#GW2: An underwhelming pre-order…

I saw over on Biobreak that Arenanet have announced the date for GW2’s pre-order launch (10th April) and I, along with countless others, headed over almost dizzy with excitement. That soon faded.

I didn’t mind so much that I couldn’t pre-order right there and then as doing so would not mean I had the game any sooner than its (still unknown) launch date, no what disappointed me was both the lack of pricing (apart from the most expensive version) and the lacklustre bonuses on offer.

I can either pre-order the normal download which has no extras and is just the game itself; a deluxe download which grants some in-game bonuses (some permanent, some temporary, all dull and uninteresting); or I could stump up the big bucks for a physical boxset which had all of the deluxe bonuses as well as a book, music CD, an “art frame” (posh talk for picture I think) and wee character statue. Fuck a duck. That is so very, very dull.

Look at the Mines of Moria boxset (God how I wish I’d have bought that!). Yes there was an art book and music CD, things I have many of and they never get looked at more than once or twice, but there were maps! Maps for pirty’s sake! The mainstay of every roleplayer! Give a dice rolling a geek a map and watch them smile their way to a happy finish with it. Not only that but there was a fucking ring in there – an actual gold ring on a chain, you know LIKE THE ONE FRODO CARRIED! *pants with near-death excitement*

Maps and a ring over a statue of a Charr and a bloody “art frame”.

Still, I suppose it means I’ll save money. It’s just, well… I wanted more. I had hoped for something epic. I remember buying the box for Frontier: Elite 2 about 20 years ago and it had a book of short stories set in the universe I was about to inhabit. It wasn’t a big book, more of a fat pamphlet really and certainly none of the themes & concepts in the stories could be carried over to the game but I read that bastard until the ink nearly burnt into my eyes*. That book took me into the game. A statue of a hairy fella with a flaming sword can’t even come close to that. It’s just fluff… it’s what the artists and designers love** because that is their work, their creation, but it is not a gateway to the world.

Sigh. I hope this lack of imagination isn’t a sign of a greater disappointment to come.

* There was also a map of the space system you could explore. I had that map on my wall and I used to stare at it and dream of all the places I could visit in the game, all the adventures I’d have. Somehow I doubt I would do this with a frigging “art frame”.

** I found the same with the DVD boxsets for Peter Jackson’s LOTR films. to this day I have a very beautiful, very detailed Gollum statue somewhere in the house. Fuck all use.



  1. I completely glazed over the bonuses and toys (all completely uninteresting, same as every game, sell me the basic digital download thank you sir) and zoomed in on the essentials.

    * Access to all beta events
    * Three days headstart at launch
    * ONLY if you pre-purchase, NOT if you pre-order

    i.e. you need to stump up your $60 in advance to get into beta. Not just put down a tiny deposit that you can cancel anyway if the game sucks in beta.

    If you’d asked me a year ago, I’d have said “nuh-uh, not doing that for ANY game.” But the press around GW2 is SO good that I might actually do it after all.

    1. Yup, I’m with you there, the beta alone is the biggest draw for me and after all the recent press beta videos I’m pretty sure I’ll be happy to drop £50 or whatever for it. Had the box been any cop, I’d have happily gone to £150 but, well… a bloody “art frame”! Sigh.

  2. I fully intended to buy the collector’s edition but instead ended up buying the basic digital download for $60. The CE, at $150 was overpriced for what it contained (yep, no map is a big blunder) and the Digital Deluxe version ($80) had nothing that would warrant spending an extra $20. A couple of one-use or time-limited perks, and a miniature pet that followed you in-game but did nothing, and an elite skill that wasn’t usable until level 30, when other, more profession-specific elite skills would also become usable. I’m really looking forward to playing the game but the marketing balance on this was all wrong so my wallet stayed fatter than I’d been expecting.

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