developer Portal
From the onset, we’ve wanted to encourage our talented community to build, and while we’ve released a number of tools, they weren’t as easily accessible as we think they should be. So we’ve been hard at work organizing, documenting, and creating a number of new tools and APIs to empower developers. When we released the Developer Portal earlier this month, our goals were to build a central location for developers to register, build, and get support for wherever your imagination takes you. Developers who enter the portal are able to register their apps, generate API keys, review rich API documentation, and get feedback from the Sky Mavis team.
If you’re interested in giving it a try, our community friend Akhil has created a walkthrough to get started complete with the “Hello World” equivalent for Axie Infinity: determining a given account’s lifetime SLP burn rate →
🐦 Mavis Hub 2
Mid-January, we released Mavis Hub 2. This update to Mavis Hub serves as a foundation for future Ronin desktop games. You can now access Raylights and the community-built Axie DoLL from the same place as Origins and Homeland. Plus, the brand new Mavis Hub UI allows players to login using a Ronin Wallet QR code. This was an important step in Sky Mavis’s evolution into the next generation Web3 game publisher.
This past year challenged Ronin, but we’re convinced to come out of the experiences stronger and more resilient than ever. When Ronin launched in 2021, we understood that we had the groundbreaking opportunity to bring digital ownership to the world through gaming. We are supremely confident that 2023 will be regarded as the true breakout year for the network.
That’s a wrap for this edition. Stay tuned for a whirlwind of announcements coming in the near future! You think this is a lot? Wait till you see what’s coming soon!