If you've been keeping up with Defi for the past few years Andre Cronje should be a familiar name. He's the creator of Yearn Finance, Keep3r Network, Eminence and has had his hand in multiple other crypto projects. Rarity Manifested is his newest creation, an NFT project based off Loot with the focus of making the core NFTs more accessible.
Cronje saw the Loot phenomenon and noticed a key issue: Limited supply caused prices to skyrocket, creating a high barrier to entry. Loot's maximum supply of 8,000 NFTs was not enough to meet the demand.
Instead of starting with loot materials, Rarity's core assets are adventurers which can be summoned (minted) for free. Unlike Loot, there is no limit to the total supply that can be minted. These adventurers can be sent on adventures once per day to earn 250xp which goes towards leveling up. As your adventurer levels up, they earn upgrades allowing them to craft items and enchantments which can then be sold on the secondary market. Loot's in-game currency, gold, can also be earned upon leveling up - more on that later.
Due to the nature of this game, paying ETH gas fees to adventure every 24 hours wouldn't be reasonable. This is why Andre built Rarity on Fantom, an Ethereum Layer 2 solution with minimal fees and near-instant transactions. Being built on a Layer 2 chain separates Rarity from many of the popular NFT projects on the market today. This means, if you haven't connected to your Metamask to Fantom, there is one extra step before starting the game.
It takes less than a minute to connect Metamask with Fantom Opera network. An easy guide on how to connect these can be found here: https://docs.fantom.foundation/tutorials/set-up-metamask
FTM can be purchased on Uniswap or Sushiswap. After it's acquired, visit https://multichain.xyz/ to bridge FTM from the Ethereum network to Fantom Opera. Once finished, the FTM tokens will appear in your Metamask when you switch to the Fantom chain.
My favorite part about these bottom-up crypto projects are that they really get the community involved. If they can't keep the community's attention it will die out and the project will end up an unfinished product. Because of this approach, the project gets built as time goes on but their initial NFTs are essentially building blocks for the platforms that get built for them. This compatibility allows different experiences based on which platform you decide to play the game on.
A few of my favorite Rarity interfaces are below. You'll notice that each one has its own unique design and gameplay experience even though the core assets remain the same.
Rarity Manifested: https://www.raritymanifested.com/
Rarity Extended: https://rarityextended.com/
Rarity Visualizer: https://www.rarityvisualizer.com/
Rarity Game: https://rarity.game/
Dungeons and Quests were added to give adventurers the chance of earning loot. The Cellar is the first dungeon added to Rarity and was specifically created for low-level characters in which they can receive crafting materials upon completion. Close combat warriors like Barbarians, Fighters, and Paladins excel over the other the other classes in this dungeon.
A unique thing about having different interfaces is that each platform provides a different experience. For example, switching from Rarity Extended (pictured above) to Rarity Manifested (pictured below) changes the cellar rat into a Dire Pangolin for a more mythical feel.
Another thing AC didn't seem to like about Loot was its currency, AGLD.
There are 2 reasons for this:
AGLD became a speculative asset since it was able to exit the Loot ecosystem
Just like Loot's NFTs, AGLD immediately launched with a high barrier to entry due to the concentration of AGLD holders relative to demand
Cronje's solution was to create an in-game token which can only be held by adventurer NFTs and can only be transferred between adventurers. Rarity Gold is the in-game currency and can be claimed by an adventurer after leveling up. Gold can be used in auction houses, merchants, NPCs, quests, and stores within the Rarity metaverse.
If you've been following this project you know that everyday there seems to be something new added to the game. Rarity's XP system makes people wait 24 hours before going on new adventures to gain more XP which allows the game to develop at a steady pace. It's honestly hard for me to keep writing this article because everyday the game's landscape changes. This is the newest interface I've seen someone create for the game and I can only imagine where it's going to go from here.
One thing I've noticed about the strongest NFT communities is that they're basically all cults. If there's anyone in crypto with a cult-like following, it's Andre Cronje. After the rapid development of Rarity since it's release, I think it's safe to say the cult has embraced this NFT project as their own.
Andre mentioned this project would be a hobby for him however I think his followers will keep him more involved than he initially thought. Even if that's not the case, the building block nature of bottom-up crypto projects allows Rarity to be integrated with other projects at any given time. I also think it was a smart move to make the core NFTs of Rarity the actual characters in the game rather than what's in their loot bag.
I do not know whether this investment will pay off or not but the great thing is that it's more of a time investment than money. Minting and adventuring are basically free so I've been doing quests everyday to stock up on gold and crafting materials. As mentioned in my article about Loot, I'm really bullish on bottom-up projects so I'm excited to follow Rarity's developments and see what it becomes.