Are expansions worth the money?

Posted: April 4, 2013 in Others, posts by John
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

With Star Wars: The Old Republic releasing it’s first expansion in 10 days time I thought it was time that I looked at getting it. Looking at how much bang you get for your bucks, it seems like a decent deal. In fact it’s one of the better expansion deals as of late. With this in mind I’ve looked back over some Expansion releases and asked myself if I think they were/are worth what we paid for them.

SWTOR

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Since it’s the reason why I’ve started this post, I can’t help but look at SWTOR’s “Rise of the Hutt Cartel” first. At £13.28 ($19.99) for unsubbed and £6.64 ($9.99) for subbed people, This deal offers a lot of bang for the money. You can expect the following…

  1. 5 more levels (55 is the new cap)
  2. Continuation of the epic story (8 individual class stories)
  3. A new planet to explore (Makeb)
  4. A new Operation (8 and 16 man) plus previous operations being scaled to allow level 55 groups.
  5. Additional skills for all classes plus changes to already existing skills

Even if you’re not subbed, that’s quite a lot for £13.28. If you’re subbed then it’s even better value at only £6.64.

LOTRO

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Last fall saw the release of LOTROs fourth expansion “The Riders of Rohan”. This expansion takes the players into Eastern Rohan and continues the epic story. This expansion also introduces Mounted Combat and further increases the level cap for all players. Looking at it you would think that you get a lot from this expansion but here lays my problem with their system of what they offer. You don’t need the expansion for 3/4 of the stuff they promote as part of the expansion. The epic story is free for all players, if you purchase the expansion or not. Likewise, Mounted combat is free to all players (1 skill tree to non expansion players and 3 skill trees to players who buy the expansion) as is the level cap increase from 75 to 85. Essentially what you are buying is fluff (Titles, costumes etc etc) and a bunch of quests. What your £26.57 ($39.99) buys you is ..

  1. East Rohan quests
  2. 1000 Turbine Points
  3. The Steed of the Eastemnet (Normal speed and HP mount)
  4. Access to the Riders of Rohan instances when released (They were released 3 months after the expansion went live)

The further versions of the expansion contained fluff to justify the increase in price with the top pack costing a whopping £46.50 ($69.99). Essentially Turbine robbed people blind with this expansion in my honest opinion. Paying £26.57 for the base version which is basically a quest pack is a stupidly high price. There was no end game group content on release which is usually a big no no for any new expansion. With nothing to keep the raiders happy there was a lot of complaining and rightly so in my opinion. No new classes or races and no change to the typical linear quests. Was Riders of Rohan worth the money? I would say no.

World of Warcraft

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September 25th saw the release of Mists of Pandaria, WoWs fourth expansion. At £27.99 ($42.13) is was slightly more expensive than LOTROs Riders of Rohan but packed a lot more content into the game for the price. Mists of Pandaria brought..

  1. 5 level increase to cap (85 to 90)
  2. New character class: Monk
  3. New playable race: Pandaren
  4. Changes to the Pet Vanity system and a new Pet Battles game
  5. New PvE quests
  6. The Talent system was changed to a more streamlined system
  7. 9 new dungeons, 3 new raids, 2 new PVP battlegrounds and 1 new arena

Although WoW hasn’t gone f2p like LOTRO and SWTOR, with what you are actually paying for, I am really impressed with what was on offer with this expansion. I think one of the big differences between this and Riders of Rohan was that Blizzard don’t release an expansion every year. When they do release one it appears to have more content within it because they spend a longer period of time making it. Turbine rush out an expansion every year with LOTRO and have less development time which in turn means less content.

So to answer my own question, I think it depends on the game when you look at if an expansion is worth the money or not. With World of Warcraft this year you got bang for your buck. Star Wars first expansion looks to be good considering how much money you are paying for it but I feel that Turbine are falling short by a good distance. It’s not what they are offering but more the prices they are charging. It’s just not worth the money.

What do you guys think?

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Comments
  1. emmaatftw says:

    I think it depends on the game. LOTRO has always had pretty expensive expansions for what you get. Granted there were once only two options instead of three back then, but the most expensive would come with real life hold in your hand fluff.
    I think WB cracking the whip at Turbine has also had a significant impact on not only the price itself but the physical content. I myself will never pre order another expansion ever within LOTRO but I will do the cheap option that is grinding and purchasing Turbine points and purchasing the expansion as a quest pack because minus the fluff that is what it is.

  2. Tromador says:

    Presumably these two items are going to be upgraded for all players in WoW as they appear to be fundamental mechanics, much like mounted combat comes to all in LotRO

    Changes to the Pet Vanity system and a new Pet Battles game
    The Talent system was changed to a more streamlined system

    Taking those out, the Blizzard offering does still seem to have a more meat on it, but is more expensive that RoR and Turbine therefore compares a little more favourably.

    The one they both have to compete with is SWTOR. As a subscriber, all that for £6.64 is HUGE value for money and let’s not forget the free stuff that’s been coming in recently, new WZ, Section X, The periodic Gree Event (an EVENT mind you, with it’s own lair raid!) – plus F2P, with the new Cartel store, which naturally stocks F2P unlocks, then a load of fluffy stuff, which people actually want and aren’t game breaking. In my opinion BioWare have got it 100% correct with this offering.

    My concern for SWTOR, however is that we had all this with LotRO. We got Evendim and Forochel and other stuff as massive free expansions early in the game, but now it’s all pay pay pay. Just now, SWTOR is great value for money in content releases, but will it stay that way?

    • weskeraj says:

      The new class and race in WoW are only available to people who purchase the expansion, same as the level cap rise. SWTOR seems to be getting it right just now. We’ll see if that lasts.

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