One of the main feature I like HEX is the fact it is a real TRADING game i.e. you have actual built in Auction House. So the feature is no doubt a plus, but is buying a booster pack through auction house a real saving compared to buying packs from actual game store? The answer is not as easy as you may have thought.
Standard Booster Pack though in game store
200 platinum (US$2.00)
Booster Pack through Auction House
This varies as it is a nature of auction house. In fact, the prices are different depending on which Set the pack is from due to demand of certain packs for use in draft or availability.
The above is prices of Booster Pack based on which set they are from as of today (5/29/2016) from HEX price.
Well if you were to just look at these numbers, the answer is simple. It is always cheaper to buy booster packs from Auction House, and one should never buy packs directly from the game store.
However, HEX has an unique feature on booster pack, which is called Primal Pack.
Primal pack contains all rares with 2 legendary where normal booster pack contains 1 rare OR legendary in a pack. Now, in some other games similar feature may exist but in general this is in place of actual booster pack i.e. one won’t know whether you got this lucky pack until one opens the pack. If HEX were to take such route, buying packs at cheapest price is always the best saving.
However, HEX does this very uniquely. Primal Packs are generated as a separate pack at the time of you buying or receiving pack from tournament as prize etc. But this is not true when you buy from auction house or trade with someone.
So in order to evaluate the difference in price, one has to understand the value of the Primal Pack.
|Set||Booster Pack||Primal Pack|
Above is a table showing Primal Pack price for each set again as of today from HEX Price.
The rate of Primal Pack generation is 2%.
50 pack 1 primal pack
2% means if you were to purchase 50 booster packs, you get on average 1 primal pack. Now it means one may get more and other may get none. So no guarantee there.
Conceptually, if you were to buy 50 booster packs, you get 1 Primal Pack. So spending $2 x 50 = $100, you get not only 50 booster packs but you also get 1 Primal Pack which itself has relatively significant value.
Basically, you can think as each booster pack from store has average 2% additional value of Primal Pack because once you buy 50 packs and get a primal pack you can sell the Primal Pack on Auction House and get Primal Pack value back as Platinum.
You buy 50 Set 1 packs from game store, and you get 1 primal pack. So you have spent 10,000 platinum. But primal pack can be sold for 2650 platinum. So by selling the extra primal pack, you have essentially got 50 Set 1 packs for 10,000-2650 = 7350 platinum or in other word, each pack costed only 147 platinum!!
Now if you are purist, there is actually one more piece here. When you sell an item at auction house, it costs you 5% commission as a seller. So technically 2650 platinum above will be 5% less.
Now putting this into equation, what we have is following.
|Set||Auction House||Primal Pack||Game Store|
Obviously, higher the Primal Pack value is, better saving you get but essentially buying at Game Store has better value than buying through Auction House especially with current economy i.e. if Set 3 packs were like other sets and priced at 170’s then due to its relatively cheap Primal Pack value, it could have been exception.
When should you buy at Auction House?
Here the answer is NOT never. 2% chance of Primal Pack is still relatively low. So if you are not planning to buy significant number of packs e.g. just grabbing couple packs so you can play draft, I’d consider going through Auction House.
When should you buy at Game Store?
Since overall value is better at game store, if you plan to buy a lot of booster packs, it is always better to go through game store. So what is a lot? Based on the 2% rate, I say 50 pack or more. If you don’t win a Primal Pack, you don’t make the saving.
Purchasing packs through Game Store actually has better average values than going through the Auction House. However, this is true only if you can win a Primal Pack, and given the 2% chance of winning one, my personal recommendation is if you don’t plan to buy more than 50 packs, it’s safer to go through the Auction House.
The good thing about HEX economy is things are pretty well balanced, and these options are good for different types of players.