[Infinity Wars] Cost Analysis

The game itself is phenomenal.  The major concern I have with this game is the cost.  De javu from Carte.  So now with available information, I have tried preliminary cost analysis of how much this game is (in comparison to other TCGs). Don’t forget to cast your vote at the end for ideal price.  Remember the game is still in early beta and potential space for change.

Background

  • 125 lightmare points (LP) sells for US$1
  • One superbooster pack costs 300LP i.e. approx. $2.50
  • Each superbooster has at least one rare
  • Game has total 3 legendary.
  • Each faction has 4 rares, 2 epics
    • Sleepers of Avarrach are still missing several cards, so I assume when complete it will hace the same as other 5 factions.
  • Nonfaction has 1 epic, 3 rares
  • Total 6 factions
  • When a card is not unique, it can potentially be included up to 6 copies in a given deck.
    • There are indeed cards with high rarities without unique limit.
  • A pack may contain more than one high rarity.  E.g. I got a pack with 1 legendary, 1 epic and 1 rare.

Booster Pack Comparison

See here.  Essentially, Infinity Wars booster pack cost is a middle range.  However, personally comparing a pack price is not a fair comparison because of multiple factors e.g. how many cards in a pack, how many copies of a card can be in a deck etc.  So instead, I believe the fairest comparison is the calculation of how much it would cost to complete a playset i.e. you can make any deck you want.

Analysis

Assumption

There are couple unrevealed factors so I have used the worst case scenario here.

  1. Treat all legendary and epic same as regular rare in odds.
    The actual odds ratio of Legendary or Epic in a superbooster pack is currently hidden and won’t be announced (per Elphie).  Given there are only 3 legends in a game and less than a half number of Epics in game, probably this assumption is not a far off.  Especially, in Infinity Wars your pack don’t replace rare with the higher rarities instead you get them in addition to.
  2. 4.35 of a kind
    There are 10 cards that need 6 of a kind. I.e. non-unique characters. 19 that needs 4 of kind i.e. unique characters.  Lastly, 11 are maxed out at 3 i.e. location and ability cards.  It is of uncertain the 3 missing Sleepers of Avarrach faction high rarities are which type.  So for the worst case scenario, I am adding these to 6 of kind category.  This will result in (13 x 6 + 19 x 4 + 11 x 3)/43 = 4.35
  3. All cards are the same value
    As Infinity Wars will have trading system, I am assuming you can do 1:1 trade between any high rarity cards.  Obviously, this won’t be true as some cards are more valuable.  Especially, with no plan for Lightmare to have single card market of its own, this assumption could fell quite hard.
  4. Ignore Theme deck
    Although each theme deck contains (1 epic and 2 rares), these are fixed cards.  So if we assume these are 100% obtainable via theme deck (which is true) and subtract from total high rarity cards pool, it will not reflect true odds as you can technically win these cards still from super booster i.e. You just continue duplicating these. So for the purpose of calculation, I will ignore theme deck existence i.e. everything will be purely off of booster packs.
  5. When high rarity cards are completed (rare and up) everything else are also complete.Needless to say, this is a true statement.  Even if you lack (by chance) couple common or uncommon, you can easily trade your extra rare for couple of those.

Analysis

How many packs do I need to buy?

There are total of 6 x 6 (faction rare & epics) + 4 (non-faction rare & epic) + 3 (legendary) = 43 high rarity cards.  So assuming the worst case scenario, you get only 1 high rarity card in a pack which will require 43 x 4.35 =187.05 packs.

How much is it?

187.05 packs x $2.50/pack = $467.63 

Discussion

In Infinity Wars there are multiple uncertain factors.  Some act positively and the other may potentially act negatively.  But generally speaking, this should give a relative worst case scenario price.  Remember it can be better than this because by significantly higher chance, you can win multiple high rarity cards in a single pack.  The trading system is unknown factor but should provide a method to exchange your duplicate cards with other people hopefully at least 1:1.  The potential factor that may be worse than this prediction would be if the winning ratio of Epic or Legendary are significantly worse than winning a specific rare.

In general, this price is NOT cheap.  Here is a quick comparison table against other TCG.

Price Comment
Infinity Wars $467.63
Magic the Gathering ~$400 Magic has a way to buy individual cards, a whole set etc.  Plus it has a resell value of cards.
Shadow Era <$100 You can even get physical cards.

Though at the first glance, a single booster pack appeared to be somewhat reasonably priced the current price scheme is similar to that of Carte, which is a great TCG; however, considering its power, they had to close US branch of business, never become widely popular in Japan.  Certainly, price is not the only issue but personally it was a biggest reason I did not play the game.

Though there are options to win cards and in game currency, the way it is set up right now with 600 Infinity Wars point per day cap will take like 10 days for one to actually be able to purchase a single super booster pack by using this option.  This is similar to that of Carte’s daily free points deal.  The presence of trading system and presence of lucky pack (multiple high rarity card containing chance) may give an advantage over Carte, but game with the quality of Infinity Wars, I hope their aim more like taking Magic, Yu-Gi-Oh etc.  Current price scheme certainly won’t have a chance.  Not only against those big names, but against Solforge or Shadow Era, they probably won’t win either.

Solution

Now remember $467.63 is the worst case scenario.  So there are several potential factors that can change this value significantly.

  1. Odds ratio of more than 1 high raritiesI had a pack with 1 rare, 1 legendary and 1 epic i.e. that’s 3 high rarity cards in one pack!!  So if odds of these is high enough, the price can be significantly affected.  For instance, if on average you get 2 high rarity cards rather than 1, that’s change in factor of 2 i.e. $235.
  2. Bundle CampaignIf Lightmare ever does thing like Sony Online Entertainment’s double cash campaign i.e. you can essentially buy the points for half the price for limited time, this can again go down to 1/2 price.
  3. Individual Card MarketThis was confirmed not planned by Elphie Coyle, CEO of the Lightmare.  So I wouldn’t put high hope, but another way the price can be controlled better.

Conclusion

With current price scheme, as much as I like the game, I hate to say but I see no chance the game will ever reach to mass market like Shadow Era or Solforge (definitely not the level of Magic or Yu Gi Oh).  The developers of Lightmare must realize that Magic’s cost is NOT a true cost.  It is $400 and people call it’s expensive but they have resell value i.e. selling card at right timing will let you play a game almost for free (obviously you need initial investing money).

Since it is in beta stage, I hope Lightmare’s  business plan to shift to “more player with smaller margin per person” approach like that of Shadow Era.  The game itself is shaping up to be better than Shadow Era or Solforge but wrong price without the brand name will hurt the game significantly like Carte, Magic the Gathering: Tactics.

Having said all this, I think we still have a hope and there are unknown factors which can change the price by even some factors. Personally, the sweet spot for me is $100-$200 range for complete playset.  What isyours?

What is the reasonable price to complete a playset? (New set frequency is 3-4 months)

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