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Time Value of Resources

CaptainSlurpeeCaptainSlurpee Posts: 2Age Unconfirmed Just Dropped In
In Finance there is a concept many of you may be familiar with which is Time Value of Money (TVM for short). This concept states that a dollar today is worth more than a dollar tomorrow given that it can be invested and earn interest as well as the overall progression of inflation. Here is my question. Do you see that concept work out in MPQ? People have been leaning towards hoarding resources, but what if pulling/spending resources today acts as an investment allowing you to get resources at a higher clip than if you had horded them? Is this a concept more for the new/poor players who don't have an extensive roster? Thoughts? 

Comments

  • brollbroll Posts: 4,170 Chairperson of the Boards
    I think it works the way you described it with money.  Hoarding adds value.  Pulling all tokens as you get them regardless of whether you can afford to invest them into your roster (either by unusable covers or by not having the ISO to champ) is flushing champ rewards and champion levels (which improve your effectiveness and get you more rewards).  By hoarding you have a better gauge over stopping when you run out of ISO or getting lots of 13+ covers at once when you have the ISO to turn those into levels.

    One can make the argument that by pulling as you go you get champ levels sooner and can reinvest those champ rewards sooner and get higher rewards sooner.  However if you turn around and immediately spend all those tokens and flush many of them, you're just speeding up waste.

    Now with the current state of the game it's possible to get to a point where you've champed all your 4*s and with the cover swap policy you could guarantee no cover waste.  That, IMO, is the only place in the game where hoarding is not as ideal.  Outside of that instance the only thing hoarding gives you is instant gratification (simular to spending your money today vs investing it in a better tomorrow).
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  • DarthDeVoDarthDeVo Posts: 1,657 Chairperson of the Boards
    broll said:
    I think it works the way you described it with money.  Hoarding adds value.  Pulling all tokens as you get them regardless of whether you can afford to invest them into your roster (either by unusable covers or by not having the ISO to champ) is flushing champ rewards and champion levels (which improve your effectiveness and get you more rewards).  By hoarding you have a better gauge over stopping when you run out of ISO or getting lots of 13+ covers at once when you have the ISO to turn those into levels.

    One can make the argument that by pulling as you go you get champ levels sooner and can reinvest those champ rewards sooner and get higher rewards sooner.  However if you turn around and immediately spend all those tokens and flush many of them, you're just speeding up waste.

    Now with the current state of the game it's possible to get to a point where you've champed all your 4*s and with the cover swap policy you could guarantee no cover waste.  That, IMO, is the only place in the game where hoarding is not as ideal.  Outside of that instance the only thing hoarding gives you is instant gratification (simular to spending your money today vs investing it in a better tomorrow).
    I agree with everything you said, barring a slight caveat. Sometimes strategic pulling and use of bonus heroes can have a great return on your investment. 

    For example, say you're entering 3* land and lack good coverage for Dr. Strange. In especially goon-heavy events (and supposing you're playing against others with largely similar rosters), having a champed Strange can significantly cut down your initial clear and grind times, thus allowing you to place better, earn more rewards, and develop your roster more quickly. The same can be said of a few other characters that help seriously cut down on your clear/grind times.

    So for the most part, I agree that the best use of resources is to hoard in order to avoid wasting more resources If you pull characters you can't even roster (if you lack HP for roster slots), or covers you can't use for an unchamped character (because you lack CP and/or ISO). My experience has been that I get a better overall investment from my pulls if I hoard. 

    About the only way pulling immediately helps is if you manage to get key characters covered and champed that will help improve your placement. But due to the nature of RNG, that makes it very risky and will likely result in significant waste.

    Generally speaking, I personally think it's better for hoarding to be the rule until you've mostly completed a tier. But I detest selling covers only for ISO if I could have champ rewards instead. You have to decide how much waste is acceptable to you when you pull. 
    My (mostly) current roster: https://mpq.gamependium.com/rosters/DarthDeVo/

    May RNGesus bless you and keep you; may he make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; may he lift up his countenance upon you and give you equal cover distribution.
  • brollbroll Posts: 4,170 Chairperson of the Boards
    @DarthDeVo

    Oh I agree.  The 5* essential nodes and OP Gambit have me hoarding a lot less than I like right now.  I have at least one of the 5* E so I'm not locked out and to get Gambit champed as a PvP scarecrow.
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  • DarthDeVoDarthDeVo Posts: 1,657 Chairperson of the Boards
    @broll

    I'm hoarding CP and LTs for now, and will make one last push to get Gambit covered before he leaves Latests or Archangel is essential again, whichever comes first. He and Cap are the only 5*s I don't have. 

    I recently did something similar for Daredevil (who was already champed), which is why I had basically nothing for trying to get AA this time. I knew ahead of time it was likely I would have some waste. 

    I was able to save some by champing Nightcrawler, Yondu, Star-Lord, and Elektra. Still had to burn covers for Punmax, Invisible Woman, Flaptain, Kate Bishop, Winter Soldier,  and Quake at least. All things considered, it could have been worse, but I still didn't like it that much. Same thing will happen going for Gambit/AA though. Still probably won't like it. 
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  • StraycatStraycat Posts: 740 Critical Contributor
    @broll I think the OP is asking if it can be more valuable not to hoard. Aside from the 5* transition or bugged sales with better rates, I think pulling as you go is better

    I didn't have the finance background for it, but I have thought a lot about this. My argument is that while hoarding minimizes waste of resources, its not counting time as a resource. I think time is a resource, and hoarding wastes it. In 4* land where iso is the limiting factor, I consider iso spent champing a bottom tier 4* a waste of resources just like pulling an unusable cover. 20 cp is earned every 3 days at least, 350k iso is over a week.

    I managed to champ all vintage 4*s recently, and I think thats because I have never stopped opening tokens. In 4* land when I was just trying to champ everyone, I never had an empty queue. That meant sometimes I sold usable covers because I needed to champ someone else. Champing those that I could instead of hoarding I was investing iso. I eventually champed the ones I sold before, so I wasted a cover instead of 2 weeks that it took to build up the iso. And now I have all but the latest 3 (not counting Kraven or Dino or Howard) champed. Since they are releasing 4*s at a constant pace, slowing down to hoard can get you behind.

  • WarbringaWarbringa Posts: 823 Critical Contributor
    edited January 23
    Working in the field of finance for many years and playing this game for a few years, I can lend my perspective.  Time value of money (TVM) is a very real concept and has its applications, however in real life, its effectiveness is dependent on variables and opportunity costs. The same can be said of hoarding in MPQ.  

    I would say that investing in the stock market and MPQ have many similarities.  Investment in the stock market is in many ways a game of chance where you use the most knowledge possible to make the best educated decision possible (or you have at least hopefully hired someone to assist you in these decisions if you don't have the time and/or education to do it yourself). Most people diversify their investments to reduce the risk inherent to this game of chance.  TOV of money on a fixed return is clearly superior strategy however in a market that moves up and down, it doesn't always pan out as well.  Investing a huge sum of money in 2007 in the market would not have been as advantageous as waiting to invest it in later 2008 or early 2009 when the market had fallen.  However, none of us have that crystal ball and it really comes down to your plan.  If you were investing that money for the long-term (10+ years out) in 2007, you probably have come out ok even with the huge market drop.  If you needed that money within the next few years after 2007, you were probably lucky to come out even.  

    I think the same thing plays out, at some level, in MPQ.  Let's face it, MPQ is a big game of chance (thank you RNG!) where you try to make the best decisions possible with what you know.  While you can't hire someone, you can use the forums and alliance members as resources, to make the best roster decisions possible for you.  I think your decision to hoard or open resources really depends on your goals, both short & long term and your current situation.  I think for newer players, hoarding CP and LL tokens makes a lot of sense because they really don't need a bunch of 4* and certainly 5* characters early on.  They need to develop 2*/3* roster and focus on roster slots first. So many early players on the forums have to make tough decisions, do I drop this character to roster this one etc.  As mentioned above, a lot of resources are wasted in this game when you can't fully capitalize on them.  For more established players, I think it is less clear and really depends on your goals for your roster.  I decided I really wanted to get into the 5* tier several months back and believe that hoarding CP and LL tokens was the most effective way to do that.  If my goal was to not get 5* champed characters sooner than later, I would have spent resources as I got them and probably would have had several more 4* characters champed right now and not have wasted about 20 or so 4* covers that I couldn't use when I pulled my hoard.  For me, the opportunity cost of wasting those covers and not champing a few more 4* was outweighed by getting Gambit champed and DD fully covered (and Thor almost covered). 

    One major difference in this game vs. real life though is the idea of inflation.  It is one reason that I don't think TVM in MPQ (from a CP/LL token perspective) is quite as effective as it is in real life.  In real life, it is true that a dollar today is worth more than a dollar tomorrow due to inflation, the cost of goods and services increasing over the long-term.  In MPQ, I would say it is perhaps almost inverse (and one of the main arguments for hoarding) deflationary environment.  In MPQ, the currency of CP and LL tokens don't lose value in a sense over time as money does.  Yes you lose out on potential rewards from opening those tokens (opportunity cost) however, the value of the CP and LL doesn't actually decrease with time but I would argue might actually increase.  As we have seen throughout the game's evolution, characters that are released later in any given tier (at least from 3* tier on up) tend to be more effective than earlier characters.  In that sense, hoarding gives your CP and LL more value from the perspective allowing you to capitalize on this fundamental long-term trend of the game.  

    Iso I would say, is closer to an inflationary resource in the game since they have historically added additional sources of iso over time which makes 1 iso worth less than it was earlier in the game.  While CP has also been added, certainly not to the extent of iso and the paragraph above, imo, at the very least negates the inflationary impact of any small increase in CP the game has seen.  

    As far as opportunity costs, it can vary depending on what you value.  The rewards from opening as you go will help incrementally over time, however it will take quite a bit of time for those to add up.  My view on the opportunity cost in my personal roster decision, was that jumping into the 5* tier would allow me to compete for more overall rewards (PvE and PvP) and it would save me actual real life time in the game, which I actually consider the most valuable resource over CP, LL, iso etc.  With a 5* Gambit, I can now zip through PvE much faster and compete in higher SCL if I want to.  I can now either spend less time playing for same rewards I was getting before or use that time I saved to actually play some PvP and net more rewards.  So far I have done both.  Some weeks I don't play any PvP and save time and other weeks I actually play PvP competitively for the first time in years.   For me, I have found that flexibility much more valuable than the incremental rewards I gave up by hoarding.  The main issue with the incremental rewards is that, as of right now, they aren't really going to get you to 5* roster very soon, although recent changes to add 5* champs to 4* rewards will help, but it will still take a long time or really good luck to get there.  Hoarding is the best strategy to get to a 5* roster (but of course you still need some luck!).  It all comes down to your plan (goal) for your roster and play.

    One place in MPQ where I have applied TVM for certain is in rostering 1* character for the xp.  I am still at a point where the xp from 1* covers is worth more than 100 iso, therefore rostering 1* actually makes sense for me to make more iso sooner than later.  The actual TVM (or iso in this case) argument is counter intuitive.  The TVM application here is actually based on xp being interchangeable with iso.  Every roster is different based on your Shield level but in short, if the value of 10xp (value of 1* cover)  is worth more than 100 iso, you are best to roster 1* to get more iso when you gain a level than if you had sold that cover for 100 iso.  Opportunity cost comes into play here too as you need the HP to have extra roster slots.  I have more HP than I know what to do with so that wasn't an issue for me.  While you would think TVM would say you should sell that 1* cover right away, if it is worth more than 100 iso based on your shield rank, TVM actually means you should get the xp from it since you are banking its value today for more iso than 100.  You just can't actually realize that iso for a few weeks (think of it like a nice guaranteed bank CD lol!)  

    So there is my finance/MPQ thesis.  Maybe I should look at becoming an MPQ advisor lol!
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  • brollbroll Posts: 4,170 Chairperson of the Boards
    edited January 23
    Straycat said:
    @broll I think the OP is asking if it can be more valuable not to hoard. Aside from the 5* transition or bugged sales with better rates, I think pulling as you go is better

    I didn't have the finance background for it, but I have thought a lot about this. My argument is that while hoarding minimizes waste of resources, its not counting time as a resource. I think time is a resource, and hoarding wastes it. In 4* land where iso is the limiting factor, I consider iso spent champing a bottom tier 4* a waste of resources just like pulling an unusable cover. 20 cp is earned every 3 days at least, 350k iso is over a week.

    I managed to champ all vintage 4*s recently, and I think thats because I have never stopped opening tokens. In 4* land when I was just trying to champ everyone, I never had an empty queue. That meant sometimes I sold usable covers because I needed to champ someone else. Champing those that I could instead of hoarding I was investing iso. I eventually champed the ones I sold before, so I wasted a cover instead of 2 weeks that it took to build up the iso. And now I have all but the latest 3 (not counting Kraven or Dino or Howard) champed. Since they are releasing 4*s at a constant pace, slowing down to hoard can get you behind.

    I understand his point and I was saying that in general disagree.  I do think there are times where saving that time is worth it, but it's very situational and IMO hoarding is more beneficial more than it's not.  The only time pulling as it happens is better for saving time is when that saved time allows you to champ an OP character, particularly at a rarity level you're weak in.  Champing Venom (Eddie Brock) faster when you have 40+ 4* champs isn't going to save you anything.  However champing 5* Gambit absolutely will.  

    If the power creep continues hoarding will lose it's value and IMO the devs are trying to do exactly that.  I also feel that SCL based scaling and 5* required nodes have also devalued long-term hoarding in favor of champing 5*s as they come.  I've adjusted my original strategy of saving up to 300 to champ 3 at once to now I'm trying to generally champ each 5* before they leave latest.  I missed Spidey by 1 but recently got his 13th from Vulture.  I succeeded on both DD & Gambit.  Thor is already at 12.  However I plan to hoard more strongly again once I have 13 for Thor because AA's value is less than that of hoarding.  I'll let a feeder fill him out later.  I'd rather save up for the bigger fish likely coming after him and give me more time to champ my last handful of 4*s.

    So it's growing more conditional, but I still think there is value in hoarding, especially once you're deep in any tier working on jumping into the next.
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  • WarbringaWarbringa Posts: 823 Critical Contributor
    broll said:
    Straycat said:
    @broll I think the OP is asking if it can be more valuable not to hoard. Aside from the 5* transition or bugged sales with better rates, I think pulling as you go is better

    I didn't have the finance background for it, but I have thought a lot about this. My argument is that while hoarding minimizes waste of resources, its not counting time as a resource. I think time is a resource, and hoarding wastes it. In 4* land where iso is the limiting factor, I consider iso spent champing a bottom tier 4* a waste of resources just like pulling an unusable cover. 20 cp is earned every 3 days at least, 350k iso is over a week.

    I managed to champ all vintage 4*s recently, and I think thats because I have never stopped opening tokens. In 4* land when I was just trying to champ everyone, I never had an empty queue. That meant sometimes I sold usable covers because I needed to champ someone else. Champing those that I could instead of hoarding I was investing iso. I eventually champed the ones I sold before, so I wasted a cover instead of 2 weeks that it took to build up the iso. And now I have all but the latest 3 (not counting Kraven or Dino or Howard) champed. Since they are releasing 4*s at a constant pace, slowing down to hoard can get you behind.

    I understand his point and I was saying that in general disagree.  I do think there are times where saving that time is worth it, but it's very situational and IMO hoarding is more beneficial more than it's not.  The only time pulling as it happens is better for saving time is when that saved time allows you to champ an OP character, particularly at a rarity level you're weak in.  Champing Venom (Eddie Brock) faster when you have 40+ 4* champs isn't going to save you anything.  However champing 5* Gambit absolutely will.  

    If the power creep continues hoarding will lose it's value and IMO the devs are trying to do exactly that.  I also feel that SCL based scaling and 5* required nodes have also devalued long-term hoarding in favor of champing 5*s as they come.  I've adjusted my original strategy of saving up to 300 to champ 3 at once to now I'm trying to generally champ each 5* before they leave latest.  I missed Spidey by 1 but recently got his 13th from Vulture.  I succeeded on both DD & Gambit.  Thor is already at 12.  However I plan to hoard more strongly again once I have 13 for Thor because AA's value is less than that of hoarding.  I'll let a feeder fill him out later.  I'd rather save up for the bigger fish likely coming after him and give me more time to champ my last handful of 4*s.

    So it's growing more conditional, but I still think there is value in hoarding, especially once you're deep in any tier working on jumping into the next.
    I would actually say that power creep actually increases the value of hoarding.  I consider CP and LL tokens to be like technology is today (for a real life example).  If you bought a computer 3 years ago for $1000, a similar priced computer today for $1000 would be better.  With power creep in MPQ, I see it the same way in many ways (although every character is relative).  Historically the game has offered more and more powerful characters so the value of waiting to capitalize on this (ie. waiting to get Gambit or DD etc) when presented is a great benefit of hoarding.  The average 4* character is probably better now than it was 2 years ago in MPQ.  Although, there have been a few recent 4* clunkers that they have rolled out, I would still say on average, 4* have increased in power and 5* certainly have as well, with the exception of AA!  There certainly is a value in making sure that you have at least one of every 5* for completing 5* nodes but you can still generally do that and hoard at the same time.  
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  • brollbroll Posts: 4,170 Chairperson of the Boards
    I see your point.  My point was more along the lines of it depending on how OP there character is and how many tokens you have at the time.  Gambit was so OP it was like all those guys in the bull pit at the stock market "Buy!  Buy!".  Someone who had been hoarding for a while pre-Gambit made out like a bandit due to this, but some who wasn't and choose to hoard through it is desperately suffering by hot having him (and if he doesn't get nerfed and they don't get him before he leaves it will hurt for a long time).

    But you're right Gambit is and should be the exception and it's better to be able to grab whoever the next OP character is sooner when they pop up.  I'm still a major proponent of hoarding.  I'm so glad I finally got my 13th Gambit so I can resume hoarding (even if it's only a little one till Gambit leaves and I go for 1 of the new guy and 1 Thor).
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  • ThaRoadWarriorThaRoadWarrior Posts: 1,202 Chairperson of the Boards
    edited January 24
    I'm 100% f2p still in the 4* transition (all 4*s rostered with 9 champions and many at 9-11 covers) and i pull tokens as I get them until i hit a 13th and stop until I can get the character to champion. Inevitably, the game will give me a 14th cover from an event token or heroic token as soon as this happens, but generally given my level of play, I can get the iso in time. This really does happen almost every time, it's quite amusing, though I expect it will be less so when it starts happening at the 5* tier. I doubt this is "optimal," but it's how I like to play - i get super stoked every time I land an LT or get to 20cp, and it's fun seeing who comes out the other end.

    I have taken some precautions against cover waste though: I sold off loads of my 3*s in order to make sure I had every 4* and 5* (still missing goblin and iron man) to minimize my losses to roster slots, and as such, my 3* foundation is suffering most of my cover waste. I've been adding them back as I get slots in between new 4*/5* releases, which being f2p hasn't been super fast. I still need to open slots for 16 more 3* characters and with Ghost Rider coming, 3 more 5* slots. I'll have the occastional 6th (or 10th, looking at you blue Nick Fury and purple Spider-Woman...) cover happen this way, but not so often that I'm willing to forego pulling legendary for months to ensure I can fully cover a character in a single go.

    I can intellectually see the value in hoarding to those who are chasing 5* play, but for me, the fun in this game is pulling tokens largely, so if I weren't doing that regularly, I'd probably lose interest. I'm also in no rush to transition into full-time 5* play, so I really just need a single cover on whoever is latest to enter the 5e nodes in pve. Once my roster gets caught up to the release schedule, I'm sure that my perspective on where I spend my tokens will change as the game forces me ever upwards into harder to compete tiers of play. Also I imagine that HP will stop feeling like such a premium resource after I have enough roster slots for everyone, and I won't be as inclined to spend that.

    I tend not to incrementally spend Iso and wait until a character is at 13 covers to do it all at once, but I don't consider that "hoarding" so much as "saving up." there are times when I find myself with enough iso to go back in and start leveling, but typically I have between 100-300k iso laying around to get someone over to champ.
  • StraycatStraycat Posts: 740 Critical Contributor
    I guess where I get hung up is the definition of resource. During the heated vaulting debates, the main defender would argue that it eventually leads to zero waste, i.e. every cp was a champ reward. That treats every 4* cover as equal, with the ultimate goal of minimum risk when spending cp. I feel there are many who don't care for the 5* tier and just want to champ all 4*s. To that end, I think not hoarding would get you there faster. Which, to the original question, gets you back "resources" at a higher clip

    With the 5* tier in mind, the resource goal isn't just zero waste. During the "Friends from work" token I covered Dr. Strange, so I started only buying Latest with cp. I was getting 5*s at a decent rate that I thought not hoarding was getting me enough pulls that I could cover 5*s by the time they left. Not hoarding and with the increased rewards that my 3*s were giving me, got me to 8 cover Spidey (4/4/1 after the Vulture reward), 15 cover Daredevil, 9 Cover Gambit (2/4/4 after a bonus cover), 9 Cover Thor and 6 cover AA. With a couple weeks before Gambit leaves, it still seems hoarding is the only way for 5*s. You have to brute force the rng with enough pulls to overcome the odds.

    I think the way to earn the most without hoarding is to target your bonus heroes towards everyone at 279, 289, 299 etc for extra LTs. The "market" depends on how many characters are gonna soon get you more cp or LTs with their champ rewards.
  • DarthDeVoDarthDeVo Posts: 1,657 Chairperson of the Boards
    Also I imagine that HP will stop feeling like such a premium resource after I have enough roster slots for everyone, and I won't be as inclined to spend that.
    When I started playing seriously, my first long-term goal was getting all the 3*s rostered. Then it was to get at least one cover in each color for all those 3*s. Then it was champing all the 3*s.

    I took the same tack for the 4*s. Get them rostered, get a cover in each color, champ them all. 

    I can't remember when I got all the 3*s rostered, but I got the last missing cover in that tier a little over a year ago. 

    About the middle of February, I got all the 4*s at the time rostered. From that point on, I slowly started becoming HP positive. As my 3* champs kept gaining levels and my 2* farms kept getting recycled, that gain picked up speed. 

    I don't think I ever amassed quite enough at any one time to buy 40 packs or anything like that, but I would buy HfH offers, special vaults, that sort of thing. 

    Then towards the end of the year, my 3*s started getting to the 257 mark, the point where I decided to start a 3* farm. 

    I'm back to a relative HP drought. Not quite as bad as the first time around, but I'm definitely feeling the pinch. 

    So for about nine or 10 months, I had a pretty decent HP stash going. I probably won't be back there for a few months at least.
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    May RNGesus bless you and keep you; may he make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; may he lift up his countenance upon you and give you equal cover distribution.
  • PenniesForEveryonePenniesForEveryone Posts: 294 Mover and Shaker
    This concept absolutely applies to MPQ, but not in the same way at all times and for all players.

    A new player that is just starting out is in desperate need of covers to progress.  So for this player, hoarding means stalling progress, which means fewer resources coming.  To this player the value of those resources is very high.  Compare that to a player that has a champed Gambit and Black Bolt, but no other champed 5s and maybe only a handful of champed 4s.  This player has everything he needs to collect all the resources that are available to him in game, so for this player there is no sense in opening anything that could generate waste.

    As the game continues to grow and progression continues to be largely based on RNG the value of resources for new players continues to diminish.  Consider transitioning into the 3* tier - there are really only a handful of top tier characters in the 3* tier that can make you competitive, and as the size of that tier grows RNG makes it harder and harder to cover those characters through pulls.  Eventually resources start to become more valuable spent directly on covers rather than on tokens.

    The challenge for players is understanding their resource earn rate, and then trying to estimate what specific covers they could acquire that would accelerate that resource earn rate, figure out the odds of acquiring those covers if they spend their resources on them now, comparing that to the odds/time of acquiring those covers through other means (direct rewards typically), and then deciding whether or not it is beneficial to pull now with waste, or wait and pull later with less or no waste.

    So generic "hoarding is always better" or "opening everything is always better" type of advice doesn't consider the whole picture - especially when you consider the willingness of a player to spend their way out of any issues with excessive waste.

    I will say though, that the tiers are so broad now, and each tier has a handful of magic combos that will grant success, and you can target those combos with BH, that hoarding is more often than not the smart move - focus that one killer combo and ride it all the way to the next tier.
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