Player Spotlight: Baronar!
Baronar is a legend in the Axie community. Along with Enjoi, Baronar has started the first community-led podcast dedicated to Axie. It’s called Axie Chat and runs every Tuesday at 8PM EST.
Baronar is a land baron in the Axie universe and cleaned out the remaining Arctic chests earlier this year. He’s been one of the most vocal proponents for Axie land and it’s been fascinating to watch his research process based off the bits and pieces of information we’ve put out.
Tell us a bit about yourself and how you found out about Axie.
I am a long time gamer, but I have eclectic interests and hobbies. Generation X. One of my fondest memories was feeding tokens into games at our local arcade. Even as a child I liked to maximize my spend — $5 to get 25 tokens, get those five extra plays. I also love TCGs and board games (we own several dozen).
I grew up as gaming grew up, we had a 4088 PC computer when I was pretty young and I remember getting my own 486SX (couldn’t afford the DX) just before college. I played text fantasy games (Zork, etc.), Rogue and early dungeon crawlers (Swords of Glass, Bard’s Tale). As far as consoles: Pong -> Atari -> Nintendo+Sega -> PS1 -> and so on. I remember setting up Doom LAN parties at our college computer labs. Played some early MUDs (LP-Muds in particular). Dabbled in Ultima Online and played EverQuest right from the start. I still play WoW on occasion. Bought one of the earliest 3D graphics cards and eventually got the 3dfx Voodoo.
Some of my favorite PC games included Pools of Radiance, Warcraft, Diablo, Starcraft, Doom, Quake, X-Com. I have always been a fan of the fantasy and sci-fi genres. I like multi-user gaming so the convenience and connectability of mobile gaming appeals to me. Clash of Clans, Clash Royale, Dungeon Keeper, Pokemon Go, etc. are very appealing. However, in all of these games across platforms, I always had a desire for ownership rights in digital assets. I was a crypto miner for a while back in 2012–2013 but I got a little annoyed and concerned so I turned everything off and quit paying attention to the space. I regret that quite a bit.
Regardless, when I was mining I really wanted to take BTC and somehow assign specific addresses to items in a game (initially I thought a MMORPG) so that players could own assets. I didn’t have a plan or the know how to accomplish it. I just thought it would be awesome.
So, in March when a Bankless article from ex-human popped up in my feed talking about blockchain games, I decided to check it out. I checked out other games in the space, particularly Gods Unchained, but Axie Infinity looked to have the most potential and the “mining through playing” concept really made sense to me. My family was traveling and got COVID-19 in March, so it was a strange time. I had some cryptocurrency so I decided to try it out.
You’ve been a huge proponent of Axie land. What excited you most about it?
Axie land is an exciting proposition to me. I have done my share of PvP style gaming, but I generally like the PvE quest/dungeon/raid/group experience. Also, I did enjoy Minecraft for a while as well as several kingdom building games like Age of Empire, Civilization and Knights of the Realm II. Long ago I designed Warcraft and Starcraft maps in their map editor.
The idea of owning a piece of digital land that can be used to generate digital assets and can be managed to add utility to the game economy hits my love of highly efficient/strategic game play. I played a game called King of Avalon for a while (stay away!). I loved many aspects of that game but primarily the complexity it had in using different assets in building your kingdom. I like games that require high level strategy to master. A good example in my mind is a board game called Agricola, which is (in a way) a combination of Settlers of Catan, Medici, the Farming Game and Dominion. I like high strategy games that include luck components.
My vision from the team’s concept art and statements is that land will have a wide range of strategic aspects both in actual play and outside of play. A lot is already taking place outside of play before any release.
Add real economic impact to this type of strategic gaming experience and I can’t imagine anything much more fun. Multi-user world building on the grandest scale with high stakes!
Your sons play Axie. How has that experience been? Have they used crypto before this?
My older son got interested in mining and had his own rig back in the day. It was pretty neat to see him earn/acquire/earn/acquire. They do some of that now as well. It is an interesting proposition that a game, headset, graphics card, etc. is just a certain amount of daily quests away from acquiring! My youngest had heard me talk about crypto, but this has been his first direct experience with crypto. They’ve both found ways to become land owners as well. I look forward to seeing them build their own resource farms and enter into that marketplace.
You wrote an Axie short story. Do you believe that books will be distributed as NFTs in the future?
I believe that many artistic works are well suited for crypto. Certainly art and books. I also look forward to music being offered through crypto. I think it could potentially be a solution for artistic works having rights protected and seeing artists be compensated directly for their works. It also allows value to grow and be recognized in a digital marketplace. I own several nice pieces of artwork, however, they are not providing any liquid value to me. That wasn’t necessarily the goal when I acquired the various pieces. However, it would be nice to access some liquidity if I determined it made sense. That part of sharding digital assets makes a lot of sense to me. On the other hand, I am very opposed to pump and dump strategies in any market. I like to reward creativity, added value and positive contribution.
I think a system for authors to share their works via tokenized novels would be amazing. In order to “lend” a novel a person could give the token to their friend. This feels like a great way to share novels but allow for some form of digital rights to be acknowledged. If a particular novel is in high demand, that could create some pretty amazing economic results for both the collector and the author.
Tell us about your vision for Axie chat.
When I first got involved with Axie, I approached it like any other topic I have become interested in. I research the hell out of it. I try to consume every piece of credible, useful information I can find in order to make sense of it. This could be sports, gardening, jeeping, gaming, on and on. In this case, I noticed Axie Edge had done a great job in gathering and compiling information. Then you and Cloudwhite interviewed Enjoi. I just think Enjoi is bright and has a researcher mentality similar to mine. We definitely see some things differently — could be generational gaps or professional backgrounds. I think it ends up being a good combination. Sometimes our same research leads us to slightly different conclusions.
Axie Chat was an idea floated between Enjoi and I several months ago. I was doing some of my own live streams and reached out to him (as I recall) about maybe collaborating on some streams. I think you, Jiho, may have even put it into my mind.
My vision for Axie Chat is that we push the edge of what we know about Axie Infinity, always looking forward to what is next and what makes sense. We definitely want it to be engaging with lots of speculation based on the best information we can dig up. I know we would love to do more interviews so that we can get Sky Mavis team member’s input and ideas and let them share their thoughts with the community. We also want to start featuring other prominent community members. As much and Enjoi and I have researched, there are a lot of big brains doing amazing things in the Axie space.
We certainly want it to grow and become something that many, many viewers/listeners make part of their weekly routine.
What makes the Axie community special?
There is something special about the Axie community. When I interviewed Trung he actually used the word “family” to describe it. Whether it’s our odd Uncle ak, our brilliant resident know-it-all Indes, cousins Enforcerj, Chaz, Cloudwhite and Denoo, and on and on, the community shares a joint excitement for the world of Axie Infinity that is building. The feeling I get is that, for the most part, we want it to be a positive, supportive place where everyone has a shot at the “play to earn” model and just has a great, enjoyable experience. There is a real money component to this Axie experience, so to see the community build around positivity and excitement is special. I think a lot of that comes from the seeds planted by you, Jiho, and other team members, but prominent community members can tend those seeds and nurture that type of experience to grow and spread.
I think there are a lot of highly, highly competitive community members. You see that in the various approaches to the markets (Axies, Land, Land items, SLP [and Luna]). You see community members finding ways to foster new economic markets in sharded assets and wrapped assets. The creativity and innovation of the team is mirrored within the community. Developers like Rreak, Jdor, Henri, Owl, Seuechenhund, and on and on reward this community through their amazing volunteerism.
I hope that things like Axie Chat and Baronar’s Take also bring in more community members and serve the community. It is quite possible that we are still very much in the early adopter phase and there is a high possibility that we may all see incredible fruits of our labors. I envision a fun, positive experience for a million or more players! Right now I think the entire community wants nothing more than great success for the team and everyone involved with Axie Infinity. I can understand a desire to fast forward to v2 battles and land gameplay, but I do believe we are presently in a special phase of development in this incredible Axie experience.
Thanks for reading our fifth player spotlight! If you’d like to meet Baronar and ask him about his adventure, make sure to join Axie Discord!
The Axie Infinity Team
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