Ether Kingdoms is a real-time strategy game that features player-controlled imps. These imps can be sent into battle against other players, used as workers in a mining operation, or traded in the in-game store for collectible gear.
In researching this article, we created an account and learned how to play Ether Kingdoms. We used the tutorial mode of the game to mine imps, battle with bots, and advance to level 15.
Once we unlocked the full features of the game, we browsed through the Castle and took a look at how it all works. Read on to find our full report of what we discovered.
Registering for Ether Kingdoms
Registering for Ether Kingdoms is straightforward. Players do not need to give out their email addresses or even create screen names. A Metamask browser plugin is all that is needed to get started.
To begin, the player must navigate to the official site of Ether Kingdoms and click start game.
If Metamask is installed, a popup appears asking for permission to connect with the site.
To continue, the player must press connect → sign.
This brings up the main menu of the game, along with the first part of the tutorial.
The next few screens guide the player through basic features of Ether Kingdoms such as mining and battles. Once this is finished, the player is placed into the game’s Tutorial Mode.
Beginning players cannot immediately enter the full game. To unlock the full features, they must first get to level 15 in Tutorial Mode.
In this mode, players are given 100 imps for free. However, these imps are not actually ERC-20 tokens. They exist only on the game’s central server and cannot be traded to other players.
In this mode, players can produce more imps in a mine or win more of them through battle. However, all of these imps will disappear as soon as the player reaches level 15.
In either version of the game, players can order their imps to work in the mines producing more imps.
Note: Upon first playing this game, we thought it was a bit strange that we were being asked to “mine” living creatures. But since these creatures are units of cryptocurrency, this is supposed to make sense…at least, that’s how the developer seems to feel about it.
How to mine
To order imps to the mines, the player clicks on the mine from within the map.
This brings up a dialogue box with a slider bar.
The bar can be moved left or right to increase or decrease the number of workers sent. The more workers at the mine, the greater the production rate.
Mines have levels, and each mine begins at level 1. Only 100 imps can be sent to work at a level 1 mine. To upgrade a mine to a higher level, a player must pay a certain number of imps and meet other requirements.
Here is the complete list of mine levels:
Level 1 – 100 imp capacity, produces 0.125% imps at full capacity
Level 2 – Requires player level 25, costs 2 imps for upgrade, 200 capacity, produces 0.25%
Level 3 – Requires player level 50, costs 5 imps for upgrade, 300 capacity, produces 0.375%
Level 4 – Requires player level 100, costs 10 imps for upgrade, 400 capacity, produces 0.5%
If a player wants to upgrade all 25 mines to level 4, it will cost him a cumulative total of 425 imps.
Unlocking new mines
Only one mine is available in the beginning. A new mine becomes available each time the player gains a level. The final mine is unlocked at level 25.
In addition to mining imps, players can also win them in battle from other players. To start a fight, the player must click the fight button on the left side of the screen. This button looks like two crossed swords.
This brings up another slider bar, similar to the mining one. Players can use this to decide how many imps will be ordered to the battle zone.
Battles are shown through animation and music. And a message displays after each battle detailing its outcome.
The developer has not stated exactly how the combat mechanics work in Ether Kingdoms. But what we do know is that each imp has a health pool and an amount of damage that it does. The higher the level of the player controlling these imps, the higher these stats are.
We also know that if two groups of imps controlled by players of the same level fight one another, each group will win 40% of the time, lose 40% of the time, and draw 20% of the time on average.
How the battle prize is determined
The total prize pool for a battle is the sum of the number of imps sent into battle by each side. For example, If each player sends 25 imps into battle, then the total prize pool is 50 imps.
The developer charges 10% of the prize pool for each battle. So if the total prize pool is 50 imps, the prize pool after paying the developer’s fee will be 45 imps.
Once this initial prize pool is determined, it is divided by two to derive a “medium prize.” For example, if the prize pool after paying the developer’s fee is 45, then the “medium prize” will be 22.5.
The actual prize will be 20-80% of the medium prize. And the actual percentage will be determined by RNG. So if the medium prize is 22.5, the actual prize could be as low as 4.5 or as high as 18.
Whichever player loses the battle will have the actual prize subtracted from his total and given to the winner.
In addition to the imp prize, players also gain experience points when they send their imps into battle. Players who win gain more experience, but even losing players earn some experience just for fighting.
If a player cannot find a human opponent, he can choose to fight a bot instead. The bot’s level will be the same as the player. As a result, the player will tend to win 40%, lose 40%, and draw 20% of these fights.
Players gain experience when they win or participate in fights. When a player gains a certain experience threshold, his level increases.
The higher a player’s level, the greater his imps’ health and damage stats will be.
As with most RPGs, Ether Kingdoms has an experience curve that steepens as levels are gained. It’s easy to level in the beginning, but progressively harder to keep gaining levels as they increase.
Castle and Artifacts
Once you reach level 15, the Castle is unlocked. In the Castle, you can trade imps for loot boxes that contain random artifacts. These artifacts can be equipped to any of your remaining imps.
Each imp has 12 equipment slots: head, weapon 1, weapon 2, shield 1, shield 2, armor, pet, and five “extra” slots.
The developer has not released a list of items available. But here are a few we found on OpenSea:
Guard Helm: +5% defense, -2% dodge, +20% health
Shield of Balance: -10% damage, +2% defense, +2% dodge. +5% health
Shaman’s Garb: -14% damage, +4% defense, +7% dodge, +27% health
Battle Pug: +4% crit chance, +24% damage, +12% defense, +4% dodge, +4% chance of extra attack, +24% health, +25% mining speed
Torn Chainmail: -5% crit chance, +6% defense, +2% dodge, +12% health
In addition to getting artifacts from loot boxes, you can also receive them from weekly leaderboards, special offers, and boss kills.
Beginning at level 30, the player can choose to transfer some of his imps to the Far Realm. This is a separate version of the game where players fight over buildings in an effort to control territory.
To capture a building, a player must first organize his imps into a squad. He must then move the squad onto a tile with a building.
Combat mechanics in the Far Realm are similar to those of the regular game, except for two differences: First, the stamina of a squad is directly tied to the amount of imps within it. And second, the buildings the player controls grant bonuses.
In the Far Realm, the player may also come across powerful monsters as he moves his squads across the gameboard. These monsters grant experience points and a chance to obtain powerful items.
How to get to level 15
The first obstacle players will encounter while playing Ether Kingdoms is getting to level 15 to escape Tutorial Mode.
It can appear that the best strategy is to mine imps and only use the newly-mined ones to battle. However, we found that a better strategy is to completely ignore mining and just spam que for fights against the bot.
Each fight against the bot will award the player crucially needed exp. And since the player has an equal chance of winning or losing against it, any imps lost should equal out with imps won over time.
The player will lose all of his imps upon reaching level 15 anyway, so there isn’t much reason to preserve them.
Using this strategy, we were able to reach level 15 within just a few minutes.
Of course, this strategy should not be used if the player genuinely wants to try out mining before putting real money into it. But since mining is a fairly simple action in the game, we suspect many players will not miss the experience of doing it in the tutorial version.
Once the player has advanced beyond Tutorial Mode, he can click the Castle to bring up the in-game store.
From there, imps can be purchased using a credit card. The lowest-cost package is 500 imps for $19.00.
Imps can also be pruchased with ETH, but the minimum package in this case is pricey: 1000-1200 imps and a rare weapon for 0.39 ETH (approx. $74).
Imps can also be purchased from crypto-exchanges, including Bitfinex, Mercatox, and LiveCoin.net.
Ether Kingdoms review
We found Ether Kingdoms to be an enjoyable game. The process of upgrading mines gives the player something to work towards – as does the experience of trying to gain player levels.
Add in the fact that there are interesting blockchain collectibles within the loot boxes to be found in the Castle, and you’ve got a recipe for a great blockchain game.
The steps needed to succeed in the game seem obvious: mine imps, send your imp profits into battle to gain player experience, upgrade your mines, get even more imps, spend them on loot boxes, equip your imps, and repeat the process.
The only gripe we could imagine someone having with the game is that there doesn’t seem to be any kind of ELO rating system.
Because of this, new players may sometimes get crushed by more experienced ones because they randomly end up with a bad matchup.
But the opposite may happen sometimes as well: the average player may end up overpowered compared to his random opponent.
So we think this flaw is a pretty minor one in what is otherwise a very well-designed and interesting game.
We’ve played Ether Kingdoms and reported on what we found out. We’ve gone over how imps are mined, fights, artifacts, how to buy imps, and more.
We hope this information has been of help to you in deciding whether to play Ether Kingdoms. For more info on blockchain games, check out our complete list of reviews.
Have you played Ether Kingdoms? What do you think of it? Let us know in the comment box below.