I recently got a windfall of fifteen whole dollars from a friend, so what do I plan to spend it on? MMOs of course! This got me thinking about how much more choice we have and value we can get for $15 in a lot of MMOs than we could ten years ago. Gone are the days when you could get one moth of play time for $15 and that was it. Here are just a few of the things I considered for $15 or less.
Star Wars: The Old Republic: A Month of Subscription, Plus (Part of) an Expansion
There’s a lot in the SWTOR cash shop–a revolving door of lockboxes, a couple playable species, cosmetic weapons and armor, even a companion or two–but by far the best value is subscribing. Not only do subscribers get all the usual perks (i.e. they get to play the game without being constantly harassed with reminders that they’re not paying), they also get permanent access to all of the chapters of the expansion story that have been released at this point. Every time they release a new chapter, I think it looks really cool, but every time I log in I spend a bunch of time digging out my inventory (in addition to the usual junk that accumulates in player inventories, there was an infamous bug that caused all of your compansions’ pants to unequip and show up in your inventory… which is awkward, hilarious, and really irritating all at the same time), then try to figure out what the heck I was doing last time I played, then usually get bored and go play something else. However, more recently I’ve picked up the insta-60 Juggernaut I made when Knights of the Fallen Empire launched, and I’ve been really impressed with the story so far. BioWare really stepped up their game this time around and made the story feel a lot more like… well, a BioWare game.
Marvel Heroes: A New Hero
I love Marvel Heroes, but I can see why people complain about it being a lot of doing the same things over and over. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve captured that blasted Tablet of Life and Time. And it certainly doesn’t help that they only really add a few hours of new story content about once a year. Honestly, this is probably why I never stick around the game for long periods of time. Every now and then I’ll log in on a Monday for the mindless satisfaction of beating stuff up in Midtown for lots of XP and loot piñatas. The fun of the game comes from having a big roster of characters to change things up. I buy the majority of my heroes with splinters, but with most heroes priced right around $10, they’re a good value for cash as well. I’ve had my eye on Magneto and Dr. Doom for a while, but Nick Fury and Ultron are both coming soon, so I’ll probably be picking up one or both of them at some point.
Tree of Savior: Early Access
This is a little online ARPG title that I’ve had my eye on for a while now. I like the graphical style, and the fact that there are over 80 possible classes makes it sound like an altaholic’s dream. I’m really tempted to just be impatient and drop the $10 for head start. You get $15 worth of cash shop currency, so it’s not like you’re paying simply to get in before everyone else, but I’ve heard some mixed reviews, so I’m a little hesitant. Many of the criticisms of ToS are the same things people complain about in Marvel Heroes, so I doubt I’ll absolutely hate it. Still, I’ve been burned by buying games sight unseen before, so I’m willing to wait another few weeks to give it a try for free and spend money on it if I still think it’s worth it.
Lord of the Rings Online: A New Zone
Despite playing LotRO off and on for several years, there are several areas of the vanilla game that I haven’t explored at all. Since access to Eriador is sold to free players zone-by-zone, I haven’t bothered to get a lot of the zones that serve as alternatives for certain level bands. I’ve considered buying a few of the more interesting looking ones, but it seems silly to spend more money on low level content when the newest content I’ve gotten to was released in 2008. Also of interest are the skills that allow you to increase the speed of all of your mounts, but I would want to buy those account wide, and that’s a little out of my $15 price range.
WildStar: Cash Shop Fluff
I’ve never been in a position where I wanted to give a game money, but couldn’t find anything to spend it on. I really want to support WildStar, but there isn’t really a whole lot I want. I guess it’s better than the opposite problem where, like in SWTOR, I feel like a second class citizen because I don’t subscribe, but it really doesn’t bode well for the game’s long term health. The new Corgi hoverboard mount is pretty cool, and those new hills work surprisingly well from the plots I’ve seen them on. I really want that house that looks like a giant owl, but for some reason, while it shows up in the list of house options, the unlock isn’t actually available in the cash shop yet. Come on, Carbine, I want to give you my money!
How would you spend $15 in MMOs? Let me know in the comments!