author: Flight 39
published: 2011-06-16 22:21:36 UTC
Since the price of the Bitcoin has become especially volatile over the past few months, it has been harder and harder for the Bitcoin newbie to get started with some free Bitcoins. These services are beneficial, as skeptical users may want to have some to have proof that the Bitcoin isn't a scam or pyramid scheme, as many have called the currency. The standby websites of old, such as the Bitcoin Faucet, which once gave away .05 Bitcoins to all who asked for them, have been down for a long time. Other sites require you to complete offers or do other arduous work to obtain your coins, and still others are unabashed scams. It is therefore my pleasure to introduce to readers Dragon's Tale.
Dragon's Tale, not yet complete, is a free massively multiplayer online game developed by egenesis, the independent company that made the popular A Tale in the Desert games. Its purpose is primarily to serve as a Bitcoin casino, but also to serve as a place where one may acquire Bitcoins at no cost. Games of both luck and skill can be found in-game for the Bitcoin gambler to play, and new features are always being developed.
To play Dragon's Tale, you must download the client used to play all egenesis games. It is available for computers running Windows, Mac, or Linux operating systems, and can be run if you have at least 1 GB of RAM and a 3D graphics card that was made since 2006. After this, you must sign up for a Dragon's Tale account.
Signing up for an account is easy: just input a username, password, and your e-mail address, and you're all set to play. When you log in to the game for the first time, you are given a set of tasks in a sort of tutorial that teaches you how to play the game. Completing them advances you from level 0 to level 1 in the game, increasing your prestige as a Dragon's Tale user and letting you start really playing the game. (Levels 2 and higher can be achieved by attaining specific goals in the game, such as playing a type of game a certain amount of times or winning a number of Bitcoins in-game.)
The first thing you may notice while exploring around the island (“China”) that the game exclusively takes place on is that nearly every object that you click on – palaces, walls, animals, statues, and even plants – is its own game. For stakes, you can play games that involve shaking coconut trees, painting pictures, racing beetles, feeding pigs, going fishing, kicking benches, and even putting on a fireworks display. The stakes can vary from just one ten-thousandth of a Bitcoin to whole Bitcoins and can suit both casual and serious Bitcoin gamblers.
The Element Fire game, a low-cost fireworks game.
The free Bitcoins in Dragon's Tale can be found in the omnipresent stone statues of soldiers scattered around the island holding Bitcoin staffs. Some statues have payouts and some don't, and the payouts have varied (for me) from 1 to 10 Bitmills (one thousandth of a Bitcoin). To assure that no one milks the game's Bitcoin balance, comprised of lost wagers and donations, completely dry, the game prevents you from receiving Bitcoins from the same statue twice in a day. Some statues are harder to find than others. Because users are less likely to find these statues, they will likely have more payouts than the other statues.
One of the many soldier statues in Dragon's Tale.
If, at some point during play, you don't know how to do something, you can watch videos about the game on YouTube, read up about aspects of the game on the official wiki, or consult one of the helpful veteran users that seem to always be online about your issue over the official game chat. Another option is to ask one of the Dragon's Tale veterans to be your mentor, which lets you get help on more issues faster. A mentor will be happy to teach you the right way to play games and how to increase your payouts.
Before starting to play this MMO, I decided to approach it from the point of view of an absolute newcomer to Bitcoin, one who had never made any money at all. Was registering and playing really worth it on this website? How much can one really make out of the statues and gambling? I wanted to find out, so I chose to start playing the game without using any Bitcoins at all and see how much I could do in the game.
I quickly earned enough Bitmills from the statues on the island to start playing various games (one Bitmill is all it takes) and was delighted with how fun it was to play them. The only constant source of Bitcoins for me was obviously the statues, as the games, especially on the lower end of the wager scale, are mostly risk-oriented. However, keeping that in mind, I was able to earn a tenth of a Bitcoin in just a few days. That may not seem like much, but remember that Bitcoins are, due to their finite supply and planned deflation, an investment in the future. Over time, their value increases due to less supply and more demand, and though the market is volatile from all the recent media hype about Bitcoin, if the projections of Prof. Russ Roberts at George Mason University are to be believed, Bitcoins will steadily rise in the future. Who knows? Maybe a tenth of a Bitcoin could be a small fortune someday.
Earning Satoshis while fishing.
Perhaps my favorite feature of Dragon's Tale is that it is constantly in development. One can tell quite easily that the creator, Teppy (the leading designer of A Tale in the Desert, known in-game as Di) really enjoys making the game and adding new features. In fact, being added quite soon is a new feature that allows you to collect rare herbs around the game's island and earn Bitcoins for them – certainly something to check out in the next few days. If there is something wrong with the game, talk to Di and he will find a fix for it as best he can.
Dragon's Tale is a fun-filled game that has many different things to do in it, and as one of the only sources of free Bitcoins left on the Web, it is fairly important. However, you shouldn't take my word for it. Make an account and see what you think! For those with slow mining speeds it may make you money faster than mining ever could.
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