Carte ~How much?~

Summary: It’s a great game.  The game mechanics and first 10 hours experience in any TCG that I have played so far, I will put Carte on the top.  But the biggest concern over this game is its price.  No dTCG (digital trading card game) should be more expensive than the Magic the Gathering Online.  So let’s analyze.

Understanding price units.

Carte has a bit confusing in game pricing units.  The major ones are:

Coins – This allows you to buy booster packs, theme decks etc.

Campus Credit (CC) – This is what you buy using actual money (Paypal, credit card).  This is currency used across all games among Game Campus, which obviously include Carte.

LP – Experience Point, which allows you to buy some of the single cards.

LC – Obtainable through playing games.  This allows you to also buy booster pack.

I consider LP and LC as bonus feature that Carte provides, but you cannot rely on these to really get enough card collection build up as rate of acquiring these are so slow.

Worst Case Scenario

Without utilizing any bonus, 100 Campus Credit cost US$1 .  Each booster pack cost 15,000 coin.  You need 300 Campus Credit to purchase 15,000 coin.

1 Booster Pack 15,000 Coins 300 Campus Credit US$3

So 1 booster pack cost $3.

Utilizing Bonus Features

Bonus Credit Event

Every month, Game Campus holds bonus event that you can get up to 50% additional Campus credit up on purchase.

a

One Time Fill Up Amount Bonus % Total CC
$500 (50,000 CC) 50% 75,000
$300 (30,000 CC) 50% 45,000
$200 (20,000 CC) 50% 30,000
$100 (10,000 CC) 50% 15,000
$50 (5,000 CC) 40% 7,000
$30 (3,000 CC) 25% 3,750
$20 (2,000 CC) 5% 2,100

*As of today, March bonus event is on going.  http://carte.gamescampus.com/news/eventsdetail/1/2849

Card Exchange Coupon

According to the official forum, one of the user pointed out that this coupon does not apply to booster packs.

$100 with 50% Bonus CC

This would be the best for money deal.  You need to spend minimum of $100 at once to received 50% bonus CC.

Coin CC # CC Coin
360,000 5400 2 10800 720000
180,000 3060 1 3060 180000
90,000 1620 0 0 0
45,000 860 1 860 45000
15,000 300 0 0 0
Total 14720 945000 # Booster 63
Price/booster 1.587302

$30 with 25% Bonus CC

For those who rather not spend $100, you can spending $30 and gain 25% bonus CC.

Coin CC # CC Coin
360,000 5400 0 0 0
180,000 3060 1 3060 180000
90,000 1620 0 0 0
45,000 860 0 0 0
15,000 300 2 600 30000
Total 3660 210000 # Booster 14
Price/booster 2.142857

Comparison

Game Name 1 booster pack price Comment
Magic the Gathering Online $4.00
Eye of Judgment $4.00 You received actual physical cards to play digitally.
Carte (Max Price) $3.00
Carte ($30) $2.14 Must buy $30 CC at once during Event
Carte (Min Price) $1.58 Must buy $100 CC at once during Event
*Shadow Era (Max Price) $1.00
Shadow Era $0.74 Must buy $40 physical booster box
Shadow Era (Min Price) $0.66 Must buy $50 crytals at once

*Shadow Era has the lowest price for booster pack already at its maximum price, but with the release of physical card pack (end of May), this price advantage will further increase.  This is because Shadow Era physical card will contain equivalent price worth of Shadow Crystal (Shadow Era’s currency).  So if you buy a physical booster box ($40 containing 24 booster packs), you get $54 worth of shadow crystals in addition to 24 physical card booster packs.  So this is very sophisticated, but in the end with $40 spending you bought digital booster packs for $0.74 per pack AND $1.67 physical booster per pack.  The price scheme is just unbeatable.

Conclusion

– You can potentially buy a Carte booster pack $1.58, which is 40% of Magic the Gathering Online.
– If you want to complete your set, each expansion has around 20 rares so for the play set you need at 80 booster packs (assuming no random card you get is rare).  But this simply gurantees you get 80 rares minimum and based on pure statistics, you are unlikely to get all the rares equally distributed to 4 copies.  However, with the promise of trading system coming in near future, I would guess this is probably reasonable numbers to allow user trading among themselves to complete the expansion as long as price inflation occurs as in Magic i.e. one card costs way more than other despite the same rarity.

In the end, the price scheme for Carte is not as bad as I originally though as long as you take the bonus event advantage.  Having said this, even after trading system gets incorporated, the user still will likely need to spend $100 per expansion.  The rate of expansion release on Carte is 1 per month, so $100+/month spending is expected if you want to complete your playset.  This price point is unfortunately similar to that of Magic the Gathering Online.  The reason behind this is simply the frequency of expansion release on Carte is much faster than that of Magic.   In addition, unlike Magic the Gathering Online you will not have option to trade in for physical card on Carte.

Having said this, in order to make a competitive deck in Carte should be significantly cheaper than that of Magic Online since no single card in Carte cost significantly more than the others; though, this may change with introduction of trading system.

If we include Shadow Era here in comparison, Shadow Era blows any other dTCG in its price scheme.  Not its just cheaper for booster packs in digital game, but you actually get physical cards on top of it (with cheaper price).  So actual value you spending $1 on shadow era is who knows how many times cheaper than that of other TCG.

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