Nine Chronicles is a free-to-play blockchain MMORPG powered by the players. The game is a 100% decentralized fantasy world and is the first game based on Libplanet, a new Distributed Ledger Technology library for implementing P2P MMO games.
The game world doesn’t depend on a company — since it's not based on a central server that hosts it, but on the computers of the users, it can exist as long as there are players.
Right now is still in a sort of beta but it’s said that it will be Open Sourced and fully moddable in the near future. The official statement is that players will be able to "Design levels and features, send contributions through Github, fork, and launch new networks with friends."
The game uses NGC - Nine Chronicles Gold as the only currency. Right now the only way of obtaining this is mining and trading with other players. In the pre-release, around November 2020, limited coins were available to be bought for real cash - and they sold out quite fast. In the near future (end of May probably), there will be a way to quickly convert your NGC to other currencies, right now you can only do this by trading directly with another player - luckily the mods are always open to act as a middleman so it's at least safe even if not convenient. The current rate is somewhere around 50 NGC for a Dollar.
To set up the game and start playing check the official guide:
To mine, you just need the launcher on. It only uses a part of one core so you shouldn’t feel it on any good computer - but if you don't have something really fast don't expect to gain much - more or less only the last generations of top CPUs can farm these days. You get 10 NGC per block mined. There are also ways to mine without the launcher but check the discord for more info on that (swarm miner channel).
You can mine the same block as someone else and only one of you will receive the credit for it.
It’s called reorg and it happens all the time so it’s normal (and annoying :P ).
The game is mostly an idle one. For now, there is only one class available (warrior) and the gear is the only customization you can make - no skills or assignable stats when you level up as you would expect in an RPG. It uses an energy system so you can’t really fill all your day with it - this is made to prevent the market from being flooded by items. The energy fully refills the same for all the players when 1700 blocks have been mined (usually 1 every 10 seconds) and it takes around 6 hours.
For the moment there’s not that much to be done in-game.
- Campaign - Fight monsters (gain experience to level up, reagents for crafting and unlock crafting recipes);
- Arena - Fight other players (gain food reagents for single-use buffs);
- Blacksmith - Craft items (that you can upgrade, wear or sell to other players);
- Market (sell and buy crafted items from other players);
- Elemental dungeon - for now, the only one is fire-based and it gives some special reagents for crafting top gear.
In other words: you can just log in and let your character do some levels while you do something else on the computer. You can however spend a lot of time if you wish on crafting and trading.
All the fights are auto-played, you can only change your gear setup and add some buffs (they are in the form of food) and from there you can only watch it.
The game auto advances or retries a failed map so you can simply let it play in the background.
To fight in the campaign you need energy - 5 for each battle and you have a max of 120. You can refill it once the Prosperity Meter fills up - that would be around 6 hours - each progress there shows a block mined successfully.
You don’t get gold but you gain crafting resources from each fight and you unlock crafting recipes after you defeat specific levels.
This is how a fight looks like (you are only spectating, nothing to actually do during it) :
Fighting players uses a different form of energy and you gain special reagents that can be crafted into single-use food that buffs your attributes.
Advancing in rating only gives you more reagents, there are no other benefits at the end of the arena week for now.
At the blacksmith you can craft wearable items, food and you can upgrade gear.
All the items in the game are NFTs and are crafted by players.
Gear upgrading requires a ton of the same quality gear and it seems to be the main cash dump in the game. It goes in powers of two: for the first upgrade you need 2 items, then 4, 8, 16, 32... Getting to crazy numbers quite fast. I might develop this topic in a video later on.
Crafting has timers based on the number of blocks required to be found in the network.
It unlocks after beating level 17.
Here you can sell what you crafted for whatever amount of gold you consider - not lower than 10 NCG. There is a commission of 8 % for each trade. All the items in the market are created and sold by players.
Wearing Items has no level requirements so if you got the gold you can buy and wear the best gear from the moment you start the game.
For now, the market is quite basic and takes a lot of clicks to navigate since there are no advanced filters. UPDATE: since April the market has basic filters, reverse ordering, and bulk purchases.
- Free to play;
- Blockchain technology;
- Can earn real cash from it (right now 50 NCG is ~ 1 dollar);
- Cute graphics - even if the content is limited and simple;
- Almost infinite grinding and gear upgrading;
- Open source and free to use the assets to make your own game (not yet available);
- Player driven economy;
- Developers seem to listen to the community and are quite active on discord.
- Not much actual gameplay, all battles are auto;
- Kind of the slowest loading game I ever played - and it loads after everything too;
- Not stream friendly - especially because of the loading times;
- Limited content;
- Constant disconnects, gets out of sync - but it seems to get better with each update;
- You sometimes have to clean cache or even restart your computer to be able to play;
- The graphics and the cat theme is cute but might not appeal to everyone;
- Lack of advanced market filters (solved in April!);
- It can be considered pay to win (or mine to win if you have the hardware :) - but there is no paywall, you can reach everything for free;
- Most of the blocks you mine are orphaned (already solved and you get no reward);
- Energy system: log every 6 hours to get energy and even more often for the arena - but it makes sense for the actual economic system.
Since the game revolves around the users all the aspects should improve when the player base gets bigger. A big boom might happen soon when the game will be available on Steam so you can get a head start now - there will be no wipe in the future so all you gain is yours to keep or trade. The value of the coins should increase in the future and it's possible that other games might use it too.
Even with all the bad aspects I still find it fun and interesting to explore and the fact that it is free and that you can cash out if you get bored should be enough to give it a try.