So how do I get delicious, tasty gold?
Every day, you’ll be given a Daily Quest in Hearthstone which range from “Get 2 victories as [Class 1] or [Class 2]” to “Play 20 Minions that cost 5 Mana or more.” These earn you around 40 gold (40g) on completion – bigger victory streak quests give you 60g each, and one particular Daily awards you 100g. To compensate for the large reward, this quest is longer than others. The quests you get every day are random and save up when you don’t play, so if you don’t play for three days, you’ll come back to three quests.
You also get 10g for every three victories you have in Play Mode and there’s no limit to how many times you can earn this bonus. You can earn gold rewards in the Arena, but we’ll touch on that later on.
OK, I’m rich, now what?
Alright, moneybags, you’ve got two choices when it comes to spending your hard-earned coin: Packs or the Arena.
Expert Packs (or just ‘Packs’ or ‘Decks’) are the booster pack of the Hearthstone world. What’s inside? Cards. More specifically? Cards – where at least one is Rare quality or better. These bad boys will set you back 100g a piece, but you might want to hang on to that.
See, for 150g you can buy your way into the Arena. In the Arena, you choose one of three classes presented to you and then choose one card from three presented to you until you have a full deck to present to everyone else. You then use this deck against other people who
want to present their deck want to kick your teeth in for a fix.
“Fix? What fix?” Gold, son. Gold. For every win you get in the Arena, your rewards get better and better. You can take your reward whenever you like, showing your true lack of conviction and will to succeed in the world. Or you can play like a man until you get three losses and are forcibly ejected from the premises. Basically, the Arena is like professional gambling; there’s a lot of skill involved, there’s a shit-ton of luck involved and you can never predict how well you’ll do. What can you get from the Arena? Gold, Packs, Dust (used for crafting new cards) and special Reward Cards that can only be obtained through the Arena.
I love money and want everything, where should I throw gold?
Right, hold on to your asses, boys and girls, because we’re going to be conducting mathematics up in this bitch. IN this section, we’re going to assume that your only goal is to get the cards you want as fast as possible.
Let’s look at what happens if you just get a deck.
First off, you’re gonna need 100g. How do you get that 100g? To start:
100g = That one Daily that gives you 100g (aren’t you lucky, 100g straight off!)
2*40g Dailies + 2*10g streak (1 extra victory per day to get the streak, this will take you two days)
3*40g Dailies (120g), then 2*40g Dailies (120-100 = 20. 20+(2*40) = 20+80 = 100) repeat until shit changes, this nets you a brand new pack every five days
2*60g Dailies (120g) then method described above so you get a new pack every four days
40g Daily, then 60g Daily which (shock/horror) takes two days
10*10g streak reward = 30 wins. Let’s say each winning game takes twenty minutes, this will take you ten hours (assuming you win every single game). Let’s assume that Blizzard’s matchmaking is perfectly callibrated so you’ll win exactly half your matches and this method will take you twenty hours of gaming (by which time you’ll probably get your dailies back).
So looking at the above, the fastest you can get a new pack of cards without playing the game constantly is every two days.
What if the cards in that Pack aren’t the ones you wanted? Well now we have to disenchant them for dust to craft new cards. What do we get out of a pack in terms of dust?
All you’re guaranteed in a pack is 1 Rare or better card so, if you’re unlucky:
4 Common + 1 Rare = 40 Dust <——– This is the minimum dust you can get from a pack
Rather than me list every single combination of cards you can get in a deck and relate it to what you can do with dust, here’s the info:
Cost of Disenchant/Cost of Creation for all rarities (non-gold)
3 Common + 2 Rare = 55 Dust which is enough to make one Common card.
So getting what you want out of an Expert Pack might take a while. So how about The Arena?
The rewards you get for playing Arena varies depending on how many wins you get. You’re ALWAYS going to get an Expert pack with the other rewards being gold, dust or even a card of variable rarity (or you can get lucky and get a really rare gold card).
The Arena costs 150g to enter so, with a guaranteed Expert Pack, we need to earn 50g worth of goodies for it to be worth our time.
So how much is dust worth in gold?
MINIMUM dust from disenchanting 1 Pack = 40 dust. 1 Pack is 100g so 1 dust = 2.5g
So now comes the fun part, data analysis!
From scouring the internet, I was able to find this spreadsheet detailing the reward data of 157 Arena excursions (which I am adding to my own data of Arena rewards, so thank you very much to the chap from the Hearthstone forums who mailed this to me).
What does the data tell us?
If you don’t win a single game, you will for the most part only take minor losses.
If you win just one game, it is around a 50% chance you’ll get 150g worth of stuff.
If you win 3 games, you will make a (minor) profit.
If you win 7 or more games, you can instantly re-enter The Arena with the gold rewards.
So which is worth my time?
Without a doubt, The Arena is the way to go in Hearthstone, as just getting Expert Packs by themselves yields poorer results. There is still the question of whether or not it’s better to work for your arena entry or pay for it with real money.
In the absolute best case scenario (You log in and get the “7 wins in any mode for 100g” quest then get 50g in streaks with the time assumptions above) it’s going to take you 7 hours to get enough gold for the Arena with the next-best scenario taking two days plus a couple of streak bonuses. That’s a lot of time to potentially throw down the drain if you don’t get enough wins in Arena mode. What’s the alternative? $1.99 US and you can jump straight into the Arena. It’ll certainly take a lot less time for you to earn that money than it will for you to earn the gold.
At the moment, there is a large focus on encouraging people to pay real money for things in Hearthstone as the free method takes too long. The game is by no means pay-to-win and it’s not impossible to play without spending money but, in the games present state, I do often feel like I’ll have to spend money before I have all the cards for the deck I want to build.
The real question is: How can this be altered so that players earn rewards in a smaller amount of time with Blizzard still earning money? Be sure to tell me your thoughts in the comments!