I have been a gamer ever since I was 5 years old and got my first Nintendo. Shortly after that I got into computers and started playing some early computer games as well. I also love fantasy & sci-fi so naturally role-playing games tended to be my favorite. Mix in a little D&D and then advent of great console games like Final Fantasy and I was hooked at a young age! In my late teens I stumbled upon Ultima Online, the first MMORPG, and it consumed me. Fast forward to today, and I still love playing online MMO's (my fav right now is Shroud of the Avatar), and the fact that most online gamers have been dealing with and valuing digital assets for years before Bitcoin was conceived gives me unique a perspective on the merging of blockchain and online gaming. Follow The 'Stache as I explore a new blockchain based RPG called CryptoSaga that brings back some of that old school flavor mixed with new school tech.
What is CryptoSaga?
CryptoSaga is a decentralized RPG that utilizes the Ethereum blockchain so you actually own your character! They have cool animated Heroes & enemies that duke it out in an old school style side-scrollish environment where the Ethereum smart contracts determine how the battles go. You start by "summoning" a Hero to fight for you and this requires you to make a purchase with ETH. The price for 1 Hero is 0.02 ETH while you can buy a package of 5 Heroes for 0.1 ETH (no bulk discount!) and you MUST have the browser extension/wallet Metamask installed to buy Heroes & play the game.
How to play CryptoSaga
If you have your Metamask all fired up and you already have a balance of ETH in your wallet you are all set to go! First you need to purchase at least 1 Hero to get started. The type of Hero you get is randomly chosen by the smart contract and is sent to your wallet address as a single Hero coin. As luck would have it, I ended up with the mighty Battle Maid!
Now that you have your Hero, they are ready for battle. The first stop for every new Hero is the Goblin's Mine Dungeon. This is the first level and it seems everyone must start here. They have other options like "Arena" & "Guilds" but they are grayed out and don't seem to be finished options at this time. To enter the Dungeon, you must first put your Hero in an available slot by hitting the orange "Place" button and selecting a slot. I only have 1 Hero so I put her in the first slot. Clicking on the Goblin's Mine brings up the enemies you will face and a button to start the Battle. This is where your next transaction will occur.
Each battle costs you a small amount of ETH to fight. On average it was about $0.50 worth of ETH to fight a Battle, but as of writing this article (and my recent Battle) I paid $3.50 worth of ETH for a Battle. Make sure you keep an eye on this when Battling! Once you pay the transaction for the Battle and it is processed you can open the Battle scene and see the results. This is where the cool animations of you fighting the mobs comes in. It shows in full animation what happens and then your results of XP & Gold gained at the end.
The goal is to clear each level of the dungeon so you can move onto the next dungeon. There does not seem to be much of a story or "saga" involved in the game play.
What I Like & What I Dislike
Now that we know what CryptoSaga is and how it works, let me dive into my pros and cons for this project. Overall I like the look of the game, and the fact that it is a decent proof of concept for a blockchain based RPG, but it is severely lacking in all other aspects.
- The animations and Hero/mob art was cool enough to rope me into buying a Hero.
- Everything actually works! (This is not always the case with these games, see my CryptoKitties article for more on that!).
- Interface is fairly polished and easy to use.
- Battles are relatively cheap to play.
- Not much content, I am sure this will expand, but for now it's lacking anything that resembles a "saga".
- With 1 Hero you can't seem to make it past the first level. I died in battle EVERY time to the easiest level & mobs (those slimes are tough!). This is clearly a ploy to get you to buy more Heros, but really just turns me off from wanting to play further.
- While battles are cheap, you seem to need to fight a LOT of battles to even move from a Lvl 1 Hero to a lvl 2 Hero as after 5 losing battles I have only acquired 35 XP.
- You can only change the name of your Hero by paying more ETH. I understand this, but it still sucks.
The Final Battle
To sum things up, I think that CryptoSaga has a decent start to their project, but it really needs something more to attract and keep players around for the long haul. In my opinion, at a set rate of 0.02 ETH per Hero it is grossly over priced as are the Battles. Not being able to buy a single Hero and have SOME sense of reward makes me not want to play again. I may check back in on the game in the future if they make some adjustments, but for now I will not be pumping the machine with more quarters so I can "COINTINUE" my adventure.