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Interesting twist to the "gold problem"

I personally don't subscribe to the notion that there is a "gold problem" in the game in a global sense. As I discussed in my arena grind analysis there's plenty of gold in the arena, if you're willing to spend the time. If you can't or don't want to, that simply places you in the same position as people you can't or don't want to do dungeons (ne: incursions) or high tier AQ or competitive AW, or who can't find the time or energy to become Uncollected or Cavalier. That's a choice, and your rewards in the game will depend on those choices.

But that shouldn't be the end of the story, because it is still worth asking the question if there's something about gold that makes it, if not special, then different in a way that can generate this perception. Is there *any* way in which you could argue there is something odd about gold. And in between putting out remote access fires, I've had some time at home to analyze the game in more detail, and I think there is something worth discussing. This isn't a conclusion, but it is something I find interesting. If you *aren't* an arena grinder the game changes in a numerically noticeable way, it turns out. But it takes some analysis to get there, so if you're one of those people that don't like lengthy posts, this would be another one of mine you're not going to like.

If you aren't an arena grinder, where does your gold come from? Well, gold is in a lot of places, but after looking it over, I think the majority of gold that a player gets if they don't grind arena is basically going to come from duplicating champs and selling excess ISO. There are other places to get gold, but they don't seem to be as large, most of the time, as this one. If someone wants to itemize the rest, I'd love to see it. Or I might do it if I get stir crazy enough.

So how much gold can you get from opening champion crystals? Well, the gold comes from the immediate reward for duplicating a champ, plus the potential gold you get from selling the ISO you get for duplicating a champ. Here's a chart of what you get for duping a champ:



Except, that's not all. You also get shards when you dup a champ, and sometimes a max sig crystal. And shards are, in a sense, more champion crystals. So really, you have to account for what happens when you eventually convert those shards, and the amount can be (almost) double if you get max crystals. Factoring in that, you get:



Some crystals contain a single tier of champ, some contain ratios of different tiers. We can account for that:



That's the average gold value of those composite crystals, for the case of every dup just being a dup and every dup being a max dup. Reality will, of course, be somewhere between the two numbers. This allows us to compute the average value of all those common champion crystals:



There is a punch line coming very soon. Here's the costs to rank up every tier of champ:



We can now do something interesting. We can ask what the ratio is between the cost to max rank a champ and the gold you get from duplicating that same tier champ:



At any moment in time you're going to be getting crystals of different kinds of champs. When you first start getting, say, 3* champs most of them are new - because you don't have any. But over time a higher percentage become dups, which generate ISO and gold. For 2* champs it takes about 42 dups to get enough gold to rank a 2* to max rank. But for 3* champs that ratio is only 29. And then by the time you are at the part of the game where 4* champs are the main point of progress it only takes about 11 dups to get enough gold to rank a 4* to max rank. I recognize this is a very simplistic comparison, but I think it does validly illustrate something real. It gets easier to rank up champs from 2* to 3* to 4*. There's bound to be a sense in which the game "speeds up" when it comes to ranking champs.

5* champs reverse that trend dramatically. We don't even know what the costs will be for 6* champs because the last two ranks don't exist yet, but we can see that it will be higher for 6* champs. So if your "fuel" for ranking champs comes predominantly from duplication - to get ISO and gold - you will see a progression where fuel gets easier and easier to get up to 4* champs, and then becomes dramatically harder to get again.

There are a lot of reasons why this probably happens, which I've discussed in the past and are beyond the scope of this thread. But it does pose an interesting question regarding arena grinding's place in the game. In a sense the game makes arena grinding less and less important up to 4* rosters - say, up to about players doing Act 4 - and then becomes suddenly much more important.

It doesn't take a lot of arena to fill this gap - now. But the trend seems to be unsustainable. Perhaps we should be asking what tools we're going to need to address this upward curve over time, and start playing with them now. As I said when I started this thread, I don't subscribe to the notion that there's a "gold problem" with the game as a whole. But of course every individual player situationally has some bottleneck problem. For the specific case of gold for the players short of gold there is this extra component of the problem I think is worth Kabam's time to think about. Either the arena is going to become an increasingly mandatory game mode, or there has to be alternate sources of gold to break this curve. If not now, then eventually, because this going to scale in bad ways over time.

As I said, this is a bit of a simplified analysis that doesn't specifically account for every single detail. It is meant to illustrate one element of a more complex problem. For example, of course the gold you get from earlier tiers is going to still be coming in, and a more sophisticated analysis would try to determine the ratios of each champion you get and how that affects "carry upward" resources. But that analysis will have to wait for either myself to get more time, or someone else to dive in and continue the thought process. I felt this was sufficient to be worth discussion, not that it was the final word on the subject.

Comments

  • lowlevelplayerlowlevelplayer Posts: 4,293 ★★★★★
    Interesting. Another valuable contribution to the forums.
    Decent analysis. I don't believe that arena is necessary, just save gold crystals and don't rank up everyone. Save for a week, then rank up champions. Summoner Advancement usually nets me around 30k gold per week and that contributes a lot to my gold reserves.
  • BowTieJohnBowTieJohn Posts: 1,406 ★★★
    DNA3000 said:

    I personally don't subscribe to the notion that there is a "gold problem" in the game in a global sense. As I discussed in my arena grind analysis there's plenty of gold in the arena, if you're willing to spend the time. If you can't or don't want to, that simply places you in the same position as people you can't or don't want to do dungeons (ne: incursions) or high tier AQ or competitive AW, or who can't find the time or energy to become Uncollected or Cavalier. That's a choice, and your rewards in the game will depend on those choices.

    But that shouldn't be the end of the story, because it is still worth asking the question if there's something about gold that makes it, if not special, then different in a way that can generate this perception. Is there *any* way in which you could argue there is something odd about gold. And in between putting out remote access fires, I've had some time at home to analyze the game in more detail, and I think there is something worth discussing. This isn't a conclusion, but it is something I find interesting. If you *aren't* an arena grinder the game changes in a numerically noticeable way, it turns out. But it takes some analysis to get there, so if you're one of those people that don't like lengthy posts, this would be another one of mine you're not going to like.

    If you aren't an arena grinder, where does your gold come from? Well, gold is in a lot of places, but after looking it over, I think the majority of gold that a player gets if they don't grind arena is basically going to come from duplicating champs and selling excess ISO. There are other places to get gold, but they don't seem to be as large, most of the time, as this one. If someone wants to itemize the rest, I'd love to see it. Or I might do it if I get stir crazy enough.

    So how much gold can you get from opening champion crystals? Well, the gold comes from the immediate reward for duplicating a champ, plus the potential gold you get from selling the ISO you get for duplicating a champ. Here's a chart of what you get for duping a champ:



    Except, that's not all. You also get shards when you dup a champ, and sometimes a max sig crystal. And shards are, in a sense, more champion crystals. So really, you have to account for what happens when you eventually convert those shards, and the amount can be (almost) double if you get max crystals. Factoring in that, you get:



    Some crystals contain a single tier of champ, some contain ratios of different tiers. We can account for that:



    That's the average gold value of those composite crystals, for the case of every dup just being a dup and every dup being a max dup. Reality will, of course, be somewhere between the two numbers. This allows us to compute the average value of all those common champion crystals:



    There is a punch line coming very soon. Here's the costs to rank up every tier of champ:



    We can now do something interesting. We can ask what the ratio is between the cost to max rank a champ and the gold you get from duplicating that same tier champ:



    At any moment in time you're going to be getting crystals of different kinds of champs. When you first start getting, say, 3* champs most of them are new - because you don't have any. But over time a higher percentage become dups, which generate ISO and gold. For 2* champs it takes about 42 dups to get enough gold to rank a 2* to max rank. But for 3* champs that ratio is only 29. And then by the time you are at the part of the game where 4* champs are the main point of progress it only takes about 11 dups to get enough gold to rank a 4* to max rank. I recognize this is a very simplistic comparison, but I think it does validly illustrate something real. It gets easier to rank up champs from 2* to 3* to 4*. There's bound to be a sense in which the game "speeds up" when it comes to ranking champs.

    5* champs reverse that trend dramatically. We don't even know what the costs will be for 6* champs because the last two ranks don't exist yet, but we can see that it will be higher for 6* champs. So if your "fuel" for ranking champs comes predominantly from duplication - to get ISO and gold - you will see a progression where fuel gets easier and easier to get up to 4* champs, and then becomes dramatically harder to get again.

    There are a lot of reasons why this probably happens, which I've discussed in the past and are beyond the scope of this thread. But it does pose an interesting question regarding arena grinding's place in the game. In a sense the game makes arena grinding less and less important up to 4* rosters - say, up to about players doing Act 4 - and then becomes suddenly much more important.

    It doesn't take a lot of arena to fill this gap - now. But the trend seems to be unsustainable. Perhaps we should be asking what tools we're going to need to address this upward curve over time, and start playing with them now. As I said when I started this thread, I don't subscribe to the notion that there's a "gold problem" with the game as a whole. But of course every individual player situationally has some bottleneck problem. For the specific case of gold for the players short of gold there is this extra component of the problem I think is worth Kabam's time to think about. Either the arena is going to become an increasingly mandatory game mode, or there has to be alternate sources of gold to break this curve. If not now, then eventually, because this going to scale in bad ways over time.

    As I said, this is a bit of a simplified analysis that doesn't specifically account for every single detail. It is meant to illustrate one element of a more complex problem. For example, of course the gold you get from earlier tiers is going to still be coming in, and a more sophisticated analysis would try to determine the ratios of each champion you get and how that affects "carry upward" resources. But that analysis will have to wait for either myself to get more time, or someone else to dive in and continue the thought process. I felt this was sufficient to be worth discussion, not that it was the final word on the subject.

    Thank you for this in-depth analysis. Always appreciated well thought out post. Whether someone agrees or not, they should at least admit much thought and work was put into this post and done so for the good of the community.
  • KattohSKattohS Posts: 657 ★★
    There is not a gold problem in the game and there is no gold in the forums.
  • ESFESF Posts: 1,475 ★★★★★
    I would love if you somehow, some way, took the time to parse out how challenging it is to be a solo player in this game

    As you noted above: It's a choice to be a solo player. Choices matter in life and in this game

    But at the same time, this game did not have alliances and co-op play at the start. It was not part of the foundation

    So while I am not saying anything ridiculous about "fairness" or whatever, it would he interesting to know at what point being a solo player becomes consequential with regard to overall game reward/opportunity
  • ESFESF Posts: 1,475 ★★★★★
    The above aside: Thanks for looking at the gold issue for these higher-rarity rankings. Six-stars are definitely punishing on gold
  • lowlevelplayerlowlevelplayer Posts: 4,293 ★★★★★
    Lohan33 said:

    @Kabam Miike or some other kabam.

    Can we get a category named DNA analysis and keep these all pinned somewhere cause man it would be nice

    This is actually a great idea.
  • DNA3000DNA3000 Posts: 12,077 Guardian
    ESF said:

    I would love if you somehow, some way, took the time to parse out how challenging it is to be a solo player in this game

    As you noted above: It's a choice to be a solo player. Choices matter in life and in this game

    But at the same time, this game did not have alliances and co-op play at the start. It was not part of the foundation

    So while I am not saying anything ridiculous about "fairness" or whatever, it would he interesting to know at what point being a solo player becomes consequential with regard to overall game reward/opportunity

    I did look at one small aspect of this: Earning Glory as a Solo Player. Because being solo doesn't mean not being in an alliance, if you're willing to think slightly outside the box (as the thread respondents suggest, this is something that has been quietly done by probably a substantial number of players, but it isn't something most players think of as an obvious option for players wanting to play solo).
  • DNA3000DNA3000 Posts: 12,077 Guardian

    4* 5* 6* gives same number of iso and gold when duped. But 5* 6* take more resources to rank up.

    Kabam logic!

    It is a little more complicated than that. First of all, when 5* champs first came out they were deliberately more costly to rank up on a relative basis, because they were intended to be end-game type content. End game stuff is always more expensive because its job is to give the top tier players something to spend their vast earning ability on. Also, you're still getting the resources from acquiring 4* champs, but when you shift to 5* champs you theoretically get to use both. If the costs for 5* was identical to 4* rank ups, they would in some sense be cheaper (because you have more sources of gold and ISO to use on them than you used to on 4*).

    But I think this becomes problematic over time, because as 5* champs become closer to the center of mass for the playerbase it becomes harder to justify them being far harder to rank up than 4*, and even accounting for combining 3*, 4*, and 5* resources I think 5* champs are still harder to rank up than I think would be appropriate. Even if it is appropriate now, it won't be at some future point in time, but there currently isn't a scaling mechanism to solve that problem.

    Important to note: just handing people more 5* crystals doesn't solve the scaling problem because that just speeds up the curve, so to speak. Players get more resources from dups, but they also get more champs to rank up at the same increase in pace. It is the ratio that is the issue, and the ratio is unaffected by the volume of crystals you get.
  • SpicyslicerSpicyslicer Posts: 1,907 ★★★★
    You like math, and PowerPoint
  • ESFESF Posts: 1,475 ★★★★★
    DNA3000 said:

    ESF said:

    I would love if you somehow, some way, took the time to parse out how challenging it is to be a solo player in this game

    As you noted above: It's a choice to be a solo player. Choices matter in life and in this game

    But at the same time, this game did not have alliances and co-op play at the start. It was not part of the foundation

    So while I am not saying anything ridiculous about "fairness" or whatever, it would he interesting to know at what point being a solo player becomes consequential with regard to overall game reward/opportunity

    I did look at one small aspect of this: Earning Glory as a Solo Player. Because being solo doesn't mean not being in an alliance, if you're willing to think slightly outside the box (as the thread respondents suggest, this is something that has been quietly done by probably a substantial number of players, but it isn't something most players think of as an obvious option for players wanting to play solo).
    Thanks! Heading there now. I think I know most of the tricks, if not all, but I am not too proud to check and make sure. Solo players should leave no resources untapped as best they can, IMO
  • Colonaut123Colonaut123 Posts: 2,566 ★★★★★
    You are correct, which brings us to an interesting conclusion: you don't get gold from playing this game.

    The core part of this game are quests. However, nobody considers that as a source of gold. Reason: it cannot be grinded. Once you explore a quest, the gold doesn't offset the energy cost. Especially for monthly quests, which barely give any gold.

    The gold problem would be solved if you would get gold from playing this game e.g. defeating champions in quests.

  • DNA3000DNA3000 Posts: 12,077 Guardian

    You like math, and PowerPoint

    I use math, and I hate Powerpoint. Powerpoint is like those flying jelly things in the original Star Trek that take over your mind and force you to do their bidding with pain. Only the flying jelly things had an actual plan.
  • DNA3000DNA3000 Posts: 12,077 Guardian

    You are correct, which brings us to an interesting conclusion: you don't get gold from playing this game.

    The core part of this game are quests. However, nobody considers that as a source of gold. Reason: it cannot be grinded. Once you explore a quest, the gold doesn't offset the energy cost. Especially for monthly quests, which barely give any gold.

    The gold problem would be solved if you would get gold from playing this game e.g. defeating champions in quests.

    Couldn't you say the same thing about AQ and rank up materials? I'm not sure if the game's design reflects the idea that the quests are the core and everything else is optional periphery. The design seems to reflect the idea that the quests are the core gameplay and everything surrounding them like arena and AQ are, for lack of a better description, foraging areas.
  • flygamerflygamer Posts: 256 ★★
    well yes, very generally speaking, if you spend all your money you have a money problem (lack off). If you save you dont (more resource). There is only a gold problem if youre trying to rank every champ. But then you also have a cat and iso problem. Not really sure where Im going with this but I agree with your choices statement, if you choose to try and rank every champ then there is a problem in your mind. The only thing I wish would be changed in the game is once you hit lvl60 the xp boosts are changed to gold boosts.
  • KerneasKerneas Posts: 1,691 ★★★★
    I think the so-called "gold issue" is caused by stereotypical thinking of players. Many games have one resource that is easy to get, quite essential for the gameplay and (in comparison to other resources), the player has ton of it. This resource is often some kind if currency (be it gold, coins or anything other).

    So logically, when you players start playing mcoc, they try to apply rules they know from before, namely "Gold is a resource everyone has plenty of". But this isn't the case for mcoc.

    However, even mcoc isn't spared of this "junk resource". It just isn't gold, but ISO. ISO is easy to get, players don't even notice getting the thousands of small chunks. The problem with ISO is tho, that the inventory for it is almost funnily small, so it is usual to have thousands of units of ISO slowly ticking away.

    Another issue with ISO is, that it often is sold for gold (also because players don't get ro spend it in time). But if you compare it to other games, it isn't usually very good idea to trade your main resource for others, because it simply transfers the problem and doesn't solve anything
  • flygamerflygamer Posts: 256 ★★
    maybe to clarify my statement earlier, even if the game gave you 5mill gold every day you would then have an iso and cat "problem". So then if they gave you all those every day you would run out of champs to rank up and your resources would sit and expire anyway. Striving to fulfill a "need" is the underlying purpose of most videogames. Whether it is food for your village, saving the princess, a title of accomplishment, or resources for a max champ.
  • DNA3000 said:

    You like math, and PowerPoint

    I use math, and I hate Powerpoint. Powerpoint is like those flying jelly things in the original Star Trek that take over your mind and force you to do their bidding with pain. Only the flying jelly things had an actual plan.
    Coding in power point is fun... (not really). I made an animation for a guy at work on how to streamline data flow and coded the whole thing because it was going to be a pain in the butt to do manually and involved some logic that was going to be impossible to replicate manually. Power point does kind of suck, but it is really useful in some cases for a visual description of complex problems or algorithms. I have a love hate relationship with Microsoft office applications.
  • GroundedWisdomGroundedWisdom Posts: 26,879 ★★★★★

    You are correct, which brings us to an interesting conclusion: you don't get gold from playing this game.

    The core part of this game are quests. However, nobody considers that as a source of gold. Reason: it cannot be grinded. Once you explore a quest, the gold doesn't offset the energy cost. Especially for monthly quests, which barely give any gold.

    The gold problem would be solved if you would get gold from playing this game e.g. defeating champions in quests.

    There is no core part of this game in the sense that you're speaking. Storymode isn't the entire game itself. I'm sure if people are particularly not interested in social aspects, or have a thing for start-to-finish gaming, then it would seem so, but that's a preference. The Arenas are optional just like the game is optional. People don't have to focus on what they don't want. The game itself is comprised of all areas, and anyone who is interested in advancing in the game as a whole needs to pay attention to all areas, as much as possible. People can choose to ignore Arenas, but that choice also comes with a downside. Missing out on a large source of valuable material.
  • lowlevelplayerlowlevelplayer Posts: 4,293 ★★★★★
    DNA3000 said:

    You like math, and PowerPoint

    I use math, and I hate Powerpoint. Powerpoint is like those flying jelly things in the original Star Trek that take over your mind and force you to do their bidding with pain. Only the flying jelly things had an actual plan.
    The alternatives to powerpoint are not exactly great either. Google Slides is fine for amateurs and for school projects and the like, but it does not really have much function. The only other popular alternative to powerpoint is apple keynote, which requires an apple device and also is not exactly the best.
    I personally use google slides because it is easy and simple. Also, I don't really need slides for anything.
    As Steve Jobs said "People who know what they are talking about don’t need PowerPoint.“
    Just know what your doing and any slideshow will work.
  • typghtypgh Posts: 72
    All I know is Arena is repetitive, boring And easily my least favorite game mode. It sucks having to play it for hours and days on end to take someone R4 or R5.
  • DNA3000DNA3000 Posts: 12,077 Guardian

    DNA3000 said:

    You like math, and PowerPoint

    I use math, and I hate Powerpoint. Powerpoint is like those flying jelly things in the original Star Trek that take over your mind and force you to do their bidding with pain. Only the flying jelly things had an actual plan.
    The alternatives to powerpoint are not exactly great either. Google Slides is fine for amateurs and for school projects and the like, but it does not really have much function. The only other popular alternative to powerpoint is apple keynote, which requires an apple device and also is not exactly the best.
    I personally use google slides because it is easy and simple. Also, I don't really need slides for anything.
    As Steve Jobs said "People who know what they are talking about don’t need PowerPoint.“
    Just know what your doing and any slideshow will work.
    The problem with Powerpoint is not that you can't do good things in it, it is that the vast majority of features encourage you to do bad things, starting with 99% of the very first features everyone learns.

    The bullet list, for example, is probably the most abused thing in Powerpoint, and it is literally the first thing everyone learns to do (and often, the last thing as well).

    Once, as a challenge, I decided to take a prepared presentation and deliver it with completely random slides. As in, every slide had a random image from Google. It turned out to be a better version of the presentation than I originally wrote, and also the most popular presentation of that day. Because visual aids should punctuate the speaker, not the other way around.

    I later came to realize that the benefit wasn't just my god-tier improvisation skills. It was that none of my slides contained text.
  • DNA3000DNA3000 Posts: 12,077 Guardian
    typgh said:

    All I know is Arena is repetitive, boring And easily my least favorite game mode. It sucks having to play it for hours and days on end to take someone R4 or R5.

    You're not alone. But what everyone has to realize is that there are just as many people who hate doing AW, or doing any higher AQ than map 2, or even hate just being in alliances at all. I personally have problems with dungeons because I'm a 7x24 oncall, which makes that very problematic for dungeon partners (I could be forced to abandon a dungeon on a moment's notice). And the forums have tons of posts from people who claim that Uncollected is ludicrously hard and no one could possibly consistently do UC monthly without spending "if you are a normal player."

    Everyone thinks they are "normal," and their problems are the "real" problems. But everyone is different, and everyone has their own problems. Which is why looking at these situations with more precision can help everyone, regardless of what side you're on, discuss the problem more accurately.
  • lowlevelplayerlowlevelplayer Posts: 4,293 ★★★★★
    DNA3000 said:

    DNA3000 said:

    You like math, and PowerPoint

    I use math, and I hate Powerpoint. Powerpoint is like those flying jelly things in the original Star Trek that take over your mind and force you to do their bidding with pain. Only the flying jelly things had an actual plan.
    The alternatives to powerpoint are not exactly great either. Google Slides is fine for amateurs and for school projects and the like, but it does not really have much function. The only other popular alternative to powerpoint is apple keynote, which requires an apple device and also is not exactly the best.
    I personally use google slides because it is easy and simple. Also, I don't really need slides for anything.
    As Steve Jobs said "People who know what they are talking about don’t need PowerPoint.“
    Just know what your doing and any slideshow will work.
    The problem with Powerpoint is not that you can't do good things in it, it is that the vast majority of features encourage you to do bad things, starting with 99% of the very first features everyone learns.

    The bullet list, for example, is probably the most abused thing in Powerpoint, and it is literally the first thing everyone learns to do (and often, the last thing as well).

    Once, as a challenge, I decided to take a prepared presentation and deliver it with completely random slides. As in, every slide had a random image from Google. It turned out to be a better version of the presentation than I originally wrote, and also the most popular presentation of that day. Because visual aids should punctuate the speaker, not the other way around.

    I later came to realize that the benefit wasn't just my god-tier improvisation skills. It was that none of my slides contained text.
    No one wants to read 3 paragraphs crammed into a tiny slide with 8 point font. That is ridiculous. Thank you for saving some people's days.
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