This article relates to the functionality that was added to Gods Unchained this week: Tradable Packs. This is a functionality that I’ve been hoping for because I know how popular the old boost packs in Magic the Gathering are. I’ll explain how it works and how it’s implemented in the game.
I’ll skip most of the blockchain stuff in this article, even if the mechanisms behind this is pretty interesting, but I’ve tried to explain that in a non-technical way.
So what happens if I buy the regular packs, but don’t open them?
If you buy regular packs, the cards are actually determined upon purchase (or to be technical, a little bit later). That means that at the moment the packs have arrived, each card in that pack is created and stored on the blockchain for eternity. Anyone can view them, even before you have opened them if they know were to look. The packs are not stored either, only the individual cards, so you can’t trade unopened packs, only cards. In other word the packs you buy are neither secret or tradable. Even if you don’t open them, the cards will still be created and the only one who don’t know which cards you got is you.
What’s new now?
They have added the possibility of buying a “Treasure Chest”. Each chest contains 6 packs, and you can buy either a chest with 6 Rare packs or 6 Legendary packs. These packs ARE tradable. Or actually, it’s the chests that are tradable.
The chests are implemented as ERC-20 tokens (digital stamps of ownership) that are reedemable in an application (smart contract/dApp on Ethereum to be precise) that creates Genesis cards, even after the sale of Genesis has ended. It’s these tokens you can give away, trade or open at any time you like.
If you get one of these tokens you can head over to Gods Unchained and open the 6 Genesis packs now, or 5 years from now (even if the game goes to hell the smart contract will still be there).
The Value of Treasure Chests
As mentioned there are two types:
- Treasure chest with 6 rare packs for 0.0864 Eth (digital funny money)
- Treasure chest with 6 legendary packs for 0.8064 Eth
It’s pretty obvious that in terms of value, the treasure chests are expensive. 20% more expensive than their counterpart in fact (6 packs bought the regular way).
There is one thing these have going for them though. The Genesis sale ends the 29th October, while these are like diamonds and lasts forever. Currently we don’t even know how cards are going to be valued when the trading opens, and by then it will be too late to buy more packs. So in 6 months, a year or 5 years time, who knows how these will be valued? You can bet that there are going to be a few cards from Genesis that are in high demand if the game becomes popular. The chance of getting one of them, perhaps with a diamond shine, is going to be tempting for new players and old. New players want to experience the feeling of opening a Genesis pack, and old players will regret not buying more packs during Genesis.
Other uses besides trading is giveaways in competitions, or people could even create Genesis drafts with these cards. I don’t know if that will happen, but if the game opens up similar to what Half Life did, the next Counterstrike could be out there (yeah, I’m that old — starting playing at v. beta 1.something).
One last thing. In MTG the Alpha and Beta set were very small sets, and people didn’t play with protective sleeves back then. In fact for a while alpha cards was banned because they had different corners and in a tournament it would be possible to see which was alpha and which was beta. This meant that those cards would be worn, so opening packs with Alpha cards meant you got mint condition cards. With digital cards wear and tear is not an issue, but something that is an issue is that cards are going to get lost. Accounts hacked, private keys lost and all sort of troubles. This can affect the supply side in 10 years time for certain cards (if we dare hope for that kind of success). Maybe not in the same proportion as Alpha cards, but still.
Another MTG aspect: one Revised booster pack costs about 160$ dollars now, that’s 15 cards. Originally it was sold for a couple of dollars. And this wasn’t a small distribution either, 500 million cards are estimated to have been printed. Also, this was after the much smaller Alpha and Beta sets, and the most broken cards had been removed. Currently Genesis “print” is less than 6 million cards. Of course, that was paper cards, it’s 25 years ago, and MTG is a huge success.
The booster boxes (36 packs) that were around when I was playing are 500-3000$ now. If I’ve never opened my packs I would have had greater value than what my cards are worth today. And that’s the value of trading packs: They retain value far better than individual cards. If you are not going to play, but only hold and sell in the future, even at 20% markup, treasure chests will retain values better than opening cards (unless you are the lucky one who got that diamond legendary).
Hold or open
Don’t buy treasure chests in order to open now, or in the next couple of months. If you need cards, buy packs! Gods Unchained are generous enough to give out out some chests to people who bought packs before 3rd of October (roughly). If you get these for free, it’s not a bad idea to open them, especially if you just need a few cards in order to reach the next level and upgrade your playing board.
If you buy however, you should hold, at least for a few months. If you loose faith in the game, or if you just want to make a quick profit, sell. The longer you hold the higher the expected price will be. One way of doing it is to set a goal, and sell only half your chests when that price is reached. Remember also that the prices are probably going to be fixed to Eth in the beginning, making the whole thing volatile.
Remember that buying and holding is pure speculation, and there is a lot of factors that determined if this is going to be a success or not. If it is a success, you can bet that these are going to be sold for more $ than you bought them for (but not necessarily more Eth).
And now for the part were I promote my business. After all I don’t write all this for fun, or I do, but I also have site: guCollection.
You can view all kind of information about your collection (or others collection), purchases, packs and matches. And you can buy packs of cards (until the 29th of October at least). Instead of the normal 10% referral bonus most use, I only take 1% and give buyers a 9% discount compared to the normal price.
If you want to buy Treasure Chests or not that’s up to you, but if you do, you can also buy that at guCollection, with the 9% discount. But hurry, the sale of the chests also stops on the 29th.