Move over peanut butter and jelly because there is a better duo in town. Neither Batman and Robin nor Mario and Luigi come close to my favourite pair of all time. I am, of course, speaking about gaming and cryptocurrency.
When gaming and crypto met at a crossroads and GameFi was born, I was thrilled to see two of my biggest passions combine. I will be the first to admit that no GameFi project to date has excited me enough to want to buy a six-pack of energy drinks and pull an all-nighter gaming and nerding out. We are in the early days after all, and a lot of development work needs to happen in the GameFi space. In this Guild of Guardians review, we will explore the game in detail and see whether or not this may be the first GameFi project worth sacrificing sleep over.
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What is Guild of Guardians?
Guild of Guardians is a mobile multiplayer blockchain RPG that is a blend of fantasy and action, inspired by the likes of Diablo and Dungeons and Dragons. Players can build their dream team of “Guardians” and adventure with their guild to earn rewards, defeat foes, and loot.
The creators of the game state that they believe that blockchain games should be both fun and rewarding and that neither of those factors should come at the expense of the other. I completely agree with that sentiment. Too many play-to-earn games are too focused on the “earn” feature, with the gameplay and graphics being so shoddy and lame that it is not even fun as players only care about the earning potential.
Another common issue is that the barriers of entry can be so high that average gamers cannot even participate. This is why Guild of Guardians was created using a free-to-play model, making it accessible to everyone, unlike the high barriers to entry and issues seen with many other games like STEPN.
In STEPN, the NFT shoes needed to get started cost about ten times more than I am willing to pay for real shoes, making the game an investment first, and a game second, and was enough to make me not interested in the project. Great blockchain-based games should have a primary focus on making a great game available to all, with crypto integration being a bonus IMO, which is one thing I really like about Guild of Guardians.
The Guild of Guardians team claims that this will be the first AAA mobile blockchain RPG game. I will say that it is a fantastic-looking game with an exciting storyline, the gameplay looks engaging, and it looks like it will definitely be one of the best mobile crypto games available, but I feel that the term “AAA” is being used far too liberally in the GameFi world.
Every crypto game is claiming to be “the first triple-A blockchain game” and is watering down what it means to truly become a top-tier, state-of-the-art game. If every mediocre crypto game claims to be “AAA” what is going to happen five years from now when we truly do have mind-blowing GameFi projects? We will need to come up with a new standard as today’s claims of triple-A titles have set the bar ridiculously low.
Here is a look at some of the gameplay:
While I tip my hat to the team for what looks like an awesome mobile gaming experience, would I say it’s triple-A worthy? Probably not in my humble opinion. I don’t believe mobile gaming technology is good enough right now for any game to be considered triple-A worthy on a mobile device to be honest. Though Guild of Guardians does look epic and I am looking forward to the release.
In Guild of Guardians, like all good blockchain games, players can earn, buy, and trade in-game items for other items, or sell them for real monetary value in an NFT marketplace. By joining guilds and skulking through dungeons to battle foes and mine resources, heroes and their pets can traverse the lands collecting valuable NFTs.
Guild of Guardians is built on the powerful Immutable X layer 2 scaling solution for NFTs, which allows for access to gas-free minting and trading while providing the security and robust stability of the Ethereum network.
The choice in technology allows for all the benefits of Ethereum without the drawbacks of high gas fees, allowing the team to weave in attractive in-game mechanics like trading, crafting, and item drops that won’t cost players an arm and a leg, nor require them to take out a second mortgage. Boy, I cannot wait until horrendous Ethereum gas fees are a distant painful memory. Fortunately, Immutable X provides a brilliant sidestep there.
Guild of Guardians started in 2020, where the team spent half a year working on the design, narrative, development, and strategy of the game. In 2021 they partnered with ImmutableX and the development team at Stepico Games.
The game was first publicly announced in March 2021, and this cinematic trailer was released as a teaser:
Within a week, there were already over 100,000 email registrations, 35,000 Twitter followers and 3,000 members in the Discord community made up of gamers who could not wait to get access to the game.
Guild of Guardians Review: Design and NFTs
One thing that I feel the team did better than many other blockchain games was placed a huge emphasis on the importance of beautifully created NFTs that are so much more than just crumby JPEGs. Thank goodness for that because I am getting pretty tired of NFTs that are so pixelated and low quality that I cannot tell the difference between a character and a pile of rocks.
The team had a desire to create NFTs that players would want to show off and that people could get excited about; I’d say they checked that box. The NFTs come with sound, and as you can see, are animated very well with high quality. Here is what the summoning of a Hero looks like:
Hmm, am I more interested in an awesome-looking animated Hero NFT, or a JPEG of a pixelated rock? I know which one I prefer.
The in-game assets include things like:
- Items and Icons
Guild of Guardians: Gameplay
Alright, let’s get into the good stuff and dive into the gameplay and characters. In this game, team strategy will be as important as skill as team composition and synergies will matter, as will skill usage and ability to dodge and fight. Factions, classes, and elemental synergies will all play a role in how effective teams are in battle.
As the name suggests, these Heroes will be the playable characters. Each Hero is unique as it is attached to a user’s unique wallet address, making it a one-of-a-kind NFT. Any upgrades or additions to the character will be reflected by each player’s NFT character. Each Hero will have a unique set of properties that dictate its playstyle, strengths, and weaknesses.
These Heroes valiantly march into dungeons to defeat monsters and earn rewards. Players will need to form a team of heroes according to their desired style of play in order to achieve maximum results and test out different strategies. Players can select to play as elves, orcs, humans, or a plethora of other magical creatures.
Players can purchase additional Heroes, team up with other players, or Heroes can be found by looting and combining Heroes to create more powerful characters. The Hero classes are as follows:
Heroes will belong to a faction which will determine the general type of character, and monsters will have strengths and weaknesses against certain factions. Heroes from different factions will have access to different drop tables, adding an additional level of strategy to the game.
Characters can be categorized according to their rarity:
Legendary and Epic Heroes will be more powerful than Common types. An interesting tidbit here is that each hero will have strengths and weaknesses against other characters, meaning that a rare hero could be better than a legendary character depending on the situation.
And of course, like any good battling RPG game, there are roles such as tanks, healers, DPS and support.
Elemental powers such as fire and water will also come into play. Units of a particular element gain 30% extra damage against those of a weaker element, adding to the strategic decisions players will need to make. In addition to characteristics, each character will also have two abilities:
- Passive- Grants heroes with certain buffs or synergy effects together with other heroes.
- Active- These are abilities that can do things like clear a room, heal a team, taunt a boss, or deal large amounts of single target damage.
Here is a chart showing some of the different Hero properties:
Heroes will also be able to have pets which are creatures that can be bound to a team providing various additional benefits such as increased crafting resources, increased item drop chances, etc.
As players traverse through the game, new heroes can be collected by summoning them, which can be done by purchasing a summon or earning summoning shards during gameplay.
For an idea at what the gameplay will look like, here is the pre-alpha gameplay footage from the Guild of Guardians YouTube channel :
This game is not for the lone wolf as there is strength in numbers and players are going to want to form or join guilds. The most rewarding content, progressing to fights against the strongest enemies, and unique and rare rewards will be attainable by guild members.
Guilds come in four different tiers:
- Adventurers Guild- 20 members, the guild leader receives a first cut of 1% of any sale from the guild
- Warriors Guild- 30 members, guild leader receives a 2.5% cut of any sale
- Legends Guild- 40 members, guild leader receives a 5% cut of any sale
- Mythic Guild: 50 members, guild leader receives a 10% cut of any sale
Those who want to become a guild leader have a chance to purchase guilds prior to the game’s launch, with prices ranging from a few hundred to over $100K. According to the site, all the guild positions are sold out, so guild membership and leadership may be difficult to acquire.
Energy will be depleted whenever a player enters a dungeon and will be refilled over time. Heroes will get “fatigued” if they enter a dungeon too many times in one day, which will cause penalties such as stat reductions or requiring extra energy to use certain traits and abilities. Players will either need to rest until their energy is refilled or can purchase Energy boosters.
Guild of Guardians is not an open-world environment as are games like Skyrim or Red Dead Redemption. The main gameplay will come in the form of progressing through dungeons and completing the challenges within them. Rewards such as resources, currency, equipment, and summoning shards will be found in the dungeons which can be sold or used to enhance Heroes and create new equipment.
All dungeons are level-based and unique. There will be monsters, bosses, and traps to explore and overcome, providing plenty of variety throughout the game.
Once a character and a team are selected, players will set off to complete quests and enter dungeons. Dungeons have the following attributes:
- Each dungeon is unique and is resided in by monsters, bosses and traps which must be overcome.
- Will contain challenges to be completed.
- Will contain rewards to be earned such as resources, currency, and equipment. These can be used for recruiting and upgrading heroes and crafting equipment.
- May contain new heroes and equipment that can be acquired. Better heroes and equipment will be needed to progress through harder dungeons.
Guild of Guardians: Roadmap
The game was set for a soft launch in mid-2022 but got pushed back to 2023, with an alpha version already available to test the use of Gems for voting purposes and early stages of gameplay.
Over time, the game will continuously develop and the following game modes will be added:
- Guild Raids
- Guild PVP
- Land gameplay
- User-generated dungeons
- eSports tournaments
- Social hang-out and trading areas
To me, this sounds like all the additional gameplay modes that are needed to make a game that is sure to hook players in for a long time and provide plenty of replay value for years to come. To me, this sounds similar to a mix of World of Warcraft and RuneScape which has enjoyed a large active userbase for years.
Guild of Guardians Gems (GOG)
Gems are an ERC-20 token that are owned and issued by Guardians Guild Limited and serves as the in-game currency, utility, and governance token. As the community absolutely exploded in interested gamers and GameFi enthusiasts, the token was quickly picked up and supported by FTX, OKX, and Sushiswap, making it widely accessible.
The GOG token is an integral part of the game economy and will be offered to players as a reward for in-game achievements and events. GOG token holders will also be able to participate in the management of the project as a governance token. Here are the main functions of the Gem token:
- Reward players– Gems are a tradable in-game currency that is given as gameplay rewards to improve player retention and provide an avenue for play-and-earn.
- Align incentives– Gems can be given to community members, developers, content creators etc. as an incentive to grow the game and community. Gems will also be used for governance and voting.
- Regulate the economy– Gems form an important part of helping build a sustainable play-to-earn economy. Gems are required to mint NFTs, and a fixed distribution of Gems for rewards will prevent unsustainable growth.
- Minting NFTs– Gems will be needed to mint in-game NFTs when items are merged, crafted, or ascended.
- Buying assets- Gems will be the currency needed to buy assets in primary sales, or as a fee in secondary sales.
- Staking- A percentage of all fees will be collected and distributed back to players as active staking rewards.
A total of 1 billion Gems will be issued over four years, with the following breakdown for token distribution:
The circulating supply of Gems is designed to incentivise long-term growth and sustainability. Here is a look at the circulating supply schedule:
Gem can be staked on the platform by players and a proportion of the fees generated in the game by crafting or summoning will go to Gem stakers.
Let’s take a look at the GOG Gem token performance:
While the token performance looks dismal, we are in the depths of a bear market at the time this is being written, so keep in mind that the GOG token performance is pretty much being battered along with the rest of the broader crypto market.
GOG was released to market with a price of around $1.29 and quickly shot up to its all-time high of $1.90 before crashing down to $0.12, down over 90% from its initial token price. This is not surprising, nor worrying as the token did launch in December of 2021, completely missing the bull market and being crushed as they went public during a crypto bear market.
Many crypto projects have delayed the release of their tokens and project developments as the bear market crept up on the industry faster than most people expected. Bear markets cause a lot of crypto projects to go into hibernation mode, so it was a very bold choice by the Guild of Guardians team to not allow themselves to be phased by the market conditions. Have to respect them for their courage there, kudos to that.
The GOG Gem token is being held by gamers who are waiting for the full launch of the game in order to participate in the marketplace, and by investors who are confident in the success and adoption of this mobile blockchain play-to-earn game.
How to Make Money in Guild of Guardians
There are several ways to earn money in the game, and the best part is that players can get started earning for free, without needing to make purchases.
When starting the game, the player will get a free Hero which cannot be sold. While going through the game and playing through dungeons, players may find other heroes and summon shards as a reward. Heroes can be combined into a more powerful game character which can then be sold on an NFT marketplace.
These are the ways in which players can earn in Guild of Guardians:
- Find, flip, combine and create NFTs which can be sold
- Leaderboard rewards
- Daily task completion
- Collect and sell loot
- Daily Gems rewards
Players can contribute crafting materials to their guild to craft NFT items, which will automatically be sent to the market to be sold. Profits will automatically split proportional to each player’s contribution. Crafting of equipment will require different types of materials, including those that can only be found in lower-level dungeons or by using heroes from specific factions, resulting in both new and experienced players having specialized roles in Guild Crafting so they must work together.
How to Get Started with Guild of Guardians
The first thing you will need to do is pre-register on the main page of the website. After confirming the subscription, the user will have the opportunity to enter personal data which will be required once the game is fully released.
Next thing you will need to do is connect your MetaMask browser extension wallet. You can find out everything you need to know MetaMask, what it is, and how to use it in our MetaMask Beginner’s Guide.
Then from there, you will just follow the prompts in the window that opens to complete the connection of your crypto wallet. Once MetaMask is connected, you will need to connect it to the ImmutableX blockchain. To do that, go to the “mint” tab and click the “LINK A WALLET TO X” button.
It can take up to 10 minutes to fully go through the wallet connection process. Additional Heroes can be purchased on the ImmutableX marketplace.
Guild of Guardians: Partnerships
This game has certainly turned some heads, not just from folks like you and me, but industry giants like Ubisoft and the Sandbox. In 2021, the team announced that they had secured partnerships with xNRG Esports, Ubisoft, Yield Guild Games and the Sandbox to transform the gaming industry.
The result of the Ubisoft partnership will see Guild of Guardians receive intensive, personalized support from Ubisoft in an attempt to create the world’s first blockchain game that reaches mainstream, break-out success.
The Sandbox partnership will see characters that can be played in both universes. I love this advancement as in my earlier article where I dive into NFTs and Blockchain gaming, one of the most exciting aspects of metaverses and GameFi will be NFTs that are transferrable between universes, and this is the first real instance where I have seen this come to life.
You can find out more about how the character NFTs can be played in both metaverses by checking out their medium article that describes it in more detail.
Guild of Guardians Team
Guild of Guardians will be published by Immutable and developed by Stepico Games. Stepico Games is the development studio behind Guild of Guardians and many other successful mobile games. Located in Ukraine, the studio houses a team of over 80 designers, artists, and developers. They have worked on top-of-the-line gaming projects such as MMA Manager, Century Siege, TD Battles and Bigfoot, and are actively involved in developing exciting and innovative games and solutions for the entertainment industry.
Immutable is a VC-funded blockchain gaming startup backed by well-known investors, including Galaxy Digital, Naspers, Coinbase, Apex Capital, Nirvana Captain and Continue Capital. They are also the team that is building the Immutable X scaling solution.
You can find a full breakdown of the core team members and more information on the Guild of Guardians Team on their Blog Post.
Guild of Guardians Review: Closing Thoughts
GOG is an interesting new contender in the GameFi space. One of the biggest factors that could contribute to mass adoption and success of this project is their focus on mobile gaming. Mobile gaming popularity has surpassed desktop gaming, and the developing nations that most widely adopt play-to-earn games are known for their interest in mobile gaming as many users do not have computers.
The fact that this game is free-to-play is also great to see as the upfront capital needed to get involved in many blockchain games is a massive barrier to entry. Stepico and Immutable have taken all the ingredients needed to make a popular game, leveraging the knowledge that similar styles and genres of games in the past have become massively successful, and have added a flavour of NFTs and crypto into the mix, along with unique demand drivers and sustainable in-game economics and tokenomics.
With everything that has gone into this project, the growth of the blockchain gaming, NFT, and crypto sectors, I feel that this game could be a smash hit in adoption and success. From the early release gameplay footage and scouring through the whitepaper, this game looks really fun with countless hours of playability. I would not be surprised at all to see Guild of Guardians become one of the top 10 blockchain games once interest returns to the overall crypto space.
Guild of Guardians: FAQ
Do I need to spend money on Guild of Guardians?
No, the game is free-to-play and does not require players to make an upfront investment. The overall experience is designed so that upfront spending is not a requirement to progress throughout the game.
Players can spend money on items if they choose to, and the team emphasises that this will not come at the expense of players who choose to progress through the game without spending money.
Is Guild of Guardians a Pyramid Scheme?
Guild of Guardians is free-to-play and play-to-earn game with a public team and visible transparent activities. There are two legitimate and publicly established companies behind the game development, known for launching multiple successful projects in the past.
The game’s long-term profitability will not be reliant on newcomers spending money to get involved, so for all those reasons, this game cannot be considered a pyramid scheme.
Is Guild of Guardians a Scam?
This has become an unfortunate frequently asked question for many legitimate blockchain gaming projects. Sadly, there have been many games released where the developers had no intention of making a long-term fun and sustainable game. Many crypto gaming projects have popped up, suckering early investors into purchasing in-game items, just to have the developers take off after making a quick buck.
Guild of Guardians is developed and published by highly respected companies Immutable and Stepico, who have many accolades and successful launches and projects under their belts before this game launch. The team is public, transparent, enthusiastic about blockchain and gaming, and dedicated to building a fantastic play-to-earn mobile game. The fact that users can play this game for free, and the high calibre teams behind the project make me confident in determining that Guild of Guardians is not a scam.
Is Guilds of Guardians Profitable?
As the game has not yet been launched, it is hard to give a definitive answer here. The game looks to have good demand drivers and reward mechanisms in place and a very large and fast-growing community behind it. The trend we have seen with most play-to-earn games is that early adopters have the potential to make a good profit within the opening days or weeks after a launch, then the projects often see intense sell pressure from first movers who look to lock in profits, with many projects no longer being profitable to players after a few months.
However, some GameFi projects such as Splinterlands have been massively successful over the long term and have a massive loyal player base who are still earning profits in the year post-launch. Guilds of Guardians does appear to have what it takes to be a long-term successful gaming project and one that is unlikely to see players get bored, lose profits, and move on after a few months.
The team has an exciting roadmap with plenty of attractive releases and the player-contributed content leads me to believe that this is a game that could have long-term profit potential for both players and investors. Though like most crypto projects, success will ultimately depend on user adoption and trend behaviour.
Disclaimer: These are the writer’s opinions and should not be considered investment advice. Readers should do their own research.