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Squidnunc

Is in-set conversion worth it?

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I made a post that got killed in the forum snap, so I wanted to re-post the basic idea and see if there are any answers.

 

The basic question: If you're aiming to make money on the auction house by doing the whole enhancement conversion game, is it ever worth doing an in-set conversion? That's a conversion where you're exchanging one enhancement from a set for a different random enhancement from the set, at a cost of 3 converters. For purposes of this discussion, assume converters cost 100K, so that's 300K to take one shot at the prize.

 

Let's take an extreme case first. Say you have a set that has 6 enhancements. There's one enhancement out of that set that's worth a lot; maybe it's a valuable proc that everybody wants. There are five enhancements that are kind of crap. You get dealt one of the crap ones -- maybe by recipe, maybe by converting from another Rare, maybe you found it stuck to the bottom of your shoe. So what has to happen to make it worthwhile for you to spend converters trying to turn lead into gold? To put some real numbers on it, say that the five crap enhancements sell for 1,000,000 each, while the nice one sells for 5,000,000.

 

The odds of making the right conversion on your first roll are 20%. If you fail you can try again; still a 20% chance. Keep going, keep feeding coins into the slot machine. 

# of rolls       chance of success        cost of converters

1                20%                      300K

2                36%                      600K

3                49%                      900K

4                59%                      1.2M

5                67%                      1.5M

6                74%                      1.8M

7                79%                      2.1M

8                83%                      2.4M

 

And so on, and so on.


So is it worth it? Seems like a lot of tedium for not much benefit, and this is an extreme example. Most sets have much less of a gap between the low and high earners, probably because people are converting them. Is there money to be made by just buying up the cheaper items and focusing completely on doing in-set conversions? Even with the LotG set that seems unlikely.

What do other people think?

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3 minutes ago, The Philotic Knight said:

I've never found it to be worth it. I think it's worth it if YOU want to guarantee that you get the thing you want, eventually. But it kills profit margins, I don't think it's worth it for trying to make the monies.

I'd tend to agree. I'd even say it probably isn't worth it if you're looking for an enhancement for yourself. Since it's all about the money, you can always buy what you want (and attuned for free) rather than playing dice. 

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As I said elsewhere (but I forgot one), I only find it to be worth it in a few edge cases - botz when there's a 2 million difference between regular and kb (now only rarely), Aegis when there's a large difference between rech/end and psionic and the other 4 pieces (reasonably often), Decimation proc when the others are all selling over 2.5 million (usually only weekends), LotG end/rch if it's not selling over 3 million. I'd say probably steadfast too but I don't convert in that range.

 

The sets with only one winner and 5 others aren't worth the risk imho. If I get numina I just sell whatever piece and usually get a couple million. If i get miracle or performance shifter i just reconvert rare.

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41 minutes ago, Ulysses Dare said:

I think it might be worth trying in an edge case where you have a small set (three, or at most four, pieces) and one of the pieces is vastly more profitable, much like in the example you gave. Steadfast Protection: Endurance/Resistance, for example, is probably worth an in-set conversion.

Good point. Converting within a smaller set drastically raises your odds.

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I get my enhancement converters exclusively from reward merits so there's no "sunk cost" other than my time in order to convert things to what I want. It's not difficult to make 200 merits in an hour or so, which will get you 600 converters, and you can do that every day.


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It's situational.

 

In a small set like Karma or Steadfast Protection, and I'm going for the KB Protection, sure it's worth a try. One out of two chance each time you'll get what you want, will only take a couple coin flips before you get it, most times.

 

I wouldn't do it to, say, try to convert every LotG I get into the global recharge bonus, because I'd eat up all my profit by the time I got it. But if I run across a case where one IO in a set is only selling for 3 million, and I know others are going for 5 to 6 million each, it's worth burning three converters to change that low-seller into something else because I'll more than cover the conversion cost with the difference.

 

And though it's not involved with marketing, there are cases where converting in set can be worthwhile if you need a particular set enhancement and it's just not available on the market at all. Particularly where ATOs are concerned. I'm sure I've burned through a lot more converters than something was worth just to get that something at all.

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Good points. If you know for a fact that you're holding the dog in the set, and all of the others are worth more than 300K more, then logically it's a no-brainer. Then it's just a matter of the time that it takes to learn that fact in the first place, by madly clicking around and putting in 1 bids until you get a decent history on each of the others.

 

And of course you're right if the thing you want just isn't on the market at all, and you have to have it now, then this is the way to go. Although if you're in that case... Say that one of the members of an ATO set has no sellers and 20 bidders. Would you go to the effort to convert a couple of extra, counting on a guaranteed sale to one or more of those 20?

Ultimately I suppose what it boils down to is that the CoH market, being a made up thing in a made up world with made up money, is not nearly as efficient or liquid as, say, the real world stock market. There are plenty of places where there's a price gap that an automated program could jump on and exploit until the gap didn't exist any more, which is what happens in real world markets. Here everything is still manual, so there are opportunities to pick up crumbs - sometimes very big crumbs - all over the place. If people choose to spend their time that way.

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I've also found it to be situational, and only worth it if I am sitting on a less desirable member of a set and there are at least two others in the set that offer much better value. I've tried it a handful of times in the 1-in-6 situation as presented in the OP, having had good luck a few times and having been badly burned a few times. I chased a Numina's proc once to the tune of about 33 converters, and I think there have been a couple of other times where I spent nearly that many converters chasing other procs. Those experiences hardened my resolve not to try "in-set roulette" any more in that situation.

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2 minutes ago, Squidnunc said:

There are plenty of places where there's a price gap that an automated program could jump on and exploit until the gap didn't exist any more, which is what happens in real world markets. Here everything is still manual, so there are opportunities to pick up crumbs - sometimes very big crumbs - all over the place.

For NOW. dun Dun DUNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN!!!!!! 😉

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If you’re looking at a single transaction, it’s not worth the risk in most cases.  I once had to convert an IO 15 times to get the specific one I wanted in the set.  However, on average, it’s worth converting if the cost to convert is lower than the difference in price between the one you have and the one you want.  If the IO you have sells for 5 million, and the one you want sells for 8 million, the odds are in your favor.  If you’re doing several transactions instead of one, the occasional converts in 1 or 2 tries will make up for the times where it takes 8 or 10 tries.

 

Sometimes, it’s less about converting TO a specific IO, and more about converting AWAY from the one IO in the set that doesn’t sell well, such as a proc that people don’t use often.  That’s usually worth 300k to make the switch.  I can think of one set in particular where I’ve had a proc listed at 2 million for weeks, but everything else in the set has sold for more (as high as 5 million in a few cases).

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Short answer:  it depends.

 

Long answer: iiiiiiiiiiiiiiittttttttttttt   dddddddddddeeeeeeeepppppppppeeeeeeennnnnnnnddddddddssssssss.

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Posted (edited)

What none of this takes into consideration is how likely something will sell. It’s all well and good to say your LotG def/recharge sells for too much to make conversion worth it, but if there are 300 of them for sale and maybe only 50 sell per day on average, and there are only 50 of the +7.5 IOS for sale at sny given time, but maybe on average at least 100 sell each day, then that is an extra incentive on top of the better price to convert. 

 

Also so I think conversions will average out in my favor. For every one that takes multiple conversions, another will hit immediately. Anyway I’m making money hand over fist, so I don’t really need to analyze if what I’m doing works. ^_^

 

Also of note:  just because, say, a LotG def/recharge sells for 2 or 3 million less than the 7.5% IO, doesn't mean if I spend 2 million in converters to get from one to the other, I've failed to make money.  Always keep in mind that I probably spent quite a bit less than 500,000 influence to get the IO in the first place.  I'm making money either way, the only question is whether I'm making even more money by not in-set converting, or by in-set converting.  ^_^  And like I said, the fact that the speical IO is going to sell a lot faster is a consideration.

Edited by Shinobu
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With respect to Squidnunc's specific example, you can set up a rule-based strategy.

 

Let's say you own one of the crap pieces and you can sell it for 1mm right now to net 900,000.  You say to yourself, well, how about I convert it once and sell whatever I end up with.  So you have an 80% chance of ending up with a crap piece that will net you 900,000, and a 20% chance of ending up with a good piece that will net you 4,500,000.  Either way, you are out 300,000 in conversion fees.  So, you will end up with either 600,000 or 4,200,000 but on average your expected return is 1,320,000.  That is better than your initial case of 900,000, so over the long run, on average that is a good investment.  However, 80% of the time you will be worse off than if you just sold the crap piece in the first place.   So you have higher reward (my expected return is 1,320,000 rather than 900,000) but higher risk (4 out of 5 times, I'm going to lose money).  If you did this a million times, with a million IOs, you would expect the distribution to work out in your favor.  But if you did this ten times, you could easily lose money every single time.  That's risk.  In general, a higher expected return goes hand in hand with the higher risk that you will actually lose money

 

You can extend this to say, I'll convert up to two times and sell whatever I get, or five times, or fifty times.  I'll leave that up to you to calculate. 

 

What you should not do, however, is say I'll convert until I get the good piece, by hell or high water.  Your potential losses are infinite, since you could keep rolling that 80% until the sun goes dim, or you run out of converters or inf or patience.

 

This, of course, applies to Squidnunc's really simple model.  Making that decision for something like an IO is much much much more complicated.

 

Look at Steadfast Protection Res/End:  last 5:  3mm, 4mm, 5mm, 5mm, 4mm

Steadfast Protection Res/Def:  last 5:  6mm, 6mm, 6mm, 6mm, 6mm

Steadfast Protection Knockback:  last 5:  4mm, 4mm, 4mm, 4mm, 4mm

 

That's what the market says as of right now.  Let's say I own the Res/End.  Should I sell it or convert it?

 

At what price do I post it and at what level do I expect it to sell, and when do I expect it to sell?  You should ask yourself that question for each piece.  And those are big questions and not easy questions.  Let's make a really big jump and assume I can absolutely sell the Res/End at 3mm, the Res/Def at 6mm, and the Knockback at 4mm.  That nets me 2.7mm, 5.4mm and 3.6mm respectively.  If I don't convert, I get 2.7mm.  If I do spend 300k to convert, and sell whatever I get, I will get 5.1mm half the time and 3.3mm half the time for an average of 4.2mm.  With expected profit of 1.5mm, That looks like a good trade to me.  And if I could buy the Res/End at less than 3.3mm, I would at least break even every time.

 

But what if I can sell the Res/End at 5mm, netting 4.5mm?  I'd be losing money!  Or what if I can't absolutely sell whatever I convert it to at 6mm or 4mm?  Or any of a thousand other questions.  Not to mention that 1.5mm is equivalent to farming your 50 for about 30 seconds or whatever the influence rate is.

 

And this is probably as easy as it's going to get.  In real life, for real money, there would be computers modelling this out.  But I'm not going to do the math for every situation, and neither should you.  I look at the math of the broad picture, make some gut decisions, and follow a set of rules that may adapt over time.

 

So it depends. But I always convert the Steadfast Protection Res/End.

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[NPC] Outcast Torch: I got the latest and the best.
[NPC] Outcast Torch: I want to buy a lot. A LOT. Think you can get it?
[NPC] Outcast Torch: Again! Do it again, man!

 

They put SUPERHEROES in my trading game?!?

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Okay.. here's my take, and I won't say that it's riddled with logic. 

I can agree with the assessment of the value of the converter, at roughly 100k. Seems to be the prevailing rate if you list them on the /ah. 

If the "crap" enhancement is 1million, and the good one is worth 6million, then I can convert this turd 15 times (15x3=45 converters, at a cost of 4.5 million) before I will see the profit fade away. 

I would make the argument that each time you convert, the odds remain the same. 


For me, I will burn 6 converters, or try an in-set conversion twice because I might get lucky. If not - the recipe most certainly dropped randomly on my character. Didn't cost me anything. If it's a rare, and I have the salvage in stock, I'll craft it, try 2x to get gold, and if not, list it as it is. As long as I get 1million or more, I'm okay. 
In the case of LOTG's - the defense, and the def/end, both tend to carry value close to the proc. This is likely because those that slot these in a defensive power, they need/want some practical value beyond recharge. They want defense and some end reduction. So fortunately for us, there's really 3 favorable outcomes. 1 is just more favorable. 

Regardless of the IO recipe, I only craft with salvage that drops for my characters. I stash all of it, but limit my storage to 5 of any item, except rares. If I have more than 10, I'll list those. I play all levels, so I generally have something of everything. 



 

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I'm really bad at the market. I've made boatloads of influence, but I'm bad at it. I actually do get stuck on the in-set conversion game occasionally, simply because I have a deleterious visceral reaction when I want that one valuable piece of the set. Usually, this happens if I hit a good enhancement category right off the bat. So if I convert a terrible IO and get healing, and then on the second convert get a Miracle or Numina's, that's the situation that starts the crazy train rolling.

For me, the probabilities (20% chance of hitting the valuable IO) work in tandem with the welling frustration that I'm not hitting the odds (several converts later, I still don't have it), and a blind spot develops to the fact that each convert is an independent event. Here, the overwhelming compulsion is to convert until I get what I'm after as a matter of "principle". Although I recognize how absurd this is, in the moment my mania is overriding better judgment. 

It's a niche case, but one I've gone through several times nevertheless. Even so, I tend to break even within the scope of that IO.

In any case, given your average situation, it probably isn't worth your while to bother with in set conversions, although it seems to me there are edge cases where, confronted with serendipitous conversions, attempting one or two may be worth while. Luck of the Gambler is such a case. Most pieces will sell for at least 4 million influence, usually 5, with the global recharge often going for upwards of 7. Starting with a non defense set IO, if within 2 conversions you're sitting on any piece of LoTG (converting from any other category to defense, and then again within defense), one or two in set conversions keeps you under a million influence spent in total with a significant profit potential for hitting global recharge. I would find this acceptable. Whether anyone else does is up to them.

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Posted (edited)

I'm not that good wit the vagaries of the market, but I do loves me some math.

 

Assuming all outcomes are equally likely, if you have a set with 6 enhancements in it and you want to draw 1 specific one, it'll take on average 5 conversions at 3 converters per try.

 

Every time, you need 1 converter, 80% of the time, you need a second, 64% of the time you need a third and so on, so the average number of conversions is

 

1 + 1*.8 + 1*.64 + 1*.512 + ...

 

or

 

1 + .8 + .8^2 + .8^3 + ...

 

The answer to how many conversions you can, on average, expect to need becomes a geometric sum, in which case the answer is:

 

1/(1-f) where f is your chance of failure, in this case 80%.

 

1/(1-.8) = 5

 

This generalizes out to:

If I'm trying to draw 1 IO from a set with N pieces, my average cost will be N-1 conversions.

If I'm OK with any M out of the N pieces available, that average cost drops to (N-1/M) conversions.

 

That said, there is no top end to how many tries an individual conversion may take, so for smaller sample sizes you'll need to be prepared for really lousy RNG. About 5% of the time, it'll take more than 13 conversions (or 39 converters) to hit a single IO target in a 6 piece set and we all know how often we manage to land that kind of critical fail. 

 

Remember that all events are INDEPENDENT. Just because you've failed 4 times in a row doesn't make try number 5 any more likely to succeed. Your chance to hit a winner with that next conversion is the exact same as it was when you started, no matter how good or bad your prior luck has been.

Edited by Yoru-hime
Edited to clarify between converters and conversions, thanks Squid.

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Great math, but take care to note that that's 5 conversions, which for in-set means 15 converters, or 1.5 million influence.

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Tried your idea out this evening, as I have 400+ converters from random drops on my toon. Soloed two AV portal mission at +4 x 8 to pick up 13 random recipes. Out of the 13, I need to convert 11 as they were selling for less than 300k on the AH.  I used 78 converters to convert those 11 into enhancements that were selling somewhere between 4 to 10 million. Probably took around 30 minutes, to make the enhancements, check AH for current pricing and which enhancement out of the set sold for the highest price. The first 3 I convert I got exactly what I was looking for on the first try. 4 through 9, it took at least 3 to 4 tries and one of them I rerolled 6 times.  The other three I did the random "out of set" rolls and it took several tries to get  descent set and a few more tries to get the highest priced enhancement. Roughly, if everything sales by morning based on current pricing I should make around 70 million give or take. 

 

Conclusion:

Based on time spent, the cost of converters (if I had to purchase them) and how long it generally take me to clear a random AV portal or radio mission solo. It wasn't worth the effort I had to put into it.  Given that I can solo a ton of content at max level, I could of ran three to four PI radio missions or cleared a five mission farm set in AE with time to take a poop and make a sandwich and a guarantee of almost 100 mill in influence, in roughly the same amount of time. Not to include drops.  

 

Helpful hint:

If your looking to grow your bank account, it's more or less getting on a small team that is crushing out content, one mission after another at +4 x8. Or figuring out at what mission level your toon can solo at and hammer out content as quickly as possible.

KEEP IT SIMPLE.

If you know the recipe and the enhancements are worthless then dump recipe on the AH for 1 influence and move on. Don't waste your time trying to making it, then listing it on the AH for what you think somebody willing to pay for it.

Generally I make the good recipes prior to logging out. if its a set I can use in a Alt toon I drop off at the SG base tables, if not I list it for one influence, take what I get and move on.  If I get a purple drop, I make it and I put in the base table, I don't sale it.  -This is where those converters come in handy. Changing those to complete set with out spending influence-  

Salvage:

I have 8 racks in the SG base, two for orange, 2 for yellow and 4 for white that are generally pretty full. I sale all my yellow and white salvage as my toon gets full. I don't waste time on the AH, I list everything for 1 influence and move on. Even when I have ton of one particular rare salvage in my base supply, I still list the rare for 1 influence and I press on. I take whatever it instant sale is and jump into my next mission. 

 

The bulk of the influence your getting get in game, is from running content. Everything that drops you feel that you can part ways with is just bonus influence. The more you can quickly collect the more you can quickly sale. I logged out this evening with 2.6 billion in influences and that after supply 5 others toons and giving my other two SG members roughly around 750 million to help out their first two 50s to get them start.

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Posted (edited)

What would be the cost of 14 level 20 Miracle Procs on the market? They were between 65 and 70 million the last time I checked.

Edited by Myrmidon

Playing CoX is it’s own reward

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6 hours ago, Stagamantis said:

 

The bulk of the influence your getting get in game, is from running content.

Says you. The bulk of the influence I got in game was crafting bought recipes, converting them, and selling them, while I was at work and my boss wasn't looking! Over 400 million within a week of just part time crafting and selling. 

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Posted (edited)

If converters are free, then there is no cost but time. That is how I look at it and I regularly convert defense IOs to lotg procs (like 50-100 a day). It's definitely profitable to convert from out of set to the target set and the target IO or even in set to the target IO if you can get converters for free.

Edited by cyvert
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1 hour ago, Myrmidon said:

What would be the cost of 14 level 20 Miracle Procs on the market? They were between 65 and 70 million the last time I checked.

Sounds about right.  You could probably buy 14 at that level pretty quickly and you could probably sell at that level overnight.  Of course, you would have to post at less than 5mm.


[NPC] Outcast Torch: I got the latest and the best.
[NPC] Outcast Torch: I want to buy a lot. A LOT. Think you can get it?
[NPC] Outcast Torch: Again! Do it again, man!

 

They put SUPERHEROES in my trading game?!?

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6 minutes ago, Yomo Kimyata said:

Sounds about right.  You could probably buy 14 at that level pretty quickly and you could probably sell at that level overnight.  Of course, you would have to post at less than 5mm.

I got those for less than “30 million” using merits and recipe conversions (Healing). Now, all 25 of my current builds on 24 characters don’t have to bother with that anymore.


Playing CoX is it’s own reward

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