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How efficient is BL key farming?


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I do it every week but only bc for me it's fun to run through a story I haven't done in a while on a class I don't usually play. The rewards are pretty marginal and def not 'worth it' from an efficiency standpoint . . .

If you are going to do it you should tome your way to 57 and play through the 60 story as well. That will leave you with three keys and a sigil of nullification which is worth almost as much as what you're likely to get from the bl chests, even at this late date . . .

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tl;dr key farms (even the the L40 or L60 one) are more efficient than converting gold to gems and buying them

With practice, it's easy to do the L10 key run in under 20 minutes (under 14 for the speed clearers). Add in the L40 story and the best estimate I've seen (from people actually measuring) was about an hour.

How much is that worth?That depends on how you value your time. And how easy it is for you to acquire gold elsewhere in the game.

Some numbers:

  • Let's assume 20g/hour for an inspired farmer and 10g/hour for anyone else paying half attention. (Serious farming can do better; competent people can do worse. Your mileage will vary, etc.)
  • 130g per 400 gems is about the best I've seen (for more than 30 minutes) in 2019.
  • Mildly discounted keys cost 90 gems each.
  • So a key will run you 29-30 gold,
  • That's 1.5 hours for the serious farmer, 3 hours for the casual. For one key.
  • That compares to 1 key in 20 minutes, 2 in 60 minutes.

The big difference: you can farm gold as much as you like; you can only do one L10 key run/week.

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It depends a lot on how you're doing it. The fastest key farm is to make a character, use tomes of knowledge (or scrolls of knowledge from birthday gifts) to level them up instantly, do the level 10 story and then delete them, which can be very quick. Getting to the start of the level 40 storyline (which gives a second key) takes a lot longer, especially if you don't have enough tomes, but I think it still works out quicker than farming gold to buy a key, and if you do map completion to level up there's a chance you'll get additional keys from that.

If you're using tomes and don't want to waste them I recommend doing the following:

  • Complete the tutorial to go from level 1-2 (even if you just run to the end and don't fight at all you will be level 2 when you leave, and you have to do it anyway)
  • Do any heart to get from level 2-3 (guaranteed to level you up)
  • Use 7 tomes to get to level 10
  • Complete the level 10 story before using any more tomes, you should be at least level 12 by the end
  • Use only enough to get to level 30, then do the level 30 story before using more to get to level 40

If you're using birthday scrolls however it doesn't matter, they boost you to the level stated no matter what level you start at, so there's no point in saving them to use later.

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Also note that a black lion key costs 125 gems (cheaper in larger quantities). Which costs about $1.50. So if you could farm 3/hour, you are saving $4.50, which is well below minimum wage in the US.If you enjoy doing it, go for it. But for myself, I found I would much rather do something else with that 20 minutes of play time than farm a key (work on a collection, do map events, whatever).But different people enjoy different things. If I was in a situation where I had a lot more free time and less money, I may then be more willing to do keyfarming.

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@otto.5684 said:

@Ryudnard.2587 said:I heard that you make a level 1 toon, do the personal story, Queensdale map completion, level up to 40 using Tomes, and do the personal story again to farm the Black Lion Key.

It is faster to farm gold with a level 80 character then buy the key, then doing story content.

Only if you can put together 25-35 gold for the gems needed to buy a key in under 20 minutes. Or 59 gold for two keys in under an hour.

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I'm not sure we're accurately valuing the key here. Ppl seem mostly concerned with how much it costs to acquire the keys through other means, but with the OP asking 'how efficient is bl key farming' it seems like the expected value of the contents of the chest is a better measure, since that is all a bl key can be used for . . .

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@"Gop.8713" said:I'm not sure we're accurately valuing the key here. Ppl seem mostly concerned with how much it costs to acquire the keys through other means, but with the OP asking 'how efficient is bl key farming' it seems like the expected value of the contents of the chest is a better measure, since that is all a bl key can be used for . . .

Simple answer: If someone is considering key farming they've probably already decided they want keys, which is likely to be because they've already decided they want some/any of the stuff from the chests. At that point the only consideration is which is the best method for getting keys.

Longer answer: That's also a much harder question to answer. "How much does a black lion key cost?" has three answers with the only variable being how many you buy at once. "How much is the contents of a black lion chest worth?" has a lot of different variables, some of them highly subjective.

Do you include the extremely valuable but extremely rare drops like the permanent hairstyle kit or bank access? And if so which set of drop rate data do you use to calculate the probability of getting one? Or do you go off the contents of the 'average chest' which would only be the guaranteed and common items? How do you determine a price for the items which aren't tradable or available any other way? Do you include items which technically do have a price but most people don't want to get from black lion chests, like hair style kits? How do you work out the value of things like the teal branded mist which gives you extra drops from farming? And so on.

It is possible to work all that out of course, but it takes a lot longer than checking the price of a key on the gem store, and it's more likely that other people will disagree with the answer. (Which is a whole other 'how do you valuable your time?' debate.)

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@"Gop.8713" said:I'm not sure we're accurately valuing the key here. Ppl seem mostly concerned with how much it costs to acquire the keys through other means, but with the OP asking 'how efficient is bl key farming' it seems like the expected value of the contents of the chest is a better measure, since that is all a bl key can be used for . . .

As Danikat said: if they are wondering about keys at all, then it's a question of how quickly to acquire them.

If one is concerned with the financial value of the keys, they have 0-2 gold depending on the season, because 90% of the random drops are non-tradeable. Those that are often don't have much value.As I've said in other threads, the only reason to acquire keys is to enjoy the moment before opening them ("what might I get if I get a good drop"). That has no economic value; it's just fun and it's hard to put a price on enjoyment that applies to more than a subset of the population; each of us has to find their own price point for that.

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@Danikat.8537 said:

@Gop.8713 said:I'm not sure we're accurately valuing the key here. Ppl seem mostly concerned with how much it costs to acquire the keys through other means, but with the OP asking 'how efficient is bl key farming' it seems like the expected value of the contents of the chest is a better measure, since that is all a bl key can be used for . . .

Simple answer: If someone is considering key farming they've probably already decided they want keysProbably, yes. But not necessarily. They may also be wondering more broadly if key farming is an efficient use of their game time, which is how I initially read the question as asked. Once I saw other ppl read it as asking if key farming is an efficient method of getting keys I can see how that was more likely the OP's original intent and while that question has been ably answered it's still probably worth pointing out that it might not be the best question for them to ask when they're deciding whether they want to key farm . . .@Illconceived Was Na.9781 said:

@Gop.8713 said:I'm not sure we're accurately valuing the key here. Ppl seem mostly concerned with how much it costs to acquire the keys through other means, but with the OP asking 'how efficient is bl key farming' it seems like the expected value of the contents of the chest is a better measure, since that is all a bl key can be used for . . .

As Danikat said: if they are wondering about keys at all, then it's a question of how quickly to acquire them.No, they can also be wondering about whether they're worth acquiring. I promise. I've seen it done . . .If one is concerned with the
financial value
of the keys, they have 0-2 gold depending on the season, because 90% of the random drops are non-tradeable. Those that are often don't have much value.Remember they always have at least a 1g value bc the statuette can be converted to that 1g junk coin trophy thing . . .As I've said in other threads, the only reason to acquire keys is to enjoy the moment before opening them ("what might I get if I get a good drop"). That has no economic value; it's just fun and it's hard to put a price on enjoyment that applies to more than a subset of the population; each of us has to find their own price point for that.Right, and what I'm saying is that is probably the better question to answer if the OP is asking whether key farming is 'worth it'. But the way the asked about efficiency made it sound like a financial question to me, like comparing it to other farms they could engage in . . .

But like I said I can see how the way other ppl read it is probably closer to the poster's actual intent . . .

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