Where Exclusivity Roans

Turbine has two mounts on sale in the Lord of the Rings Online cash shop only until Thursday night. Mechanically speaking there is nothing special about the Blue Roan Steed or Springfest Steed. They act like every other normal mount in the game. What is special is their exclusivity, and not to the cash shop.

As one can imagine, the Springfest Steed, as well as the Blue Roan Steed, can be gained (cue trumpet fanfare) during Springfest! Normally players compete for Festival Run Tokens in the horse races during the many Lord of the Rings Online festivals, and a Springfest barter NPC will gladly exchange the Festival Run Token and a few other trinkets for the horses on Springfest.

On vacation or dead during every Lord of the Rings Online Springfest? No problem. According to our buds over at A Casual Stroll to Mordor, a player can get their reputation with the Inn League or the Ale Association up to kindred in order to barter for a Festival Run Token. Of course the barter NPCs for the tokens and the mounts are not up all year round.

For a short time Turbine is allowing about $10 or so to bypass all that frivolous gameplay. I’ve already discussed the t-shirt memento found in so many MMOs where players get an exclusive item for playing during a festival period. Usually the item is akin to a t-shirt. It’s a mask, a cape, or in this case a special mount. Sometimes they are never available again, and sometimes, like with the Blue Roan, they will be available every Springfest.

If a game company wants to erode a little exclusivity for convenience/profit, I think this is a pretty decent way of going about that. The item is only available for a short time in the cash shop, which compresses the retail action. It’s also an item that is not meaningfully exclusive because it’s two mounts in a stable filled with mounts and goats available to the common player. And, honestly I am seeing very little concern for this, sarcastically, erosion to all things holy and true.

I still think it would be better if the cash shop purchase was different from the “earned” item in some menial way. It could be called a Bleu Roan Steed or have a green-colored name instead of a purple-colored name to signify, you know, it was paid for with cash. Regardless, I would love to be a fly on Turbine’s wall and see how well this one-week only item does on the charts.

–Ravious
an allotrope by any other name

5 thoughts on “Where Exclusivity Roans”

  1. A horse is a horse is a horse is a horse. Unless, of course, it’s a sparkle pony.

    And that would be my cryptic way of indicating that I really don’t get this obsession over vainglorious mounts. Especially where LOTRO is concerned, since lore will never allow you to ride ridiculous stuff like Eagles, Wargs or Dragons. $10+ for cosmetically appealing barding? Wasn’t there a horse armor fiasco four years back?

    Still, I guess if enough folks want to pay, there will be a market for it. *sighs* We’ll just see more MMOs trying out various costume options in the shop until they figure the ones which are most popular. (Hint: Dark, evil, spikey, horned, winged things, and glowy armored shoulderpads of way-too-much-metal-to-realistically-carry, judging by certain games that allow you to pick your looks at level 1.)

    1. Barbie’s been popular for decades, even if you never played with one.

      And the horse-armor in Oblivion was a fiasco for only one reason: no one else but you could see it.

  2. Actually, I got my springfest steed when my Champ was in her 20’s and you had to be 30 to get the riding skill. It was waiting for me in my mailbox, a prize from one of the many lotteries (along with a ton of carrot cake that I still have and use).

    Someone said the lotteries are back up, but I can’t find them. I figured there would be no point in giving away what they could now be selling.

  3. Its true, the steed this time around doesn’t hold much exclusivity to it, so having it in the store isn’t a big deal. You have to win one race, which is fairly easy to do. To get the special fastival mount in-game, you need 1 race token, 12 fall festival tokens (again, very easy to get, I purchased everything I wanted from the vendor and still have 100+ tokens lying around…), and the tricky part for new players, 1,600s in in-game currency. So as far as being exclusive from the store, in this case you’re basically exchanging real money for in-game money.

    Edited for grammer (ar?)

  4. Am I mistaken or is the price not 1195 (Turbine) Points?

    500 pts are roughly 5 EUR / 7 USD, so 12 EUR / 17 USD for a not even that sparkly pony. It is a festival mount and so far they came around every year and are fairly easy to get. Win a very easy race against the clock, done.

    1 Gold 600 Silver are nothing, I made that by just walking around in less than a day by just walking around. Or is this rather a case of people who did not even acquire the level 20 or 30 ability to ride at all, I do not get it.

    Even Mr. casual LOTRO player can get it, as the early levels have silver, tin, copper, bronze, stuff that is needed for crafting that sells for a ton of cash. And that’s just how I made more gold in the early levels than say in the mid levels between the North Downs and before Moria.

    Now that’s what I would call even more so a “GREED STEED” than Blizzard’s Sparkly Pony.

    I can understand “fancy horse collectors”, but these guys just voted with their wallet that they will pay up to 12 EUR / 17 USD for a horse they will get for 1G 600S and “winning” a horse race that returns every year.

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