Discord Town Hall/AMA Recap
Many greetings from the Neopets Metaverse team!
Thank you so much to all who attended the first Neopets Metaverse Discord Town Hall and AMA on June 10! We had a very productive conversation with the community, and we look forward to hosting future town halls regularly.
For all of you who could not attend, we wanted to provide a recap of the most critical points of the Town Hall.
Here is the abridged version of the most critical points of the Project Overview and the AMA session. Enjoy!
Project Overview Discussion
Today it is a pleasure to have the Chief Metaverse Officer of Neopets Metaverse, Dominic Law, as our guest. Would you please introduce yourself and explain how you started with Neopets Metaverse?
I’m Dominic Law. I’ve been playing Neopets since middle school, and I joined this project in December. I’m very excited to see Neopets take a leap forward as we launch into the Web3 space. I joined NetDragon a little more than two years ago. I’ve focused on building platforms and entertainment businesses in the past decade, but I eventually gravitated toward the Web3 space. Initially, my role was to explore blockchain opportunities in the education tech sector. While we were exploring doing something with Neopets in the Web3 space, I recommended myself to join this project. There were a lot of issues in the beginning as we were finding our footing, but we’re making a comeback and are now in an amazing building mode. I know that we can turn Neopets Metaverse into a massive success with the support of our community. We’d love to build this project with you guys and charge forward into the future.
Could you tell us about what Neopets Metaverse is doing right now?
We’re still very early in building out the whole Neopets Metaverse. We’re launching our Alpha in August with Neopia Central; in total, we plan to have more than 20 different lands from the original Neopia. It will take close to four years to fully build the Metaverse. Every quarter we plan to have a seasonal update as we continue to fine-tune many in-game balances and the overall gameplay. Neopets had over 150 million players in the past at its peak, and most of these players have enjoyed the game. A strong community is thriving — more than 1 million monthly active users are still playing the game actively. We realize that players love the brand, and it still has a lot of recognition, but many past players have left the ecosystem. I’ve been talking to people in the Web3 space about Neopets. Many people would love to enjoy Neopets in a whole new way, which is one of the biggest drivers for bringing Neopets into the Metaverse. We’d love to give all users a modernized way of exploring Neopia. Our vision is to attract old users and draw other gamers to join Neopets Metaverse.
We’re focused on building a game that free-to-play users can genuinely enjoy, but there will also be an option for players to interact with the blockchain elements to expand their game experience. With blockchain, we can give players actual digital ownership so they can own a piece of their childhood memory. It will be exciting to see how this whole GameFi space evolves. Neopets has done very well in the web1 phase — it’s one of the first and most popular browser-based games. But it hasn’t thrived as well in Web2. The vision is to build the IP back up. We can be one of the first major game studios to enter this space with a truly legendary IP and become a major leader in the Metaverse genre.
What can you share about the vision and values of Neopets Metaverse?
A lot of blockchain games are focused on play-to-earn elements. This leads to a division between two groups of stakeholders in the GameFi ecosystem. One group is the NFT owners. The other group is the pure gamers. I think there can be a mismatch between the NFT owners (the ones categorized more like the investors) and the gamers in a community. In a lot of existing play-to-earn games, a lot of the gamers are farmers who play the game while having to share their income with the investors who own the NFTs. This dynamic can lead to shorter gameplay cycles since farmers tend to abandon games if there’s another one with higher rates of return. I think that’s a pattern that we’d love to break. We’ve been planning carefully balancing the game’s tokenomics and free-to-play elements. I think a longer-term, more sustainable model is the way forward. Fun gameplay is the greatest incentive a game can have, and earning potential is more sustainable when the gameplay is both fun and rewarding.
What else can you share about blockchain integration in the game?
There are sometimes a lot of initial hurdles for people who hadn’t interacted with a wallet before or previously bought cryptocurrency for a blockchain game. We’re trying to minimize these roadblocks. For example, when you first join Neopets Metaverse, we won’t force you to buy NFTs or set up a wallet. It should be simpler: you can make an account and enjoy the game, and then when you interact with the NFT or crypto elements of the game, you will sign up for your wallet. Neopets has been built on the success of a strong community in the past. The community has been able to drive a lot of the in-game experiences. We’d love to continue this in Neopets Metaverse. Our stakeholders will help govern the game, the future development of the lore, and who we collaborate with. We will be introducing a stake-to-vote mechanism. It’s staking, but the longer you stake, the more voting power. This method prevents users from just buying tokens to seize power. Power will be in the hands of early supporters who stayed with us from the beginning.
Could you walk us through the Neopets Metaverse core gameplay?
The core game loop revolves around 5 key gaming elements. At the center is the Neohome. The Neohome is where you can customize, feed, or interact with your Neopet. Also, the Neohome is a place that you can creatively furnish and customize. It’s also a space for socializing. You can invite your friends and their Neopets to join you in your own Neohome and participate in various activities. Outside the Neohome, you can play the other aspects of the game. These include PvE elements such as quests and mini-games. PvE activities will enable you to collect in-game resources (or potentially tokens, even for free-to-play users) for you to Craft items. There are two types of items. One type is consumables, such as the food items you can feed your Neopets. The other type includes items that you use to customize your Neopets; some examples are wearables, battling equipment, or decorations for the Neohome. After you craft these items, you can sell them in the Marketplace. Items you collected or purchased from stores can always be sold on the marketplace or to other players. We will also be bringing the Battledome back to Neopets Metaverse as well. PvP battles will be more like a tournament, maybe championship style, and we might eventually turn the battle aspect into something like a full-fledged Altador Cup.
What’s your strategy to engage people unfamiliar with the Web3 space?
We’re trying to make the onboarding process as simple as possible. Playing Neopets Metaverse would be no different than playing a Web2 browser game or a Web2 mobile game. Since we’ll have more free-to-play elements compared to existing blockchain games, I think it will be more accessible from the beginning, as they can experience hours of gameplay without having to make any purchase on the blockchain. Once they’re ready, they can then learn to set up their wallet and participate in that part of the gaming ecosystem. During that process, we’ll have tutorials as well.
Do you have any goals for the next stage of the whole project?
In the medium-term, we will be releasing our private Alpha in late August. That’s where a lot of our community members will be invited to join our private alpha: existing NFT holders, the pizza NFT holders, and a lot of our partners, advisors, and investors. The alpha is where community members can explore Neopia, at least Neopia Central. It will be a browser-based scheme initially, but we will launch the game's desktop app version shortly after. By year-end, we’re planning on the first seasonal update, which would be open to the public.
AMA — Community Questions
Question: What limits will exist for free-to-play accounts in the game?
I think we’re following the 80/20 rule here, so free-to-play users will probably be able to access the majority of the gameplay, if not all of it. Around 80% of the game will be for free-to-play users. Also, if you’re a player experienced in the free-to-play world, you can earn some tokens from just free-to-play activities. Free-to-play users will likely be able to slowly play the game and accumulate resources to craft their own NFT items.
Question: Will the Neohome be a publicly available feature of the game?
Everyone will be able to access their Neohome. We will be introducing a land system to Neopets Metaverse. Since we have a whole World Map, I think it will be interesting for you to decide where you want to place your Neohome in the future — it would exist on a plot of land in Neopia. The land system would be based on NFTs; each parcel of land would be an NFT, but you would not need to own a plot of land to access your Neohome.
Question: Can you own a Neopet without an NFT, or do you need an NFT to play the game? What’s the purpose of holding a Neopets Metaverse Collection NFT?
You don’t need to hold any NFT to access the game. In our Alpha launch, you’ll have up to three Neopets as a base starting point. They might come with some starter pack items, but if you want to customize them with nice clothing or accessories, you can play the game and earn the resources to craft your items. Having the original NFTs would give you a bit of a head start from the very get-go. We are thinking of integrating our Genesis NFTs into the game in different ways. We’ll detail more of those aspects in our litepaper, which we will release in July. Everything that shows up in your NFT now will not be immediately accessible in Alpha, but in the long run, we foresee that many of these NFTs would probably provide you with an exchange of items in the game. For example, you could exchange them with some of the wearables or the paintbrushes in the game. We’ll introduce those elements as soon as the game developments come along.
Question: How do we earn currency or tokens within Neopets Metaverse?
You can earn it just by playing the game normally. For our free-to-play users, you can slowly earn tokens, just like how you accumulate Neopoints on Neopets.com. You can also participate in normal PvE gameplay, where you can earn tokens as well. And, of course, you can participate in trading activities. We will also have a lot of community-driven events; participating in those and helping us build out the Metaverse would be granted rewards from the treasury pool.
Question: Will we keep the storyline the same as the existing IP, or will there be changes within the Metaverse?
The way we’re developing the plot and the storyline of the Neopets Metaverse is that we will try to stay true to a lot of the key elements of Neopets and a lot of the existing lore. Think of it more as a parallel universe instead of a one-to-one replica. It will be a multiverse-like system, so everything that happens in the Neopets Metaverse won’t affect what’s happening on Neopets.com, but occasionally there could be crossover events. Much of the sequencing will differ from the exact story sequencing of Neopets.com; this gives us a lot more flexibility and creativity in introducing story elements into the Metaverse and is also why community members can contribute to the development of the plot.
Question: Is the battle system set in stone, or can it be changed?
The battle system will be a bit simpler for the alpha stage, but what we want to introduce in the long run will be more complex. Initially, it will be more like a turn-based strategy battle system. It will continue to be fine-tuned and developed, and we envision updating the battle system with new gameplay elements.
Wrapping it all Up
Thank you again to those that participated in our Town Hall! We are grateful to our wonderful community for giving us the constructive feedback we need to craft Neopets Metaverse into a game that all Neopians can enjoy!
As always, you can read our past Medium articles to catch up on all our Neopets Metaverse updates, including all our 3D visual reveals, core game loop, website updates, and Genesis Neopian perks!
Follow us on our social channels for all the latest Neopets Metaverse news!
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