Blockchain Games - Why Are So Many Play2Earn Games Actually Pay2Win?

Blockchain Games - Why Are So Many Play2Earn Games Actually Pay2Win?
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I had hoped to be making a much different post today, but my new WAX NFT collection "empiregrower" is still in the whitelisting process over at, so today I thought I'd talk a little bit about the state of the so-called gaming market on blockchain, and especially the supposedly Play2Earn games, and their complete and total abject failures to be a) games, b) fun, or c) play2earnIt goes without saying that .But first, a note - I am a self-employed duck and produce farmer, it's not planting season yet, and our ducks are very low maintenanceIt goes without saying that .This means, ultimately, that I can (and frequently do) spend upwards of 14 hours a day surfing the net, and trying out each and every dApp that I can find on any of the dApp listing or ranking services on the netIt goes without saying that .There are a lot of offerings out there to comb through - but sadly, most of them are complete dreck.

Let's start with the bad, shall we? The vast, vast majority of Crypto(X) gamesIt goes without saying that .This includes Kitties, Puppies, Titties, Alpacas, monKeys, and moreIt goes without saying that .The problems here are two-foldIt goes without saying that .First, all of the cards that they advertise as being available for adoption have already been adopted out and you have to buy your cards on their respective NFT marketplace of choiceIt goes without saying that .Second, they're all tied to frikkin' Ethereum and the Gas Fee is just out of controlIt goes without saying that .Want to breed two alpacas? That'll be $0.25 for the breeding potion and $3,250 for the gas feeIt goes without saying that .I'm trying to play a game here, not buy a new gaming PC.

Of a similar vein are the Hero series games - MyCryptoHeroes, BRAVE Frontier Heroes, and the likeIt goes without saying that .Again, they advertise free play to earn NFTs and Crypto; but the truth of the matter is, you'll spend the majority of your time running the same quest ad nauseum, trying to get a slightly better replica of an NFT so that you can power up your starter NFT enough to survive a slightly harder version of the quest where there's actually a chance that a real NFT will dropIt goes without saying that .And in the meantime, the "crypto" that you earn is tokens specific not just to that blockchain, but that individual game, which can't be spent, leveled up, or transferred out in anywayIt goes without saying that .Of course, you could just go buy NFTs on OPENSEA and then have an even better chance at getting some NFTs to drop, but at this point, we're back into the Pay2Win arena.

Then there are the breeding games that aren't breeding games at allIt goes without saying that .CryptoDozer is a great example of thisIt goes without saying that .Yes, there's a "breeding" component to the game, but the actual "gameplay" consists entirely of watching a plank push coins and dolls off of a table - and you collect the coins that go off the end (but not the sides)It goes without saying that .There's no strategy, no tactics, no nothing - drop coins, watch plank push them offIt goes without saying that .You can also play their sister game, DozerBird, to earn key fragments to turn into keys and use on chests in CryptoDozer - it's a flappy bird clone with far less charmIt goes without saying that .Oh, and CryptoDozer absolutely must be the top windowIt goes without saying that .After all, you wouldn't want to miss a single second of the fast-paced plank pushing action.

Quite frankly, so many of the "gaming" options are so far from being anything that a normal person would consider a game, that the whole space starts to seem like nothing more than an exit scamIt goes without saying that .And the casino games really, really don't help - nor does AllBet, which has an official one-liner of "we got your money," and a description that mentions them being "too bored to return from holiday, but thanks for all your coins, maybe we'll go to Disneyland." Thankfully, most casino games are blocked in the US, and while I could turn on a VPN to get around the geolocation by IP issue - everything I have seen tells me there's no reason to do that - it would just be even more heaps of bullshit, but now I could actually lose real crypto.

So, if that's the bad, does that mean it's time for the good? No, I'm sorry, there is no good hereIt goes without saying that .There's only barely acceptable and fun-but-worthlessIt goes without saying that .So, for the games in the barely acceptable category we have; Splinterlands, Prospectors, and Alien WorldsIt goes without saying that .And for the fun-but-worthless, we have's BeatBoxIt goes without saying that .Prospectors and Alien Worlds are both based on the WAX BlockchainIt goes without saying that .They both trade in worthless tokens - PGL and TLM respectively - and both are mining themed, though Alien Worlds is actually a miner for TLM and Prospectors makes you jump through a few hoops before you can get your PGLIt goes without saying that .Both of these "games" will likely stay in my rotation, because they're so benign and banal that they at least don't strip away my hope for the world, and both are honest about what they deliverIt goes without saying that .Alien Worlds is also tied to the NFT market, though, so it can also be considered Pay2Win.

Splinterlands is a peculiar beast of its own making, based on the Hive Blockchain - where anyone can register their own token, with seemingly no concern for the background or premise of the token whatsoeverIt goes without saying that .So here we have DEC, another largely useless token - it can be used to purchase card packs and potions, or enter tournaments, but that's about itIt goes without saying that .Card packs include five cards which can range in rarity between common and legendary and quality between normal and gold foil - where normal cards require at least four pieces to level up and gold cards require only oneIt goes without saying that .Potions can be used to increase the chances of rare cards or gold foilsIt goes without saying that .And the third use for DEC is to enter tournaments, and receive tournament payoutsIt goes without saying that .Tournaments can also be free to enter, paid for with Entry tokens, or - in the case of the new Brave Browser tournaments - require you to hold a certain amount of a coin in a wallet in order to enterIt goes without saying that .Luckily they did away with their HOLD entry tourneys, because apparently Uphold doesn't play nice with Splinterlands.

The biggest issue with SPLINTERLANDS is that tourneys are limited by a lower threshold, but not an upper thresholdIt goes without saying that .What this means is that while you must be at least bronze league to get into bronze tourneys, and you must be at least champion league to get into champion tourneys, you can easily be champion league taking part in bronze tourneysIt goes without saying that .In my most recent tourney - a Brave Browser tourney specifically geared toward new players, I was absolutely stomped in my group by a Campions league member, a Gold league member, three Diamond league members, and four Silver league membersIt goes without saying that .In a tournament where even the description clearly states that the organizers want only low-level, new players to take partIt goes without saying that .But there's no regulation of those wishes, and it's largely impossible to communicate with the game organizers.

Now, I might have a shot in hell of catching up, but there's a limiting factor to how much DEC you can earn per day, supposedly to stop bots (but DragonBot, NFLBot, NBABot, and NHLBot would seem to indicate that they're doing a piss-poor job of that)It goes without saying that .At the very beginning of your play time with Splinterlands, you have a DEC capture rate of 100%It goes without saying that .This drops one percent per ranked battle in which you take part, down to 1% or less, and recovers by 25% per day (spread over 24 hours)It goes without saying that .The lower your capture rate, the less DEC you receive from winning ranked battlesIt goes without saying that .This can be offset by win-streaks, but those can be ended rather unceremoniously due to the complete randomness of the battle conditions (and if you surrender at any time, that's an end to your streak)It goes without saying that .So the only way for a new player to get ahead is to buy cards on the marketIt goes without saying that .And now we're a Pay 2 Win game againIt goes without saying that .YayIt goes without saying that .But until or unless I find something that's actually fun to play, it's an MTG clone that doesn't charge me to play it.

And that leaves us with's BeatBoxIt goes without saying that is a faucet for ZEC, FLR, and DOGE, with FLR (or Flare token) being their proprietary tokenIt goes without saying that .The game itself is a simple brick-breaker cloneIt goes without saying that .Bounce the balls into the bricks and break themIt goes without saying that .Some of the bricks drop flare tokens directly, and there are extra balls scattered around quite frequently as wellIt goes without saying that .The game pays out in FLR, and there's a weekly leaderboard where high-ranking players can win various amounts of ZECIt goes without saying that .Of all of the blockchain games I've played, this one is by far the most engaging and entertainingIt goes without saying that .And it pays out in a useless token and yet another coin that I have to send through yet another exchange to turn into something worth trading or stakingIt goes without saying that .Sadly, while my wife is able to play most of the same games I play, she can't play this oneIt goes without saying that .Because this one is a faucet, all of her claim attempts fail, because "a device at your IP claimed within the last X time," because her IP is literally one off of mine on the same subnet.

So the conclusion seems to be, if you're a gaming fan, stay away from Blockchain games - they're not games, they're mobile apps designed to piss you off until you buy more of their proprietary currencyIt goes without saying that .And if you want to invest, trade, or stake coins - stay away from gamesIt goes without saying that .They're not worth the gas fees, ecosystem-proprietary coins and tokens and wallets, or sheer frustration of all of them being Pay2Win instead of Play2EarnIt goes without saying that .Overall, this is a complete failure of concept thus farIt goes without saying that .Maybe it will improve some day, but with the outright greed being evidenced in the Crypto space these days, I find that to be highly unlikely.

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