First of all, this blog post is based on all the calculations made by PKB in his famous blog.
You need to have read his post before you can make sense of most of what I will write below.
I have noticed recurring questions concerning the topic of CP farming, and I will try to answer at least some of them, using the assumptions made by PKB. Most of them have already been answered in the comments section of his blog, but are now buried in the flow of new comments, so I thought it would make sense to put them on a blog for easier reference.
Update: Last note before I begin: as highlighted by PKB, chapter 12 has changed the rules of CP farming. Every single mission in that chapter is now more efficient at CP-farming than the previous star of CP farming (4.4). But you need 30 heroes and 177 stars to unlock chapter 12. That means plenty of old-fashioned grinding before you can unlock farming paradise. I have included a new updated paragraph with some figures for 12.2, but the res of the blog assumes you have not yet unlocked 12.2
"I need X CPs over the next 2 weeks, but I do not have Storm, should I recruit her and farm 4.4?"
Answer: If your goal is short-term CP farming (100 CP in a week for the GR sale), most likely the answer is no. You will be better off farming 3.5 Epic (if you have Spiderman) or 7.3 minimal (no specific hero required). For bigger CP goals (300 and above), nothing beats 4.4, you should recruit Storm
Let's compare the alternatives:
- Recruiting Storm will set you back 48 CPs, but will give you access to the most efficient CP farming method: epic runs of 4.4 >> 0.479 CP / fight
- If you do not have Storm you can still run either 3.5 epic (assuming you have Spiderman), or even 7.3 minimal (no deployment required) for efficiencies of 0.419 CP / fight and 0.367 CP / fight respectively
How fast do we get the 48 CP back? You need to divide the 48 CPs by the additional CP/fight you get:
- Compared with mission 3.5 >> 48 / 0.06 = 800 fights. That's 114 runs of 4.4 before it gets more efficient than farming 3.5. Unless you manage more than 4 runs a day of 4.4, it will take you over a month
- Compared with mission 7.3 >> 48 / 0.112 = 428 fights, which is roughly 61 runs of 4.4. Still probably well over 2 weeks before you break-even.
Mission 4.4 is the best longterm solution for farming. It also has a very good epic gadget (magnetic field generator), but it might not be the best short-term solution if you need CPs quick.
addition: following the discussion with PKB below, I realise that my explanation is not clear. Let me try a table. Let us say you already have more than 48 CPs (to simplify the calculation), and you want to know which is the best way to get 100 CPs more.
|CP goal / mission||4.4||3.5||7.3|
According to the table above, to get 100 CPs more than you currently have you would need 309 fights in 4.4 (to repay your 48 and gain the additional 100), whereas you would need only 239 fights of 3.5 (assuming you already have Spidey) and 271 fights in 7.3.
If your goal is an additional 200 CPs, it will already be quicker to run 4.4 (518 fights) than 7.3 (542 fights) but 3.5 remains more efficient (again, I cannot stress it enough, assuming you already own Spiderman in the first place).
At 300 CPs, you need 726 fights of 4.4, which is marginally more than you need in 3.5. but they are basically equivalent from the CP efficiency point of view.
The breakeven is at 336 CPs, which is a lot and little at the same time. It might be what you need to farm for a single spec ops if you are unprepared and unlucky.
Note: I made the calculation with 7.3 minimal, but the numbers are exaclty the same for 6.2 minimal, and very marginally better for 2.3 epic and 8.5 epic (but they require additional heroes). Please refer to PKB's blog for the efficiency per mission.
"should I 5-star all other missions before farming 4.4?"
Trickier question. Again, it depends whether you are aiming for short-term or long-term farming, and it heavily depends on your existing scores in all the old missions.
Short answer: it can be more efficient in the short-term to 5-star missions where you already have 2, 3 or 4 stars to begin with.
To be more precise, we need to calculate the efficiency of 5-starring a mission. And for this we need to know how many runs of this mission you will need and how much energy you need.
Let's do one example: mission 6.2
- 3 fights to finish 1 run (you need to start with a hard fight, though)
- nb of runs needed can be approximated with score needed to 5-star / your best score for 1 run
For the sake of the example, let's say you need 5 more runs. We know that you get on average 1.1 CP / run (source PKB once more). After 5 runs, you will get an additional 5 CPs. 5 runs is 15 fights.
Efficiency = 5 runs x 1.1 CP + 5CP for 5-starring / 15 fights = 10.5 CPs for 15 fights = 0.7 CP / fight
So, if your existing score is high enough that you can 5-star in 5 runs, this mission is more efficient than 4.4 epic.
When is 5-starring more efficient? Here is a quick guide for normal (non-epic) missions
- missions with 3 fights > more efficient if you need less than 14 (!) runs
- missions with 4 fights > more efficient if you need less than 6 runs
- missions with 5 fights > more efficient if you need less than 4 runs
- missions with 6 fights > more efficient if you need less than 3 runs
And here it is for Epic missions (since they yield 3.35 CP / run, the math is a little different)
- missions with 8 fights > less than 10 runs
- missions with 9 fights > less than 6 runs
- missions with 10 fights > less than 4 runs
Apart from the maths, it means that if you have missions with low energy requirement (3 or 4), it is most likely to be more efficient than 4.4 in the short run. The less runs you need, the more efficient.
Again, these are short-term solutions. You can run 4.4 indefinitely, but you can not 5-star more than once. 5-starring missions also has the advantage of bringing a little variety every now and then, between extended runs of epic 4.4...
One last note: you will want to unlock chapter 12 as soon as possible. You will need 177 stars for that, 5-starring all the quick missions will get you nearer to that goal.
"should I 5-star 4.4 if I intend to farm it?"
Now with the introduction of the challenge mode, I would say that you probably should not 5-star it.
Advantages of not 5-starring:
- it keeps the mission easy and therefore feasible in a very short time. For a lot of players, time (often more than energy) is a limiting factor. Keeping the mission under 15 minutes is an advantage
- EXP gains are low. You gain CP with low EXP. If you are currently disadvantaged in PVP due to low hero bonus, this is a way to catch up
- you can still run the mission in challenge mode if you wish to gain experience (useful for farming CP and developing your newly recruited characters at the same time).
Advantages of 5-starring:
- 5 additional CPs
- excelsior equipment of chapter 4 (golden katana > not a must-have in my opinion)
"Is it possible to gain 200 CPs in 3 weeks?"
Yes. It's boring and takes time, but it is not difficult.
Let us assume for this chapter that you have Storm and can farm 4.4
200 CPs / 3.35 CP per run = 60 runs of 4.4
How many runs a day can you do? If you play a morning and an evening session, you have twice free 60 energies. With enough allies, you should have enough energy (through daily gifts outside of spec ops and through visiting your allies' bases) to do a third round per day. Squeeze in a lunch session and you might be able to get to 4 / day.
So, 3/day should be your minimum target, 4/day if you can play 3 times a day.
at 3 runs per day, you need 20 days to make your 200 CPs >> just under the 3 weeks.
At 4 runs a day, you need 15 days. But that's a heavy rhythm.
Let's not forget that there are other sources of CPs: daily roulettes (main one + PVP roulette) and gold (to be discussed a next chapter: should I spend gold for CPs. A lot of experienced players say no. I am not so sure...)
Here is a small table of many CPs you can expect while farming 4.4 for different time periods, based on different "intensities" of farming.
|2 runs/day||3 runs / day||4 runs / day|
"Should I spend gold on CPs?"
Answer: If you are not a heavy player, but still want to have the collection of heroes, you probably need to.
There are currently (2nd of April 2013) 2535 CPs worth of heroes to be recruited in the game. Over the past 3 months, there is every month roughly 1 new 135 CP hero and 1 new 90 CP hero >> 225 CPs.
Over the past 6 month, the average CP/ month needed to recruit new heroes is 188 CP.
So, let's assume there is roughly 200 CPs worth of new heroes every month (not including alt uniforms).
If you are anything like me, you want to collect them all or nearly all. If you play PVP you want them all for the bonus they provide. So, buying all heroes is a common goal for most players.
Now let us say you give yourself a year of serious playing with the goal of having all heroes. If you are starting now, that means you need to grind 200 CPs a month for all newcomers and on top, grind 2535 / 12 = 211 CPs to buy every month 1/12th of the already available heroes.
In short, you need over 400 CPs a month. That's 4 runs a day of 4.4 every single day of every month. Some people manage that for some periods (PKB once mentioned that when he farms, he aims for 90 CPs a week or so), but on the long run, it would destroy your very soul...
Even if I assume that I get 40 CPs from daily roulettes per month (seems like an optimistic assumption) and I reduce my time goal by saying I want all heroes within 1 year and a half, I still need at least 300 CPs a month from farming. That's an average of 3 runs of 4.4 a day, all the time. Which, if you are an average player, will consume all your time and energy.
Once you have reached this desolate conclusion, there is only 1 possibility: use gold for CPs.
From Xobai's guide on gold spending, we can get some valuable insights, which boil down to the fact that there aren't that many things worth buying with gold:
- uniforms (at least 1 commander trench recommended)
- gadgets (but with the latest nerf of the QJ, I am not even sure that it is an absolute necessity anymore)
- I would add armory bonus for the PVP fans. It gets obsolete eventually, but it is hard to compete at the top without it.
With the latest reforge concept, the old problem of LE weapons (that the weapons became quickly obsolete as you levelled up) is partly solved, if you are willing to fork out another 48 Gold later in the future. But honestly, as a free player, unless you really fall in love with a particular weapon, it is probably just not worth it.
So you can calculate for yourself how much gold you need vs. the gold you gain. If you have a surplus, investing it in CP is not stupid, IMHO.
Of course, the situation can be different for different players. If you already have most heroes, and are a heavy player, Your CP needs are lower and as long as you grind over 200 CPs a month, you might be able to avoid spending gold.
"How much better is 12.2 for farming? Should I try to get there fast?"
Answer: much, much better than all alternatives. Unless you insist on sandbagging for PVP purposes, you should try to get there fast...
reminder: the best mission so far was 4.4 with an efficiency of 0.479 CP / fight.
In June 2013, they have reduced the CP odds on all the roulettes of chapter 12 (source: Scarlettolivia and Dark M ClowN). The first boss fight (multi-birding) has an efficiency of 0.7 CP/fight. So this is the efficiency for missions 12.1, 12.3, 12.4 and 12.5 >> already significantly better than 4.4
In Mission 12.2, we can go epic and this additional fight brings on average 0.95CP. So an epic run of 12.2 will bring 0.7 + 0.95 = 1.65 CP for 20 energy = 0.825 / fight.
1st thing to note: the distance in efficiency between 12.2 and the other chapters is small. What that means is that the most efficient farming in the short term can be done by 5-starring chapters 12.1, 12.3, 12.4 and 12.5 (exclude 12.2 and premium).
|Nb of runs||efficiency|
The nb of runs needed depends on your score, which also depends on your level. I was around lvl170 when I started playing these missions and needed 8-9 runs, without making a particular effort. Once you have 5-starred them all, your new long-term farming mission is 12.2
12.2 is 72% more efficient than the best mission until now (4.4, if you have been paying attention).
With a cost of only 2 energies, you can run it 3 times with your normal energy load. If you play twice a day, that's 6 runs. with additional energy from friends and allies (gifts and visits), you can run it 10 times a day without stretching too much.
Let's see what that yields:
|6 runs/day||9 runs / day||12 runs / day|
The numbers are stupidly proportional, so for 3 runs a day (one full batch of energy), you will get 149 CPs in 30 days. In other terms, if you play twice a day and you can dedicate one time for farming 12.2, you will get 149 CPs a month purely from the farming + what you get from your normal playing. That should be enough to get all the basic new contents and you can do some addtional farming for special needs (LE heroes on sale for example).
- you need 30 heroes to unlock chap 12, so make sure one of them is Kitty (to unlock the epic boss in 12.2)
- the previous chapter about 5-starring 4.4 is valid for 12.2. You should probably not 5-star it, so you can keep it easy when you are short on time. You can always run the challenge mode if you need exp
- once you have unlocked 12.2, you should probably not spend gold on CPs anymore: they just got a whole lot cheaper...
CP farming is a vital part of the game if you are in this for the long run, with the intension of recruiting nearly everyone. It is boring, repetitive, but anavoidable for the free and mostly-free players. The good news is that the farming will get a whole lot more efficient once you hit the 177 stars and 30 heroes and can finally unlock chapter 12.
Until then, it will be hard to avoid the best grinding place: 4.4.
Good luck with your farming!!