Arena Doesn't Pay For Itself: The Math

09/03/2013 08:22 PMPosted by Epicninja
This idea would hold water if all you earned was gold however you also earn card packs and they have a set value of 100g per meaning wining 50g and a pack make you brake even in terms of value


Not really. You break even in terms of YOUR value. However for the other players that buy in and don't break even they lose some and you gain some extra. The idea behind competitions with buy ins is that the losers lose everything and the winners win big. In arenas it's a bit more constrained to a curve, so the losers still get a pack and some modest extras and the winners get a pack, some dust, and maybe enough gold to go again. In other words the winners win less so that the losers lose less.

Which is great if you're losing and you want packs, not enough gold to go again. Not so great if you're winning but not getting the gold you really want.
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Im not sure the validity on the math here, but here is what I know....

4 wins = 1pack,, 40 gold, 5 dust. Mind you these values have been known to change some as 2 victories has never resulted in the same results...

7 wins = 1 pack 50 dust and 50 gold + gold card
8= 1 pack 200 gold and 50 dust.....

This is just what I have been able to see on streams and what I have obtained in my time in arena.

The amounts vary per win, but increase at intervals. If you win none you get pretty crap, if you win 1 you get crap, if you win 2 you win crap but not as bad, 3 also not as bad crap, 4 less crappier 5 less crappier, 6 mid range 7 mid range, 8 can play again, 9 play again.....

So yeah pretty much only the top players can use arena to farm...And by top I mean those with a greater understanding of card interaction and who are extremely lucky. Or those who lucked out on three or more of the same same damage spell and exploit the hell out of it.


Thats the problem on your though, You just make account of what you win, but you didnt make account of what other people lost. So, if you win 9-0 using 150gold, you just made 3 people loose theorically 0-3(could be anything else), they'll win like 1 booster(which costs 100gold, so they lost 50 gold), and you'll win (1booster, 100gold, 100 dust), 50gold still went to the sink! The game is for sure designed to have a sink somewhere!

You can't say that it depends on skill, because MMR exists to make similar skilled player to play together, unless you're the most skilled guy on the world, which case, ofc you'll make profit, but you'll make alot of people loose, and if all that they loose went to you, it was very good, but it wont go! It just vanishes at Blizz sink hole!
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I haven't read the thread except the OP, but this analysis has a major flaw immediately. You are implicitly assuming a uniform MMR distribution for players and that you always play opponents exactly at your MMR. In reality, the distribution is roughly normal around some mean and you usually don't have an exact MMR match.

If your MMR is above the mean, you will play lower-MMR players more often than you play higher-MMR players. If your MMR is significantly above the mean, and is a correct measure, you are thus likely to win significantly more than 50% of your games.

This is clearest in your statements about "only the best player in the world is expected to have a better than 3-3 record." That is clearly nonsense.
Edited by Datah on 9/4/2013 5:14 AM PDT
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Might not pay for itself, but if you look at it this way. You always get a pack, the pack would cost 100 gold to buy. So if you earn 50 gold in the arena it would be worth it, since you also get dust, which actually seems hard to get, 1 commen card for 10 dust right. So while the arena might not pay for itself, it is worth it
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It does pays by it self, and it give the right and fair share to the house, as ANY OTHER tourmanent! If you have played any CCG on a regular basis, you should undestand how thinks work, my friend
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09/04/2013 12:51 AMPosted by Seeker
Thats the problem on your though, You just make account of what you win, but you didnt make account of what other people lost. So, if you win 9-0 using 150gold, you just made 3 people loose theorically 0-3(could be anything else), they'll win like 1 booster(which costs 100gold, so they lost 50 gold), and you'll win (1booster, 100gold, 100 dust), 50gold still went to the sink! The game is for sure designed to have a sink somewhere!


fyi if you get 0 wins you still get 20-25 dust+gold back as rewards in addition to the pack. so you don't even lose 50g by going winless more like 25g, and since at 7 wins you are guaranteed 150g+ and a pack, that is already at least 100g profit for only SEVEN wins. so your logic that less goes in than comes out is flawed right there.

you are also ignoring the fact that dust has value. just because you can't use dust to reenter arena doesn't mean it's worthless. i'm not going to do the math again, but i looked at some stats of what was collected on some forum threads, and if you look at the average rate of commons/rares/epics/legendaries you get in packs and translate it to dust if you were to disenchant it all, it translates to dust being worth about 1.2 gold.
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if u win 10/10 like i do about every other time you get minimum 150 coins usually 2 decks and a couple hundred arcane dust so it more than pays for itself even if you only win 5 it pays for itself. just get all toons to level 10 b4 trying
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One thing I don't get is why should everyone overall even out? Blizzard SHOULD take some for server costs and whatever, even Poker sites take a part of the tournament entry fee.

As long as the system leaves me a way to get ahead (which this does, as 7-3 seems easier than grinding 8-4s on MTGO all day), I'm pretty happy with it.

The only thing I would considering changing in the payout scheme is skewing it even more towards the higher records. You don't want to pay for the guaranteed pack? Fine, take it out and only award the pack to people 4-3 or better and allow 7-3 to get 2 packs.

This may seem like quite a spartan view of it all, but I may have a gambling addiction/
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Arena is a mini-tournament mode.

Most tournaments out there have some sort of "buy-in". You aren't guaranteed to win anything, and if you get eliminated from a tournament; they sure as !@#$ aren't going to give you an award for losing off the bat so badly.

Not sure why the OP thinks that with his "Arena, now with MATH!" viewpoint changes this.

Listen here OP. No-one here is questioning your validity of your statistics class you took in community college 2 years ago. Nor is anyone going to question your math. Frankly I couldn't be arsed with checking it or really reading the entirety of your post because its comes off as loquacious piece of drivel.

Of course Arena is a money sink. It's a tournament pyramid, not a ponzi scheme. People invest into it. Play as best as they can. Anyone going above 3 wins will see some low level rewards. Anyone going above 7 wins will see a return of investment. Anyone going 9 wins, will walk away with great rewards. In the end, everyone walks away with something (Card packs, gold, dust).

To finalize how far off your viewpoint of Arena is, in regards to your original post I shall quote from a movie...

"What you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul."
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Huge gaps in your math, but the general point you make is true. This is of course what everyone already knows. To make more gold in the arena than you spend, you have to be very good. That's really the bottom line. Are you suggesting that they give high rewards to those who do not do so well?

That said, it is really, really easy to make it so spending your gold in the arena is at least better than spending it on packs. When you add up the dust and gold you do get (on top of the pack), even for a 3 or 4 win, it is almost always better than the 50 extra gold you spent to enter.


I both agree and disagree. Going 3-3 or 4-3 MIGHT be an increase in value, On average, you will get at that level the following.

1 pack (guaranteed)
10-25 gold (maybe varying even higher or lower)
45-80 Arcane Dust (again, maybe varying)

Now, Arcane Dust is the one key. Essentially, it's value is only in crafting, and as such it's value is only determined by what you craft. Example, if you craft a rare, epic, or legendary card, that was the equivalent of one card from a pack. Therefore, it has a value of 1/5th of a booster. If you craft two common cards, it has the value of 2/5ths of a pack.

So, we'll assume you craft two common cards. That means you spent 150 gold and got back in return, at best, 165 gold. That's just if you're luck. At worst, you got back 130 gold. This means you lost money for having a .500 record or better.

If you go into any draft style format, you always break even. If you do a draft in Magic, you pay $10 and get back 45 cards, which is $10. Even if you lose all your games, you break even in total value. In this game, however, Arena doesn't work that way because a. the rewards are random beyond the guaranteed booster pack, and b. you do not get to keep the cards you draft.

I would actually be better with a real life draft system. If you do well, you get additional prize support. If you don't, you just keep your deck. However, for that to work, that would mean either the price of the Arena entry would have to be much higher (30 cards = 6 boosters = $6, or 450 gold). However, since that isn't really feasible, the minimum reasonable request is that your 150 gold should get you a minimum of 150 gold's worth of return, even with a record of 0-3. I went 0-3 in my free Arena, and if I recall correctly I got back 1 pack, 5 gold, and 35 Arcane Dust. That's positively dreadful, and at best is a return of 125 gold. I've now lost 25 gold to play in a format that should be giving me no less than equal return for my entry fee.

The system needs definite revision.
Edited by JrShoe on 9/11/2013 3:50 PM PDT
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You get more value from Arena then buying packs with your money though, even at the bare minimum amount of gold/dust/packs you get from 5 arena runs you gain more then you think.

I have a full explanation here on this post I made

http://us.battle.net/hearthstone/en/forum/topic/9948064928#1
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So you basically just said the people who suck can't keep playing arena and the people who do not suck can? Interesting.

There's no point for arena to even have MMR. That's not the point of the game mode at all. You play other people, you beat other people, you keep playing arena. To try and balance the game mode with garbage mmr nonsense because some people aren't skilled enough to break the 50% w/l barrier is incredibly silly.
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09/03/2013 09:49 PMPosted by Corwin
This idea would hold water if all you earned was gold however you also earn card packs and they have a set value of 100g per meaning wining 50g and a pack make you brake even in terms of value


Not really. You break even in terms of YOUR value. However for the other players that buy in and don't break even they lose some and you gain some extra. The idea behind competitions with buy ins is that the losers lose everything and the winners win big. In arenas it's a bit more constrained to a curve, so the losers still get a pack and some modest extras and the winners get a pack, some dust, and maybe enough gold to go again. In other words the winners win less so that the losers lose less.

Which is great if you're losing and you want packs, not enough gold to go again. Not so great if you're winning but not getting the gold you really want.


If you don't care about card packs in a collectable card game, then that doesn't mean the value isn't there, it just means that you personally don't attribute the proper value to what you're buying when you pay for an arena match. In other words, your opinion on the value of a card pack doesn't reduce it's value from 100g (what it costs you to buy on it's own).

Thus it still follows that as long as you average 50g from every arena buy-in that you do as a player (which actually seems very reasonable for every person to do) then you have gained equal value to the buy in from playing an arena match. That makes it potentially a much better option over buying card packs, and arguably much more fun too!
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If you go into any draft style format, you always break even. If you do a draft in Magic, you pay $10 and get back 45 cards, which is $10. Even if you lose all your games, you break even in total value. In this game, however, Arena doesn't work that way because a. the rewards are random beyond the guaranteed booster pack, and b. you do not get to keep the cards you draft.


Do you actually get drafts at $10 with prizes? Almost all the drafts where I'm from are $10 + Buy-in.
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Well, good thing there are rewards for people who actually go 0-3.
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The value of dust is off. in your calculations. You must not count how much dust you get by disenchanting a pack, but how must dust you need to BUY a rare and 4 commons. That's 260 dusts=100gold, valuing 1 dust at 0.38 gold. (rounded down)
So, accounting for the 100g pack, you have a leftover 50G to get to "break even'.

Golds are golds, obviously, so if you get 30 gold as a reward, you need 20 gold in dust, which amounts to approximately 50 dusts.
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Nobody really cares, because there is a huge common sense flaw in your original statement.

All the smart people know the house is stacked against them. You will be guaranteed to lose money in the long run unless you are seriously good.

All the idiots don't understand basic math and thus don't understand and/or completely refuse to believe you. That is why casino's make tons of money.

====================================================
WHERE'S THE FLAW IN YOUR ORIGINAL STATEMENT?

You assume someone is playing Arena to make their money back. Only the top 9% talk like that, and the chumps who don't understand basic math.

The truth: The smart people who know they are guaranteed to lose gold will always play Arena because it is the only way to play a "fair" game. Doing rated or unrated eventually pits you against a pay to win player. That is not as much fun. Hence, why we play Arena.

====================================================
I'VE DONE A LITTLE BIT OF MATH MYSELF

I have done some math normalizing the value of dust, pack of cards, and other rewards from sucking at Arena. So far my sample size is 5 Arena matches with a 3.5 win average. I am gaining just above 150g worth of reward value (zero actual gold back after 5 arena runs).

To find the value of dust. Compare the average disenchant value from the average results from a pack and make that equal to 100g (I have 65dust per pack average). Hence, I counted 65 dust equals 100g. I may have priced the value of dust a bit high, and I'm still working on creating a value for the dust. It's still under observation till I have any actual reportable results.
Edited by Charliechuck on 10/21/2013 4:29 AM PDT
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This post is a very well written summation of what I realized after my first entry into the arena, even if you pay for your own entry with your winnings, that REQUIRES that other people lose their entry fees.
It blows my mind that even with a 2/1 win/loss ratio you don't break even on coins. To be completely honest, the arena is the only part of the game I enjoy (it reminds me of booster drafts in my old MTG days), and if I'm forced to farm regular mode just to be allowed to play the mode I enjoy, I won't be playing this game upon release, or even for much longer in the beta.
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You didn't factor in the fact that no matter how many games you play you can always get better, thus changing your mmr. This also means someone lost of course but, you could break the pattern. Not to mention the odds of getting a PERFECT mmr match is very slim between time zones and every player is different, not even going into class variables.

In short you forgot: THE HUMAN FACTOR.
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Has anyone ever claimed that most people could infinite Arena?

It's designed so < 10% of runs will pay for themselves. That's obviously not everyone.

That being said, it's still pays for itself in that it is a more efficient use of gold than merely buying packs.
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