What are non-visual traits?
Tomjohn | Blergs
January 23rd, 2022

I work with data. 

Well, I’m the designer at Basedash, which is a startup that works with databases & data structures.

Most of the work I do is around making data, that otherwise wouldn’t be accessible or useful, well, accessible, useful, and editable to companies and their employees.

With PFPs, traits are the data. They’re hats, colors, face shapes, eyes, and accessories, but they’re also the means for determining rarity, grouping mechanisms, value, and a sublayer of exclusivity. But it doesn’t have to end with what we see.

The loot project was the first that I’m aware of that pushed this idea. If traits are just words on a page, then why can’t they literally just be words on a page. It started a shift in mindset that spawned dozens or hundreds of other projects overnight.

Developer Dao, The N project, Bloot, Space loot, this loot that loot. There were 2 weeks (or was it 2 days) where everyone was spinning up new ideas on the same concept.

What if traits weren’t visual?

What if NFTs were just the metadata?

Those were interesting, but I wanted to see if Blergs could use that same mechanic to influence later phases of the project. Metadata can be used for anything and any experience. The attributes are just variables waiting to be put into an equation. So I added them to Blergs.

Blergs have 4 non-visual traits:

  • Luck
  • XP
  • Cooldown
  • Viral 


Luck is a scale of 1-100. Put simply, it’s the odds that something might happen. It’s also the odds that something might not happen.

Phase 2 of Blergs will be a loot-box mechanic, with X number of traits with Y rarity of each. These lootboxes will be mintable by anyone, but holders of Blergs with luck, well, they’ll be more lucky. This could translate to extra packs, extra traits in each pack, or extra rare traits in the packs that you get.

How far we can push this will take some technical discovery, and we’ll be working to test some of that with our community. Phase 2 is not the next drop, it’s the next milestone of the project. We’ll likely launch a drop or two to test out this mechanic before the milestone of Phase 2 is taken on.

Also, don’t fret Blerginners who are down on their luck. Your time will come. Just because you don’t have high luck doesn’t mean that you are unlucky. Like I said, it can also be the odds that something doesn’t happen.

I want to make experiences and tests that make rarity and the value of a Blerg dynamic. I don’t particularly like that only those with 1/1s or visually rare drops get all of the benefits. Don’t judge a book by it’s cover and don’t judge a Blerg by their traits for any 1 drop 


Experience points in video games are indicative of how much time you’ve spent in the game–how good you are or what kind of problems you can face. It increases over time, unlocking new experiences, skills, or traits.

This trait is going to take some exploration of how we can read and more importantly write data to the Ethereum blockchain. I don’t want to promise too much here, but my hope is that we can find a way to use the XP trait as something that’s related to how people are using, sharing, and understanding web3 tech.


Only ¼ of the Blerginning has a Cooldown trait. It’s a scale of 7-31. Holders of The Blerginning will be able to mint 1 of every NFT drop from now on for just the price of gas. Some, depending on their cooldown, will be able to mint more than 1, but only after their cooldown period has elapsed. For everyone else, it will be 1 and done or a set cooldown for the whole group.

Is that cooldown time in minutes? Hours? Days? Weeks? Right now, that’s not been decided.

Also, this type of cooldown will need to take into account the context of the drop. The Blerginning, for example, sold out in under an hour after the public sale when life (which is still crazy to me). In that situation, a cooldown of hours wouldn’t have made any difference, but a cooldown of minutes would have probably been worth something to people who really wanted to be able to get more than one pack. I don’t know if that demand will ever be there for Blergs, but I’d love for the cooldown trait to be something that appeals to the most dedicated fans of the project.


Some Blergs are viral. Some are not. It’s either true or false. 

Virality is something we’re all a little too familiar with over the last 2 years. Because something is viral, it spreads to others. But, being viral isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Being viral from a Blerg standpoint, is all about how easily a Blerg can spread something to others. Maybe that’s traits, maybe that’s even virality itself. Also, virality isn’t necessarily a permanent condition. It’s also not an indication of the degree of virality, or how easily something is transmitted. It’s also not a definition of the mechanism of transmission. Some viruses require proximity (like a biological virus), and some just require network effects (like a computer virus).

Probably nothing

Each of these concepts can, and hopefully will, be tested in the future. We’ll need to validate the capabilities and constraints of the blockchain to make them work and find the right ways to use them, so they don’t just become some worthless metadata. Also, these ideas don’t just have to stop with non-visual traits, but we could push them to the visual as well.

What does it mean to be a Pureg? What utility does one head shape give you over another? Are the 2 heads of a Gemini better than 1?

Time will tell, but I hope to make a project where we can push the data of NFTs as the primary mechanism of the experience. Jpegs are only part of the equation–they’re only a cover for the book of data that lies beneath the surface. Once we start to build on top of that data, we’ll hopefully realize that the picture is probably nothing compared to the potential of the tech.


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