Editorial: Store Bought Consumables
A few days ago I discussed the idea of creeps buying their skills from the LOTRO Store. Today I’m going to talk about a similar issue, but one that is a bit wider in scope. Store bought consumables.
People Are Unhappy About These Right?
Indeed they are. Much like the debate over store bought skills there is a lot of discussion and argument over store bought consumables. Many are unhappy with what they describe as a ‘pay To Win’ scenario (I really hate that term). The crux of the argument against store bought consumables like morale pots, etc is that they are a) unavailable in the game except through the store and b) they tend to be more powerful than the in-game options that are available. Both of these are valid points and I wouldn’t dispute either of them.
What we have to look at though is whether the outcry over these items is justified or whether it is a storm in a tea cup.
What Exactly Do These Items Do?
A whole range of things would be the best answer. You can check out the creep store catalogue here and see some of the items that will be available for yourself. There are consumable brands with shorter cooldowns than existing in-game brands; there are morale and power pots with very short cooldowns and HoT effects; there are damage bonuses; infamy bonuses and a whole lot more besides.
All of these items are consumables. Once they are used you need to use another to gain the same effect. They all cost Turbine Points, which might mean at some point that they would cost real money.
How Will They Affect PvMP?
My guess is that they won’t affect PvMP very much at all. Remember the outcry when the store bought morale and power pots were first introduced? Remember the cries of anger that these pots would imbalance the game? How did that turn out? Nowhere near as bad as some of the people gnashing their teeth would have had you believe.
You see the single biggest reason why these store bought consumables cannot seriously affect the balance of PvMP is because they cost money to buy. Let’s take one example to illustrate the point:
Let’s say you plan on using the consumable brands. Each ‘Crumbling Brand’ costs 25 Turbine Points. That’s not very much. Now one of the criticisms used against these Crumbling Brands to say they are too powerful is their low cooldown. Just five minutes. That implies that they would be used multiple times per game session.
Ok so let’s sey you use a modest number per night, say 5. Let us also say you play regularly, five nights a week. That totals 25 brands per week. For the sake of argument we will say there are four weeks in a month. That’s a total of 100 brands per month. At a cost of 25 TP each that’s 2,500 Turbine Points. Just on brands.
Imagine spending 2,500 TP only on consumable brands. That’s before you have bought extra character clots, vault space, cosmetic items, creep skills, etc.
The point here is pretty simple; the cost of these items, whilst appearing low, is actually quite steep if you intend to use them regularly. The example above used just one store item. Imagine using moral and power pots in addition to the brands. Throw in the Bandages for falling damage prevention and maybe some infamy boosts too. Are you going to be spending 3,000 Turbine Points a month to ‘win’? Probably not and the same holds true for the vast majority of players.
I’m sure some people will buy these items, whether to try them out or whether to actually use them in a tight spot. However, most players will not be able to do much more than that because the simple fact is they won’t be able to afford it. At most we will probably see the odd item used now and again, just as is the case with many store consumables at the moment.
Is It Right Though?
My own personal opinion is that any consumable available in the store should ALWAYS be obtainable through some means in the game itself. I don’t like the idea of the store offering an extra advantage to players that isn’t able to be acquired through gameplay.
Having said that though these store consumables simply aren’t in a position to have any major effects on PvMP in LOTRO. It doesn’t make it right that they are only obtainable through the store, but it does mean that we should worry about them less.