Community Discussion: Rewards Anti-cheat System
GameFi offers players chances to earn economic rewards (tokens) in addition to entertaining experiences when playing games. To observe and control the inflation of tokens, most games are currently using a basic mechanism called Energy system. Although the systems can vary from game to game, they are generally designed to limit the number of rewards that a user can earn daily in a fixed period.
Let's take the Energy mechanism in Axie Infinity as an example.
In Axie Infinity, users participate to earn SLP, an in-game currency, through PvE and PvP modes.
Each player in Axie will have 20 Energy per day. Regardless of playing in PvP or PvE mode, players need to consume 1 Energy.
Note that you need to give up 1 Energy if you lose in PvP but none in PvE. One point to note is that players can only hit the 50 SLP daily cap in PvE, while there is no limit for earning SLP in PvP.
In that sense, to maximize the amount of SLP that can be earned, players tend to use most of their energy in PvP, then play in PvE with zero energy, zero exp, and earn 50 SLP. This is a plus point of the mechanism since it encourages players to participate in PvP battles with other players, making the experiences more interesting than tedious battles with Bots.
As a strategy game, Axie Infinity wants users to invest in researching effective tactics and optimizing team lineups rather than spend time plowing through the game. Therefore, the developing team also establishes another mechanism
Axies fight in PvE and receive levels to get stronger throughout the game. This helps players conquer higher challenging levels of later stages. However, when battling in PvP, all Axies start with level one's stats.
Nonetheless, this mechanism has created a loophole. After using all 20 Energies to earn SLP through PvP, some users transfer their Axies to another account to exploit 20 new Energies. By doing this way, these players can earn an amount of SLP by 10 to 15 folds compared to casual players. The activity of these exploiters will indeed cause huge inflation of SLP. More importantly, the benefits of the major casual players were compromised by those minor exploiters.
How did Axie Infinity address this issue?
Although Axie Infinity did not state in their policies, the community has spread the word that the developer team would ban an account if it uses Axies to earn SLP right after receiving them as gifts. The safe time that an Axie should be in usage is 24 hours after they are transferred.
Players who exchange their Axies through the Marketplace will not be considered. However, profits from the energy exploitation are outweighed by high gas fees (since the Marketplace in Axie Infinity is built on Ethereum blockchain) plus a 4% marketplace fee. Thus, no one would take the Marketplace as a way to transfer Axies for energy manipulation.
So, what can we learn from Axie Infinity?
Elpis Battle will also have a similar energy system to limit a player's rewards per day in both PvE and PvP.
However, we noticed that freezing heroes, in the same way as Axie Infinity, will be ineffective and cause unpleasant experiences for new players.
Firstly, because of the variety and novelty of Elpis Battle, new players shall have demand to try different lineups with different heroes. For that reason, the need to transfer heroes between accounts is expected to happen frequently in the beginning, even though the players do not intend to manipulate energy to overexploit rewards.
Secondly, Elpis Battle is built on Binance Smart Chain. In that sense, hero transaction fees on the Marketplace will be insignificant. Instead of using the gift feature, users can hide the fraud by conducting transactions on the Marketplace. To thoroughly prevent this action, we will also need to freeze heroes purchased from the Marketplace. New users will need to have heroes when playing Elpis Battle by receiving from friends or buying from the Marketplace. This mechanism will cost all new users 24 hours to be able to play the game.
These are the drawbacks of the Freezing System.
We have been thinking about this system, with a desire to create a mechanism that limits the overexploitation of rewards from players. But this system will not curb the demand of users with justified purposes. With the energy system of Elpis Battle, users can still play when their accounts run out of energy, but they will not gain any reward. They also cannot join PvP when in this zero-energy status. Users have the same amount of energy, and it is reset at 00:00 UTC every day.
Up until now, we have come up with three ideas, each of which has its own pros and cons and needs to be further discussed.
Three options, equivalent to three mechanisms, are Freezing, Loyalty, and Transfers, respectively. We will explain in detail as follows.
Freezing System Mechanism:
Each hero transferred from an account to another one, though by the Gift feature or the Marketplace, will be frozen for 24 hours. The battle that includes these heroes will not bring any reward.
Pros: Thoroughly limit the exploitation of the energy system to earn rewards. This is a simple mechanism.
Cons: Cause an unpleasant experience for new users when they could not make any reward on the first day joining the game.
For existing players, trying different lineups also could not reward them on the first day after transferring heroes.
In this system, each hero has a loyalty-point count with 0 as the lowest and ten as the highest value. Each hero, when minted, has ten loyalty points.
Mechanism: Each transfer costs 3.5 loyalty points. The lowest point can go down to 0. A hero will regain 0.5 Loyalty Points at 00:00 UTC daily. A hero with 0 points will not earn any reward for any in-game activity.
Pros: Considerably limit the exploitation of the energy system to earn rewards.
There is no punishment for users with normal behaviors. For example, purchasing heroes from the Marketplace or receiving them from your friends are considered common activities and do not affect the earning capability. So, some players can send their heroes to another account to play and transfer back without the worry of banning.
Cons: Players should look out for their heroes' loyalty points before making transactions. This system does not completely restrict the overexploitation of energy.
Mechanism: Heroes that have already earned their daily earnings will not make more rewards until the next day when transferred to another account. If the transferred heroes have not yet gained, the daily reward can still be earned after being transferred.
Here are some cases that the heroes cannot collect any reward when playing, such as:
The heroes battle in PvP and get defeated > these heroes lose energy and do not earn anything.
The heroes battle in PvE and get defeated > these heroes do not lose energy but do not gain anything.
The heroes battle in PvE even when the account runs out of energy > these heroes do not gain any reward.
Pros: Strictly limit the utilization of the Energy system for excessive rewards. Players can freely experiment with different heroes for different strategies without losing the ability to earn of those heroes. Note that these heroes have not yet gained any reward. Players can freely transfer heroes without restriction on the ability to earn.
Cons: Users need to consider the status of the hero before making a transfer.
We are actively thinking about these solutions to see which one is optimal. We would like to hear from you regarding the options. Please discuss with us by drop your comment here, or join discussion at Discussion #1 in our Discord channel.
We are trying our best to perfect the Elpis Battle system to reassure equality for all players. Our purpose will not be fulfilled without the community's contribution and participation. We also aim to encourage and empower the community by taking seriously the community's suggestions and feedback to ensure fairness for Elpis Battle.
Through topics of the Community Discussion series, we hope to receive more input from you, and these ideas will drive Elpis Battle and Elpis Ecosystem to become a great DAO GameFi in the Web3 space.
Disclaimer: This is a topic for discussion purpose only and there may be adjustments in the official game.