First, I love the game Sunflower Land.
In addition to being fun, the strategic aspect of the game makes players exercise their analytical brain muscles, and also helps those new to blockchain technology learn the fundamentals of crypto, NFTs, tokenomics, scarcity, and more.
I’m the one who wrote a blog post covering how the game developers are focusing on “people over profits”.
I speak for myself and almost the entire community when I say that we are on-board and in agreement with Sunflower Land’s mission to create an open-source decentralized game with anti-botting rules and no-multi accounting.
That being said, a few of the current rules should be improved.
The multi-accounting rule currently does not allow players to farm switch under any circumstances.
I believe that changing this rule will help preserve the intrinsic value and utility of the farms themselves, the official SL NFT tokens.
What is “Farm Switching” in Sunflower Land?
Farm switching is the process of a player switching from one farm to another, while only using one farm at a time.
In order to comply with the multi-accounting rule, when a user switches farms, they will have to cease all productive processes in the former farm.
According to the rules, players may only have 1 IN-USE farm at any time.
Let’s be clear: we are not talking about playing in more than 1 farm at a time. That is multi-accounting, which we can all agree is not good for the game.
However, at present, any type of farm switching, even while preserving only 1 IN-USE farm at a time, will be flagged as multi-accounting and will result in a ban.
Farm switching is not allowed today.
Based on the community’s interpretation of the rules during a few discussions in the Farmer’s Chat on 4/25/22, it seems there is consensus among the community that farm switching would be considered multi-accounting and break the rules.
No one wants to break the rules.
What is a players “IN-USE” farm?
A player’s “IN-USE” farm is the SINGLE farm in which that player is making progress at any given point in time.
“Progressing” in a farm is defined as having crops planted waiting to be harvested, or ores or wood waiting to be ready.
For example, in the screenshot below, the farm is “Progressing” because it has a few minutes left on potatoes before they are ready to be harvested.
Today, the rules allow players to purchase as many farms on secondary markets as they so choose – while it is completely within the rules to own other farms, once you purchase a farm, it is illegal to ever use that farm, given the current multi-accounting rules.
The game should be able to keep tabs on all players and ensure everyone only has no more than 1 IN-USE farm at a time, and that no player ever making progress in multiple farms simultaneously.
The goal of multi-accounting rules in the first place is to ensure that no subset of players are able to artificially accumulate and amass tons of resources and gain an unfair advantage over other players.
This ensures that the game remains fun for everyone and is not over-controlled by whales with large holdings.
Of course we agree with this.
However, we do believe users should be able to switch their IN-USE farm to another farm, as long as their account is not progressing in more than 1 farm at a time.
Why should Farm Switching be allowed and implemented?
Utility is so important in Play-to-Own games. We need a process enabling users to switch legally, as long as the player has no more than one IN-USE farm.
Presently, the only utility that a farm on secondary markets will have is for someone that has NEVER played sunflower land and NEVER minted a farm.
For anyone that has ever played the game, it is illegal to ever switch farms (its illegal to forever stop using original mint farm and use only that new farm).
If there is no switching process currently defined within the rulebook / docs, then how will farms purchased on secondary ever have utility?
All farms are not equal.
A farm that has all 22 squares unlocked and the goblins freed is going to be more productive than a brand new farm with less farmable land.
This farm is more desirable and would thus be more valuable on a secondary market, if a player decided to sell their farm.
The principles of play-to-own games would suggest that users should be able to buy, sell, and trade, and USE these different types of farms at their own will.
Example scenario: where Farm Switching makes sense
Let’s say I purchase a farm on secondary and then sell the original farm that I minted.
Now I only have 1 farm in my wallet (SL token)
However, if I start using this new farm, this is technically “multi-accounting” based on community consensus in the Discord.
Farms purchased on secondary are un-useable by current players. Because of this, those farms have 0 utility.
This is a problem if the Sunflower Land game seeks to create a real market and economy for NFTs and tokens in the SFL ecosystem.
Can Sunflower Land allow Farm Switching and still avoid multi-accounting?
Players will only be able to use one farm at a time. (defined as an “IN-USE” farm, below).
Players will only legally allowed to make progress in 1 single IN USE farm at a time.
Players must finish all in-progress tasks and actions before switching to another farm.
Players SHOULD be allowed to Farm Switch as long as there are no in-progress processes in the current IN-USE farm.
Sunflower Land should encourage both in-game and out-of-game economies
Most of us were attracted to Play-to-Own because we want to find a game that is actually awesome and fun to play, where we also have autonomy and ownership over all of the in-game items that we acquire.
Sunflower Land team, as I’ve written about before, is doing a great job of this overall.
Perhaps a user starts playing the game, and after realizing how much they love the game, they are willing to purchase some items and stuff to make the game experience more fun for them.
However, a few statements made by the team were surprising, given the seemingly evangelistic vision to create a decentralized, open sourced, play-to-earn game.
According to the FAQ on the Sunflower Land Discord, buying farms and other resources on third party markets is discouraged.
What’s the likely explanation for the Team making this statement?
Don’t forget, the game is still in Open Beta: the team is still testing the software and contracts. There are issues and bugs that need to be worked out.
Hopefully, once all the contracts and the game officially leaves beta and is 100% live, the game developers will encourage this economy to emerge from the Sunflower Land ecosystem.
When that happens, enabling farm switching as well a NFT trading on 3rd party platforms is crucial to ensure the the NFTs maintain their utility.
Encouraging 3rd party purchases and sales is the nature of play-to-own games.
Yes, the game is created to be focused on people over profits and is more than simply earning tokens. But the whole point of Play-to-Own is having the freedom and autonomy to trade in-game items.
It should be up to the user to buy or sell any in-game item on secondary.
If the game devs truly want to foster a free-market economy that the game strives to create, this is critical to implement.
When should Farm Switching processes be implemented?
The game should enable farm switching as well as encourage 3rd party sales / purchases after the Open Beta version of the game has been thoroughly tested and finalized.
As stated above, it is 100% understandable and OK for the development team to discourage the trading and 3rd party commerce while the game is in Open Beta version still.
The most important thing for the game at this point is making sure the contracts are safe, secure, and that
Farm switching should be allowed after the contracts are live and ready to go.