Loot for the Skeptics: A Deconstruction

Is the Adventurer's bag worth the bread in 2022?

At the time of writing this, the floor price of a Loot bag is 2.3Ξ ($6259.70).
What started with one tweet from Vine creator Dom Hofmann turned into the biggest social NFT frenzy of 2021.
Loot heralded a new kind of NFT ecosystem; one that was built from the ground up, dictated and directed by the community.
At a time where most mainstream projects — backed by influencers with deep pockets— fizzle out in a few weeks, Loot managed to stay somewhat relevant.
Unfortunately, the keyword here is “somewhat”.

Ye Ole Days

The early days of Loot were akin to any other NFT bubble. It was amongst the first text-only NFTs (a welcome change from the innumerous apes, penguins, and what-nots).
The floor was peaking at 11Ξ. Rug-pulls were rife.
Many Loot derivatives came promising the moon, but ended with half-baked mints, leaving holders with NFTs that had next-to-no utility. These creators did not no guarantee the creation of an actual game or utility; instead, they let Loot and the Loot community build hope for future developers.

A Costly Affair

The initial development of Loot was very expensive. The eventual economic upside was not obvious, and people were flipping bags just for the monetary kickback. The community wasn’t organized, and developers and designers were scattered across multiple unrelated projects.
There are three main reasons for this chaos.

1. Too Many Little Cooks

Unlike other similar blockchain gaming projects, the total circulation of Loot is capped. With only 8,000 Loot bags and an even lower number of Loot holders, the strength of the Loot community definitely did not lie in its numbers.
These constraints made it difficult for the niche Loot community to attract developers to build for the Loot ecosystem.

2. Freedom of Choice vs Freedom from Choice

The second reason is a bit more core to the Loot ideology. Post launch, Loot grew exponentially in popularity, partly due to the freedom of interpretation it gave to the community.
But this freedom created a new problem—
With so much ambiguity around Loot, creators started having a hard time trying to apply the underlying logic of the Lootverse to their games.
The Art of Game-Making
Ideally, a good game design gives a thrilling and enticing experience for all players involved.
Clever game design and sensible game economies is the fuel that powers an immersive virtual reality game.
Consistently escalating progression of levels, varying difficulty, and exploring a virtual world constantly in flux — these form the crux of a good MMORPG.
Deviate from this carefully-constructed mathematical model, and the experience falls into disarray. Loopholes start cropping up within the game, and the experience becomes polarized—  the game becomes either too hard or too easy. With blockchain games, the introduction of transferable on-chain assets made the already-difficult art of game design even trickier.
Additionally, since Loot bags are immutable, the game play has to stay consistent for all kinds of players — a “rare” Loot bag holder with special features and a “common” Loot Adventurer with relatively average specs should have a similar game experience.

3. The Early Mover (Dis)Advantage

The third reason is something that plagues many similar NFT gaming projects — the majority of value in a blockchain game gets concentrated among the OG backers only.
The early minters of Loot got extremely lucky and had the opportunity to take advantage of a huge arbitrage. Loot was released as a free mint. Hence, the first loot holders had to pay very little gas fees to get a very high-value asset (Loot bags).
This is unfair to the later community participants, as the high price of Loot does not match the efforts of the players who minted it at the start. If a latecomer wants to hold a Lootbag, they will have to shell out exorbitant amounts of ETH to acquire the same assets.
While projects like mLoot and sLoot are trying to fix this issue of accessibility, there is more that can be, and should be done for the community.

Conclusion (?)

Has the community given up on Loot? Nope.
On the contrary, all this down-time allowed for the low-intent projects to filter away, leaving only the best derivatives active. In fact, the biggest Loot derivatives and spin-offs have roadmaps that extend all the way to 2024 🤯
But will these projects deliver? Only time will tell……