Daily Archives: June 5, 2010

World of Warcraft Gold For Sale!

Only you cannot spend it in-game.

I saw this being advertised on the main World of Warcraft site and thought it had a ring of irony to it.

Yes, actual, physical World of Warcraft coins.

They’re probably easier to have around the house than, say, that Frostmourne replica you’ve been eyeing.

But will it clash with my Anduril replica?

And the coins are cheaper, too… as long as we’re not calculating by weight I suppose.

For $60 you can get either the Alliance or the Horde coin sets.  The product descriptions say it all.

Alliance:

World of Warcraft Alliance Collectible Coin Set

Whether looting dead mobs or completing a quest, now is the time to hold and horde solid precious metal coins from the game in your hand. All three coins included in this special World of Warcraft collectible set are plated in precious metals, and each coin features a Major Alliance Leader on one side and the leader’s corresponding city on the opposite side. The 24 karat gold-plated coin features the Human Military Leader of the Alliance: King Varian Wrynn of Stormwind and measures approximately 1.625″ in diameter. The sterling silver-plated coin features the Dwarven King: Magni Bronzebeard of Iron Forge and measures approximately 1.375″ in diameter. The copper-plated coin features the Night Elf High Priestess: Tyrande Whisperwind of Darnassus and measures approximately 1.25″ in diameter. All coins are approximately 0.125″ thick and are removable from the box. A non-removable commemorative metal plaque with the Alliance emblem is also included. Ready to be displayed on a desktop or wall, the set is presented in a black, hinged wooden box with a glass window and a flocked, vacu-formed tray. The box measures approximately 6.25″ wide x 3.25″ deep x .75″ high. The product is packed in a protective self-shipper. Limited Edition. Manufactured to order.

Horde:

World of Warcraft Horde Collectible Coin Set

Whether looting dead mobs or completing a quest, now is the time to hold and horde solid precious metal coins from the game in your hand. All three coins included in this special World of Warcraft collectible set are plated in precious metals, and each coin features a Major Horde Leader on one side and the leader’s corresponding city on the opposite side. The 24 karat gold-plated coin features the Orc Warchief: Thrall of Orgrimmar and measures approximately 1.625″ in diameter. The sterling silver-plated coin features the Forsaken Queen: Lady Sylvanas Windrunner of Undercity and measures approximately 1.375″ in diameter. And the copper-plated coin features the Tauren High Chieftain: Cairne Bloodhoof of Thunder Bluff and measures approximately 1.25″ in diameter. All coins are approximately 0.125″ thick and are removable from the box. A non-removable commemorative metal plaque with the Horde emblem is also included. Ready to be displayed on a desktop or wall, the set is presented in a black, hinged wooden box with a glass window and a flocked, vacu-formed tray. The box measures approximately 6.25″ wide x 3.25″ deep x .75″ high. The product is packed in a protective self-shipper. Limited Edition. Manufactured to order.

Here is your opportunity to proclaim that you bought WoW gold while feeling no shame… or a different kind of shame in any case.

Maybe you can order some of those beer steins and run your own pretend in-game bar, using the coins for transactions.  “Stinking troll only left me a single Bloodhoof as a tip!”

Don’t get me wrong.  Intellectually, I like the idea that you can buy all these WoW collectible items.  I just can’t get as far as actually spending my own money on them.

It is like reading the Sky Mall magazine on a flight; there is always interesting stuff, but how often do you actually buy any of it?

Speaking of buying things… BlizzCon tickets have been on sale for 15 minutes now, so I suppose they have been sold out for the last 10 minutes.  Sales of these collectibles will probably spike just on rebound purchases from disappointed fans.

Advancing One Instance

It was time for our second round of random Burning Crusade instance shuffle in our attempt to getting tied up too much in the turmoil of the Naaru.

And so the group lined up for action.

60 Orc Shaman – Earlthebat (Earlthecat)
61Undead Mage – Bigbutt (Bungholio)
61Tauren Druid – Hurmoo (Vikund)
61 Blood Elf Paladin – Enaldie (Ula)
61 Undead Deathknight – Maliverney (Skronk)

Last week the dungeon finder sent us to Hellfire Ramparts three times running, so we decided to check the list and see if that was all we were likely to get for this round.

According to the dungeon finder, we were eligible for Hellfire Ramparts, the Blood Furnace, and the Steamvault.  We hit the random button and waited to see where the dungeon finder would send us.

And the winner was… Hellfire Ramparts.

What, you guys again?

Ah well, at least we’re good at it by this point.  And killing orcs… that was the staple of my RPG life for a long time.

Earl had been doing some warm-ups, so he was very close to level 61.  In fact, he was so close he got there before we hit the first boss in Ramparts.

Maliverney had also changed his spec to something recommended for tanking, so this run was also a good warm-up for that change.  This being our fourth time through the instance, orcs were dispatched in record time and we were soon looking to the dungeon finder to send us out again.

And the dungeon find obliged us and sent us to the Blood Furnace.

Into the Blood Furnace

I last did the Blood Furnace with a random dungeon finder group when I respec’d a level 68 druid on another server to be a healer then did a test run on an “easier” instance.  The level 61 paladin tank took my level to mean that he could pull every mob in sight and I should be able to keep him healed.  I was kicked from that group when my healing would keep up with 10 mobs pounding on him.

Fortunately, our tank was previously our healer in the old group, so there is empathy for my plight.  Plus he isn’t an insane, “Go, go, go!” instance-happy, munchkin.  That helps too.

So we took it carefully… for the most part.  We certainly got to the first boss, the Maker, without any drama.

Behold the Maker!

After that we got a little shaky.  We lost the mage a couple of times, the problem with the highest DPS player wearing nothing but a bathrobe for protection.  And then came the Broggok fight.

Broggok isn’t just a fight, but an event.  You have to get through four waves of helpers before he comes to get you, all without a breather, so if something goes wrong with the helpers, life gets pretty tough.

And so it went for us.

We managed to lose Bigbutt and Earl on the third and fourth groups of helpers and Broggok was about to emerge and we were still flagged as in combat.

Fortunately Hurmoo had his in-combat ress handy, and brought Bigbutt back to life while Earl had is shaman self-revive available.  A couple of quick heals and a innervate on Bigbutt and we were able to take down Broggok pretty quickly.

Broggok Down

After that it was pretty smooth sailing.  The last fight with Keli’dan and his minions was a walk-over and we were soon rewarded with the achievement and our dungeon finder goody bag.

With the Blood Furnace down, we still had enough time for one more run, so we went back to the dungeon finder.  What would it give us this time around.

Hellfire Ramparts again!

Ah, well, at least it is quick and the experience is good.  And we’ll soon have all the possible drops.  Enladie got a pretty decent random drop early on.

Bloodscale Helm of Power

That hat is high on style points in my opinion.

Otherwise, our second run through the ramparts was very like our first of the evening, and we were soon at the end of our adventures for the night.

Victory (again) in Hellfire Ramparts

The instance count so far is:

Hellfire Ramparts: 4
Blood Furnace: 1

Most of us are level 62, so only 6 more levels to go until the dungeon finder switches over to Northrend instances for random choices.

We will see if we can add another instance to the list this week.

LOTRO – Comparing VIP with Free

Turbine has posted a chart that compares the options you will have at the three service levels they offer.

Three?

Yes, three.  There is Free, which I think we all get, and there is VIP, which is akin to the subscription model (and which us lifetime members get) and then there is a middle tier called Premium.

Premium is the tier you get when you have actually purchased some Turbine points.

Here is the chart that compares the three tiers.  Click on it to see it full size.

There is also some fine print that answered the initial “Hey, wait a minute!” reaction that I had.

* Purchasers of the Mines of Moria™ expansion get access to the Mines of Moria region and content, premium classes (Rune-Keeper and Warden), legendary items feature, Tier 6 crafting feature, 2 extra character slots and a level cap of 60. Purchasers of the Siege of Mirkwood™ expansion get access to the Siege of Mirkwood region and content, a level cap of 65 and the Siege of Mirkwood skirmishes.

** Purchasers of the LOTRO Adventurer’s Pack get 2 extra character slots and 20 slots of shared bank storage across all characters on the same servers.

So it looks like if you purchase Turbine points, in addition to being able to spend them on stuff, you also get full customer support access for 30 days after purchase, a rise in the amount of coin you can accumulated (an odd parameter to restrict in my mind, but what do I know), as well as a higher priority in the server login queue.

Of course, I haven’t seen a server login queue since 2007, but with the game going free to play, that might actually become an issue again.

More interesting to me is the comparison between premium/free and VIP.  There are a lot of things on that list I take for granted in the game currently, like rest experience, that you won’t get on the free plan.

I’m also curious to see how they chop the world up to keep the players in the areas which they have purchased.  If you play for free, you only get Ered Luin, the Shire, and Bree-land.  I hope they aren’t going to mar the landscape with a wall or some such.

I’ve Been Upgraded to VIP! Turbine’s Email Message on F2P

Turbine has been quick, this time, to follow up their free to play transition announcement with an email campaign to current subscribers and lifetime members.

And the message is, of course, up beat!

I'm a VIP!

The message goes on with:

Turbine is pleased to announce some exciting changes to The Lord of the Rings Online (LOTRO), and we wanted to make sure you got word first. This fall, LOTRO will become Free-to-Play (F2P).

What does that mean for you? Your loyalty has helped LOTRO become the ultimate adventure and we want to reward you for that. When we re-launch as F2P, you will automatically be upgraded to a LOTRO VIP. There will be no change to your existing subscription plan.

You don’t have to lift a finger. Just continue your adventures in Middle-earth and accept our thanks. We’ll take care of the rest.

They’ll take care of the rest!

But what is a VIP?

The LOTRO VIP is the premium all-access pass to LOTRO F2P. Subscribers will now be called LOTRO VIPs. LOTRO VIPs have unlimited priority access to content and features.

VIP special benefits include priority server access, unlimited access to all adventures in the game*, a 20-Slot wardrobe for cosmetic clothing, top-tier customer support and more!

As a VIP, starting today, each month we’ll credit your account with 500 Turbine Points to spend any way you like. That means you’ll have Turbine Points in your account, ready to spend when LOTRO F2P launches this fall.**

I wonder if “top-tier customer support” is something beyond what they offer now.  The 20-slot wardrobe for cosmetic clothing sounds like a boon though.

And then there is the follow up with the loyalty rewards.

In addition to all the exciting VIP benefits you can receive 500 free Turbine Points to use in LOTRO Free-to-Play for each LOTRO anniversary (April 24) that has elapsed since you first joined LOTRO, up to a maximum of 1,500 Turbine Points.

Plus, as a LOTRO Founder Lifetime Member, you are entitled to an exclusive offer of 1,500 additional Turbine Points as our way of saying thank you. These points will be credited to your account once LOTRO F2P is live.

And then, of course, the fine print.

* You must purchase the Mines of Moria and Siege of Mirkwood expansion packs to access these regions. If you have upgraded to either expansion pack, you will continue to have access to all content that your account currently offers for the life of the account.

**You will accrue 500 Turbine Points a month, starting June 1st as long as your account remains in good standing through the launch of LOTRO F2P. These points will be granted to your account once LOTRO F2P has gone live. For additional information, please see the Terms & Conditions.

Most of this was mentioned in my last post in some form or another, but I figured I would quote for truth and comparison.

Anyway, it is nice to see Turbine getting the word out directly to their subscribers quickly.  For those less obsessed with the genre, this might be the first place they hear of the change.