Is it better value to acquire weapons from directly buying with gold, or using gold for the XP boosters and buying with XP?

Please take into account how much XP you would need to earn per match, special offers and bundle packs.

  • Well, I'm gonna do some research into this as soon as Ascend finishes patching, but you should probably clarify as to what you mean by cheapest. I'm gonna assume you mean cost-efficient and take time into account, but not sure if that's what you mean. – Tarkenfire Aug 25 '12 at 15:58
  • Pretty much, yes. – njallam Aug 25 '12 at 17:11

A 10 day booster costs 640 gold and earns ~88000 xp (one weapon) if you play 2 hours per day. The gold would be better used to purchase the weapon (500 gold).

You would additionally earn ~88000 xp during this time, allowing you to purchase a second weapon (whether you buy the booster or not).

If you play 5 hours per day, the 10 day booster makes more sense. It would earn 175500 xp (2 weapons from the booster), and 2 more weapons from the xp earned without the booster during the 10 days.

The most efficient booster is the 90 day booster. You have a choice:

A) You could buy the 90 day booster for 1600 gold, play 90 days@2 hours each and earn 1,458,000 total xp, and unlock 16 weapons @ 88k xp each.

B) You could use 1600 gold to unlock 3 weapons @ 500 gold each today, play for 90 days@2 hours each and earn 729000 xp, and unlock 8 more weapons @ 88k each. This is nice for the immediate reward + no commitment, but A provides 50% more guns.

C) Buy the starter pack for 1600 gold to get 2 classes, 4 weapons and 4 perks, play for 90 days@2 hours each and earn 729000 xp, and unlock 8 more weapons @ 88k each. . I estimate the pack to be worth 460000 xp.

A - 1458000 xp
B -  993000 xp
C - 1189000 xp

Math time:


Consider 3 players (all VIP, no boosters yet):

Winnner - this guy wins every match in first place. This approach gives the most xp with the least elapsed time. He plays for time = t minutes each day. He earns ((t * 35 * 1.5) + 1200) * 1.5) = t * 78.75 + 1800 xp each day.

  • 1 hr = 6525 xp
  • 2 hr = 11250 xp <-- Note, the daily win is 16% of the xp.
  • 5 hr = 25425 xp

Loser - this guy loses every match in last place. This approach gives the most xp with the least skill. He plays for time = t minutes each day. He earns ((t * 35) * 1.5) = t * 52.5 xp each day. (Actually, a little more.. I've left his bonus xp = 0, but he does earn ~1%-2% based on where last winds up on the scoreboard)

  • 1 hr = 3150 xp
  • 2 hr = 6300 xp
  • 5 hr = 15750 xp

Lucky - this guy joins the match and immediately wins with 0 minutes played. This approach gives the most xp with the least time played. He plays for 0 minutes each day. He earns 1200 * 1.5 = 1800 xp each day.

Most players will play until they win at least one match, so the real minimum is Loser+Lucky, which works out to be:

  • 1 hr = 4950 xp
  • 2 hr = 8100 xp <-- Note, the daily win is 22% of the xp.
  • 5 hr = 17550 xp

Let's proceed assuming 2 hours played each day, and at least one match win. You will earn between 8100-11250 xp each day. A booster will double that to 16200-22500. Half of this xp is from the booster, and half of this xp is earned even without the booster.

Boosters vary in cost per duration:

1 Day    240 Gold  (earns   8100-  11250 extra xp)   33 xp/gold
3 Day    400 Gold  (earns  24300-  33750 extra xp)   60 xp/gold
10 Day   640 Gold  (earns  81000- 112500 extra xp)  126 xp/gold
30 Day  1200 Gold  (earns 243000- 337500 extra xp)  202 xp/gold
90 Day  1600 Gold  (earns 729000-1012500 extra xp)  455 xp/gold

So - the most efficient booster is also the biggest one.

From here, go back up to the start of the post where I put the numbers together and draw conclusions.

  • Muh! Prices on the wiki for booster packs were out of date. Updated answer with the new cheaper 90 Day Booster. – Amy B Aug 30 '12 at 0:39

The upshot if you don't care about the reasoning: ASSUMING you get the 1st place and (more importantly) your team wins the match, any given item will take around 14 five-minute-long match to get any given item. If you come in last place and your team loses, this number increases to around 150 matches per item. This is WITH the boost.

Without the boost, double those two numbers to 30 matches and 300 matches respectively.

90 days of boost will cost around 20 USD whereas every major (500 gold) item will cost you about 4 dollars, but you won't have to play any matches.

In my opinion, a combo of both would be the best. If you're going for completion, buy the weapons you will actually use with gold then get the rest through exp with boosts.

------- The reasoning --------

Okay, was gonna do a lot of math here, but in the end it doesn't matter. Boosts double the XP given. Period.

Let's say you have the goal of the tech's EXR turret. That's either 500 gold or 88000 exp. (it's a decent comparison piece, more than some secondary stuff, less than most primary weapons)

(the following all assumes you are VIP: you've made a cash purchase and receive a 50% exp boost on all exp)

Let's get the annoying real money to fake money conversions done. The largest boost package (thus the most cost effective one) is 90 days for 1600 gold. You'd have to buy one of the 20 dollar 1800 gold packs to afford it. The Gold/USD conversion rate is ABOUT 80 cents per gold.

Assuming you get 1st place on the leaderboard in a map that takes 5 minutes to complete (which you play the full time) and your team WINS, you would receive 3200 exp (pre boost). That's around 27 perfect matches without the boost to get the item. With the boost, that halves it to about 13 games (rounding down).

Assuming you get 16th place and LOSE the same map as above, you'd receive 267 exp (yes, really). At this rate, it would take around 330 matches to get the item. The boost halves this to around 115 matches.

As a note, in the formula, winning is a LOT more important than rank. In math terms, losing throws a multiplication by 0 into the formula whereas rank only decreases a small added bonus.

(The exact formulas I used if you want to do some more specific crunching are here: http://www.tribesascendwiki.com/XP)

  • Thank you for your effort, I think what I will do is use gold to only buy items that are on special offer and that's all I'll use it for. The rest I'll unlock with XP. I'm not very confident in my skill at that game and don't want to spend excessive amounts of money in it. – njallam Aug 25 '12 at 19:29
  • Your numbers look wrong. A 5 minute 1stplacewin with VIP and without boost awards 393 xp. A 5 minute last place loss with VIP and without boost awards 262 xp. You may have gone wrong by counting the "first win of the day" 1200 xp award, which can only be earned once per day. – Amy B Aug 29 '12 at 15:49

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