Expansion Purchase Thoughts
We all of us are now faced with the decision of what expansion pack to buy for the upcoming Shadowfell Conspiracy pack. There are only 2 packs this time around (standard and collector’s) but there is the added legendary upgrade which can be tacked onto either. Here’s my own thoughts on which pack to buy and whether or not the upgrade is right for you.
The choice of pack depends on what’s important to you. Here are the major differences (collector’s vs standard):
- • A greater epic tome of learning vs A lesser epic tome of learning
- • 3 iconic heroes (purple knight, morninglord and shadar-Kai assassin) vs 1 iconic hero (purple dragon knight)
- • 3 character slots vs 1 character slot
- • A +2 skill tome per character vs a +1 skill tome per character
- • 2 cosmetic costumes for the Bladeforged iconic hero and 1 for the Shadar-Kai hero vs 1 cosmetic costume for the Bladeforged iconic hero
- • 2 pets vs 1 pet
- • 2 cosmetic goggles vs 1 cosmetic goggle
- • 2000 points vs 1000 points
IMHO 2 biggest draws here are the cosmetics and the iconic heroes. The 1000 point difference is more of a bonus, there are far more cost effective ways to get points than this expansion pack. Similarly, the greater epic tome of learning can be thought of in this manner. It’s 1 tome that can be upgraded from lesser to greater for a turbine point cost. We don’t yet know that cost but we know that the epic learning tomes will have prices “comparable” to the heroic versions. The cost to upgrade the heroic tomes is only 600 points (the actual difference between a lesser and greater).
The skill tomes and character slots present a little more of a challenge. If you have a lot of characters and you like having a bunch of alts, more character slots are pretty good, especially because these slots raise you maximum number of character slots in addition to granting access to more characters. Me, I have a collection of characters to play, but I don’t have any plans to make more characters and I am nowhere near the character cap. Unless you actually need to increase your character slot cap, you can get additional characters for only 695 points, so that’s only a 1400 point difference. That means so far the point difference is something like 3000 points.
That brings us to skill tomes. The difference here is a +1 bonus to the skill of your choice (except UMD). The point difference here is 100 points per character. While I very much understand that DDO is all about a collection of small increases making a larger increase, this is only +1 to a single skill. Additionally, if you buy the legendary upgrade you will get not 1 but 2 +3 skill tomes. That means that, assuming you have purchased a legendary upgrade pack, we are talking about a +1 skill boost to, at best, a 3rd string skill. For me, this greatly reduces the thrall of the skill tome difference.
That leaves us with cosmetics and iconics. If you like cosmetics, there are some nice goodies here, most of which will only be available through this offer. I’m not a big cosmetics guy, but the owlbear (the extra pet from the collectors edition) is pretty cute (pets have certainly come a long way since they were introduced) and the blue and gold Bladeforged cosmetic kit is wicked looking. The drawback to the cosmetic kits is that they are only granted to the first of that iconic character you roll. That certainly reduces my interest in the cosmetic armors (and the gold one is just too gold, the blue really adds a lot). If those Bladeforged kits were bound to account I would probably buy the collector’s pack just on the strength of those (I’ve wanted The Lord of Blades armor since I first saw the splash screen). I do however recognize that many players dig the pets and cosmetic gear. I estimated that the collector’s pack has just over 2000 points worth of extra cosmetic goodies and again they are only available through these packs.
That leaves iconic heroes. This for me is the decision. Are 2 iconic heroes (plus what for me are minor incentives) worth $20. It’s a tough call, particularly with the little information we know about iconic heroes. However, I’m guessing that iconic heroes won’t be more than 1000 points each and even if they are turbine point bundles are always better than a 1 point:1 cent ratio. Also, I’m pretty stingy when it comes to points so I have some stored up. At this time I’m not inclined to spend $20 for a few cosmetics I won’t use, 1000 points, character slots I probably won’t use (especially when I’m getting extras with the standard pack) and a +1 bonus to a 3rd string skill for each character. That being said, if all (or at least most) of this stuff interests you, you are getting a decent ratio of points /$ for the extra $20 to upgrade to the collectors edition.
Now to consider the legendary upgrade. Again, I’m not to concerned with the cosmetics, but the rest of the pack is quite enticing. Just consider the xp pots (a 2395 point value), a pair of 2 +3 skill tomes per character (worth 1000 points for each character) and a lesser epic experience tome for each character (heroic lesser xp tomes are worth 1000 points). Just that alone is a value of 2000 points per character plus an additional 2400 points. You also get 2 owlbear hirelings for use. On paper these owlbears are pretty potent helpers, better even than the onyx panther.
I share the concerns that many other players have voiced concerning the amount of content I’m paying for (I like raids, turbine please take note). However, I do find the legendary upgrade to be a fairly nice value and with the standard pack I estimate that I am getting a value of 570 turbine points per $ – without considering the cosmetic items or the value of the quest content. That is a value far better than any point bundle.