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Riders of Rohan – Higher Prices, Fewer Incentives June 7, 2012

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, Lord of the Rings Online.
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The expansion season must be upon us.  We have Rift and Lord of the Rings Online announcing details of their Fall expansions.  For Rift, Storm Legion is their first expansion, and first expansions can set a critical precedent.  And then there is the LOTRO expansion, Riders of Rohan.  Woo hoo, further into Middle-earth!

For Lord of the Rings Online though, precedents have been set, broken, revised, and somewhat standardized over its three expansions.  And I own all three, Mines of Moria, Siege of Mirkwood, and the Rise of Isengard.  In fact, I pre-ordered them all, in part because I am still enthusiastic about the game five years in, but also because each pre-order offered me a few bennies to sweeten the deal.  Mounts, titles, cloaks, and other trinkets.

And it is a damn good thing that they did, because due to my haphazard “Hey, let’s go play with friends on yet another server” approach to the game, I have exactly one character who has made it passed the original 2007 level cap and into Moria.  And he is still only level 52!

So I have nearly 20 characters spread across four servers most of whom sit in the level band from the late 20s to the early 40s that essentially represents the “mid game” of the game at launch.

Clearly, when it comes to actual content, none of those purchases has been of much use to me.

And so it is with a critical eye that I examine the pre-order benefits one get with the Riders of Rohan expansion.

As has now become the standard for LOTRO, there are three flavors of the expansion.   And they are certainly pushing the good, better, best comparison.  They are laid out as Basic, Heroic, Legendary, and colored Bronze, Silver, Gold, as well as being displayed as small, medium, large, just to play on any size phobia you might have.

It is like Sesame Street

But, to put the true meaning of Christmas right out there, they are the $40, $50, and $70 versions of the expansion.

Each offers its own level of additions to the game, which I have copied straight from the press release:

  • Base Edition $39.99 – Includes the full Riders of Rohan Expansion plus:
    • The Steed of the Eastemnet – An exclusive Rohirrim Mount
    • Friend of the Mark — An exclusive in-game Rohirrim title
    • Pre-Purchase Bonuses:
      • Rohan Elite Guard Statted Cloak — A box of four level 20 statted cloaks that allows you to choose a power bonus for your hero type
      • Rohirrim Soldier on Landscape Appearance — Upon reaching level 20, you can customize your Soldier on Landscape with a Rohirrim Appearance
  • Heroic Edition $49.99 – Includes the full Riders of Rohan Expansion plus:
    • The Steed of the Eastemnet – An exclusive Rohirrim Mount
    • Hauberk of the Eastemnet — An exclusive Rohirrim cosmetic chest piece
    • Friend of the Mark — An exclusive in-game Rohirrim title
    • Evendim, Moria, and Lothlórien Quest Packs — Over 650 quests, 10 fellowship instances, and two raids
    • Pre-Purchase Bonuses:
      • Rohan Elite Guard Statted Cloak — A box of four level 20 statted cloaks that allows you to choose a power bonus for your hero type
      • The Outriders Token — A 25% XP Boost for all characters on your account that will last up to level 75
      • Rohirrim Soldier on Landscape Appearance — Upon reaching level 20, you can customize your Soldier on Landscape with a Rohirrim Appearance
  • Legendary Edition – $69.99 – Includes the full Riders of Rohan Expansion plus:
    • The Steed of the Eastemnet – An exclusive Rohirrim Mount available immediately with matching War-steed appearance available when Riders of Rohan launches
    • Armor of the Eastemnet — An exclusive full set of Rohirrim cosmetic armour
    • Friend of the Mark — An exclusive in-game Rohirrim title
    • 6th Inventory Bag – An inventory bag that grants 15 additional storage slots
    • Crystal of Remembrance – Adds one additional legacy to your legendary weapon
    • Exclusive Rohan Content — Discover the lineage of the great War-steeds and earn a mounted combat deed that grants an exclusive skill for your War-steed
    • Pre-Purchase Bonuses:
      • Rohan Elite Guard Statted Cloak — A box of four level 75 statted cloaks that allows you to choose a power bonus for your hero type
      • The Outriders Token — A 25% XP Boost for all characters on your account that will last up to level 75
      • Rohirrim Soldier on Landscape Appearance — Upon reaching level 20, you can customize your Soldier on Landscape with a Rohirrim Appearance

So there it is.

Back with the Isengard expansion pre-orders, I was actually tempted by the top tier because it gave you three in-game mounts, three sets of cloaks/armor to match your mounts,  1,000 Turbine points, and was only $50.  Yes, with Isengard the price range was $30, $40, and $50.  Turbine felt the need to crank up the pricing a notch, something I am not alone in noting.  But even then, I went with the base expansion.  That gave me enough, a new mount, a nice outfit, the XP boost item, and a special pre-order title.

This time around, there really isn’t much to tempt me at all.  Sure, another “I pre-ordered the expansion” title is nice, though that isn’t even a pre-order bonus.  The title comes with the expansion no matter what.  Level 20 statted cloaks… unless the stats are over powered… are not much of a draw to somebody whose characters are mostly beyond level 30.  And the level 75 versions in the legendary set I cannot currently use.

And even the Outriders Token isn’t much use.  I have the 25% XP boost pocket item from Isengard still, which is good up to level 65.  Since none of my characters are threatening to pass level 65 any time soon, I am in no dire need of an upgrade.  And, if things come to pass as they did in Isengard, that stone will be in the Turbine Points store, so if I really feel the need I can buy it for any character that happens to get that far along.

No, the only thing on the whole list above that looks both interesting and immediately useful is the 6th bag slot that comes with the legendary edition and, presumably, is good for all characters, current and future, on an account.

Tubrine has already said that they will be offering up the 6th bag slot in the Turbine Points store when the expansion goes live in September and that it will cost 995 points, which is anywhere from $9-14 depending on how you buy your Turbine Points.

Another 15 slot bag sounds ideal for a pack rat like me.  I already have my shared bank slots maxed out as well as the bank slots on my key characters.  And, in theory, if I just had to have it on all of my characters on all of the servers on which they live, $70 would be a deal.

But I do not need that.  In fact, my latest surge into Middle-earth, on the Silverlode server with the Nazgun, I have been sticking to one character and have done no crafting.  Crafting is where I get tied around the axel and start making alts to make use of all the materials and recipes I pick up.  With Manteca, my dwarf rune keeper, I have been harvesting, but then just selling at the auction house or vendoring all of the crafting stuff.  Mostly vendoring, the auction house in LOTRO remains pretty weak relative to other MMOs.

But Manteca, at level 39, is my most wealthy character in LOTRO by a long shot.

Thus, at most, I need one bag upgrade, unless the instance group jumps to LOTRO again.  That seems unlikely.

995 Turbine Points, no matter how I buy them, will cost less than $70.  And since I am a lifetime subscriber, and thus get 500 Turbine Points a month as long as I log in, I will likely have accumulated enough points to buy bags for a couple of extra characters along the way by the time the expansion goes live.

So the Riders of Rohan expansion looks interesting.  I would like to see new lands and try out mounted combat.

In the fields of Rohan

But my lack of focus on a single character over the years and my off-and-on play style with the game has left me far behind the curve.  LOTRO is another MMO that has slowly moved away from me.  And without a tangible incentive, there really is no reason for me to pre-order the expansion.  It seems likely that is content I will never reach.

Comments»

1. Help a noob out « Hardcore Casual - June 7, 2012

[...] has a fine overview of the latest expansion for LoTRO, and specifically the money Turbine is asking for it. $70 seems outrageous for an expansion, [...]

2. Aufero - June 8, 2012

While I really enjoyed LOTRO, (and intend to go back sometime) I didn’t buy Isengard because I felt like I wouldn’t have time to get one character through it, much less my host of alts.

Now I’m almost as far behind the curve as you are, (I think my Hobbit Hunter is 63, and my other characters range from 20 to 55) and I have zero impulse to pre-order Rohan.

Well, that’s not quite true. The really tempting part of that $70 package is the Eastemnet cosmetic armor set. (Which probably says something about my time in LOTRO and my usual activities therein.)

3. bonedead - June 8, 2012

I’m here to comment, hopefully making you feel better.

4. OverTheTop - June 9, 2012

Well…if you took the game more seriously, you might like the bennies better. I have all 9 classes at level 75 and fully equipped for raiding. I have all 9 crafting skills maxed and every recipe for each. I could care less about cosmetics, but mounted combat sounds pretty cool if done well. In any event, the continuation of the story and expansion of the territory is of great interest.
They’ll get my $70 ’cause I’m obviously hoked.

5. Kricl - June 16, 2012

The 995 tp for the 6th bag covers all characters – existing and yet to be created on all servers.

I suspect not charging 995 per character was a Turbine oversight. Easy to understand given all the fires they have been struggling hard to put out ever since the RoR fiasco began.

One of the old standby methods empolyed is to vanish threads/posts and move others to obscure locations and generally carry on like kids who have been caught reaching for the cookie jar.

Heaven forbid that customers should come to appreciate that voting with their wallets actually works. This is a slime ball of an organization imho and richly deserves all the bad press it’s been getting of late.

Anyone remember the stunt they pulled with AC2? The same low brow tactics are still being employed. If it weren’t for the strength of their IP’s they’d have been out of business long ago due to mismanagement.

6. Tari Anne - June 22, 2012

Keep in mind that as an expansion ages, they will do those 2 for one offers like they did for Moria. The huge rush and the big money is made from folks who wish to be the first into the new content. As the newness dies off, you will be able to pick it up for half the price and for a household with two players that is definitely a deal. Just be vigilant.

Its unfortunate that the game (at least on my server) has very few people and endgame is non existent. The largest problem is that it is boring in respect to the combat, and they drop the ball too much on the little details that could make immersion more pleasant (devs, watch some videos on how a horse should jump and maybe have unique templates for major npc characters instead of clones…thanks…)

Im not getting it right off since Im enjoying WoW still at the moment but its nice to have several games on the go anyway.

7. Dwe Husani - October 31, 2012

I only play 3 of my toons-not because I don’t like the others, but because I can’t get to the end-game if I don’t concentrate on a few characters rather than all of them…

Best of luck to you, but the plot here is only matched by the original GW beginning imho.

I’m on Riddermark, Broadfellow. If around or need something, give me a yell.

8. [LotRO] Help Me with This OneKill Ten Rats | Kill Ten Rats - December 24, 2012

[...] My sympathy for that argument does not extend as far as $70 expansion packs. [...]


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