A few days have passed since the Q2 announcement, Zed Run have made some further clarifications about the rewards system and I returned for a second listen to the AMA with a cooler head.

When listening to the live AMA the first time around it was hard to hear about the future of ZedX over the screams of my dying legacy horses but on the second listen I found there is actually some pretty exciting bits and pieces of information in there.

Naturally there is worry, dismay and sadness amongst the community as we say goodbye to the game we love.
Scrolling Twitter and Discord right now is somewhat depressing.
However, I think those of us that plan to take the journey from Zed Run to ZedX could use a bit of positive reading.
So enough about the negative side of this week’s news.
Let’s take a look at the positive side of things.

1) Team changes.
For some time many have been crying out for new leadership and a new team at Zed Run.
We now have it.
Nir is in charge. (CLICK HERE FOR RESUME)

During the AMA he let us know that he has rebuilt the team in to one that he believes is strong and capable.
There were new hires and there will be more.
He has changed the way the team work and he believes they can deliver on the ZedX vision.

Of course we need to see action as well as words but there has already been one tangible sign that things have changed behind the scenes.
Since Nir took the reins late last year there was not one leak of information leading up to the Q2 announcement.
Even BG had no idea what was coming.
There is no way that would have happened in the past.

2) Legacy players will have a major head start in ZedX.

I won’t sugar coat things, there was nowhere near enough emphasis put in to assuring the community about their place in ZedX during the AMA and that lead to a lot of worry about being “rugged”.
As I said in my last blog, getting the rewards formula right is crucial, players must transition into ZedX with a stable that reflects what they built in the previous game. (Or variations of the previous game).

Since I posted that blog Zed have made further clarifications to let us know that they are aiming to give maximum value to past and present players in the new ZedX.
As long as they still have horses in the stable OG holders and players will be rewarded even if they no longer play the game.

Zed Run ownership along with past and present engagement will translate into horse ownership and rewards in the new game.
On top of that, continued engagement in legacy Zed Run will earn players “additional advantages in the new game on top of their holdings” giving us further reason to continue to play legacy while we wait for ZedX.

The further information provided by Zed and comments Nir made regarding existing players during the AMA now leads me to believe that players who have invested in to Zed Run will hit the ground running in ZedX with a significant advantage.

Below are Nir’s comments, I honestly barely caught them the first time amidst everything else that was said.

“It is very very important for us to take the existing loyal players on this journey with us.
We’re going to offer very generous rewards in the new game and new horses in the new game to existing players.
The owners of the horses in Zed Run will be put in a very very good head start and very good position in the new game”


3) Less clicking more racing. (and more race volume)
Another major complaint I’ve heard over the years is that people hate a clickfest.
In ZedX that will be a thing of the past.

In the AMA Nick mentioned automated racing.
Once your horse is in the racing pool it will be automatically entered in to races against opponents that are of a similar pedigree as per the leaderboard.

From my understanding of the limited info, all horses are either in the race pool, the breeding pool or the market place.
So day and night the entire pool of eligible racers are being scheduled and racing, no low volume days.

Some may worry that this removes the element of skill that race selection involves.
More on that below.

4) Strategy.
Though we lose the skill based element of race selection we had in Zed Run it seems as though the strategy elements of ZedX will be found elsewhere.
Nick mentioned in the AMA there will be adjustments you can make in stable to optimise your horse for each race.

I look forward to hearing more on that but for now I get the feeling ZedX will be a very strategic stable management game.

On that note, another tid bit I picked up was the mention of needing to retire your horse to enter the breeding barn and to “take your earnings with you”.

This sounds exciting.
Imagine you have a horse that has been tearing up the track.
It has a great record, it has $5,000 in earnings but you can’t touch those winnings until you retire him.

Do you retire him with a stellar record and take home the $5,000 or do you risk his stud barn appeal to chase more earnings against stronger horses?
A great element this brings to the game is the fact that monster horses won’t dominate the track forever.
At some stage the owner will want cash in on all that success so they will be forced to retire.

Also mentioned in the AMA were dynamic auctions for studs.
No more minimum stud fees or worrying what price to put on your stallion when you place him in the barn.
In ZedX your stud hits the barn and mares place bids.
The market decides who wants the foal the most and you get the highest market price.
This sounds like a much more exciting system than what we have now.

All in all it sounds as though there will be revamped versions of the things we enjoyed about Zed  like breeding strategy and horse discovery along with some new strategic elements in ZedX.

4) Free races with prize pools.
Remember when free races had prize pools?
We always thought that was completely unsustainable right?
Well it seems that might be what we get with ZedX.

From what weve been told there will be no race fees in the new game.
I’m excited to learn more about the business model they have designed to fund this.
Perhaps it will be funded by sports betting companies like many other racing industries.
Perhaps it will be funded by advertisers and spectators.
Maybe a combination of all 3.

I have little info to speculate on here outside of using my own imagination.
However, if Nir can somehow use his industry connections to make an idea like this work than we will have a thriving eco system.

One tid bit I did pick up during the AMA was comments along the lines of designing the community to feed back in to the horse owners.
Exciting stuff but for now we will have to await further information!

5) Spectators and scalability.
If you look at any web3 racing game you will see that thus far there has been a major inability to scale.
I think a major part of that is the complexity of crypto for non crypto people.
The players I onboarded to Zed took hours to walk through the process.
That sort of barrier to entry is massive.

During the AMA there was a lot of emphasis put on opening up the game for spectators.
I think this is a key part of what Nir and co are working on for ZedX.
I think they are designing a game that is split in to two groups which are stables and players or “spectators”.

The stable owners will be the crypto natives that understand how to navigate metamask and NFT horse breeding.

I think the plan is to build an app that can scale massively with the vast majority of the people engaging in the game being the “spectators”.
We as stable owners will be the core of the game but we will be a small minority of daily active users.

This is actually a freaking beautiful idea and solution to scaling Zed!
Spectators join and play with no need for crypto wallets or web3 knowledge at all.
In theory you could have 300 stables and 3,000,000 spectators.

In the AMA they mentioned “opening up the game for spectators”, “mass scale”, “a game that has something for everyone” and “spectator rewards”.

To go further down this rabbit hole I can only make guesses about how it will work but imagine perhaps a scenario like this;
Players download the ZedX app, they make picks on horse races and compete for prizes offered by advertisers.
To make 5 free picks they have to watch a video commercial or alternatively they can buy picks with a credit card.
There are random jackpots, giveaways and grand prizes with ways to share and link with friends on social media.

This is just a rough idea, I’m sure the real vision is much better but In essence the spectators have nothing to do with breeding or racing.
They are the majority of the active users, they fund the game, they generate income and profit but we supply the horses.
Our horses are the stars of the show.

On top of this the team have mentioned giving Zed Token much more utility.
Perhaps it plays a role in that model too?

6) Unreal engine and UI.
There are a lot of horse racing simulation games out there but Zed and it’s futuristic colourful horses stand out amongst the crowd.
Imagine those horses taken to the next level on unreal engine.
This is happening in ZedX and I can’t wait to see it.

Now when it comes to the Zed Run UI I could make a list of suggestions on what was needed.
Everything from race filters to stable management tools.
Zed built on unreal engine with a AAA level UI you say?
Bring it on.

7) The journey.
Yes, we just heard the game we love is winding down and our beloved horses will be no more.
This will take some time for us to get used to but as one journey comes to an end another begins.

ZedX seems a long way off but piece by piece legacy Zed will fade in to memory and the hype for ZedX will build.
Communication from Zed has never been great but with Nir in charge and the team restructured I’m hopeful that this has changed.
Imagine fortnightly AMA’s where the things I’ve mentioned in this blog begin to come together.
Imagine video snippets, screenshots and beta testing.
Imagine a release date, receiving new horses and downloading the ZedX app on your phone for the first time.

A new journey begins.
(Next AMA is July 11th)