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Balthazar Research Report: Can’t Stop the Guild of Guardians

Contents

7/10 – Good

Pre released game score

Guild Of Guardians is unfinished and unpolished but still shines through with a lot of promises as a mobile GameFi project. With companies such as GameStop and Ubisoft backing this project, Guild of Guardians has all the prerequisites for becoming a hit game

Section scores

Background – 6.5
NFT Game Assets – 7.5
Website – 6
Artwork – 7
Team – 8
Whitepaper – 6.5
Socialnomics – 8.5

Read More on Explaining the Scoring.

Written by Nicholas Korsgård, Chief Gaming Officer, Kim Bjerkeli, Sigurd Thomassen, and Heidi Anette Laugsand Johansen, Game Strategist, Balthazar Alpha Team

Introduction

“Any cold, wet, thing. We don’t really… But it’s just a story. Or is it?” 

Let us introduce Guild of Guardians, a Mobile 3D Multiplayer Dungeon Crawler RPG game for iOS and Android, where players join together to take on dungeons. Work your way up to become the best group of guardians. 

This project focuses on team strategy and synergy while featuring heroes. There are aspects such as merging, guild crafting, daily token rewards, leaderboard prizes, and so much more. 

Guild of Guardians is the flagship game of GameStops’ new marketplace. GameStop has a massive online following which they gained after the recent stock market short squeeze of the GME Stock. The public perception was immense when the Guild of Guardians was announced. So, our expectations are high that GameStop will launch a top-quality game in their marketplace. Follow us along this research report as we will look into the NFTs, tokenomics, website, blockchain, and team.

Find your faction, class, and elements, and come with us on this journey to discover the Guild of Guardians.

Background

Guild of Guardians is a mobile RPG for iOS and Android where players band together to take on challenging dungeons. The point is to collect resources that will be used to craft items or new heroes. The game intends for people to group up and work together to overcome dungeons, form the best group of Guardians, contribute to their Guild, and develop strategies to beat the most challenging dungeons in the game.

Gameplay

Guild of Guardians’ gameplay focuses on team strategy, synergy, and players’ ability to dodge. A character’s faction, class, and elemental synergy play into the combat and make up for many team composition and strategy combinations.

An example of this would be that all “Heroes” could have their attack boosted, if the team only contains “Fire Elements.” Thus, they can have a higher chance of inflicting damage over time (DoT). Skilled players that dodge and time their attacks precisely can use combo attacks to stack their damage immensely. 

Like traditional RPGs, roles like the Tank, Healer, DPS, and Support are integral in Guild of Guardians. How players deal with aggro management, healing output, and damage output will make or break a team in the high-end content that puts on a challenge.

Gameplay Loop

The core gameplay in Guild of Guardians will revolve around players exploring the dungeon, and various mechanics focused on it. The dungeons are instanced and will hold several challenges for the team to take on. Each dungeon is unique and contains various monsters, bosses, and traps. 

Players will have the chance to get drops from the monsters and bosses, such as resources, currency, and equipment. Then the players can spend these rewards and items on recruiting and upgrading heroes already in their arsenal or crafting better equipment. Increasing the stats of heroes or acquiring newer and stronger ones allows players to take on progressively harder dungeons.

Outside of the core gameplay, there are additional features.

Over time, the developers intend to add gameplay modes such as

  • Guild Raids
  • Guild PvP
  • Land Gameplay
  • User-generated dungeons
  • Global eSports tournaments
  • Social hang-out, and trading zones

Playtesting

Our alpha team, as a whole, all applied to the Demo play-test, and we were lucky enough that two of us were invited to playtest, which we, of course, did. After doing some playtesting of our own for the Guild of Guardians Demo, we see that it has a strong potential to break through as a casual mobile RPG. 

Although no blockchain or NFT features were integrated yet, it felt like a high-quality mobile game. Adding the web3 functionality on top of this is bound to make some waves in the space, and with the community, they already got behind them; this might be the first real web3 contender in the mobile genre.

During the Demo playtest, we got an early taste of the music, and art-style Guild Of Guardians has chosen to go with. We especially found the music very enjoyable and engaging while playing, and although it was very repetitive, it didn’t become dull during the playtesting. We highly expect the art style to be heavily improved upon by launch, but it was very much playable and enjoyable enough not to be a bother while we were playing. 

Overall, we thought the music and art style were good for the Demo. Here’s some gameplay highlight footage from our CGO’s POV:

Play and Earn

In Guild of Guardians, there will be a few ways to earn, explained more in the following sections. The developers have stated that there will be systems in place to avoid bad actors from flooding the market and ensure that legitimate players and their assets maintain their value over time.

Guild Crafting

The only way NFT items can be created in Guild of Guardians is through Guilds. To craft something, players need materials that can be dropped in dungeons. Players will then have to contribute these resources to their guild to craft something from it. When crafted, the item will be sent to market to be sold, and the profits will be proportionally split automatically between the contributors.

Crafting will require resources of all types, including dungeon-specific and faction-specific materials gained from the various dungeons, and dropping, depending on which faction the hero belongs to. This leads to both new and experienced players cooperating in Guild Crafting.

Hero Merging

In Guild of Guardians, some heroes will only be obtainable through “merging.” The game is free to play, and one can earn common heroes through this model, although common heroes aren’t tradeable. When racking up enough common heroes, players can merge multiple heroes into one of a higher (tradeable) rarity, meaning that a free-to-play player can eventually work their way up to owning heroes of higher rarities.

An example would be merging five duplicate rare heroes into one random epic hero. Again, these merged heroes will not be sold by Guild of Guardians but only by players participating in the market.

Daily Token Rewards

Guild of Guardians Gems (the in-game token) will be distributed daily to players participating in the game. Players might have to reach specific milestones and complete daily quests or other in-game activities to be rewarded with gems.

Leaderboard Prizes

There will be leaderboard prizes for which the guilds can compete each season. These leaderboards are designed to reward the best and most competitive players. Prizes will be tiered so that there will be a global prize pool for which all guilds compete. Specialized prizes could also be a possibility where guilds compete within their respective tiers, such as adventurers, warriors, legends, and mythic guilds.

NFT Game Assets

Hero NFTs

Heros are unique characters with abilities and traits connected to their faction, class, and element. Players can obtain heroes by purchasing a summon or playing the game and earning enough summoning shards.

The hero’s properties determine what playstyle it fits and its strengths and weaknesses. Players can form teams based on these attributes and how they fit together, allowing for a lot of specialization and synergies for every play style.

Factions

Factions determine which ‘type’ a hero is. Most likely, humans will be from the Empire faction, although it is not always true. The monsters that players face will have strengths and weaknesses against certain factions. The loot that players get from killing monsters will also be determined by which faction their hero is, as different factions will have different drop tables from monsters, adding a layer of strategy to the gameplay. This means that some items are only available for a certain faction, promoting cooperation and trade between factions.

There are currently three factions in Guild of Guardians – Empire, Glade, and Horde.

Classes

A hero’s class determines which equipment it can use. There are three classes of heroes, Ranger, Melee, and Mage.

Elements

Elements provide strengths and weaknesses against each other; the strength bonus is 30% extra damage to enemies of a weaker element. Elements are Earth, Fire, Water, Dark, and Light.

Rarities

Rarity indicates the scarcity and relative strength of the hero or item, with legendary being the most powerful and scarce. As heroes have strengths and weaknesses, there might be a case where a rare hero could be better in some situations than a legendary one. The different rarities are Common, Rare, Epic, and Legendary.

Abilities

Heroes also have two abilities, one active and one passive. Passive abilities are inherent and won’t have to be activated. Passive abilities might grant heroes certain buffs or synergy effects with other heroes.

On the other hand, active abilities must be actively used and have a cooldown. These abilities might clear an entire room of enemies, heal the whole team, taunt a boss, or deal enormous amounts of single target damage.

Ascension

Heroes also have a level system with a maximum cap on levels. Once a hero reaches max level, players can “ascend” their hero, which increases its level cap again, unlocking the hero’s true potential power.

Merging

One way to earn Hero NFTs in Guild of Guardians is by hero merging.

The player has the opportunity to combine and discard 5-7 heroes of the same rarity in exchange for a random Hero NFT of a higher rarity.

In this system, users will be able to acquire Legendary Heroes even if they just play the game for free.

Heroes that are discovered by merging will contribute to a player-driven economy, as Guild of Guardians does not sell combined heroes.

Heroes resulting from a merger are also eligible for Chromas/Special Editions.

It’s important to note that the result of merging Founder Heroes will not be a Founder Hero of a greater rarity but a Non-Founder Hero of a higher rarity.

Pets and Energy Boosters

Pets

Pets are creatures a player can bind to their team to give benefits like increased dungeon rewards, crafting resources, and drop chances. Pets are available during the game presale and can be bought second-hand from players who already got one once the game launches.

Pets come in three different types, Workers, Scouts, and Hunters. Pets also come in the four rarities of the game.

In total, there are 12 unique pets which are divided into rarity and type. The rarities available are Common, which has a 60% probability, Rare with 27%, Epic with 10%, and Legendary with 3%. Because pets are the most valuable asset in Guild of Guardians, getting a good pet in the presale or later on in the marketplace could be “alpha and omega” in this game in many ways because of the scarcity and utility. 

To make it simple, each pet ,depending on their class and rarity, will give a special effect to the heroes. We could even go as far as saying pets are a +1 hero since they contribute with resources and buffs to the team. The picture below shows each pet’s benefits and the boosts they will provide to the team. 

Through the handbook, we receive information about pets only being a set number of 50,000, and the team wants to keep it that way. This scarcity indicates that not even half of the current community members will be able to acquire a pet. Guilds will have yet another avenue of strategy in pets, and players with one will be an attractive asset to serious guilds.

The team does have a “pet version 2.0” in mind. However, there is currently no information on whether this 2.0 means adding the breeding aspects or even pets as rewards in raids or anything similar. For now, these are only speculations; we guess time will tell.

Energy Boosters

As with many mobile games, Guild of Guardians uses an energy system that refills over time. Energy is deducted from a player’s reservoir whenever they enter a dungeon. As we’ve come to expect from mainstream mobile games, players can purchase extra energy from in-app currencies, and this won’t be the case in Guild of Guardians.

In Guild of Guardians, there will be Energy Booster NFTs, which provide a permanent boost to energy. When entering a dungeon, heroes will also become “fatigued,” fatigue stacks, and causes penalties to a hero such as stat reductions or extra energy consumption. 

Applying Energy Boosters will remove the fatigue rate a hero accumulates when going into a dungeon. It will also allow players to use their preferred hero for longer without suffering hits to its stats.

Equipment

In Guild of Guardians, equipment will be entirely player driven. Meaning the game itself won’t sell any equipment from the store. Players will have to find, create, and trade the hundreds of weapons and armor pieces around the game world. 

Each equipment item can have unique buffs enhancing the hero wearing it. There will also be some sets of equipment that synergize when equipped together. The different types of equipment are Weapon, Helmet, Jewellery, and Boots. They come in the four rarities we’ve already established.

For the time being, there are no plans to let equipment modify a hero’s appearance.

Founder Sale

In Guild of Guardians, a founder sale is commonly known as Genesis Sales in the broader NFT world.

To date, Guild of Guardians has had three waves of founder sales, all being highly successful. The first sale sold legendary hero summons and guild tokens. The second sale covered epic hero summons and energy boosters. Finally, the third sale covered rare hero summons and pet summons.

The theoretical max supply for each asset is shown in the table below.

AssetTheoretical Max Supply
Mythic Guild Token10
Legendary Guild Token50
Warriors Guild Token200
Adventurers Guild Token2,000
Legendary Hero10,750
Epic Hero41,000
Rare Hero142,500
Energy Booster15,000
Pet Summon50,000

All NFT sales were sold out in less than two hours, being a clear indicator of the expectation to the game, and the strength of the community and investors. 

Marketplace

You can find the Guild Guardians assets on the Immutable X marketplace or TokenTrove.

Tokenomics

Guild of Guardians is partnered with the company Guild of Guardians Limited, which issues and distributes the in-game currency Gems, an ERC-20 token.

The purpose of Gems is to be a tradeable in-game currency given as a reward to players for overcoming challenges and participating in gameplay. It is also an incentive to improve player retention and provide an avenue for players to earn while playing.

Gems can be used as an incentive and stimuli for community members and developers to grow the game community, ultimately resulting in a better experience for all players. The team also states that Gems will be a critical part of creating a sustainable play-to-earn economy while also protecting the economy against bots.

The token is required to mint any NFT and has a fixed distribution for player rewards, thereby preventing unsustainable growth.

To summarize, the general concept of Gems is that they’re a premium in-game currency awarded to players for playing the game. The Gems are tradeable between players on various marketplaces or exchanges and will be distributed over time. When players want to mint new NFTs, Gems are required. For every purchase directly from the game, players will have to pay 20% of the amount in Gems; this amount is funneled back into the reward pool.

Token Distribution

As the Guild of Guardians Gems is a capped token, there will only be 1 billion tokens in total. The distribution is shown below.

In addition to the distribution above, this graph shows how a projected supply will look, considering vesting.

  • Private sale tokens unlock over 30 months, with a 12-month cliff.
  • Developer tokens unlock over 48 months, with a 12-month cliff.
  • Player rewards vest daily over 48 months.
  • Community development tokens will be distributed discretionary.
  • Guardians Guild Limited tokens will have 50% of their tokens available from TGE held in a corporate treasury, and the remainder unlocked over 48 months, with a 12-month cliff.

Token Utility

The utility of Guild of Guardians Gems is described below.

Minting NFTs

Whenever players want to create new blockchain assets as NFTs, Gems will have to be used. Actions that can be taken when minting are merging, crafting, and ascension. 

  • Merging is when two or more heroes of one rarity tier are combined to create a hero of higher rarity.
  • Crafting is when new items are created as NFTs, in which guild members cooperate, pooling resources to make the item.
  • Ascension is when a hero is upgraded to add a star to its level cap.

The gems used in these activities will be sent to the rewards pool for redistribution back into the game. And for each consecutive particular NFT mint, the price increases. This is to encourage the early use of Gems and serve as a mechanism to regulate the supply of assets and avoid market flooding.

Purchase assets

When purchasing assets from the game (developers), 20% of the sales value must be Gems and goes to the rewards pool. For consecutive trades of assets on the secondary peer-to-peer market, 20% of the market fee must be paid in Gems and sent to the reward pool.

The user experience will be simplified for players so that these Gems portions can be transferred on the player’s behalf, happening in a single transaction.

Staking

Gems in the rewards pool will be distributed to players that are actively staking their Gems and participating in the game.

Governance and Voting

Gems holders will be able to vote on proposals via the decentralized governance mechanism. Proposals can also be proposed by individuals holding a certain amount of Gems. The governance is performed on layer-1, but the voting power comes from the balance of the wallet sourced across both layer-1 and layer-2. The more Gems, the more voting power.

Guild of Guardians website

We compared the Guild of Guardians’ desktop version of its website to its mobile site to see how it measures up and if there were any changes they could make to the site to improve it. Follow along to see our verdict. In this test, we used a Samsung Galaxy S10+.

Link to website: https://www.guildofguardians.com/ 

Desktop

When opening the website on the desktop PC, we can see the main menu on the top of the screen, including “home,” “about,” “whitepaper,” “store,” and “connect wallet.” On the main site, a gif was playing in the background, featuring what looked like several heroes with bright colors such as green, pink, and blue. There was also an option to join the newsletter by registering your email address, and last but not least, their social media platforms were available.

Continuing, we could see a short video presenting this game’s gameplay where the video’s interface was of a mobile phone, which was a unique and a fun touch to the website.

Furthermore, we could find information about the game and terms such as “Fantasy RPG,” “Loot and Trade,” and “Guild Multiplayer.”  The creators of this website stated three reasons why they built the free-to-play mobile RPG game with NFTs. Each reason was exemplified with numbers like “01,” “02,” and “03,” and upon clicking them, a new statement would appear. In addition, they had added a picture for each statement, which looked quite good and playful and suited the overall website theme well. 

Scrolling down, we could see the game’s partners, in addition to three facts about the project. At the end of the site, we had a second opportunity to “Join the movement,” as the website says, linking their social media once again. 

By clicking “About” in the heading menu, which would appear when the user scrolls up on the main site, we got to look into some typical questions in a FAQ style.

Overall, this website was plain and simple. However, it leaves some questions about who the team is, how far along their roadmap are they and how the NFTs will work for this project. 

Mobile

Upon opening the mobile site, we could see that the heading menu had been shrunk into the logo on the left and three white lines to the right. We were also able to see the newsletter registration, which we saw using a desktop as well.

However, we could not see the social media links without scrolling down. 

The video’s fun mobile interface had been removed, and only the video was available. However, the video worked as it should have. When scrolling down, the information layout was vertical on the mobile screen, which suited the mobile screen well.

The three reasons or statements mentioned earlier also looked good on the mobile screen, and it was clear that the user would have to tap to see more. The display pictures’ effects also looked nice, and the quality was excellent.

At the end of the mobile site, we could see the partners, which fit nicely on the screen and were of an appropriate size. At the bottom, the user would have a second chance to join the social media and check out more, just like on the desktop version. 

The Verdict

To sum it up, the website was short and straightforward. The users would be able to sign up for newsletters, check their social media, and see some gameplay and a “why” as to how this project came to be. We also got to explore the partners for this project. However, there were also many pieces missing that we typically see on websites, such as the team, roadmap, and tokenomics.  

Artwork

Guild of Guardians is a mobile game but has still gone above and beyond to produce and push high-quality artwork in its videos, website, and social media. We always heavily appreciate when the games take pride in their art, even if the game itself doesn’t require it. Adding on movement and effects helps bring the artwork to life, which is done on the website.

The style in itself is quite generic for a mobile game, and you can instantly recognize the Stepico games art style. This doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good or bad, but we would generally appreciate a more unique and original art style. 

Blockchain

Guild of Guardians’ Gem tokens will be ERC-20 tokens issued on the Ethereum blockchain. The goal is to have the token listed on an Automated Market Maker (AMM) such as Uniswap and centralized exchanges (CEX) over time.

The NFTs themselves will be ERC-721 tokens issued on Immutable X. Immutable X is an NFT scaling platform for Ethereum, and it ensures zero gas fees for p2p trading and high transaction throughput.

What Chain Does The Game Run On?

The Gem token utilizes Ethereum, whereas the NFTs are on the Ethereum layer-2 scaling solution for NFTs Immutable X.

Ethereum

Ethereum is the most used smart-contract platform out there, surpassing the average of over 1 million daily transactions (to see more statistics on Ethereum, you can visit the Etherscan website). However, being the most popular blockchain for smart contracts also makes it expensive to use, as it still has its limitations in throughput. What has been Ethereum’s biggest drawback is the high cost of doing a transaction on the chain, also known as gas fees.

Immutable X

Immutable X is a layer-2 scaling solution for NFTs on Ethereum. Its purpose is to remove the limitations prevalent on Ethereum, such as the low scalability, bad user experience, and slow developer experience. The solution enables zero gas fees when trading and minting NFTs without compromising user security. This marvel is made possible through Zk-rollups, a scaling solution that batches many transactions to generate validity and then submits it to a layer-1 smart contract for verification.

Our Thoughts On The Chain?

Having the main currency token Gems on Ethereum layer-1 is not necessarily bad. However, we’re curious how the currency token will work out with Ethereum layer-1 gas fees. The game will reward gems to players for various actions and achievements, but who covers the transaction fee in this case? It might not be an issue at all, especially when Immutable X is involved as a layer-2 solution, although in the whitepaper, it’s only stated that the NFTs will be transacted there, not the Gems.

From what we can read from the whitepaper, the developers have obviously thought about the gamer regarding the minting and transacting of NFTs, which is a core part of the game. It can be seen in the effort to have zero cost in NFT transactions on Immutable X and having the players feel as though they’re not interacting with blockchain altogether. “Gems” are quite common in mobile gems, and maintaining this abstraction for players might make the whole transition easier for web2 gamers to leap to web3.

Guild of Guardians Ecosystem

The team behind the Guild of Guardians Academy has created an ecosystem chart showing the relation different actors and systems have with the game.

The image is sourced from https://www.goghandbook.com/guild-of-guardians/infographics.

Team

Who Is On The Team?

Immutable Team

  • Derek Lau – Game Director
    https://www.linkedin.com/in/xdereklau/
    • Vice President & Game Director (Nov 2019 – present) at Immutable
    • Associate and consultant (Sep 2016 – Nov 2019) at Oliver Wyman
    • Co-Founder (Sep 2015 – Aug 2016) at Parkways
  • Josiah Wallace – Lead Game Designer
    https://www.linkedin.com/in/josiah-wallace-03408859/
    • Game Designer (May 2017 – Jan 2021) at Imangi Studios
    • QA Analyst (Oct 2015 – May 2017) at Imangi Studios
  • Aaron B. Murray – Creative Director
  • Marc Griffiths – Lead Full Stack Developer
  • Nick Kelland – Marketing and Partnerships Manager
  • Johann Erti – Executive Producer
    https://www.linkedin.com/in/johann-ertl-157892a4/
    • Novelist (self-employed) (May 2015 – present) at Homegrown Games
    • Managing Director (Jul 2005 – present) at Homegrown Games
    • Senior Game Producer (Jul 2017 – Jun 2021) at SMG Studio
    • Producer (Nov 2013 – Mar 2017) at Mi’pu’mi Games
  • Justin Hulong – Chief Studio Officer
    https://www.linkedin.com/in/justinhulog/
    • General Manager (Jul 2018 – Mar 2022) at Riot Games
    • Regional Strategy Lead (Jan 2018 – Jun 2018) at Riot Games
    • VP Ad Products and Head of Sales (Jun 2016 – Dec 2017) at Say Media
    • Senior Director (Oct 2014 – Jun 2016) at Say Media
    • Chief of Staff (Jan 2014 – Sep 2014) at Say Media
  • Veronica Foo – Director of Marketing
    https://www.linkedin.com/in/shadowdame/
    • Head of Digital Marketing (Oct 2021 – Feb 2022) at Illuvium.io
    • Manager of Brand & Product Marketing (Nov 2019 – Oct 2021) at Riot Games, League of Legends: Wild Rift
    • Publishing and Community (Oct 2015 – Oct 2019) at Riot Games
    • Community Developer publishing (Dec 2013 – Sep 2015) at Ubisoft
  • Aakash Mandhar – VP of Studio Engineering
    https://www.linkedin.com/in/mandhar/
    • Co-Foudner (Oct 2021 – present) at Prudent Hire LLC
    • Senior Director of Engineering (Mar 2016 – Nov 2021) at Electronic Arts
    • Senior Development Lead (Feb 2012 – Mar 2016) at Microsoft
    • Senior SDE (Dec 2008 – Feb 2012) at Microsoft
    • SDE 2 (Oct 2007 – Nov 2008) at Microsoft
    • Senior Software Engineer (Mar 2006 – Oct 2007) at Yahoo!
    • Software Engineer (Jul 2004 – Mar 2006) at Hewlett-Packard
  • Shibu Mathew – VP of Product Management
    https://www.linkedin.com/in/mathewshibu/
    • Head of Product Management (2016 – May 2022) at Electronic Arts
    • Director of Product Management (2013 – 2016) at Electronic Arts
    • Lead Product Manager, EAMobile (2010 – 2013) at Electronic Arts
  • Kaerlin McCormick – Chief of Staff
    https://www.linkedin.com/in/kaerlin/
    • Consultant – Growth Strategist and Advisor (Oct 2018 – Oct 2020) at Riot Games

Stepico Team

Team Assessment

Guild of Guardians is developed by Stepico and published by Immutable.

Stepico is a development studio primarily focusing on mobile games. They have eight years of experience in the interactive entertainment industry, 150+ employees, and have worked on 42 titles so far.

Immutable is a web3 game development and publishing studio, and the team working on Guild of Guardians spans five continents and is supported by 100+ external developers, game artists, designers, and analysts.

We must disclaim that these teams are extensive and work on several projects simultaneously. As such, we cannot find out who is explicitly working on Guild of Guardians of the 350+ people on Immutable and Stepicos LinkedIn pages. However, we did find both teams’ managers and leaders listed in the team section above. 

At the time of this writing, Immutable is looking for three people to fill specific roles on their Guild of Guardians team. In addition, they’re also looking for new team members in several other positions that aren’t explicitly related to the game itself.

Looking at Immutable, they’ve previously published the game Gods Unchained, an already established trading card game. 

Stepico claims to have worked on 42 titles so far, listing nine projects as their own on their website, including Guild of Guardians. The other projects are primarily mobile-developed games, which seem like fairly typical mobile games in gameplay.

We anticipate that both of these teams will be able to produce a game that meets their own standards and goals, as they are both large teams with extensive experience in their respective fields. 

Do They Have Relevant Experience?

Looking at the management teams of both Immutable and Stepico, it’s clear that they have previous relevant experience. They’ve got members who have worked in Riot Games, Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, Microsoft, and more. Although we can’t go in-depth on the developers making the game itself, we can state that individuals seemingly lead the team with years of experience within their respective fields. 

Moreover, based on what these teams have accomplished in the past, we’re confident that Guild of Guardians is being developed by a competent team. 

Who Are Their Backers?

Roadmap

Game Developer’s Roadmap

In addition to the game developer’s road map, we were able to find the official roadmap in the GoG handbook. However, this roadmap doesn’t contain a whole lot of information.

Alpha Team’s Thoughts On The Roadmap

As for now, the roadmap looks quite simple and is divided into two parts; Completed milestones and the upcoming roadmap. From looking at the roadmap, it seems like by now (Q2 2022), we will be able to playtest the game demo, and, later this year, they’ll release the alpha testnet enabling limited gameplay extending from the pre-alpha demo. 

We’ll have the beta mainnet within the first half of 2023, and in the last half of 2023, we can expect to see a game release on the mainnet, which is likely to include different game modes and new content. We think the roadmap is straightforward, with realistic goals set within an area of time. 

Guild of Guardians Timeline

Although we found no grand additional information on the official roadmap in the handbook, we did find a timeline that includes milestones, events, announcements, partnerships, and much more. 

The timeline can be seen below, and it also includes goals for Q4 of 2022, including the months April – June.

2020

2021

2022

Guild Facilitation

Since Guild of Guardians is a multiplayer game at heart; the guild aspect is integral to it. Players that want to earn big money, collect everything, and play the game in a completionist style will want to join a guild. Guilds allow players to group up and face the most demanding challenges with the most loot in the game, craft items for sale, and more.

Guild Types

In Guild of Guardians, there will be four tiers of guilds with different statistics and benefits.

GuildGuild MembersGuaranteed first-cut*
Adventurers Guild201%
Warriors Guild302.5%
Legends Guild405%
Mythic Guild5010%

* The guild leader gets a guaranteed first-cut of any guild-crafted item sale.

Guilds offer players the opportunity to access content and game modes they can’t access without a guild. These game modes will enable more avenues for players to show off their best heroes, fight the most brutal enemies, and earn unique and rare rewards.

Guilds will not affect an individual player’s progression in the game directly. But without a guild, some content won’t be available. As we’ve seen in the NFT section, there is only a certain amount of guild tokens available as of now. Guild tokens are needed to create a guild; they won’t be obtainable in the game and can’t be upgraded to a different tier. However, Guild of Guardians might release more Guild Token NFTs down the line if there is a need for more guilds. These tokens will be inferior to the existing ones.

Guild Raids

Guild Raids is, for now, an asynchronous activity where players can send their heroes with their assets on an expedition with the rest of the guild. A guild leader will pick 16 players to assign heroes for a mission to defeat a raid boss.

When the team is assembled and sent to defeat the boss, all that the players have to do is wait. A raid can take several days, depending on the difficulty. However, bigger guilds can run multiple raids at the same time.

Whitepaper

Link to the whitepaper (PDF): https://www.guildofguardians.com/Guild_of_Guardians_Whitepaper.pdf

Link to the whitepaper (GitBook): https://whitepaper.guildofguardians.com/

Link to community handbook: https://www.goghandbook.com/

Alpha Team’s General Thoughts On The Whitepaper

Guild of Guardians has a whitepaper in pdf format covering 33 pages in total, and a GitBook style whitepaper containing the same content. It starts with a general summary of the whole project for those not interested in reading all of it. The summary condenses the most important aspects of the game into paragraph-sized takeaways covering the vision, game, token, earning, community, and market fit.

After the summary, it goes on to outline the industry and chart out the potential for a mobile game like Guild of Guardians compared to web2 competitors like RAID: Shadow Legends. Then the business model is laid out alongside the growth strategy before getting to the gameplay and token details.

The whitepaper is excellent from a business perspective; there are a lot of details for potential investors. However, we feel the game information is lacking, as we would like to see more details on the actual game content and the lore behind the game.

This is where the Guild of Guardians Community Handbook comes in handy. The community handbook is not official and not related to the whitepaper, but is created by Discord community member coolspotato#9800 and aims to contain and compile all relevant and useful information about the game.

For new players coming into the community, the handbook is the go-to guide for everything related to the projects. There are guides on setting up wallets, getting the GoG token, and so on. It is a stellar example of how strong communities participate in the project’s overall success.

Growth Implications:

The team behind the project seems to have the plans for scaling in place and the data to back it up. With Immutable in on the project, the scaling on the technical level should be a nothing-burger, as that’s what their layer-2 solution is built for. The team also has a data-driven approach to growing their community and maintaining player retention.

We don’t see any obvious roadblocks for Guild of Guardians regarding growth. However, the narrative regarding play-to-earn has changed in the ecosystem as a whole, where play-and-earn is seemingly the new term. We don’t think this would negatively affect Guild of Guardians, as it is still within the bounds of normal mobile games, which are still killing in the traditional web2 space. Therefore, we think the potential to capture the attention of web2 mobile gamers is high, as little has changed in how the game is presented.

Socialnomics

Social Media Followers Count

PlatformFollower count
Discord104’500
Twitter126’400
Facebook29’000

Starting with the Discord server, the way of getting access has been kept very simple. After joining, the Discord server has a marketplace, faction, guild area, and a general chat. In addition, they also had a diverse selection of language channels featuring, amongst others, Italy, Vietnam, Japan, and Spain. The server seems quite chatty, as we expect from the high number of members.

The Twitter profile was created in October 2022, with a link to their Discord server in the bio and linktr.ee. It seems like the profile posts 1-2 posts a day, sometimes skipping a day and retweeting several more to share with their followers. By using the number of total followers, followed by the number of interactions, we can see that this profile has an engagement rate of approx 193-3773, which equals 0.15% – 3%. It does look like the most typical percentage is around 0.15-0.25%, which is an okay number. 

On Facebook, the project seems to be quite silent. There are few posts added, and there has even been a two-month break without any posts. We could observe questions the team hadn’t answered in their comment sections. By the looks of it, the Facebook page seems to be a way to find more Discord members, and that’s it.

Townhalls and AMAs

Guild of Guardians has, up until now, had eight different Townhall meetings and AMAs. In the Handbook, you can find summaries of all of these. It’s a great initiative from the team to engage with the community in this way. As these events are quite popular, having participants in the hundreds. Links to various interviews can be found on their Discord server; at this moment, 14 interviews have been published so far.

Medium

Guild of Guardians has a very active Medium account with articles covering the “Dev Diaries,” introducing team members and their roles, and announcing community challenges like the Guild of Guardians X The Sandbox Faction Challenge.

Speculations And Connecting The Dots

This section must be taken as speculation and not as a complete fact.

With Guild of Guardians being the flagship game for GameStop’s new marketplace, there is reason to be optimistic about the community success of this game. In the past few years, we’ve seen a large community rise around GameStop and its new direction under Ryan Cohen’s entry as chairman of the board. Communities on Reddit, such as r/superstonk and r/wallstreetbets, have been heavily discussing and participating in the GameStop GME stock trades. When visiting these subreddits, anything GameStop related is often very well received.

Now, suppose Guild of Guardians is the long-awaited GameStop marketplace’s darling. In that case, there is little doubt that the general GameStop-Reddit community will back it up and push it as the first step for the “Power to the Shareholders” slogan of the Superstonk community.

As of January 29, 2022, GameStop had 4,573 stores worldwide. We think it’s natural to expect that it makes sense that GameStop would push marketing on their flagship game and future games in the physical stores as well. The consequences this could have on the web2 adoption of blockchain-based games could and should be huge. It’s not unlikely that you can walk into your nearest GameStop in the near future to grab some Guild Of Guardians merch or clothes and see people outside with the same.

If there’s one thing we shouldn’t underestimate, it is strong Reddit communities that set their mind to something. We saw this with the GameStop short squeeze case, and that community is still holding and going strong. GameStop seems to build the foundation to become one of the biggest game platforms of the web3 era, with Immutable X as a key partner in bringing this to life.

With the game demo coming to an end, the statistics are out. During the first closed game demo, the participants played over 11,000 hours, killed 15,852,328 enemies, cleared 156,158 dungeons, and lost 233,675 heroes for the greater good. The hashtag #GOGDEMO was used over 2,000 times and reached 1.7 million. In our opinion, these are great numbers for a gameplay demo lasting just over a week. It also highlights that this game might have what it takes to contend with other web2 AAA mobile RPGs.

Conclusion

Guild of Guardians is a competitive player-driven team-based dungeon crawler RPG game with familiar elements such as class, faction, and elemental synergy. To truly become great, the team needs to use these elements, perfect them and fight the traps, monsters, and bosses which will stand in their way. As a reward, various resources are dropped, which can be used for upgrades, recruiting, and even crafting. The heroes have strengths and weaknesses, but in addition to this, there are also degrees of rarities that determine how great a hero can truly be.

This project also intends to add modes such as Guild Raids, Guild PvP, and global eSports tournaments, to name a few. As for the tokenomics aspect of the game, every purchase or mint will require Gems; 20% of the amount will be directly funneled back to the reward pool to keep the tokens flowing.

With all the recent hype and market presence from GameStop and Guild of Guardians being their flagship game. Our expectations coming into this research report were quite literally sky-high, and we were unsure whether or not they would be able to deliver upon these expectations. We appreciate the game-first approach, and after several members of our research team have gotten to play-test the demo, we can definitely say that they’ve delivered on the gameplay expectation. 

The team comes off strong, with members who have previously worked in Riot Games, Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, and Microsoft, to name a few. Stepico, the developer of this project, primarily focuses on mobile games with eight years of experience and has worked with over 42 titles in this written moment. We are still at a very early stage with Guild of Guardians, but there is a lot to like, and there is clear potential for success here.

To summarize, Guild of Guardians is very much at an early stage, and we are missing key parts for a stronger holistic showing. The lack of lore is a negative, and the whitepaper could use a lot of updates, especially on the gameplay side. Outside of this, we are very hopeful for future updates, and we see a lot of promise through the flaws and drawbacks. The gameplay demo and the team behind this project are great. This is why Guild of Guardians ended up with a total score of 7 from the Alpha team. 

Alpha Team

Nicholas Korsgård

CGO

Sigurd Thomassen

Game Strategist

Kim Bjerkeli

Game Strategist

Heidi Anette Laugsand Johansen

Game Researcher

Luke Jech

Game Researcher

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