Trion Takes Another Lesson From The Best-In-Class

As the first Blizzard Annual Pass Holders are closing in on the end of their one-year contract, another pupil in the class of MMO companies steps up their game. The perennial eager beaver takes another lesson from the star pupil’s book and creates its own one-year bundle:

Get all these things for FREE* (*if you give us money)

Wilhelm had the dollar price, but naturally, I wanted to find out what that costs in our money.

That turned out to be harder than expected. I first had to log in. Then realized that, in fact, I could not log in, because I had to “upgrade my security” by replying to a mail, then creating a new password, yadda yadda. Did I miss something? Did Trion also get hacked some time in the last 12 months? Also, can somebody PLEASE tell game companies that so-called “security questions” are bogus, pseudo-security snake oil? Please Trion, go and copy someone on that topic who understands security. Those questions also don’t get better the more obscure they become. Hint: if half of them don’t even apply to me, and the other half is obscure enough that I would have a hard time remembering them myself, don’t be surprised if I find ways to subvert them.

What the…? Yes, of course, my secret stage name is Lassie Main Street. Or something. Who comes up with these questions?

My first reaction: Trion, always copying, sometimes doing things better. Not sure this is one of these occasions.

My second reaction: that’s still quite pricey!

My third reaction: That is still tempting, though. So much money saved! And saving money is good, right?

My fourth reaction: Wait. How much Rift have you played in the last year? Yeah, not so much. How often have you logged in to at least try the 1-20 leveling range? Thought so.

My fifth reaction: Alright then, let’s get down to the hard money. How long would I have to play to get a good deal out of this? This is complicated by the fact that I can’t find hard numbers on the price tag for the expansion in retail. But looking at prices for other games’ expansions, it can’t be more than 40€. That leaves 67.88€ for subscriptions. Let’s have a look at Rift’s current subscription options:

It’s not 100% clear how the gear rewards for longer subscriptions will work with the Storm Chaser offer, whether you will still get them or not. Let’s just ignore them.

So 6 months cost 59.94€, which, even with the assumed expansion price on top, is still cheaper. At 7 months, you get into the area where the offer might be worth it, though depending on the box price, it might take you until month 8 to see profit. This especially if you might buy the expansion a bit after release, after it gets cheaper. And on top, “real” economists would argue that you also lose the interest on the money that you spend today instead of at a later point.

For me, that means it’s probably not worth it. I might play Rift again at a later point, but I don’t have plans for the immediate future. Unless TSW tanks and EVE gets boring, in which case I’d reconsider. But it’s a gamble, and no game has caught me for more than 6 months at a time in the last year or so.

I wonder how this offer will play out for Trion. I heard a lot of people who admitted that, in the end, they lost the Blizzard Annual Pass  gamble. Of course, the situation here is a bit different, in that you get something for the game you play already anyway, instead of a completely different game, and the offer will cover a time where there is a lot of content available (by virtue of the expansion), instead of a year devoid of almost any content updates. So in that respect, it looks like a better offer than the Blizzard one. Still, I wonder whether some people might be more cautious this time around?

6 thoughts on “Trion Takes Another Lesson From The Best-In-Class

  1. Trion had some hacking event a while back. There was a problem with their security, so they made us all change our passwords. And the password parameters were upgraded in complexity, though I am not sure why. It wasn’t our passwords that got the system hacked.

    But the desire to be seen “doing something” can be overwhelming, no matter how little it actually accomplishes.

    Exhibit A in that regard: The much beloved TSA and their security theater show, now playing at all US airports.

    Speaking of fluff, you assigned no value to the bundled mount. That might not be an item you would buy otherwise, but some people would. That would take another $14.99 (or whatever in Euros, go check the price of the white tiger mount) off the total subscription cost.

    1. What’s interesting about this is that, until yesterday when I tried the last time, I had absolutely no problems logging into the game itself with my old password. I had to every now and then to get the updating process started. Only after I wanted to log into the web site had I to go and change my password. That makes the whole thing even more show-offy, in a way.

      Regarding the mount: that’s a good point. I didn’t assign any monetary value to any of the fluff items. That’s mostly because I had a hard time putting a price tag on them. If you highly value the mount, though, it should definitely factor into your decision.

      Damnit, Wilhelm, you just made it not any easier! 😀

  2. Thanks for breaking that down. I tried to check the £GB price before writing about this yesterday but the account site was “down for maintenance”.

    I was quite keen on this offer when I saw it but the more I think about it, the more likely it is that I leave it until whenever I actually have a dead spot in my MMO schedule, which is unlikely to be this year, I can probably pick up the expansion for cheap and sub for just as long as I have available. £6.50 a month might be super-cheap for unlimited access for a year, but not if I barely use it.

    Also the whole Defiant and Guardians coming together thing makes me nauseous. That’s a jump the shark contender in my book.

  3. The Defiant/Guardian merging is a weird move, but it doesn’t bother me too much personally for two reasons:

    1) Story and lore always felt like the weak point of Rift to me. As I said at Harbinger’s blog, Rift felt so incredibly polished that they managed to polish off some of the substance too. It’s a great game, but not such a great world. SO if I don’t really know what they’re fighting for and against each other anyway…

    2) I’m not a huge fan of factions. In my perfect MMO, it would work more like classic Everquest worked, which is (as far as I know) all reputation-based. You’d start out being loved by X and hated by Y, but players were not divided by faction, and you could work your way up with pretty much all NPC factions. Really, the only reason I can think of why to artificially split your player base into factions is because “X did it, and how would PvP ever work without it?”

    Incidentally, that reminds me of a quite funny conversation in TSW…

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