Mist is an open-world, Action Role Playing Game (ARPG) with dynamic combat that will be familiar to those with experience of the genre or MMORPGs. Mist is an impressive and large-scale project with many of the key words that blockchain gaming enthusiasts want to hear, but is it worth your attention?
I have been outwardly critical of the lack of ambition of much of the blockchain gaming scene and inwardly disappointed with the pace. That is, I think many blockchain games have the primary objective of making themselves a lot of money by using crypto, rather than seeing blockchain technology as a brilliant tool for creating a better experience for gamers. While that is to be expected, I want to see projects of more gaming substance, and any that appear to have that is worthy of my time spent investigating them. While I have some familiar, cautious reservations, Mist is full of promise.
A Play To Earn RPG With Depth
The format of Mist is what you would expect, more or less. It is open-world, there are 5 classes (Crusader, Enchanter, Ranger, Shapeshifter, and Witch Hunter), and there are both PvE and PvP elements in the game. The NFT integration appears to be more than just cosmetic, with everything from epic weapons to pets and mounts. That is to say, they are truly functional NFTs with utility, and you know how much I want to see more of that. As is in vogue with blockchain gaming (and rightly so), Mist has its own token, $MIST, which acts as the in-game currency, but by being a token, means the game is Play to Earn (P2E) too.
Play To Earn Mechanics
Mist’s token can be obtained through killing monsters, completing quests, and buying it on an exchange to send to your character, to name a few. However, what’s more interesting is the implementation of farming and staking. By buying in-game farm real estate, you appear to be able to earn passive income of $MIST through it, as well as farming outside of the game. Similarly, you can stake your tokens inside the game through buying in-game businesses, as well as staking outside of the game. The staking and farming outside of the game can be done through the Mist website or with their partners.
Visuals and Gameplay
The graphics are akin to a modern LEGO game and generally fine. They aren’t going to set the world alight (although I must say the particle effects are some way above average), it has an art style and it’s coherent and attractive. The gameplay is the first of my reservations, but primarily borne of a lack of available content for me to assess. With an ARPG or MMORPG (Mist developers refer to the game as both interchangeably) a lot of the game’s success is likely tied up in the fluidity and impact of movement, abilities, and animations. The first video I saw of in-game footage was disappointing as it looked sluggish and clunky, but other videos looked smooth and reactive, so that first video may have been a poor judgment call as a showcase.
Communication and Transparency
One area of blockchain game development — or really any game development — that has become more important to me of late is how well they communicate and how transparent they are. That is, how regularly they post news and interact with their playerbase (potential or otherwise) and how secretive they are about details and answers to difficult questions. For the most part, Mist’s team do well, with their Medium page offering regular updates and news, and their FAQ section is fairly thorough.
Mist’s development team fall short of a perfect score on two fronts, however. The first issue is that they have all chosen to remain anonymous. While I fully appreciate the desire to stay anonymous (there have been times where I wish I had!), the lack of accountability should the project fail makes me a touch uncomfortable, regardless of how unlikely that seems currently. The second issue is less important to me, but the devs do not interact very often with their players. I don’t consider this much of a deterrent presently because they do communicate in other ways and even get their community to name spells. However, upon release, I’d like to see that ramped up a little.
Blockchain: Binance Smart Chain (BSC)
Play To Earn: Yes
Release Date: Closed Beta starting Q3 2021
All in all, Mist is a promising game, not lacking in ambition. There appears to be a sizable team behind the project and it has all the necessary components of a successful blockchain game. One positive that didn’t fit well anywhere else in this preview is that they are a Steamworks Partner, which means the game is on Steam, but also that the game would have had to go through at least some sort of vetting process. Games on Steam typically overplay how much vetting goes on and I can name myriad projects that were borderline scams, but it does go a way to legitimizing Mist.
I of course cannot fully endorse a game I have never played and I hope to try the beta to report back with more information, but everything you could want from a blockchain game at the moment is there. The P2E elements are fully fleshed out, the NFT integration isn’t merely superficial, and the popular mechanics of passively earning from staking are present too. It isn’t a groundbreaking AAA product, but for an indie team, it’s impressive both in terms of aesthetic and seemingly in gameplay. So, with that in mind, I would say it’s definitely a game to watch.
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