by: Tony "RadarX" Jones
We've all been there, whether it's Best Buy, Fry's, or dozens of other retailers walking down the various game aisles, when our eye lands on something out of the ordinary. The collector's edition of
What is the draw to CE's and where do you find value? Considering most cost anywhere from 20%-40% more to purchase surely there must be something to them. The first thing you'll notice is the box. It's almost always high polish metal that could withstand shots from an assault rifle and weighs a ton. The awkward shape of this miniature metal coffin makes it hard to fit on a shelf so it generally is relegated to that "special" box you have of stuff that was once cool (think Fallout games).
But wait, there is more! They also come with art books, which let's be honest, we look at while the game is installing then store on a shelf or in the metal coffin. It's nice to flip through but we are mainly looking at it to get an idea of what we'll be interacting with or fighting in the future. Let's also not forget the maps. Every modern MMO game has a robust map system, so these are really just redundant. In most cases navigating with real maps is more difficult then what you'd find in game.
The special features may arguably be one of the greatest benefits of a product with behind the scenes features, developer diaries, and concept art. The value of these is of course subjective to people who enjoy the development process, but for the most part it's tangible, relevant, and similar to what you'd find on a DVD. Unfortunately most of these just get a cursory glance as well because once the game is going, there is an entire world to save.
If there is a single aspect of collector's edition that people talk about the most, it's in game items. Pets, mounts, and emotes mesmerize players like kids in a candy store. It doesn't take long to realize that all day sucker only lasted about a half hour and that special cape of +0.00001% damage is just sucking up inventory space. How much time do you really spend looking at that baby dragon you can summon? If your answer is a lot, I'd like to refer you to the /summon real friends ability.
Will Warhammer Online's CE be worth it? What can we expect inside this 7 pound box that will make it worth $80? The art book, as we've covered above, will be something nice to flip through while we patch and install. The graphic novel is a bit unusual and promises to be entertaining also but both of these have limited value.
The addition of more character heads seems to a step in the right direction. Handing people the ability to do more customization is something almost never turned down and will carry over through every character the player ever makes. Let's also not forget the metal miniature that would bring any tabletopper to their knees, so assuming you are a fan, that might be worth your money right there. The ingame items are of course present providing players with an XP bonus for a limited period of time. No mounts or pets means that what the CE will provide are of tangible value, not something you'll use for a month.
Another interesting thing Warhammer Online will do is provide bonus quests from this product. 12 additional quests will be provided in the Tome of Knowledge which will not only provide unique rewards, but character titles as well. Limiting content seems like an unusual move with almost a mini velvet rope model in mind but this is fairly trivial stuff.
One bonus aspect of a collector's edition I think most people miss is geek cred. That's right, the ability to say you've bought it because you are such a die hard Warhammer fan. To set it upon your trophy shelf with your unopened Aquaman, full size 1950's GI Joe, replica Dr. Who tools, and signed copy of Spawn #1 places you among the elite, and we salute you for it.
Are they worth it to you? Let us know what you think!
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