Illuvium (ILV) The Game
Nov 08, 2021
Illuvium is an open-world adventure game built on the Ethereum Blockchain and leverages the Immutable X Blockchain and its layer-2 scaling technology. This blockchain game uses a play-to-earn structure wherein users can earn in-game rewards in the form of ILV tokens by engaging in competitions and quests. The game introductory storyline goes thus;
Players start the game with their position in the intergalactic space fleet turning pear-shaped when players crash land on an irradiated planet that's been punished by some sort of cataclysm. Most of the place has been devoured by the ocean and what land remains is getting battered by natural disasters while giant obelisks, created by some previous inhabitant, block access to some regions entirely. Players goal is to discover what caused this event to occur and to unlock the obelisks as they go. To do this, players will need to mine the land for Shards, which can be used to capture Illuvials, subduing them for use in their little private army.
Travelling through the overworld is done on foot or through the Obelisks scattered around the world. Towns also exist near these Obelisks, which is not only where players will craft new gear, but will provide a safe haven away from Illuvials.
As players explore, they will come across Illuvials – the creatures of the land. These aren't roaming freely, but instead phase in and out of the world. Which is a fancy way of saying they just pop up suddenly at random battles – an archaic gameplay mechanic from old Pokémon and Final Fantasy games. Players don't get to track them down like Monster Hunter.
There will only be 1 mode at launch: Adventure Mode. Much of the gameplay occurs within this mode. After launch, 2 battle arena modes are to arrive; Ranked and Leviathan. The former creates a level playing field for skill-based matches. The latter is a free-for-all with whatever collection the player has got.
The role-playing game (RPG) begins by presenting the development of 3D state-of-the-art characters with real-time character-focused gameplay. At the start of the game, players will be able to customize the look of their character. The in-game characters in illuvium are called hunters. While customizing their hunter, players will also be able to choose a drone that will accompany them on their adventures as a sidekick. It's called the Polymorphic Subordinate Drone, or PSD. The drone is used to mine resources from the planet's surface. Ore, uncured Shards and gemstones can be uncovered, all with varying rarities. These can be used to create new armor and weapons, or enhance those already collected. The improvements made here govern the auras players characters emits in battle which, in turn, buffs their Illuvials. Players can also harvest organics from the trees that dot the world. These can be provided directly to Illuvials to offer limited-time enhancements during combat. One example allows players to harvest a poison goo, which can improve an Illuvials' attack stats.
The game’s open and digital world allows users to search for in-game creatures called illuvials
The Illuvials are the Pokémon of this world, Or the Axies if you prefer. At launch there will only be 100 illuvials to collect, this means that at the start of the game there will be 100 different types of illuvials in that can be captured which is relatively small as compared to other games such as Pokémon that had over 500 pokemon creatures that could be captured. The Illuvials are broken up into 1 of 5 affinities (Water, Earth, Fire, Nature and Air) and 5 classes (Fighter, Guardian, Rogue, Poison and Empath). They also have 3 life phases to level-up through, growing from cubs into deities.
Expanding on this further, illuvials can come in many categories, each class of illuvial can come with 5 different affinities, i.e a fighter illuvial can have either water, fire, earth, nature or air affinitiy and this is the same for all other classes including the guardian, rouge poison and empath.
However, as the players level increases and they go farther and farther into the game then they come across rarer, more powerful Illuvials that can have multiple affinities and classes. In addition, players can fuse 3 fully-levelled Illuvials together, generating new variants with rarer abilities. The game also favors players who build up collections of like minded Illuvials, allowing them to "synergize" and enhance one another's powers.
Much like the Pokémon game, illuvials are captured using things called SHARDS.
As you've no doubt gathered by now, Shards are the Pokéball of Illuvium. Shards are mined from the ground in uncured form and the quality of the Shard recovered is random in strength – random in that the stronger, the rarer. Players need strong Shards to capture strong Illuvials. So, if they venture out without a couple of good Shards up their sleeve, they run the risk of coming across an Illuvial that they can't capture.
Throwing an extra curve ball into the mix are rare captures. Each time players use a Shard, there is a small chance it'll be mutated into a Shiny, Rainbow or Holo form – getting rarer in that order. These change the look of the Shard and make it more valuable to the NFT's owner.
On paper, this capture process does have some interesting (although far from unique) depth. While those in pursuit of earning some rare NFTs have something to look forward to from the Fusion concept, Illuvials will also level-up through combat, so will theoretically improve as they are used in-game.
Every time an illuvial is captured, that NFT is minted. If 3 Illuvials are fused together, a new Illuvial NFT is minted and the 3 existing NFTs are burned. However, as of the date of writing this article it's not clear if the result of a Fusion is randomized or preset.
Alongside searching for illuvials, players also search for items in the form of NFTs that can then be used for activities such as battling and trading. Battle items, game skins, collectibles, emotes and the likes are represented as NFTs on Illuvium. These NFTs can be acquired and traded on platforms such as OpenSea, as well as in-game or on the IlluvDEX, its associated decentralized marketplace.
The blockchain-based game also makes use of a play-to-earn structure wherein users can earn in-game rewards in the form of ILV tokens through participating in competitions or by completing quests. Users can also capture Illuvials and collect resources to buy and sell on the in-game marketplace, IlluvDEX.
In addition to the traditional NFTs within Illuvium, the system also introduces “lands,” which are tradable and earnable in-game. Lands are classified into five tiers based on their scarcity and quality.
The maximum number of ILV tokens in the market at full dilution will be 10,000,000. Prior to the game's release, 8,500,000 will be in circulation, with the last million divided out as in-game rewards and for tournament victories. A further 1,500,000 tokens are already held by the DAO in the treasury for further distribution to in-game achievements and tournaments.
The 2,000,000 ILV tokens distributed during seeding are scheduled to unlock in March 2022, and will be drip-fed out at a rate of 1/12 per month for 12 months. The 1,500,000 ILV tokens held by the team will also be drip-fed out from that time, but at a rate of 1/36 per month for 3 years. As of the time of research, a further 3,000,000 tokens are currently being locked away in yield farming for 12-month vesting stints.
Those who buy ILV can stake them in 2 places. There's the direct ILV pool, which is expecting to earn 85% annual percentage yield (APY). Or there is a secondary ILV/ETH Sushi Liquidity Pool on Sushi.com, where users must stake both ETH and ILV 1:1. This delivers a 600% APY on the combined amount.
However, the total pool of 10,000,000 ILV tokens may never eventuate due to the ability for token owners to claim their stake early by converting ILV to sILV. This synthetic alternative holds a 1:1 value with the main token, and allows for those who have staked their ILV to spend it in-game before their funds are unlocked. Any ILV involved in these transactions is burned.
100% of all earnings made through the Illuvium game is returned to holders of ILV.
While in-game trades between users are done using ILV tokens, the transactions between the game itself and users all occur through Ethereum. Indeed, you don't ever need ILV to play the game. Not all regions offer the same difficulty or even access. There is a base Tier 0 realm that is free-to-play and can be experienced by all. It gets players used to the game's mechanics and to the idea of tracking down and collecting Illuvials. Indeed, players can mine for free Shards, which can capture the most basic of Illuvials in the game. However, if a player want to step up to the Tier 1 and higher regions (it goes up to Tier 5) players will have to pay in Ethereum (ETH).
There are 2 ways that Illuvium absorbs Ethereum from the player. The first is they take a 5% fee for any transaction made between players. (There's an additional 0.5% fee that also goes to Immutable X). The second method is through purchasing in-game items. The 5 things that ILV tokens can be spent on are:
Shard Curing: Used to turn mined Shards into Shards capable of capturing an Illuvial.
Travel: When players want to move between regions through an obelisk.
Crafting: If a player wants to quick-jump their way to better equipment.
Cosmetics: Add looks and bling.
Revival: If players dont want to wait for an injured Illuvial to heal, they can jump the process with ETH. A strategy that harks back to those horrid mobile game monetization approaches.
It's unclear at this point how much it will cost in ILV to cure a Shard, but this is at the core of the game's monetization strategy. Illuvials cannot be captured without Shards.
##GAME FORMAT & LAUNCH No formats have been announced, although you can lock in PC and potentially Mac. There is a mobile spin-off title in development – called Illuvium: Zero (see bottom of article) – and the current strategy will see it used as a way to mine resources for the main game while on the go.
The illuvium game is scheduled to go into an open beta in Q1 of 2022. However, that's already a delay from Q3 2021. If the meagre footage available as of September 2021 is anything to go by, that Q1 2022 target seems unlikely. At the time of research ILV token currently has a value of $865.04
Illuvium makes use of the advanced Layer-2 scaling (Layer-2 scaling technology is an extra set of solutions placed on an already existing blockchain that does not affect the security or decentralized nature of the blockchain but adds a little more throughput to extend its scalability and efficiency especially for micro-transactions. It manifests in the form of smart contracts and serves different functions such as scalability of payments and off-chain computing) capabilities provided by Immutable X in order to support fast transactions and zero gas fees. Immutable X is a project that was designed specifically to increase transaction throughput for use with blockchain gaming systems and NFTs on Ethereum. It achieves this via Zero-Knowledge Rollups (zk-Rollups), a form of privacy-focused Layer-2 scaling. Further, to help ensure the robust security of the Illuvium platform, the system leverages Zero-Knowledge Proof cryptography with an eye toward barring malicious actors from accessing users’ private keys. The ILV token sees revenue streams from in-game purchases on IlluvDEX which is the marketplace for transactions on illuvium. Illuvium has partnerships with several decentralized exchanges (DEXs) including SushiSwap and 1Inch.
Illuvium also makes use of a privacy-preserving, highly scalable infrastructure that features Zero-Knowledge Rollups (zk-Rollups – an emerging layer-2 scaling technology). To complement these and other characteristics, Illuvium leverages a decentralized governance structure that is built to benefit from the ecosystem's ILV token and the Illuvium decentralized autonomous organization (DAO).
Illuvium pitches itself as an open-world RPG, which would put it alongside the likes of The Elder Scrolls or Cyberpunk 2077. If it was AAA (AAA is a classification term used for games with the highest development budget and levels of promotion). Very early footage shows a 3D world with large environments filled with reasonable amounts of detail. It's built in Unreal Engine 4, which is a particularly robust middleware solution for this genre. And the color palette does recall that engine's most popular game, Fortnite.
The game developers promised players a range of environments, although all that has been seen is a glimpse thus far of what they may be – mostly in the form of concept art. Some footage has been leaked of a barren rocky island, surrounded by beaches and water. However, it looks bland and very linear for something that's supposedly open world. A day-night cycle has been suggested, too.
Illuvium's combat is derived from the auto battler genre; an emerging gameplay experience that started to get traction a few years ago.
An auto battler is a game where players have no real-time hands-on control of the actual fighting. Instead, it's all about team building and strategy. In this case, using Illuvials. What Illuvials have been collected? How have players upgraded them and fed them with resources? How do the stats, level, class and type of the players assembled team synergize together? Each Illuvial has a basic, critical and ultimate attack to consider, too.
Then, of course, these strategies need to be considered with respect to the strengths and weaknesses of opponents. It's very much like a card collecting game (CCG) in this regard. Or indeed a Pokémon title. However, with an auto battler, once the pieces are placed on the battlefield, players step away and watch on in a passive capacity to see if they got their pre-fight strategy correct. It's not clear yet how many fighters have to be brought into each battle, but screenshots suggest it's 8 Illuvials.
It's worth noting that player characters are always on the battlefield, too. While the player is passive in battle, their avatar is active. It can add affinity and class auras that enhance the attributes of assembled team of Illuvials.
Players can also bond their character to an Illuvial to grant even more additional bonuses. This isn't well explained as yet, but is described as being semi-permanent. It suggests that taking this route may allow players to capture more Illuvials by having a more powerful team, but may deflate the value or even burn that particular NFT as a sacrifice.
While not available at launch, players will eventually be able to place wagers on ranked matches in the battle arenas, too. Land sales have also been touted and even appear as a "coming soon" on the website, but appear to be tied to the Illuvium: Zero mobile spin-off title.
Illuvium: Zero is a spin-off title to Illuvium releasing on mobile in 2022. It's a city-builder, where players are able to buy a portion of land and then build out a civilization that can mine resources. If you are playing the game for free, those resources are bound to belong to the Illuvium: Zero game. However, if you have bought into the game, then the resources you mine can be transferred to the main game as fuel to help with your pursuit of Illuvials. You can also scan Illuvials that roam your land, and use this information to create skins that can be sold into the main community as blueprint NFTs.
Frustratingly, like many developers in the NFT and blockchain gaming space, the developer of Illuvium has no name. and most people see this as a red flag. Looking into the 2 co-founders raises further concerns. Brothers Kieran and Aaron Warwick, out of Sydney, Australia, have no game development history of note. The former – Kieran – is an entrepreneur. While Aaron has a long history as a coding hobbyist, he has never worked in a game studio environment. There's very little notable gaming experience across the grander team. Only former Irrational Games (BioShock), Crystal Dynamics (Tomb Raider) and Arkane Studios (Dishonored) alumni Nate Wells, who only exists in an advisor/producer capacity, is of note.
The idea of illuvium as a game is more exciting than other games because in illuvium players will be able to battle against other players and not just computerized characters and this keeps the game relevant and interesting. Research has shown that there are some doubts about the legitimacy of the game release dates and this is because of the game developers inability to deliver on previously announced dates.
The only ideas we have of the game play are from clips and rumours, and for this reason it is safe to say that the true potential of illuvium cannot be determined at this time but we can say that te developers have left alot of room for growth of the capabilities of the game hence we can say that illuvium is a good investment. Another reason why Illuvium is a good investment is that the main game is surrounded by an entire DeFi ecosystem designed to greatly increase the profitability of the ILV token. In other words, Illuvium players are empowered with access to various dApps (decentralized applications) which allow them to easily multiply the rewards they earned while exploring the virtual wor