I'd Love to Tell You I Stopped Playing That Game

On demand, I can deposit the mined currency into my in-game wallet. Then I can transfer the money onto the blockchain and swap it for other currencies, like WAX, or switch between the in-game currencies.

The Bot Guy
The Bot Guy
October 28, 2022

I was going to leave it alone and wait to see what a deserted game looked like after a couple of years. But curiosity got the best of me. I snuck a peek at my abandoned game because I enjoy the peace of mind that comes with gaming in a safe environment. I also felt the need to investigate the underlying financial ecosystem supporting the game.

I don’t recommend this action to anyone else as it’s a waste of time for making money. The gains are so small they don’t even register on a balance sheet. In other words, lighting striking my car twice is more likely than my actions making this game economically fruitful.

But here’s the best part— I’m not risking any money either. 

I guess the steps in these ventures depend on your purpose. Therefore, if my purpose is to make money, this whole thing is a waste of time. But my purpose is exploration, and I think it’s cool to have new experiences like generating currency for free. 

The farm game

As explained before, the farm game is a game where I stake NFT cards with pictures of animals or seeds on them. I feed and water these seeds and animals to get NFTs for products they produce, like milk and corn, which I can sell for WAX.

That’s one game.

But I found another with similar mechanics, and this new one offers the ability to combine a few different types of cards and set them off to stake together. The game creates an automatic mining trip on a planet where you operate a mining rig to extract currencies. There are four groups of NFTs, each with a fee for mining a certain amount of currency every hour. 

On demand, I can deposit the mined currency into my in-game wallet. Then I can transfer the money onto the blockchain and swap it for other currencies, like WAX, or switch between the in-game currencies.

The miners generate new currency approximately every forty minutes and return to the headquarters, where they add it to my in-game wallet. Each time I summon my miners and scrape their proceeds into my wallet, productive mining ceases, so it’s important to plan these wallet trips. 

I’ve been mining this way a few times a day for the past several days because I want to build a base in each of the currencies to put into the liquidity pools. I got caught a few times dumping the proceeds into my wallet but forgetting to send my minable cards back to the mines where they could be productive, which slowed my pace considerably.

The object of the game is to figure out how to build balances of these currencies without running out of what is needed to run your mining operations. You can mine a few “resources,” but it will cost one of those resources to repair the mining cards over time, and the repaired currency is more of a problematic resource to mine. Therefore, I usually buy it with other acquired currencies. 

Even though this process is all just a game, the wording and graphics match those in an actual mining process and look like mining asteroids and gas clouds. 

Sounds cool, right?

The economics of a mining trip

To be clear, I’m not shilling, and I’m not even telling you the name of this game, and I’m saying not to do this. Remember, my purpose is different than most. I focus on exploration, not making money. Here are the results of my experiment so far.

28 674

Above is a group of NFTs that mines 28 of something each hour and has created 674.344459 of these things since I pushed all the cards out, staking them together.

Here’s that same group a day later:

28 1290

Noticeably, these things can add up over time. But remember, there are expenses, and there’s a charge to operate the mining rig in the card game each hour. 

Above there’s a calculable balance where the number of currencies created exceeds the amount consumed. I have achieved this goal but have other challenges. The issue I find is that WAX itself isn’t worth much, and I don’t know if it ever will be. So it’s pretty certain that no matter how long I “mine” in this game, I may never reach a point of earning 1 WAX, which is only worth a dime.

If WAX dies, this, too, should fizzle out. I think this game is relatively new, though, which is promising for its survival. If WAX turns around in a big way, this small long shot should make me happy, but not because of the game. My satisfaction will come because I invested in the NFT cards to play the game.

The NFTs

Playing the game isn’t the only way to earn. Buying, holding, and re-selling key NFTs is essential to recoup the WAX I used to get into the game.

On my first pass, I bought anything I could under 0.001 WAX because it’s hard to get those prices after a game is released. A price increase usually happens when automated robots play the game and auto-sell the generated NFTs for minimal profit. Since they deal in bulk, making a small margin on everything is easier than waiting for a big hit on one card, as I will be doing.

Almost all the cards I originally bought have appreciated. I can keep track of my progress by looking in my inventory on AtomicHub and seeing up-to-date live pricing on any NFT from any collection. I can also see my cost, a suggested list price, and the total number of the same NFTs. Details like the lowest listed price and a chart of payments are also available.

The NFT resale game

Okay, so this really isn’t a game; it’s more of a concept. The premise is based on a well-known strategy—buy low and sell high. Everyone thought, if I buy this NFT now for X, I can sell it later for X+, and I’ll make the delta between the two as profit. This process is NFT re-selling, and lots of folks I know made a killing on this.  

But tracking early progress wasn’t easy. Successful resellers had to monitor many websites, oversee numerous NFT networks, and plug into several gaming communities. The whole process was overwhelming. Man, it was just too much for me. So I took a hard pass but learned what they were doing and the tools they were using just in case I needed that knowledge in the future.

Thinking back, I’m glad I ignored the hype surrounding this craze. It seems that the last person holding some of these NFTs during that last boom cycle needs to hold for a really long time to sell to someone else at a higher price. We’re talking years on some of these things; still, others are worthless at any time.  As I mentioned before, with NFTs, the features matter. An NFT that’s only a picture without a system behind it that provides value is unlikely to fetch a high price later.

Back to my strategy— I started using the information about my NFTs to re-sell some of them back into the WAX ecosystem. I aimed to over-buy what I needed and sell the extras at a premium price. Over time, I would eventually recoup all the WAX I spent getting into the game in the first place.

Amazingly, some of these NFTs went up in value so early, given the mining feature is such a new game. I think that success is tied to other squatters looking to make a more significant gain by holding longer. 

Whatever the reason, the fact that it’s happening is a promising sign that these NFT game pieces will retain their WAX value as I play with them. So it seems I’m semi-protected and able to play this game without fear that these NFTs will lose WAX value over time.

Crazy low costs

I purposely bought many duplicates of cards I only needed one or two of and loaded up on many introductory items at sub 1/1000th of a WAX ( < 0.001 WAX). Each WAX is still only worth a dime, so for me to have spent one WAX on these game-piece NFTs, I would have had to buy 1,000. That’s how inexpensive these things were…but not anymore. 

There is a beginner pack, and it goes on sale for anyone who wants to play. The probability of the “pack” revealing each card type is posted before the NFT is minted. The user needs to burn the “pack” NFT in the game. This action removes the pack NFT from existence and generates a new NFT playing card that arrives without a cost, so it’s important to remember what you spend on packs to see if they are worthwhile.

If there are several NFTs in a pack, several new NFTs are generated and delivered to your WAX account with zero cost.

I thought it would be a good idea to grab a few of these packs a while ago when I first got involved and list them for sale at around 7 WAX each. I listed several other items, and so far, I have sold four. 

I haven’t done the math, but I believe this sale returns the mass spend in WAX to acquire the food I’m feeding my farm animals and many other initial NFTs I needed for the first game. However, I have not recouped much of the WAX I spent to get started in the second game, so I’m not in a clear profit just yet. Remember, I’m talking profit based on WAX, not USDT, irrespective of the WAX/USDT pair. I consider profit when I spend less WAX than I received. This goal is possible if I sell some of my extra NFTs. Over time, this will happen— I hope.

Current NFT blockchain gameplay limitations

You can do only so many things as a blockchain game developer, though. For instance, you can stake an NFT, add another NFT in the same contract, and make changes to values associated with the NFTs staked through the smart contracts. The back end of the game you are playing interprets your actions and takes NFT-related action steps resulting from your gameplay. There is a slight delay when you click a button to take an in-game action because the blockchain API must be called.

For example, if I want to feed a chicken, I must own the NFT representing its food. I must spend some energy (an in-game currency) and be ok with the burning of one of my “chicken food” NFTs, thus, making them less scarce and hopefully maintaining the delicate balance of internal and external currencies. 

Breeding two “animal” NFTs is another example. This process is prevalent in many blockchain games. Some games offer the ability to burn two NFTs and get a super NFT, but in this case, I’m talking about breeding, not combining. The idea is to pair two NFTs and depending on probability and a set of traits, your two NFTs create a brand new one.

This process is available in my game and gives humorous screenshots like this.

2 NFTs Into 1

English isn’t typically the first language of the folks creating these games, so there is often some humor in translation. It names the animal, which makes it a little more normal, but producing a baby occurs after feeding a male and a female a certain amount of food over a specific time in their “breeding” mode. I kept the male and female and plan to keep feeding them to “harvest” more babies.

Here’s the good part— 

This new NFT is worth something in WAX. I can sell it, and remember, it cost me nothing to make except the in-game currency I earned for free and whatever NFTs I needed to feed them. How much is it worth? Probably not a lot, but this experience has proven that there’s undoubtedly a financial incentive in the process. The challenge is to figure out which NFTs are the least expensive, easiest to produce, and capable of fetching the most significant amount of WAX over time.

Or you can make it fun, like me. Just poke around and treat it like a playground to learn about markets and interaction. From my experience, I haven’t quite witnessed something with this many layers that are so easily visible, so I remain intrigued.

I’m glad I got nosey and took a peek into my deserted game. As with all these ventures, I may not be getting rich, but knowledge is power. We never know when something big will happen, so we have to stay in the game.


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