We’ve seen the rise of Play-to-Earn (P2E) over the past two years. What started with the Axie Infinity phenomenon soon spread to other chains like Binance Smart Chain and Avalanche. These chains with low fees and fast settlement times capitalized on the Web3 gaming explosion we saw earlier this year. One of which is Castle Crush.
However, we now find ourselves in a bear market. It’s time to, as is widely said: “Build”, and that’s exactly what Wildlife Studios are doing with the release of Castle Crush on Avalanche Network. Building value in bear markets is exactly what helps push bull market growth, this being a company that already found success in Web2 and is moving into Web3 is also great!
As I covered in our last piece, Castle Crush is a mobile game that was ported over to blockchain by Wildlife Studios. Their idea is that instead of creating a brand new game, they can translate the proven success of Castle Crush to the P2E industry. This fits well given Castle Crush’s gameplay mechanics with deck-building as it provides a natural integration for NFTs.
So let’s jump in.
Castle Crush Gameplay
To start, you’ll find yourself on a three-lane map that extends from your Castle to the enemy player’s Castle. There you’ll need to damage the enemy player’s Castle using Minion Cards and Spell Cards until destroying the castle. Each lane is separate; you’ll have to prioritize important lanes and ignore others as gameplay develops. As you juggle the three lanes it’s important to recall that your Castle shares its hit-points between all three lanes – you can ignore a lane but make sure it’s a conscious decision!
In terms of resources, there are two: Cards and Mana Crystals.
There are two general types of cards, Minions and Spells. When you deploy Minions on the battlefield, they will move towards the enemy’s castle and attack whatever comes into range first – either an enemy Minion or the enemy’s castle. Interestingly, Spell cards take effect immediately and can alter the state of the battle in significant ways – either evaporating an enemy Minion, healing a friendly Minion, or bombarding the enemy castle directly, among many other available Spells.
How you choose to use these cards is integral to your strategy. You’ll receive new cards every seven seconds and can hold a maximum of six. Once you are holding more than six the newest card is discarded, so it’s important to remember to manage your cards effectively! When all cards have been drawn the deck gets reshuffled so you’ll never fully run out of cards.
Now that we have basic game mechanics down, let’s talk more about resources. Both Minion and Spell cards consume a resource called ‘Mana Crystals’ – ‘Mana’ for short. Mana regenerates continually throughout the match at a rate of 0.5 per second. When the battle starts, the maximum amount of Mana available is only two. Every time a card is drawn (every seven seconds), the maximum Mana increases by one, up to a limit of 12 Mana.
Here’s where things get interesting: Mana regeneration doubles to one mana per second once the battle has been raging for 45 seconds. Card draws also double, with players receiving not one, but two cards every seven seconds. This accelerates the game and combined with the rising Mana maximum means that there is clear progression through an early-game and late-game throughout the match. You’ll have to make sure your deck is suited to both stages, which adds more strategy.
Remember, your Castle health is shared between all three lanes, so it might be a good idea to ignore a lane (or two) and rush down another to finish off your opponent before they can do the same to you!
Deck-Building and Cards
As of time of writing, there are 68 different Cards and the maximum Cards in a Deck is 14. Each card can be placed up to twice in a deck, except for Legendary cards, which can only be placed once. What this means is there are well over a quadrillion unique decks for you to choose from! You can save up to five different decks, but remember, you can only bring one into battle.
You can upgrade every card in the game several times. Cards begin at level 1 and each upgrade adds 10% to Minion HP and Damage, and 10% for Spell Damage, with a few exceptions. Cards have a maximum achievable level through the merge system depending on their rarity:
- Common: 1-13
- Rare: 1-11
- Epic: 1-8
- Legendary: 1-5
There are two main methods to obtain Cards. The first method is through the in-game store: you can buy specific Cards using game currency (Gold), or by purchasing Chests with a credit card (don’t worry, we’ll get to the NFT integrations in a second!).
The second method is through gameplay. After winning a battle a Chest will be your reward. Your inventory can hold up to four Chests, of which, only one can open at a time. Opening chests takes time – Silver Chests, for instance, open after three hours. You may also open chests instantly by using gems, a ‘hard’ currency.
There are multiple Chests in the game, rarer chests, such as the Giant Chest and the Mythical Chest, drop less frequently from battle, but contain much greater rewards. Chests may contain Cards, Gold and Gems.
Progression: Trophies and Levels
This game is all about progression, which you’ll do through two systems: the first is the Trophy system. By winning matches, you gain Trophies. Conversely, if you are defeated in battle you’ll lose Trophies. Castle Crush’s Match-making ensures you’ll only be matched against other players with a similar amount of Trophies, ensuring fair competition. The second is player levels, which you can achieve by upgrading your cards and are irrespective of winning or losing matches.
As you progress through certain Trophy milestones, you will unlock new Castles which have different themes and visuals. For example, when you reach 400 Trophies, you will unlock the first Castle, the Undead Keep. When you do so, the Skeleton Horde, the Skull King, the Reaper and a few other Cards are available in Chests.
Intuitively, Chests at higher level Castles will contain more gold, gems and Cards, encouraging players to push to the maximum Trophy count possible. By design, this keeps the game fair and discourages ‘smurfing’ (a practice where high-level players purposefully match against lower-level players to farm resources or simply to win more games).
The Black Citadel, the final Castle, is unlocked once you reach 3400 trophies. After that point, players will progress through Leagues instead of Castles. Reaching the first League, Master I, unlocks the Forge.
The Leagues require the following amount of Trophies:
- Master I: 3800
- Master II: 4200
- Master III: 4600
- Grand Master I: 5000
- Grand Master II: 5400
- Grand Master III: 5800
- Champion I: 6200
- Champion II: 6600
- Grand Champion: 7000
- Legend – Only one player can hold this title at a time!
After players join the Leagues, they will participate in three-week seasons. When a season ends, players lose some of their Trophies and will need to start climbing through the Leagues in the next season.
Remember we’re talking about progression and the second system is your Player level. This level determines the HP of your Castle during battle. Castles get +10% HP per level. As you progress through the game and upgrade your cards, you will gain Player XP which helps you gain a level.
If you’ve made it this far you’re doing something right. The Forge is another high-level progression system that allows players to increase their cards’ levels even further. You’ll unlock this once you enter the Leagues at 3800 Trophies. There are two upgrade mechanics available at the Forge:
Players can temporarily increase the level of a card by one. The effect lasts 24 hours, you can use it on any Card (and at any level). Players can also permanently increase the level of a card by one. This is only available for cards that have already reached the maximum level (and costs extra!). The permanent Forge upgrade will therefore increase Cards to the following levels (you can combine this with the temporary upgrade to get even more power out of your cards):
● Common levels: 13 to 14 (to 15)
● Rare levels: 11 to 12 (to 13)
● Epic levels: 8 to 9 (to 12)
● Legendary levels: 5 to 6 (to 11)
To access these vaunted Forge upgrades (both temporary and permanent) you’ll need to get your hands on a currency called Crystals, which are awarded at the end of every three-week long season. The higher a Player’s League, the more Crystals they earn in the Crystal Chest.
There are five types of Crystals: Common, Rare, Epic, Legendary and Magic. To use the Forge, players must use Crystals matching the Card’s rarity. For example, you would need a Common Crystal to upgrade a Common Card, a Rare Crystal to upgrade a Rare Card, and so on. Performing a permanent card upgrade additionally requires one Magic Crystal. Cards that are permanently upgraded through the Forge can still receive an additional 24 hour power-up for an extra level.
Another interesting aspect of the game is the Clan System. Starting at Level 3, Clans can have up to 50 players join. As you would expect from the name, Clans allow players to work together and donate specific cards to each other. Players that donate cards are rewarded with Gold and with player XP. There is a cap to how many cards a player can request, which refreshes every few hours.
Players in a clan can challenge each other in friendly battles, which are just for fun… or bragging rights! Additionally, the chat function within the Clan panel lets players interact and share videos of past battles.
Tournaments are a competitive game mode that promise very high rewards for skilled players. Cards used in tournaments have a mid-tier level cap, so skill is the only factor. Common cards are capped at level 9, Rares at level 7, Epics at level 4 and Legendaries at level 1.
Open during one weekend every season (three-week long period), tournaments come in two types: Grand Tournament and Master Tournament. The Grand Tournament has a ten gem entry fee, while the Master Tournament costs 100 gems.
For the maximum prize, players must win ten games in a row, with no losses. The higher the number of wins before the first loss, the more prizes players get (capped at ten wins). Once you lose, you’re out.
However, they may opt to pay gems to “revive” and keep trying to reach the ten wins. The gem cost for revival increases dramatically with each win and with each additional revival. There is a catch, though: if players get to ten wins, they recover all the gems they spent (entry + all revivals).
During each season’s Tournament, there is also a Tournament Leaderboard, which keeps track of players that win the most tournaments.
Stickers earned from Tournament wins are the ultimate bragging rights. You can even use them during battle to taunt opponents and throw them off their game!
We already covered much of this in the previous article on Castle Crush, check it out here!
Players will get $ACS from daily in-game rewards, seasonal rewards, and other in-game activities. Players can use $ACS to mint cards, upgrade cards, and to participate in tournaments. You can buy cards on NFTrade. At the time of writing floor cards will set you back 2.5 AVAX.
Wildlife Studios is also introducing Ascended and Founder Cards. These will allow cards to go up one level further than before. Remember Forging cards can also increase them, by Ascending them they can go even further.
- Common: from level 14 to 15
- Rare: from level 12 to 13
- Epic: from level 9 to 10
- Legendary: from level 5 to 7
While Founder Chests will contain one of three different cards with equal probability. Ascended Chests will usually contain 1 of 4 different cards, with drop rates as shown.
Additionally, players will also be able to mint (acquire) NFTs in-game with $ACS after leveling up their cards to a certain level, as displayed in the table below.
These cards become freely tradable NFTs between players, allowing them to truly own their in-game assets.
Players will earn $ACS daily by obtaining Ascension Points (AP). Players obtain AP by winning matches with NFT cards. A card will generate a fixed amount of AP each day for the first win only (using a deck with that NFT). AP earnings will increase according to the tier of the card, the league the player is in and their clan ranking. The multiplier effects for these variables detailed below.
Another interesting development is Wildlife is increasing the functionality of clans, this means being in a highly-ranked clan will have an even higher value.
As players accumulate Ascension Points (AP), an $ACS prize pool for the whole server is created to be distributed to players at the end of the day. Each AP contributes 2.5 $ACS to the global daily pot, capped at 415,000 $ACS per day.
The daily pot is distributed proportional to the number of AP accumulated by a player in a day. The distribution is at the end of each day.
In total, Wildlife Studios expects there to be a maximum of 320k cards in circulation after 16 months through direct sales in the marketplace plus in-game Ascension. Each card expected by Wildlife Studios to generate on average 39 $ACS per month to players in the long run. The actual amount will depend on the card the player has, the League of the player and the Clan ranking.
We hope you enjoyed this intro to Castle Crush. We’ll keep you updated as playable NFTs and $ACS rewards are all launching in August.
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