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A Guide to Gold and Gems in Heroes of the Storm

k0nduit

k0nduit

Sat 7th Jul 2018 - 3:35pm

Greetings! k0nduit here, and today I'll be providing a complete breakdown on the two main forms of HotS currency: Gold and Gems. If you've ever wondered what all the sources of Gold are or how you sometimes mysteriously obtain Gems without buying them, then this article is for you! This article is current as of the June 27th, 2018 Balance Patch in HotS 2.0.

I'll give you some gold-earning tips and throw out a simple projection/calculation about how much gold you can expect to acquire under a set of constant variables. If you're curious about how long it might take to save up gold for a legendary Hero - then stay tuned!

Without further ado, let's get into it. First up, Gold!

What Can You Use Gold to Buy?

Purchasing Heroes

- Heroes are priced at varying amounts of Gold: 2000, 4000, 7000, 10000, and 15000.

- Newly released Heroes are priced at 15k until two weeks have passed, at which point the Hero's Gold price is decreased to 10k.

Buying Gold-only Mounts from The Collection Store

- Most mounts are only purchasable with shards, but there are a special few featured mounts that can be purchased with Gold, and only Gold!

- Gold-only mounts are typically priced at 10k gold, but sometimes are a little less or are even more expensive! 

- Examples of Gold-only mounts include: Great Razorgrin, Diablo's Doubloon, and the Treasure Goblin. There are always one or two Gold-only mounts in the shop, but they are typically limited-time offerings and are replaced eventually.

Rerolling Loot Chests

- Rerolling Loot chests can be done three times, with increasing costs each time; these costs vary depending on the type of loot chest you're rerolling. Below you'll find a table detailing each loot chest and its reroll costs:

Table Credit to the Hots Gamepedia

So, those are all of the ways you can spend gold in the Nexus. The next step is to acquire Gold!

What Are All the Ways Of Acquiring Gold?

Completing Matches of HotS Will Award Gold

- An A.I. game will give you 10 gold for Match Complete. The "Training Mode" version of A.I. does not award any gold, however.

- Quick Match, Unranked Draft, Hero League, and Team League award you 20 gold for Match Complete, and 10 additional gold for a Match Victory - a guaranteed minimum of 20g, and potential maximum of 30g.

- Heroes Brawl awards you 10g for Match Complete, and an additional 10g for Match Victory. However, depending on the type of Brawl, you can obtain an amount of gold in between 0-10 even if your overall match result is a 'defeat'. For example, in the recent "Punisher Arena" brawl, winning one round (out of the best of 3 series) will award you 5g for a Round Win.

- Custom games do NOT award you gold (or XP, for that matter)

Your First Win of the Day Bonus Awards Additional Gold

- Your First Win of the Day Bonus applies to your first victory in the following modes: Vs. A.I., Quick Match, Unranked Draft, Hero League, and Team League. It does NOT apply to the Training Mode option of Vs. A.I., Custom Games, or Heroes Brawl. 

- The FWotD bonus awards 50% of the BASE gold obtained for the match; in other words, it includes only the Match Complete and Match Victory components, not counting any other gold bonuses you might be getting (like from a Stimpack or completing a quest). For example, let's say you win a Quick Match game as your first win of the day. You would obtain 20g for Match Complete, 10g for the Match Victory, and an additional 15g for your FWotD, amounting to a total of 45g for the match.

- The FWotD bonus refreshes every 20 hours - not 24!

- Pro tip: if your goal is to get the most "value" out of the FWotD Bonus, try to avoid making a Vs. A.I. game your first win! As I listed above, A.I. games will award only 10 gold for a Match Complete. Because you get less base gold from A.I., the 50% bonus will be less than that if your first match was another game mode. More concretely, a FWoTD in an A.I. match will yield a bonus 5g (50% of the 10g for match complete), while the FWotD on QM/Unranked/HL/TL rewards a bonus 15g - a 10g difference.

Quests Award Big Chunks of Gold

- You will receive a new quest to complete once per day.

- However, you can only have up to a maximum of three daily quests in your quest log. This means that if you have the full three quests to complete, you will not receive a new daily quest until you complete at least one of the three in your quest log. The full list of available quests is as follows:

- 200g for quests that involve playing two games as a hero from a particular universe (Warcraft, Starcraft, Overwatch, Diablo)

- 300g for quests that involve playing three games on a particular role (Support, Assassin, Warrior, Specialist)

- 600g for "Win 3 games"

- 800g for "Play 8 games"

- So in total, there are ten types of quests. This number does not include the special quest you get upon first starting HotS, the "Play Three Vs. A.I. Games", which awards 300g upon completion. So technically, there's eleven quests! (One of which you'll see just once)

- Vs. A.I. (again, excluding the "Training" mode option for A.I.), Quick Match, Unranked Draft, Hero League, and Team League matches all count towards Quest credit. Heroes Brawl and Custom games do NOT count towards your quest progression.

- Draft Modes (i.e. Unranked, HL, and TL) grant quest credit for every match, regardless of whether you played a Hero that falls under the quest description for role or game universe (this is to encourage drafting for your team/the enemy matchup rather than picking a hero to try and complete quests).

- New daily quests cannot be the same as any of the other unfinished quests you have in your quest log. However, they can be of the same "type". For example, you could have "Play two games as a Warcraft Hero" and "Play two games as an Overwatch Hero" in your quest log at the same time.

Stimpacks Boost Your Base Gold Income

- Stimpacks are temporary boosts to your XP and Gold generation rates that are applied to your Player account for a certain duration of time. You check the remaining duration of your current active Stimpack by hovering over its icon in the top right, below your profile picture.

- 1 Day, 3 Day, and 7 Day Stimpacks can be randomly found in loot chests. The 3 Day and 7 Day versions are Rare and Epic drops, respectively.

- There are two other one-time ways to get a 7 Day stimpack. If you complete both tutorials (or perhaps even just the second one), you will receive a Starter Chest, which is guaranteed to have a Hero in it, as well as a 7 day stimpack. The other one-time Stimpack gift is automatically awarded when you reach Player Level 10 in HotS.

- 7 Day, 30 Day, and 360 Day Stimpacks can be purchased from the Shop for 400 gems, 1000 gems, and 9000 gems, respectively.

- Stimpacks award you 150% of the BASE gold obtained from playing a match, just like the FWotD. It does not boost the gold obtained from completing a Quest, for example, or the First Win of the Day bonus itself.

- Let's say you complete a game of Quick Match (with a Stimpack active), ending in a defeat. You'd obtain 20g for the match, and an additional 30g from your Stimpack, totaling 50g. If you won the match, you would recieve 45g from the Stimpack, totaling 75 gold. If this win was your First Win of the Day (the FWotD bonus would be 15g here), you would get a total of 90g for one match of QM.

- The Stimpack gold boost applies to gold gained from any mode, including Brawl. Brawl is unique in that you can obtain odd gold values like '15'. In this case, the Stimpack bonus will round up! If you obtain 15 gold from a match of Heroes Brawl, you'll get 15g + 22.5g -> 23g = 38g for the match.

Hero Leveling Rewards

- Every five levels you reach on a particular hero, you get 500 gold! 5, 10, 15, 20, and so on will yield 500 gold (in addition to the other benefits that leveling Heroes gives you, like Hero Portraits, Hero Mastery Portraits, and Hero-specific loot chests).

That's it for gold. Now, onto Gems!

What Can You Use Gems to Buy?

Bundles

- Bundles are groups of Heroes of the Storm content, often themed, that can be purchased with Gems. You'll find bundles centered around a particular event (e.g. the Echoes of Alterac Bundle), a particular hero, etc. Bundles typically offer Heroes and/or cosmetic items.

- Bundles are Dynamic, meaning that if you already own some of the items sold in the bundle, the bundle's Gem price will be adjusted and lowered accordingly.

Heroes

- Heroes can be purchased with Gems, as well as Gold.

- You cannot combine/mix payments however - you must purchase a hero completely with Gold or completely with Gems; there's no mixing of the currency or applicable exchange rate! 

- Heroes can be purchased for 300, 500, 625, and 750 gems, depending on their "rarity" (Rare, Epic, Epic, and Legendary, respectively. Yes, Epic Heroes span two different price points!). Newly released Heroes are always priced at 750 gems. 

- Sometimes Heroes go on sale. Keep an eye out for discounts - they'll usually appear in the Featured section of the Heroes tab in your Collection.

Stimpacks

- Stimpacks available in the shop are priced at 400 gems for a 7 day stimpack, 1k gems for a 30 day stimpack, and 9k gems for a 360 day stimpack.

- See the Stimpack section above for more info on Stimpacks and how they work!

Loot Chests

- You will acquire loot chests as you play the game, most notably each time you level up.

- If you want more loot chests, they can be purchased with gems. Loot chests are sold as 'Rare' loot chests at the following price points:

 

What Are All the Ways of Acquiring Gems?

Gems Are Purchasable with IRL Money

- Gems are the 'exchange' currency between IRL money and Heroes of the Storm. Here are the options for purchasing gems:

- Blizzard will typically offer a mount (of a Celestial Variety, such as Raptor, Bear, etc.) that you will receive for free upon purchasing any number of gems. The free mount offered changes a few times throughout the year.

Blizzard Awards Free Gems for Leveling

- Outside of purchasing gems directly, every 25 Player levels, you are awarded 150 Gems to spend however you wish!

That's all the info on acquiring and spending Gold and Gems! Next, I've got some tips and calculations that you might find interesting and/or helpful with regards to managing and investing your Gold.

 

Miscellaneous Tips and Number Crunches

- If you're ever in a situation where you need < 500 gold in order to buy a Hero you want, try leveling up a Hero you have who has an Experience Level that's close to a multiple of five. Remember that whenever a Hero reaches a level that's an increment of five, you'll receive 500g! You can quickly find out which Heroes are close to leveling in this manner by going to your profile and navigating to the 'Roster' tab. As far as leveling quickly - while I don't know what the absolute best strategy is (whether it's rushing through A.I. games, doing QM with no time spent in draft, or playing Team League, the mode with the largest XP bonus) - using a Stimpack and playing with a full party will boost your XP gains a ton!

- As I mentioned above, when you finish both tutorials (it could even be just the second tutorial - though I believe the first tutorial is mandatory when you start anyway, so it might be moot), you'll receive a Starter Chest. This chest is guaranteed to contain a Hero and a 7 Day Stimpack. If you haven't completed the second tutorial (I know I didn't, I think I skipped it haha) then keep in mind that you have a 7 Day Stimpack and a random Hero waiting for you when you want them!

- There are some tricks you can do with the quest log to make it more likely to get the two higher-payout quests ("Win Three Games" - worth 600g, and "Play Eight Games" - worth 800g); if you hold two of the lower payout quests in your log, you'll make it more likely to get the 'desired' two high value quests as the game won't give you duplicates of the same quests you're already sitting on. This kind of strategy is outlined in nice detail in this article (though it's important to note that the math in that article changes a bit, as a new 200g quest has been added - Play Two Games as an Overwatch Hero - which brings the total number of quests up to 10). However, this restricts what you can play quite a bit; if you're interested in this kind of optimization, there's some discussion out there on the net that can help you in this regard. However, what I want to focus on in this article is making some calculations for a "typical player's" play patterns and projecting some gold income milestones. Let's get into it:

Hypothetical: You Play Three Games of QM/Unranked/HL/TL Per Day

Let's say that you're a player who plays the above modes almost exclusively, and plays three games a day (which, including draft/queue times, is about one to one-and-a-half hours of HotS or so - a plausible play session). If you're playing a Draft mode, you don't have to worry about quest progression, as no matter which hero you play you'll be working on your quests (and if you're playing QM, for the purposes of this example, you're playing a Hero that lines up with your quest requirements). The average value of a quest is 340g, so you can expect to earn roughly 340 gold per day via quests.

Now you may be thinking, "What if I get the Play 8 games quest?" or "What if I don't win all three games for the Win Three Games quest?" Certainly, you may not finish these quests in one day - but looking over the longer term (specifically, three days of playing three games per day), you will fulfill these quests. Do note that the math will change a bit if you don't finish the big quests immediately - your average/expected value per quest will lower (as by having the high value quests in your quest log across multiple days, you are unable to get them again until they are finished - credit to this article for providing that insight). However, this isn't a huge setback, is somewhat unlikely to actually occur (i.e. getting the 800g or 600g quests on consecutive days), and is not typically a consideration for the average player when playing a few daily HotS matches, unless you're really trying to gold optimize.

For the time being, let's assume you get 340g from quests per day. Additionally, let's hold constant that of the three games you play, you win one and lose two, estimating below the 50% winrate mark. From your first win, you will obtain 45g, and from your two losses you'll obtain 20g apiece, totaling to 85g base yield from the 3 games played. Adding this to your quest income, you'll be getting about 425g per day. You'll be able to purchase a 10000g hero in around 23.5~ days.

If you have a stimpack running, your base gold income from the 3 games (again, 1 W, 2 L's) becomes 185g, and 525g per day. While on a stimpack, you'll be able to purchase a 10000g hero in around 19~ days.

However, all of this is assuming that you keep up with the 1W, 2L schema, only play 3 games per day, and is NOT including the 500g bonuses that you'll no doubt be picking up as you level your Heroes to increments of 5. The actual time needed might be less than what we arrived at above!

If you're curious about the time/number of games needed to reach a certain gold amount, you can find out by tweaking the assumptions we held constant in the above example and working out the math. By making some different assumptions on game length, number of games played per day, or win/loss record, you can make projections that fit your HotS play sessions more accurately.

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So there you have it - those are all the ways of spending and acquiring gold and gems, along with some tips on gold acquisition and a quick projection of how long it might take to buy a 10k gold hero. Ultimately, I would say to play HotS when you want to play, don't feel pressured to play a certain amount - play to have fun! But, if you're interested in saving up gold for a purchase, hopefully the information provided above, as well as the projections/simple hypothetical will be of some help to you in planning out how long grabbing a new hero will take you. Use your newfound knowledge about HotS currency to the fullest!

That's all for today, I hope you enjoyed the article. If you'd like to discuss anything HotS, have comments/feedback on this article, or just want to say hi, feel free to tweet me @k0nduit and I'll get back to you.

Until next time!

- k0nduit