SoM(e) Valuation

Release news of the next buyable offering for Turbine’s Lord of the Rings Online MMO hit the ‘sphere pretty hard yesterday.  The global chat was endlessly looping all night with one person flashing the newly received Harbinger’s Cloak by diligently buying something the day Turbine offered it, and then multiple people asking whether that person also got his goat.  I kid you not, the loop recycled every 15 minutes with brand new actors. (Customers will not get the goat or character slots until Siege of Mirkwood is launched.)

I heard the news first from a friend.  He copy/pasted the entirety of the multiple options in to my tiny Google chat.  I read through the many options, scratching my head a few times.  I had to make sure I knew which class of customer I was, and that I would be able to buy what I wanted.  The weird part was that what I wanted to buy was Siege of Mirkwood for about $20.00, but I couldn’t.  I had to buy the Adventurer’s Pack to actually receive what I wanted to buy in the first place.  The whole pricing scheme felt like a huge gimmick.  Admiral Ackbar kept screaming in my head until I told him to shut up.

I’ve said before that I think the skirmish gameplay type is worth the $20 alone.  Siege of Mirkwood will also come with a swath of new instances including my favorite 3-mans, book quests, a raid, and an entire new zone comparable in size, so I heard, to Moria.  Moria’s content alone was worth the $30 I paid for it, and it didn’t come with any new gameplay types.  Then with two character slots (average MMO market price puts it around $10 each), a goat (gold farmer’s price puts it at around $5), and a shared bank (I’ll just say priceless) the valuation of the whole package I would peg at roughly quadruple the price.  This does not mean, astute reader, that I would pay $80 for the digital expansion and Adventurer’s Pack.  It just means that as objectively as I could tell myself “the package is worth it.”

So I don’t really understand why Turbine had to offer their product in a manner that took me some time to figure out how I would throw my money at them.  I don’t understand why I would have to buy an Adventurer’s Pack, which I would never buy on its own, in order to get what I, and believably most players, wanted in the first place: content.  The clever analogies are endless.

exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn’t

16 thoughts on “SoM(e) Valuation”

  1. Thank you. Now I don’t need to blog this same thought. After doing the math, I decided it was a good deal, despite the presentation that makes me feel like I am being cheated.

  2. Also note that the goat is available as your full speed level 35 mount. No more reputation grinding in Moria, no more 4.22 gold at level 35. Of course, no plans have been announced to remove the hour of tedium required to get the riding skill at 35.

    1. Let’s just hope that no one tells Darren about the $20 goat. :P

      That said, the case could be made that the adventure pack (for non-lifetime subscribers, and lifetimers who for whatever reason fail to preorder), feels like them saying “you can pay us more money to byepass a timesink that we concede may be too onerous for new players and alts”. That’s very common in F2P games but relatively new to high profile subscription games.

  3. Err, isn’t it the case that all you need to get the new content is an active multi-month subscription? You don’t need to buy the Adventurer’s Pack at all.

      1. Oh I didn’t notice the extra conditions attached to lifetime subscriptions. It is pretty convoluted yes, but the idea at work is really clever and it’s still a good bit of marketing IMO.

      2. Technically, as a lifetime Subscriber you CAN forgo Adventure Pack and buy the digital expansion for $20. You just don’t pre-order anything.

        The “pre-order adventure pack and get mirkwood free” deal is limited time, because it’s only available to lifer’s while they can still pre-order.

        If you decide you want to try mirkwood mid-december, you will have to pay 20$ for SOM and 20$ for fluff. Lifer’s who pre-order the adventure pack get mirkwood free.

        (admittedly, they should have done it the other way around… pre-order the expansion and get fluff for free, but they did not)

  4. Guys, it’s very simple.

    (Courtesy of DartSimian)

    If (x=lifetime_subscriber) then {
    if (pay_20$_now) then
    } else {
    } elseif(x=multi_month_sub) then {
    } elseif(x=monthly_sub) then {
    if (changes_to_multimonth) {
    get(SoM); /*free*/
    if (pay($20)) {
    } else {

  5. Is it me or ever since 2-3 years ago or so subscription offers and options have been getting too convoluted and complicated?

  6. Perhaps they read the screaming posts from another game where they always explain how they would gladly pay $$$ for extra space or character slots, just so long as it was a one time charge. All I can really think of is that they needed some way to make sure that they got $$$ from all sides, one way or another. That is, for all intent and purposes why they exist. Our family changed over right away to a three month plan (we were monthly) and since we wanted the items offered for the $20, we went for it right away. Why wait if your going to eventually purchase it anyway? Actually, it’s funny, but one of the things I enjoy about the game after years upon years of other games is the limited space in the banks. I no longer find myself saving stuff from level 1 in my 600 slot vault only to move it to the Guild Bank, then later to some mule to destroy later. Did it sell? Do I need more room….DESTROY…

  7. Provide obscure convoluted pricing scheme -> get entire game blogging community to devote multiple entries to “setting the record straight”

    yield: several days of free advertising, thats not a bad deal in a down economy.

    everyone is talking about the game and people are even writing perl scripts in homage of it

  8. I’m one of those 1-year multimonth subscribers. When Guild Wars 2 comes out, I’ll not have time for any other MMO, and I only have time for LotRO because I’ve put in enough hours in GW to need a diversion for a few times per week. It took me a bit of close reading to realize that if I ponied up for the Adventurer’s Pack, I’d be getting Mirkwood. Now for the cute part–how do I get the AP?

    Dear Turbine: Please put a bit button that says “BUY ADVENTURER’S PACK NOW (with free Mirkwood upgrade for multimonth and lifetime subscribers)” Then let it charge my credit card. Don’t make me hunt for how to give you money. Love and kisses, ~~ceolstan

  9. I felt the same way, it feels like a trick (badly done marketing) but its really in fact a good deal. Why shoot yourself in the foot like that when you don’t have to?

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