Massively Overthinking: Are MMORPG collector’s editions worth the money?

    
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I have a confession to make: I pretty much never buy collector’s editions of anything, especially MMORPGs. Call me cheap, I guess, but there’s rarely anything in them I want to pay extra for. The one exception I can specifically recall? It was TES4: Oblivion. I can’t even remember why I did it, but I did. And I saw my kid playing with the special coin/septim the other day, so that survived four household moves in the meantime, apparently.

The Exiled’s Alexander Zacherl has collector’s editions on the brain today too. Here’s the question he’s posed us:

“Why do you (not) buy founders packs / collector’s editions for MMOs? Do you get them for the exclusives, early access or just for a bargain subscription/credits?”

Let’s talk CEs! Do you buy them? If so, why not? If not, why not?

Andrew Ross (@dengarsw): I almost never buy collector’s editions for MMOs, especially if they have physical bonuses. I’m sure if my first MMOs had them I might have, but since then, I generally know I’ll only be playing for so long before the next hot game comes out, so I don’t need a physical reminder of where I digitally traveled. My adventures tend to leave enough of a mark on me and/or my companions.

However, founder’s packs are usually a weakness. Generally for a few bucks extra, I get more pack space, early access to mounts, maybe alpha/beta access… it’s pretty hard to resist if it’s a game I know I’m going to play with friends. I have gotten burned a few times (I really didn’t need that 4-player access to Landmark), but I’m usually pretty happy with my purchases.

Landmark

Brianna Royce (@nbrianna, blog): I won’t buy them as a general rule — most of the swag the comes with them is junk to me, household kibble I’ll lose or the kids will destroy, so I won’t pay extra for an art book or CD, and I really don’t want a trading card or toy or statue (stoppit with the statues, people!). I’ll consider it if there’s something truly significant in game that will be of value past the launch, but I cannot honestly remember the last time I saw something tempting enough. I don’t even usually preorder unless I really want to lock in my name or take advantage of a headstart period, and even then only for a tiny handful of games. In short, I am not the collector’s edition market for sure. Maybe that makes me look cheap, but I’m there for the game, not the swag.

Eliot Lefebvre (@Eliot_Lefebvre, blog): The problem with collector’s editions, for me, is that so few of them live up to what they’re promising. I want to like collector’s editions, but most of them offer me the benefit of a few digital gewgaws that I don’t particularly care about, an art book I do care about, a few other feelies that can clutter up my house which is already overloaded with Transformers, and a 400% increase in price. And my options are, universally, to either buy the CE right away or deal with never having it whatsoever.

Heck, that right there has always seemed backwards to me. Why should I be paying more up-front for a game that I may or may not enjoy over a longer term? Why not ask me to buy all of these things a few months down the line, when I can make an informed decision about whether or not a game is worth the art book and so forth? (I know the actual answer to this question, but I think it’s still worth asking.)

None of this is to say that I’ve never bought collector’s editions, though. I bought the CE for Final Fantasy XIV (the original one!) and Heavensward because they included an earlier start time and I’m an absolute sucker for that stuff. I’ve also bought a few digital upgrades for games over the years, which I generally consider to be more worthwhile, simply because they’re not cluttering up my home that way. But they’re by far the rarity among my game purchases; more often than not, I justbuy the standard edition of new games, and the few exceptions are usually expansions to games I already like (FFXIV) or sequels to titles I already enjoyed.

Well, yes.

Justin Olivetti (@Sypster, blog): I think the last big physical collector’s edition I purchased was either Star Wars: The Old Republic or Guild Wars 2. And both were pretty cool, especially when I got to plunk down this huge cube of a box and unpack all of the goodies inside. But to tell the truth, the digital extras are what entice me the most, in particular soundtracks, extra inventory space, mounts, and anything I can share among all future characters created. Beta access is not very important to me, while getting into the live game a day or even a week early is.

If it’s a game I’ve been anticipating, I don’t mind spending the extra money. Sure, there’s always potential for buyer’s remorse (half of those SWTOR digital items were useless), but I see it as part of celebrating a very rare occasion. Sometimes having that physical experience to go with the digital makes it feel more rounded, you know?

Larry Everett (@Shaddoe, blog): Ever since I didn’t buy the collectors edition of Star Wars Galaxies and missed out on having those cool googles, I’ve been striving to buy the step up from the standard on nearly any MMORPG that I buy. Simply put: I like to have things, and if I can have a thing that very few people in the game have, then that means a lot more to me. That being said, I’m not one to but the physical collectors edition. I have my Malgus statue for Star Wars: The Old Republic, but I wasn’t really interested in having one of Molag Bal. That said, I did buy the Imperial Edition of Elder Scrolls Online because I could play as an Imperial and any race for any faction. Most couldn’t do that when the game launched, so I was satisfied. My bottomline is that I will buy the hell out of the digital collectors stuff, but not so much on the physical stuff. One caveat: If they start to sell plushies in the physical collectors editions, I might have to revisit my stance.

swg521

MJ Guthrie (@MJ_Guthrie, blog): I’ve bought my share of collector’s editions, especially for the games I really really like. It never has anything to do with in-game coin. No, it has everything to do with cool fluff stuff! I own almost every single collector’s edition of The Secret World’s issues for the awesome pets and a few outfits. if it has a pet, I must have it. I don’t even care about spiffy gear pieces, just the appearance clothing. For my EverQuest II collector’s editions, housing decorations have been the biggest draw, and then mounts and pets. If I can manage to afford it, I want the goodies. Gimme gimme goodies.

That said, I have one instance where it didn’t have to do with fluff so much as it did timing; when it comes to something like scarcity of land, I definitely get the collector’s edition for the head start! That’s pretty much why I bought an ArcheAge founder’s pack (besides really liking the game!). Securing a spot of land in the land rush was of paramount importance. Early access overall is definitely a bonus, as I tend to need extra time to create a character as well.

Tina Lauro Pollock (@purpletinabeans): I have bought only a few collector’s editions for the considerable number of MMOs I have played, so the ones I did choose for fork out for are very special to me. The factors I consider when deciding whether or not to purchase a collector’s edition really comes down to how meaningful the perks will be in the long term and also whether or not it marks a defining moment in a game’s development history. I really enjoy in-game rewards and usually find physical stuff just gathers dust on my shelf, which doesn’t give me the same satisfaction as that unique title I rock on my toon or the mount only collectors have. I am far more likely to purchase a collector’s edition for a game’s launch than its expansions unless the reward offered is very special. I don’t much care for a title’s projected success, review metrics, or how well populated its hype train happens to be, it just has to be something that grips me.

Your turn!