Hear ye, Clam Island citizens and visitors! The Arcidae Update is nigh!
After weeks of work overhauling the economic model of Clam Island to align incentives with community expectations, we are now a matter of days away from the Arcidae Update going live. This is, therefore, a good time to go through some details on what the update will bring. For reference, our past articles on this update can be found here and here.
Clam price adjustment mechanism
Clam prices are now based on USD worth of GEM to dampen some of the volatility.
Over the period of one week beginning on #ClamBakeThursday, Clam prices can increase or decrease by up to a maximum factor of 2. Throughout the week, the price at any given time is determined based on the price of Clams at the end of last week, the number of Clams sold last week, and the number of Clams sold this week so far. For example, if 210 Clams were sold last week, and it is now the end of day 1 of the current week, then the Clam prices would be the same as the price at the end of last week if 210 / 7 = 30 clams have been sold so far. If more than 30 have been sold, then the price would be higher, and if less have been sold, then the price would be lower.
This price mechanism adjusts itself according to the number of Clams being purchased, rather than being based on an arbitrary maximum number of clams available for the week and expecting that the market can meet this maximum limit every week (this was the effect of the old Clam pricing mechanism). To be clear, this limit still exists to control inflation — it is just no longer the basis on which Clam prices are determined.
It should also be noted that since Clams being sold in the recent weeks are well below the maximum limit, it also means that $SHELL inflation is much lower than original estimates.
Clam / Pearl GEM yield
Clams no longer give a fixed GEM yield upon first deposit. Instead, it gives a GEM boost, which is a multiplier that gets applied to every Pearl that it produces. Pearls also have had their GEM boost formula adjusted to increase profitability. Details of the boost stats are as below:
| Rarity | Avg Boost | Min Boost | Max Boost |
| Common | 1.4x | 0.7x | 2x |
| Uncommon | 2.5x | 1.3x | 3.75x |
| Rare | 4x | 2x | 6x |
| Ultra Rare | 7x | 3.5x | 10.25x |
| Epic | 10x | 5x | 15x |
| Legendary | 20x | 10x | 30x |
Based on the drop rates for each rarity tier, the above yields an overall average boost multiplier of 2x.
These boost stats apply to both Clams and Pearls. For example, an uncommon clam would have an average of 2.5x boost, and if it produces a common Pearl, that Pearl would have an average likelihood of 1.4x boost. If the Pearl production price is 100 GEM, then assuming the Pearl has the average boost of 1.4x, its GEM yield would be 100 x 1.4 x 2.5 = 350 GEM.
The exact boost of a Clam / Pearl depends on its traits. You will notice that it is indeed possible to lose if you have a common Clam / Pearl with bad traits. The absolute worst you can do is to have a clam with 0.7x boost that produces a Pearl with 0.7x boost. This results in your GEM yield for that Pearl being about half of what you would have paid for its production price. Compare that with the absolute best that you can do — a legendary Clam with 30x boost producing a legendary Pearl with 30x boost, netting you 900x of the Pearl’s production price.
It’s also important to remember that even with a Clam that has 0.7x GEM boost, you could still farm Pearls profitably or potentially sell it once third party marketplace compatibility is implemented. This is because Pearls still have an average of 2x boost, meaning that each Pearl that this particular Clam produces would average 0.7 x 2 = 1.4x the Pearl production price. The market will ultimately determine how much this Clam can fetch on an open third party marketplace, but the value is still there because even the worst Clam can still make money with Pearls.
Removal of GEM deposit when farming Clams
Arcidae will remove the mechanic of paying a GEM deposit when depositing a Clam and then using up the deposit when collecting a farmed Pearl. This mechanic was unnecessarily complex and was a source of confusion for a lot of users.
It will now be free (other than gas fees) to deposit a Clam, and you only need to pay the Pearl production price in GEM when collecting a Pearl that has been produced.
Clams and Pearls — old vs new
Once Arcidae update is live, existing Clams will automatically be switched over to the new GEM boost mechanics. This means that:
- Your clam will have the same traits, including lifespan and remaining pearls if you have already farmed it for some pearls;
- Any new Pearl collected from farming the clam will also have the new GEM boost mechanics;
- Any old GEM boost for the Clam (which you get as a fixed 30 day stream of GEM the first time you deposit a Clam into the farm, assuming no other Clams of the same rarity was farming at the time) not yet claimed will no longer be available for claiming. Any old GEM boost already claimed will not be affected — i.e. the stream will continue.
- You do not have to do anything for this to happen.
Even though Clams will be automatically upgraded, in order to look after our early supporters who farmed Clams under less profitable models, we will still allow an old Clam to be swapped for a new one. The swap will work by burning the old Clam and then allowing you to claim an entirely new Clam as if you just purchased one from the Shop.
This means that the new Clam will have completely random traits, and will not reflect your old Clam’s traits. It is therefore generally not advisable to swap an old Clam if it is rare. Rather, if your old clam is not particularly rare or has a relatively short lifespan (or remaining lifespan from being farmed), this is where it would make the most sense to swap it for a new one.
However, in order to stay fair and control inflation, if you have already claimed the old GEM boost from the old Clam through farming, then you will have to pay it back in order to swap it for a new Clam. If you do not want to do that, then you can keep the Clam, and any remaining Pearls farmed from it will have the new GEM boost mechanics in any event.
As for existing Pearls, their GEM boosts will not change, since Pearls are designed to yield GEM relative to the price paid for them. However, we understand that some old Pearls have very low GEM boost due to the fact that Clam prices dropped significantly due to the flaws in the old Clam price adjustment mechanism.
The community has warmed up to the idea of a Pearl lottery where low GEM boost Pearls can be deposited for a chance to win the entire pot of the total GEM boosts from all deposited Pearls. This is what we will implement after the Arcidae Update. Details will follow closer to when the Pearl lottery will go live.
We have a series of frontend improvements that will be deploying with Arcidae.
One of the most frequent complaints we have heard from new users is the fact that they have to keep paying GEM to keep producing Pearls. This is a misconception since Pearls are in fact the main way through which you can produce a profitable GEM yield. The payment of GEM to produce a Pearl is more like a gamified term deposit than buying a product, in terms of the financial effect of the transaction.
So, other than what is necessary for the purposes of the Arcidae changes to the smart contracts, our new frontend improvements are intended to make the profit-earning potential of Clams and Pearls much more clearer to new users.
We will keep these changes as a surprise for now, but we are excited to show you once everything is live!
At Clam Island, we are always continuously improving our platform. Arcidae is a big update that significantly changes the ecosystem, so it was given its own name. However, there are many other features being developed that will follow on the heel of the Arcidae update. These include:
- third party NFT marketplace compatibility;
- a locked $SHELL pool with added benefits;
- the ability to purchase multiple Clams from the shop, deposit multiple Clams into the Farm and collect multiple Pearls from the Farm;
- a landing page for the project;
- a mobile-friendly version of Clam Island;
- our first cross-chain deployment;
- … and much more!
Our marketing efforts will also kick off in full once Arcidae is deployed. For those that were not aware, marketing was mostly paused while we worked on Arcidae, in order to ensure that we are ready to convert new users into true long-term Clam Island citizens.