FULL DISCLOSURE: I am choosing to participate in the Virtual Universe (VU) Initial Coin Offering Partner Program. Why? Two reasons:
- After my recent guided tour of VU, I feel very strongly that this is going to be a successful and popular virtual world/MMO hybrid platform, and I want to be a part of it when VU launches their beta this summer. This is the very first blockchain-based virtual world that I actually feel excited about!
- As a Canadian citizen, I reside in one of the three countries where I am currently legally forbidden from purchasing VU tokens (the other two are the United States and China). This means that the only way I can legitimately earn VU tokens to use in this social VR space before the beta launch is via the VU ICO Partner Program.
I want you to know this up front: this blogpost is a promotion for VU, in exchange for VU tokens. You can follow on this webpage to see how many VU tokens I have earned by completing tasks in this Partner Program if you wish (right now, I am at number two on the VU Token Leaderboard). There’s nothing stopping you from participating in this Partner Program yourself, and earning some VU tokens!
IMPORTANT: VU Tokens are not a real currency. They are ERC-20 based blockchain tokens intended to permit players of Virtual Universe exclusive access to digital assets within a VR game known as Virtual Universe (VU). They are a form of in-game virtual currency. Virtual value attributed to the VU Token will be as a result of in-game efforts by players, and no future value is represented or guaranteed.
This summer I have (rather impatiently) been waiting for the beta launch of the Virtual Universe social VR/MMO platform. The company’s original plans were for a private beta launch in July 2018, and a public beta launch in January 2019, and as far as I know, they are still on schedule.
In their whitepaper, VU is described as “part game, part social network, and part social creation platform, blending elements of Minecraft, Second Life and Simcity with innovative artificial-intelligence technologies that drive engagement”, and that is an excellent description of what it tries to be. It’s an intriguing mix of virtual world and MMO/MMORPG where you can collect wood, chop it up, and start a fire, feed worms to the AI-controlled bluebirds, or just explore your surroundings and interact with other users. As I understand from their recent Letter to the Community, explorers will be able to gather resources in the countryside in order to sell them:
Outside the city is our highly immersive LivingVR world, created from the ground up to feel as immersive as possible. Teeming with virtual life, beautiful sceneries and waiting to be explored by you. Let’s say you are exploring further than you have before and suddenly you discover a cave behind a waterfall. Inside it, you find rich copper deposits. You know copper is a desired resource in the city since its an ingredient in many crafting recipes for a wide variety of building blocks. You mine the copper and haul it back to the city. Once there you list your copper on the auction house and collect the cryptocurrency once someone wins the bid on it.
And it is not just resource gathering that can be done in VU, there will be plenty of quests available for you and your friends to experience exciting adventures with plenty of loot to be had!
We do know that there will be one main city in Virtual Universe, called Uruk (named after the ancient Sumerian city considered to be the first city in the history of civilization).
Today (July 6th, 2018), Virtual Universe officially launched their game portal:
According to this brand-new website, you will be able to do the following in VU:
- Own Property: Buy, sell, and invest in property. Purchase a unique property and customize it.
- Start a Business: Generate BTC, ETH and VU through in-game product and service sales.
- Find Hidden Treasure: Explore the planet and find hidden treasure. Recover lost artifacts in ancient ruins.
- Adventure: Explore the Virtual Universe with your friends. Hang glide, sail, dive, and explore a vast world
- Shape the Future: Shape the entire universe with decisions you make. Make your mark in VU.
Here’s the backstory:
You’re awake! Good. We have some catching up to do.
Earth as you know it is gone. Global warming and endless warfare left the planet in ruins. But humanity survived! Sort of… spaceships could make the journey to new planets, but human bodies couldn’t. They can’t survive any exposure to space radiation. The solution? House human consciousness in identity crystals, or IDCs for short, After all, isn’t consciousness that what makes a human, human?
So welcome to Uruk, the first city on the planet Raetis. For the past two years, your robot counterparts have been building Uruk. The ship you arrived on now serves as the city’s power source, which sits at the city center. We call this The Core. You’re joined by the thousands of other humans who continue to live through consciousness alone. It’s all right to not feel like yourself. Your chip has been activated inside an avatar, the way all humans now exist. So what’s next for you on this new planet? That’s for you to decide.
Explore Uruk with your friends. Sell your goods and services for real cryptocurrency. Even try on a new avatar for size – your IDC is compatible with any avatar here in Uruk. You aren’t confined in the borders of Uruk, either. The city relies on rare resources for power, which need to be uncovered and mined. You can help out, or simply explore the rest of your new home planet. But remember, most of Raetis is still a mystery. We can’t be sure what creatures or dangers lie amidst the planet’s rocky and cavernous landscape. The farther you venture from Uruk, the riskier your adventure becomes, so be careful!
It’s your life, do what you’d like. Welcome to your world.
You can already claim an apartment from the website (there are 1,000 apartments available in what they are calling Genesis Towers):
Here’s a sneak peek of the avatars from the Gameplay page on the website, which are a definite improvement over the simple placeholder avatars we used in my initial half-hour guided tour or Virtual Universe back in April:
There are six different types of avatars, which at first glance appear to be similar to the character classes in most MMOs/MMORPGs like World of Warcraft:
And here’s some more details on the gameplay:
Play, explore and discover
Uruk is a gigantic city with endless opportunities. Participate in exciting adventures in the entertainment district, socialize with your friends in the finest clubs of the city and enjoy big community events!
Earn crypto rewards
Yup that’s right, you can earn cryptocurrency for playing our game. Help the community doing daily quests and get rewarded for your time and effort in VU tokens.
Harvest and sell resources
While you are exploring the vast landscape of planet Raetis, you will encounter a wide variety of resources. Gather these resources, bring them back to the city and sell them on the marketplace for cryptocurrency. But be careful, Raetis is full of hostile creatures so make sure you are prepared for battle before you venture into the unknown wilderness!
Shape the world around you
Collect enough VU tokens and you will be able to purchase your own plot of land on Raetis. Once you own your own corner of the world, you can shape it just the way you like it. Plant trees, place rocks, even design and construct your own home!
Player will have a wide variety of avatars to choose from, all of them are highly modular so you can customize your character to make it unique!
Run a virtual business and earn crypto
If running around the world looking for rare resources is not your cup of tea then there is another major way for you to earn cryptos while playing VU: start your own virtual business! Purchase a commercial plot, construct one of the available player run ventures and start generating cryptocurrencies.
The website says, under the Beta tab:
I did have a question. It says the VU closed beta is “only accessible to pioneers”, and when you click through, “This section is only accessible to pioneers. You can become a pioneer by purchasing VU tokens.” So, how will Chinese, Americans, and Canadians (like me) be able to participate in the VU closed beta if we are legally forbidden from buying VU tokens?
I asked this question on the official Virtual Universe Discord server, and Jeroen Van den Bosch, VU’s Chief Creative Officer and co-founder, told me:
We are working on a way that token holders (not just buyers) can upgrade to pioneer (so that would include people participating in the bounty program). But that functionality is not ready yet.
VU is going to have to find ways to include people from countries where we cannot buy the VU token. Otherwise, they will be excluding a large number of potential players.
The more details that the team at Virtual Universe reveal, the more intrigued about this project I become! I’m looking forward to setting foot on the planet Raetis!
UPDATE July 8th: Virtual Universe has announced an airdrop of VU tokens, and their Telegram server has been inundated with floods of new users! Over half of the 1,000 free apartments in Genesis Towers have already been claimed, and the rest are expected to sell out within the next 12 hours, so if you’re interested, you’d better hurry!
SECOND UPDATE July 9th: The apartments in Genesis Towers have sold out!