War Riders is a post-apocalyptic vehicle-battle game currently in development. It is similar to Targem Games’ Crossout, but with vehicles, weapons, and currency that is recorded on the Ethereum blockchain and owned by the player.
War Riders is still in development. But some details of how the game will work have been released. We have also played a short demo of it, and this has given us more information about what War Riders gameplay will consist of.
This article will explain what is known so far about War Riders.
War Riders trailer
The developer of War Riders has released a trailer showing what the game will look like. It shows what we would expect from a game in this genre: rock music, sand dunes, machine guns, and characters that sound like they are from Texas.
War Riders claims to be unique because of its use of blockchain technology. In similar non-blockchain games, players routinely spend $30-$55 on virtual items such as armored car death machines, elephant cannons, and MM5-4 vector machine guns.
Yet these items are stored on the developer’s server and cannot be traded to other players.
The developers of War Riders claim that it will be different. In War Riders, players will truly own their vehicles, weapons, and currency, and will be able to trade them between each other.
War Riders gameplay
The War Riders team has released a white paper (called a “War Paper”) that explains in detail how the game will be played. Here is a summary of what it reveals.
As with other games in this genre, War Riders will be free to play. There will be no recurring subscription fee or charge for downloading the game. However, players will still need to own a vehicle in order to play the game.
An initial set of vehicles can be purchased from the developer through a series of sales that will occur between now and late 2019. If these vehicles sell out during this time, the only way to obtain them in the future will be to buy them from other players.
There are three types of vehicles: regular, mid-grade and premium.
Over 1,000,000 regular-grade vehicle units will be released before launch. These units have 40-240 units of armor, 1 primary weapon slot, 0-2 secondary weapons slots, and a tank that holds 20-90 units of benzene.
These are entry-level vehicles for the casual player.
Mid-grade vehicles are a step up from regular ones, but are still not as rare as premium vehicles. Only 150,000 mid-grade vehicles will be released.
Mid-grade vehicles have 80-280 units of armor, 1 primary weapon slot, 0-2 secondary weapon slots, and a tank that holds 50-120 units of benzene.
For hardcore collectors, premium vehicles are available. These include the SUV and War Truck, among other models. Each premium vehicle has 1-2 main weapon slots. Armor and tank capacity depends on the particular model. But most have better stats in these categories than the mid-grade vehicles do.
For example, the War Truck’s armor capacity is 750-800 units, with a tank that holds 300-450 units of benzene. And the SUV has 250-300 units of armor and a tank that carries 150-200 units of benzene.
Out of all of the various premium models, only a total of 30,000 units will be produced. This figure includes the 1000 units of “special vehicles” discussed in the next section.
Included in the number of premium vehicles is 1000 units of “special vehicles.” These vehicles are extremely rare. They include the Lambo, Car Tank, and Hovercraft. In addition to having better specs overall, these vehicles also have bonus abilities.
For example, the Hovercraft has perfect maneuverability, the Car Tank does not receive critical damage, and the Lambo gains speed instantly.
Since only 1000 special vehicles will be produced out of 1,180,000, players will rarely encounter these vehicles. But when players do run across them, these vehicles will likely be noticed in the gameworld the same way that expensive sports cars are in the real world.
RNG vehicle specs
While vehicles that are more rare do usually have better stats than less rare ones, there is also an element of RNG in vehicle stats. For example, a regular-grade vehicle comes equipped with a tank that holds 20-90 units of benzene. But the actual amount of benzene it can hold is determined randomly at the moment of creation.
This should serve to differentiate vehicles form each other and make them feel more distinctive.
Once a vehicle is purchased, it can be customized in numerous ways. The body type, color, guns, and wheels can be changed. The player can also create custom logos or messages to display on his vehicle. And additional attachments such as spikes and saw blades can be added.
The primary activity in War Riders is to mine the in-game currency, called benzene. Players who buy a vehicle from the developer will receive a full tank of benzene before launch. Other than this initial amount, all benzene will be produced in the game.
Although the name implies that benzene is a fuel-source, players do not actually have to spend benzene to drive, and there is no “fuel gauge” in the game. Instead, benzene is used solely as a currency to buy upgrades from vendors.
To obtain benzene, a player must drive to its location, fill up the tank, and then drive the vehicle back to the player’s garage.
Players have the ability to rob other players of benzene. To do so, they must simply destroy the other player’s vehicle in combat. The vehicle will respawn, but the benzene will go to the player who won the battle.
Most of the gameplay in War Riders is PvP oriented. Players spend benzene to upgrade weapons, which they then use to defeat other players and get even better weapons to crush still more players, etc.
Benzene recycling and deflation
Once the initial quantity of benzene is mined in the game, it will be recycled through the vendor system. When players buy upgrades with benzene, the currency they spend will respawn in the gameworld and be available to be mined again.
However, 30% of the benzene in each transaction will be burned. This will cause the scarcity of the currency to rise over time. Benzene is an inherently deflationary currency.
In order to successfully spend benzene, a player will have to successfully pilot his vehicle back to his garage. If his garage is far away, this may put him at a competitive disadvantage.
To deal with this problem, players will be able to rent garages from other players. This rental agreement will be governed by a smart contract, and neither party will be able to cheat on the deal.
War Riders technology
War Riders uses two technological innovations that are uncommon in blockchain games. Here is an explanation of both of them.
War Riders sidechain
Ethereum is too slow to handle the types of transactions made in modern online games. For this reason, War Riders uses a sidechain to process all in-game transactions. When a player logs out of the game, however, all in-game assets are transferred to the Ethereum mainnet.
The developers hope this solution will help keep players’ assets secure while still allowing for a fast-paced game with the complexity players expect.
War Riders marketplace
War Riders uses an in-game decentralized exchange (DeX) to facilitate the trading of game assets between players. This prevents players from having to trust third-parties with their game assets, and it allows players to keep using an asset while it waits to be sold.
War Riders demo
The War Riders team has produced a small demo that allows players to test-drive some of the vehicles. We have received access to this demo, and here is what we found out.
The demo allows testers to try out five vehicles: the SUV, War Truck, Car Tank, War Lambo, and Hovercraft. The player hits the gas by pushing W, and can turn right or left by using the D or A keys.
When W is pressed, the vehicle begins to accelerate, and it takes several seconds to get up to top speed. We found that the acceleration and steering felt very realistic.
Moving the mouse forward, backward, right, or left changes the camera angle and aims the vehicle’s primary weapon. Left-clicking fires the weapon. Because the weapon is aimed with the mouse and the car is aimed with the keyboard keys, the player can easily fire at an opponent to the side or even behind the car.
These controls were not difficult to learn, and it is clear how they would work in combat. However, there were no targets or AI opponents to fire at, so we were unable to test out the game beyond just seeing how the vehicles drive and weapons fire.
War Riders team
War Riders is being produced by Cartified, Inc., a team of 12 blockchain engineers, game developers, and marketers. The members of the team have chosen not to release their last names, preferring instead to be known by first names such as Vlad, Eddie, Ryan, Caroline, etc.
Cartified is funded by ERA Venture Fund, a venture capital fund. It also claims to have been accepted into one of the top accelerator programs in the US.
War Riders is a Mad Max style vehicle-combat game. It has similarities to Targem Games’ Crossout. But unlike Crossout, War Riders allows players to own their vehicles, guns, and in-game currency through the blockchain.
War Riders offers a variety of vehicles and customization options, garages that can be rented out to other players, and a deflationary currency that is recycled through the game.
The game is still in development, and some details of how it will be played are not yet known. But this is what we know so far.