What Is Illuvium (ILV)?
Illuvium is an open-world fantasy battle game built on the Ethereum blockchain. Often touted as the first AAA game on Ethereum, Illuvium looks to provide a source of entertainment to both casual gamers and hardcore DeFi fans through a range of collecting and trading features.
The world of Illuvium is inhabited by creatures known as Illuvials, who can be captured by players that best them in battle and nurse them back to health. From then on, they become a loyal part of the player’s collection and can be used when battling other adventurers as part of Illuvium’s auto battler gameplay.
The game is a fusion between an open-world exploration game and a PVP battle game. Players can spend their time exploring the expanses of the game world or building up their team of powerful beasts.
Illuvium has been in development since 2020 and is being built by a worldwide team of more than 40 individuals, including the co-founders; serial entrepreneur and early cryptocurrency adopter Kieran Warwick, and experienced game designer Aaron Warwick, who are brothers. (And who are coincidentally also the brothers of Kain Warwick, the co-founder of DeFi platform Synthetix). The ILV token has a number of uses within the Illuvium ecosystem. It’s the main token used to reward players for their in-game achievements, entitles players to their share of the Illuvium Vault and is used for participating in the governance of the game via the Illuvium decentralized autonomous organization (DAO).
How Does Illuvium Work? Although Illuvium has blockchain-based elements, it is more akin to a full-fledged video game. It’s accessed through a downloadable desktop app but also has a range of supporting DeFi applications surrounding it — including a yield farm and decentralized exchange.
Players roam the Illuvium landscape battling Illuvials and other players, participating in quests and daily challenges, and participating in its communal storyline. Throughout their journey, they collect Illuvials, which have a range of characteristics that make them variable in their rarity, utility, and desirability. These include:
Classes: Empath, Fighter, Guardian, Rogue, and Psion. Affinities: Air, Earth, Fire, Nature, and Water. Through its class and affinity are its most important attributes, each Illuvial has a large number of additional attributes that also help determine its strength in combat, some of these can include attack damage, attack speed, and savagery. Illuvials get stronger with victory, can be enhanced with in-game items and can be upgraded into a special “ascended” form — which benefits from two affinities at once.
Each Illuvial is represented by a unique non-fungible token (NFT) and can be freely traded on external exchange platforms and the gas-free IlluviDEX (more on this later). They can also be fused into more powerful forms and come in normal, holographic, and dark holographic variants which are considerably more scarce.
The game will feature a variety of revenue streams, mostly derived from in-game purchases of items, crafting components, cosmetics, and shard curing. 100% of this revenue is distributed as rewards to those staking the ILV tokens through an ILV buyback system.
What Makes Illuvium Unique? Unlike most other blockchain-powered games, Illuvium features a fully 3D environment, with over 100 unique Illuvials found scattered throughout its various regions. Each Illuvial is designed by a team of world-class artists, ensuring it appeals to players accustomed to big-budget retail games.
Beyond this, it boasts a number of features that help it stand out from both other blockchain-enabled games and AAA titles. These include:
Layer-2 Integration Although Illuvium is secured by Ethereum, it is built on Immutable X (IMX) — a layer-2 solution that is designed to help scale applications with NFT functionality.
By leveraging Immutable X’s capabilities, Illuvium ensures players can mint and trade their NFTs with zero gas fees and practically instant transaction finality. Players always maintain custody of their assets while using IMX.
The IlluviDEX Illuvium features a built-in decentralized exchange (DEX) platform appropriately named the IlluviDEX. This can be used for trustlessly exchanging Illuvium assets, including Illuvial NFTs. A 5% fee is deducted from each sale and funneled into the rewards pool for ILV stakers.
Yield Farming A total of 3 million ILV — equivalent to 30% of the maximum supply (10 million) — are allocated to the Illuvium yield farming program. These will be distributed over a period of three years to users contributing liquidity and through various partner reward schemes.
What Is sILV? Illuvium features a unique yield farming reward system, in that all ILV rewards earned through the yield farm are locked for a period of one year before they can be withdrawn.
However, stakers have the option to skip the unlock timer by converting their ILV rewards to a secondary in-game only asset known as sILV. By claiming their rewards as sILV, users receive the USD equivalent of sILV and can spend their rewards early to purchase in-game items.
SILV cannot be withdrawn from the game and is not represented by a blockchain-based asset.
What Is an Interoperable Blockchain Game? Illuvium was initially promoted as an AAA-grade blockchain-powered explorer game, but the scope of the project has now expanded considerably.
Today, Illuvium is billed as the world’s first “interoperable blockchain game”. Essentially, this means the team behind the project is building a Web3 gaming ecosystem where in-game assets (tokenized as NFTs) will be usable across a range of different platforms, products, and experiences.
As an interconnected ecosystem of Web3 games, Illuvium hopes to provide players with an open ecosystem where they are free to create, use/trade their assets, and build their in-game legacy.
The team behind the project already has several games in development. These include the originally planned Pokemon-like title known as “Overworld” which sees players navigate a lush 3D landscape and battle rare and powerful creatures known as “Illuvials”.
The second game is an industry builder-type title that allows players to buy, own and develop NFT-based LAND. The resources gathered through this process can be used in the Overworld and potentially other titles in the Illuvium ecosystem. This is known as “Illuvium Zero” and is available on both mobile and desktop platforms.
The third game being developed is a card-style auto-battler called Arena. The game allows players to automatically battle their Illuvials and take part in a deceptively complex battle system that allows players to potentially win a variety of rewards. The game has three different modes (Encounter, Ascendant, and Leviathan) — each tailored to different player types and experience levels, providing a range of gameplay experiences.
Illuvium Arena is currently in the private beta phase of development and is coming soon to PC and Mac.
What Is Illuvium’s Current State of Development? I
lluvium has been in development for more than two years and given the scope of the game,