What to Buy? : A Buyers Guide to In-Game Currency

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OneLastGambit
OneLastGambit Posts: 1,963 Chairperson of the Boards

I don't buy in-game currency. Never do and many are the same, but some people do. Wouldn't it be nice if there was a guide that showed which currency represented best value?

Now there is, because I am a bit bored today (being the boss can sometimes be boring) I decided to explore which currency (iso or hp) represented the best value, I also figured out which package is the best value too.

In the summary at the bottom I will give suggestions on purchases and currency use based on roster strength as for some this will determine the best use of currency.



Iso vs HP

It's pretty well known that nobody thinks buying iso represents good value for money (due to how much iso you need and how little you get when you buy) so I was coming into this part of analysis expecting to find iso to be the loser here, and you know what....

I was completely right.

*Note: all prices based on GBP

*Note: Iso and HP per £ rate worked out based on highest priced package


Exchange Rates

The exchange rate (IE) for iso stands at : 975iso p/GBP

The Exchange rate (IH) for HP stands at:  250HP p/GBP

On face value this looks like iso is the clear winner, however we first have to decide how valuable those two amounts are to the player. Iso is used for only 1 thing in-game and that's levelling a character, so 975iso has differing amount of usefulness based on the current state of the players roster. It's arguable that it will only really be very useful to a burdgeoning 2* roster and anything above will find the amount fairly useless. HP however is both flexible and has fixed value. This means it's value does not change based on roster strength, 250hp always carries the same minimum value no matter what stage of the game you are at - 1/4 of a roster slot. It is also a more fluid currency as you can buy tokens with it which can be used to advance a roster. For these reasons the winner is clear....HP

A quarter of a roster slot for £1 is a far better exchange rate than the very steep declining curve that iso represents.


The Packages

Common sense states that packages should get better the more you pay. It's a tactic often employed by many businesses to encourage customers to buy in bulk. Is the same true for MPQ? Lets see.


For ease of use I'm going to label the different packages as; small, medium, large, extra large and Maximum.

The prices remain the same for each package regardless of currency being purchased (making this a bit easier) and prices (in GBP) are as follows:

Small £1.59

Medium £3.99 (+150%)

Large £15.99 (+301%)

Extra Large £39.99 (+150%)

Maximum £79.99 (+~100%)


Each of these packages increases (in price) by a % which is shown in-between the packages, the biggest increase in price comes between medium and large (301% increase). What happens when we look at what is gained in each package?

ISO                                                                                            HP

Small 1200iso                                                                           200

Medium 3200iso (+167%)                                                        600 (+200%)

Large 13,200iso (+312%)                                                        2300 (+383%)

Extra Large 37,500iso (+184%)                                               5600 (+193%)

Maximum 78,000iso (+108%)                                                  20,000 (+135%)


Again the biggest increase comes between medium and large packages, what is perhaps more surprising is that the % increases are different between currencies. Why? I have no idea, it doesn't need to be but it is. The best value for money (in my opinion) comes from buying the large package as it is the largest increase of goods received so this is where your money should go when buying either currency and CP bonus is removed from the equation (best selection for solo buyers outside of buy clubs).


Summary

The package which represents the best value, regardless of currency being purchased, is the large one (Logan's Loonie and/or Hidden Stash), this surprised me a little as I was expecting more of an upward curve in relation to goods received:price paid. You do get more the more you buy, but you get the best increase halfway through the menu so I would advise focussed spending there.

HP is a clear winner in pretty every department when it comes to what to buy, what is even more curious is why the increases between packages are different depending which currency you buy. There is really no need for that and again it places iso further down (can it get much lower?) the spending priority list due to the fact you get less based on the same price when compared with it's superior cousin (HP).

tl;dr : Iso exchange rate is worse making it the weaker currency, you get less than HP when you buy it and it is less useful at all levels beyond starter roster (and even that is debatable). DO NOT BUY


Note to devs: If you want people to start buying iso you really need to look into what I have outlined as this is the reason why people don't buy it as often as they should. There is a rather large disparity between iso and HP.

Comments

  • Phumade
    Phumade Posts: 2,493 Chairperson of the Boards
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    the problem with your analysis is that it doesn't include cp awarded through buy club.  You make that point that the greatest increase in hp occurs with the mid level buy.  But for most 5* players,  hp is not really the constraining resource.  CP is.  You should redo your analysis with CP.  I think you will see clearly why multi stark buy clubs exist.
  • OneLastGambit
    OneLastGambit Posts: 1,963 Chairperson of the Boards
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    Phumade said:
    the problem with your analysis is that it doesn't include cp awarded through buy club.  You make that point that the greatest increase in hp occurs with the mid level buy.  But for most 5* players,  hp is not really the constraining resource.  CP is.  You should redo your analysis with CP.  I think you will see clearly why multi stark buy clubs exist.

    Yep I didn't include the CP on purpose for a few reasons;

    1. It's very hard to quantify the added affect of CP in the buy.

    2. It's a guide mostly designed for people who are not whales. They don't need a guide as they will just buy whichever package gives them the most CP regardless of value.

  • Phumade
    Phumade Posts: 2,493 Chairperson of the Boards
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    Then who is this guide really for?  The person trying to get to 2* tier?  It seems to me those players can transition to 2* tier without worry about a guide to currency.  3* tier?  those players can use cp to buy covers.

    Is your guide really just a commentary on the in equities of resource conversion?  If you going to write a neutral guide that actually helps users then you should include an analysis on all purchasable resources.

    Your analysis may be different based on your tier of play,  but failing to incorporate all the buyable resources makes your guide shaky at best.

    Honestly,  you need to tie your analysis to something that people actually use/do.  I.e.  you talk about iso.  so tie your analysis of real world cash to level advancement.  

    HP can only be used for shields, and boosts.  Tie your analysis to those issues.

    Ultimately I think most players are interested in cover acquisition.  This is where your guide is at its weakest because you don't discuss how real world cash ties to cp and ultimately cover acquisition.

  • Bruinsfan17
    Bruinsfan17 Posts: 132 Tile Toppler
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    No offense but that seemed like a lot of work for something that I'm pretty sure 95% of players were already aware. ISO is a complete ripoff and the only HP package worth buying are the two large ones. I'm sure some new players could find this helpfu(which I suppose was the point)l so kudos for the effort.
  • astrp3
    astrp3 Posts: 367 Mover and Shaker
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    Wouldn't it be easier to look at HP per dollar (or pound) spent? Of course, in that case, there's really no need for a guide (as others have pointed out) since you can easily see that this figure gets better the larger the package (i.e. if you're going to spend $100, you're much better off buying one Stark Salary than five Logan's Loonies). As for ISO vs. HP value, a helpful figure might be how much time it takes to earn one versus the other.

    Of course, when spending money, I think the only thing a new player needs to know is not to buy ISO. So, if you are going to do a guide for newbies, I think it should include a section on how to spend the HP you buy (stores vs. vaults, 10 daily deals vs. 10-pack, whether to buy 2* covers, bonus heroes etc.)

  • OneLastGambit
    OneLastGambit Posts: 1,963 Chairperson of the Boards
    edited April 2017
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    Well I did write this due to boredom, criticism is welcome and appreciated. I was simply passing time in my office, I thought I would make it something moderately interesting. I guess I failed on that front. Apologies guys


    EDIT: I did attempt to delete the post but on this new forum I can't figure out how. If a mod could delete or simply move to a section nobody reads that would be great.

  • astrp3
    astrp3 Posts: 367 Mover and Shaker
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    Speaking of the "don't spend money on ISO" rule of thumb, a guide I think would be beneficial is one on rookie mistakes to avoid.  I suspect that most of us did things back when we were newbies that we wish we could go back and undo. I actually think that this guide would be much more valuable than a general newbie guide and should be the first thing a new player reads (since the sooner you stop doing these things, the better).

    I've actually toyed with the idea of writing one myself, but don't know if I have the requisite experience (though I could start one and let other contribute). Plus, I don't know how many newbies start reading the forums or when they do so, so I'm not sure how valuable it would be.

  • Ryder
    Ryder Posts: 4 Just Dropped In
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    So for someone in his first month of playing with only a three or four  2* champed, and a budget of 10$ a month to throw to the devs. Would you guys recommend buying slots or VIP once a month?
  • SpringSoldier
    SpringSoldier Posts: 265 Mover and Shaker
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    I would recommend buying slots first. VIP is great because it also has legendary and heroic tokens, ISO and stars- but if you don't have enough slots on your rooster, you risk losing what you earned or having to give up characters you already invested in.
  • jtsings
    jtsings Posts: 278 Mover and Shaker
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    Ryder said:
    So for someone in his first month of playing with only a three or four  2* champed, and a budget of 10$ a month to throw to the devs. Would you guys recommend buying slots or VIP once a month?

    I would recommend buying slots first. VIP is great because it also has legendary and heroic tokens, ISO and stars- but if you don't have enough slots on your rooster, you risk losing what you earned or having to give up characters you already invested in.

    To some extent I would like to ask for some clarification about the above question as well.  I spent roughly $10 on 2 $4.99 heroic coin packages when I first started the game.  Ever since then, I get Shield intercept packages about 6-9 times a day, after I finish a battle, that gives me anywhere from 500-1000 iso, 10 to 100 HP, and standard to elite recruit tokens; I just assumed that I was getting this because of the money I paid out. 

    1)  Is this a feature of the game for anyone whether you pay or not? 

    2)  And if this is a feature for paying customers only, what's the advantage of getting the VIP packages rather than just the HP when you get daily drops of what essentially seems to be more items?  As part of the VIP membership, do you only get the prizes they list after each days play or are those the prizes you get on a regular basis as part of the Shield packages after random mission completions?
  • SpringSoldier
    SpringSoldier Posts: 265 Mover and Shaker
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    1. Yes, it's a feature for everyone in the game. But only for PVE events.
    2. Yes, you only get the rewards listed there and faster healing time- which matters a lot if you like playing for several hours per day each day.
  • Quebbster
    Quebbster Posts: 8,070 Chairperson of the Boards
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    It should be mentioned that for non-paying players you need to Watch a video to get the intercept bonus. If you make an in-app purchase you get the intercept bonus automatically for a while. You can opt to not see the video but you lose out on the intercept bonus then.
  • jtsings
    jtsings Posts: 278 Mover and Shaker
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    1. Yes, it's a feature for everyone in the game. But only for PVE events.
    2. Yes, you only get the rewards listed there and faster healing time- which matters a lot if you like playing for several hours per day each day.


    Gotcha SpringSoldier,  so in my case I was better off getting the extra couple of extra HP to open up slots immediately.  I might consider VIP down the road though.  Thanks again for the clarification :smile:
    Quebbster said:
    It should be mentioned that for non-paying players you need to Watch a video to get the intercept bonus. If you make an in-app purchase you get the intercept bonus automatically for a while. You can opt to not see the video but you lose out on the intercept bonus then.

    Yeah, it appears as though my pay exemption of the videos just came to an end today.  It seems like there are less shield resupply drops once that exemption ran out but I'll find out when I do some PVE tonight.  BTW the drops seems to work in the Prologue missions as well.

  • SpringSoldier
    SpringSoldier Posts: 265 Mover and Shaker
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    I don't know if you read the latest announcement, but SHIELD intercepts will be discontinued for non-paying customers, since the ads weren't working properly and they weren't available on STEAM. Please read this:

    https://forums.d3go.com/discussion/64661/discontinuing-s-h-i-e-l-d-signal-intercepts-updated-5-18-17/p1