My Adventure in Upland

By Bdag | Upland for Cheapskates | 11 Nov 2020


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After reading my first several posts on the subject, you’ve gotten some bits and pieces of my story in Upland. I thought I might take some time to give you a little more detailed look at my progression in the game and how I kept as a cheapskate. (Warning, big wall of text approaching!)

1*gBVyOVpx5H0WNVl6S4LkIQ.jpeg All the little blue dots show my properties!

On May 21st at 9:38am I signed up for Upland. I came in through an ad I saw in the Brave Browser. Actually, the story has a sort of BC epoch as well. On May 10th I finally bought some of my first cryptocurrency. I’d been thinking about getting into Bitcoin for a few years but not really sure where to start. I finally talked to a friend who directed me to Coinbase where buying and selling all the major coins and tokens was easy. Beware, it’s a rabbit hole! For this not-so-much crypto and not-so-much gamer it was an exciting trip.

After I settled into a little e-money I started doing some light research. Maybe I was even starting to worry about privacy concerns and the big G. That’s when a search led me to the Brave browser, touted to be cookie and ad free unless I don’t want it to be. On top of that, I get paid to view ads. I saw the ad for Upland once or twice before clicking and then my journey began.

So at 9:48:15 on 5/21/20 I bought my first property at 139 Lobos for 2340 UPX. I checked what the collections was all about, got my Newbie bonus and bought another property on the same street. I put in US$4.99 to get 5000 UPX more. At this point I became an Uplander and bought a third property, achieving San Franciscan and King of the Street bonus. I realized I was missing out on the Sunset bonus and had just enough cash leftover to buy a cheap Sunset. I sold one of my Lobos properties and bought another Sunset.

I got familiar with the city, played a few treasure hunts only winning an odd small one or two. During that first week was split testing a daily login bonus which I picked up for a total of 1760 UPX. I found and read a bunch of gameplay guides written by the community and figured out some more game mechanics, goals, etc.

On May 27th I achieved the Sunset collection and tried to figure out my next goal. Mission District? Russian Hill? Any of these would take forever on a cheapskate’s budget. I tried telling friends about it but no one was really interested so I didn’t get any referral bonuses. At one point I considered signing my wife up and using her account to further mine.

Note, this is a big no-no. I mean, great if your wife, husband, romantic endeavour, life partner, 18 year old kid, parent, etc. want to play Upland. But it must be them playing. You cannot control two accounts. San Francisco has Alcatraz jail and it is actively used for account fraud.

I didn’t have to wait long for my next step. On June 1st, after 4 jumps in a treasure hunt I landed dead smack on the largest treasure ever to that date, 108,000 UPX. I didn’t even understand what I had won at first. But as it slowly crept up on me I had to thank the good Lord that I had not cheated accounts and perhaps this was my karma or blessing for staying clean.

Of course my whole game changed after that. Everyone congratulated me save for the one player whom I had beaten by a second. He was livid and claimed he had landed there first. That’s the nice thing about the blockchain, it records all the interactions. In fact, that’s how I’m recounting this story right now by looking back through the record. I’ll show you how further down.

Anyway, here I am sitting on over 100,000 UPX and not sure what to do. My sights were still set on working my way up the collections and I could have bought into Mission District, Pacific Heights AND Nob Hill. I got some advice from the community on Discord and ended up buying 3 lots in Seacliff which appeared to be having a fire sale. I bought in for 104,000 UPX, got my 8000 UPX collection bonus and looked for my next move.

Of course, I was jazzed about treasure hunts and kept those up. I was also jazzed about earning 12 UPX every 3 hours now instead of 1.5. I bought a few more properties here and there and stayed tuned to the community. Alamo Square was quickly becoming hot and I watched as the neighborhood got bought up. It didn’t have much intrinsic interest to me but I figured there was some money to be made so I put in another US$9.99 and on June 8th bought a property for 10,890 UPX.

A little more treasure hunting, a little more buying and selling props, a little more trying to figure out my goals. Alamo Square was sold out and being overseen by an unofficial community mayor. This is something that happened solely in Discord and is not associated with the game. But officially, we had heard that any neighborhood could qualify for a bonus once property development came out. So people were starting to take charge of selling out neighborhoods to be ready for property development. I decided I liked the looks of Mint Hill. Small neighborhood, very central, and contains the active US Mint. Who knows, that could be a bonus! Not cheap though but I started buying a few properties thinking 3 would be sufficient for such a small neighborhood.

In the meantime Alamo Square had sold out and the resale market was glowing. I listed my property for 73,500, then dropped it to 69,900 and finally 66,900. On June 19th it sold. With the additional cash I had on hand I bought both Russian Hill and Pacific Heights collections. In the meantime I had finally found a friend to join Upland with me. He bought a few properties and we did some trades to help each other achieve some of the collection bonuses. As long as there are two unique people doing it, this is a permissible activity. At the end of the trading I ended up with most of his properties but he ended up with a full Pacific Heights collection, thanks to my Alamo Square sale.

On June 17th I purchased my third and final Mint Hill property. I then declared my mayoral intentions and FOMO set in. By that point Mint Hill was already half sold out so I figured it should be an easy task to sell out the rest. I was not wrong. Within a few days the entire 10 blocks were under various ownership. I was now a neighborhood mayor!

On June 26th I had my own FOMO. As mentioned in a previous article Nob Hill was selling out and I owned nothing there. Again, with the help of the community, I decided that it was time to sell some Seacliff. I listed two of my properties at 60,999 UPX and started pushing to sell. I then dropped prices to 59,995. On June 29th the first one sold and I ran to Lower Nob Hill to find the 2 cheapest unminted. I relisted my remaining SeaCliff to 59,500, then 58,885 before it finally sold on June 30th. I ran back to the Nob Hill collection and picked up the remaining three.

After that July was a slow grind of treasure hunts, property flipping, and making 25 UPX every 3 hours from collections. I finally picked up Mission District but determined that the rest of the collections would be unattainable to me. I’d had my eye on Crooked Vermont for a while but suddenly on July 5th noted that someone had bought several properties there. I picked up one of the few remaining ones hoping for FOMO and relisted it for 111,111, then 500,000, then finally 895,837 UPX. I wouldn’t let this one go easily!

Crooked Vermont is the only other street in San Francisco like Crooked Lombard. Both are about 350' long and both are on very steep streets. The purpose of the ‘crooked’ architecture is to avoid cars having brake failure and coasting to 80mph before wrecking at the bottom of the hill. Crooked Lombard had long been sold out and the prices being asked are insane. Granted, there is a collection for Crooked Lombard but I figured maybe at some point Vermont would get the same treatment. Why 895,837 UPX? Because the address is 895 VERmont (VER = 837 on a phone keypad).

A few more neighborhoods were subject to community mayors and FOMO and sellouts. I made a little money flipping properties in Lakeshore, bought into Little Hollywood, missed out on several others and found other cheap properties that had been abandoned by visitors. Cheapest property I found was 1,000 UPX which I then turned around and sold for 3,149 UPX!

Then, on July 26th I noticed a funny thing starting to happen. Lakeshore, which had sold out under so much FOMO began to be available again. Why? Well, the properties are cheap! Many of them are in the 3,000 UPX range and are easily accessible to new players of which a good handful are visitors. I have a feeling these visitors bought into the hype, grabbed a Lakeshore property, kept waiting for something to happen and eventually stopped logging in, not willing to drop just $5 on the game to stay in for the long haul. In the meantime I picked up 11 and flipped 6 for around 8,000 each. At this moment I notice that there is still 1 property owned by a visitor. I’ve got my eye on them and intend to pounce when they become abandoned. But I also am intending to hold at least 4 properties for a while. When that property development shows up I figure these lots have the potential to sell for 20,000 each or more.

This game has both short term and long term flips and having a mix of both will help your portfolio. Also, buying cheap properties throughout the map helps with treasure hunts and makes resale easier. People like paying only 4,000 UPX or less for a property. Easier to profit when you’re in 3,000 instead of 3,800.

On July 28th during the NYC event in San Francisco, I bagged a couple of special pinatas that netted me 16,150 UPX. Since two of my Russian Hill properties had been bought on the aftermarket I thought it might be a good idea to mint a few fresh so my earnings were better. Remember, earnings are based off of first sale. If you buy a property for 10,000 but it was originally minted for 5,000 then you get earnings based off of 5,000. It’s always best to mint properties yourself if you can. So I took my pinata earnings and minted a fresh property in Russian Hill for 17,940. I then listed one of my second sale properties for twice the original price. I flipped a few more properties, got a few more treasures and on Aug 8th upgraded my second Russian Hill. My third Russian Hill had already been freshly minted so now I was holding a full set of first mints.

New people show up all the time in game and in chat. One of the fun things we do as a community is have visit raids. The player sets the visit fee on their property to 100 UPX and we work to build up their balance so they can become an official Uplander. Having a net worth over 400,000 with a steady liquidity of 10,000 or more makes it easy to help other players. With my net worth I’ve been able to visit several Visitors to help convert them to Uplanders.

Not only that but there is the ability to help newer players by trading up. When you’re working with limited funds it can be much harder to buy low end properties (say, for Sunset) and then resell them in order to bump up. Sunset has so many unminted properties that trying to resell a cheap one for even 10% above minting can push it above the cost of other unminted properties. So why would I buy yours when I can mint fresh for cheaper? Besides, if you buy a previously minted property listed for 4,000 UPX, you will actually pay 4,200 for real estate fees. But you can avoid that with trades!

Most recently, I was able to help a newer player get into Russian Hill. Cheapest unminted properties at the time were 19,000 UPX and rising. This player had 3 reasonable Sunset properties listed for 8,000 each. Honestly, these were not going to sell anytime soon, especially not since there were unminted 6,000 UPX next door and 5,000 UPX properties elsewhere in Sunset. However, I saw the future potential so I was willing to consider them worth 6,000 UPX each for a trade. I traded the most expensive one to this player for my Russian Hill property and then he set the sale price to 1 UPX each on the other and I bought them.

Note, I do not recommend this strategy anymore. There are bots around and they will immediately snag any property listed under a certain price.

Had he bought my Russian Hill for the 19,000 I wanted, he would have paid over 20,000 and I would have netted less than 18,000. If he had sold the Sunset properties for even 6,000 each then he would have netted 5,400 apiece and not had enough to purchase my Russian Hill. So, we made the trade and I took a small potential loss on current sale prices while also gaining longer term potential on a third set of Sunset properties.

Another newer player wanted to get into Russian Hill and was willing to bring some cash to the game. I had one more property in that neighborhood that I wanted to upgrade. I was also going to help him achieve as many collections as possible for the Rising Star challenge. He had 20k on hand so I started by having him purchase a Russian Hill property that I wanted for the same amount. That gave him 3 properties in total and we started the trades. First he got some Sunset properties which gave him Sunset, King of the Street, and San Franciscan. Then I traded those for 3 Mission District properties. Then he decided to buy another 20k UPX and bought the cheapest available Russian Hill for 16k UPX and he also made a lowball offer on one of my properties. That gave him 5 total for City Pro. All the way along he was picking up collection bonuses.

At this point I had one more collection to offer, Nob Hill. This requires 5 properties so we straight traded all his City Pro Collection for my Nob Hill. Finally, we worked through the trades so that he got his first properties back as well as a 15k value Russian Hill that I had been holding. I ended up with the 20k value one I wanted and he ended up with 6 extra collection bonuses plus a Russian Hill collection, plus second place in the contest worth 15,000 UPX. Pretty easy when he chose to bring $40 right into the game!

I ran this scenario with a second player and worked him up to Nob Hill, intending to then bring him back into a Russian Hill collection. After we swapped him into Nob Hill he suddenly stopped responding. I gave it a little time and threw another prompt. Then I posted the brief scenario in the Discord chat while keeping identities anonymous, hoping the user might see he was about to get smeared in the community and have the tiny potential to end up in Alcatraz. I heard back from him pretty quick with a fairly reasonable excuse and we continued the process. I could have lost 100,000 UPX of value in one fell swoop! Obviously I will be much more careful in the meantime and aim to trade similarly valued properties.

After seeing my yellow flag post in the community another long-time user reached out to me. He was holding an Inaugural Collection (Est 2019) and asked me if I wanted to do a quick temporary swap to get that collection bonus. Of course my head exploded because it is worth 11,000 UPX! His reasoning was that I had done a good thing helping another player and had gotten in danger of losing my properties. He wanted to give me a little incentive for my Good Samaritan act. He knew I was active enough that I wouldn’t want to run off with his collection worth several million UPX. It was a super gracious act that didn’t cost him anything (the bonuses are paid out by Upland) but gave me more liquidity and pushed my net worth right up to but not quite 500,000 UPX.

One other thing that has caught my attention is the release of NYC. Now, I’m not super hyped about NYC just because there isn’t much game there. There are properties to own, sure, but there are no collections, no treasure hunts, just expensive properties. Collections will come in time and I may grab a few properties there in anticipation of that, but I don’t feel any FOMO.

What IS exciting about the NYC release however is that the developers are ALSO slowly releasing some of the phantom properties from San Francisco. That means that the heretofore sold out neighborhood is no longer, at least for the next 10 minutes until someone snags the newly available properties. In the case of Haight Ashbury they didn’t last 5 seconds before they were snagged. Several explorers were hanging around those areas in expectation that the last property would become available to mint and own, and sell for a hefty profit.

In my case I found a property in Nob Hill. As per Russian Hill above it allowed me to upgrade my collection. I quickly minted the property for 23,414 and sold a property 1/3 the size for 20,000. Just like that I increased my Nob Hill holdings by 31 UP² for a mere 3414 UPX. I might as well have stolen candy from a baby. (Can we still do that or is it no longer socially acceptable?)

On Sep 16th my net worth finally jumped over 500,000 UPX. What sent it over the edge? A property I had purchased for 2900 and listed for 3849 UPX sold, thereby adding 756.55 UPX to my worth and pushing me over the edge. In 4 months I’ve traveled halfway to being a Director!

I’ve spied a few more of these phantom properties and hope to be the first but who knows. Maybe I’ll get one or two. So far my $15 investment has grown to an equivalent value of $500. Once the fiat option shows up I intend to sell at least $15 worth of properties to gain my initial investment back and then play all on house money. Join me in the game and I’ll guide you along too!

I mentioned near the start that you can check your transactions on the blockchain. To do this is easy. Click on your tiny avatar in the upper left corner (you are logged in, right?) then click your status. This will be the word Visitor, Uplander, Pro, Director or Executive. It is blue and is right under your username. Then click the green VIEW UPLANDER STATUS button. You’ll come to a screen that shows your status, at the bottom of which will be a random looking string of letters and numbers. If you click this you will be taken to where you can see all of your transactions. Scroll down a bit and start looking at some of the notes. You’ll soon be able to figure out what are treasure hunt winnings, property purchases, visits to others’ properties, etc. You’ll probably never use it but if there’s ever an issue you can know it’s there and it’s got your back.

And there it is! It’s really not hard to play this game and be good at it. Be a part of the community, keep your eye on what’s going on, make smart decisions and you can grow too! Once I hit the next level of Director and 1,000,000 UPX value I’ll give an update of how I got there.

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Upland for Cheapskates
Upland for Cheapskates

Tips, tricks, and stories from an Upland Cheapskate. Upland is a property trading game like Monopoly built on blockchain technology. That means you keep the properties you buy and you can actually sell them for money. Stop giving your money to developers and start making a profit to play! If you use my referral code you will get a bonus on your first purchase of in-game currency:

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