We always recommend that you resist the temptation to buy keys to open lockboxes, but the temptation is difficult to overcome... with even 1 level of VIP you receive 1 key per day, which for many is enough to justify the investment, if you consider the price of keys compared to the price of VIP in terms of zen
Additionally, many players feed their key habit by selling anything but legendary mounts they get out of lockboxes, claiming the unopened packages received 95% of the time are worth more than the keys, so they always profit... that's another topic, however
The Astral Diamond Exchange allows players to exchange AD for Zen at "market prices," however the exchange rate stays at or very close to the cap of 1 Zen:500 AD
For the purposes of explanation, we'll just use that figure
You can access the AD Exchange using the icon in your top bar (3rd from the left)
You can check the current prices on the second tab... You will generally see that there is a backlog of people that have requested to buy Zen at the highest rate possible
The amount of orders that are backlogged, often as high as 2-300 Million, is a rough indicator of how long it may take for you to get your Zen, as the market is first-come, first-served... so if you are trying to renew your VIP, make sure to place your Zen order several days in advance to avoid a gap
If you want to know how long it is currently taking for Zen orders to be fulfilled, you will generally get an answer in Guild or Alliance Chat
Assuming the current market rate is 1 Zen:500 AD, you would go back to the first tab and enter the amount of Zen you wish to purchase on the left and 500 on the right (You could pick a lower number to save a little, but the time factor is rarely worth a little AD)
The total price for the exchange will automatically update below, highlighted in red if you don't have enough AD for what you are trying to do
Be careful when you use the AD Exchange... Once I did this when I was distracted and used the second tab instead of the first and accidentally sold Zen to someone for an amazing deal...
Once you have double-checked everything and are ready to post your offer, double-check again and then hit the post button
At this point, your offer will be listed on the third tab, which brings us to another use for the AD Exchange
|Note - If you have alts that you use for salvaging, you may have wondered how to get that AD from one character to another... Well, you have just learned the tools to do so|
This is an undocumented feature of the game, and Cryptic is fully aware of it, so you don't have to worry that it breaks any rules
By posting an order for Zen at a really low offer (I always use 100 AD per Zen) on the alt from which you want to transfer your AD, you have placed an order that no one would ever take
Once you have done this from your alt, go to the character that you want to receive the AD, open up the AD Exchange, go to the third tab, and then cancel that order
You can then go back to the first tab and withdraw the AD from your Exchange account, placing it in your inventory
You can have several orders up at a time, so you can transfer AD from several alts, then cancel them all at once from the receiver toon
A final note on exchanging AD for Zen then buying VIP... when you do this, it is always best to already have a 15% off any item coupon in your inventory, which you get randomly from invoking
At regular, non-sale prices, 1 month of VIP costs 1000 Zen, or roughly 500,000 AD, so that 15% equates to 75,000 AD.... not a small amount
That being said, a really smart and organized person would watch for sales and make sure to have enough AD to buy as much VIP as possible at the lowest possible cost
For a brand new player, accumulating 500k AD may seem near impossible to do even once, much less once per month, but once you get to level 70, get some gear on you and start running dungeons, it really isn't that difficult
Get social! Get in Guild Chat in-game and start asking how people make AD... You will find your guild-mates are willing to run dungeons with you for salvage, and that everybody has their own little way of making AD, with most willing to share their methods
From the Wiki:
VIP is a loyalty program, designed to reward players with benefits and features that enhance convenience.
After purchasing a VIP Pack from the Zen Market, you will be granted 30 days of VIP bonuses, along with 1 loyalty rank. VIP loyal ranks go up to a maximum of 12. Upon purchase of another VIP pack, the amount of time of the pack is added to the remaining VIP time.
When VIP time expires, access to all loyalty benefits is lost. However, even when VIP time expires, VIP loyalty ranks never decrease. Upon buying another VIP pack, your rank increases, VIP time continues, and benefits return.
VIP rank and time are both account wide, unlocking the benefits for all characters of an account.