The Trident team aims to solve existing issues with web3 crypto gaming through Risk-to-Earn.
Risk-to-Earn offers a solution to the inflation prevalent in Play-to-Earn games, as players don't earn tokens from playing Trident; instead, they earn by wagering on player-vs-player battles, and the winner takes all.
The Trident MMO is not released yet, but you can play the Trial of the Trident and Sprite Duels mini-games.
The Trident team has a bold ambition to change the the existing GameFi landscape.
What is Trident?
Trident, built by the team at Geyser Forge Studios, has the goal to build a Free-to-Play blockchain game not just “for crypto, but for the normal gaming industry.” The team aims to solve the key failings they have identified in web3 crypto gaming with their GameFi Structure, coined Risk-to-Earn (R2E), which involves players wagering tokens on in-game matches.
Trident last reported registering their 5,000th player account on 12 February 2023, and they also have more than 6,800 members on its Discord server and over 10,600 followers on its Twitter, as at 12 February 2023. The game was first launched in March 2022 but has since relaunched on 1 February 2023 on the Arbitrum One Chain.
Trident's PSI Token
Trident launched their PSI token, on 7 February 2023 at 10am UTC time, at 1.43 USDC per PSI token. PSI sales stopped once the targeted $3,000,000 was raised (this was at a valuation of $15,000,000). The PSI token will be used as the wagering token for the R2E transactions.
Trident intends to also launch their OasisSwap DEX within February 2023. OasisSwap DEX, a community-centric DEX, has been created by the team to allow their liquidity pool (LP) contributors to benefit from the protocol’s revenue. OasisSwap will have a tier-based LP fee sharing model, based on PSI staked.
The "Risk-to-Earn" ("R2E") Vision
Trident has coined the term “Risk-to-Earn” (“R2E”), which they believe will solve the problems they have identified in the web3 gaming space, that have been seen in the various iterations of Play-to-Earn (P2E) games and/or existing Free-to-Earn games. The team hopes to attract the right type of game players, rather than attracting players who are only out to grind to make money as a job from the game, which is very common in the P2E space.
Trident believes this R2E model will create a sustainable environment for the game to grow and thrive over time. We note that based on their roadmap, Trident plans to release their R2E feature in Q2 2023.
Before we further explain the concept of R2E, it would be good to explain the problems R2E addresses in P2E.
What is the Main Problem That Trident Wants to Solve?
Trident has noted that many Web3 games have high barriers to entry, requiring players to pay first to play. This barrier is usually via players needing to buy NFT(s) to be able to access the game. Additionally, as the game gains popularity these NFTs would increase in value, hence making it more expensive for new players to be able to afford and join the game. Trident eradicates this problem by making the game Free-to-Play, where players do not need to buy anything to join and start playing in the Trident ecosystem – but players do have to connect their wallets to play. Trident supports MetaMask and Coinbase; for other wallets, you'll need to use the WalletConnect modal.
Back to issues facing P2E games: The bigger issue is that most P2E games have been structured to award players with tokens from just playing; players earn if they win and do not lose anything if they lose. With no risk, these players can keep playing and then take these tokens, and/or NFT assets, and sell them for fiat or other crypto. Therefore, without the risk of losing, players jump aboard the bandwagon and grind on the game. The culture of grinding-to-earn from P2E games, makes players see these games more of a a job and/or investment opportunity to some, thus attracting a certain crowd who aren’t playing the game for the pure love of the playing the game.
The P2E game tokens and NFTs grow in value as more players join the game. New joiners buy the NFTs and tokens from existing holders. However, the bubble deflates or pops when there is too much supply and no new players joining – i.e. the buck stops when there is no one willing to pay for the tokens and/or NFT. The team at Trident does not want to see this type of economics in their game. Thus the team believes games should not be P2E.
Trident also highlights that they do not have any venture capital funding – there are no investors breathing down their necks. With the money raised, the team now has a runway to develop the game ecosystem and grow the player base. It appears that the in-game mechanism of charging small transaction fees will be used to fund Trident in the long run – thus growing the player base would be one of the, if not the key success factor for the long term survival of the Trident ecosystem.
You might be asking, if players cannot make money like P2E games, what's the point of this being a crypto game? Is there any money in the game? How does Trident intend to be sustainable? Where is the money coming from?
Even though Trident does not agree with the tokenomics of a P2E “Grind-to-Earn” model, they have no issues with people making money from their R2E model. So how does the R2E model work?
What is Risk-to-Earn and How Does This Address the Issues From Existing Web3 Games?
Trident believes that “there is no such thing as a free lunch” and that gamers should be rewarded based on their skills. In R2E, one man’s winnings is another man’s loss.
Risk-to-Earn is a zero-sum-game. Players would enter into bets (Risk-to-Earn contracts) against each other in the games on Trident’s platform. A small transaction fee is charged on the amounts wagered, which would go to Trident Treasury, to continue operating and funding the Trident ecosystem – paying for wages, server costs, game development etc. The rest is the prize money, to be claimed by the winner. The winner of the game will get the entire pot, and the loser will lose all the money wagered. Therefore, in a R2E, players do not earn tokens from playing Trident – thus there is no increasing supply of tokens generated simply by playing in Trident. Even though some have argued R2E to be essentially gambling, Trident says R2E is about players pitting their skills against each other, and the better player wins.
Lets use a simplified example to illustrate, if player A and player B play the Pet Mini Game on Trident, and both bet 1 ETH. So the total wagered is 2 ETH, however, say X ETH was charged as a transaction fee to Trident's Treasury, that means the pot is (2-X) ETH. The player who wins gets (2-X) ETH, and the player who loses, loses their 1 ETH. Based on Trident’s medium article, a flat fee of 1% will be charged regardless of tier.
This system will also give the Trident team the ability to control the supply of tokens in the ecosystem, as they believe that “if the player base grows, so should the monetary supply. If the player base shrinks, so should the monetary supply.”
The team believes the “Player-versus-Player” games would motivate players to keep growing their skills, and the R2E games not only reward those who invest more time into growing their skills, but also provides a mechanism to control the supply in the ecosystem.
Note: Trident also will introduce more means for R2E, such as spectator betting as part of their R2E ecosystem. Trident also foresees this will be made possible with the game's increasing popularity, as skilled players may rise in popularity from streaming and vlogging, and in turn they can attract new players to join in Trident’s R2E games.
Additionally, Trident plans to discourage players from selling characters and/or in-game items by preventing hoarding of items and have limited players to one character per wallet. Hence disincentivizing and making it very difficult for players to build up characters and hoard assets to sell for profit. Moreover, Trident also will make players lose items upon death.
Trident's Game Ecosystem
The Trident Massively Multiplayer Online game (“Trident MMO”) game pre-Alpha is in development and, based on the roadmap, is targeted to launch Q1 2023. It will be a procedurally generated universe of planets, where players can explore the universe and its planets, and chase players through the different planets by engaging in bounties, where players can take the equipment off players they kill, and more.
The Trident team has a lot of gameplay planned for their Trident MMO ecosystem, planned features include but are not limited to:
Leaderboards: to recognise the skillful players, also giving these players opportunity to gain ‘fame’ and make money via streaming
Skills progression: to have qualitative horizontal progression as opposed to quantifiable vertical progression; rather than trying to maximise their points, they would make a choice on “what is stronger?”
Planetary warfare and destruction/terraforming
Player Housing: designing and building ones own house
Idle farming type games: ocean exploration, fishing, growing ‘fluid plants’
Pets: cosmetic and for battles, some capturable and some available only through the shop
Triangular combat system*: much like rock-paper-scissors, in the form of bow melee, magic.
*Note: this is still under development, and Trident will adjust the game based on feedback to prevent any one item from being too powerful.
Ultimately, Trident’s plan is to mitigate to near zero or at least minimize opportunities for Play-to-Win and Play-to-Earn opportunities in their games.
Trident has also released 3,000 Pseudo-Kraken NFTs, on the Ethereum chain, at a mint of 0.03 ETH on Saturday 1 October 2022. Once the MMO open world is launched, players who own Pseudo Kraken NFTs will have a cosmetic option to get to choose one Pseudo Kraken to follow their character around. Further, ownership of Pseudo Kraken(s) would entitle the NFT holder to one vote, to vote on changes to the future of Trident games.
If you are interested Pseudo Kraken NFTs are available for purchase on OpenSea. The team has said that these Pseudo Kraken NFTs would allow players to vote on decisions made by Trident about future games, one vote per Pseudo Kraken NFT.
Currently Trident rewards players with Badges. Badges will be used by Trident to foster the community and work with community partners in the MMO.
After the release of the Trident MMO game, players with badges will be able to access special tournaments, in-game gear, private communities, exclusive MMO minigames, building block skins and decor for their houses, and further gifts. We can expect to see more Badges rewards for in-game achievements released in the future - 0xMonolith even encourages players to recommend and/or submit Badges to the Trident team for their consideration.
While waiting for the Trident MMO to be released, in the meantime, there are two games available on the Trident platform. One is their original game “Trial of the Trident” and the other game available is “Sprite Duels”.
Trial of the Trident
Trident’s game lore takes you into the depths of Atlantis, where Krakens from a different world have been extracting precious crystals and teleporting them home.
Your first quest is to slaughter the Kraken and you will be rewarded with a trident and invited to join the Atlantean Citizen Militia. Using the keys on your keyboard, you have to dodge the Kraken’s rain of crystals and attacks, and attack the Kraken by matching the element that the Kraken is using.
The user interface of Trident is very retro, with its music and game play style. It reminded me of the original 8 bit games: like Super Mario where you have to jump up on platforms, evade falling objects and shoot to kill the Kraken. Despite taking us back to the nostalgic 8-bit era of games, this game is not entirely like the old 8-bit games where the dangers are programmed to appear at set timings.
Not only do you have to evade the rain of crystals and the attack balls shot off from the Kraken’s tentacles but you also have to prevent yourself from getting stung from ‘lava pits’ that appear and disappear below you. The rain of crystals are also extremely tightly close to each other, so it leaves very little gap for your character to take cover from them. Further, the game speeds up, and the rain, tentacle balls and lava pits come at faster intervals as the Kraken loses its lives. Even pressing the “Esc” button to breathe and look where you can run to barely helps.
In “Trial of the Trident” you cannot memorise the sequence of the crystal rain, on when and how they would appear, nor can you memorise the timings and placements for the appearance of the lava pits. To some extent the randomised nature of the dangers have made the game quite luck based, you cannot control when or where they appear, but at the same time you have to depend on your agility and keyboard skills to react to the appearance of these dangers if you want to survive.
Once you finally kill the Kraken, you will be awarded a Trident. By accepting the Trident, this will unlock the Gates of Atlantis and more gameplay. I have yet to kill the Kraken, so I could only get an idea of what is next from the players who have uploaded their game on YouTube, although the channel is now set to private.
Trial of The Trident: Review
I felt it was pretty impossible to play as a non-hardcore gamer. The game is very fast. It felt nearly impossible to concentrate on so many different possibilities of dangers to even just conserve my 4 lives, let alone have the headspace to even get decent shots to take down a few of the Kraken’s 25 lives. To be honest, this game throws you into the deep end immediately, where you immediately meet a Boss level opponent, without training and working your way up levels.
I even had a more experienced gamer play the game, to at least try to get the first trident and access the rest of the game. After 1 hour he was able to get the hang of the game, and could even bring the Kraken’s life down to 4-6 hearts, out of 25 hearts, before getting killed. After close to playing for 2 hours he rage quit on the game.
Is Trial of the Trident the Game for Me?
If you have a lot of time and patience, love 8-bit RPG adventures, love Kraken lore, and love pushing yourself to see how fast you can play through a game, Trial of the Trident is for you.
This game is only for the tenacious, who don’t mind training, playing the same level over and over to improve their skills, to finally beat the Kraken. No wonder the YouTuber, Crusty Crypto, had a huge sigh of relief once he defeated the Kraken!
Sprite Duel (Pet Mini Game)
The Sprite Dual is the Pet Mini Game, where players select and line up 3 pets. The player will then put their 3 chosen pets in an arena mode against another player’s own line up of 3 pets, playing in turns – much like Pokemon.
As promised Trident allows “Free-to-Play” and players are not required to buy any NFTs to play. Players can choose to play with the free 15 in-game pets provided. Each pet will have its name, battle statistics (attack, defense, speed etc.) and four moves.
Players will have to choose 3 pets as they battle line up. You are then matched to another player, who you meet in the arena to battle. The game battles one pet against another, players take turns choosing moves, once a pet runs out of lives, the game auotmatically puts the next pet into the arena. The winner is the last player with pet(s) standing.
Things to look forward to from Trident
These are some of the upcoming features for 2023 which Trident has planned for their 2023 Roadmap:
OasisSwap Dex: Trident’s new Arbitrum native DEX
PVP Combat Triangle
Items and Inventories
Crafting, Resource Gathering, More Mobs
Loot and Equippables
Leaderboards & Account Stats
Procedurally Generated Worlds
Alpha MMO Release
Player Owned Houses
Matchmaking for Duels PVP
R2E Wagering for Duels PVP
Sponsored Content Creation
Pros and Cons of Trident
Rewards skillful players
No pressure from VC investors, therefore they will have low-barriers to entry for the foreseeable future.
Trial of the Kraken is very difficult; however, Pet Battles is playable
Game sustainability is reliant on active players and fees from transactions to fund Trident’s team salaries and other expenses.
We are looking forward to the launch of Trident MMO. I think Trident MMO should appeal to the masses with its large range of gameplay features – it appears that there is something for everyone.
The success of the MMO universe will depend on the universe being immediately accessible to all players and not locked behind a level like the initial Trial of the Trident, where you have to beat a Kraken to get to the next level. If the team keepsdoes that, and is equally as difficult, only the patient and skillful players will get past the initial round to gain access to the MMO universe. Those not so tenacious in nature, that are unable to defeat the Kraken may not continue playing for long, unless Trident allows players access to other R2E game play elements without going through an initial Trial of the Trident type of game, much like how the Sprite Duels is accessible separate from the Trial of the Trident.
Nonetheless, Trident has introduced a new concept – Risk-to-Earn – to the web3 blockchain community. Looking at their materials online, it appears that the key for Trident’s long term sustainability is for Trident to grow its player accounts.
For their ecosystem to survive into the long run, the teams long term survival would depend on the collection of transaction fees to pay for employee wages, system costs, game development etc, other than releasing more tokens or more NFTs in the future. The more players, the more R2E wagers, the more transaction fees. Therefore, to increase the wagers, Trident needs to increase and maintain their loyal active player base over time, to have enough players to keep wagering against each other, in turn the wagers will contribute transaction fees to fund Trident ecosystem. That said, Trident now has 5,000 player accounts registered and is still growing.
It would be interesting to see how the ecosystem will run when Trident releases the R2E gaming mechanism. It will only be in hindsight that we will see how popular and sustainable the R2E model will be to fund the Trident ecosystem.
Ex-analyst loves spreadsheets. Enjoys non-competitive idle games and boardgames.