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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.