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