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Balancing on blockchain

Complex games often need to be balanced. Sometimes players find a more competitive way to play. Sometimes the publisher releases new content that interacts with old content in unexpected ways. Either way, the effect is an unbalanced game. When this happens, players have to choose between being competitive and experiencing more of the game.

Players who want to be competitive are forced to play one way and one way only. They won't get to experience much of your game content. They sacrifice choice and creativity for winning.

Players who want to be creative won't be competitive. They'll enjoy experiencing more parts of the game but won't enjoy losing to countless people playing the exact same way as everyone else.

When a game becomes unbalanced, the publisher usually releases a change to the game. Either by making the offending cards, items, classes, or skills less powerful (nerfing) or by making other choices more powerful (buffing).

But what if your game is on blockchain? How do you balance immutable game data?

The simplest way is to leave most of your game logic in the game client where you have full control. Players get full ownership of their game data on blockchain, but you provide no guarantee that the game will treat their collection the same in the future.

When you move more of your game rules and/or logic on chain, you lose control of balance. Now balance changes have to be proposed and put to a vote. This aligns publisher and player interests better than any centralized game.

This holds true for non-game dApps as well. Sacrificing control of your app aligns your interests with the interests of your users.


P.S. Famously, Vitalik Buterin of Ethereum quit world of warcraft and focused his time on blockchain after his favorite class was nerfed.