Interview with BenRPG
In this series of interviews we want to let our users speak about their experience of Everdreamsoft’s game Spells of Genesis. Today, Bernhard Mueller Hug, a.k.a @BenRPG, who is Nr 1 on the leaderboard and scores 872177 points, is sharing his views and thoughts on one of his favorite games.
Where do you live? How old are you? What is your job?
I live in Zürich, Switzerland. I’m 35 years old male, married with 2 kids. I am a principal engineer in the in vitro diagnostics field. Previous positions included, sub-project lead, test manager and development engineer. I am actually an M.Sc. in Plant Pathology.
How and when did you discover Spells of Genesis (SoG)?
Probably from this article, maybe even earlier: Moonga Game Series to Utilize Blockchain for In-game Assets and Crowdfunding — Bitcoin Magazine
Why have you been attracted to SoG?
I am a Bitcoin nerd. SOG’s concept with digital playing cards tradable on the blockchain attracted me. This is different from e.g. Magic the Gathering Online where you only get a license to play the cards but do not own anything and cannot trade the cards outside of the game. When I started to play SoG, I liked that it is simple enough to be played on the bus or on public transport in general. Further, I think that it contains some fantastic artworks and it appeals to me how some of the crypto-stories are told within this game. One doesn’t need to know all these stories in order to enjoy the game, it just adds a nice touch.
What bothers you in the game? What do you like in it?
- There are small things that bother me and I have mentioned many of them in the bugs or suggestions section of the SoG forum. I will continue to do that.
- I think the stamina refills are too expensive. Not for me, but for others who do not want to dump so much money into a game. The problem is that I think players need to get hooked in the very beginning. When you create a new account and start to play, you can probably play not longer than 30 minutes. This is bad for on-boarding new players. I think 1 gem for a refill would do just fine. Think about e.g. kids, that truly might want to play it f2p (free-to-play). At some stage, they might be willing to dump some pocket money, but they need to get hooked first. You can find some more on this here. A stamina refill does not last longer than approx. 5-7 minutes but costs 25 cents in the best case.
- This game desperately needs a true PvP mode (not necessarily real time, but turn by turn like chess or so). After all, it’s a TCG and all TCGs that survive have this. More on this can be found here.
- At some stage the game needs more effects to be given to cards.
- SoG needs a BCY to Gems trade bot. Just very simple: give user name, send BCY, get Gems.
- More music. Play a different music in each level, or at least in each boss level. EDS may be able to partner with some sites like: Tabletop Audio – Premium Ambient Audio
- In the beginning it can be quite confusing that there are four in-game currencies and three of them are related to precious stones:
- Gold: Is won in game and can be used to buy random cards
- Crystals: You get these from “dusting” (destroying) cards you don’t need and these crystals are then used to upgrade cards to make them better
- Gems: Premium in game currency used to either buy stamina refills or epic and rare card packs.
- BitCrystals: Was the ICO currency. Is used to buy most blockchain cards. This currency does not appear in the game. These BitCrystals can be freely traded just like blockchain cards.
- EDS seems to be a bit intransparent regarding one thing: With all the consulting for new projects going on and the nova platform in the pipeline, how is it ensured that the money you collect from BC cards and app store sales (the part which is not burnt monthly) is going back into the development of SoG? I mean it’s nice you have all these things going on and that true ownership of in game assets is catching on, but the SoG players wants you to “finish” SoG first. So it feels a bit like you guys are moving on, but SoG is still in need of more development.
What I like:
- Effects (e.g. background color change when spells are collected)
- Truly scarce cards
- How you get the rain of gold after beating the levels
- The idea Blockchainization of in-game cards (once available)
- Daily quests
- Raid (see above, true PvP is also needed!)
- The map of Askian is nice
- Some levels are quite smart and creative; some have high replay value.
- The arcade-like character of the game
- The community is nice. You guys seem responsive on the forums.
- How you engage with other communities, like e.g. creating the Meetup card (BTCMEETUPCD) by my proposal.
- I used to love the road map you guys used to present in the newsletter, the one with the little map and hero. It is what brought me to try the game after two years of waiting by the sidelines. You actually did implement what was promised in the time it was promised. I know how hard this is to do in a project, so kudos. Bring us this map back. We want to see a roadmap again and see where SoG is going.
What are your favourite cards and deck?
There are still some cards I would like to have, but my current collection can be seen here.
These are the teams I play most. Other cards I normally play only if required for daily quests. Earth cards (shields) seems very much underpowered. I think they should be made to last at least one wave, maybe even two. I think they would get quite strong that way, but as they are now, they are weak. You basically need to hit the shields just before your enemies are going to hit you, otherwise, you risk that the protective effect is already worn off. I think I haven’t met a single player in Raid who had a green card in their team.
Did you purchase gems and if yes, how often, and how do you use them?
You guys should be able to see that in your backend, right? J I probably spent just over 200 CHF for gems. I purchased some Epic packs, as well as stamina refills (by the way, I think Epic packs are rightly priced, but the stamina refills are just too expensive, see above). Rare packs are just not worth it once you realise how common Rare cards actually are.
What gaming strategy would you recommend for beginners?
I think that this depends on if the new player wants to go f2p or if he is ready to drop some cash or even wants to invest in the game. Generally speaking, I think it is safe to say that players should check the sogassets website (which is a great resource but also needs improvements I think; but that’s another story) and only develop cards which give “effect all” spells when fully developed. It is just too hard to know which enemy or card is going to be hit by a single spell. I would also tell new players to never crystallize epics or legendary cards. Rare cards are easy to obtain, but getting four epics is quite difficult already and with legendaries it will take you many hours of playing to obtain 4 (you need four times the same card in order to evolve it to the highest level).
If players don’t want to go 100% f2p, I would tell them to either buy a nice blockchain card or 1-2 epic card packs. That would help them get started faster and in the end make usage of stamina more effective. If you have a high win rate already, gems are better spent on stamina refills. Finally, investment-wise, I would probably recommend buying a CCMCARD (Mages of Anonymity) at this point. The artwork and flavor is bonkers and the card is just soooooo strong!
Anything else you want to add?
Keep up the good work. Continue to invest in SoG, I think it has more potential. Also consider airing some of the video adds you are showing for stamina refills in other games. Make a great add video and air it. This will certainly bring new players. Also a Raid leaderboard would be nice. Counterparty transactions will become more affordable again in the future and they seem quite well suited for the game. I am much more skeptical of Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies’ long term potential and generally like concepts which build on top of the Bitcoin blockchain. When this whole August 1st thing* blows over, you will be able to better judge all that.
Some kind of rewards for weekly play activity like you have it in Moonga would be nice to have. Leagues and clans, and anything that let players engage competitively with one another would be appreciated. That is what people expect from a good TCG.
Thank you Ben for sharing these insightful remarks with us and the community!
* August 1st, 2017 is the date of a possible fork or split of the bitcoin blockchain.