Most players should not rent End of Season.
This post is designed to help newer players consider where value can be lost in the rental market.
Plain and simple, the FOMO on end of season rewards has turned many of use into gamblers taking terrible odds. The more people that take negative returns end of season the more expensive renting becomes as more and more cards are taken off the market. Renting at a loss eats profits that would be better served being spent acquiring cards. Today we will look at the following subjects.
a: What is Expected Value (EV) b: What is my EV at the end of a season (EOS) c: What are the costs (There is more here than most realize as we consider opportunity lost)
Preface: As someone who rents a significant portion of their collection people may wonder why I am publishing content that is contrary to my bottom line. The answer to this is simple, I want new players to have the same success I did. New player success creates a favorable ecosystem for greater adoption. I am not worried about rental prices in the short term. I am playing the long game, and I think more people should as well.
A: What is Expected Value
The Oxford Dictionary gives us the following definition:
## Ex·pect·ed Val·ue - a predicted value of a variable, calculated as the sum of all possible values each multiplied by the probability of its occurrence.
In layman's terms, this is going to be our Return minus our Investment. (It is important to also consider that renting solely for CP and renting cards to compete in a given league is very different in terms of DEC spent, with the latter being exponentially more expensive.)
B: What is my Expected Value for End of Season
Thanks to splintercards.com, we have a handy tool to look at the value of each loot chest. It should be noted that they weight their average while taking a lower value of Legendary and Epic pulls, so I will be adding a few Dec per loot chest to their average.
From this image we can see that the Average Loot Chest is worth 59 DEC, which I am going to inflate to 65 DEC per chest. Now, if we are looking at going from
Silver III to Silver II, we know for a fact we will receive 3 loot chests, which we expect to get about 195 dec from on average.
C: What are the Costs
Now we need to gauge our costs. For that we are going to the most useful tool / website that should be on every player's Bookmarks (peakmonsters.com). Here we can see that 1 Day and 10 Hours before end of season (not even the last 24 hours of a season for a guaranteed rental until Season reset) people are paying about 1 DEC for every 77 Collection Power (CP).
Now, since we know we will be earning 195 Dec for going from SIII to SII we can multiply that number by 77 to see how much CP our earnings will be worth at EOS.
195 (dec earned) x 77 (current cp/dec spread on Peakmonsters) = 15,015 Collection power for our earnings. Now, if you look at the CP needed to go from Silver III to Silver II we can see
that we need to go from 15k CP to 40k CP, which is a difference of 25k CP. Since we are only earning enough Dec on average from our loot chests to get 15k CP, we need to cover the cost of the additional 10k CP which is going to be 10,000(CP needed) / 77 (CP/Dec spread) = 129.8 additional DEC we need to spend.
Now we should probably consider the fact that renting for only CP is not a winning strategy. I see a significant amount of players with over 1,500 Dec/day in rentals battling in silver that are very far from the leaderboards. We should also consider that rentals in the last 24 hours of a season is historically more expensive than 10 hours prior.
Renting 10 hours before the final day of a season is asking to have your rental canceled on the last day.
We should also consider the daily earnings at EOS from playing those cards and earning our daily chests. This calculation will be made on another day to keep this post from getting too long (already is).
Bonus for those that made it this far
The primary reason this strategy is not efficient is because of the opportunity cost. The single most rewarding day to play Splinterlands is after a Season Reset or prolonged maintenance. There are two reasons for this.
1: The reward pool resets 2: The day after a season reset historically has the least amount of battles played
This basically means that every match you win after a season resets is often 1.5-3x more rewarding than earnings made in the last couple days of a season (when everyone is grinding down their ECR to make the most of their rentals). After a season resets, almost all renters cancel their rental commitments because they are at their most expensive, which means an absolute influx of cards are hitting the rental market at very favorable prices. Now, this is the environment I want to save my DEC capture rate for. End of Season rentals and grinding is a Noob Trap until you own enough cards to cushion the CP cost.
There are countless factors at play in our micro-economy, and I could go on hour long tangents on each of those I'm even aware of. I'm always looking for others. My thoughts are often too scattered to share with others, so if you found this helpful or need clarification on something please let me know. I probably left a few loose ends, but c'est la vie.