My attempts to "pay to win" before any data wipe

Discussion in 'Card Hunter General Chat' started by Sir Knight, Jan 30, 2013.

  1. Sir Knight

    Sir Knight Sir-ulean Dragon

    We've discussed how we can buy as much pizza as we want with fake money since PayPal is only in sandbox mode (during beta). I'd rather not mess up my understanding of the game by just going crazy, but we know that all progress will be wiped at some point. I've had plenty of good clean fun; therefore, I figured I'd try to "abuse the system" and "pay to win" for a bit, and I'll report the results here.

    The plan:

    I have a level-14 party developed through single-player. All classes and races. Six clear talents, no bronze talents. I'm stuck at Return to the Astral Shrine.

    I just "bought" 2500 pizza slices.

    I will purchase every multiplayer pack (I already got one with the pizza handed out by the devs), unlock treasure hunt locations (I already got two), and probably buy multiplayer treasure chests as well. I'll avoid playing treasure hunts that would give me XP, because I don't want to jump above level 14 for this test.

    I'll turn duplicate items (bought for pizza) into gold to buy yet more equipment.

    Then I'll head back to the Astral Shrine, do multiplayer, and/or whatever else occurs to me.

    Sound fun? Anyone is welcome to try the same, so long as you don't mind the mess.
    ParodyKnaveBob and j-wiz like this.
  2. jsutcliffe

    jsutcliffe Kobold

    hi sir knight. i might be a little behind here but did you just say i can buy as much pizza as i like and it wont ask me for money??
  3. Wozarg

    Wozarg Thaumaturge

    Doing something similar just breaking the pizza chest and so far i have gotten 1 item that is a pure upgrade and 1 item that i imagine is very good in pvp that is after opening chests for 2000 pizza other then that just a ton of sidegrades and stuff i doubt i will use. The biggest pay to win thing is i can vendor the items i get from the chest for gold which i guess is paying to win to some people despite gold not holding any real value over pizza.

    I would suggest limiting pizza chests to a set number a day or personally remove them but at least limit them.
  4. Ponyboy

    Ponyboy Orc Soldier

    When I get int0 the beta I'm gonna try to play "legit" first, then see how much pizza I need to "buy" to have the most fun and/or have a chance in mp.
  5. Wozarg

    Wozarg Thaumaturge

    Both me and sir had plenty time playing it legit so we don't have to worry but i do recomend not ruining the experience if you just get in now!
  6. Sir Knight

    Sir Knight Sir-ulean Dragon

    First, to answer: the beta uses PayPal Sandbox, which I didn't know existed until recently. It looks identical to a normal PayPal screen and will even ask for account/credit card things. After a lot of fiddling, and trusting Blue Manchu's site security despite a certificate being invalid (not an activity for everyone), I got lots of pizza.

    Now, the immediate results of my purchases. I didn't NEED to purchase multiplayer packs to do this math (you can preview them before you buy), but nonetheless the deed is done. For 200 pizza slices (around $4.00) for the full set of 5, I got items with:

    Talent costs
    Two bronze - 4
    One bronze, one clear - 15
    One bronze - 17
    Two clear - 8
    One clear - 48
    None - 48

    Rare - 21
    Uncommon - 37
    Common - 82

    For a new player in single-player mode with no talents, that's around 1/3 of the items usable. For a lower-mid-level user (me) with clear talents and no bronze talents, that's around 3/4 usable. 1/4, at minimum, are useful only for multiplayer until somebody plays beyond level 14.

    Rarity is interesting; I have to wonder if it's representative of loot rate, what with "rare" and "uncommon" being so similar. Presumably not. Regardless, the total selling value is 261 gold. That's 65.25 gold per dollar.

    Other notes:

    Possibly due to item re-balancing, some multiplayer characters have impossible builds. In "Fierce Dwarf," Smasher has one clear talent too many. In "Classic Adventurers," Hurthin also has one clear too many. Both of these show a Dwarf Skill equipped with no talent on it even though the item itself has a cost.

    And by selling duplicate items, I myself made 81 gold. I will add this to the total from treasure hunt adventures when I get to testing.
  7. Ponyboy

    Ponyboy Orc Soldier

    Isn't this a Judas Priest song?

    "Breakin' the game, breakin' the game!"
  8. imMara

    imMara Mushroom Warrior

    Yo Knight, care to explain in some detail how you achieve the free pizza thing? The sandbox site is a bit confusing, as in completely bananas.

    Care not to answer, for I have champion thy problems. My party looks quite bad ass now.
  9. Sir Knight

    Sir Knight Sir-ulean Dragon

    Well, so long as you're set. The "sandbox" thing is, in fact, weird.

    So I'm planning treasure hunts in order to do them later (I don't have much time right now). I already did The Defense of Woodhome (level 6) and got the final loot (Woodhome's Wound). Already did Forest of Souls (level 7)--and, in fact, I got a duplicate of the final loot (Oakenheart Shield) from elsewhere during normal play.

    I have now purchased Order of the Core (level 8), Return to Woodhome (level 9), The Sinister Wood (level 10), (do I have to unlock level 11?), Temple of Scales (level 12), High Mountain Pass (level 13), Lord Batford's Manor (level 14), (do I have to unlock level 15?), and Cliffs of the Wyverns (level 16). I will not play Temple of Scales or higher as they would cause my party to gain XP and level-up, adding a confound to my results when I go back to regular adventuring. So, for practical purposes, I spent 120 pizza (or I will once I unlock the level 11 adventure), which is $2.40. I don't remember how much gold I made from the level 6 and 7 places, but I can estimate from another play (and add the epic loot value).

    It's worth noting that the lowest for-pay adventure is level 6. However much gold (and XP) new players can get by unlocking everything, it's worthless if they don't have a party that can earn it.
  10. imMara

    imMara Mushroom Warrior

    Well, after a few pizzas (400) and a few chests. It became abundantly clear. I'm sure they will change the system, because as of now, the system is broken. Pay to Win at it's worst. I actually sold all the stuff I got, most of it super rare items with amazing effects. Is not pretty, and I don't want this game to become boring by having overly strong cards at this stage. So I sold it all.

    One thing that surprised me was the fact buying a starter pack on MP, would translates back to the single player adventure along with all the items and characters. I really hope they change everything about this.
  11. Sir Knight

    Sir Knight Sir-ulean Dragon

    Hey guess what? I'm distractible.

    So I took a moment and purchased treasure chest after treasure chest until I had exactly 100 items. That is, I bought 20 chests. I spent 600 pizza slices, or around $12.00, and I got:

    Legendary - 4
    Epic - 8
    Rare - 12
    Uncommon - 14
    Common - 62

    That's a value of 710 gold, or 59.17 per dollar. Ideally I'd get more like 1000 items so I could trust the percentages better, but what I have here is very interesting.

    Earlier, I got the value of 65.25 gold per dollar for material equipped on starter pack characters; presumably those values weren't representative. These treasure chest values surely aren't representative either: they say you're guaranteed a minimum of one rare, which we know is far from the case anywhere else.

    . . . Right? I mean, my understanding of probabilities from a DM's perspective is that "60% for commons ain't common enough." A classic D&D text put common at 75%, uncommon at 20%, rare at 4%, and ultra rare at 1%. Maybe Card Hunter does use a D&D-like system by default, and it is the "guaranteed one rare" that pushes these chests over. If somehow I'm wrong, then I repeat my suggestion that epic and legendary items should be more rare than this.

    Anyway, the general consensus is you can buy 60-ish gold for $1.00. By extension, you can purchase an epic item from an in-game store for $8.33. I'll get to actual adventures sometime (/someday).
    ParodyKnaveBob and Farbs like this.
  12. TheRev

    TheRev Orc Soldier

    You know the only really crazy part is the chest (Treasure Shop). That is just so crazy powerful of a bonus that it kinda blows everything else away. Other then that (MP Packs with stuff for max levels... or extra dungeons) I don't think are "that" bad, but that chest... that is just crazy.

    Btw.. Nice call Sir Knight had no idea about this.

    Edit: Just to note, I do think most the equipment is well balanced by ability points (The Epics are kinda close, and not counting the legendary), but this might be a good time to fill up the Wiki with information since ya will have access to lots of new equipment.
  13. Sir Knight

    Sir Knight Sir-ulean Dragon

    I've thought about it more, and I think now that I've done all the testing I need: buying items was productive, and I won't learn much more on my quest to use money to beat Return to the Astral Shrine. I believe the answer, again, comes in the talent system.

    As stated, I'm at level 14 with several clear talents and no bronze talents. I'm guessing that I get my first bronze talent at level 15.

    With money, I've acquired plenty of clear-talent items. I've found exactly two clear-talent cards that can help: Lightning Bolt and Thunderblast, both of which Stun.

    I've acquired plenty of bronze-talent items I can't use. But they have Impenetrable Nimbus, Toughness, Anvil Strike (another Stun), and what I'd THOUGHT I needed: attack cards that just plain do more damage. Staggering Blow is a nice double-whammy, doing damage and discard, and I remember how it mysteriously vanished from a clear-talent item I have during an update. Is it now bronze-exclusive?

    No matter how much (fake) money I spend, I don't think I'm going to beat Return to the Astral Shrine until I get a bronze talent. That is, until I stop being stubborn and play the game so that I level-up.

    This is what we wanted. And it mirrors the situation with multiplayer packs: for a new player, only 1/3 of the contents have no talent restrictions, so the rest are impetus to play the darn game already (in single-player).

    There are two lingering issues, though. First is the gold value. This, I'm sure, can be improved by revising the real-money cost of pizza, and editing the treasure chest item rarity.

    Second is . . . well, something that's tangential to the discussion by now. Return to the Astral Shrine might be best if moved to level 15. Bronze talents, people.
    ParodyKnaveBob and Scyrax like this.
  14. Wozarg

    Wozarg Thaumaturge

    My main issue is still just with the pvp chest i think its fine as it is if the items are pvp only somehow and it would be acceptable if it had a limit of say 1 use per day but as it is right now I'm not comfortable with it.
  15. skip_intro

    skip_intro Ogre

    I've done a similar exercise to Sir Knight but from a slightly lower xp level - I have many lvl 10 characters, with a smattering of others from 1 - 7.

    I did the Treasure chest spam stuff and found that I recycled about 1/3 of the items, kept 1/3 for later, due to talent requirements, kept 1/6 because they looked pretty / completing sets and found 1/6 to be useful now in PvE.

    I will have to go through and see how the new gear affects PvP, but I don't think that is a massive game changer. You get more options and choices of course, but you're still restricted by slots and talent requirements, even at lvl18.
  16. TheRev

    TheRev Orc Soldier

    4 xp from level 15... Just trying to get that last little bit. lol Those items with the Bronze Talents (Didn't actually know the name for them lol) look cool.
  17. SurgeonFish

    SurgeonFish Automaton Moderator Staff Member

    Nice deduction Sir Knight.
  18. TheRev

    TheRev Orc Soldier

    Well what if they did something like simply made it where you couldn't sell it to the market? or if you could anything from that chest was 1 gold? That might solve the gold issue, as you can make a lot from that chest and just buy everything.

    You can also do challenges, and buy from the store to get some of those same items. A lot of what I got I already had though admittedly I am not that great with challenges. Some I definitely didn't have, and I haven't seen in shops since I started. That is kinda worrisome, as I might just be unlucky, but some of the things looked like they didn't appear in the shops?

    Personally if it was for PVP only I wouldn't care. As someone who isn't really all about my PVP rank (As I am sure a lot of us are) it isn't something I really worry about too much. But then again... who is going to spend 30 pizza on something they can't use in single player?
  19. Wozarg

    Wozarg Thaumaturge

    Well notice how the pizza chest is in the pvp area that is most likely since like the premade pvp sets it is intended for people that dont want to bother with pve and just want to pvp. Not sure how much work this would take and how upset people would be but i would like to see all items gained straight up from paying pizza being pvp only locked. So pizza chest premade packs and drafting once they add that.
  20. Sir Knight

    Sir Knight Sir-ulean Dragon

    And one more thing about limiting the usefulness of items bought with real money. The talent system limits it one way, while the "gold price is based on the item's level relative to your level" system is another:
    Suppose a new player with more money than sense had just completed the tutorials and was sitting at level 2. Suddenly, Axes and Things stocked three copies of Vigun's Blessed Blade: level 6 epic Divine Weapon, no talent cost, with three copies of Strong Hack. A lovely item I continue to use at higher levels. Suppose the new player then said "Who cares about character progression? I'm gonna buy all of those, put them on an all-Priest party, and hack everything to the ground."

    Epic item (500) * number of levels' difference (4) = 2000 gold. Buying and selling treasure chests in order to fund it, that's $33.33 for ONE game-changing item, or over 56 treasure chests' worth of items bought and pawned. Basically, in those 56 chests, you'd FIND more game-changing items than Vigun's Blessed Blade before you could afford to buy it directly.

    I think that's interesting and it casts everything in a different light. It's very hard to "jump ahead in the power curve," as Jon says. I think, again, the remaining issues are with rarity--and, perhaps, with how treasure chests are currently unlimited.

    Perhaps multiplayer packs, which are also unlimited, could be set to 1 per player. After all, how many copies of the adventurers that come with the packs do you need? Then some other limitation on for-pizza treasure chests is up for debate.

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