It is kind of a busy Tuesday. On to my third post of the day.
Back in September when Standing Stone Games announced the Minas Morgul expansion the target date for launch was October 29th. That was last Tuesday, and it clearly did not come to pass. Unfortunately I put the target date in the title of the post I linked there. Oh well.
Perhaps I should have been more cautious. SSG certainly left themselves something of an out in the fine print, declaring October 29 as the target, but allowing that given any delay you’d certainly have your expansion and goodies by no later than November 30. A month wide launch window there gave them five target Tuesday in which to go live.
Anyway, while they missed their initial planned date, the word from SSG is that the Minas Morgul expansion will go live today.
As always, the expansion promises more things, more levels, more quests, more dungeons, more raids, and even a new race and an additional character slot per server. That is the base package, but as I covered in that previous post, there extra special versions of the expansion, with extra special prices, available with even more goodies.
Tipped off by a comment on the October in Review post, I see that the FAQ has a brand new restriction at the top in regards to purchasing the expansion with LOTRO Points, the in game currency.
CAN I PURCHASE THE EXPANSION WITH LOTRO POINTS?
The Minas Morgul expansion will be available for Store Points in March 2020 and will be priced as follows:
-Base Edition (includes the Minas Morgul Region & Instances only): 2495 Points
-Stout-axe Dwarf: 1000 Points
That is a bit of a “screw you” to those sitting on a pile of said points. Money talks and virtual currency walks, or something like that. I am reminded, once again, of one of my early concerns around virtual currencies, which is best summed up by a scene from The Simpsons episode Itchy & Scratchy Land:
Homer: One adult and four children.
Woman: Would you like to buy some Itchy and Scratchy Money?
Homer: What’s that?
Woman: Well it’s money that’s made just for the park. It works just like regular money, but it’s, er…”fun”.
Bart: Do it, Dad.
Homer: Well, OK, if it’s fun…let’s see, uh…I’ll take $1100 worth.
This exchange is followed immediately by this visual.
So here we are again. If you were holding on to your LOTRO Points in hopes of buying the expansion, you get to wait until March. Also, due to the rather opaque nature involved in selling LOTRO Points, where different price points get you varying amounts of currency in return in an attempt to get you to buy more.
Given that chart, a LOTRO point varies in range from 1.3 cents per to .86 cents per point, making the cost of the equivalent to the base expansion (content plus new race) somewhere between $28 and $45, compared to the $40 price if you pay in real world money.
Of course, if you’re like me and you’re getting a month 500 LOTRO Point stipend due to being a subscriber (lifetime, in my case), you may feel that you accumulated currency has very little value. And since SSG won’t let you spend it on what you want, it probably feels like it has even less value at the moment.
This isn’t a big deal to me. I plan to sink some of my LOTRO Points into the expansion when it becomes available in the cash shop, but the likelihood of my ever actually getting into the content is pretty small. I bought the Mordor expansion the same way and barely got anywhere with that.
But if you are a long term player and subscriber who had earmarked their saved up LOTRO Points for the expansion, I feel you pain. SSG would like cash please. It is at moments like this where I wonder how involved with SSG’s operations their “publisher,” Daybreak Games, are.