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Grinding Arena Milestones: Arena Rewards Part Deux

Greetings fellow players, its Dr. Nutcase Arenagrinder back with another arena analysis.

I did an analysis of arena rewards back in March (https://forums.playcontestofchampions.com/en/discussion/187556/a-case-study-and-analysis-of-arena-grind-rewards) which was mostly focused on what the rewards actually are that are up for grabs in the arena. I looked at gold, battlechips, and units. Using my own gameplay as reference, I also estimated the time it took to grind all those rewards, which was about fourteen hours or so for a three day event set.

A common point raised was that this was a ton of time, and it is for most people: it is five hours a day or so. Five hours a day is more than most people can spend (I can't do that consistently, to be honest), but I also think there was one small unresolved issue there. I don't grind fast in part because I don't grind optimally: I'm often grinding while doing other things, like catching up on TV or watching Youtube. That time grinding is less efficient because I'm not paying close attention to the game, but it also isn't time I'm taking out of my day to grind either. That time "costs nothing." In terms of actual dedicated time I set out of my day, I don't spend as much as it might seem.

So the question is: how much time does it take to grind *all* the milestones in the arena, for at least the two three-day events in a week (excluding Sunday) if you actually try? Answer: a whole lot less than that.

Let's start where that prior analysis left off. I was estimating my grinding speed at about 23 rounds per hour. That's with the mastery set up I had at the time, and without paying close attention all the time. Well since then I've decided to speed things up a bit by switching to a partial suicide build. Back then I had glass cannon but that's it. Now I have one point in recoil and three in double edge (I don't run Liquid Courage: I tried it but I decided it wasn't worth the cost when running other content). This increased my speed *dramatically* in the arena.

In fact, my speed isn't the same in every arena based on testing. In the 2* arena and the 4* basic arena it is almost 36 rounds per hour. In the 3* featured, 4* featured, and 5* featured it is somewhat slower: between 29 rounds per hour (5* featured) to 31 rounds per hour (3* featured). This seems to be due to the way match ups happen. More on that in a second.

Besides turning on partial suicides, I also changed my strategy for running the arenas. I used to just run my roster through an arena, then move to another arena. But that's not efficient. The amount of points you get in the arena is affected by the PI of the team you run: depending on the PI of the champs you use the difference can be 20% or more. So I started using mostly the highest, or nearly highest PI champs only, and when they were exhausted I would switch to another arena, even though I had plenty of champs I could still use. This allowed me to "skim off" the highest scoring champs in every arena, maximizing the amount of points I was earning per round. This means slightly fewer rounds to reach the top milestones.

Getting back to match ups. When I do this in some arenas, the match ups I get tend to be easier. But in others, like say the 5* featured, I cannot bring only rank 3s in there, so I'm using rank 2s and even rank 1s. This means the match ups are slightly harder on average. This means when I use this strategy to focus on only the highest champs useable in a particular arena, some arenas speed up more than others due to relative difficulty matchups. But overall, it does speed all of them up slightly (except for the 5* featured, where I'm using all of my 6* champs still). So overall, this strategy reduced the number of rounds, and sped up the rounds themselves.

Bottom line: Here's how many rounds it took to reach the top milestone in each arena, plus approximately how many hours it took to do it:

2* 38 rounds, 1.06 hours
3* 38 rounds, 1.23 hours
4* basic 46 rounds, 1.31 hours
4* featured 47 rounds, 1.57 hours
5* featured 64 rounds, 2.21 hours

Total time: 7.38 hours.

Total milestone units: 535
Estimated units from battlechips: 168
Total estimated units: 703

That's actually half the time I quoted in the first analysis, which is an enormous improvement. So with a large enough roster and running a suitable mastery setup, you can get all the milestones in the arena for about 2.5 hours a day, and that will add up to over 1400 units per week, and you get Sunday off.

That's still a significant amount of time, but it is not the ludicrous amount of time some people claim it would take. 2.5 hours a day six days a week is a moderate amount of time to spend on a hobby. And this generates the equivalent of about $200 of units per month.

Now, of course most players don't have a roster as large as mine, but that's another thing about the arena. The one thing it does over time is grow players' rosters. So this is something a player could work towards. And these numbers are not the pinnacle of what's possible. Full suicides would be even faster, if someone wanted to do that, and I could do more rank ups in some areas to shave some time off here and there. I suspect the theoretical limit is probably around six hours per event sequence, or about two hours a day.

If you're someone that hates the arena, well this isn't going to cause you to like it any more. But if you're someone who doesn't mind grinding the arena, but you're wondering if it is worth it, these numbers should tell you two things. One, yes it is. And two: however slowly you think you're grinding now, it does get better over time. The more time you put into it, the faster it will get. You just have to decide how much effort you want to put into it.

And even if you can't sustain it, just doing it occasionally, or doing only half of this or a quarter of this, still generates benefits. No one has to do all of this. This is just the ceiling of what you can do. One quarter of this effort is still about 1500 units a month. I think most players could use 1500 units a month.

Comments

  • VendemiaireVendemiaire Posts: 1,462 ★★★★
    I grinded like a madman for Cyber Weekend. After I bought all the units deal, I felt like I got out of jail. Since that day, I have never touched Arena (except for the Anniversary Shards Arena) but I need to go back because my PHC stash is depleted after ranking up tons of champion and now I'm starving for ISO. :(
  • GhostboytjieGhostboytjie Posts: 1,264 ★★★
    I actually just thought ur name DNA was kind of cause of ^"Study"^ ish thingy thing. If you know what I mean :open_mouth:
  • DaddriedaDaddrieda Posts: 862 ★★★
    @DNA3000 ever considered the amount of rounds and time could be dramatically reduced if used arena points and booster?
  • Thicco_ModeThicco_Mode Posts: 8,784 ★★★★★
    I forgot to mention this before, but the part where you say you grind while doing other stuff is really key for non grinders to realize if they want to get into this. It's like, I added 20 vids to my YT playlist and have nothing else to do. Let me just do some arena. For me, it's literally just free rewards
  • DaddriedaDaddrieda Posts: 862 ★★★
    Daddrieda said:

    @DNA3000 ever considered the amount of rounds and time could be dramatically reduced if used arena points and booster?

    That is of course combined with full suicide mastery.
  • K00shMaanK00shMaan Posts: 386 ★★
    He's also definitely right about the numbers coming down. From my experience, all the Milestones can be hit in about 34 rounds (without boosting) if you are only running the best PI champs will the best Mastery setups for PI (Suicides, etc.). Also including that fights are generally slightly faster with them active as well. 6 hours seems realistic however the 5* Featured arena will be an outlier for a while as we don't have 6* Rank 5's yet.
  • Daddrieda said:

    @DNA3000 ever considered the amount of rounds and time could be dramatically reduced if used arena points and booster?

    Yes, if you're a player getting lots of solo shards and dumping them into solo crystals, you're probably swimming in arena boosts and other boosts. Using them will also speed up your arena grind by a bit. Not everyone has those, and their effects are difficult to average because they come and go, so I didn't include them here, but I certainly recommend using them.

    The one little catch to using things like attack or champion boosts is that they raise your PI relative to what they are normally. If you're also "skimming" your roster like I describe above, that's not noteworthy. But if you're someone still using a significant portion of your roster (because you are still building up a larger roster) you do have to be careful when your PI goes up: depending on what "infinite streak" system you're using the PI shift can make an "unsafe" set of champs look safe, and you could draw a death match.

    So if you're going deep into the roster and if you're skirting the limits of safe champs for infinite streak and if you intend to use such boosts, take note of where you would stop using champs before you pop the boosts so you know where to stop.
  • I grinded like a madman for Cyber Weekend. After I bought all the units deal, I felt like I got out of jail. Since that day, I have never touched Arena (except for the Anniversary Shards Arena) but I need to go back because my PHC stash is depleted after ranking up tons of champion and now I'm starving for ISO. :(

    I have an obscenely large stack of champion crystals that I only open to score points in events, but still one thing I've started doing is banking nexus crystals. If I need a little bit of ISO I pop those open, because the odds are very good that I will be able to pick something of the right class for dups. The 4* nexus is especially good for this. For higher progression players 4* champs are relative low in value as champions, but still high in value as ISO dumps.
  • BenderBender Posts: 141
    Hey @DNA3000

    I was wondering if u have a certain mastery setup to have max PI for champions. I used those old pictures of PI % increase numbers, but perhaps you have more recent info? Cause i think these images are from early 2017.
  • Bender said:

    Hey @DNA3000

    I was wondering if u have a certain mastery setup to have max PI for champions. I used those old pictures of PI % increase numbers, but perhaps you have more recent info? Cause i think these images are from early 2017.

    I don't personally know what mastery setup generates the absolutely highest PI, but I do know full suicides increases PI by a lot. Anything that increases attack increases PI. Other things do, but I don't have that particular information mapped out.

    Maybe at some point I'll do a part three and look at that closely.
  • BenderBender Posts: 141
    DNA3000 said:

    Bender said:

    Hey @DNA3000

    I was wondering if u have a certain mastery setup to have max PI for champions. I used those old pictures of PI % increase numbers, but perhaps you have more recent info? Cause i think these images are from early 2017.

    I don't personally know what mastery setup generates the absolutely highest PI, but I do know full suicides increases PI by a lot. Anything that increases attack increases PI. Other things do, but I don't have that particular information mapped out.

    Maybe at some point I'll do a part three and look at that closely.
    I found the picture, this is the one i used to make my current setup of having max PI. Like i said, its an oldie, and i have no idea if there is a 2020 version of it
  • Lvernon15Lvernon15 Posts: 10,674 ★★★★★
    So all these years I thought my dna was deoxyribonucleic acid, I have been deceived by society, it must be that which makes me grind arena like a madman
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