i was thinking about $/CE/cr conversion, and found these numbers interesting. for the sake of my sub-par math abilities, we will assume a 100 CE = 5000 cr exchange rate, though last i saw it was closer to 5400. regardless, if you buy 7500 CE for $20, ignoring the extra mist tank and other bonuses that come with the newbie set, the exchange rate is:
$1 = 375 CE = 18750 cr
let's look at in-game prices, then! disclaimer: the $ value of items paid for in crowns, such as recipes and materials, fluctuates based on trends in the CE market, and should be taken with a grain of salt. $ values in the cent range have been rounded up
entering a level: $0.03 / 10 CE / 500 cr
opening a treasure gate/danger room/activating a robot: $0.008 / 3 CE / 150 cr
t1: $0.006 / 2 CE / 100 cr
t2: $0.015 / 5 CE / 250 cr
t3: $0.03 / 10 CE / 500 cr
1*: $0.04 / 14 CE / 700 cr
2*: $0.16 / 58 CE / 2900 cr
3*: $0.59 / 220 CE / 11000 cr
4*: $1.33 / 500 CE / 25000 cr
5*: $2.40 / 900 CE / 45000 cr
the prices listed on the wiki may not be accurate, as i seem to recall unbind 5* tickets costing 8000 CE the last time i checked, and the pricing of 5* items in the auction house lines up with tickets costing 8000 CE, so i will expand this section when i am at a computer than can run spiral knights
one uv: $0.80 / 300 CE / 15000 cr
two uvs: $4.00 / 1500 CE / 75000 cr
three uvs: $20.00 / 7500 CE / 375000 cr
1*: $0.01 /5 CE / 250 cr
2*: $0.05 / 20 CE / 1000 cr
3*: $0.21 / 80 CE / 4000 cr
4*: $0.54 / 200 CE / 10000 cr
5*: $1.67 / 500 CE / 25000 cr
as i noted earlier, the crown values of CE purchases and the CE/$ value of crown purchases are both subject to change and in this case stand as rough estimates. still, this is pretty illuminating for me: it costs as much to put 3 UVs on an item as it does to buy an entire other game, and if you add the price of recipes and crafting together, you're looking at around $10 for each 5* item you want. your daily allowance of mist energy is worth about $0.27, so f2p players are looking at quite the grind.
at this point i find the economics behind this game more fascinating than the combat, and while i would still like to reach 5* equipment i don't want to sink any more time or real money into this game than the $22 and 70+ hours that i already have. i also don't want to suffer the tedium of arena farming, and i don't have the time for endless basil runs, so i'm just going to log in once a day, spend a few minutes crafting and auctioning a couple 2* items or a single 3* item, wait until my mist accumulates, and repeat. it is paradoxically the slowest and fastest method of making money, depending on your metric: it will take me about a month to make 150000 cr, but it will take me around an hour of playtime in total, which sounds pretty sweet when compared with the ~12000 cr/hour one can make arena farming.
i find it troubling that i still even want to play SK, honestly. i coincidentally just happened upon an interesting article in the new york times about the creators of dwarf fortress as i was writing this, which elaborates why. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/24/magazine/the-brilliance-of-dwarf-fortr...
the money quote:
"Tarn sees his work in stridently ethical terms. He calls games like Angry Birds or Bejeweled, which ensnare players in addictive loops of frustration and gratification under the pretense that skill is required to win, “abusive” — a common diagnosis among those who get hooked on the games, but a surprising one from a game designer, ostensibly charged with doing the hooking. “Many popular games tap into something in a person that is compulsive, like hoarding,” he said, “the need to make progress with points or collect things. You sit there saying yeah-yeah-yeah and then you wake up and say, What the hell was I doing? You can call that kind of game fun, but only if you call compulsive gambling fun.” He added: “I used to value the ability to turn the user into your slave. I don’t anymore.”"
i don't think the quote entirely applies to spiral knights--spiral knights is very much a skill-based game--but i see the parallels involving "addictive loops of frustration and gratification," and "the need to make progress with points or collect things." at the end of my time playing spiral knights, i don't feel like i was part of a story, or that i had experienced revolutionary gameplay (or even a particularly crisp iteration of well-trod gameplay, considering the server and memory-leak issues). there was no heartbreaking end like wind waker or ffx, no breathtaking and action-packed escapes like mgs3 or metroid fusion...just some Numbers Going Up.
i'm interested in your views, although i'd appreciate if people who just want to flame and people who are incapable of stringing together words and punctuation to form an actual sentence would leave this thread alone.