Battle Classes and The Bloodbath
Separating the Winners from the Peasants takes time and thought. Here’s how we are doing it in The Red Village.
A set of ruby eyes aglow,
Alight with fury, pain, and anger so,
She views the world with naught but hate
And prays for all a morbid fate.
Inside The Red Village, the Blood Queen has designed and implemented a battle class system to ensure that Champions have the opportunity to fight against other Champions that are of a similar skill level to themselves. This means that Tournaments will be competitive, engaging, and as entertaining as possible for both Battlemasters and spectators.
Separating the wheat from the chaff, or the winners from the Peasants, will take time. The first iteration of the Battle Class system is designed based upon a bunch of assumptions which will be detailed below; it is important to note, however, that until we have data from actual fights and understand the actual demand on which to base our class system that it is to be considered in alpha mode, the same as the game itself. That means it is not set in stone! We will re-evaluate its effectiveness and accuracy after around 1–3 months of Tournaments to ensure that it accurately reflects community expectations and the reality of the bloody antics in the arena.
Of course, as blockchain romantics, our battle class logic is all on-chain; this means that Tournament results are stored on-chain and the contract itself will be updated as the Battle Class system evolves and develops.
For now, though, let’s explore how the Battle Class system works.
The starting place
In The Red Village, every single Champion will start in the same spot; a class known as The Blooding. This is by design. Whilst we are aware that other systems operate differently, such as ZED RUN — which groups competitors initially depending on specific criteria in a horse’s heritage — The Red Village has its own unique setup.
In The Red Village every single Champion has a fighting chance in the arena; so while an R1 may be faster off the mark (strike first), and be slightly more likely to land a special move than, say, an R6, it is still definitely possible that the R6 could be an absolute weapon of a Champion and a more competitive fighter. In The Red Village, it’s important to learn your Champions, learn their strengths and weaknesses and leverage these to win more Tournaments and Summon stronger Halfbloods and Soulless.
How it works
In this first iteration, all Champions in The Red Village start with 109 Battle Class Points (BP). Champions will gain 8 points for winning a Tournament; they gain 4 points for coming second in a Tournament, and they lose 3 points for finishing 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th. Finishing 3rd of 4th will neither gain nor lose a Champion any BP.
There will initially be five Battle Classes in The Red Village. These may be expanded as the Village grows and the number of Champions increases. These five preliminary classes are:
- The Blooding: All Champions start here. To leave this class and fight in others, you must either win or come second in a Blooding Tournament, OR compete in five Blooding Tournaments. You can also continue to fight in this class until you win a Tournament in any other Class.
- Class III —Outlaw: The lowest tier; Champions with 99 BP or below are considered eligible for the Outlaw class.
- Class II — Heroic: The middle tier; this will be comprised of Champions with between 100 and 122 BP, and will likely be the most populous Battle Class.
- Class I — Legendary: The most difficult tier, which will house Champions with 123 BP and above. Only the strongest, most brutal of Champions will be eligible for this class; those that have proven themselves in the arena time and time again.
- The Bloodbath: This is the most savage class of all; almost everyone is eligible. To enter a fight in The Bloodbath, a Champion must have either won a Blooding Tournament, or competed in five Tournaments in total. This class will be ferocious, and true to its name, bloody. Battlemasters can submit any Champion they like here and try their luck against Peasants and ruthless killers alike.
Being zero sum, it is important that Champions all start together in the middle with their BP. From here, some will move up classes; others will move down. For example, if a Champion fails to place in any of its first five Blooding Tournaments, it will begin in the Outlaw class.
We will of course incentivise Battlemasters to be in, and stay in, higher classes. This will be done in a number of different ways, some of which are still under development and likely won’t be released with the Beta Tournaments. Initially, higher buy-ins and the promise of bigger returns will be the main incentivisation, but we have taken learnings from some other projects and understand the importance of driving Champions and their Battlemasters to want to compete in the best, most ferocious, and most rewarding classes. There will be more to come on this.
How often will Tournaments be held for each class?
We will be extremely reactive to Community demand in the numbers of Tournaments for each class, the buy-ins, and the frequency at which they are held. This will of course be eventually automated, but while we figure out exactly the levels of demand and numbers of Champions in each Battle Class, it will be a very hands-on, manual process. Thank the Blood Queen we have Matan and Pellar for that!
It is really important to note that we have already built the capacity to scale to an extremely large user base, and to have frequent Tournaments for all the different Battle Classes. However, as a reminder, for the first few days, due to the permanency of the blockchain and the extremely complicated technical aspect which underpins The Red Village, we will be limiting Tournaments to every twenty minutes or so. This allows us to troubleshoot, put out any fires, and make things run as smoothly as possible. As soon as we are satisfied internally that all is going to plan, we’ll gradually let the floodgates open and the hordes pour into the arena.
This means that there may be some frustration at getting your Champions in to spill blood straight away as Tournaments will be limited in their frequency; bear with us — it is vitally important that we get things working as intended and give everyone a great experience. As always, we are committed to providing a quality product. Greatness takes time!
What are the assumptions for classes?
It is really, really hard to predict how Battlemasters are going to play the game, and what demand is going to be like — despite how easy it seems in hindsight. As such, Battle Classes and the logic that underpins them will be dynamic. This first iteration of Tournaments is very much a beta; we will use the data from it to get an idea of how better to structure things in the future. The sheer number of Battlemasters and Champions will also likely grow, and so more granular Classes may also be introduced to further distinguish between Champions of differing abilities.
The modelling has been run hundreds of times, testing different theories about player behaviour. The final Class system is based on the assumption that 60% of Genesis Champions and 85% of Mystic Champions will fight in the first three month beta period. This may, of course be either an under- or an over-estimation — but it is important to remember that the incentive to Blood your Champions, and fight them regularly, grows as Summoning is rolled out and we expect most Battlemasters to fight most of their Champions at that point.
Modelling was completed based on 100,000 Tournaments being completed, which equates to roughly one Tournament every 80 seconds for the first three months. Again, there may be demand for more than this; there may also be fewer Tournaments. The capacity is certainly there if needs be.
What could change in future?
It is really important to remember that this is a beta launch of Tournaments; The Red Village team will be analysing things from a technical, analytical, and creative perspective to make constant improvements in any area necessary.
There will certainly be ongoing updates to gameplay, to special moves, finishing moves, new arenas and landscapes, new soundtracks and sound effects. We will be seeking to optimise in every way possible; this is a priority for us. Again, game and community are always first for The Red Village team.
Alongside this, the Battle Class system may undergo updates to better reflect the distribution of Champions, frequency of Tournaments, and growth in the ecosystem. We will do a first revision after approximately 1–3 months; assess what is and isn’t working, take into account any community feedback, and improve for the future.
We are investigating other methods of distributing Champions — such as an Elo system — which is heavily called for in other, similar games. This may be appropriate, but we need the data from the first iteration to determine both if that method would work, and to accurately implement it on-chain so that it is a fair system for all.
Final thoughts: The Blood Challenge
Those of you who follow The Red Village closely may know our numbers guy, Matan. Matan is pretty clever, and has overseen the modelling we’ve done for the fighting algorithm and the Battle Class distribution, amongst many other things.
Matan has theorised that it is rather unlikely for any single Champion to reach 300 points within three months. He’s ‘modelled’ it with some fancy equations, but Lucien and I love nothing more than proving him wrong, and we call baloney.
As such, the first Battlemaster who is able to get any Champion to hit 300BP within the first three months of alpha Tournaments launching will get $2,500 USD in cash, paid personally from Matan’s wallet.
When you read this; thanks, Matan. You’re a great guy.
The Red Village Tournament mode will be brutal, bloody, and brilliant. It is really important to us that Battlemasters remember that we are launching with a far bigger Community and level of demand than many other blockchain games at a similar point in their journey. We have set our sights on becoming the number one fighting game on the blockchain within 12 months, and have built capacity around this end. That being said, all big things take time to perfect and we will start Tournaments slowly and over-cautiously to allow our brilliant game devs and tech teams to optimise and test as we go.
While this may mean a slower start than our bloodthirsty Champions and Battlemasters would ideally like, it will secure our Community and our vision in the long term.