The collectible breeding genre has proven to be one of the most suitable forms for integrating NFT elements, as demonstrated by precedents such as Axie Infinity and CryptoKitties. Given its familiarity with both users and developers, the competition in this market within the Web3 space is fierce.
Incubated by UNOPND, the blockchain game "Derby Stars" was developed and launched at Hype Dream, marking the start of its alpha build. This game, themed around horse racing, resembles the highly successful "Uma Musume" by Cygames. It has garnered significant anticipation even before its release due to its high-quality design. In this article, we will explore whether Derby Stars can deliver the anticipated unique entertainment as it moves from test races to full-fledged competitions.
Strategic Breeding in the Racing System
Achieve rankings and earn rental fees with your trained horses
In Derby Stars, users can train NFT horses they own or rent them out for PvE races. They can also breed their horses with those of other users to obtain NFT horses with superior stats. The ultimate goal is to achieve season-top rankings in PvP races.
The overall gameplay is similar to "Uma Musume", as mentioned earlier. Users do not directly control the horses during races; instead, they send their trained horses to races and wait for the results. As there is no interference during races, choosing the right race that suits your horse's strengths and training your horse accordingly is crucial.
First, let's delve into the gameplay in detail. When you first log in, you can rent one NFT horse, which you can use in various content after training. The game's core content consists of PvE training and PvP season rankings.
Training allows you to enhance your horse's inherent abilities and acquire various training items and cores. The training process can be divided into three main stages. First, you must choose the PvE competition you want to participate in. Competitions are divided into local, national, and world levels. Larger-scale competitions offer greater rewards, but they also feature longer tracks and tougher competition.
When selecting a competition, it's essential to ensure your horse is suited for it. For example, if your horse excels on dirt tracks, you should opt for dirt tracks instead of grass ones. Other factors like weather conditions and stat requirements should also be considered.
After selecting the competition, you proceed to the second stage, where you carry out the training program. Users can choose one of five training methods and one rest period. Depending on your selection, your horse's stats will temporarily increase. Occasionally, special events may occur during training, which, when taken advantage of, can lead to more significant stat boosts. However, stats may also temporarily decrease during these events, so it's not always advantageous.
To alleviate potential boredom during the training process, mini-games sometimes appear. These mini-games involve guiding your horse to collect as much food as possible, adding a slight layer of excitement. Although they are relatively simple, the infrequent appearance of these games makes them enjoyable to play.
Another crucial aspect of the training program is managing your horse's condition. Horses accumulate fatigue with each training session. If their fatigue reaches its limit, their stats can temporarily decrease. Therefore, it's essential to maintain your horse's condition by occasionally allowing them to rest or engage in activities other than training.
The third stage involves participating in races. On race day, your horse races on the track while you can only watch. The game provides various camera angles to view the race, accompanied by commentary. Especially, the intense production of passing the finish line makes it thrilling.
PvP rankings work on a seasonal basis and are determined through race selection and participation without additional training. Races don't occur immediately upon selection; they have fixed admission times. Your choices of race and horse are crucial to securing top positions.
To enter the rankings, you need CRT (Derby Stars' utility token). The number of CRT tokens required depends on the race's scale and the rewards offered. Depending on your in-game resource availability, you can adapt your strategy. Points gained from racing determine your final rank at the end of the season. Based on your rank, you can earn RUN (Derby Stars' governance token).
Exceptional Racehorses Bring Joy
Breed system: Does not guarantee good results
As mentioned earlier, the race results are determined solely by your horse's performance, irrespective of your physical condition as a player. To achieve better results, it's essential not only to consider how you train your horse but also the horse's innate stats.
This system is noteworthy because it means that your mechanics as a player don't significantly impact the outcome. The game is more affected by the time and capital you invest. Thus, the more you invest, the more significant your gains. However, excessive inflation in a competitive game can lead to a decline in its fun and value, so internal mechanisms have been put in place to prevent this.
Derby Stars offers two main ways to obtain better horses. The first is through a horse rental system, where users lend their horses to others for a specified period. If you have many NFT horses, you can rent out those not in use. In return, renters can use the lenders' horses and earn a portion of the tokens they collect. While renting the horses, the renters can enjoy almost all content, from training and PVP to leveling up. The rental system is currently free and allows rentals for up to two weeks. Both lenders and renters can benefit from this system, making it a fair and beneficial mechanism.
The second method is by breeding your horse with another user's horse to create a new NFT horse. There are certain conditions for breeding. Each horse can breed up to ten times, and the breeding count is reduced only when the horse produces offspring. Additionally, you need tokens to perform breeding, and the cost increases based on the breeding count and rarity of the horse.
During breeding, a horse's stats are primarily derived from the parents' stats. Naturally, if both parents have high stats, the chances of the offspring having higher stats increase. However, there's always an element of chance — it doesn’t always guarantee good results, as the system aims to prevent infinite power inflation over time. In rare cases, a mutation can occur, granting the offspring unique abilities.
Horses have unique appearances, stats, talents, and skills. The horse's overall ability depends on how these aspects combine. Appearance is divided into normal, rare, and unique grades, with unique-grade horses featuring striking visual elements, such as wings or horns, like Pegasus or unicorns.
Next are the five ability categories: speed, power, stamina, perseverance, and intelligence. These stats can be improved through training and leveling up. However, it's important to note that higher stats don't always guarantee success, as the game doesn't solely rely on numerical superiority. These stats serve as intuitive guides to assess your horse's abilities.
What has the most significant impact on a horse's performance are talents and skills. Unlike stats that can be improved through training, talents and skills are inherent and determined from birth. This means the abilities and skills your horse possesses greatly affect its value.
Talents can be seen as your horse's running style, which determines whether the horse excels in sprinting, maintaining a lead, catching up, etc. A horse's track preference is also linked to its talents, whether it performs better on dirt, grass, or other surfaces.
Talents directly impact a horse's training and have a significant influence on racing performance. For example, a horse with a leading talent should prioritize the relevant stats like speed, power, and stamina during training to improve race performance as it would start fast and stay in the leading position throughout the race.
Skills are abilities that enhance your horse's racing. There are over 500 skills in the game, categorized into special and general skills. Each skill has specific activation conditions, and once met, they activate automatically. Activation depends on the horse's intelligence stat, so if your horse has low intelligence, the skills may not activate effectively.
To sum up, breeding horses with a perfect combination of abilities is the ultimate goal of the breeding feature. While you can enhance your horse's stats through training and leveling up, talents and skills are innate and cannot be changed, so breeding is vital to finding horses with the most efficient combinations.
Free Web3 Fun for Those with Matching Tastes
Verified entertainment with guaranteed tokenomics
Derby Stars is a game that users who enjoy collectible and breeding-style games can enjoy even without investing additional money, making it a notable title in the Web3 gaming scene. It borrows elements from "Uma Musume", which achieved great success globally and offers gameplay with a high degree of completion.
Furthermore, Derby Stars adds its unique features, ensuring a distinct form of enjoyment. Especially, the system is designed to lower the NFT's typical entry barriers, making it appealing for market activation.
If you choose to invest money, you can continually breed horses, increase your NFT holdings, and rent them out. You can also aim for good results in the rankings, which provide continuous access to governance tokens. While initial NFT investment costs may be a consideration, the NFTs generated can serve as more than just collectibles; they can become profitable assets.
However, as the game's structure depends on a continuous influx of new users for its long-term success, without users willing to rent out horses, creating new NFTs can be less profitable, with heavy reliance on rankings. Excessive competition can also lead to user fatigue.
In summary, Derby Stars is a game suitable for newcomers to the Web3 market and those looking to play more professionally. You can enjoy most of the game's content without significant financial burdens, and it's relatively easy to dive deeper into the game using the capital accumulated through gameplay.
Since the users’ mechanical abilities aren’t important, it's accessible to everyone, lowering the entry barrier. If you typically enjoy collection, breeding, and competition, Derby Stars is a game worth your attention.