I originally sat down to write about pre-orders being available for the next EverQuest II expansion, Blood of Luclin. However, aside from the addition of the Friends & Family option, it isn’t all that different from the last few times I’ve written about EQII pre-orders. And even the new F&F bit is similar enough to the EverQuest version that I was feeling little dull. Also, I am sick right now and going through that chart in detail was making my headache worse. You can check out the details here, but I won’t be going through them with a fine tooth comb. I’ll probably regret that in a year, but I’ll live.
Instead I started listing out different aspects of some expansions.
We have a few expansions that have been at least announced. Minas Morgul just went live for LOTRO, EverQuest and EverQuest II both have expansions in the offing, and at BlizzCon we heard about Shadowlands, the next WoW expansion. In laying out some details for comparison I don’t have any real key points to highlight, but sometimes just the comparison is enough to make you think about what is going on.
How far in advance did they announce an expansion?
- WoW – Maybe as much as a year in advance
- LOTRO – About two months
- EQ – About three month
- EQII – About three month
WoW has a tradition of getting a lot of details announced at BlizzCon about nine months ahead of when an expansion will ship. Way more details than we got for the other three just months before their planned launch. However, EQ and EQII do yearly expansion, so a year in advance they’d still be patching the current expansion rather than the next.
LOTRO though… I guess SSG just doesn’t like to spill the beans too far ahead.
When were pre-orders available?
- WoW – Maybe as much as a year in advance… like now for Shadowlands
- LOTRO – About two months ahead of launch
- EQ – About a month ahead launch
- EQII – About a month ahead launch
With SSG and Daybreak, pre-orders seem to be offered pretty close to the official expansion announcement. With Blizz there used to be a fair gap between the expansion being announced and pre-orders being available, but at this past BlizzCon we saw pre-orders go live coincident with the expansion announcement.
Expansion tiers and pricing
- WoW – Base $40, Heroic $60, Epic $80
- LOTRO – Standard $40, Collectors $80, Ultimate $130
- EQ – Standard $35, Collectors $90, Premium $140, F&F $250
- EQII – Standard $35, Collectors $90, Premium $140, F&F $250
The new “Friends & Family” packages are outliers. But even if we leave those out it does strike me as a bit odd that WoW is not the most expensive in any category save for the base expansion, and there it is tied with LOTRO.
Should the base expansion include a level booster?
- WoW – No
- LOTRO – No
- EQ – No
- EQII – Yes
I am a bit surprised that EQII is the outlier here with its level 110 boost. LOTRO offers a level 120 booster with the two higher tier packages, as does WoW. EQ though… as I noted previously, it is in a strange place. It offers a booster with its more expansive packages, but it is still the now more than five years old level 85 boost. This, for an expansion where the level cap is going from 110 to 115. My “WTF Daybreak?” opinion of that remains.
Key items from upgraded packages
- WoW – Mount, pet, cosmetics
- LOTRO – Mount, pet, cosmetics, titles, various booster potions
- EQ – Mount, pet, mercenary, cosmetics, house item, bag, various booster potions
- EQII – Mount, pet, mercenary, cosmetics, cosmetic house item, teleporter to new expansion house item, various booster potions, and an trade skill insta-level boost to 110
I left out the level boost obviously, as it was covered above, and ignore the F&F packs, as they are strange new beasts.
EQII is really the standout in piling things on here, including even a level booster for trade skills, though EQII trade skills have the same level cap as adventure levels, and are earned more like adventure levels than the skill point upgrades in the other crafting systems.
WoW effectively gives you a boost into trade skills since they split trade skills up per expansion with BFA. But you get that no matter what.
As I have said before, if I were a dedicated EQII player, I could see being very tempted by one of the more expensive packages… relative to EQ especially, which has the same price points… despite the high prices.
Anyway, I thought that comparison was mildly informative. You can find all the order pages below. I’d be curious as to how these four games compare to other MMORPG expansion, though I don’t keep a close enough eye on anything else to even know who still sells expansions like this anymore.