Premium Pass is Pay 2 Win now. How bad is it? + Auto ticket Cap Change

Posted on May 13, 2022, 10:56 a.m.
9 min read

There was a major change to the auto live function announced yesterday, together with enhancements to the Premium Pass feature. This article will cover the following.

  • What are the changes that are coming in June involving both the Premium pass and the auto ticket cap raise
  • How many auto tickets can you spend in a single play and what level you need to be
  • How much time you're losing out to not having the optimal PLv + event running configuration when top ranking events.

There's a fair bit of material to cover so lets get started

Upcoming Changes

Under the current system you get

  • 5 Auto Tickets on login
  • 5 Auto Tickets that are purchasable with money
  • The cap is 10 auto tickets total

Under the upcoming June Update

  • 10 Auto Tickets on login
  • 5 Auto Tickets purchasable with money
  • The cap is 10
  • TOTAL tickets is 15

With the Premium Pass + June Update

  • 15 Auto Tickets on login
  • 5 Auto Tickets purchasable with money
  • The cap is 15
  • TOTAL tickets is 20

This changes a few things since now the total number of passes that you get per day is more than the total cap. Additionally Premium Pass users can now spend 15 tickets in a single play. That's a lot of stamina burnt and will change that is required to blow all of the tickets at once, so that is what we need to cover today.

How many auto tickets can you spend?

Unfortunately this is not a simple question to answer. There's three aspects to this problem

  • Do you own the Premium Pass?
  • What is your PLv (and hence Max Stamina)
  • What is the amount of stamina cost reduction you have in your Produce Policy

The Premium Pass increases the hold cap by 5 under the new update. Because you can only spend up to the cap in a single play, that means that owning the premium pass allows you to spend even more stamina in a single play.

The amount of max stamina determines the maximum amount of stamina you can burn in a single auto live. This number is always 2x the maximum stamina you have, the value is rounded down. This means if you have 151 max stamina, and a single groove is 50 stamina, you can spend up to 151 x 2 = 302 stamina, but because it's rounded down you can only do 302/50 = 6 grooves per auto.

The stamina cost reduction Produce Policy feature affects the cost of the live you're doing. The higher your reduction, the lower the cost and hence the more lives you can squeeze into that max stamina cap value. Let's say we still have 151 max stamina, but we have 15% stamina reduction as well, that makes the cost of a single groove 42 stamina instead of 50. When you round down and calculate 302/42 = 7 which is one more groove than before!

Fortunately I've compiled a giant spreadsheet with the meta-relevant auto items. This computes over 12,000 different cases of grandlive + different stamina reduction values + with or without the premium pass so it's easy to see what your current producer level is capable of and what you need to do to get to the next upgrade.

You can find it here

Meta Consequences

In event ranking, auto lives are used for massive bursts of points. This enables people to hit the peak amount of points per hour rate once per day by completing their auto lives and burning all their Eigyou jobs in a single sitting. By increasing the number of auto lives we can do, that creates an even higher maximum point gain. Since there is now a different number of autopasses between premium pass and non premium pass users, that means that if you did not own the pass, your daily theoretical maximum is lower.

Emblem/Token - How much points is it?

A quick disclaimer, this math concerns theoretical maximums and min-max timesaves, which only happen if you're attempting a podium event run and maybe matter for top 10. Don't worry if you're not "optimal" unless you have those goals and targets!

In an emblem event the auto lives are typically used to gain emblems rather than to burn them. This is because 4x multiplier is available for emblem event lives and hence the penalty of 0.7x when building is slightly more efficient than taking a penalty of 0.7x when burning timewise. (The math is left as an exercise to the reader, as this can be another article by itself)

Gaining 5 additional auto lives with the premium pass allows us to gain 5 x 0.7 = 3.5 lives worth of emblems. Because the opportunity cost is actually only one 2x normal live, this translates to an advantage of 3.5 - 2 = 1.5. In the real world this point difference is 126 emblems, or 84% of an event live or 21% of a 4x event live. Over the cross of an 8 day event, that is a final difference of 2147 points in the worst case scenario (where 100% of all emblems can be spent)

What about time differences? Fortunately under the new system it is impossible to spend all your auto lives in a single play. The base case has a cap of 10 but a total ticket count of 15 while the premium pass case has a cap of 15 but a total ticket count of 20. This means that as long as you're able to spend 8 tickets per live without the pass, or 10 tickets per live with the pass, you will always spend all your auto lives in 2 plays, meaning there is no additional change in the ratio of auto lives to normal lives.

Therefore the only penalty incurred once your PLv is optimal is the premium pass penalty from the 5 additional auto lives. Its hard to quantify the exact timeloss due to additional emblems also meaning additional lives to burn the emblems, but I would estimate that the time loss over the course of 8 days is <20mins. (Obviously a margin small enough that only top rankers would really worry about it)

Optimal PLv for Emblem event ranking without premium pass

  • 15% Reduction: 194
  • 10% Reduction: 226
  • 5% Reduction: 242
  • 0% Reduction: 280

Optimal PLv for Emblem event ranking WITH premium pass

  • 15% Reduction: 309
  • 10% Reduction: 369
  • 5% Reduction: 399
  • 0% Reduction: 471

Please refer to the spreadsheet linked earlier in the article for all other values.

Groove AKA literally hell

Unfortunately the groove math is not quite as straightforward. This is due to the grooves costing 50 stamina each, meaning that you're heavily capped by your maximum stamina + reductions applied. You reach 9 grooves per play only when the stamina reduction is at max and at an insane PLv of 848. At the time of writing this article, has only logged 11 total players above Plv848. Otherwise you will never hit 9 grooves per play, even at Lv999, it will cap at 8 grooves per play even with a 10% reduction. This creates some interesting problems that I will discuss below, it pertains to the autolive strategy used. But first we must take a look at what the strategy is

This list describes the optimal auto live strategy at each cap value without the premium pass

  • 9: auto 9 + 6 = 10.5x points in 2 grooves
  • 8: auto 8 + 7 = 10.5x points in 2 grooves
  • 7: auto 7 + 7 (1 wasted) = 9.8x points in 2 grooves
  • 6: auto 6 x 2 + 3 = 10.5x points in 3 grooves
  • 5: auto 5 x 3 = 10.5x points in 3 grooves
  • 4: auto 4 x 3 + 3 = 10.5x points in 4 grooves
  • 3: auto 3 x 5 = 10.5x points in 5 grooves
  • 2 or 1: Auto live is a timeloss

This list describes the optimal auto live strategy at each cap value WITH the premium pass

  • 9: auto 9 x 2 + normal 2x groove (2 wasted) = 14.6x points in 3 grooves
  • 8: auto 8 x 2 + 4 = 14.0x points in 3 grooves
  • 7: auto 7 x 2 + 6 = 14.0x points in 3 grooves
  • 6: auto 6 x 3 (2 wasted) = 12.6x points in 3 grooves
  • 5: auto 5 x 4 = 10.5x points in 3 grooves, 14.0x points in 4 grooves
  • 4: auto 4 x 5 = 8.4x points in 3 grooves, 14.0x points in 5 grooves
  • 3: auto 3 x 6 (2 wasted) = 6.3x points in 3 grooves, 12.6x points in 6 grooves
  • 2 or 1: Auto live is a timeloss

As you can see from the above list, there's some key things to take note of. Since the multiplier for points when autoing is 0.7x, that means that if we have 2 or less tickets left over you want to play another 2x normal groove instead for optimal point gain per minute. Another pattern that emerges is how fast the efficiency drops off once the cap drops under 7. The differences between 9 8 and 7 are relatively minor, but the difference between a 7 and 6 is significant.

For a more detailed list, you can check out the spreadsheet linked earlier in the article. The 2nd tab at the bottom lists the maximum number of grooves per hour for all PLv and all stamina cost reduction values.

But how pay2win is the premium pass in this case? I've introduced a bonus column on that spreadsheet that lists the difference in points per hour between the 15% reduction column for no pass and 15% reduction column with the pass. The largest difference is 2.2x which happens from Plv450 to Plv620. The smallest difference is 0.1x, which happens from Plv59 to Plv 129. In the second case, those are low levels where you can only do 3x groove autos at a time. With each groove roughly equalling 10 mins, this 2.2x difference is roughly 11mins per day. Across an 8 day groove event, this difference is nearly 1.5 hours of extra points!

We also notice that in the case of the Premium Pass, the 8 cap and the 7 cap are functionally equivalent cases, which means that you have a near optimal groove experience as early as PLv 450 (and Plv691 without reduction) which is not too bad. In terms of the actual penalty of 0.6x grooves, this is going to work out to about 4.8x grooves over the course of a 8 day event, resulting in a time loss of about 24 mins. Not great, but it gives you an idea of what a small gap magnified by many days looks like.

With that we can determine the optimal PLv for each case

Optimal PLv for Groove without Premium Pass

  • 15% Reduction: 621
  • 10% Reduction: 745
  • 5% Reduction 836
  • 0% Reduction: 987

Optimal PLv for Groove WITH Premium Pass

  • 15% reduction: 848

PLv where Premium Pass max per hour exceeds 18.5, which is the non-premium pass optimal pace

  • 15% Reduction: 315
  • 10% Reduction: 369
  • 5% Reduction: 405
  • 0% Reduction: 471

We already know that across the board premium pass is better than non-premium pass, but in the last category we explore the amount of grind saved by buying the premium pass in groove. The levels above reflect at what point the premium pass will beat non-premium pass users, and we see that it happens at a much earlier level. In fact, if we convert the level differences to EXP differences...

  • 15% Reduction: 12,798,000 exp saved, PLv 1 to 600 equivalent
  • 10% Reduction: 26,838,000 exp saved, PLv 1 to 723 equivalent
  • 5% Reduction: 41,238,000 exp saved, PLv 1 to 816 equivalent
  • 0% Reduction: 73,080,000 exp saved, PLv 1 to 965 equivalent, or 13x the amount of exp from lv1 to 500


So is the new Premium Pass a good deal? I cannot decide on what makes a good deal for you, as that varies between individuals on what they value in the game. For some, the star rank trainers that you get every year is big enough of a reward to keep subbed, but for others maybe even the fan bonuses and the auto live bonus isn't enough. Obviously the content discussed in this article today mainly focus on the idea of top event ranking meta, but the benefits from the premium pass also tangibly affect other things.

Ultimately this article is not sponsored, and I'm not paid to sell you the Premium Pass. Nor do I benefit in any way if you choose to buy it or not. What this site is sponsored by, are the subscribers on Twitch and Patreon who help pay for the server fees and help me make this website not run negative. In fact, for this article, Patreons have gotten access to the spreadsheet as soon as it was made. Once again, a big thank you to everyone who has helped support this website of mine. I hope this article was helpful and useful. Or at least it was interesting enough to let you learn something new about the game.

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