STEPN’s Action Plan for Game Economy

Over the past 5 days, we have received over 1,500 responses to our call for feedback from our community members. It was extremely heartening to see members banding together towards improving the game.

“There is no power greater than a community discovering what it cares about.”

We at STEPN deeply appreciate all the feedback and suggestions given. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

From the responses, we witnessed a healthy blend of insights and wisdom, as well as support and kind words. We would like to share what we have unpacked over the past few days.

Basis of this initiative

All the adjustments being introduced are not going to be earth-shattering, as we hope to mitigate the occurrence of the extreme edge scenarios. We intend to monitor the proposed changes and make gradual tweaks along the way as we strive towards a healthy balance between a good user experience and the long-term sustainability of the project.

Problem 1: The cross-realm energy bridge

We received a number of good suggestions and even radical ones that suggested we remove the other realms completely or keep them unchanged. While we recognize the existing concerns of the current design (too much energy sharing from SOL to BSC), we still hope to reward our loyal users on newer realms for their past contributions.

Our Plan:

  1. Each new realm introduced will allow a maximum of 3 energy to be gained through other existing realms
  2. Each existing realm that you own a sneaker in, will provide 1 additional energy in the new realm
  3. The additional energy gained in the new realm will be capped at 3 in the first month, will decrease to 2 in the 2nd month and finally 1 in the 3rd month. From the 4th month onwards, no additional energy will be attainable in the new realm from this arrangement.

Example:

When a new realm is launched, a player decides to buy 3 common sneakers, which translates to 4 energy. Meanwhile, the player also owns 9 pairs of shoes on both the SOL and BSC realm.

As a result, the player is entitled to 4 points of energy (From the 3 sneakers on the new realm) + 1 energy (from SOL realm) + 1 energy (from BSC realm) = 6 total energy in the new realm.

1st month = 6 energy

2nd month = 6 energy

3rd month = 5 energy

4th month onwards = 4 energy

Feedback to our community:

Our aim is to secure a simple yet effective solution. Many of the suggested energy bridge options proposed by some users are viable, but executing them is complicated and potentially poses a steep learning curve for users. STEPN aims to constantly optimise the barrier to entry from a technical point of view, simplifying the process while maintaining a fun experience. Nonetheless, we are grateful for the suggestions and will reference them in the future if necessary.

Problem 2: The (no-exercising) pure mint-and-sell activities

For this question, none of the suggestions were polarising. The solutions reflect everyone’s wisdom and were quite diversified. Our plan is to make some numerical adjustments on top of the implementation of minting scrolls.

For this, we received sound and diverse suggestions from the community. Our intent is to make some adjustments to the minting numbers on top of the minting scroll implementation.

Our Plan:

1. We intend for players who actually use the app to move to all have a chance of obtaining minting scrolls from Mystery Boxes (MB). As such, we have reworked the MB system, increasing the qualities of MB from 5 to 10. Therefore, even with just a pair of common shoes with 2 energy, a user will still have a chance to get a mystery box.

2. We increased the cooldown duration of minting from 48 hours to 72 hours, and slightly increased the cost of minting, which allows the market to have more time to integrate the production of new sneakers. We expect that this solution will help the economy go into a positive loop.

Feedback to our community:

In addition to the suggestions we proposed above, we also received suggestions such as increasing the minimum level required for minting, changing the mint cooldown restriction from each NFT to an account cooldown instead, and adding “work-out” points as minting requirements, etc. These are all great suggestions, but they will change the game experience and product structure significantly. At this time we have decided not to implement them, but we will continue to observe the progress and reevaluate in the future.

Problem 3: Dynamic Minting Costs

In this question, we were pleasantly surprised to find a thought-provoking suggestion (thanks to trt*****28@gmail.com), in which the user highlighted the strong correlation between the GST mint cost and the profits from minting. We very much agree with this view. Looking back at the development of BSC Realm, the extreme craziness happened after the GST price went higher than $12. At those prices, minting only required 40 GST, and users could breakeven in a terrifyingly short 1 week.

Our Plan :

Based on the above and our own reflection, we have decided to make the following adjustments to the dynamic minting cost, effective today:

1. No matter what the GST price is, the GST component of minting will be a constant number, and the GMT part will be dynamically adjusted.

2. The adjustment rule is — when the GST price gradually increases, the consumption of additional GMT (addGMT) will be required in addition to GST and base GMT (baseGMT).

Mint cost formula: GST (A) + baseGMT (B) + addGMT ([A+B]*x). The following is how x changes with the increase of GST price:

  • GST< $4: x = 0%
  • $4 < GST < $8: x = 50%
  • $8 < GST < $12: x = 100%
  • $12 < GST < $16: x = 200%
  • $16 < GST < $20: x = 400%
  • $20 < GST < $30: x = 800%
  • $30 < GST < $40: x = 1600%
  • $40 < GST < $50: x = 3200%
  • GST > $50: x = 6400%

Feedback to our community:

In the responses to the Dynamic Minting policy, we see that the vast majority of users support the current policy. What we want to express here is that for the product’s longer-term sustainability, we must consider making adjustments. We hope and believe that many users will understand our thought process.

Problem 4: The recycling mechanism of sneakers and gems

Almost every suggestion from community requested for a sneaker synthesis mechanic. We even saw the designs drafted by one of our users.

If the demand for this is so resounding, let’s do it!

Our Plan:

1.Five pairs of same quality sneakers can be synthesised into a sneaker of the next higher quality.

2. Unlike upgrading gems, sneaker synthesis will not fail, but there will still be a certain cost to be paid in GST and GMT terms.

3. The min/max attribute values of the new shoes will be increased by 20% (for example, a traditional uncommon sneakers’ attribute ranges from 8–18. If you synthesise 5 common sneakers, the synthesised uncommon sneaker’s attribute values will range from 9.6–21.6).

4. The new shoe type (Walker / Jogger / Runner / Trainer) is probabilistically related to the types of the 5 pairs of sneakers that are used for the synthesis.

5. You can engrave a short sentence on ​​the new sneakers and it will be immutable. Yes, we want to start offering a little something for social experiences.

Feedback to our community:

This is the one problem with the most aligned feedback among our users and was the least complex.

Although we are only focused on these issues, we definitely could feel everyone’s enthusiasm. Here are some other good suggestions we may consider in the future:

1. Paying a fee when you list an NFT on the marketplace and change the price. This may prevent bots from spamming listings and will deter users from frequent cancellations and changes to prices.

2. Just like the dynamic minting cost, the platform fee in-app can be dynamically adjusted according to the different GST price thresholds (currently fixed at 2% + 4%, may consider changing it to a floating rate of 3% ~ 9%).

Conclusion

This article has dragged on a bit longer than we would like. In the end, we wish to add:

Being the first realm of STEPN, the SOL server has had very little volatility. During this time, we adjusted the gameplay, economy and operation according to the situation at that time. People generally had a good experience over the past 6 months.

As STEPN’s second realm, the BSC server experienced severe volatility. Based on the appeal from the community, we insisted on not intervening in the economy, but the resulting outcome was unsatisfactory.

For STEPN’s future realms, we decided to reference our experience from managing the SOL realm and try our best to define a set of rules for the adjustments, for the sake of a more sustainable in-game experience. We hope you understand that this is the most optimal option for everyone after various trade-offs.

Web3 is a vast world that can be beautiful but cruel at the same time. The spirit of DAO is joyful, but it also has an imperfect façade. Let us all continue to evolve in STEPNVERSE!

Addendum

10 June 2022

Please note, that we are making two changes to the Synthesis plan above.

1. Five pairs of the lowest numbered sneakers can be synthesised into a sneaker of the next higher quality. (The number of NFT sneaker is the sneaker code, to be found next to the hashtag symbol (#) underneath the NFT sneaker)

2. The engraving function will be announced later as we would like it to be made available for all the NFT sneakers.
Hereby, you can engrave a short sentence on ​​the NFT sneakers and it will be immutable. Yes, we want to start offering a little something for social experiences.

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