Working the Questionite Exchange
Making a Cryptic Point profit with Questionite
In Champions Online, several activities award you with the currency called Questionite. This currency can be used to buy special costumes, gear and travel powers inside the game, but through an Exchange can also be used to gather Cryptic Points. These in turn can be used to buy powers, devices, hideouts and archetypes in the Cryptic Store.
I have already touched upon Adventure Packs such as Serpent Lantern as a way to earn a lot of Questionite, and with the daily Alerts and special events gathering Questionite is a fun and rewarding activity.
But how do you make sure that you get the most out of your hard-earned Questionite? Read on and find out!
The Refinery: From Ore to Exchange
The first step of using the Questionite Exchange is actually getting your hands on some Questionite. Questionite Ore drops from any Supervillain or higher rated enemy (200-1500 Questionite contained in a Box of Questionite) and is also a reward from the Alert daily quests (offered by Lieutenant Patil at Rennaissance Center, rewarding 2000 Questionite Ore) and running Adventure Packs (2000 for completing an entire adventure).
Once you have some Questionite Ore, you can go to your inventory (the currency tab) and then click on Refine. This will turn the Questionite Ore into Questionite (a currency). You can refine up to 8000 Questionite Ore in this way, per character, per day. This is represented by a counter, which is displayed as (Refined)/(Left to refine today). For example, after refining 2000 Questionite Ore, it will show 2000/6000.
But other than spending Questionite in the Questionite Store, there is a very important use for this currency: obtaining Cryptic Points.
From Q to C: The Exchange
Cryptic Studios, the makers of Champions Online, use a currency called Cryptic Points to purchase items from their micro-transactions store. Think of such thinks as new travel powers, playable archetypes, hideouts and special character services. These perks and little luxuries make the game a lot more flexible and enjoyable - but for a long time the only way to get Cryptic Points was to spend real-life money on it.
The On Alert patch was released to revitalize the Free-to-play (F2P) community of Champions Online by allowing in-game effort to translate into Cryptic Points. Specifically, exchanging Questionite for Cryptic Points through a stock market styled exchange. The Exchange offers three tabs:
* Buy Cryptic Points: Turn Questionite into Cryptic Points
* Sell Cryptic Points: Turn Cryptic Points into Questionite
* History: A running record of your actions on the Exchange
Instead of a fixed exchange price, the system is based on supply and demand, just like real currencies. There are some hard limits though, as the amount of Questionite required to get 1 Cryptic Point (Q:P Ratio) can never fall below 50 or rise above 500. This is a failsafe mechanism to make sure that the exchange doesn't spin out of control, making it impossible for people to sell or buy.
For the purposes of this Lens from here on, I will be focusing on getting Cryptic Points using the Buy Cryptic Points tab (although the principles also work in reverse).
Tip 1: Sell for more than advertized
When you look at the exchange, there is a listing of a few ratios which the exchange currently handles. You could for instance see the numbers 150, 151, 152, 153 and 154. This means that these are the ratios for which the most Cryptic Points are sold.
A lot of people think that because these are the values in the screen, you will have the best chance to sell your Questionite by offering the highest exchange rate (154 in this case). A few play it smart and offer the lowest number (150). But what almost no one realizes is that these are only "the ratios for which you can quickly sell your Questionite" and not straightjackets.
In fact, if you always offer Questionite for the highest rate, the exchange rate will slowly creep up because other people will also offer Questionite up at the higher end of the scale.
If you don't mind waiting a little (say half an hour at most), simply offer Questionite at a ration 2-5 lower than the currently lowest exchange rate. So if the lowest exchange rate is 150 (150 Q per CP), offer up for 145 (145 Q per CP). It will take more time, and if the exchange rates rise it may not sell, but if it does it will make quite a difference.
I have worked hard and earned 10,000 Questionite. The current exchange rates on the Exchange range from 200 to 210.
* If I offer my Questionite for 200 per CP, I will gain (10,000/200) 50 CP
* If I offer my Questionite for 205 per CP, I will gain (10,000/210) 48 CP (with some Q left over)
* If I offer my Questionite for 195 per CP, I will gain (10,000/195) 51 CP (with some Q left over)
As you can see, the differences are not stellar, but if you consider you will be exchanging hundreds of thousands of Questionite per year, it really adds up over time. So sell your Questionite for a little less than the lowest price offered on the Exchange.
It also helps to keep the exchange rates low, meaning your next transaction will not be at a much higher rate either.
Tip 2: Sell during low times
The exchange rates for Questionite will rise slowly, as more people are selling Questionite than they are buying it. Because of this, you want to sell your Questionite when the exchange rates are relatively low (below 200 at least, preferably below 160). This means that it's best to not sell Questionite in the weekends, when everyone is doing their dailies and selling their Questionite, but on mondays/tuesdays and thursdays/fridays, when the exchange rates have dropped a bit.
Also be aware that when there's a maintenance time (usually for a patch) the exchange rates also drop again. This is because for a few hours no Questionite flows into the system, and likely because there is also an automatic correction being applied server-side by Cryptic. In my experience exchange rates are very valuable just after a patch, so take advantage of this!
Tip 3: Don't gamble if you can't stand to lose it
Like any exchange with variable ratios, you can play by shifting currencies back and forth, selling when the Q:CP ratio is low and buying it again when the ratio rises.
I could buy 50 Cryptic Points with 5,000 Questionite if the Q:CP ratio is 100:1.
If the ratio then rises to 150:1, my 50 CP can then be exchanged for 7,500 Questionite.
If the rate then drops back to 100:1 (because of a patch, for instance), I can then exchange it for 75 Cryptic Points.
This sort of currency day-trading can make you a lot of additional Cryptic Points (25 extra, in this example) but comes with a caveat. Like all forms of gambling, you are expecting the rates to go your way. Don't be surprised if the rates don't drop enough to sell with a profit, or that you have to wait a long time. This back-and-forth exchanging game is for people with patience, who don't have a vested use for their CPs.
Tip 4: Getting to your Cryptic Points
One last thing which is often overlooked: any Questionite and Cryptic Points in the Exchange will remain "floating" in the system. They are yours, but they don't actually go into your pockets unless you withdraw them. There's a button for it in the Questionite Exchange window, where it shows how many Questionite and Cryptic Points you have floating around.
This does not include the ones you currently have placed on offer - these are displayed in the window just above it.
Remember that there is also a button to cancel an offer - this will make the currency you invested float in the system. This is also a way to transfer Questionite from one character to another; simply list an offer on one character, and cancel + withdraw it on the character where you want the Questionite. There is no fee for posting, cancelling or withdrawing, so the system is very closed and easy to use.