A take on why on-chain is the only way to go when it comes to NFT boxes
The Enigmatic Box is the first advanced loot box on Ethereum. The boxes yield a unique on-chain collection which is yet to be revealed. It’s 100% on-chain and will exist and retain its opening functionality as long as Ethereum does. When a box is centralized (off-chain; images & opening mechanism relying on web2 services) you run the risk of it disappearing one day. Generating the collection on-chain right when opening the box ensures fair chances of rarity down to the very last box. You can open it right when it‘s possible or decades from now. Making it a true collectible that can increase in value.
You prefer a video summary? Here’s a great video explanation and showcase by @BigWise:
Why should you care about fair randomization when buying/minting NFT boxes?
When you get a mystery box, you’d expect it to hold value if you hold out on opening. Just like any other collectible in the web2 space (booster packs, comic books and action figures).
But the thing with off-chain boxes is that most of the time when you open it, it shuffles token IDs of a pre-existing collection. Which means that the longer you wait to open the box, the less random it gets. It might also get less likely for you to shuffle a rare. But any Enigmatic Box holds value since it‘s completely on-chain. Kind of like an unopened Pokémon booster pack. The art and opening mechanism exist as long as Ethereum does. Decades from now you‘ll be able to open them which is not possible to guarantee if it‘s off-chain.
A recap on possible risks of off-chain boxes: Like mentioned above, you run the risk of the images and opening functionality disappearing one day if the NFT is off-chain. And because it picks a random token ID of an existing collection, the longer you wait to open, the less likely it will get for you to receive a rare NFT. Those who waited to open it will have a decrease in value — when it should be the other way around. But what’s even more troubling is that anyone well versed in coding could cheat and predict how likely it is for them to get anything of value.
So to take things one step further to being truly fair, the collection should be generated (created) right when you open the box. We use runtime generation for that. That means there’s no way to know what you get and it’s safe from foul play. It also ensures equal chances down to the very last box. This requires a huge probability tree (all on-chain) which we’ll discuss in another medium article soon.
OnChainBirds x Artist Collab
The Enigmatic Box was introduced as one of the perks of holding and nesting OnChainBirds. They act as an access pass to everything new and innovative @wrencrypt is creating — as long as they are nested of course. Tech is at the forefront of everything he does. The way the smart contract was created for OCB was never done before and he continues to implement innovations in the things to come. Nested OnChainBirds before the announced period were able to claim Soul Boxes (Tier 1), Fire Boxes (Tier 8) or Earth Boxes (Tier 9) with an optional paid upgrade from Tier 1 to Tier 2 (Spirit Box).
All secondary birds have lost their claim, but you can still buy birds and use their nesting level to upgrade boxes. Future things might drop out of nowhere for nested birds.
The mechanics revealed (so far)
The higher the box Tier, the higher the fortune for the collection it yields. Not everything is revealed as of now, but there are weekly artworks with hints and ciphers to solve which will bring you one step closer to finding out the full mechanics, the artist behind our collaboration and the look of the final collection. You can find them on discord and twitter (OnChainBirds and Enigmatic Box).
Gamified upgrading process (Burn-To-Upgrade & Pay-To-Skip-Time):
To make things a bit more interesting we’ve implemented a gamified way for you to upgrade boxes and therefore increase your fortune for the collection inside. One or more nested OnChainBirds are required to upgrade certain boxes. Each nesting level you reach (30 days) can be used for a 1 Tier upgrade. To get the highest Tiers possible you can get an upgradable Box Tier 1–5 and upgrade them up to Tier 7. Multiple birds can be used on one box to speed up the process. Or you can mint a non-upgradable Alchemy Box to skip the time investment.
All upgradable boxes can be found below. The upgrades will be unlocked soon.
To be continued.
Strategies on how to organize your bird and box bag
An interesting thing to note is that the collection is dynamic. The upgradable boxes may shift in quantity because of the upgrades. If everyone upgrades max to Tier 7, lower Tiers may become rarer. So what are the ways to play it?
It all boils down to you wanting to open the boxes or not. With every Tier you can shape the outcome/fortune. Which is why the mint box (Alchemy Box) is more expensive than a bird and a claimable Tier 1 box combined — since it‘s a already high Tier 6 box. The Alchemy Box can’t be upgraded but has some exclusive features that will be revealed soon.
But any enigmatic box itself holds value since the randomization is fair down to the last box. Receiving a rare NFT is just as possible on the last unopened box as it is on the first one. Only the fortune may differ, but the possibility is there nethertheless. So with that being said, there are a couple of ways how to go about collecting your boxes and birds.
1 — If you‘re all about wanting to open boxes then higher tiers might make sense for you. You get a higher chance of getting rarer NFTs. But you can also choose quantity over quality by choosing only the lowest Tier boxes. Then it‘s totally up to luck.
2 — But if you want to hold out on opening and treat them as a collectible, collecting several Tiers might be the best play for you. Time locking boxes is a great way to ensure you don’t open them for years to come because they can increase in value the more people open theirs. There‘s a chance you might have one of the only ones left of a Tier.
3 — Or you can do a combination of both, open a few and keep the rest for later. It will be fascinating to see the Tier quantities shift along with the collection being released.
The collection will be completely unique and something that hasn‘t been seen before on-chain. In all future phases the tech part is always pushing boundaries in some way. The Enigmatic Box grants you access to timeless on-chain fine art. In the end it comes down to what you prefer, opening, not opening, upgrading or a mix of all.
To be continued: What about the full mechanics and tech side of it?
There’s going to be a new article about the tech-side of the Enigmatic Box as soon as the full mechanics are revealed. One of the things that was important to us is that you can clearly filter by unopened and burned boxes. Marketplaces struggle to update the collection once NFTs are burned even though they are not tradable anymore. It’s a small detail but quite unique still. The burned boxes will be separated with changed metadata so it doesn’t mess up the box supply numbers on OpenSea. You will always know how many unopened ones are left of each box.
We’re one of the first ones to use the new animated Image Format AVIF (replaces GIFs and got support by all browsers recently). AVIF files have better compression than WebP/GIF. 10 Box Tiers, 1.5mb, 1080p, 40sec and 480 frames total. Stored fully on-chain (upload currently still in progress). More on that and everything else soon. But while you wait you can join our Blues Clues team on discord and solve our hints and ciphers together! Dropping every week.
Mint Alchemy Boxes (Tier 6):
Buy boxes on OpenSea:
Buy OnChainBirds to use on upgradable boxes: