Macerus — Game Ecosystem Refinement

Our small development team has been hard at work on many fronts over the past months trying to build at full speed but also get alignment on where we’re headed. We have smart contracts being written, web front-ends being refined, oracles being built, game content being added, and our lore/history/story is all being designed in parallel with excellent progress.

Pause And Reflect

So why did we pause to reflect? To answer this, let’s go back a bit in time. Macerus started off as an RPG with a large focus around itemization. It’s the culmination of years of trying to build complex game mechanics into an engine and then find fun ways that players can interact with said mechanics. We initially thought (and still do think!) that the best way to get people exposed to Macerus would be to launch an NFT platform heavily focused around Lootboxes. We know that crypto-communities are strong and engaged, and we wanted to showcase what our item engine could do.

As we started to build out this NFT platform we started trying to layer in more RPG elements onto the blockchain. This is where we started to say “Well wait… Is this a lootbox NFT platform, or are we porting our entire RPG to the chain?”. A valid question, because we want both these things to exist.

And now, we’d like to elaborate on where we’re headed. We’re excited and we hope this excites you as well.

The Lootbox NFT Platform

We started stuffing more features into the lootbox NFT platform because we saw them as parallels in our RPG. These were blending together rapidly and we started to realize we were effectively rewriting our RPG in smart-contracts. When we reflected, we decided to focus on what our minimum viable product (MVP) is and then we’d focus on what that meant for the other things we want to build.

An example sword (taken from our wiki) that will be obtainable as an NFT and also in our full RPG.

The lootbox NFT platform itself will not be an RPG, but it will still be gamified. The lootbox NFT platform will offer you an experience bringing us back to the days where we opened up packs of cards as kids (Pokemon, anyone?), hoping we’d get that shiny rare one or one that we hadn’t seen before. We wanted to collect the entire set. We wanted to be able to trade these off to get the ones from our friends that we didn’t have. The NFT platform is about collecting. We’re doubling down on focusing on lootboxes and loot.

What’s dropping out:

  • There will be no item equipping.
  • There will be no stats.
  • There will be no explore/quest tokens.

What’s sticking around or being added:

  • Open lootboxes. Get sick loot. Build out your collection.
  • Buy lootboxes. Sell loot & lootboxes. Burn loot. Earn points.
  • We will have a robust achievement system. Some will even be hidden.
  • Profit sharing and/or other financial incentives to roll out after MVP.
  • We remain lore heavy. Items will refer back to the world, the history, and the characters we’re building out on our wiki.

In summary, less is more. We want the lootbox NFT platform to be able to stand on its own and be appealing to people in NFT space. We want to reduce the clutter and we think that will help make it awesome. As you’ll see later in this article, we can offer a dedicated NFT experience but bridge to and from a full RPG experience.

The Full RPG

And so you heard RPG originally, and you were interested in the lootbox NFT concept because it had RPG attached to it. So let’s briefly explain what the RPG is centered around and then we’ll summarize how all of this ties together into a really cool ecosystem.

A player-controlled character stands with a green-glow enchantment at night in the rain. UI & game elements are not styled or final and are strictly placeholders to exercise our engine.

Macerus RPG is a 2D tactical-combat party-based role playing game with a heavy focus on itemization. That’s a mouthful. We’ve been building out complex game mechanics into our engine including weather systems, day and night cycles, item sets, skills with different targeting mechanics, crafting, socketing (including mechanics like Diablo 2 rune words), in-game learned language systems, summoning, and so much more.

For an added taste of how deep this goes, it’s worth explaining that all of these systems influence and can be influenced by the item system. The engine supports a scenario as complex as only being able to get a particular drop while on a specific map at a certain time of day while the weather is matching a certain pattern while you’re using particular equipment on your character. You can complete item sets out of gems inside of your equipment. You can have enchantments that are affected by the weather and time of day. The non-playable characters (NPCs) in the game can literally learn languages with you through interactions and then lead you to different opportunities in the game.

Macerus RPG is where we’ll be building out our full RPG offering. We’re not catering to audiences that want a 2-button hack-n-slash experience where you just click as fast as possible… We want to bring back getting loot, theory crafting, tactics in combat, party composition, character progression, and then place our players into a world that they feel excited about.

And we did mention loot, right?

Tying It All Together

One of our core philosophies is that we want your progress in one offering to have carry over into our other offerings. We want to build the game universe and have people invested in playing in various ways. You shouldn’t be forced to play with the different products and services we’ll offer, but you should have the option to benefit from playing across them.

The lootbox NFT platform is about collecting loot. If you’re playing the full RPG, we want you to be able to bring your Macerus RPG loot on chain to help you with your achievements. Did you manage to find that super rare set piece with your party after beating a boss? Bridge it over into the lootbox NFT platform and allow it to count towards your achievements. Conversely, if you’re someone that enjoys NFTs and saw that on OpenSea that someone was selling an awesome 2-handed axe… you may want to get that for your warrior character in the full off-chain RPG. Bridge it from the chain to Macerus RPG so your warrior is no longer the weak point in your party. Want to stick to just NFTs or just playing an RPG without crypto? We got you too.

Our engineers have a background in bridging data between different domains, and we’re going to lean into that. We even have plans (and when we say plans, we mean a rough prototype already exists) for a mobile/web companion app that will allow you to bring party members with you on the go and have different experiences that tie into this ecosystem. Now when you’re doing your cardio at the gym, you can still find ways to grind for some loot. But that’s for later.

In Conclusion…

We took a step back to reflect on the different things we want to build. We’re going to allow these offerings to focus on what they were intended to be and remain true to what their core scope is. We’re then going to use our creative engineering to ensure we have on and off ramps between the offerings in our ecosystem so you can use all of these together in exciting ways.

We hope that this was a helpful explanation of where we’re headed and how we got here.

Connect With Us

We’d love to hear your questions, thoughts, and feedback. So please reach out to us on social media or come join us on Discord.

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store