9 Lives Arena: Permanent Death on the Blockchain

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9 Lives Arena

9 Lives Arena is a 1 vs. 1 PvP role-playing game in development from Touchhour, Inc. The developer claims 9 Lives Arena will provide unique features such as permanent death, account progression, and crafting assistants controlled by mobile device. It will also contain in-game equipment crafted using “blueprints.”

These blueprints will exist on a blockchain network and will be backed by Enjin Coin.

9 Lives Arena has gained notoriety in the blockchain gaming community because of the graphics in its pre-release gameplay trailer. It has also generated some buzz because of its use of Enjin Coin, a gaming cryptocurrency that is growing in popularity.

But despite this buzz, 9 Lives Arena is not yet a finished product.

Given this uncertainty, you may wonder if 9 Lives Arena blueprints or other in-game items are worth collecting. In this article, we will explore that question. We will tell you every important piece of information known about 9 Lives Arena so far. We will also weigh in on the question of whether 9 Lives Arena collectibles are worth the price.

If you have heard of 9 Lives Arena and are wondering what the buzz is about, read on to find out.

9 Lives Arena Gameplay Trailer

There was a time when blockchain game developers would feel content to publish a white paper and start asking for money. But lately, an increasing number of these companies have begun to release gameplay trailers before trying to sell their collectibles.

9 Lives Arena has followed this trend by releasing a trailer that shows gladiator-style fighting between characters. The graphics shown in this demo are great – exactly what you would expect in a top-notch PC or console game.

This trailer shows the developers can create a game that looks professional. This doesn’t mean it will be fun. But at least we know it will be beautiful.

9 Lives Arena features

The developer has explained many of the features of 9 Lives Arena that will distinguish it from other games in this genre. Here is a rundown of how 9 Lives Arena Gameplay will work.

1 vs. 1 PvP

9 lives arena fight

9 Lives Arena will have no PvE or questing elements. The entire purpose of the game will be to compete against other players, not NPCs.

In the initial launch, 9 Lives Arena will also have no team-based battles. There will be no capture the flag, domination, 2 vs. 2, or 3 vs. 3 matches. Instead, the entire focus of the game will be on 1 vs. 1 matches.

Touchhour, Inc. has decided to focus solely on this type of PvP match because they believe it is underrepresented in other games. Most MMOs focus on creating exciting team-based activities like “battlegrounds” and 3 vs. 3 arena matches.

Yet despite this emphasis, “dueling” one-on-one remains a popular activity. In Touchhour’s view, this proves that players who prefer 1 vs. 1 battles are not being catered to adequately by current games.

It is for this reason that Touchhour has decided to make the initial launch of the game feature 1 vs. 1 battles exclusively.

Permanent death

permanent death

In 9 Lives Arena, characters will be able to train and practice with virtually no penalties from dying. However, once they enter ranked matches, they will only have nine “lives.” If a character loses a match, it will lose one of its lives. Once all nine lives are lost, that character will no longer be playable.

Touchhour believes this will be appealing to hardcore PvP’rs. As with other popular permadeath games such as DayZ and ZombiU, players will find the heightened stakes to be rewarding.

Account progression

bank and armory

Despite the permadeath, certain items and other progression elements will be account-wide. This means the player will still be able to make progress in the game, even if he experiences multiple character deaths.

For example, character items may be lost upon death. But blueprints will be owned account-wide, allowing a player to recreate the lost items after spending some time farming resources.

Fast leveling

training

In most MMOs, leveling is a very slow process. It can take days, weeks, or even months to advance a character to a high enough level that it can compete in the highest ranks of PvP.

Since 9 Lives Arena will feature permanent death, it will need to have a faster leveling process.

To solve this problem, the developers of 9 Lives Arena intend to have a leveling process that is based on training, farming resources, and crafting gear. They say that it will only take hours to level a new character, not days.

Ooogies: crafting assistants that help you level

ooogy assistant

To help players get their characters ready for battle, the game will feature a 24-hour assistant called an “Ooogy.” Instead of a player having to log on to mine ore, for example, he will be able to simply order his Ooogy to mine ore.

If the player later decides he would be better off with wood instead of ore, he can then order his Ooogy to stop mining ore and start chopping trees instead.

A player’s Ooogy will continue to farm resources whether the player is online or offline. And if the player is not near a PC, he will be able to give orders to his Ooogy from a mobile phone or tablet.

Crafting Equipment

Crafted equipment will be created using blueprints. Each item will have one of four color-based levels: grey, green, blue, or purple. Grey items will have only 1 stat, whereas purple ones will have four.

A player’s ability to craft a higher-color stat will depend on his Ooogey’s crafting ability and how many resources can be obtained.

The stats on each piece of equipment will be random. So even though a purple item will be the most powerful, it might not be the best for a particular character’s build.

Touchhour believes this will create a vibrant economy as players trade items between each other to maximize their individual builds.

Blueprints

weapon blueprints

Blueprints will be created by the developer and sold to players. This is the primary way the game’s development will be financed. Some blueprints have already been created and can be bought from the developer today.

Owning a particular blueprint will not allow a player to gain an advantage in the game. For example, owning a Black Samurai armor set blueprint will not allow a player to make a set of armor that is better than someone else’s.

The power-level of the Black Samurai armor will be dependent on Ooogy crafting, resources, and other in-game mechanics. It is only the appearance of the armor that will be determined by the blueprint.

All blueprints will be blockchain assets backed by Enjin Coin. If a player chooses, he will be able to “melt” his blueprints and turn them into Enjin Coin.

This may be desired if the player wants to play a different game in the Enjin Coin network or if he simply can’t get a price for his blueprint that is higher than the Enjin Coin value.

Since blueprints will be and are blockchain assets, the developer will not be able to take them away from players or prevent players from trading them.

Games like Overwatch have proven that when players enjoy a game, they will be happy to spend money on purely cosmetic items. So even though blueprints will not give players an advantage in the game, Touchhour believes these blockchain assets will still be highly valued amongst players of the game.

9 Lives Arena Team

The 9 Lives Arena Team includes CEO Ralph Laemmche, who formerly served as the Head of Production for Nokia Game Publishing; President Cindy Gomez, the singer of Time Only Knows from Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time; Lead 3D Artist Darry Chen, formerly of Electronic Arts (EA), Programmer Seanachi Clappison Dillon; and Concept Artist Marcos Weiss, who previously worked on the movie Deadpool 2.

Are 9 Lives Arena items worth collecting?

The 9 Lives Arena Team has shown it is capable of making a professional-quality game. The pre-release trailer shows off several different arenas and character models, all of which appear to be fully functional.

The game’s features are also similar to other popular perma-death games such as DayZ and ZombiU.

Given these facts, we could imagine 9 Lives Arena becoming a very popular game in the future, and this could make the game’s collectibles highly valued at that time.

Some initial concerns about 9 Lives Arena

Despite these advantages, we had a few concerns about 9 Lives Arena when we first encountered it.

First, the team has announced no roadmap. We thought this was a little strange, since most blockchain game developers provide a roadmap before they sell any collectibles.

Second, many of the blueprints in the store seemed very expensive. Take the red katana sword, for example. The developer is selling it for C$226 (around US$168). If a player just wants to dabble a little in collecting the game’s items, this price is probably too high.

Third, the inexpensive options for collecting seemed confusing. A “Founder’s pack” is available for C$40. But it only offers “a digital copy of the game at release” and “one random Ooogy.” This made us wonder if the game would need to be purchased in order for a player to play it. Otherwise, what would be the purpose of buying “a digital copy of the game at release?”

Usually, blockchain games are free to play. We worried that the value of the game’s collectibles would be severely limited if the players had to pay for the game.

Given these concerns, we recommended in an earlier draft of this article that collectors should be cautious when collecting items from 9 Lives Arena.

The 9 Lives Arena team’s response

To give them a chance to respond, we showed the earlier version of this article to the 9 Lives Arena team.

In response to the idea that they don’t have a roadmap, the team said there is currently a fully playable alpha version of the game. This alpha version has been made available to a number of early collectors. They also offered to give us access to this version.

We did not have time to play the alpha version before publishing the current version of this article. But, if early collectors have been given access to it, this does much to alleviate our concerns around the team not having a roadmap.

Gods Unchained also did not have a timetable for public release when its first collectibles were sold, but it did have a date for closed beta. And it did allow some collectors to play the game once that date had arrived.

In this sense, 9 Lives Arena’s lack of a roadmap is not unusual.

In response to the question of whether players will be charged to play the game, the team assured us that there are two different versions of the game: a “base” version and a “premium” version.

The base version will come with one character slot unlocked. And if you find yourself addicted, and want to have all five you would be able to unlock the remaining 4 slots.

If you buy the premium version it will come with all 5 slots unlocked from the get go and will be cheaper than the base version.

One of the reasons they cant go free to play is that players will create items based on their blueprints in order to sell them to other players.

These items will be put on the blockchain for trading between players. They kickstart everyone with enjin to be able to craft items on the blockchain without knowing anything about blockchain!

You can just play and not know about the tech. Items created by players on the blockchain will be made out of a fraction of an enjin, but players can put more enjin inside if they choose to connect their own wallets and add personal enjin.

Most people wont choose to do that as the average player of 9LA wont have much blockchain knowledge but will be a competitive hardcore gamer. They are certain over time they will convert more and more gamers to become more engaged with the crypto side.

The team also explained that the base game will contain a free Ooogy. But the Founder’s pack available for C$40 in the store offers an Ooogy with “genes.” This Ooogy may have common or “royal” (rare) genomes that will make it unique and possibly valuable.

This goes a long way towards alleviating our concerns about the high price of items in the store. If a player is interested in the game and wants to make a small purchase, he can get the Founder’s pack for C$40 and at least know that he will be getting a unique Ooogy.

Given these responses, we are now much less concerned than we were before.

9 Lives Arena certainly looks like a fun game. So if you like 1 vs. 1 PvP and perma-death, you may want to keep a lookout for news on this game’s public release. And if you’re worried that the prices of these collectibles may skyrocket by the time the game is released, you may wan to consider getting them now.

Tom Blackstone
Tom Blackstone is a former salesperson turned tech writer. Before 2014, he sold video games, computers, home theater systems, and other entertainment products. Since 2014, he has been a full time writer. His previous work includes ICO announcements, articles on the history of cryptocurrency, guides to Kodi addons, and more. He has always enjoyed learning about new technology and helping others to understand it. As a former video game salesperson, he also likes to try out new games and review them for others.

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