Clarification on the Clam Island Arcidae Update
Ahoy there again, Clam Island citizens and visitors!
Before we get into things, you’re probably wondering, what the heck is the Arcidae Update?
As Clam Island is a novel concept, change and updates are expected as we shift to meet the market demand in search of that perfectly balanced, sustainable ecosystem where everyone wants to participate. The update that we announced in our previous article is the first, and we don’t expect it to be the last, especially given everything we have planned for Clam Island in the future. In light of this, we have decided to name that update the Arcidae Update, Arcidae being the scientific name for Ark Clams. Future ecosystem updates will follow the same convention of being named after a different kind of Clam.
Now, getting to the point. The modifications to our ecosystem announced several days ago have been well-received, and they have generated a lot of chatter especially in our Telegram. We love to see people diving into the platform, discussing strategy and giving feedback, so please keep them coming!
There were some confusion relating to exactly how the modifications will work, and part that of that stems from the fact that some of the underlying mechanics of how the GEM boosts work are not documented. This was actually intentional on our part — while we were working on a Gitbook, we did want people to use the platform and discover some of the mechanics themselves, with those paying more attention and crunching the numbers perhaps reaping more rewards than the casual player.
As we have pointed out as well, the purpose of the Clams and Pearls was never meant to be a direct path to profit. That said, many members of our community want to be able to use them in this way, which is part of why we are making the changes to our ecosystem. In doing so, it then also becomes necessary to explain some of the mechanics so people understand how they can seek to profit from using their Clams and Pearls.
GEM boost as a function of price and traits
The first thing you need to understand is that the GEM boost is based on the GEM price paid to buy a Clam or to produce a Pearl. So, the fact that we have implemented a temporary measure of increasing the GEM price for Clams and Pearls while we work on the updates, means that you will also get proportionally more GEM boost for the Clam you purchased and any Pearls produced. In this way we actually deal with the transaction fees issue, by making the profit per Pearl in dollar terms higher than what you will pay in transaction fees to produce the Pearl. Clams and Pearls cost more to buy now, yes, but they also yield more returns.
So, how exactly do the boosts work?
The current, soon-to-be-changed mechanism
Currently, the GEM boost for Clams and Pearls are fixed in a way that, on average:
- Each Clam gives a GEM boost equal to about ¼ of the price in GEM that you paid for it (NOT the current price to purchase a Clam in the Shop);
- Each Pearl gives a GEM boost equal to about 1.5x of the price in GEM that you paid for it (NOT the current price to produce a Pearl in the Farm).
The exact amount of boost for each Clam or Pearl will depend on their traits.
Traits that affect Clam boost include:
- Rarity tier;
- Lifespan (total number of Pearls the Clam can produce).
Traits that affect Pearl boost include:
- Rarity tier;
- Grading (Surface, Lustre and Nacre Quality).
This means that if you got a rare Pearl with high Grading and a large size, the GEM boost for your Pearl compared to the price in GEM that you paid for it could be 2x, 3x or even more. At the very rare end (Epic and Legendary), the boost could be up to 50x or more.
The mechanism after the Arcidae Update
When the modifications to our ecosystem are implemented, there will be a change to how the GEM boost works for Clams. Instead of the boost being ¼ of the GEM price paid for the Clam, the Clam Boost will become a multiplier for the Pearls that it produces. Common Clams will always have a multiplier of 1x (so no additional boost), but other rarity tiers will have varying amount of boost multiplier, with higher rarity tiers of course having a higher multiplier.
We are still crunching the numbers on the optimal average boost multiplier for Clams across the platform, but this figure is preliminarily set at 1.5x.
Let’s work through a quick example of how this can help you earn a return.
First, some example parameters for the calculations:
- GEM price is $1;
- Clam price is 200 GEM, and Pearl production price is 20 GEM;
- Clam Boost average 1.5x Pearl Boost;
- Pearl Boost average 1.5x production price;
- Average Clam lifespan 10 (since lifespan is a random number between 5 and 15), meaning you produce 9 Pearls before harvesting the Clam for $SHELL, if you are purely looking to generate returns.
Based on the above, your capital is $200 to buy Clam, plus $20 x 9 = $180 to produce 9 Pearls, total $380.
Your returns will be 1.5 x $180 x 1.5 = $405, plus 1.9 $SHELL that you can harvest your Clam for by the end (1 $SHELL plus 0.1 extra $SHELL for each Pearl you produce as long as the Clam remains alive).
All you need to do in exchange for the profit, is to participate in the ecosystem by buying Clams and depositing them in the Clam Farm, and then exercise some patience in producing pearls and waiting for the right time to burn them to activate the boost. The whole 9 Pearls production process, including waiting for the right time to burn the Pearls for boost, should take between 1–2 months.
The above example does not take into account gas fees, which currently sit at about $5–6 on BSC in total across the transactions required to produce each Pearl. The amount is high due to the use of an oracle and the complex nature of calculating traits on-chain. We are working on ways to optimise this, and also looking at going cross-chain (to one with lower transaction fees) earlier than originally planned.
You should still be able to make a reasonable profit in the above example even with gas fees. As prices for Clams / Pearl production increases, gas fees actually become more negligible and your ROI would increase. This is why you shouldn’t actually want those Clams and Pearls to be cheap!
Let’s also not forget that Clams and Pearls are collectible NFTs as well as a pathway to profit. It is easy to get lost in the financial incentives, but remember that Clams and Pearls are both full 3D generative NFTs with a robust and (if we may say so ourselves) well-designed traits and rarity tier system. Put it this way — if JPEGs with zero financial utility can be worth thousands of dollars or more, what should a full 3D NFT with financial utility, interactivity and real-world connection be worth? Ultimately, only the market can decide, but we know we are holding on to any rare Clams and Pearls that we manage to get! And yes, we do play our own game and are subject to the same rules and drop rates as everyone else. That’s the beauty of keeping DNA and traits generation on-chain.
Some love for SHELL
You may be thinking, that’s great, but what about some love for $SHELL? And indeed, although it is a scarce governance token, there is nothing that is available to be voted on with $SHELL yet during the early stages of our development.
We are therefore working on a few ideas to give $SHELL more utility. Not only will this improve demand for $SHELL, it would also increase the profit potential for Clams since they are harvestable for $SHELL.
We’re not promising anything yet, but one of the first things that will be implemented after the Arcidae Update would likely be a locked pool for $SHELL. This will be a pool in which deposits are locked from withdrawal from a period of time (TBA, but likely at least 3 months). In return, the APR will be higher, and users with a minimum deposit in the locked pool will get access to additional benefits. One of the immediate benefits to come will be the ability to purchase a Clam booster with $GEM, which increases the the new Clam boost multiplier, so that every Pearl produced by your Clam will yield more $GEM. The specifics will be announced later, but this is just the first of many things that will ONLY be available to locked $SHELL stakers. Stay tuned for details!