To Donut Or Not To Donut. That Is The Question.
There is a debate among many players on whether or not one should buy donuts. In reality, the answer is dependent on a player's real life. If it is economical for them, there's no reason not to buy donuts. If however, they need to be frugal with their money, but not their time, then it is better to play for free.
Obviously, if someone doesn't have a job, or the money they do make is needed for real life situations and can't be afforded to their entertainment, being a free player is the best option. But what if this isn't the case? What if they have expendable funds they can afford to allot to their hobbies like Hero Zero? Is it still foolish to spend money on a free game? Let's take a look and see.
The below image is from the Playata stand alone site for the US servers.
Most people make around $10 an hour or better. We'll use the $10 an hour rate as a base median to make our calculations and examples easier, but I know many players who make many times that. If you were to buy a $10 package, the cost of donuts would be 10 cents a piece. At the higher end $100 package, this rate drops to 5.7 cents per donut.
That's really not a lot when considering what a donut can do for you. Is 6 minutes of your time worth 10 cents? How about 5.7 cents? When doing missions, each donut can save a player up to 6 minutes a piece. 10 donuts can therefore save a whole hour. So a $10 package can save 10 hours, but only cost 1 hour of real life time. That's turning 1 hour's worth of income into 10 hours of saved time, effectively netting you an additional 9 hours of free time to use elsewhere than the game. A $100 package can save 175 hours. That's more than a month's worth of time spent at a full time job.
Personally, one of the things I like most about this game is that spending money on it doesn't really strengthen one's toon too much, but instead, is primarily used as a time saver. This isn't entirely true, but it is for the most part and keeps pay players from outstripping free players by too much, thus allowing the dedicated and diligent free player the ability to compete on a mostly level playing field as pay players.
Now, let's discuss the best ways to spend donuts.
As stated above, each donut can save up to 6 minutes of time on missions. This allows players to free up their time from game play for other things they need or want to do, while still allowing them the ability to accomplish as much each day as possible.
Donuts can also be effectively on training to save time. 5 donuts can do a full set of training. By using batteries and videos, you can turn what ordinarily would take 50 minutes to complete down to 0 minutes. Let's say hypothetically that your team has 5 training trophies and you get an additional 5 training from a villain plus your regular 10 daily training. That equates to 40 training units for a total of 200 minutes or 3 hours and 20 minutes. By using a combination of batteries and donuts to complete 4 full sets of missions, you spend a total of 20 donuts and save 3.3 hours, at a cost of $2 or less. At $10 an hour you would make $33 in that time and spend $2 or less. That's a huge difference in how valuable you can make your time worth. For the average player who only gets 10 training a day, you're spending 50 cents to save an hour of your life from clicking. That seems pretty worth it to me, if the funds are available to you.
Now, let's get into boosters, since this is one of the MOST important places to use donuts.
1st off, gaining skill points is what's going to make the most difference in your success in the game. This is done through gaining coins to buy skill points; leveling to gain better gear and free skill points; bonuses given through gear, League, team, and boosters; and Heroic Deeds.
Your mission booster is your MOST important booster in furthering your abilities. Your mission booster shortens the length of time each mission, allowing you to do more missions for the energy you have. This is valuable in collecting coins, experience for leveling and Heroic Deeds, all of which translates to more skill points to strengthen your toon with. I HIGHLY recommend you use the 50% booster bought with donuts. Even as a free player, gaining 10 donuts a week to improve your toon here should be a fairly easy task for all but the most casual players.
The next booster is your skill booster. To many, all the skill booster does is temporarily increase your base stats for 1 week. Skill points gained in this way aren't permanent. However, that doesn't mean this booster has little value. Higher skills means more enemies you can beat in pvp and team battles. This not only translates to more coin with which to buy more skill points, it also can help your team win and keep trophies which will also translate as a way to increase your power more permanently. Not only that, but battles won against higher level opponents and higher honor opponents can often net you donuts and gear which can be kept or sold for coin. Furthermore, the ability to beat more opponents will also help you increase your ranking in League which can also increase your stats through the League bonus.
Your work booster is probably the least important to spend donuts on, and some people don't even buy coin boosters here. This is a shame actually. Again, coin is needed to buy skill points. While I don't necessarily agree with spending donuts here, the amount of coin spent on a 25% booster is well worth the earnings each day from time spent at work, sleeping or elsewhere. Not using at least a 25% booster here is a mistake.
Your last booster is the League booster. This is because League fights give 3x the coin regular duels do, as well as the fact that climbing the ladder in League increases your base skills by 3% per level. It is really important to use as many League fights as possible. If you have the time to get all of them in each day with only the coin booster, there's really no reason to use a donut booster here. If however, your time is extremely limited, it might not be a bad idea to use the donut booster, though in most players cases, I would stick with the coin booster
The 2nd hand shop is another place where donuts can be spent. This area really depends on how much expendable cash you can afford to spend and your own personal preferences.
Missiles are without a doubt one of the most important things you can buy in the shop. They are a great equalizer, providing a LOT of of bang for your buck. While missiles are expendables, they aren't used up in defense pvp, missions or gang fights. Also, once your missiles are down to around 10 or less, you can sell them for full price and add coin to your pocket for use in buying more skill points.
Other items can also be bought in the store for donuts, but few of them are really worth it. The exception might be valuable sidekicks and the ultra rare Hammer of Amnesia, which can net you many more donuts than it costs.
Non sidekick items go for a rate of 9, 4 and 1 donut prices. Very rarely are they worth the price. When they are, it will often be a 9 donut epic gear item. Just remember before purchasing these that you're spending around 90 cents for this item (close to half that if you bought the $100 donut package). So consider if the item is worth that much to you. Remember, it will be outdated as you level up.
Gift boxes can be bought for 10, 15, and during special events 20 donuts. Gift boxes aren't really that great. 10 donut boxes give you two items that you often don't need and it is a total gamble on what you're going to get. 15 donut boxes are kind of nice because they always come with a sidekick. Considering that sidekicks bought with donuts cost 20 donuts, this isn't a bad deal, especially considering you also get an additional 2 gear items along with the sidekick. Unfortunately, the sidekick is potluck just like the gear and you don't know what you're going to get or if it's really that useful. 20 donut boxes are really horrendous. You spend 5 more donuts but ONLY get a sidekick and no gear. Again, the stats, skills and sidekick are potluck and may or may not be useful.
Sidekicks can also be bought for 20 donuts. While this is more costly that a 15 donut gift box, the bright side is you get to see what you're getting before you purchase it. When considering that your coins are valuable to skill point acquisition, this can be a valuable way to gain a good sidekick without costing yourself valuable coin that can only be acquired through game play.
Some players who can afford it also buy donut items and then resell them for valuable coins to fund their skill point buying. While I ONLY suggest this to the most well funded players, absolutely DO NOT use this method on any items except 1 donut items. Beyond that, the rate of return significantly decreases.
Washing gear will help get gear with the stats you're looking for, but can become very expensive. Since gear becomes outdated and the 1st wash each day is free, I suggest this ONLY to the most well funded players.
Whipstitching really depends on a player's own fancy. In many cases, the option to do so costs donuts and since gear is constantly being renewed, I suggest this ONLY to the most eccentric of players who like a specific look for their toons. I happen to be one of those eccentric types though. After all, as my grandfather used to say, "The clothes make the man!"
The last subject I'm going to go over is donuts spent on villains. There is much debate over this. Many people will tell you you shouldn't but often they will use donuts on villains themselves. The truth is it is all relevant to the equity involved in your gain through tossing donuts.
Villains are, without a doubt, worth your time. They give coin, experience for leveling, (I advise before the villain ends, you switch to your leveling sidekick so it benefits too.) gear, and training. Training is probably the most important aspect of Villain rewards, but if you can manage most hits or last hit, the Ironic gear is also often worthwhile. But you should really take certain things into consideration.
1st off, you don't need to replace Ironic gear as often as is possible. Ironic gear is just like any of the gear bought in the secret offers in the 2nd hand shop. It is no better and no worse. Like that gear, it has an average life span of about 20-30 levels and this continues to increase as your base skill points do. So if you already have an Ironic cape, for example, that you recently acquired, there's no need to replace it at the next opportunity.
The real question lies in how many donuts should one spend to get a needed piece of Ironic gear? Considering that Ironic gear is only as good as special offers gear, let's look at the cost of that gear and calculate from there.
Secret offers gear costs $6.50 each or $26 for a set, bringing the cost down to $5.20 each. At a rate of 10 cents per donut, (Again, this is at the $10 package rate, so recalculate accordingly, since the $100 package rate has a cost of 5.7 cents per donut.) that means a piece of Ironic gear is ONLY worth a MAXIMUM of 52 donuts. That's 26 extra hits only. Anything beyond that and you are spending more for the gear than you would to simply buy a special offers suit.
There's another reason as well to not spend too many donuts on a villain. One of the factors that determines a villain's difficulty, though not the only one, is the number of donuts spent on average on any given villain. The more donuts a server uses on a villain, the harder future villains will be. The fewer donuts thrown, the easier future ones will be. This is why some servers have extremely hard villains and others have extremely easy ones. It's relative to how much the players are spending on their respective servers to beat a villain. So if your server is one of the hard ones, spending more and more donuts to beat competitors to 1st place or to beat the villain is essentially shooting yourselves in the foot. Instead, lay off throwing donuts and even possibly allow some of the villains to fail. Remember, the game takes into account the AVERAGE number of donuts thrown. So it may take some time to bring that average down, depending on the habits of the players on that server.
There are other aspects to Villains as well, but we'll save those for another post.
One of the best places to spend donuts is on energy refreshes. While the 1st refresh is fairly affordable on coins and even the 2nd isn't that bad, the last 2 get pretty expensive and can really eat into your coin reserves, costing you valuable skill points. The last refresh is definitely not worth its cost in coins as you likely are going to end up spending more in coins than you can gain from the extra energy in missions. So unless you're doing the last energy refresh solely for experience gain, it really is a waste to use coins there instead of donuts.
Take care, good luck, and most of all, have fun!
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Edited by King of Thieves, 12 August 2015 - 09:23 AM.