Last week we posted Part 1 of MMONFT’s Ember Sword Interview. Now, it’s time to visit Part 2, which touches on two of the fundamental aspects of most RPG games, gear and end game. In most MMOs, end game consists of a gear treadmill where players continuously pick up new and more powerful gear, but in Ember Sword the most sought-after gear is all on the blockchain and has no competitive advantage. How will players stay invested in Ember Swords end game without a stat-based gear grind?
Whether you’re fighting for territory or you’ve been attacked by some ne’er-do-wells, in most MMORPGs, players live and die by the gear they equip. In many ways, Ember Sword will function much of the same way, but there is a tremendous caveat when it comes to the gear in this upcoming MMORPG. The most valuable gear will be cosmetic only, held on the blockchain as NFT’s, provide no competitive stat bonuses, and cannot be lost in battle, unlike the non-NFT gear.
Ember Sword has plans for some large-scale full-loot PvP in the outskirts of each region. Players will battle it out for the glory of their nation, but the fallen will lose their gear to the victors. Due to the nature of full-loot PvP, non-NFT gear that provides stats and helps mitigate damage, can’t be exceptionally difficult to obtain, so that players aren’t overtly punished for dying, which would hamper the popularity of world PvP. In the interview, Loren states that players should be able to get non-NFT gear with relative ease, and while some gear may have some minor stat differentiation, and bonuses, players should expect their skill to be the defining factor of their competitive success.
However, if the gear that provides you stat bonuses is obtained with relative ease, and it isn’t on the blockchain, will players still want more NFT cosmetic gear, once they’ve obtained a set that they really like? The short answer is, yes.
According to Loren, no competitive advantage can be earned with the blockchain-based gear, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be other advantages. One example he provides is a “magic find” stat, that will grant players a greater chance to find rare materials or items. These items could be used to make new cosmetic gear, or find other special cosmetic items. The cosmetics will also grow and change as you build them. If you’ve finally obtained a gear set you fancy, your NFT gear-grind hasn’t stopped, it has only just begun. With each new piece of the preferred set you obtain, you can use it to upgrade the cosmetic NFT you are wearing, granting you better bonuses along the way, and increasing its value.
There is also the underlying idea that any pieces you find that you don’t want, you can sell to other players for real money. Seeing as how there may be some fundamental difficulties in finding enough of your desired gear to level it completely, Loren anticipates a robust buying, selling, and trading community that will keep the in (and out of game) economy bustling. While there may not be a direct power correlation to the gear you’re vying for at end game, it seems like Ember Sword is planning on a gear-grind of a different type. One where the blockchain economy plays a major role in enticing players to keep crafting, gathering, and battling for their next potential NFT.
Are you excited, interested or maybe just curious in how Ember Sword is handling their end game? Learn more about Bright Star Studios design decision in our video, and let us know what you think in the comments.
Steven has been a writer at MMORPG.COM since 2017. A lover of many different genres, he finds he spends most of his game time in action RPGs, and talking about himself in 3rd person on his biography page.