Review MaoDao’s History of Gold farming: Game Guild is interpreting the ‘Homer Epic’ era of Metaverse

MAO DAO
10 min readNov 5, 2021

Author: Xiao Mao

Note: Gold Farming is a business model where users get to play a game and earn ‘coin’or other rewards in the game while doing it.

This article is written for MaoDao community and investors of Metaverse. It is foreseeable that various DAOs, guilds, and Metaverse projects will appear in the future. We review past achievements and mistakes to adjust the direction of the fast-developing NFT industry and continue to set out.

At the same time, I hope to break free from the shackles of practitioners, look down at the entire industry from a larger perspective, and look forward to the future of Metaverse. MaoDao will openly disclose the financial data of the gold farming in the past six months, operating experience, and future visions for inspiration in this article.

MaoDao aims to create a Metaverse born from the East

In the 12th century BC, ‘“Homer’s Epic’ described the decline of Mycenae civilization. Ancient Greece was full of wars and disputes, and the era was also called ‘the Greek Middle Ages’. But then, the splendid era of ancient Greek city-states began, and big city-states such as Athens and Sparta rose up, they began to have their own people, culture, and the ability to mint coins independently, and the city-state democratic system was born.

At the beginning of November 2021, Facebook changed its name to ‘Meta’and the long-dormant sector — — Metaverse ushered in a new round of explosions. I felt a sense of fatalism in the crypto industry amidst the lively and noisy discussions. As a famous saying, ‘The wheels of history are rolling forward, and all roadblocks will be crushed.’

At this time, it also coincides with the 180th day that MaoDao established the play-to-earn guild in the blockchain game Axie Infinity. In the past six months, MaoDao has — —

  • started from scratch
  • upgraded its fight against monsters
  • a core game cashing and NFT community
  • incubated and created Ready Player Cat, a crypto native IP with oriental elements.

It is undeniable that the so-called ‘Metaverse’ is still in its early stages, and perhaps everything we are doing is exploring the embryonic form of Metaverse. If you regard Metaverse as a megatrend in the future world, we may be in the wonderful ‘Homer Epic’ era before the megatrend starts.

Nowadays,the spiritual connotation of Metaverse is slowly being bred in the crypto world. There are various types, just like the heroic stories of the ‘Homer Epic’ era. Those heroes walked through the fog and gained victory, the past and the future echoed. Perhaps, a few hundred years later, there will be a human-machine teaching lesson, and the fragment will be written down as follow:

‘In the 21st century AD, various game guilds in the early stage and DAO have started to explore Metaverse. And then, they began to issue their own tokens and governance systems. They own their own community members in the digital world, and form a unique virtual economy. A brilliant and splendid Metaverse era will launch soon.’

What are we doing for Play-to-earn?

We usually call Play-to-earn ‘earning while playing’. To put it simply, we are doing a business that ‘takes players to play games’. In fact, the current threshold of the Play-to-earn model is very low. However, it is easy to learn and spread because the model is simple.

In fact, it’s very easy to set up an Axie Infinity guild. You only need to have three things:

1,you need to have a part of Axie elf assets
2, you need to have a bunch of players who can spare about 3 hours a day to play games
3, you need to have a method to guide players and a process for managing the community.

In fact, due to the lower threshold and the newer industry, guild players’ information and other data are also prone to misunderstandings. For example, the number of players in the blockchain games guild is a very vague data. Indeed, there is a situation that a player plays with multiple accounts and multiple games, if a blockchain game guild says that it has XXX players without ‘the specific time’ and ‘the specific game’, it can be regarded as an inaccurate statement. The correct statistics should be the average number of players in a certain game of the blockchain game guild within a long-term.

We found that due to the lack of infrastructure, the process of Play-to-earn Gold Farming is manual currently. For example, the community administrators need to have methods of guiding players, as well as daily statistics and management for the community. During this period, the problems we encountered were as follows:

  • There is a high chance that new players will quit within a few days or a week after experiencing the game. Since May 30th when MaoDao published the Axie Infinity tutorial article, the players who signed up have been very enthusiastic. There are about 600 players who have tried or experienced Axie, but in the end, there were probably 150 core players who are stable and persevering. Those players formed the core gaming community of MaoDao.
  • The community administrators of blockchain games need to have methods to guide players, learn to handle and coordinate a large number of trivial matters in the community, which require a lot of time and energy. The guidance includes teaching novices to get started, analyzing the games played a few days ago, and how to improve the winning rate in PvP battles. In addition, if the player is not satisfied with the assigned Axie elf, he also needs to coordinate with the administrator.
  • At present, there is still a phenomenon that a player plays with multiple accounts which is called “cheating”. This is extremely risky for us, because once it is discovered by the authorities and the account is banned, we will lose the Axie elf assets in the account. Therefore, our game administrators will check each player’s battle record in the early stage, make corresponding statistical analysis daily, and guide, communicate, coordinate or warn and withdraw for different players.
Above: A snippet of MaoDao’s battle record for novice players

Play-to-earn helps us understand and practice the underlying logic of Metaverse

After half a year of gold farming and game community construction, we believe that the construction of the lowest level of Metaverse is carried out around three core dimensions: ‘people’, ‘assets’, ‘platforms and standards’, corresponding to the ‘player’, ‘Axie elf”, ‘platform and method of community management in a guild. In the beginning, the blockchain game guild represented by YGG focuses on ‘People as a Player’ for business and then expands its scale by focusing on ‘assets’.

If it is further scaled up, some powerful guilds such as YGG already have the two cores of the bottom construction of Metaverse — — ‘people’ and’ “assets’. Under the circumstance, it is expected to commercialize and build a ‘platform’, even formulate a ‘standard’ for the future meta-universe.

Play-to-earn can generate real cash flow and support subsequent development

First of all, although the ‘number of players’ mentioned above is a vague concept, the real cash flow generated by the blockchain game guild will not lie. Starting with Play-to-earn, many bottom-up blockchain game organizations including MaoDao have gradually begun to generate real cash flow and core communities. The following data is from MaoDao Gold Farming Association since May 30th:

From the beginning of Play-to-earn gold farming to the subsequent building for the game community, things we can do in the future include:

  • Expand the scale by building a community around game players
  • Carry out productization by developing NFT or game tools around players
  • Enhance decentralization around the governance of Dao
  • Capitalize around the investment allocation of blockchain game assets

Play-to-earn inspires us think about the meaning and future of Metaverse

The concept of Play-to-earn emerged from Axie Infinity and became popular worldwide. Players from both East and West can join games like Axie, either by investing time or money, or technology. Players create and exchange value and bridge differences in this new internet that is closer to reality.

All mentioned above is the good side of Play-to-earn. Does this mechanism also have defects or still need improvement? In fact, we also encountered some confusion during the early participation in gold farming. The following is our self-question and self-answer:

Q: First of all, why did MaoDao choose Axie Infinity as the main chain game? Is it because of the higher game playability?

A: MaoDao chooses Axie Infinity mainly because of the commonality of blockchain games: the blockchain and crypto-economic model, which can build a set of endogenous assets containing scarce resources. Specifically, in the game, whether it is the pet character itself, land, equipment, or currency, it can revolve around the DeFi secondary market and self-circulation, which means that players can obtain actual income. At the same time, Axie Infinity has a mature Scholarship mode, which is convenient for player organizations all over the world for gold farming.

Q: What is the real meaning of Play-to-earn? If there is an AI that completely imitates human behavior, what is the point of what we (including game guilds or players) are doing now?

A: Play-to-earn has brought a brand-new narrative to the blockchain game industry. It is widely known that Play-to-earn is a good way to make a living for the residents of certain developing countries. For example, Axie Infinity’s core player market is in the Philippines. Players in some developing countries spend time in games to earn living expenses, which is much higher than the average salary of local residents. Frankly speaking, virtual games have already closely related to real life.

In the traditional concept, we see that the boundary between the virtual world and the real world is connected and the dimensions of the virtual world and the real world are opened up. Every attempt is to explore the prototype of Metaverse. For example — —

  • The boundary of human perception is opened up by VR.
  • The boundary between identity and asset attributes is opened up by NFT.
  • The boundary between time and income is opened up by the Play-to-earn model.

After long-term development of all dimensions, a Metaverse ecosystem with a completely independent closed loop will eventually be formed.

In addition, we believe that ‘Play-to-Earn’ model is able to bring more significance and innovation, including:

  • It will bring highly expandable games and a social ecosystem. Moreover, it can be a mainstream model that is different from traditional games that attract players with game playability and create a brand-new metaverse background game narrative.
  • It is a new type of game incentive model created relied on permissionless crypto-financial infrastructure and is based on the traditional gold farming model. However, due to the current development of blockchain games, it still has some similarities with traditional games.
  • It tries to connect the boundary between the virtual world and the real world in terms of income and time dimensions. The current “time for reward” model is the early embryonic form of “income and time” closed-loop in the closed loop of future Metaverse and real ecosystem.
  • The process of scale is also a process of gathering a community and consensus-based on players. For the entire gold farming organization, the real cash flow and operation generated in this process is able to be used to try DAO governance, game allocation, and build platforms or tools. These things mentioned are the wealth accumulated by the community. Thinking about the farther future, the development of the “standard” of Metaverse may also be expected in the future.

Regarding the significance of AI gold farming, this is a question we have discussed together with our partner RCT AI. When it comes to the current Axie Infinity model, MaoDao believes that although AI gold farming can generate more data and income, it cannot attract players (the real human players) to invest more in games, including time investment and social networking investment and new asset investment. Furthermore, the balance of the current in-game economic model may also be broken by excessive AI gold farming. However, it does not mean that AI gold farming is meaningless. In the future, a game type suitable for AI participation will definitely appear. But now, due to limited imagination, we have not been able to imagine the specific game mechanics.

Q: At present, more and more so-called “Gold farming Studios” are participating in Play-to-earn and issuing coins. Is it that the lower the threshold of gold farming, the better? How will it develop in the future?

First of all, we don’t think that the current Play-to-earn model, which focuses on “handwork” and time-consuming for rewards, is the ultimate form of gold farming. In the future, the “gold farming “ of the meta universe will not only include playing games but also include building, using technology to develop game tools and other elements.

At the same time, we do not think that the model of expanding the scale of gold farming and issuing governance tokens is the only form of game guilds. MaoDao is trying to use RPC NFT for the government of funding pool and will continue to explore and try new game guild models, such as joining some modes like BlackPool game manager.

Currently, we have temporarily suspended Axie Infinity “gold farming” to make some adjustments, and actively cooperate with other potential chain games in the near future. Finally, we believe that the underlying construction of Metaverse is still social-oriented. MaoDao officially announced that we will use all funds earned in the past six months to create a DAO capital pool, start RPC NFT governance and try other attempts to innovate around the community.

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MAO DAO

NFT & Gaming DAO a.k.a Metaverse ape organization from the East