Difky Grant Proposal

Description

Difky is a powerful and sophisticated Quality of Life (QoL) bot for DFK.

It runs on your local machine, and can manage multiple wallets. All operating systems are supported and has a simple installation process, you just download and run the bot.

Difky has been battle tested with thousands of heroes and constant, iterative, development since the dawn of questing. The amount of experience, gotchas and optimizations implemented on Difky are simply unmatched.

Difky will only focus on questing and if it makes sense, PVE, but would not engage in PvP automation. We don’t believe it’ll even be possible as that’s the kind of gameplay that promotes human intuition and intelect and renders botting obsolete.

Difky is a paid service, subscription based, depending on your hero count.

Difky released to the public last week, levelling the playing field for every DFK player.

Grant Rationale

It has been long debated how the gameplay of DFK has not received any meaningful upgrade since its creation. Questing, has largely remained the same tedious process of queueing up your heroes and collecting them every 8 hours or less in the cases of training quests, fishing and foraging.

On a large hero count, which is the main target group of Difky, it is hardly fun questing. Rather, questing is largely considered a mindless click, time-sink game. And reality is, large hero-count holders cannot afford the time to properly utilize their assets.

People have lives, families a job to take care of. At about 50+ heroes, it becomes a challenge to quest them on a daily basis. People have to run their lives around DFK. That can’t be the expectation DFK has from its players, can it?

It has also become clear to everyone, that the “Championship Program” is a very long way ahead. Personally, I would be surprised if I see the Championship Program land before Mid to Late 2023 based on the recently updated roadmap.

But even with the championship program, we would have to see if it can deliver according to our highly competitive expectations. It might also be the case that for the engaged, hands-on players, the championship program will not work. But that remains to be seen.

Meanwhile, we are exhausting our user-base and big-rollers suffer from fatigue. I am fairly confident that should DFK run an elaborate and extensive survey, we would discover that many of the players / investors that have left DFK, did so due to the current state of the gameplay.

Questions to Consider

There are a few questions to be considered when debating the topic of automation on DFK…

  1. Do we expect the players who are most heavily invested in the game, in the form of heroes, to do a poor job managing them?
  2. Do we expect large hero holders to dedicate a substantial portion of their day, managing their heroes? Including scheduling everything around their cooldowns?

If the answer is yes to both of these questions, then, what exactly is it that we expect players to do when they have a large hero count?

If our expectation is “they should know better before they bought those heroes” … don’t we essentially disincentivize players from holding large stakes on DFK and consequently amounts of heroes?

Here is a revealing, spontaneous reaction of a user after they used Difky for a day, verbatim:

I feel a great sense of peace this morning now I have 76 heroes I don’t have to babysit anymore. So much time back!

A few last thoughts on the subject of considerations.

  1. First, an insight, the way large hero count holders build their hero roster, is not by infusing funds on DFK, but rather channeling their rewards into summoning heroes. I am talking about the jewel being unlocked, the heroes sold, quest loot sold, etc. Would we prefer those rewards to be dumped for stable coins and removed from DFK’s market cap?
  2. Second, do not be surprised that the only reason most high-hero count holders are still engaged with the game is due to automation of their fleet of heroes. It is what it is, and I don’t make the reality. How do we want to approach this? Pitchfork and oust the high hero rollers? Bring everyone to our measure and level so we can all be equals? What is our goal?
  3. Considering we are now in it for the long-haul. The one thing that is going to happen is that every single player of DFK today, will raise their hero count. Until we manage to reach valhalla, which the pvp is considered, we’d all have probably trippled if not more our hero count. How exactly do you envision managing 300 or 600 heroes given todays state of the in-game UI?

Decentralization and MEV

One of the biggest reasons for the existing anti-bot sentiment across the community, boils down to lack of understanding of the environment DFK operates on.

DFK is not a web2 time-sink game, with a closed-source, Terms of Service and a proprietary API that’s protected to the Nth degree.

DFK is a web3 application, run on top of the blockchain, with its entire backend AND database exposed in the public. For those not familiar with the terms, “backend” is the part of the software that “runs the game”, and database is where the “persistent memory” of the game is stored (things like the stats of your heroes or your inventory).

Let’s see how this fundamentally changes the playing field, as we’ve been accustomed to perceive it until today, enter MEV:

What is MEV?

Anyone with sufficient experience on crypto and decentralized systems, will readily inform you that in a wide sense, “the cost of decentralization is MEV”. To express this in simpler terms, what it means for DFK, is “As long as there is room for value to be extracted in an automated manner from DFK, there will be actors who automate and have an edge over the others”.

This is just the way it is. There are no number of policies, rules or wishful thinking that can prevent this as long as the game operates on the blockchain. Banning accounts is a slippery slope and the reality is, that even this, ultimate measure, is barely adequate. The next minute a new account is created. And then you enter into an ever lasting cat & mouse game with the MEV folks being always one or more steps ahead.

How does Difky Battle MEV?

So the question that you should ask yourselves now is: Do we want to keep automation the privilege of the elite few?

The Ethereum community, handled this issue very elegantly by introducing “Flashbots”. A service that for a small fee, will guarantee the safety of your transactions and eliminated MEV malicious actors.

That’s the parallel I am drawing to what Difky has to offer to the DFK community. It levels the playing field between the malicious MEV actors and the entire DFK playerbase.

What can DFK do to Battle MEV?

How can we beat giving an edge to people who can automate? Render automation obsolete.

For example, if DFK implemented week long quests, there would be no edge to be had by automation. There are many more suggestions to be made here, but they are kind of out of scope of this proposal.

As a final note, Difky, can be used regardless of hero count. No longer do only a few have an unfair advantage over the many. Anyone can signup and benefit from Difky. Right now it is free for up to 20 heroes, something that will change in the future when automated billing is rolled-out.

Team Information

Hi :wave:! I am Thanos. I am a family man in my 40s and I am a seasoned engineer. I have “retired” to web3 after a fulfilling and rewarding career in Web2. During my career I helped navigate startups through brutal hardships and held the keys to kingdom come of many businesses and dreams.

My Open Source work exceeds 200 repositories on Github ( https://github.com/thanpolas/) and more than 50 published packages on NPM ( https://www.npmjs.com/~thanpolas). I am also the author of an open source library for DFK, that is the scaffolding of an SDK ( https://github.com/degen-heroes/degenking ).

I am a moderator on the (third-party) DFK Developers discord and I have received grants for my Open Source and private contributions from Uniswap, Synthetix, Balancer and AAVE.

Today, I work full-time producing tools, services and content for DFK.

I am fully doxed. If you google me, which I recommend you do, you will find dozens and dozens of pages of my community contributions on every imaginable setting (open source, meetups, conferences, etc). It’s just what I love doing, helping people. Start here: https://thanpol.as/.

Risks & Security

In my professional carreer I helped companies navigate through security policies and certifications. I’ve implemented from start to finish an Information Security Management System and certified the company I was working as a CTO through the painful ISO27001 certification.

Outcome is, I am very much aware of how the Information Security Industry operates and feel right at home working with Risk assessment matrices, their mitigations and enforcing the needed controls and policies.

As such, I am employing by default very strict password policies (30+ chars, 2FA everywhere, Password manager), as well as be actively mindful of my security operations.

Difky, is distributed through a chain of trust, involving signing binary distributables with my PGP signature and verifying them on delivery via locally and publicly stored keys. There are multiple redundancies in the built-in security systems to ensure the security of our customers.

I would be delighted and invite the DFK Team representatives, to go through the policies and mitigations as well as go through a full-audit of the operations end to end.

Requests from DFK Team

  • Educate the community around the environment DFK operates on.
  • Do not demonize and marginalize third-party developers who offer great services to the ecosystem (item markets, hero buy order bots, apps that interact with DFK).
  • Create a positive and friendly environment for DFK Builders so they are equiped with the resources they need, are able to promote their services and be welcomed and appreciated by the DFK Community, moderators and DFK team members.

Grant Amount

I ask for 1J as a symbolic gesture by the team.

I offer 30% of all proceeds to be transferred to the “Quest Rewards Fund” for redistribution to the players of the game.

Payment Schedule

The 1J can be paid upon completion of the automated billing.

Deliverables

Difky is already delivered and operational. The work that remains to be done is automating billing and should this proposal be accepted, auto-send the 30% of proceeds to the DFK Questing Treasury.

Timeline with Milestones

Automated billing should be operational be the end of July 2022.

Long Term Plan

Difky will keep up to date with every new release from the Game. And more and more existing operations will be automated so as to offer the best possible experience and rewards to its users. A few of the epics (features) that are on the roadmap are:

  • Automatically listing heroes for sale on an auction style (from price - to price - within x timespan). Pulling them out of sale when stamina is replenished to quest and listing back again after questing.
  • Predefine desired stats to level up heroes with and automatically leveling them up according to your instructions.
  • Mass selling your items inventory on the market for Gold.
  • Automatic summon with the best match found from your wallet[s] or rental market.
  • Produce a desktop version with a built-in User Interface.

External Links

Difky’s operations and information are all on Difky’s discord. I will not be linking to anything related to Difky out of respect for the wish of DFK Team to not condone auto-questing bots.

Should this proposal be approved, relevant links and resources will be shared.

File Uploads

difky-gif2

16 Likes

Extremely well written post with great rationale. I hope the team looks at this with an open mind and realizes that as stated here , not allowing botting for questing or having it as a grey area only benefits a few people and also forces others to leave the game because of the time demands of questing

9 Likes

Sunbear and I will involve the team and start our review for you this week. Excited to see how the community engages and where we can go with this proposal

10 Likes

Making these type of QoL bots available to everyone is imo something that should be celebrated. The way the quests are done currently is too time consuming if you have more than a handful of heros. I’d rather spend more time trying to find cool summoning pairs or playing with level upgrades, crafting, etc.

4 Likes

I support this being mainstream at some compacity after peer review.
Well done!

1 Like

I agree with PianoMan, given that this is not a grant proposal but a request and argument for a change in the DFK stance on botting quests, and a proposed partnership for fee sharing, I am forwarding this message to the leadership team and bizdev team to review.

2 Likes

Well written post Thanpolas, and I agree with you.

I have written down some thoughts after playing the game a lot and owning a lot of heroes.

Imo DFK is a Hero manager game. Where the engaging gameplay is theory crafting and the best of use of resources.
Which Heroes are the best to breed, and what partners should you choose? Also, should you level your hero for pve/pvp or professions, and should you send them on pve/pvp missions, gathering quests or training.
We will also soon have duels and after that PVE/PVP and maybe additional minigames.

If you recognize that a large part of the DFK game is and will be a hero manager game, it is clear to me that this is one of the best games to allow “botting”. It does not hurt anyone else or the economy if people use a bot to press confirm 100 times a day, or if they do it manually. It also does not hurt the game experience of anyone else if people are using bots instead of clicking manually. In most games like for instance WOW, bots are a bad experience for the other players, as they disrupt the MMO feel, and can hurt your own game experience if they for instance farm an area you would like to farm etc. This is however not true for a game like DFK, where no one are hurt or impacted, or even know if anyone else are using a bot to help them click confirm 1000 times a day. You do not get any advantage by botting, since all the actions are gated by stamina. It is just a quality of life improvement, that allow players with many heroes to focus on the aspects of the game they find fun, instead of being forced to sit and click confirm several hours each day.

I do believe that DFK can be one of the best Hero manager and resource management games ever, and that that type of gameplay have a long durability. As time goes on, most DFK players will get a large number of heroes, and therefore the clicking time can be tedious and boring, and in time turn people away from the game, or at least not wanting to own very many heroes.

I feel the DFK team should embrace this and work together with the community developers and formally allow “Difky” and similar projects, and maybe even make their own in game automated questing helper.

3 Likes

I also agree with this great post and the comments before me. I seriously considered selling most of my heroes when the previous autoquesters got stopped by the team, and there’s no way I can manually manage all of them, at the moment. So until the championships program is fully operational, it would be great if the team could be a bit more supportive of such third-party initiatives.

1 Like

I think this is a great idea and would like to see more than one kingdom included (when Professions/Quests are available in expansions, for example).

Having a lot of heroes in one kingdom is almost a full time job (or hobby). Imagine controlling a large roster of heroes in 2, 3 or 4 future expansions… (wen Professions in Crystalvale?)

Anything that would help automate some mundane/routine tasks would be really helpful and help retain more long term players.

I know the team is working on the champions program and might find it conflicting with these kinds of questing bots, but in my opinion if this were put up to a community vote an overwhelming number would vote in favor of these tools being a public good.

Also, please correct me if I am wrong thanpolas, but this bot would not work with hardware wallets because you would need to confirm each transaction on the hardware wallet which would make this bot useless right?

However in the champions program, it is heros that are ‘lent or controlled’ by another party within dfk I would guess, which would allow people with hardware wallets to let someone else quest for them manually, is that correct?

If both those assumptions are right then I think it would be a great compromise since many players want to stay safe with hardware wallets but also want the questing to be done for them. Many I’m sure who would be willing to pay for it such as myself as I would rather not compromise security over time saved if I had a choice. That would herd bigger wallets and players who want to pay for security to use the champions program over a bot while still allowing smaller players to use bots such as these. These are all technical assumptions on my part, would like to hear your thoughts @thanpolas and whoever else has knowledge of the champions program @SunBear @pianoman

hey everyone, thank you for your kind words and support.

@C5000 appreciate your questions, allow me to further elaborate:

this bot would not work with hardware wallets

That is correct. The bot would need to be able to sign transactions and the only way to do this is to have the private key of the account (Address). That key is requested during onboarding from the bot and is encrypted and stored encrypted on the hard-disk. The private-key encryption employs various techniques and methods to ensure that it won’t be trivial to decrypt the key and compromise the account.

We do advise our clients to use a brand new account for Difky that they don’t use anywhere else, for good measure.

And also please do note that a “private key” belongs only to a single account and is completely different from your “seed phrase” that has access to all of your (metamask) accounts. We never ask for your seed phrase, only a private-key of the account you want to be managed by Difky.

However in the champions program, it is heros that are ‘lent or controlled’ by another party within dfk I would guess, which would allow people with hardware wallets to let someone else quest for them manually, is that correct?

Yes, that is correct. This works with smart-contracts deployed on the blockchain. You give permission to these contracts to use and manage your heroes and it all happens in a “trustless” way.


And you are correct c5000, that Difky requires a big amount of trust as well as good security practices by the end-user. It is not for everyone. Difky is a “trustfull” solution where trust needs to exist between the end-user and me personally delivering the software solution.

I address trust by being doxed and through the long and rich past of my professional career. The other point that I like to make in terms of trust is that the risk involved here, the worst case scenario if your account is compromised, is to lose your heroes and locked jewel (you shouldn’t keep anything else on these accounts). Both of these assets (heroes and LJ) are highly illiquid, so they hardly pose a tempting target for a malicious actor. As we’ve already seen with the known hack of Ogre, the attacker’s account got locked by Harmony and the assets froze. Similarly, if heroes were to be stolen, DFK Team has all the means and ways to handle that and ensure that the attacker[s] never benefit from that action.

There is an alternative to Difky that is “trustless” and it involved smart-contracts to which you work with exactly as you would with the Championship Program. These contracts are open-source and verifiable that they are not malicious. You send move your heroes to these contracts to manage them and receive your questing rewards in return. The service is called DFKEarn and was the first public auto-questing service.

Both architectures have their pros and cons, I could speak all day about them but I think it’d be a bit out of the scope of this proposal.

I hope I’ve answered your questions.

1 Like

Thanks for your detailed reply thanpolas

Another scenario is bigger players who want to put money in the gardens and need a way for gardeners to be automatically run on the account. In that kind of scenario I would think many users would be keeping such funds on a hardware wallet but also get tired of gardening at some point as well. It is there and in similar scenarios that I think there is a use for champions program. In most other cases Difky would be great

Also seeing as things like dfkduel will not require stamina, the champions program might allow someone else to quest for you, while you could play duels or other minigames whenever you want for fun. By having a clear usecase for both champions and Difky, it helps both the big wallets and the everyday dfk user imo. This should allow the team to see that by allowing these tools, it does not conflict too much with the champions program and in fact levels the playingfield for the everyday user

Looks like an amazing project, hope to see it become an official feature of DFK in the future! :heart_eyes:

Great Project!! I will support for sure!!

1 Like

I agree with the sentiments of this proposal and hope it is approved. As have been conveyed in the message, I had all but given up on questing. It became a chore, and after time, lost any glimmer of fun and excitement. The timesink became tedious and wasnt worth the effort, in my opinion. Difky has shown that it is a necessary tool to even the playing field and to keep people like me relavant in a protocol I have been around since before any product was launched.

1 Like

With over 200 heroes, it is taking too many hours daily to do questing. I personally think DFK should allow auto quest setup within the game, so we can dedicate a set of heroes just to quest. Then we can focus on other important aspects in the game such as PvP, PvE, Summoning, etc. I hope DFK team can hear the feedback from the users.

1 Like

I think your appearance on innergrove to explain the rationale was great. At this point I think its a consensus opinion that botting can not be stopped, esp in such a web3 game, and that a majority of the players are also getting tired of questing. If DFK is going in the DAO direction that frisky mentioned many times, eventually things like allowing botting for all users would come to a vote and would most likely pass.

Most of the players want to focus on the fun stuff like summoning, dueling or competitive aspects of building up an army. Hope the team realizes this sooner rather than later. The longer they wait to address this, the larger the gap gets between people who are tired of questing and ones who are running quests on automation

2 Likes

Thanos, I am sold. With the macro economics of today, I am lucky and I was able to expand my hero base and I’m currently running into the issues you speak about. There is definitely a lot of education that needs to be done around this topic. Being from a non-tech background and fairly new to crypto, everything in this space is a learning experience. I love DFK. I’m hooked. But questing has become tedious at points. Some days I can’t wait to do it. Other days, I have more important things or family stuff. I love summoning and leveling. And, of course, pets. I hope this gains traction. I will definitely be watching the progress. Good luck!

2 Likes