In 2021 the crypto space saw valuations of metaverse and play-to-earn protocols soar.
Sparked by the huge success of Axie Infinity and later by Facebook’s wishful rebranding as Meta, interest in these overlapping sectors has surged. The first to break out, Axie Infinity, saw the market cap of its governance token grow from less than $100m to briefly over $10bn at its peak. The Sandbox, a metaverse platform backed by Softbank’s $50bn Vision Fund 2, saw its market cap jump from just less than $700m the day before the Facebook rebranding announcement to almost $7bn a month later. By late 2021, DeFi Kingdoms (DFK) was timed perfectly to become a cult hit.
In this financially incentivized blockchain-based game, players collect NFT characters called ‘Heroes’, which they use to interact with the $600m total-value-locked (TVL) defi protocol that underpins gameplay. Although still in its early stages of game development, DFK has continued to get a ton of attention along with its in-game currency (JEWEL), which quadrupled in the last two months of 2021.
2022 has a lot in store for DFK. The dev team continues to release updates at a rapid rate, so much so that I’ve had to make a lot of changes to this article as I’ve been writing it. Please keep in mind that these frequent updates are going to change gameplay significantly over time and a lot of what I’ve written here may not stay accurate or relevant. This article should do a good job of helping you understand the game and how you could approach playing it. But for up to date information, ask in the official DeFi Kingdoms discord server. The DFK community is very helpful 🙂
DFK’s roadmap is extensive and the ‘you are here’ signpost is situated after only the bare essentials of gameplay have been put in place. Player-versus-player combat , which is the bulk of Axie Infinity’s gameplay and will probably be the focus of DFK’s gameplay, hasn’t even launched yet. But probably the biggest development coming in the next few months is that the ONE based game will be launching a new realm on the Avalanche Network, where it’ll be able to tap into AVAX’s far more established $10b TVL ecosystem (currently 10x larger than ONE). Crystalvale’s launch will see very high staking rewards of the new realm’s in-game currency CRYSTAL, so it seems likely that this launch will get a lot of attention.
Section 1: Understanding DFK
1. DFK Overview
The defi part
The defi part of DeFi Kingdoms was established first and is where players earn JEWEL in the familiar defi sense, by depositing assets. DFK launched with staggeringly high APRs (in the many thousands), which attracted the beginnings of a loyal community. The more outright “gamey” parts of DeFi Kingdoms, like Heroes and quests, have only started being released more recently and are still in their early forms.
The largest defi component of the game is the decentralized exchange (known as a DEX), which is by far the largest on Harmony One. To interact with the game economy surrounding this DEX, players send Heroes on quests where they can earn extra JEWEL rewards or find in-game items. Both Heroes and in-game items are utility NFTs, which are edited by gameplay. For instance, Heroes gain experience points (XP) as they complete quests and once they have reached a certain threshold of XP they can be levelled up, which upgrades their stats. Higher stats will help them get more JEWEL rewards or find more in-game items. These XP levels and stats are recorded in the Hero’s NFT.
*The Marketplace. The Trader is the DEX, the Druid’s stall is where liquidity pools can be deposited into and withdrawn from (don’t forget to stake in the garden to earn JEWEL rewards) and the Vendor is where in-game items can be swapped for gold.
DEX, locked rewards and withdrawal fees
DFK’s decentralized exchange (DEX) can be found in the Marketplace. Here, players can trade tokens or provide liquidity to the DEX’s pools to earn JEWEL rewards (most of the pools’ APRS are around 250% at the time of writing this article, but were much higher a few weeks ago, above 500%). Only about half of these rewards are unlocked though, with the other half only starting to unlock from July 2022. Every week, the percentage that is rewarded in locked form decreases by approximately 2%. So, five weeks ago, 63% percent or your JEWEL rewards would have been locked until July. At the time of writing 53% are locked until July and in around five weeks from now only 43% of rewards will be locked.
*You can view a breakdown of the withdrawals fees, token release and locking schedule here
*the Gardens, where players can earn massive APRs on LP deposits
There are some penalty fees for exiting early, but they decrease the longer you stay in and tend to be outweighed by the game’s high APRs. If you exit after only being in the pool for a couple of days you could lose more money to withdrawal fees than get back in rewards. You can add liquidity to these pools by “buying seeds” from the druid in the marketplace. Then to earn rewards on your deposited liquidity you need to deposit these seeds into the Seed Box found in the Gardens. There are currently $470m in digital assets deposited into these pools.
*The Jeweler, where JEWEL can be staked to earn a cut of fees
JEWEL single-sided staking
Next up there’s another base feature that will be familiar to defi users, the Jeweler (formerly known as the Bank). The Jeweler is where you can stake your JEWEL tokens and earn a percentage of all in-game fees, including the DEX. The APR that you get from staking your JEWEL is much lower than providing liquidity in the Gardens. You can visit Kingdom.watch to check out the Jeweler’s current APR. It currently reports that the average APR of the last month has been 20%.
Aside from the more familiar defi aspects of DFK, the game is played with Heroes, which can be sent on quests. At the moment Heroes can only be sent on ‘profession quests’ where they earn JEWEL and find in-game items. Later on you’ll be able to send Heroes into combat which will have reward mechanisms that we don’t know yet.
Each Hero has attributes that influence how s/he will fare on quests. Their profession skill will rise after completing profession quests and this increased skill level will result in that Hero having a higher chance of finding in-game items and in the case of gardening and mining quests, will increase your JEWEL yield. The more quests you send your Hero on the more bounty your Hero will bring back each time.
Heroes also gain XP from doing quests. Once they’ve got enough XP you can level them up at the Meditation Circle, which will enable them to go on higher level quests when those are released and will also upgrade their stats. Like with a higher profession skill level, higher stats can increase the bounty from questing. Stats will also play a large role in combat.
To start off playing you’ll need to purchase a Hero, and because of how many variables there are in the game, there are many factors to consider when picking one. You’ll be able to get a good sense of what to consider in the second part of this article. Some factors like profession skill and stats will have an immediate impact on how profitable your profession questing is. Other factors like stats, class and rarity will have a large impact later on as your Hero levels up and as we start to understand more of how the rest of the game will work. Along with class and rarity, the generation and the amount of summons remaining for that Hero will play into your strategy if you are going to use your Heroes to summon new Heroes.
An added layer of complexity here is that there is still so much of the game that is still in development and the developers have only given partial guidance on how the game mechanics will work. So most of how you choose your Heroes now will be based on estimation of what will be useful in the future. These unknowns bring a lot of risk, but they also provide opportunity to those who choose to research and take part in the community now to set themselves up advantageously for the game’s future economic model.
Probably the main element of gameplay that will be rolled out later on is PVP (Player versus Player) and PVE (Player versus Environment). Players will earn JEWEL by sending their Heroes into combat against other players or on adventures like raiding dungeons. I’ve written more about this later in this article in the PVP/PVE section.
Another feature is the ability to own land. Land was launched very recently, but nothing can be done with it as yet except for buying and selling it. Landowners might be able to earn a fee from economic activity that takes place on their land. An example of this economic activity would be sending Heroes on quests to get resources which they’ll be able to use to craft equipment, which could be used in quests and combat.
Guilds will enable some degree of cooperation between players. Perhaps this will be in the form of leagues where players will be able to earn increased yields by being a part of a guild that wins a championship. It could also be a way to have something similar to ‘scholarships’ in Axie Infinity, where players who cannot afford a Hero can borrow someone else’s Hero, giving the Hero’s owner a cut of their winnings.
The DFK Economy
The bulk of the money entering into the DeFi Kingdoms ecosystem is via users either buying JEWEL or depositing other tokens alongside JEWEL into the Gardens’ LP pools. Liquidity providers in the Gardens earn a 0.2% trading fee, which on the $43m of volume that the DEX saw in the last 24 hours (according to Dexscreener) equates to a daily $86k in fees, or $31m annualized.
Players need to buy (or earn) JEWEL to purchase, summon and level up Heroes. It can also be used to buy in-game items, but this will probably only become a large part of the ecosystem when more of the game is live and these items have economic function. A fee is charged on each in-game transaction and is distributed in the following way:
1% – Burned
10% – Sent to the Jeweler to reward xJEWEL holders
30% – Sent to a Quest Rewards Fund
25% – Sent to the Development Fund, to pay for future game development and bounties
17% – Sent to the Marketing Fund, to pay for advertising, airdrops, etc
17% – Sent to the Founders Fund, to reward the team
At the time of writing, the burn address had 106k JEWEL, which at 1% of all in-game fees since the game launched five months ago, puts the total fees collected at 10.6m JEWEL, which at today’s rate of $8.8 is $94m. I couldn’t find anywhere this is tracked, but when I checked a few weeks ago the burn address had 88.2k JEWEL, which is an increase of about 17.8k JEWEL in 23 days. That’s 1.78m JEWEL in total fees ($15.8m or $250m annualized).
2. Considerations before buying in
Defi Kingdoms has seen tremendous growth since launching half a year ago. Considering that there are multiple growth factors on the horizon, it seems reasonable to think that this growth will continue. But at a $580m market cap, it does seem worthwhile asking how much of that growth is already priced in and whether you’re still early. Though the games are very different, Axie Infinity, the biggest play-to-earn game so far, hit $10b in market cap at its peak and is currently valued at $4.6bn.
The only revenue that DFK generates outside of gameplay is fees taken on DEX trading. At an annualized $31m this is about an eighth of the annualized $250m in fees that the game generates in-game. In effect this means that almost all of the value that players receive from playing depends on more money being brought into the ecosystem than the amount that people are cashing out. Whether this money will stay in the ecosystem depends not just on the attractiveness of financial incentives, as is the case with most defi protocols at present, but also on whether players enjoy playing the game and feel rewarded for their time spent playing.
A huge factor here that bodes well for DFK’s future adoption is that the game is so early in its development. Presumably more elements of gameplay will draw in more players. Player-versus-player might also attract a far wider audience as this type of gameplay could on the face of it be more straightforward, especially in light of crypto market participants’ familiarity with the likes of Axie Infinity. At the moment DFK is very light on actual gameplay while the underlying economic game is complex and the profitability of playing is difficult to ascertain. PVP could change this.
A positive aspect to the complexity of DFK is that it is a source of user ‘stickiness’. Crypto protocols are competing for users’ attention as much as their capital. Money moves around quickly and freely in crypto and it can be exceptionally difficult for a protocol to retain capital after an initial surge of interest. Once players have bought Heroes and start to play, they become more and more entrenched in the game and less likely to leave (I’m speaking from experience here).
The nature of DFK does seem to attract a very loyal and active community. Just check out some of the resources that I’ve linked to at the end of this article: they’re all community-built. There are multiple dedicated blogs and podcasts, some of which go very deep into specifics of how the game works (for instance Mr Zipper’s deep dive into Hero genetics). The DFK Discord is also full of extremely helpful players, advising each other on Heroes and game strategy.
The developers have also said that they are working on ways to make the game more accessible to players with smaller budgets. They’ve said that it won’t be a copy of Axie’s ‘scholarships’, where players who don’t own Axie’s borrow them from players who do, in return for sharing a bit of what they earn from playing. But it does seem very likely that this future update will allow players who do not have Heroes to play with borrowed ones – this would allow for far more players to join as buying a Hero is expensive.
Another major factor that should draw in more players is the not-too-distant expansion to the much larger and more popular Avalanche blockchain. My own personal experience of getting funds onto Harmony ONE has been much less seamless than with bigger chains like Avalanche or Fantom. I think this would put a lot of people off from playing DFK. Being on the Avalanche chain should dramatically increase potential new participants.
The launch of the new Avalanche realm ‘Crystalvale’, will be accompanied by the same massively high rewards for staking/farming that the original DFK realm saw at its launch. Given that DFK is already established, chasing these APRs should appear a lot less risky than on a new, unknown defi protocol offering super-high liquidity mining incentives. This coupled with Avalanche’s popularity should mean that the Crystalvale launch will get a lot of attention.
Currently there are huge amounts of locked JEWEL scheduled to start unlocking in July. Against the intentions of the game’s developers, OTC trading spaces for locked JEWEL have started popping up, where players can sell the entirety of their locked JEWEL holdings in one transaction. Although it doesn’t mean that the locked JEWEL is now liquid, it does presumably mean that a lot of the selling pressure of these tokens being unlocked is to some degree already being realized.
The recent introduction of mining quests, where players free JEWEL from their locked JEWEL stash, should also see some of this selling pressure being realised before the unlocking schedule begins. This has also led to the price of mining profession Heroes rising, which means that some of this value is being transferred to the value of Heroes.
Section 2: Guide to playing
1. Smaller budgets strategy
Due to how expensive Heroes are, it isn’t really feasible for players with smaller budgets to play much more of the game than providing liquidity in the Gardens or staking JEWEL at the Jeweler – so pretty similar to just providing liquidity in your run-of-the-mill DEX. Thankfully the JEWEL rewards are very high. The much less eye-catching 20% from depositing JEWEL with the Jeweler is also very healthy and comes without any risk of impermanent loss (IL).
To get a sense of whether the Gardens’ APRs are high enough to offset any potential impermanent loss, open up an online IL calculator and take some guesses at future token prices. I tried out a scenario where the price of JEWEL doubled and the price of $one stayed as it is, which gave me a ‘loss’ of 5.72% compared to what I would have had if I had just held the token. Considering that the Gardens average APRs are around 250% (0.68% daily), it won’t take long to compensate for that ‘loss’. Bear in mind that half of your rewards are currently locked.
With such high APRs on DFK’s liquidity pools, the rewards from your LP position could in time subsidize the purchase of a Hero, which would allow you to unlock other aspects of gameplay. Once you have a large enough amount deposited in the Gardens or enough locked JEWEL accumulated, it could be worthwhile buying a gardening or mining profession Hero. Gardening quests effectively increase the yield you get from providing liquidity to the Gardens’ pools while mining quests allow you unlock your locked JEWEL early. You can use the next sections on profession questing to get an idea of whether this strategy would work for you.
Outside of buying Heroes for these two types of profession quests, the rewards for owning a Hero are currently limited to finding in-game items, which don’t yet have much resale value. Also, levelling-up your Hero as you play will make your Hero more useful in combat later, which means that time spent playing now can increase your Hero’s resale value later on when this major part of gameplay goes live. Both of these are speculative bets on the future of DeFi Kingdoms: if DFK keeps growing these in-game items and higher-level Heroes should rise in value as they become more economically useful in the game.
2. Profession Questing
Heroes can be sent on profession quests, where they will earn rewards, such as in-game items, gold and JEWEL. Sending your Hero on a quest uses up your Hero’s stamina. Once your Hero has finished a quest, their stamina will start to replenish at a rate of 1 stamina point per 20 minutes.
There are four profession types: fishing, foraging, gardening and mining. Each Hero is one of these professions types. The rate at which your Hero will find in-game items and gold or earn JEWEL is determined by a combination of 1) if they are the correct profession type for that quest, 2) how high their profession skill is and 3) how high their profession-relevant stats are. You can find all these details on the back of a Hero’s card in the Tavern when looking for one to buy.
*The back of a Hero’s card. The bottom section is the Hero’s profession skill levels.
A Hero’s profession type is in green text under “Professions” on the back of their card. A Hero that is not the correct profession can still do a quest, but will not fare as well as a Hero that is the correct profession. So for example, a gardener will get 20% more JEWEL from a gardening quest than a foraging profession Hero. A forager will also have a higher chance of finding in-game items when foraging than a miner. In all profession quests, a Hero will have a 0.2% chance of finding Runes if they are not the correct profession, but will have a 1% chance if they are the correct profession, a 5x increase (Runes are used to level-up Heroes).
After profession type, the next big deciding factor is profession skill, which contributes about 2/3rds to the formulas that decides your Hero’s likelihood of finding items and JEWEL yield.
Your Hero’s professional skill will usually increase with every quest that you send them on. A Hero with a mining profession skill level of 1.4 will earn less JEWEL/gold than a miner with a mining profession score of 8.4. As you send your Hero on more quests their profession score will increase and the amount they earn per quest increases. This should also increase their JEWEL resale value as presumably this increased earning ability will be attractive to prospective buyers.
Stats and levelling up
After profession type and profession skill, each profession has two stats that are added together to contribute about 1/3rd to the formula that determines how well your Hero fares. So for instance, mining is benefited by having high ‘strength’ and ‘endurance’ levels whereas for gardening ‘wisdom’ and ‘vitality’ are the stats that matter. The sum of these two stats are used in the formula, so for profession it doesn’t matter which one is higher. To see which stats are relevant to which profession, see the first graph on this page.
Stats don’t currently play as big of a role in profession quests as profession skill level does, but this could change in the future as higher level quests are released.
To increase these stats you need to ‘level up’ your Hero. Every time you send your Hero on a quest their XP goes up a bit. You can view their XP level towards the bottom of the front of their card. Once your XP bar is full, you can level up your Hero at the Meditation Circle. You will need Shvas Runes, which you can buy on the DEX. You will also find these runes sometimes while on quests. Currently the price of a Shvas Rune is just over 1 JEWEL. There is also a 0.1 JEWEL fee that needs to be paid to level up.
*I’ve written more about stats and levelling up in the PVP/PVE section of the article. Stats will probably play a much larger role in PVP/PVE than they do in profession quests at the moment.
3. Foraging and fishing
When you send Heroes on Foraging or Fishing quests they find in-game items that will be useful later in the game. Currently you can exchange most of them for gold or JEWEL, but you won’t earn much this way. The profitability of these quests hinges on how much utility these items will have later on. We can’t guess at the economic value of these items yet, but presumably they will be a lot higher once they have a use. For example, the Shimmerscale fish (which trades on the DEX) jumped in price after it was revealed that it would play a role in crafting stamina potions, which will presumably allow you to quest again or go back into combat immediately without having to wait for your stamina to replenish.
When you send your Hero on a fishing or foraging quest, a random number generator is triggered to decide if your Hero finds an item. For a Hero with the correct profession type this will be at a rate of 5 stamina points per ‘roll’, whereas for a Hero with the wrong profession type it’s 7 stamina points per roll (effectively a 28% bonus for having the correct profession type). The ‘drop rates’ below are your chances of finding items. You can see that 50% percent of the time you will find nothing on a roll, and that you will find an egg on average every 10000 rolls.
*Drop rates for foraging and fishing quests
4. Gardening Quests
The profitability of Gardening quests depends primarily on how large an LP position you have in the Gardens. The formula that determines your JEWEL yield is basically multiplying your Hero’s stats by the size of your deposit into the Garden’s LP pools. The single biggest factor in determining your gardening yield is how much you have deposited into the Gardens’ pools. This makes gardening much more attractive to bigger budget players.
*Your Hero will also find other items while gardening, but compared to Jewel rewards these aren’t substantial so I have not included them in the calculations. Your chances of finding them increase in step with your Jewel earnings as your Hero’s gardening skill level and stats increase.
A Hero’s gardening skill level currently determines approximately 2/3rds of your JEWEL yield while 1/3rd is determined by the sum of your Hero’s Wisdom and Vitality stats. For this reason it makes sense to look for a Hero with a higher gardening skill level.
How much can you earn?
I’ll run through some examples that I’ve calculated using Hero prices based on a quick browse through the Tavern (the place to buy and sell Heroes). When looking for Heroes in the Tavern, you can filter by attributes. I’ve filtered by profession type ‘Gardening’ as this seems like a no-brainer with its 20% profession boost.
*Please use the calculations below only as a rough guide as the formula is subject to change and the factors that make up the formula, for instance the size of the quest rewards pool, are constantly changing
Another factor that I haven’t included here is that the devs are adding an ‘jackpot’ factor to the mix, similar to what we have already in mining quests. This could increase gardening’s Jewel yield significantly. In the case of mining it almost doubles the yield we get from questing. You can see more on how it works in the mining quest section. You can ask more about this in the official DFK Discord.
In the calculations below you can see how much Jewel you’d earn per 25 stamina, is a Level 1 Hero’s full stamina. I got these Jewel yields by using Climb Crypto’s gardening yield calculator (from this video). You’ll need to make a copy before editing it. Because the variables that decide gardening rewards change so much, I had to modify the results of the calculator to get it to match what I was actually getting from these quests.
The cheapest gardening profession Hero that I could find was 33 Jewel. It had a 1.4 Gardening Skill level and WIS+VIT=13. You can see below what a big difference a larger amount deposited into the Gardens’ pools makes. Also, sending your Hero on two quests in a day will obviously double your APR.
At $10k you’d earn: 0.065 Jewel per 25 stamina. APR: 54% at 1x and 108% at 2x
At $30k you’d earn: 0.195 Jewel per 25 stamina. APR: 163% at 1x and 327% at 2x
At $50k you’d earn: 0.325 Jewel per 25 stamina. APR: 272% at 1x and 543% at 2x
*So this means that with $10k deposited into the JEWEL-ONE pool you will earn 0.065 JEWEL per 25 stamina from a Hero that you bought for 33 JEWEL. If you do 2 of these quests in a day your APR will be 108%
I set an extra filter to select only Heroes with a gardening skill higher than 3. The cheapest amongst them was 37.9 Jewels. It had a gardening skill level of 3.2 and a WIS+VIT of 13. Even though it earned a slightly higher 0.07 Jewel per quest, the increase in the purchase price meant that the APR was almost identical to the cheaper Hero with a lower gardening skill level. The same was true at higher skill levels, which could mean that the market is aware of the economic value of a higher gardening skill level and is valuing it accordingly.
A clear example of how much gardening skill level affects yield can be seen in a Hero that was listed for 35 Jewel but had a high gardening skill level of 8.2. It had the same stats as the Hero in the example above,but the APR that it would earn is substantially higher.
At $10k you’d earn: 0.082 Jewel per 25 stamina. APR: 69% at 1x and 138% at 2x
At $30k you’d earn: 0.248 Jewel per 25 stamina. APR: 207% at 1x and 415% at 2x
At $50k you’d earn: 0.414 Jewel per 25 stamina. APR: 346% at 1x and 691% at 2x
*This Hero wasn’t actually still available for purchase, but was still visible in the listings because of a bug in the Tavern that has since been fixed.
How much of a difference do higher gardening skill levels and stats make to your Jewel returns?
*From Samicpunch’s medium article on gardening rewards
Samicpunch has created these very helpful tables that show how much of a difference these increases in skill level and stats make.
1) All else being equal, an increase in gardening skill from 0 -> 1 increases JEWEL yield by 3.42% and by a smaller percentage every 1 level up after that.
2) A combined Wisdom + Vitality stats level increase of 6 from 24 -> 30 increases JEWEL yield by 4.10% and a slightly smaller increase for each 6 point jump after that.
As your skill level increases by a small amount almost every time you quest, it will increase comparatively much faster than your Hero’s WIS + VIT, which increases in small jumps and only when you level up your Hero. This shows how much larger a role profession skill level plays compared to stats level in determining your Hero’s gardening APR.
4. Mining Quests
There are currently two types of mining quests: Jewel mining and gold mining. Whereas gardening gives you extra yield on the deposits you have in the Gardens’ LP pools, Mining rewards you with earlier access to the locked portion of any Jewel earned from depositing tokens into the Gardens’ pools. These Jewels would otherwise only start unlocking in July and take more than a year to fully unlock. If you want to earn a yield on those Jewels in the meantime or don’t want to wait that long to be able to sell them, then mining makes a lot of sense.
The reward rate from mining is dependent on how much locked Jewel you have. When Jewel rewards first started being paid to depositors, the locked rate was 95%. This rate decreases by 2% every week approximately (it is currently at 43% locked). APRs were also very high initially (JEWEL-ONE’s APR was about 2000% when I first tried out DFK) and the price of Jewel was much, much lower at the time. All of these factors combined means that people who started farming earlier on are sitting on very large troves of locked Jewel. It’s not surprising that when mining quests went live the floor price of mining profession Heroes jumped from around 35 Jewel to around 60.
Jewel mining is not that rewarding for people starting out as you wouldn’t have had much time for your LP deposits to build up a large amount of locked JEWELrewards. If you want to jumpstart your JEWEL-mining career, you can however now buy locked JEWEL at a discount to the market JEWEL price. You can also mine gold, which can be sold on the dex for Jewel. It seems quite plausible that gold will become more valuable later when PVP is released as its use in crafting potions and armour. In both Jewel mining and gold mining your Hero will also have a chance of finding other in game items, including Runes and Eggs. The value of these items is mostly speculative as they will play a larger role in the game later, with the exception of Runes which are already used in levelling up Heroes.
How much does a mining Hero yield in Jewel?
Just like with gardening, being the appropriate profession should be your primary factor to choose by, as it gives a 20% boost to Jewel rewards (and a much higher chance of finding Runes). Following that, mining skill level determines about 2/3rd of your Jewel yield and the sum of the relevant stats (strength and endurance) accounts for 1/3rd of your Jewel yield.
As long as your Heroes have more than 15 stamina when you send them on a quest, they stand a 10% chance of hitting a jackpot. The highest the jackpot can be is 10 Jewel, and you need 5000 locked Jewel to hit this max. At 2500 locked JEWEL you will get 5 Jewel when you hit the jackpot. On average you should hit the jackpot every 10 quests (of 15 stamina points or more) so we might as well add 10% of our expected jackpot payout to our calculated yield per quest.
The cheapest mining-profession Hero I could find for sale in the tavern when I looked was 59 Jewel. It had a STR+END of 13 and a 0.4 mining skill level. We can use Climb Crypto’s mining rewards calculator (from his YouTube video on the topic) to work out our Hero’s potential mining rewards yield.
For every 100 locked Jewel that we have, our Hero will mine 0.0387 Jewel per 25 stamina. At 100 locked Jewel our expected jackpot winnings is 0.2 Jewel when we hit it (hopefully every ten quests) and 10% of that is 0.02 Jewel. If we add these two together we can expect 0.0587 Jewel per 25 stamina from our Hero. Earning 0.0587 on a Hero that cost us 59 Jewel equates to a 36% APR. If we do two quests in a day it equates to an APR of 72%.
If we have 500 locked Jewel though, we’d get 0.2935 Jewel per 25 stamina (taking expected jackpot winnings into account), which is a 181% APR from this same Hero and a 363% APR when doing two quests in a day with this same Hero. It’s easy to see how mining profession Heroes will be extremely attractive to anyone who has been farming the Gardens’ pools for a while and has accumulated a large amount of locked Jewel.
How much of a difference does skill level and stats make in determining your miner’s Jewel yield? It turns out, not as much as in the case of gardening. For gardening quests, going from 0 -> 1 profession skill level increased our yield by 3.42% and then a bit less for each subsequent extra skill level. For mining quests, going 0 -> 1 increases our yield by a bit more than 1% at first and then a bit less for each subsequent skill level up. Likewise, the increase seen from stats is a bit more than 1% per extra 5 STR+END, whereas for gardening this increase started at more than 4%.
Because the potential to hit the jackpot is activated at 15 stamina points, an interesting strategy that would require more involvement could be to do three 15 stamina point quests per day. At 100 locked Jewel the Hero in the example above would mine only 0.0234 Jewel per quest but still get the expected 10% of the 0.2 jackpot winnings, so 0.0434 per quest. At three of these shorter quests per day we would get an APR of 80%, slightly higher than the twice in a day rate of 72%. At higher amounts of locked Jewel this could be worth the trouble.
5. Considerations when buying a Hero for profession quests
If you have a significant LP position in the Gardens’ pool, or a significant amount of locked Jewel, then buying a Hero for gardening or mining would make a lot of sense. If the JEWEL yield from mining or gardening is your primary focus, then it currently makes the most sense to look for as cheap a Hero as you can. In the case of gardening this is relative to gardening profession skill level as a higher skill level will add a significant boost to your Hero’s yield.
If you don’t have a large LP position of lots of locked JEWEL, then buying a Hero for profession quests would seem to be a bet on a future increase in the value of the in-game items that your Heroes find now or an increase in the value of your Hero as it gains in profession skill level and stats.
Matching Class to Profession
*See PVP/PVE for more info on how a Hero’s class affects its stats.
A Hero that is a class that ‘matches’ its profession type will have higher stats relevant to that profession type in the long run. Every time that Hero is levelled up it will have a higher chance of those stats gaining a point (jump ahead to the PVP/PVE section for more info). Priests and Wizards are the two basic classes that best match gardening. When levelling up, a Priest or Wizard will have a higher chance of gaining a WIS and VIT point than a Pirate or Archer will.
But after levelling up once or twice, these extra stats hardly add any extra JEWEL yield. Given that stats don’t currently play a huge role in profession questing it’s a bit surprising to see that Heroes with matching class and profession types being much more expensive than those with less well-suited classes.
Why does the market value matching classes to professions? I would guess that this is because of an expectation of these stats being more useful to profession quests in the future. We are only playing Level 0 profession quests at the moment. After playing DFK for months and levelling up your Hero many times, a matching class will have a larger effect on the stat levels of your Hero. If stats do play a larger role in future quests, then it would seemingly make your Hero much more valuable in the future to have paid a premium now for your Hero’s class to match its profession.
It’s also quite possible that the market is simply overstating the importance of class matching profession type. We don’t know much about how the game will work in the future, but I do think that the developers intend for profession skill to be more important to profession quests than stats.
6. PVP and PVE
Hubert was quoted saying “Professions are small pieces of a much larger puzzle.” The concept of the game is literally combat. The Heroes wield weapons on their cards. They’re not wielding pickaxes and hoes. – rez0
Even though PVP and PVE will only go live later on in the game’s development, it plays a large role in how players are valuing their Heroes now. Players will be able to send their Heroes into combat against other players and on quests in the game’s environment, earning rewards in the process. This is probably a far larger part of how the game will be played in the future than profession questing. We don’t know now how to best prepare for combat, but we can make some guesses to help guide our decision making when it comes to buying and levelling up Heroes. Here is a Medium article by Petrify (@PetrifyTCG on Twitter) that gives a speculative strategy on how to approach choosing Heroes for combat.
Levelling up and stats
Stats are going to play a large role in PVP and PVE and to maximise higher stats over the long run the most important considerations are class, subclass, stats boost and rarity. Defi Kingdoms uses random number generation (RNG) to ‘roll the dice’ to decide whether each stat gets increased by a point when levelling up. When you level up, each stat gets two rolls where it has a chance of increasing by a point.
You can see the exact chances each class has for each stat in this spreadsheet provided by the DFK team.
The first roll is determined by your Hero’s class. From the spreadsheet we can see that if your Hero is a knight it will have a 70% chance of increasing strength by one point each roll. The second roll is determined by its subclass. The subclass roll has a quarter of the chance of gaining a point that the main class roll does. So if a Hero has knight as a subclass, then it has a 17.5% chance of increasing strength by one point on this second roll.
When you level up you also get to choose one stat to increase by one point (this is called Stat Bonus) and two stats to have a bonus roll where there is a 50% chance that the stat will increase by one point (this is called Gaia’s Blessing).
*Check out Albus’ medium page for a lot more info.
Class and subclass
A Hero’s class and subclass determine the likelihood of each stat being increased when levelling up. The ‘total base stats’ on the left of the above graph is the sum of the % chance of each roll leading to your Hero gaining a point of one of those stats when you level up. What this means is that because for a paladin you have an 80% chance of gaining one strength point on your primary roll and an 80% chance of gaining one endurance point on its primary roll, you have a total of 160 (80+80) “total base stats”.
You can see in the above graph which classes are best at gaining certain stats when levelling up. On average a level 100 paladin will have a combined 160 points of Strength + Endurance. A level 100 paladin will also however only get to a combined 70 points of Dexterity and Intelligence on average.
Each Hero has two stats genes, which give their stats a boost. A stat that is in green text means that the Hero received a once-off extra 2 points for that stat when it was summoned. A stat in blue text means that the Hero will have a slightly higher chance of increasing that stat every time it levels up. This should add a noticeable amount after levelling up many times.
Every 5 levels times leveling up, Heroes receive an extra boost to their stats. This bonus is determined by their level of rarity. The breakdown below is from an article on the DFK team’s medium page. At level 100 a Mythic Hero will have on average 200 more stat points than a common Hero.
+1 to two random, mutually exclusive stats
+1 to three random, mutually exclusive stats
+1 to a random stat (including any that received a bonus already)
+1 to three random, mutually exclusive stats
+1 to two random, mutually exclusive stats (including any that received a bonus already)
+2 to a random stat (including any that received a bonus already)
+2 to three random, mutually exclusive stats
+1 to three random, mutually exclusive stats (including any that received a bonus already)
+1 to a random stat (including any that received a bonus already)
Potential undervaluing of Heroes
Here is an article by rez0 on how the market is currently significantly undervaluing classes relative to rarity when it comes to combat. In the article, rez0 shows that being a more advanced class will outperform being a more rare Hero in terms of stats accumulation over time. The market is currently valuing the bonus stats awarded to rarer cards every five levels more than it is valuing the extra stats that your Hero gets by being a more advanced class. The stats that a more advanced class gets are targeted to its strong areas and therefore presumably more useful for combat consideration, whereas the bonus stats are distributed randomly.
Earlier I mentioned that the market valued Heroes whose profession matched their class much higher than those whose class and profession didn’t match well (eg: knight/mining is more expensive than thief/mining). This is despite stats not playing that big a role in profession questing currently. It seems that this could also be the market valuing profession questing higher than PVP/PVE, even though PVP/PVE will be such a large part of the game when it goes live. This would be similar to how the mining Hero floor was much lower before Jewel mining quests went live, despite it being known that Jewel mining would allow players to unlock their locked Jewel.
I have chosen not to dive into summoning in this article. Because of how much familiarity is required with DFK to do summoning profitably, I would not recommend doing so while starting out. It could be worthwhile getting familiar with how it works in case you want to summon later on. Here is a tool that will let you see the odds of what class, subclass, profession and stat bonus genes your summoned Hero will have, based on the two ‘parent’ Heroes. You can see by messing around with this tool (by matching up example Heroes) how the attributes of the ‘parents’ influence the newly summoned Hero.
The main factor in deciding whether it is profitable to summon a Hero is that the price of summoning increases the higher generation the ‘parent’ Heroes are. Two gen0 Heroes will be much cheaper to use than two gen4 Heroes. Also, the cost of summoning increases with each successive Hero summoned by a ‘parent’ Hero. Here is a graph showing these price increases. Note that gen0 Heroes have unlimited summons, but gen1 Heroes have a cap on summons and with each successive generation the number of summons possible decreases by one.
*Another graph by Albus
Final thoughts and helpful links
If you are optimistic about the future growth of DFK and believe that the devs will execute on their vision, then I think that it’s worth keeping in mind that the devs are ultimately structuring the game to reward player engagement. This could be an attractive opportunity for new entrants as Heroes and in-game items seem to be valued according to their usefulness right now, rather than according to the usefulness they will have when the game is in it’s more developed and potentially more economically substantial form. Combat will be a huge part of the game economy in the future and there is currently not much known about how it’ll work. Stats will surely play a large role in combat, and these can only be increased by sending Heroes on quests. So for the DFK optimists reading this, playing and asking questions in the discord to stay abreast of the game’s upcoming developments would be a great way of setting yourself up for the game’s future.
Below is a selection of some of the community-built tools that exist for DeFi Kingdoms
Check out Samicpunch’s Medium page. He covers the game extensively and has multiple guides for beginners. His Lost Annals of Gaia Volumes and his coverage of the team AMAs are a great way to stay up to date with DFK developments.
Check out Hans HODL Medium page.
DeFi Kingdoms the official DeFi Kingdoms docs page.
DFK Tracker is a very helpful site for viewing all of your DFK activity.
Welcome to the logo Watch A useful site for getting an overview of your entire DFK holdings, including Gardens deposits and the floor price of your Heroes.
dfk.market OTC locked Jewel marketplace (use at own risk).
Summoning Chances You can use this site to get insight into how a pair of Heroes’ offspring will likely turn out.
DFKing for tons of info on Hero sales, including live sales.
DFK HERO LEVEL CALCULATOR for estimating the expected stats your Hero will have at a given level. This would be very helpful if you are buying with combat in mind.
Written by Zolla – Follow me on Twitter
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