Vouchers, Phase 2, and the General Sale
We've hit a new milestone in the CL sale: today was the last boosted airdrop of Phase! From now on, we'll be getting 20k vouchers every day. I plan to hold onto mine as they'll probably be needed once we get to Riftwatchers (I'll expand my thoughts on this is a future post).
With Phase 2 winding down, I wanted to spend some time thinking about the value of buying packs now as opposed to the general sale.
Buying in Phase 2
In Phase 2, you spend a voucher + $4 to get one pack. That pack will give you airdrop chances for ALL 13 of the next airdrops. Two of these, pictured below, will be exclusive airdrops for Phase 2 (but you can still open them in packs after Phase 2). They're strong! But are they worth a voucher?
Each pack you buy in Phase 2 will have a 0.33% chance of dropping each airdrop, with one copy of each being guaranteed for every 300 packs you buy. Although GF cards won't be guaranteed ever, the chance of getting one will be 4% for each cards you receive.
One interesting thing is what happens if you buy under 300 packs? Below is a graph of your chance of getting at least one copy of one of the 2 airdrop cards as a function of how many packs you've bought. I've put in a horizontal line for when your chance crosses 50% (around 105 packs). The near-vertical increase at the end shows the chances going up as soon as you hit the magical 300 guarantee. The main takeaway is that the chances of getting one are not great unless you're buying >200 packs. Even at 299 packs, you still have ~20% chance of getting no airdrops.
As with the pre-sale, this seems to be a case of go big, go home, or hope you get lucky. Buying a few packs is probably the worst way to go, as you're paying a voucher +$4 and you'll likely get no airdrops, when you could get exactly the same thing in a few weeks for just $4 with no voucher needed. And if you are already buying a decent number (like 100-200), you should really consider buying up to 300 to guarantee not one, but two airdrop cards.
Buying in the general sale
In the general sale, you spend a $4 to get one pack. If you buy at least 100 packs, you can use vouchers to get bonus packs (e.g. buying 100 packs and spending 10 vouchers will get you 110 packs). That pack will give you airdrop chances for the next 13 airdrops with no chance for Uriel of Baakjira.
The tradeoff and the implied value of vouchers
Based on this, vouchers are primarily valuable for their chance at getting you the 2 airdrop legendaries exclusive to Phase 2. Assuming people buy in 300 pack increments (so are always getting guaranteed airdrops), and that the 2 airdrops will be equal in value to the current most expensive CL legendary (Queen Myselia @ $30 RF, Quix @ $410 GF), buying 300 packs will give an expected value of 2 * (30 * .96 + 410 * .04) = 90.4. That divided by 300 is $0.30. So paying >$0.30 for a voucher in Phase 2 is likely going to be a net loss (at least in the short term before prices rebound).
The ONLY reason in my mind that the above is invalid is if CL packs sell out instantaneously. Who cares how expensive vouchers are if you can't buy a pack in the general sale? While I was reasonably worried about this a few weeks ago, I think the chances now are pretty low, for a few reasons.
- The bulk sale did not sell out. Aggroed put an upper limit on the amount of packs that could be purchased in the bulk sale prior to the general sale, and I don't believe it hit that limit. So even with the bonuses, there was not enough demand or expectation of a sellout to hit the maximum.
- The whole splinterlands ecosystem is in a bit of a downturn. Every day I see posts about how splinterlands might be dead, and while I very much disagree, I do think this sentiment will put a damper on people buying packs.
Vouchers, their present, and their future
As you can see from the quick analysis above, when there is a period that requires vouchers and a period that doesn't, the rewards of the voucher need to be substantial (as they were in the pre-sale) to make it not as simple to wait for the period where they aren't needed.
Buying packs in Phase 2 seems like a bad decision currently when you can sell vouchers for significantly more than you expect them to give you in value. Or you can hold them and use them for bonus packs in the general sale, when they'll be worth $4 each.
In the future, it seems like there are 3 options for vouchers.
- never needed, which seems unlikely as I don't think we'll revert to pre-CL distribution
- only needed for the first x% of packs, which could happen, but as we've seen here, you need some sort of decent bonus for using voucher as opposed to just waiting
- always needed, which I think is pretty likely. I'll get into more detail in the future, but I am bullish on vouchers, and think buying and holding between releases will be a good strategy.
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