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  1. #1
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    Am I Too Old?!?!

    $60 USD for a piece of software I can't hold, and no physical 'fluff' even to warrant it either... Am I just getting too old for this digital download pricing scheme or what?

    If I remember, I paid a comparable sum for the below (x2 since my wife and I both have accounts), and I brought home a 3 inch thick binder of bonus materials to keep me busy while the damn game updated (my wife still has the soundtrack CD in her car)... Now, they want nearly the same amount of money, for absolutely no physical copy of the game whatsoever. The cost to them to publish these latest expansions as digital download only is only the cost of the bandwidth (a fraction of what it would cost to publish physical copies). Why is it we are paying comparable prices and getting less and less for it? (in game bonuses for MoM purchase were things like the Runekeeper, Warden, title, cloak, 2 character slots, etc. roughly equivalent to the +10 quest spaces (bleh), mount and armour from this expansion)



    Its like the current horse deal, which is a fantastic deal for those crazy enough to spend $20 on a virtual mount, $150 USD for all 9 class mounts on EVERY character on your account... I debated it even (for about 3 seconds at which point I remembered I need a new lawnmower and pool heater in the spring), but that's $150 for 9 horses that are available in a virtual world and only while that world is deemed profitable by some corporation or another, after which point, I have nothing...

    Hell, the first Digital download only pack for LOTRO was the Mirkwood Expansion, sure, it was only 5 levels, but we got shared storage, wardrobe, extra character slots (x2 so we could finally have all 9 classes on a single server), goat, etc for a whopping $19.99. (Adventurer's pack w/active sub). Sure, Mirkwood wasn't huge, and is now mostly avoided as it doesn't follow the fellowship and alternate paths of leveling are available, but it was fun, it didn't have the bugs that we had with RoI, RoR, and inevitably HD as well, the story was well played, and the content was the LAST of the challenging (not stupidly challenging [T2 Sauruman anyone?)) content. We also got OD and Enedwaith as the 'free update' in the Mirkwood cycle as well.

    Unfortunately, I see myself buying it regardless, haven't decided on which pack yet, but I want to see the story through, I still want to visit Gondor, and see HDs, Osgiliath, the Crystal Caves, the Black Gate, the fields of Pelennor, etc, strictly because I'm a LOTR junkie to begin with.

    End rant, begin flame.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kril View Post
    $60 USD for a piece of software I can't hold, and no physical 'fluff' even to warrant it either... Am I just getting too old for this digital download pricing scheme or what?
    Not too old, just too wise.

    You are being asked, sight unseen to pay the price of a full game for an expansion (in a format you can't resell) that will contain drastic changes to classes and game-play. I consider it wise to try out the new system before buying at this price and under these circumstances.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Kongas View Post
    Not too old, just too wise.

    You are being asked, sight unseen to pay the price of a full game for an expansion (in a format you can't resell) that will contain drastic changes to classes and game-play. I consider it wise to try out the new system before buying at this price and under these circumstances.
    Class changes and game play changes are coming regardless of whether or not you buy the expansion.

    On topic, I've found the entire world is moving to digital downloads - even H&R Block's tax program. You can buy a case, but all it does it direct you to the website to download the software.

  4. #4
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    The game might be virtual, but the pleasure you derive from playing it is very tangible, very real.

    Technically much of what we do has a virtual element. A movie is virtual. Music is virtual. You don't even need a DVD or CD for either anymore, just as you don't for a game. In fact, I have largely moved to Netflix, as I've run out of storage space for DVDs, coupled with cost and convenience concerns.

    When I bought Shadows of Angmar and Mines of Moria, I got the fancy collector's editions. They were and are very nice. However, they now sit on a shelf gathering dust. Likewise when I bought the SWTOR collector's edition. The statue was very nice, but the fancy box is just gathering dust. I have now thought about finally breaking them up and throwing them in the recycling bin. I would argue the pleasure from the little gifts and such that come with them is very fleeting, compared to the pleasure derived from in-game items you will actually use during your many hours of gameplay (for example, I have used the +XP pocket items and back shield far more than the map or ring I got in my collector's editions).

    The manuals that came with SoA and MoM are essentially useless now, as so much in the game has changed. Likewise, when I bought SWTOR I got the official strategy guide as well, and within a month it was out of date. I was searching for holocrons, but some had been moved to other locations. Physical manuals and guides are only of use in long and complex single-player titles, such as my tattered guide for Baldur's Gate 2.

    Ultimately it is up to each individual customer to decide if something is "worth" it or not. I personally prefer the digital only expansions, as I've found they've given more useful in-game goodies than the earlier physical versions. Not to mention the additional TP. These digital items also tend to gather substantially less dust.

    -Bel
    Belnavar - Captain - 105 - Brandywine - Leader of Keepers of the Palantiri

  5. #5
    years ago they used to send you a real original box with CD inside, now it's just a download, or something stored on steam, still no physical product though, unless you ask for it.

  6. #6
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    While digital copies of games do save space. I enjoy collecting hard copies to add to my collection. I am disappointed with Turbine for charging $60 for an expansion pack. While Helm's deep will probably be a nice addition to the game, its not like they are selling you a whole game. To make matters worse, Kril spent $60 on not only a hard copy of LOTRO, but he got the whole bundle there, soundtrack, guidebooks and a couple of other things as well, I'm assuming that he probably got at least a month of VIP out of it too. Now days we get a digital copy of the expansion for $60 and that's about it.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Roberto_the_First View Post
    Class changes and game play changes are coming regardless of whether or not you buy the expansion.

    On topic, I've found the entire world is moving to digital downloads - even H&R Block's tax program. You can buy a case, but all it does it direct you to the website to download the software.
    That does not change the good advice to wait and see if you like the changes. If you dislike the changes sufficiently to quit the game entirely, then you have saved yourself the cost of an expansion you would not have played. Personally, I am waiting until I see how the changes work and whether they are something I like or if they are enough to kill my enjoyment of the game. If the latter, then I will not buy it at all and move on down the road to find something I do enjoy.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roberto_the_First View Post
    Class changes and game play changes are coming regardless of whether or not you buy the expansion.
    Obviously.

  9. #9
    "You are being asked, sight unseen to pay the price of a full game for an expansion (in a format you can't resell) that will contain drastic changes to classes and game-play. I consider it wise to try out the new system before buying at this price and under these circumstances."

    The character train skill per level needs badly, VERY badly, needs to be redone...

    It was just about perfect for L-60... (does any other old fahrts remember when they added the skill bar going from Cap-50 to Cap 60 so you could fit the buttons in?)

    It is horribly outgrown for L85 (soon 95)

    I have 4 high level alts and ONLY the warden can fit all his skills...
    And we all have skill buttons we never use, and really have to tool tip to remember what they do...

    The new system works very much like the original D&D...
    I may have a point or two in interrupt, you may have maxxed it at 5...
    But it should result in a much more tailorable alt... with fewer, but potentially much more powerful ones...

    In effect now one could have two alts, one developed as a DPS death dealing Rune Keeper,
    and one as a health cradling life support medic rune keeper...

    I think this could be one of the best ideas Turbine/Lotro has had in quite a while...
    which would play as two completely different alts...

    Jammer

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Kril View Post
    If I remember, I paid a comparable sum for the below (x2 since my wife and I both have accounts), and I brought home a 3 inch thick binder of bonus materials to keep me busy while the damn game updated (my wife still has the soundtrack CD in her car)...
    Just this past weekend, I have tossed a physical copy of collector's edition of Warhammer Online. A game I played for 2 months and came back to LotRO. It was really nicely done but not useful. Physical copies, while nice to look at the first time you get them, are mostly adding to a home clutter a few years later. That's why I enjoy all electronic content.

    That being said, $60 for the all electronic version is a bit steep.
    [COLOR="Yellow"] :: [/COLOR][COLOR="Cyan"]Landroval[/COLOR][COLOR="Yellow"] :: [/COLOR][COLOR="Red"]Rand[/COLOR] - 100 LRM[COLOR="Yellow"] :: [/COLOR]

  11. #11
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    Not that many years ago, some physical copies were really worth having.

    I remember buying flight simulators with nice huge printed manuals that I could lie in bed reading with a nice cup of coffee or music software that also had thick manuals explaining everything.

    However, nowadays it really is a waste of space having a physical medium unless it's to wrap for a present for someone else.

    The few things that still come on physical media, no manual is ever included (or if it is, it's a really basic one), instead we have to look at the PDF on the DVD.
    99% of the time the version of the software on the DVD is already out of date even if it's a brand new release.

    I did recently buy a software suite that comes on it's own hard drive as it's 370GB, but even that had no end of updates once it finally installed and all manuals are in PDF on the PC or online

    I recently bought another piece of software that was only available as a boxed item, it came in a 2inch thick A5 sized box and contained one DVD, one pamphlet with install instructions (insert DVD follow onscreen instructions) , and one piece of paper with a licence key on it. If I could have downloaded without getting the boxed version I would have done.

    Even games in the past that had a hal;d decent manual with them, usually the manual was updated within 6 - 12 months meaning the online one superseded it anyway.

    I simply cant remember the last time I got one of my many cases out of the drawer and re-installed any software from that, I simply get the latest version online.

    Times change. It was only last night I was talking to my wife about al the DVD box sets we had bought and how we very rarely if ever watch any of them as most of what we want is available oinline via various on demand services such as Netflix.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Glumposneak View Post
    However, nowadays it really is a waste of space having a physical medium unless it's to wrap for a present for someone else.
    I didn't get the impression that the OP was talking about physical versus digital... the impression I got was the OP was talking about spending $60 for a pile of physical stuff that actually cost something to make... versus $60 for a completely intangible "thing" that approaches pure profit. Ok... not pure profit, but the money that goes to pay for the office and the servers and the game devs paychecks... that money would come out of both the $60 physical and the $60 digital products. However, once all that is taken out of the $60, the money it cost to manufacturer all the stuff that came with the $60 physical product, and then physically ship that product somewhere... the space it took on a shelf (costs money)... all the money that went into THAT, is now just profit when compared to paying $60 for a download.

    If 20% of that $60 was wrapped up in the printing and materials and packaging and discs and extra little statues and dodads.... shouldn't that 20% be passed on as savings to the customer? Shouldn't an expansion that provides the equivalent in-game bonuses and play, now only cost $48 instead of $60, since it costs so much less to actually get it out and into the "hands" of the player?

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by bongart View Post
    I didn't get the impression that the OP was talking about physical versus digital... the impression I got was the OP was talking about spending $60 for a pile of physical stuff that actually cost something to make... versus $60 for a completely intangible "thing" that approaches pure profit. Ok... not pure profit, but the money that goes to pay for the office and the servers and the game devs paychecks... that money would come out of both the $60 physical and the $60 digital products. However, once all that is taken out of the $60, the money it cost to manufacturer all the stuff that came with the $60 physical product, and then physically ship that product somewhere... the space it took on a shelf (costs money)... all the money that went into THAT, is now just profit when compared to paying $60 for a download.

    If 20% of that $60 was wrapped up in the printing and materials and packaging and discs and extra little statues and dodads.... shouldn't that 20% be passed on as savings to the customer? Shouldn't an expansion that provides the equivalent in-game bonuses and play, now only cost $48 instead of $60, since it costs so much less to actually get it out and into the "hands" of the player?

    Is it because we have seen so many other companies do this exact thing and then pull the plug after they have sucked up the last dime to be made? Can it be purely greed? Have we seen diminished product with no thought to lowering prices? We know things are changed and by consensus not be happy with the direction that the company has chosen. With all these unknowns has the fun been taken away? Old is a state of mind but it doesn't make you incompetent. Quality is very important so stay vigilant and demand it, because this and the truth of things are all we are owed for our money.
    Mean what you say and say what you mean! If you don't there are always consequences!

  14. #14
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    The makeup for LOTRO since WB bought them has been "Charge the customers more, while giving them less." If you haven't figured it out yet like thousands have then I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news. You are not getting "too old" rather a customer determining whether the value of the product is worth it. Which it is not.

    There was time when while Turbine ran the show where we got quantity and quality.

  15. #15
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    The time when software was delivered in a way I actively enjoyed is now long past. My favorite games came with either cloth or high-quality heavy paper maps, weighty figurines, thick spiral-bound manuals, etc. They took up over an inch of shelf space each.

    I can't really remember the last game I played which came that way. I did order the Collector's Edition of SWG back in 2003, and it came with a very nice book about the artwork in the game. That may have been the last... the LOTRO Collector's Edition was a little "meh" IMO. Digital is certainly convenient, but it just doesn't satisfy in the way some older games did.

    I'm just glad I was able to pass on my love for real books to one of my daughters. She has an e-reader, and uses it sometimes... but she loves real, high-quality books. In fact, she spent her first paycheck at a new job buying a dozen or so excellent books. On paper, not a Nook.

    Khafar

  16. #16
    Sapience is offline Former Community Manager & Harbinger of Soon
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    Quote Originally Posted by bongart View Post
    Ok... not pure profit, but the money that goes to pay for the office and the servers and the game devs paychecks... that money would come out of both the $60 physical and the $60 digital products. However, once all that is taken out of the $60, the money it cost to manufacturer all the stuff that came with the $60 physical product, and then physically ship that product somewhere... the space it took on a shelf (costs money)... all the money that went into THAT, is now just profit when compared to paying $60 for a download.

    If 20% of that $60 was wrapped up in the printing and materials and packaging and discs and extra little statues and dodads.... shouldn't that 20% be passed on as savings to the customer? Shouldn't an expansion that provides the equivalent in-game bonuses and play, now only cost $48 instead of $60, since it costs so much less to actually get it out and into the "hands" of the player?
    You're actually looking at it backwards. The cost of development is what goes into the pricing of a digitial good. Making a physical copy actually increases (sometimes dramatically) the cost. Throw in posters, manuals, and other items each with their own printing costs and that number goes up. Don't take the physical and cost down from the digital price for not including physical extras, take the digital and cost UP to cover those, often major, additional costs of a physical. Now add in distribution costs and retailer markups and you can add several more dollars on top of that.

  17. #17
    Yes the correct way to look at it is. Any possible way to maximize profit for Turbine will be done with no thought to the consumer. We will change game format and slowly release content as it serves us not the consumer.

    Some things done with the best intentions have the worst results. Thanks for making LOTRO like every other game. It's like Obamacare now. It will be done our way. Get your popcorn cause this train wreck is coming.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Sapience View Post
    You're actually looking at it backwards. The cost of development is what goes into the pricing of a digitial good. Making a physical copy actually increases (sometimes dramatically) the cost. Throw in posters, manuals, and other items each with their own printing costs and that number goes up. Don't take the physical and cost down from the digital price for not including physical extras, take the digital and cost UP to cover those, often major, additional costs of a physical. Now add in distribution costs and retailer markups and you can add several more dollars on top of that.
    Actually, I'm not looking at it backwards.

    The LOTRO Mines of Moria Complete Edition was released for $20
    http://www.ign.com/articles/2008/12/...omplete-review

    The LOTRO Mines of Moria Collector's Edition was released for $60 and included a BUTTLOAD of extras. So... let's review.

    For JUST the digital content that was the Mines of Moria... and for that $20 you got Eregion, Moria, and Lothlorien... you got an equivalent amount of "stuff" as you are supposed to be getting with the $60 Helm's Deep release.

    However, for that same $60... with the Mines of Moria Collector's Edition, you got all that digital content PLUS
    -antique book style packaging
    -three maps, one made of coth
    -gold plated replica of the One Ring
    -LotR Art Book
    -soundtrack CD
    -3 in-game rewards unique to the collector's edition
    -LOTRO forum badge (does this still exist, or has it been removed with the site revamps?)

    Now... I suspect you are going to suddenly point out that this was what you meant... but the issue here is that it was what I meant when you quoted me as well.. and decided to tell me I had it wrong. That for that same $60, you got a ton of PHYSICAL stuff that actually cost money to manufacture, as well as a ton of DIGITAL content. Now, with Helm's Deep, that $60 only provides the same amount of DIGITAL content that $20 provided when Mines of Moria came out. That means that there's $40 unaccounted for there.

    If $20 covered the dev costs before, since Mines of Moria Complete could be sold for $20, why can't Helm's deep be sold for $20? Are you actually trying to make us believe that Helm's Deep provides three times the content as Mines of Moria Complete, since it costs three times as much?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by rotoiti View Post
    Just this past weekend, I have tossed a physical copy of collector's edition of Warhammer Online. A game I played for 2 months and came back to LotRO. It was really nicely done but not useful. Physical copies, while nice to look at the first time you get them, are mostly adding to a home clutter a few years later. That's why I enjoy all electronic content.

    That being said, $60 for the all electronic version is a bit steep.
    I would say 'give me your stuff' but I guess that is too old as well.

    To the OP - I am with you 100%. I have mountains of physical stuff in my study and love it all.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yulin-Gladden View Post
    Obviously my opinion only, but I welcome the world where we don't have to deal with physical anything for games anymore. I too have some of the collectible sets from other games which sit on a shelf somewhere, costing me valuable storage space that could be used for other items, never to be touched. Lost a couple of games years ago due to misplaced CDs or scratched ones, meaning if I wanted to pay for it I paid twice.

    And I'd point to the other posters above saying that yes, if LOTRO shuts down, the items you have go poof. But the memories of the fun I'm hoping you had enjoying those virtual items won't go.
    Yulin-Gladden, I agree with you that the memories, and all the people I played with online who helped make them, are the best part. That said I am a huge collector of many middle-earth themed cards, figurines, Legos, and books, and treasure them as well. So I'm not knocking people who like a nice bookshelf collection, I do too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hurin View Post
    Economics 101

    The price of a good in a free economy is based on the consumer's willingness to pay that price. It has very little to do with the cost of actually producing the good to be sold.

    If it's too expensive, many potential customers won't pay. So the merchant loses money he would otherwise have earned by selling more at a lower price.

    If it's too cheap, customers will gladly pay and more people will buy it, but the merchant selling the good won't make as much as if they sold it for more (even to fewer people).

    The ideal price is the one where customers pay it while not feeling too abused, and the amount of money earned by the merchant is maximized because the price was neither too high (driving away customers) nor too low (more customers, but price is so low that profits suffered).

    The cost of producing, marketing, and distributing an item only comes into play when those costs become prohibitive. If they're too high, the merchant won't sell the item. As such, they set a price "floor". . . but other than that have very little bearing on the price charged to the consumer in a free economy.

    To be blunt: A merchant is under no moral or legal obligation to always sell you what you want at some arbitrary percentage over their production costs. They have paid their money to make this item available to you. What they paid is their business. What you're willing to pay for it is yours.

    Which is why I always shake my head at the moral indignation people express when they find out how much their $500 phone actually costs to produce (etc.). It really should have no bearing unless you want to live in a command economy where somehow people would create computer games and iPhones just because they're good people who want you to have neato things.

    Hurin, this is imo one of the most truthful statements I've ever read on these forums or the internet. Brilliant analysis, even more so because it's short and to the point.

    Finally, and off topic, I'm so glad I don't have to copy and paste my incipient forums posts like I used too, forums are working like any normal forums, YAY!
    other favorite middle-earth games: The One Ring RPG by Cubicle 7; LotR: The Card Game by FFG; Hobbit/LotR Strategy Battle Game by GW

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Kril View Post
    ..., but that's $150 for 9 horses that are available in a virtual world and only while that world is deemed profitable by some corporation or another, after which point, I have nothing... End rant, begin flame.
    Obviously my opinion only, but I welcome the world where we don't have to deal with physical anything for games anymore. I too have some of the collectible sets from other games which sit on a shelf somewhere, costing me valuable storage space that could be used for other items, never to be touched. Lost a couple of games years ago due to misplaced CDs or scratched ones, meaning if I wanted to pay for it I paid twice.

    And I'd point to the other posters above saying that yes, if LOTRO shuts down, the items you have go poof. But the memories of the fun I'm hoping you had enjoying those virtual items won't go.

  22. #22
    When our current president took office, gas was $1.86 a gallon. When I got my license in 1978, gas was around 50 cents a gallon and when I graduated in 1980 it was floating between 90 cents and $1.00. Obviously inflation and market demand cause huge fluctuation in prices, so no other single item will have the same price increases that any other item usually has. That said, if you go to the movies for 2 hours on average, the least you'll pay for 1st run is $5.00 for early shows, while $10.00 to $15.00 for evening shows. Basically a budget minded person can see 12 first run movies for what the expansion costs, which is roughly 24 hours of entertainment. Is this game less entertaining than the movies you go see? I don't think it is for me, because often the movies aren't that good or don't live up to the hype. I enjoyed getting the perks for my characters for HD and I am happy I went ahead got it early. LOTRO has been well worth the investment, from my perspective...

  23. #23
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    The physical copy they can skip but I have yet to see what I pay for if I make a purchase.

    Deco armour I have some (99% of which can be dyed too, a huge selling point)
    I have 50 quest slots with my deeds long done (and I have been hard pressed to fill this on a capped character with more than 10-15 active quests since RoI: it is all a-z and no deviating from the path and a few quests at a time)
    I want more quality scaled stuff and I want new, fun instanced stuff that looks more like Rift than Turtle
    - and all I know is that there are no plans to scale anything and, for some reason, there will be no more 'classic' raids and instances ever again

    Not quite certain what to pay for here. I'm not even certain I want Big Battles from the previews and I'm not certain I want the skills overhaul (alas, this will be mine to keep for just playing).

    I want options: stuff I can dye, pants and shirt and gloves and boots separate thankyouverymuch, a choice of quest routes, I want loot from places like GA, CD and Uru to be usable (the very top stuff is way worse than non-crit crafted gear same level and so far worse than scaled loot they're not on the same map and the stats are all uniformly logical for the game version long, long ago), character slots, shared space, exclusive housing options, hard boosts to stats, bonus VIP gametime (and whatever similar works for those already subbed for a year or for life) and I want new fresh designs for gear, character faces, character movement and moods... Fun! Nice! Options! Even an exclusive /emote would be fine! Bah!

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klaarg View Post
    When our current president took office, gas was $1.86 a gallon. When I got my license in 1978, gas was around 50 cents a gallon and when I graduated in 1980 it was floating between 90 cents and $1.00. Obviously inflation and market demand cause huge fluctuation in prices, so no other single item will have the same price increases that any other item usually has. That said, if you go to the movies for 2 hours on average, the least you'll pay for 1st run is $5.00 for early shows, while $10.00 to $15.00 for evening shows. Basically a budget minded person can see 12 first run movies for what the expansion costs, which is roughly 24 hours of entertainment. Is this game less entertaining than the movies you go see? I don't think it is for me, because often the movies aren't that good or don't live up to the hype. I enjoyed getting the perks for my characters for HD and I am happy I went ahead got it early. LOTRO has been well worth the investment, from my perspective...
    Yes, the world is changing, gas costs more, just like I could go elsewhere and spend $60 on a certain MMO that releases free content every two weeks. I just don't think people are getting enough out of this upcoming pack to pay $60. Its not like we are getting a Moria pack with Legendary Item system, two new classes, seven fellowship instances plus multiple three person instances, LI instances, and crafting instances, three raids twelve areas, eight books in Vol 2 including additional fellowship content, revamped talents with three new capstone skills for all classes and revamped PvMP with new skills/talents advancement for creeps. No, HD expansion does not offer anything close to that.

  25. #25
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    I really miss the times when you would get posters, printed (!) manuals and all sorts of goodies when you bought a boxed version ... *sigh*

    For me it's not so much the price, but the fact that I don't really know what I'll be getting that keeps me from preordering. Nobody gets to see the "brand new big battle" system .. If it's good why hide it? (And why put a pricetag on the epic questchain?)

    What makes or breaks the game for me are the new trait trees though. I really don't want to learn my class from scrap *again* or find myself severely underpowered no longer able to do the things my character could do before.

    As for the HD preorder goodies ... Oh wow, look: Cosmetics, a horse and a xp item. The exact same stuff what RoR had ... and RoI.

 

 
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