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Ascenders is an Action RPG game set in a sci-fantasy open world, built on top of the Avalanche blockchain. The official medium article says Ascenders is aiming to be a combination of two famous titles in recent years, i.e. “Zelda: Breath of the Wild” on Switch and the MMORPG “Eve: Online”. As such, it boasts the usual open world MMORPG elements:
Open world exploration
Land ownership and buildings
Right now the game lore is yet to be released but we can get a glimpse of the fantasy world being depicted in the game trailer and the website. Quoting the website:
Guardians of the Citadel
Survivors of the great Citadel seedship search for the dark secrets hidden deep within this ‘planet of the lost’. Dark forces gather the ancient Aethers slumber, and mighty heroes must arise to defend the last of humanity.
The great clans gather, some allies, many foe. From deepkeep depths come both dangers, and riches. From the Citadel come powerful tools, from Aether mageforges exotic powers. The world is vast, full of wonders and danger.
Since the project has been announced on social media from March, there is not yet a lot of information around the game lore. However, a playable demo is available for download on the official Ascenders website, and from the gameplay we can see this being a hack-and-slash game featuring simple controls, very smooth character moves and great visuals. Feel free to have a look at a demo playthrough here, it’s pretty neat and the learning curve is not steep at all!
As for the other game elements, the Ascenders medium and website have hinted a number of things in the making:
While a lot of this will be discussed in the later section around the ecosystem, this is essentially the similar recipe in other crypto games operating on a dual token system, with land being NFTs and productive assets owned by players to build and upgrade on. In-game items will also be minted as NFTs that can be created via combining resources farmed in gameplay.
In addition to this, land parcels are not distributed on an one-off sale before the game launches. Ascenders features a “battle for land” mechanic in which as players progress through content, new land parcel tokens will be awarded to players on the leaderboards clearing these dungeons. This adds a competitive element to incentivize certain skilled players to take a stab and earn big rewards for cutting edge progression and distinguishes the game from being strictly a play-to-earn title.
Another interesting mechanic the game plans to introduce is NFT interoperability. The game designers believe NFTs shall be interoperable across different domains and will design a mechanic where external NFTs such as BAYCs and CryptoPunks can be used to mint an Ascender hero for their owners to venture into the game. What’s more is that the minted hero will have some of its value and rarity traits from the original. Very exciting mechanic and despite there is little info around this, it can be a groundbreaking feature and we look forward to seeing how this eventually plays out.
The Ascenders game is a title built by the Legendary Foundry Games which is a triple-A game development studio founded in 2021. The studio strives to build the next generation AAA crypto games and its leadership come from AAA studios with years of experience in building games and have involvement in delivering world-acclaimed titles such as Ghost Recon and the GTA series.
The game studio teams are based in the Netherlands and cover a full spectrum of experience across different AAA titles.
Most notable team members are the CEO Jackson Poon, Head of Global development Will Davis, and Design Director Chris Rothwell. They combine a wealth of experience from being a crypto VC across decades of game building experiences and an established record of shipping notable titles. This sets Ascenders up with solid positioning to venture into the AAA crypto game space as a promising contender.
As a game title which strives to be an AAA crypto game, Ascenders has attracted a lot of attention from top crypto VCs and investors to fuel its development to be the best web3 gaming experience.
In March 2022 the project announced a $6.4 million private round co-led by the top blockchain VCs and investors including Paramount Capital, Sino Global Capital, Three Arrows Capital, and Merit Circle.
Funding will be used to expand the development team to acquire top game building talents and to continue building the game to deliver on its vision.
Being built on the Avalanche network, Ascenders is expected to leverage on the power of AVAX subnets, and continued partnership with its home blockchain will continue to bring synergies in the future.
The Ascenders ecosystem is designed around a dual-token system which contains a governance token (Ascenders Governance Council, i.e. ACG) and an in-game currency token called Glow Gems (GG).
The ACG token is designed to drive the governance of the game via the ADAO (Ascenders DAO), in which members can vote on proposals on new features, changes to the game systems, or propose initiatives to develop the Ascenders ecosystem.
AGC can also be used to purchase some of the in-game items and upgrades, and finally can be staked to receive in-game rewards.
That said, currently the tokenomics of ACG is still to be revealed. We look forward to this and will revisit as the tokenomics become available.
GG on the other hand is the in-game currency used to interact with the game actions such as crafting, construction, upgrades and purchase of items from in-game marketplaces. It is also used to distribute the rewards for in-game events such as quests, tournaments, or other player engagement activities.
The Ascenders litepaper also outlines how the ecosystem is designed around 3 different player lanes in which each lane has its own strategy to succeed in the game.
In short, casual players can benefit by gathering and farming resources to progress at a steady pace and supply these to the more competitive players to engage in riskier PVE activities for the search of rare resources and gear. There are also landowners which own the land parcels and buildings and direct their assets to utilize other player groups’ farmed resources to produce NFT items that can be put to use in game.
The synergies and aligned objectives of the player lanes are expected to produce a positive feedback loop which sustains the ecosystem for an engaging gaming experience (and potentially profitable) for the players.
If you’re still reading this, you are actually very early! The game is not yet launched and the development is at the initial stages in the roadmap. That said, there’s actually something very fun to do right now as Ascenders has released a game demo around the Easter holidays and there is actually an additional Easter egg hunt game mode for players to engage with. There is a prize for being in the top scoreboards with an AGC airdrop reward. Be sure to check out the official Twitter and Discord for more events.
The Ascenders demo game is available for download here. Engaging with Twitter activities gives a chance for players to win a share of the upcoming AGC tokens and can probably give you a headstart with the game as the roadmap is fulfilled.
Also worth watching out is the AGC token generation event as it is expected to be in Q2 2022. This is something you ought not to miss if you want to be early in the Ascenders ecosystem.
And that’s it! As a title aspiring to become the top AAA blockchain game, Ascenders has indeed come with a fairly strong start with its smooth playable demo. For now we feel the lore is a bit lacking, but we are still very early right now so we look forward to seeing what the project team has to bring in the near future. Overall, it looks to be a well made game with strong backers, and definitely a title that gamers and investors alike should keep an eye throughout 2022.