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Upcoming Season 20 & Economic Balancing Adjustments
Adventure mode SLP will be sunset (reduced to 0). This includes rewards for first time completion.
Daily quest SLP will be sunset (reduced to 0).
Arena reward structure will be changed dramatically (reduced SLP rewards and AXS leaderboard massively expanded).
Sub 800 MMR players will now earn 1 SLP per win. We want to be considerate for players with weaker Axies so we’re adding this back in (for now).
We are considering reworking the energy system to scale more linearly, making additional energy more accessible and boosting demand for weaker Axies.
Season 20 is close and when it’s released, a variety of important economic balancing changes will be implemented.
The State Of Our Digital Nation
From the onset, our mission within Axie Infinity has been to create engaging, fun, and rewarding game experiences for everyone. We believe this is best enabled on top of open, decentralized foundations that allows everyone to collectively contribute, work together, and prosper as a community.
That said, finding balance amongst all of these above dynamics is an ongoing process. While we’ve all experienced the euphoria that comes with incredible growth and prosperity, we’ve also more recently entered into a period of economic uncertainty. We all feel this pinch, which has made the last few months difficult for everyone.
In short, we think it’s critical to ensure that a healthy, predictable economy evolves over time and we take the responsibility of economic balance within Axie extremely seriously. We believe the fastest way to reduce this volatility is for us all to come to terms with our collective responsibilities within Axie, and quickly work to build consensus and enable each other’s community efforts. Prosperity amongst a community comes when it collectively creates more value than it consumes.
On January 4th, we released a Dev Journal: Economic Balancing Post with three goals: to create a framework for community dialog around economic balancing, to prepare the community for upcoming economic changes, and most importantly to seek community input.
As we discussed in that post, inflation of SLP has been very high, with around 4x more SLP being created (supplied) per day than burned (demanded) through breeding. As we are building more burn mechanisms (see below), we are also looking at where we can strategically reduce issuance in order to balance the economy.
Your feedback regarding the Dev Update post was incredible. We were blown away by the response and many of the proposals. After careful review of the proposals and a deep-dive into the data we’ve landed on our next set of actions.
Elimination of Adventure Mode and Daily Quest Rewards
Let’s start with a brief review of the recent mint rates within the current Battles experience:
In short, roughly 40% of SLP is created from adventure mode, roughly ~44% of SLP is created from PVP, and the remainder (~14%) is minted from players claiming the daily quest.
We can see that adventure mode and PVP receive roughly equivalent rewards. This does not line up with the principles that will make Axie succeed. Namely:
In-game rewards should be used to incentivize social activities that improve the ecosystem.
In-game rewards must be earned as a result of skilled activity in the ecosystem.
Only by adhering to these principles can we work towards a future where in-game tokens have real value.
As a first measure to stabilize the economy, we have removed the 50 SLP that can be earned from adventure mode each day. This alone will remove around 130 M SLP per day.
Adventure mode was originally conceived as a way for the community to learn how to use their Axies. It has outlived its purpose as a way for people to earn tokens from the game. It’s far more important to use precious SLP to incentivize skilled gameplay in the arena. When there are more players queuing for the arena, this increases the likelihood that you match quickly with someone of your skill level. We think of this as “player liquidity” and it’s worth rewarding.
Next, let’s look at the daily quest. We can see that this alone is generating about as much SLP as is burned through breeding each day. Clearly, that’s not sustainable.
The daily quest, in principle, was great to encourage people to play everyday but it’s now become a mass emission mechanism for SLP. By removing the daily quest we are able to reduce issuance by around 45 million SLP per day. We love the ideas of quests and hope to re-introduce a quest mechanism in the future through Origin, but this will need to come in tandem with new burn mechanisms from new features.
We know that this is painful medicine. The Axie economy requires drastic and decisive action now or we risk total and permanent economic collapse. That would be far more painful.
Revamped PVP Rewards Structure
Even after these changes, we are still left with a situation where PVP mode is generating roughly double the amount of SLP that’s burned per day. Is there a way to address this as well?
Let’s look at the arena leaderboard and the pillar of Axie Infinity, AXS. In Season 19, we distributed around 3,000 AXS to the top 1,000 players on the leaderboard. This is a paltry amount compared to the 1.5 M AXS that’s distributed to stakers each month and the millions of AXS per quarter that’s available in the gaming budget allocation. This was purposeful in the past as we’ve always felt that the AXS allocations should be reserved for when our game is more polished and ready for mainstream adoption. However, we believe these current circumstances require decisive action:
For Season 20, we’ve expanded the number of leaderboard slots to 300,000 and increased the amount of AXS we’re giving out to 117,676. This will supercharge the competitive Axie scene and create more demand for quality Axie teams in the ecosystem. This equates to a six million USD equivalent prize pool for Season 20!
This will allow us to further adjust arena awards. The highest levels will have their rewards the most affected as they will also have more AXS rewards to compete for.
In addition, we will be adding back 1 SLP per win for players under 800 MMR. This will bring some utility to weaker Axies and encourage players to practice even if they’re still learning or having difficulty with the game. Advancements with our bot detection system as well as reduced earnings for bots have also made reintroduction of these rewards possible.
0-999 – 1 SLP per win
1000-1099 – 3 SLP per win
1100-1299 – 6 --> 5 SLP per win (Rank default)
1300-1499 – 9 --> 6 SLP per win
1500-1799 – 12 --> 8 SLP per win
1800-1999 – 15 --> 10 SLP per win
2000+ - 18 --> 12 SLP per win
As we discussed in last month’s Dev Update, long term, we will need to bring a variety of fun burn mechanisms and economic sinks to the table.
This comprehensive approach includes:
Special cosmetics and skins
Upgraded Axie body parts
For example, one of the upcoming token sinks that will be introduced through Origin is a system of crafting tokenized power ups that augment and strengthen your Axies.
Some players may also be wondering why we haven’t released vertical progression for your Axies. This is a good question! As Axie owners ourselves, we’ve been patiently waiting since 2018 for Axie upgrading as well.
Put simply, we’ve prioritized growth and on-boarding millions. Without this approach, it’s likely that Axie would have remained a small, niche game with a few thousand players. While that’s great for many projects, our aspiration is to onboard over a billion gamers into Web3 and change the internet forever.
As we get closer to a product that we believe is ready for traditional gamers, we will deliver on our promise to add vertical progression and ways for you to actually spend your in-game tokens on ways to improve your Axies step by step.
The process for introducing these features is complex. Here’s how it works:
Feature is designed and refined by the game product team and game design teams.
Requirements are delivered to the art team for implementation.
The art team works to make something magical.
Finished artwork is delivered to the game engineering and ux team for implementation.
Engineers execute and seamlessly integrate the completed feature.
All in all, small features can take months to implement.
One issue that will arise with the elimination of rewards for adventure mode is that the utility of non-PVP Axies will be decreased. But what if there was a way to add utility to these Axies without requiring them to be directly powerful in the Arena?
Right now, our current energy system is a bit strange. There are some incentives for players to upgrade to 10 and 20 Axies BUT it’s actually more energy-efficient to split up 9 Axies onto 3 separate accounts and give them to scholars, than it is to buy your 10th from the marketplace for the extra energy.
We can address this by making energy scale more linearly by adding additional tiers and making sure that the energy per Axie added to each account gives sufficient incentive to avoid splitting Axies up or multi-accounting. This would create utility for basic floor Axies that is more accessible to the everyday player.
We haven’t implemented this yet, as it will take some more time on the engineering side but it’s something that we’re pushing internally right now. We wanted to share our thinking on this with you in the spirit of being more open with the community.
We believe that these economic changes will allow us to start righting the ship and getting the economy moving in the right direction. We know that it will be key to execute on delivering new burn mechanisms this year. These issuance reductions will not be enough to get our economic engine back to full strength, but they are a needed step as we build towards a fully-functioning and sustainable economy. When Origin is released, it will be very important for us to share a roadmap of the coming features and economic sinks that will be added as we iterate quickly on the game.