3 Quick Thoughts: LOTRO Mordor Expansion Preorders
Earlier this week, Standing Stone Games put out information regarding the LOTRO Mordor expansion preorders. Finally, after four long years, it feels great to actually see with my own eyes that an expansion is on the horizon.
I’ve always been a fan of looking at the marketing and promotional output the devs create pre-expansion launch. With Mordor this time around, there’s a different buzz from the community. Perhaps it’s because of the items offered in the bundles, and the asking price for them too. That’s what I’m here to talk about today. Having gone over the three tiers of the preorders, here are my quick thoughts on why the asking price is a little high.
1. Overall Value Of Content And Expansion Size
The first, is pretty obvious. The highest tier, The Ultimate Fan Bundle, goes for a whooping $129.99. That’s very much in the range of a physical collector’s edition for a majority of AAA games. Why is it so expensive? Look at the what’s coming in the bundle. Besides the max level boost, cosmetics, mounts and titles, SSG are also throwing in a month of VIP.
Of course, one of the main attractions of the Mordor expansion is the new race. The High Elves are here, with a brand new starting region to play in. The new race will be playable by a variety of classes, which traditional Elves cannot do. Both the highest and middle tier -which is $79.99 – offers the new race. In addition, the bundle will give players 10 extra shared storage slots, for the new account wide items.
Overall, it’s a beefy offering and while many will feel it isn’t worth it, we have not even talked about the expansion itself! Mordor according to the recent developer streams, will be the biggest expansion since Moria. With that asking price, one can only hope that the quality is significantly increased all round to match the asking price.
2. Chance Thomas
LOTRO’s music and soundtrack has always been a high point, up until the departure of composer Chance Thomas. Most notable for his work early in the game and most recently the Riders of Rohan soundtrack, Chance is back. The announcement was very well received, and it is a signal of intent from SSG that they are stepping up the quality. Not just in terms of content and gameplay, but everywhere else too, including the soundtrack.
Let’s be honest here, Chance is a well known composer within the gaming industry. And with a name like that, it’s going to cost the game money for good music. I think majority of LOTRO players, myself included, will be happy that SSG is coughing up for the soundtrack. More than most MMORPGs, LOTRO is definitely enhanced by the themes to complement the lush environments of the world. Therefore, it is understandable if the high cost and asking price of the expansion is attributed to the rising quality, including in the music department.
3. No More Warner Brothers
Warner Brothers washed their hands clean of LOTRO late last year, and handed over the reigns to Standing Stone Games. SSG is an independent studio, largely consisting of former Turbine devs who already worked on the game.
Some of the challenges of not having a big name publisher to support you can hurt a game. These include injections of funds for production, world wide publishing, access to resources and a lot more. As SSG are indie, they have to do it on their own, with a somewhat smaller publisher, Daybreak. They are not Warner Brothers, but good riddance I say. So if that means that they have to raise the price because of all the work that’s gone into this without previous support, then so be it.
The only thing that matters now is the final product. And if SSG fails to deliver a content-packed Mordor expension that doesn’t satisfy both casuals and end-gamers, then we have a problem.