October 2021 was a memorable month for Yield Guild as the much-anticipated YGG Community Airdrop finally launched, rewarding a cohort of YGG’s earliest and most active supporters. To celebrate the full token unlock starting, January 19, YGG’s Chief Product Officer, Zee, explains the planning and execution that went into the airdrop. He also gives us a behind-the-scenes look at the design and inspiration for it and shares a few hints about YGG’s future plans.
As a member of the core team, Zee (referred to as “Zee | YGG” on YGG’s Discord) plays a critical role in assuring that the operations and interests of the guild, its scholarship managers, and its community managers are aligned with the broader objectives of YGG.
Drawn to collectible playing cards like Pokémon since his childhood, Zee was also fascinated by the fantasy world and vintage art style of games like Magic: The Gathering and Dungeons & Dragons. From there, he became interested in the MMO guild aspect of World of Warcraft, which laid a solid foundation for YGG and the idea of working together towards achieving a common goal while having fun as a community.
Zee first learned about cryptocurrencies through Ethereum in 2016, which eventually led him to discover Axie Infinity. The game, with its unique art style and game mechanics, got him hooked and he soon ranked as a top 3 player on the Axie Infinity leaderboard. This is how he met future YGG co-founder Gabby Dizon — through the Axie Infinity Discord, where they discussed concepts including play-to-earn, NFTs, the rise of scholarships, and Gabby’s breakthrough idea behind Yield Guild and his vision for it.
Zee’s knowledge of gaming guilds and his deep understanding of how they function as a collective aligned with YGG’s grand vision of being a gaming guild in the Metaverse, which is why he decided to join YGG and help further that same goal.
The Inspiration and the Design
The community airdrop was designed to celebrate YGG’s milestones and to reward and acknowledge members who were building the foundations for the DAO’s future at a crucial time of growth. Eligible members of the community received two NFTs, the YGG Sword (Founder’s Sword) and Shield (Defender of the Guild), which had YGG tokens vested in them..
YGG has been working with NFT artist Sushinobi to create some YGG-branded NFTs. And as the team wanted to present a unique fantasy-inspired NFT airdrop, this led to the creation of YGG Sword and Shield NFTs.
This specific design of the NFTs ties back to the YGG logo, which was inspired by the Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. As Zee puts it, “For me, the word ‘guild’ really describes a personal and nostalgic experience, taking me back all the way to my days playing World of Warcraft and even beyond that. The word has a historical reference as well, dating back to medieval times where people used to form guilds to achieve specific initiatives and to push different ideations.” With this, several crafted Swords and Shields represent a faction’s guild or army. The Sword and the Shield NFTs are the common denominators that represent the sense of fighting for something greater than oneself, using the Shield to protect or the Sword to attack.
Moreover, YGG also sees its players as crusaders in the Metaverse who are playing games for a purpose. This key value is then represented in the Founder’s Sword, which signifies empowerment, while the Shield (Defender of the Guild) symbolizes a sense of community.
The YGG Sword itself gained inspiration from King Arthur’s sword Excalibur, which, according to legend, held magical powers and decided the rightful monarch of Britain. On the Sword, it says “Into the Metaverse,” which is to communicate that as a guild, it is time to enter, journey and protect the Metaverse. At the top of the hilt an “AXS” gem offers kudos to YGG’s beginnings with Axie Infinity.
The Shield’s design takes inspiration from the World of Warcraft alliance shield. On the front, “YGG” is engraved in a medieval style, taking inspiration from the fantasy book and TV series “Game of Thrones.” On the back, the “Y” logo shows respect to the YGG token. Meanwhile, a closer look reveals a team of three Axies, which is a nod to YGG’s Axie Infinity scholars and the journey that they have shared with the community thus far.
The Founder’s Sword and Defender of the Guild NFTs have been designed to have long-term utility in the YGG DAO, which will be revealed soon. They will have greater functionality than simply being NFTs that carry and dispense YGG tokens.
Since the Founder’s Sword, Shield, Founder’s Coin, Guild Badge and other YGG NFTs have always had a fantasy element to them, more fantasy-inspired NFTs may be revealed as YGG visualizes what it will look like as its own universe.
Interestingly, the initial airdrop was planned to be a token airdrop via an NFT voucher, similar to the ones created by Solv Finance, with vesting schedules. The decision to create vesting schedules for the token airdrops was made thoughtfully by the YGG team to disperse the distribution of tokens over a longer period of time.
The YGG tokens delivered via the airdrop were designed to vest over a three-month period with the full token unlock taking place on January 19, 2022. To gamify the process, YGG gave recipients the choice to decide when to claim their airdrop along with a range of options, creating a sense of progression with the vesting time.
Being Part of the Community
Yield Guild only had 1,000 Discord members when it released the Founder’s Coin NFT, the first major guild initiative, which were claimed by 300 people. Fast-forward a couple of months later, and now YGG is over 80,000 members strong with 18,800 Guild Badge NFTs created. During this time, YGG has seen its community band together and help onboard new members, creating one of the most inclusive communities for people to join and learn about crypto, NFTs and play-to-earn.
YGG has always stood for the concept of rewarding members that contribute towards building the guild and have invested their time helping the community grow, and that was seen with the airdrop that rewarded the people who contributed significantly to the YGG ecosystem early on. A community that organically sustains and grows itself is the vision, and in order to achieve that kind of growth for a guild, it is important that they are provided with the tools needed to succeed. This idea will become more apparent in the future, as YGG continues to incentivize the community to keep building.
The best way to get involved in YGG is to join its Discord community and ask questions. YGG’s Discord has a lot of community helpers and leaders, and there are plans to have game ambassadors and community experts on some of YGG’s partnered games. Anyone can help build with YGG, and YGG is always looking to maintain a community-first mindset and acknowledge and reward those who bring value to the guild.