Steem Monsters - Dark Energy Crystals (DEC)
Steem Monsters is an online collectible trading card game where each individual card is a digital asset with ownership certified on the STEEM blockchain. In other words, you actually own each card and can do with it as you please. You can trade them with other players. You can buy and sell cards on the open market. You can even lend or rent cards out to other players. Compare this with another online collectible card game Hearthstone where the cards are owned by the game company, not you. If you decide you don't want to play Hearthstone anymore, all the money you've spent on acquiring cards is lost. In Steem Monsters if you quit playing you can earn a passive income by leasing out your cards, or you can simply sell the lot and cash out.
Dark Energy Crystals
So what are Dark Energy Crystals? Known as DEC for short, this is the name for the in-game currency for Steem Monsters. It hasn't actually been implemented yet but is on the roadmap for deployment sometime before June. Here is a recent direct quote from the founder of Steem Monsters:
"DEC starts in a month or two and then DEC and consequently the vote will be primarily based on wins and rank at the time you won (it'll decay with each win and recover with time like Steem)." - @aggroed
How Do I Get DEC?
There will be three main ways to obtain DEC in the game:
Win a Battle - Every time you win a battle in the game you will earn DEC. The amount of DEC you are awarded with will depend on your current rank in the game and will decrease with each battle you play. When you aren't playing battles your DEC potential will recharge. For example, let's say you played a lot of matches in the evening and aren't making very much DEC anymore from your wins. You stop playing, go to sleep and log back in the next evening. The amount of DEC you are rewarded with for winning battles will have gone back up or "recharged" during your absence.
"Burn" a Card - To burn a card is a slang term which refers to permanently removing a card from circulation. I'm talking about essentially "deleting" an individual card that you own, not the entire card type across the platform. For example, let's say you have a Naga Fire Wizard card. Currently there are 9181 of these in circulation. If you burn yours, there will only be 9180 left. The rarity increases slightly and this will probably result in a slight increase in the value of the remaining cards. When DEC comes into effect you will be able to burn a card and get rewarded with DEC. Cards that have been combined will give more DEC than non-combined cards.
Buy It - You will also be able to buy DEC directly with money (credit card, paypal, etc...) or cryptocurrency.
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What Can I Do With DEC?
Even though DEC hasn't launched yet, the token market Steem Engine has a page dedicated to trading it:
If you go there and click the info button (letter "i" in a circle beside the token name) it explains that you can "...use them to buy all sorts of great items in the shop!" What are these great items?
Steemit Post Upvote - If you have a Steem Monsters account you automatically have a Steemit account. Steemit is a social media platform that rewards good content with cryptocurrency on the STEEM blockchain. Good content is identified by the community via upvoting. Content posted to Steemit that gets more upvotes (especially from respected members) will earn more cryptocurrency. If you post Steem Monsters related content to Steemit, you can get one upvote from the Steem Monsters account every day and a half. This is one way to earn money from playing the game. Once DEC is launched, players will not get this upvote anymore. However, you will be able to spend some of your DEC on buying an upvote. In essence, this is a roundabout way of converting DEC into STEEM cryptocurrency.
Sell DEC - You will be able to send your DEC in token form to Steem Engine and sell it directly on the open market in exchange for STEEM cryptocurrency. This STEEM can then be used directly or sold for your local currency.
Buy Cards in the Market - I haven't seen anything explicitly stating that individual cards in the Market will be available to purchase using DEC but it seems very likely. Right now you can buy specific individual cards using STEEM or SBD (these are the two primary forms of cryptocurrency on the STEEM blockchain) so likely an option to use DEC will also be added.
Booster Packs - A Booster Pack is a selection of 5 random cards. One card is guaranteed to be Rare or even more scarce. The remaining four may also be rare or above, but they aren't guaranteed to be. These are super fun to open and sometimes you get a really valuable card.
Tournament Fees and Rewards - There are tournaments every day on Steem Monsters. Almost $11,000 worth of prizes have been distributed to winners already in the month since this feature was fully launched. There are over $4000 in prizes already lined up for the next two weeks and tournaments are added all the time. In fact, anyone can host a tourney. Some of these are completely free to enter but others require a fee. You will be able to enter some of these tournaments by paying your entry fee in the form of DEC. Some tournaments will also give our their prizes in the form of DEC as well.
Customization - Now this is 100% speculative on my part, but I suspect that some of the items you will be able to purchase in the game will be vanity items to customize your identity (there aren't really "profiles" per se) or your experience. Perhaps you will be able to purchase premium backdrops for your battles. Fun but useless things like that for you to blow your DEC on.
Real Life Merch - Again, this is speculation however @aggroed has said more than once that you will be able to spend your DEC on items in-game and beyond. It's hard to say exactly what this real life, physical merchandise will consist of but chances are you'll be able to get stuff like t-shirts, hoodies, coffee mugs, ball caps, etc...
Physical Steem Monsters Cards - This is my final speculative item in this list, but I really think this is going to happen. For one thing, there are already physical Steem Monsters cards that exist in the real world. They aren't usable for anything but they're pretty cool little promo items to own. You might be able to buy these neat items. What's really exciting though is that a playable, real world Steem Monsters playing card game is in development right now called Mana Madess! I'm hoping that when this does come out that you will be able to purchase an order with your DEC. Below is an image of these cards posted by the official Steem Monsters account. To read more about it, visit https://steemit.com/steemmonsters/@reseller/testing-mana-madness-a-steem-monsters-physical-card-game
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