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To CE Or Not To CE

July 21, 2011

Pre-orders for Star Wars: The Old Republic started today. So, based on my anticipation for the game you might assume I’d automatically go for the boxed Collector’s Edition, but no no no that’s not the case. Different people have different reasons for wanting to buy CEs, but while I enjoy little exclusives and goodies as much as the next gamer, when it comes to CEs or other special edition purchases, personally I like to decide not with my heart but with my economically-minded head. And I have to say that currently, it is still unsure.

Pretty as CEs are, I wouldn’t say I’m easily dazzled by the quantity-limited nature or the little trinkets. Instead, more often than not I think about what I’d like to get out of it versus what’s offered. Admittedly, I’m a sucker for soundtracks and artbooks for pretty much any game, and I’ve passed on many a CE in the past because it was missing either one or the other. But believe you me, even if those items weren’t bundled I would have been getting those separately anyway, so then it comes down to a matter of value.

Take World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, for example. The only reason I bought the CE was because, yep, it included the OST and an artbook. And say what you will, but based on that, I think it’s a good deal. My thought process to rationalize my purchase, because even if I were to buy my must-haves separately:

The base game: $40
Soundtrack: $10 (on iTunes, but lets say $15 because it’s a physical copy)
Art book: Retail list price $25.
Standing in line in the cold with a whole bunch of other WoW nerds at the midnight release party: Priceless, ha!

At $80 for the entire thing, it was a no-brainer, even accounting for the other junk I don’t really give a crap about. A mouse pad’s just a mouse pad even if it’s got Deathwing on it, I don’t play the card game, and I didn’t end up watching the exclusive DVD and probably never will, but that’s all gravy. In my mind I’ve already broken even.

The SWTOR CE gives me pause, however. For a game like that, I really can’t believe there’s no artbook. Even though the soundtrack’s definitely a plus, that makes the CE probably a no-go for me. If you like certain little extras, that’s cool, but for myself, I can take it or leave it. I can’t say I’m too crazy about the journal of Master Gnost-Dural nor the galaxy map nor the Malgus statue. Actually, even if there was an artbook, I don’t know if I would have gone for it, because of course, they’re asking for $150.

Yes, I’m pretty psyched about SWTOR, but that just means I really want to play the game. That’s the most important part, and sometimes I think we can get blinded by the extras and lose perspective of that. Sure, the idea of the CE retail box is appealing and it’s oh so pretty, but do I really want to pay $150 for it when I’m like “blah” about more than half its contents? Even factoring the $60 for the base game and $15-$20 value for the must-have game soundtrack (very likely to be sold separately later too, methinks) does the other stuff really make up for the difference, considering all of it will no doubt end up sitting in a box somewhere collecting dust?

So last night at 3am I ended up pre-ordering the Digital Deluxe edition from Origin. At $80, I think I can live with paying the extra 20 bucks for digital items I can use in-game, at least.

Edit: Oh, FFS… Not 10 seconds after I wrote this up, my husband informs me he had ordered his copy of the boxed Collector’s Edition from Amazon. Guess this household will be blessed with a Gentle Giant Darth Malgus after all.

59 comments

  1. I’m going to order the CE from one of the local B&M stores. I just don’t trust a virtual store to get me my codes/stuff on time. Heard too many stories about people not getting in on day 1.

    Overall, this one is a >sum of it’s parts decision. I like what they have done with the overall package so I’m going to go ahead and spring for it.


    • I was concerned too, especially since I was up with all the die-hards last night. I seriously thought all of us were going to crash the servers and cause delays, but to my surprise it went smooth as smooth can be. I got my confirmation email not two minutes after which included the code. My husband’s amazon order also came through a minute later with an email with the code as well, which was a pleasant surprise because I would have suggested him going down to the GameStop otherwise, because I think the same way as you. Now both our codes are entered though, apparently we’re set.


  2. Yeah… I love Star Wars, but a buck-fifty for the CE? I don’t think so….


    • Yeah, if it had all the shinies I wanted that would be one thing…but just too much stuff I could take or leave.


  3. Can’t purchase the CE anymore from Origins; they are completely sold out. So hubby and I went with Digital, and I think honestly, given how ridiculously expensive the CE currently is? It was a wise decision.

    I like eating. And paying rent. And electricity. Silly stuff like that.


    • I know what you mean. I think the combination we ended up with works, if one of us can enjoy the CE goodies, then hey, if I end up enjoying them too then it’s a sunk cost :)


  4. We’ll see how it sells. There are plenty of rabid Star Wars and BioWare fans out there, but I’ve never seen a CE box over $100 and usually, not over $80.

    I am interested in the game, and will probably get a digital deluxe edition. But I’m going to wiat until I see a release date.


    • I actually have seen some CEs break the $100, but they usually included some really nice things. That said, that damn statue better be NICE. I’m not into stuff like that, but I can appreciate a good sculpt/good workmanship when I see it.


  5. Okay the edit made me laugh out loud. All the thought, the weighing of pros and cons, the back and forth, the comparison to previous CE purchases.. all washed out by ten seconds of impulse buying from the hubby – I’m still chortling. :D

    FWIW, I completely agree with you though on the CE. Our house will not be getting it. I think the price is insane.

    Cheers! :)


    • Yeah, the mister and I need to work on our communication when it comes to game buying :D I obviously put a lot more thought and contemplation into our finances and purchases though, and not just our gaming :P


  6. I grabbed the CE from GameStop this morning… well, okay about 15 minutes ago. After saying it didn’t matter as long as I got the game… it’s not about the statue, it’s the soundtrack, but more than that, my friend pre-ordered the CE and whereas I can deal with him being subbed to LOTRO while I’m premium, I refuse to accept a similar position when it comes to Star Wars. For Yoda’s sake, I’m still subbed to Galaxies!


    • Definitely the soundtrack. I’m nuts for game music, and given what’s been heard so far in trailersd an videos, I think it’s going to be awesome.


  7. Madness! Madness surrounds me!

    Syp! Then Werit! Now you!


  8. I dove in and picked up the CE from Amazon. It was just close enough to being worth the price that I took the plunge.

    More than anything, the existence of a preorder just makes the whole thing more real to me, so I got wrapped up in last night’s craziness pretty deep. For a game we’ve been waiting so long to see….wow!


    • Yeah, I set an alarm and dragged myself out of bed just to see if everything was going to happen like they said. It was, surprisingly…I was actually quite impressed at how smoothly everything went. I guess waking up paid off, our codes are now all entered, everything is a-okay and good to go. I say good luck to everyone seeking CEs :D


  9. I’m annoyed with myself whenever I have to shift all those old collector’s editions boxes around my closet. So nope, no box for me, and certainly no statue to collect dust.

    I did go for the $80 digital edition though because I love typing /claim and having something appear. :)


    • I think what taught me to cool it on the CEs is Aion. That one came with a figure too, and it’s sitting in the game box right now, buried in some other box I don’t know where. After that I started making sure I would get what I wanted out of a CE before taking the plunge and throwing down the money.

      In-game stuff is harder to put a value to, but based on what you get in the digital deluxe for the extra $20 I guess I can live with that :D


  10. I think there is no art book in the CE since they are releasing a hardcover The Art and Making of STWOR on Oct 5th. More money they want the die hards to spend. I’ll just pre-order closer to release time from my local EB games.


    • Oh cool, yeah I just found it on Amazon. This seriously makes me want to bash my head against the wall though…I would have totally taken this over a silly statue any day. I’ll get it, but at list price $40 (though Amazon is selling it for $26 and change) this better be one damn good art book!!!


  11. Oh, I CEd in a big way. Three for my household. OUCH! ;)


  12. I’m pretty sure I will pick up the CE, at some point — though the absence of the artbook is a definite scratch in the negative column.

    I’ve been waiting for this game for 2+ years and I want the best of the best package (CE).

    Usually I don’t buy CEs for games. I didn’t buy the CE for Cata, nor any other game that I can recall in the last 5 years. I’m pretty sure the last CE I bought was from an obscure console rpg title that most people have never even heard of (which, funny enough, DID come with an artbook).

    Elleseven probably hit the nail dead center. EA likely figured the artbook was worthy of its own package, and decided not to include it in the CE. Smart move (even if I don’t particularly like it, for selfish reasons).

    The soundtrack is going to be the biggest seller for me, along with the in-game treats.

    I’ve wanted the SWTOR soundtrack for as long as I can recall and, though it may eventually be released on its own, if it’s not released simultaneously with the CE impatience is going to win out on this one. What can I say — I’m just ready to have it on my mp3 player. :-)

    Personally, I would like to see a sample of a few of the items I’m having trouble picturing. The journal of Master Gnost-Dural, for instance. I love journals, memorandums, and the like. It may be something like that is cooler than I am envisioning. The galaxy map could be along those same lines. I think a little bit of a sampler would be good for those who are still on the fence about purchasing a CE.

    But like I said, I am usually not a CE buyer. However, this time, I think the sentimentality of it all is going to be a factor in my decision.

    I’ve been following this game for so long, and its had such a big impact on me in these past few years of waiting, I’d like to say I bought the best package available for it.


    • Yep, maybe this indicates more people than I think are like me, and the two physical biggies from CEs they care about are the soundtrack and artbook. Brilliant marketing move by Bioware because I’m sure they know people will likely buy the art book sold separately, but I don’t have to like it either :P Double dipping bastards!

      Anyway, I love the sentimental value of CEs and being able to have a limited edition of a beloved game. But problem with the other non-in-game trinkets is that I don’t know what to do with them. Soundtracks I can listen to and artbooks I can add to my collection on my shelf along with all my other art related stuff, but I’m certainly not about to display a Malgus statue in my living room, for instance, or anywhere else for that matter. And a map? What am I going to do with that, put it up on a wall? I just know it’s all going to end up sitting in the box untouched, unfortunately.

      I wish more CEs would give you something practical, like you can actually use. WoW had the idea with a mouse pad…even like a code to redeem a shirt or something would be cool!


      • I definitely understand about not finding all the goodies practical. I’m certainly trying to think of ways I can make use of the Malgus statue — though I may just put it in among my Native-themed paintings and dishes for the sake of being “eclectic”. :-P

        I will go on the record and say, while I would preferred that the artbook had been included in the CE, I will be purchasing it separately. BioWare has such talented artists working on SWTOR, I would consider it a huge mistake not to get a book dedicated to their work. I’ve been nothing short of amazed by what I have seen so far. So yeah, I do think EA made a smart move (bastards).

        I also love my last CE’s metal case.

        It may not seem like a big deal, but what can I say, metal looks classier than a normal cardboard case.


      • Oh I would definitely take the art book over the statue any day. Disappointed that it wasn’t bundled with the CE too, but I just preordered it anyhow. No way I’m passing that up!


      • I suppose in a way it makes sense to sell them separately,

        For one thing, yes, money-grubbing bastards, I mean, EA’s the publisher for goodness-sake!
        But this works out perfectly for me since I don’t have any real desire to play SWTOR, but I would loooove to get my hands on the art and concepts that went into the game

        If one day I were to play that game though, Female Twi’lek all the way, I’m just a xenophile.


      • I still think they could have done it like WoW and bundled the hardcover art book with the CE, and at the same time they’ve also always released the book on its own, at a later date. It’s how I got The Art of WoW and Burning Crusade without picking up the CE for those expansions. But yeah, this is EA, why bother saving you money when they know you’ll shell out for it separately later on just the same? :P


  13. well at least we know the game will be undoubtedly a commercial success, whether it lives up to the crazy hype it’s generated is another matter entirely.


    • Yeah it is kinda scary how much hype there is. I’m gonna keep in mind though that with this much hype, there’s bound to be some people who will be disappointed, it’s inevitable. Anyway, I have a lot more to say on this topic of the game but I told myself I wasn’t going to discuss swtor. The NDA gods demand my silence!


  14. OK I gotta post again after your blog afflicted me with a case of the guilts! I’m now considering changing my two sons CEs to Deluxe versions. That could very well bring out the Sith in them, but we really don’t need 3 statues in the house! I’ll just blame it on you anyway, hee hee!

    I am hoping the Malgus statue is by the same company that did the $80.00 TOR Bounty Hunter, which I bought and continue to be impressed with. The quality is outstanding. A beta guildmate remarked he’d rather have a Jedi Lightside CE. I have to concur. I guess that will be the next CE… :)


    • Yeah, unless more than one of you really wants the mouse droid or the Collector’s Edition Store or whatever it is, there may not be the need for 3 boxed CEs. The digi deluxe has all of the other in-game items after all. Can you imagine 3 malgus statues, 3 galaxies maps, 3 copies of the journal? :P Yeah, if there were different versions like you said (Empire/Republic etc) that would be a different story…

      The soundtrack is something the household can share, same with the game discs whenever someone needs them for back up. And I’m sure they will come out with a free android/ios mobile authenticator app at some point!

      Oh, and btw, the statue shouldn’t be too shabby. Gentle Giant is a company with a decent reputation http://www.gentlegiantltd.com/


  15. I just noticed a “release date” on the Amazon site under the CE edition webpage:

    Product Details

    * Shipping: This item is also available for shipping to select countries outside the U.S.
    * ASIN: B005B8DRVU
    * Media: DVD-ROM
    * Release Date: December 31, 2011


    • A placeholder, no doubt, as is the case usually when one sees many different retailers all using different dates. I am banking that an announcement of a “firm” release date will come from no one but BioWare themselves :D


      • I figured as much, hence the quotation marks around the words “release date”, but I was a little curious because I read somewhere, I forget where, that this pre-order thing pretty much started because someone leaked some info or something…?


      • Yep, some Polish site I think?

        Also, it’s unlikely the date would be the last day of 2011, “weird” dates like that also send up a flag. I read a quote from BioWare somewhere along the lines of the game and the “holiday season”, which I assume they mean to put out before Christmas. My personal guess is Nov to first half of Dec.


  16. >_<

    That is all.


    • I don’t know what to say to that… :P Did you preorder?


      • I have not. Still…. pondering.

        The >_< was for your addendum. I hope you gave him a good thrashing.


  17. 150 is steep at first glance. However, the statue is at least a 65 dollar value (I checked the Little Giant website). 80(dde) + 65(statue you may or may not care about) = 145, which is close to 150.

    The one thing that tempts me the most is the exclusive in game NPC vendor that sells a items no-one else will get access to. It’s so hard for me to pass that up. I’m still on the fence about it currently.


    • You’re right, if the statue quality and size is anything like their other items on the website, which after your comment I think it’s very likely. The value of it could be worth that much, driving up the price of the CE, but if the statue is something you want then the price can be seen as a “good deal”. IMO, including it was risky, if this was any other game I think it would actually drive people’s interest AWAY from the CE, but because it’s SWTOR, apparently it’s selling like hot cakes!

      Oh yeah and the store in-game. This could lead to something, I mean, theoretically they could add in all sorts of unannounced goodies later on if they wanted.


      • As of right now Amazon is sold out of them. Gamestop has them, but with tax and shipping I was looking at $170..more than twice the DD edition. So I decided to go with the latter. As awesome as the in game vendor might be, $90 seems like a poor bet.


      • I found out more about the game vendor, apparently there will be “VIP” areas of the game where CE buyers can access. Something like the Black Emporium DLC from Dragon Age 2 comes to mind. They said today the store will sell only special cosmetic and vanity items available to CE people, purchased with in-game currency. It will also sell gear, but stats will be similar to other gear you can get in the game, only with more cosmetic differences, etc. Strictly vanity and fluff in nature, so looks like standard edition people won’t miss out.

        And I’d heard Amazon sold out earlier today, though there are also reports they will be procuring more copies so I would keep checking once in a while. There’s still also best buy and target etc. I believe.


  18. IMO, if it includes an artbook, than yes. If it’s just a keyfob a goofy action figure (I know, statuette, just being derisive ;P) then heck no.

    Lately there’s been a depressing degree of CEs coming out sans-artbook. I really don’t get that.


    • I know…especially since games and particularly MMOs are always rife with the most awesome and interesting concept art.


      • Indeed! In MMOs you get the best of everything: Character concepts, landscape, cityscape, monsters, flora/fauna, props… and all have to be fully realized in order to make a believable, breathing world! So out of all that, when artbooks /are/ produced, you get work that’s par, if not above that which you find in the Spectrum or EXPOSÉ.


  19. My thoughts exactly, i have gotten the deluxe for the same reason, no statue for me! btw, my wife would throw the lot out of the house anyways.
    An art book would be nice, but as you pointed out correcly, that will come out seperatly aswell, or else pick picture by picture from the net and bundle it up yourself =P


    • Yeah, I’m not big on things like statues that just sit there, and it honestly wouldn’t go with anything in the house! But to those who actually want the statue, I realized it’s actually quite a sweet deal, considering it seems those things cost at least $65 on their website.


  20. Personally I am disgusted by the price, no matter what great additions they would feature in that box. so already out of principle I’d never pay so much for a CE – it’s milking your fans the wrong way imo.


    • I too raised my eyebrow at the price, but somehow I wasn’t shocked or disgusted. BioWare knows there will be people willing to pay that price…yeah it sucks, but as evidenced there are also those who were very pleased with their purchase of a CE. The way I see it, hey, as long as people are happy and willing to pay for it, they can do what they want with their money :D


  21. I did not CE. I also skipped the digital version since I don’t want to mess with a publisher exclusive store. I was tempted briefly by some of the in-game items, but I rarely use them in other games beyond the first few levels. I’m pretty surprised how many people have bought the CE actually.


    • I wish I could say I’m surprised at the number of people who bought the CE, but I can’t…with so much hype over this game over the last few years, I figured even a small fraction of fans interested in the CE would equal to a lot of people :S


  22. [...] I did share many of the same concerns with it as another blogger friend MMOGC (and I didn’t particularly love BioWare for not including an artbook with the CE package), [...]


  23. For me $150 is just insane. I don’t feel like what it’s offering is worth it. Even the DD edition seems overpriced. It just feels like a ripoff to me.

    I’m kind of the target fanboy for this sort of thing but 150 is just taking advantage of star wars fans.

    That said I might end up paying for a GW2 CE no matter the cost, but I’m betting they’ll have a more reasonable price.


    • Agreed, the DD being $20 more than the standard just for some digital items? It does seem a bit overpriced. But it’s still hard for me to ever really buy the argument of companies taking advantage of consumers, not if they give you the choice. The Star Wars fan in this case always has the choice to buy the standard edition if they really feel the price of the CE is too steep, leaving more CEs for those fans who will willingly and happily pay the price. You yourself said you would pay for a GW2 CE no matter the cost, and scarily, I’m sure there are some fans out there who would pay for a SWTOR CE even if it was double the cost it is now and still be happy about it >_< It's not something I claim to understand, but people are free to do what they will with their money and hey, if they're happy, who am I to judge :P


  24. I won’t be buying either the CE or non CE version, i’m not that much of a fan to be suckered in for the launch of the game at those prices. Good thing i’ve always maintained neutrality in outlook for the game.


    • It is nice that they offered a variety of choices though, just like Rift did. I think we’ll be seeing more games in the future with the choices of standard, digital deluxe and boxed collector’s editions. Something for fans from all over the spectrum.


  25. In the past i’ve learned my lesson about collector’s editions. I dont care for statues and maps and soundtracks, just the in game content. The fact i ran around without a mini diablo, panda, or zergling in WoW, and KNEW coming into BC i could have a netherwelp, even not knowing what one was….i copped that, there was no way i’d miss that.

    However, looking at this collection, meh @ the mount (though i havent seen it) and a mouse droid is a meh…..the only thing that seems worth it is…maybe the color stone, but dunno what weapon effects there will be, and the collector’s edition store, though it’s probably been discussed, i dont like the idea of being able to pay more to have a distinct advantage over other people………just for cooler things lol.

    With that said, it wont hurt my feelings to be the only guy in the world without a 1. Holo Dancer or 2. A Flare gun.


    • With the exception of soundtracks and artbooks, i would say I place more priority on the in-game items myself. I mean, at least digital content is something I can use regularly while playing the game on a daily basis, I guess that makes it more worth it for me, not to mention I have a thing for fluff pieces like pets and stuff.

      Luckily, it seems that the CE store in game will only sell vanity items. Yes, apparently it will sell gear and stuff, but they will only be different models of other gear you can buy from other vendors in game, giving players no tactical advantage, they just have the choice of more appearance pieces! I hate to admit it, but I actually like the sound of that…like I said, I love the fluff stuff :P



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