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An Earthbound Perspective

Practical perspective on MMO play and practice.

Author: Dengar

Star Wars: The Cash Cow

Posted by Dengar Thursday July 21 2011 at 4:52PM
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So, for those who've missed it, you can pre-order TOR for a limited time only! Super, great, but the prices...

Let's go back to Rift for a moment to make a comparison. We can ignore Rift's retail collector's addition because that was an obvious cash cow and... well, I know a good amount of people who played Rift, but none but the retail collector's edition.

Now, the regular price of Rift was $50, compared to $60 for TOR. Both games gave you a little bonus for pre-ordering the standard copy, but Rift also gave you access to reduced prices for your monthly fees. TOR... has not mentioned that yet.

Rift's digital collector's edition was $60, as opposed to TOR's $80. I knew a lot of people who grabbed Rift's collector's. Tough, manly men that we are, we were all fairly embaressed about saying it until after launch, as we rode our two-headed turtles. The benefits were hard to beat for an addition $10: a mount you could right as soon as you left the newbie zone and a bigger bag in addition to the little trinket and lower prices? Who played Rift and didn't buy the collector's addtion!? None of my Rift crew had bought collector's editions in the past, but this was actually a pretty good deal. 

TOR's digital collector's addition seems to be $30 for a mount, FRAPS, and some toys. Yes, one may be a combat pet, but I'm mainly looking at stuff that's going to take up pack space it seems. The pet, for all we know, may just be a very low level buff, or, at best, a weak combat pet that helps for the first few levels. Better than nothing, but it doesn't sound like $30 to me.

Finally, ignoring Rift's $80 retail collector's edition, you have TOR's behemothly priced retail collector's edition: $150. You get a bunch of toys only the hardest of hard SW fans might appreciate, plus one of those $6 looking authenticators, but you also get another pet (I rarely bring those out in any game) and: 

Collector's Store

"Unique in-game vendor with a dynamic assortment of items available only to purchasers of the Collector's Edition."


I'm... smelling a grab bag. For nearly twice the cost of the regular game, I get toys and this suspicious sounding in game vendor. I don't usually touch collector's editions unless the price tag gives me a good return on my money via in game perks. This ploy appeals to me sense of wanting access to more than the standard players, but the price is so much higher that cheap-skate senses are far beyond the tingling stage. This is a serious threat here folks. I don't have any inside info (atm) on this perk, but I'm thinking, at best, it may offer RP clothes and pets. Maybe even special access to crappy in-game voice chat support. I'd be shocked (and I'm sure there'd be community revolts) if the vendor sells any items of real value, such as high end gear or consumables.

Essentially, the game seems a tad expensive. Sure, a lot of hard work was put into it, and it is Star Wars, but we've been burned before. We've gotten crappy movies and products. The game's also an MMO that seems to emphasize the leveling grind (i.e. different stories based on class/race/options, kinda like a single player game), charging a monthly fee for something I could do in Dragon Age after paying just once. Looking at the price tag on the pre-order options makes me feel a bit like a starving trout looking at a fat worm that seems to have appeared at too good of a time. I've been waiting for this, but I smell a trap.

I could be wrong though. Maybe that mouse droid will have an awesome self-destruct move with no cooldown and scales with levels, which will allow rapid power leveling and won't be fixed for the first 3-9 months after launch. Maybe the in game FRAPs will also allow you to submit videos to Bioware to become e-famous. Hell, maybe that flare-gun will have some sweet use in the world pvp Bioware still needs to discuss. All I know is that, at the moment, I'm not pre-ordering. I will, at some point, but the regular copy's looking like my pal right now. After all, I'm one of the folks looking at this game as an RPG with a lobby as opposed to an MMO. I may not be around long enough to care about a collector's store.

MasonIce19 writes:

Cry more bro.  Nobody is making you buy the game in any of its packages and if you are that unsure about the game itself don't play.  Tired of seeing people post stuff like this.  With some of your comments like " The game's also an MMO that seems to emphasize the leveling grind (i.e. different stories based on class/race/options, kinda like a single player game), charging a monthly fee for something I could do in Dragon Age after paying just once. " makes me think you really have not followed this game at all.  Read up on the game before posting ignorant comments and if you are so down on the game as it sounds like you are, why bother even posting anything?  Move on to another game that you may have an interest in.  These are not the droids you are looking for, move along....

Thu Jul 21 2011 7:12PM Report
Dengar writes:

I think you focused on my attitude rather than what I said. I do intend on buying the game and playing for a bit, but I'm noting that the cash they're asking for seems a bit high.

As for "ignorarnt" and not following the game... well, let's just say there's an NDA that prevents me from addressing all of your arguments.

Thu Jul 21 2011 7:24PM Report
garry writes:

This is not a flame at the OP but I read the various statements you made and thought I would add a few comments. You are right in that your attitude does come thru and somewhat like MasonIce19 above, I believe that you do not have much interest in a single player type of game. Thats ok, a lot of posters have said the same. I would point out that the original movie, the IP, has several single stories inside the overall story. SWTOR has Single story arc x 8 plus the overall Faction story. Pretty good I would say.


In addition all MMO games have the generic concept and content of 'grind' which word carries a connotation denigrating the function of the parts making up a story. It is how that so called grind is done that players are either satisfied or not, entirely subjective of course.


Next: The cost. The basic preorder of the game is what I believe to be at the high end of a range, not a major jump over other MMO games. The Digital Download is lower than I expected and carries some 'goodies' as well. The Collectors Edition carries a general pile of stuff both in and out-game. It costs a considerable amount more than I expected. You are right in that it would only appeal to the more intense SW fan who has this kind of money.


I would like to point out that the CE and the DDE were sold out in a matter of a few hours. As a bonus those who did preorder will get a varying amount of prelaunch play, from 3 to 7 days before official launch with character(s) crossover into regular play.  All in all it seems that TOR is priced at the high end  of the general range of MMOs with more than usual amount in the CE. Is the price justified? The CE was not my main interest because I want, mostly, the in game stuff so I got the DDE. How useful? Shrug! Do not know but would not really want anything gameshaking anyway. Again, subjective and plainly more than you would want to pay at the moment.


Final point: About the single player comment again. D Erickson had Bioware get the figures for a breakdown of player 'types' in MMOs in general. According to the data they obtained the breakdown is as follows - Solo 40%/ Team 30% and PvP 30%. There were various combinations but these were the primary focus. I like solo and some team play and some PvP with a guild only. Again subjective, you almost certainly have a different viewpoint and style.


Last point: I am satisfied with the price I got and the type of gameplay I have seen so far in the game. Evidently many many thousands of others agree. 

Fri Jul 22 2011 1:51AM Report
Thane writes:

seems hard to understand, so let me outline this for you: star wars is one of the biggest frenchises WORLD WIDE. star wars actually invented merchendizing and all that stuff, selling TOR without the opportunity for their fans to get some extra stuff (like the statue and digital items) would be a BIG mistake and make alot of people very angry.


of corz not everyone can afford it, i won't be able to buy the CE neither, but hell if i had more money i'd definately do it.

Sat Jul 23 2011 3:22AM Report
SuiMe writes:

Buy the game.

Pay the subscription, probably monthly.

Buy stuff in the cash shop.

No expansions, you'll have to pay for DLC's.

Welcome to the new world of MMO's.

Wed Jul 27 2011 2:52AM Report
zonzai writes:

I may be the only one but I agree with the main point.  There is no way I will be buying the TOR CE. 

Wed Jul 27 2011 4:40AM Report
DominicusJam writes:

It's with some regret that I bought the CE of Star Wars: The Old Republic. Why? I too felt it was way too much money but I caved because of the what was stated about the CE at launch day. I'm sick of fantasy type MMOs like WoW and prefer sci-fi instead. Another reason is that I've left WoW for good mainly because of boredom and the anhorance to grinding. I really did want to play TOR but I have since learned about a new game called The Secret World and as soon as TSW launches, I'll be playing it instead of TOR.

Sun Sep 11 2011 2:31AM Report writes:
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