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Axie Infinity: October Development Update 🛠️
Origins. Classic. Homeland. Project T. App.Axie. Greenlight. Governance. Let’s go!
Axie Games | Over the past few months, we’ve been refining Axie games including Origins, Homeland, and even Axie Classic (v2). We also launched an early prototype called Project T - an experience catered for meeting and chatting with your fellow Lunacians. Some of our experiments have yielded phenomenal results, while others show us that there’s more room to grow.
App.Axie | The App.Axie team has been shipping furiously . Since June, we’ve been building out the foundation for axies’ vertical progression on App.Axie. Axie Experience Points (AXP), Lunacian Badges, and the Lunalog are three key pillars for Axie’s next era that have gone LIVE on App.Axie.
Mavis Hub and the Axie Builder’s Program | Mavis Hub Greenlight launched earlier this summer and unlocked new opportunities for our community developers. You can now vote for pre-production games in Mavis Hub! We were also excited to welcome the Sky Smash team to the Axie Builder’s Program and launch the first-ever Axie Game Jam – a game-making competition for experienced and beginner developers.
Governance | The Lunacian Town Builders have concluded Season 0 of Governance and begun Phase 1. We hosted a Town Hall together where our community engaged with fundamental questions about our digital nation. We’ve also begun processing applications for new Electors to continue pushing forward on Axie’s path to progressive decentralization.
Future Plans | We plan to continue to push forward on all of the above. However, we expect the coming launch and integrations of AXP + Part Evolutions to level-up our digital nation in a big way. We changed the world once, and we’re about to do it again.
Axie Infinity has always been more than a game. We are a movement that has forever changed how the world sees Web3. In 2018, we launched a basic auto-battling game to a small circle of <300 people. Today, we stand tall on the shoulders of our own victories and the lessons learned along the way – arm in arm with the most powerful community in the entire industry.
As we’ve matured, we’ve seen rapidly growing interest from ambitious game studios who are eager to partner and learn from our experiences. We feel a responsibility to provide leadership to this emerging space. We are more confident than ever that we have a unique opportunity to forever change the world of gaming.
In this Dev Update, we’ll walk through everything we’ve done over the past few months to continue carrying the torch we lit five years ago. We reinforced our established games like Origins and Homeland and unleashed new experiences like Project T, Greenlight games, and more. App.Axie shines brighter than ever with new features including AXP, Badges, Class Backgrounds, and the Lunalog. Our community has even begun to lead the charge on a Governance movement that grows stronger everyday. The time has come to take stock of our digital nation’s greatest hits from June 2023 until now – and reveal our vision for the future. Are you ready? Let’s go!
Axie Infinity: Origins is often the first thing most people explore when they discover Lunacia. It’s where newcomers begin to form emotional connections with their axies. It’s where they feel the heat of our community’s competitive fire. It’s where they open their eyes to the possibilities of digital ownership. That’s why we continue to devote ourselves to the game: Origins is a portal into our nation and a home to many life-changing memories in our community.
It’s no secret that we’re in the middle of a crypto winter. However, we see this moment as an opportunity to focus on First-Time User Experience (FTUE) and player retention. Why? Because a good game in a bear market becomes a great game in a bull market! That’s where our heads are at. So without further ado, let’s jump into Season 5.
Season 5: The Most Diverse Meta EVER
Over the past six months, we’ve been testing and retesting balancing changes in Origins. By the end of Origins Season 5, our community was able to harvest the fruits of those labors – we had the most varied meta EVER! Do you remember when the Rage meta was so powerful last year that other comps never stood a chance in the arena? Yep, so do we. However, that’s ancient history and gameplay is much fairer. While there is always more work to do, Origins is more balanced and our teams have a better handle on how to keep it that way.
The Origins team’s hard work paid off. Season 5 generated the most revenue to the Axie Treasury ever. Our Daily Active Users (DAU) stayed above 20K throughout the depths of the bear market. We held a variety of competitive Axie tournaments including the Season 5 Buy-In Brawl and the AxieTH World Battle in Bangkok. We know that some of our experiments will work better than others. However, we will always keep shipping. Relentlessly. The crypto market may be slow, but us? We’re speeding up.
Honorable mention: Fortune Chests made a comeback this summer. We had a lot of fun exploring different ways to reward Origins players. Win or lose, players can always earn rewards in Origins.
The Venoki Effect
In July, we released three new starter axies: Venoki, Momo, and Pomodoro. Soon, we had an “ah-ha!” moment as we observed players buying more NFTs to support their starter axies. For example, interest in building a poison team surged as players got their hands on Venoki. This drove purchases for complementary axies, runes, and charms in App.Axie. The same sort of thing happened with Momo and Pomodoro. Thanks to our trio of starter axies, veterans and new recruits alike had a new reason to deepen their journey through Origins.
We believe the Venoki Effect may be a good way to introduce new players to the complexities of Origins metas. That’s why we introduced Bing and Xia to Lunacia earlier this week! These two beast axies will teach new players about the strengths and weaknesses of a Rage team. It’s a way to teach Origins concepts – without teaching!
The Future of Origins
We have an ambitious battle plan to forge ahead on multiple fronts: AXP utility, Part Evolutions, and an Axie Battle Pass. The stage is set for a bright year ahead and our teams are hard at work as we speak. Here’s what we’re working on:
Axie Experience Points (AXP) Utility
In July, we introduced AXP for the first time ever. AXP is a system where players earn points in the Origins arena and Ascend their axies to higher levels. This was a step towards Part Evolutions, and the first time on-chain digital collectibles have become dynamic at scale. That means the axies you own can now change over time – like an IRL pet.
Imagine having the power to evolve your axie’s horn part into something… else. Something better. How would new parts like these change Lunacia? Part Evolutions hold the key to a balanced game economy because players will have a new incentive to hold onto their axies. Part Evolutions help players build deeper connections with their axies. Part Evolutions are an industry-changing mechanic.
After all, where else can you find evolving NFTs?
The Origins team is currently honing in on part evolutions and the utility they’ll bring in Origins. It’s an important decision and needs to be done strategically for maximum effect.
Web 3 Battle Pass
Imagine a digital collectible that also functions as a battle pass. This is the inspiration behind a brand new collectible axie reward system that we’ve rolled out with Season 6. This season, owners of Mystic, Origin, Xmas, Shiny, Japanese, and Meo axies will be able to earn AXS-infused chests through active play.
If you own a collectible axie and hit tiger during rare, dragon during epic, and challenger during Mystic, then you’ll be eligible for earning one collectible chest per era. The snapshot for eligibility is taken at the end of the era and you don’t actually need to battle with your collectible.
We believe that with this initiative, we’ve officially turned collectible axies into the first web3-native battle pass.
We’re still experimenting and iterating here and will adjust based on data, feedback, and emergent behaviors.
Axie Classic (v2)
Axie Classic is the game that brought millions to our movement. We released its first version in December 2019, and it became the first-ever game to distribute in-game resources as ERC20 tokens. Since then, we’ve come out with a flurry of other Axie experiences like Origins, Homeland, and more. However, many players have continued to go back to the game that started it all. Over the past few months, we decided to lean into that.
A few months ago, we saw that Axie Classic had about 10K Monthly Active Users (MAU). That was about 10% of the 100K MAU for Origins – despite a lot less upkeep. This showed organic demand and noteworthy retention that we attribute to the quality of the game. That’s why we began to test some light incentives through leaderboards and tournaments in Axie Classic. How would this impact current MAU? How would this impact retention? Since those tests, we’ve seen many community members go back to Axie Classic, and we’re encouraged by this momentum. MAU is now about 40K. As a result, we’re considering integrating AXP into Axie Classic as long as things continue going the way they are.
Axie Infinity: Homeland is our inaugural first-party land asset gaming experience. As gamers, we know that tastes can vary: some like fast-paced PvP games, some like methodical, deeper strategy games, others like casual, quick play experiences. That’s why we were excited to launch Homeland less than a year ago. We knew that creating a virtual Lunacia would enable additional types of gaming experiences for our community. Since June, we’ve transitioned Homeland from its Alpha phase to the Pre-Beta phase. Since our last update, we introduced various new features to enable more people to play the game and experiment with various game/social mechanics. As with all pre-release games, some of these experiments are more successful than others.
We’re excited to continue this partnership with the community as we move towards a release-quality game. For those immersed in Homeland, we’ve heard your feedback loud and clear: you want more information, more details, and more insight into what the game will be like going forward. We also recognize how hard it might be for players to keep track of where the game is headed given the dynamic changes. So, we’ve committed to putting significantly more energy into communicating more regularly. Thanks to support of the community’s Land Working Group (LWG), the Homeland Herald blog will serve as a place to get more detailed information about the game’s progress going forward. Look forward to a community-driven AMA with the Land engineering team to be published soon!
In the meantime, let’s quickly review some Homeland feature highlights! In June, we launched Land Delegation. This gave non-landowners the opportunity to play Homeland for the first time ever, and granted new powers to current landowners. A few days later, we spotted the first Ragoons in Homeland. Ragoons are native creatures to Lunacia with shapeshifting abilities. In exchange for certain resources, players can hire these Ragoons to spy on other players in Homeland! This feature introduced a fresh PvP element to Homeland and infused Lunacian lore into the game.
Homeland’s Pre-Beta phase began in September. We had a vision for a reward structure that gave all land owners the chance to earn AXS while gameplay occurred on the plot. Throughout the pre-beta phase, we plan to experiment with various mechanics such as Moonfalls, and rewarding AXS for various activities throughout the game. Some of these mechanics will be more successful than others, but we will ultimately prioritize reward schemes that bring joy and a sense of accomplishment over those that feel monotonous and repetitive.
Did you catch the Mid-Autumn Festival event recently? It was short, but it was largely a successful first test of in-game events inside Homeland. We’re preparing more events like this as we speak!
As always, there’s more going on behind the scenes of Homeland than meets the eye. In the past, we’ve teased the idea of a fresh graphical upgrade for the game. We thought you might want to see a sneak peak of our work-in-progress:
We’d also like to touch on land delegation here. We understand that the current system is still very basic! We intend to roll out an upgraded and improved land delegation system with Beta which we anticipate launching in Q1 2024.
There’s so much more to share about Homeland. So stay tuned, and if you’re interested in being a part of contributing to Homeland’s future, join the #land channel on Discord, and either find a land steward or buy a plot of your own!
App.Axie is the town square of the Axie economy. Lunacians from around the world use it to buy and sell axies, land, and in-game items. They use it to stake AXS and download mobile versions of our games. These pillars of our digital economy make infinite gaming experiences possible. That’s why we’re excited to share the progress inside App.Axie over the past few months. This summer, we laid the foundation for axie progression and part evolution by launching Axie Experience Points (AXP). Axie Badges enabled us to recognize some of the most passionate Axie collectors on Earth. The Lunalog also breathed new life into the ancient stories that imbue our nation’s history with meaning. All of this happened on App.Axie, and we’re just getting started! Here’s what’s new, and what’s coming next.
Axie Experience Points (AXP)
AXP is the foundation for axie progression and part evolutions. In July, the first iteration of AXP went LIVE. This marked the start of axies’ grand march from digital collectibles to lifelong friends and family heirlooms. As axies gain AXP, they gain the power to ascend to a higher level. The process of ascension happens on App.Axie. Now, we can work on the next step: the evolution of individual axie parts.
Remember, this is just the beginning! “Meta-games” – or games within games – like this are what make Web3 gaming special. AXP creates a new meta-game where players learn to allocate effort between various Axie experiences to maximize the value, power, and aesthetics of their axies. Today, Lunacians can only earn AXP in Origins. However, we’re working towards a world where it’s possible everywhere in Lunacia.
Remember, AXP will be key to part evolutions. For every time an axie ascends it will be able to ascend one part to level two, when combined with crafting materials. These crafting materials will be received by burning axies, but we have a few twists that we’re working on to elevate this system for maximum effect!
Who owns the most Mystic axies in Lunacia? How many axies do the top collectors own? Did you go to AxieCon Barcelona? The answers to these questions reveal the devotion of Axie community members. For example, it’s safe to say that someone who has collected 100 Mystic axies cares about Axie. We have never had a formal way to shine a light on these sorts of achievements – until Lunacian Badges came around.
In August, we bestowed the first-ever badges to Lunacians around the world. These long-awaited endowments celebrated owners of Mystic axies, Origin axies, prolific collectors and releasers, AxieCon attendees, and Governance Contributors. Now, anyone can display the badges they’ve earned on their App.Axie profiles and see other Lunacians’ badges, too.
We launched the Lunalog towards the end of the summer. It’s a treasure trove of information about Lunacians and our lore. In the Lunalog, you’ll find a Badge Leaderboard and a Catalog. The badge leaderboard ranks owners of Lunacian Badges when appropriate. The Catalog is like a Pokedex for Axie.
Since the beginning of time, nations around the world have passed down their sacred stories through generations – from the Vietnamese story of Lạc Long Quân to the Greek mythology of Zeus. In Lunacia, our lore is part of our digital nation’s DNA in the same way. The Lunalog Catalog is a home for these stories.
When we launched Axie in March of 2018, we had a vision where players would form deep emotional bonds with their axies. Today, axies have been battling each other in the arena for over five years and our community has made many beautiful friendships and lifelong connections. We suspected these social dynamics might increase demand for a more relaxing game. That’s where Project T came in.
This summer, we shared an early prototype of a new Axie game called Project T. The name may change, but the idea will stay the same: it’s a place for players to interact with their axies and fellow axie owners – like a digital meetup! Since launch, we’ve started to release new features within Project T like Axie Confetti, Building Voting, and the Axie of the Week. These are fun, light-hearted experiences to refresh Lunacians who want to get cozy together.
Project T also introduced a brand new species to Lunacian lore: the sapidae. The sapidae are the most ancient species in Lunacia. Once upon a time, they fought side by side with axies against Agonia during the Blood Moon War. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for sapidae news, because they are about to change Lunacia forever.
Stay tuned for the upcoming 3D-style art upgrade in Project T. We’re also strategizing about the integration of AXP to the game.
Mavis Hub Greenlight and the Axie Builder’s Program
We are all building Axie together. Game developers, content creators, guild leaders, Axie collectors… Together, we are Axie. Our August launch of the Mavis Hub Greenlight platform gave the Axie community even more agency in shaping our collective destiny. The Mavis Hub Greenlight program is a launchpad for playable pre-production games developed by developers in our community. That includes Axie Builder’s Program members, Sky Mavis, our partners – and even first-time game developers.
The Mavis Hub Greenlight platform makes it easy for players to play-test games and vote for their favorites. This gives the makers of those games a robust early distribution system and the chance to gather precious feedback from their budding communities. A game’s performance on Mavis Hub: Greenlight also builds the case for funding opportunities and induction into the Axie Builder’s Program. This was a big win for the Axie community, and we expect good things to come from it over the years to come.
We’re working on a new comment feature for Greenlight games. This will make it easier for playtesters to share more specific feedback with the game developers of Greenlight games. Developers can also expect to receive access to Mavis Console soon. Mavis Console is a tool that allows devs to self-manage and upload their game for review with Sky Mavis. Today, this process is more or less manual. However, a more automated process would reduce friction for developers.
Welcome to Lunacia, Sky Smash!
In July, we onboarded a new team to the Axie Builder’s Program: Sky Smash! Sky Smash is a multiplayer, turn-based tactical artillery game where players use powerful artillery weapons derived from their axies’ parts to smash other axies. Don’t worry: no axies suffer permanent injuries as a result of this game. The team revealed that Sky Smash took inspiration from Team 17’s classic Worm game and Softnyx’s Gunbound. They’ve also surpassed four-hundred YES votes on Greenlight, which shows they have our community’s full-bodied support. Ready for battle? Jump into Sky Smash on Mavis Hub today!
You can follow Sky Smash on the X platform here.
Smol leek: we’re looking forward to welcoming even more community-built games to Mavis Hub including Axie Quest, Axie Fields, and Lunacia Cup soon.
Axie Game Jam 2023
On September 15th, we launched the first-ever Axie Game Jam. This is an Axie game-making marathon for solo indie developers and teams – beginners and experienced builders alike. $20,500 in prizes, five winners, two weeks! Along with Greenlight and the Axie Builder’s Program, the Axie Game Jam is an opportunity to celebrate Axie and nurture talent within our community. Players will play-test and vote for their favorite games, while our judges will use these results to choose the final winners. At the end, the winners will have an opportunity to discuss future partnerships with Sky Mavis beyond the competition. Registration is open until October 14th, so click the button below if you’d like to enter the arena!
Governance. It’s a word we hear a lot in Web3, but its meaning can be hard to pin down. That’s because Governance in Web3 is about the decentralization of a community’s decision-making, and arguably few communities have come close to living up to that ideal. After all, it’s a big job! In our case, we’re pushing forward regardless because we believe that a decentralized digital nation is a stronger one. Of course, we have a long way to go. However, we’ve been encouraged by recent progress. Over the past few months, we’ve concluded Season 0 of Governance, begun Phase 1, hosted a Town Hall with our Town Builders, and have begun processing applications for new Electors.
During our Town Hall on August 19th, our Town Builders summarized our efforts from the now-concluded Season 0. During the season, the Town Builders worked with Sky Mavis team members to establish processes for Governance. We accomplished a few things including the creation of a community-designed Lunacian flag, but realized successful Governance would require a lot more community involvement. That’s why we opened the door for Phase 1 of the program, and encouraged all Lunacians to apply to become Contributors. During this phase, we will start building consensus on what we want our rules to be, so that in Phase 2 we can start experimenting with them! So far, we received hundreds of applications and are in the process of, well, processing them now! This is encouraging. We’re looking forward to working with Lunacians to decentralize Axie Infinity. Today, it may seem like a massive mountain to climb. However, the most important missions always do and we’re taking one step at a time – together.