The Price of a Well-dressed War-steed

October 23, 2012

General, Opinions

When mounted combat was first announced, I was a little wary of the idea. As Rohan’s launch drew closer, I was cautiously optimistic that it would be interesting at least. As I waited for my LOTRO client to update on the day the expansion went live, I was still unsure if I would enjoy the new system. But I was always sure that I’d enjoy outfitting my war-steed. Cosmetics have long been one of my favorite aspects of playing LOTRO. Upgrades to my wardrobe and outfit slots were purchased almost as soon as they became available. I figured dressing up my horses would be no different. I had plans to start a series of articles showing off different war-steed outfits. I had plans to spend plenty of money on Turbine Points so I could get the looks I wanted. I’d happily pay for my steeds to look good.

Now, a week after Riders of Rohan went live, I’ve found that my expectations in this regard were completely off base. I absolutely LOVE mounted combat. My captain is speeding around the plains of Rohan and making short work of any orc, warg or even warband she comes across. However, as surprised as I was at my enjoyment of mounted combat, I was even more shocked by how little I’ve been able to enjoy the war-steed appearance system. The price tag attached to the color options for both steeds and their accessories has proved to be far more than I consider reasonable.

Of course, I should insert here that while I think the color pack prices are far too high, I don’t have the same issues with the prices of the equipment pieces themselves. Yes, they’re still a little up there, but the fact that they are cosmetic items that you have access to anywhere without having to store them in your wardrobe or character’s inventory makes them feel much more worthwhile than a color option.

warsteed_color_prices

To buy a color pack of 4 options (that you cannot choose individually) costs 595 Turbine Points. Changing the color for the hide of your war-steed and the color of their mane and tail requires two different color packs, even if you use the same colors. (Thanks to Cithryth for pointing out that this is not the case! You can purchase one pack for the hide and then use the same colors for the mane and tail.)

For the steed and hair color packs, the packs of 4 are generally all in the same range of shades. If you buy one pack because you like the dark red color, you’ll be getting 3 more shades of red that are very similar. It’s very likely that you’d only like one of those four colors, but you are still forced to get the other three (and pay a high price for them!) just to get that one shade you like.

The equipment dye packs are a little more varied in color, but again, you can’t pick which 4 colors are thrown together into a pack. Add to that, you can only dye some of the equipment pieces. Saddles and the accessory packs such as the quiver that comes with the Steed of the Hunter or the rolled blanket and pouches that come with the Steed of Night are parts that you cannot dye to make them blend in more with your other pieces of equipment.

Another issue that I have is with the “matching war-steed appearance” advertised for certain store exclusive horses. The Steed of Night and the various class themed steeds all offer this appearance match. Having these cosmetic options was an exciting prospect and I fully expected that these appearances would include the color of both the horse and the accessories from their original store counterparts. Sadly, this is not the case. None of these store purchases include the hide color of the horses, and in many cases the default colors of the equipment pieces are different from what you’d see with the same items on the standard steed. For some of these, the color difference is strikingly obvious. The green of the Hunter steed gear is now a washed out grey color. The light blue of the Rune-keeper steed is now a dark turquoise shade.

steed_of_nightIn this picture, you can see the original Steed of Night on the left, compared to a war-steed equipped with the same items. Without the distinctive dark hide of the original, I refer to this war-steed as the “Steed of Late Afternoon”.

RK_steed_comparisonFor the RK steed, the difference in the color of the equipment is quite pronounced. Honestly, I like the new look, but I’m disappointed that the lighter color of the original seems to be something you can’t reproduce for a war-steed.

Danania has more examples of how these store exclusive cosmetics look on war-steeds, so I’ll not continue to overwhelm this post with more of these comparisons. Suffice it to say that if you want a war-steed that will look identical to one of the store exclusive steeds, be aware that you may not be able to exactly reproduce those appearances, and certainly not without spending more points for your war-steed’s hide to match.

In a thread on the official forums requesting a lowering of the prices for the war-steed color packs, QuarterMasterL replied with:

The pricing for the war-steed dyes is based on the fact that they are not consumable items. You are purchasing the ability to permanently unlock the color options for your steeds on a particular character. So you will be able to switch your colors as often as you like on that character.

The fact that these colors are reusable is great. But the prices are rather outrageous considering that it is a single-character purchase.

A while back, there was a big uproar over the price of the Premium Barter Wallet and the fact that it wasn’t included free for VIP. I didn’t have an issue with making that purchase on the day it was released at 995 points because I felt it was a good value. The wallet is account-wide, and it has saved me more money on vault space in the long run by freeing up a minimum of 30 inventory slots on my main character alone. That price is considerably higher than one of these color packs, but the difference is that there was a definite value to all of my characters. I don’t see any sort of long-lasting value in these color pack purchases, regardless of how reusable they are. It is 4 colors at a time only usable for a single character.

How could Turbine make this better?

Unpack the color packs: If these options were a la carte instead of sold in packs of four, I would not object to spending 150 TP per color. I would get the option I want without feeling like I was being forced to buy more than the color(s) I was interested in.

Make these account-wide purchases: At the current prices, I would feel like I was getting a good value for these packs if they were applied to ALL of the characters on my account. I would be much more willing to spend on a cosmetic upgrade knowing that all of my characters could benefit, as opposed to something only one of my characters can enjoy.

Include the hide colors of purchased store-exclusive mounts: The Steed of Night is not the same without its distinctive dark hide. With the LOTRO Store advertising “matching war-steed appearance”, I should not have to make another purchase to make my war-steed match the original.

Include more than one hide and mane/tail color for free: We have several equipment dye colors available to us for free. Why can’t we have another option or three from the start instead of all war-steeds having the same default color?

What other people are saying about these prices:

Hymne of Cosmetic Lotro shared her disappointment in a lovely post.

Sig of WARSTEEDS posted his opinion and followed up with a post showing how he was making do without war-steed color packs.

Many people have weighed in on the forums to share their thoughts on these prices.

One quote from that thread did a particularly good job of summing up my feelings on the matter:

I said yes to one color pack and said no to being VIP this month. When a simple color pack for one character becomes more economical (7.99 for 600 vs 500 for 14.99 VIP) than subscribing there’s a problem there. They’ve created an either/or situation. I will have to wait to afford a color for my second 75+ character. Forget all my 65+ alts that will get there some day. If they had been account-wide then I could see more of an investment. Same with the warsteed cosmetic dyes. Saying “but you can dye them over and over on that character for that price” only means I can dye the only warsteed I will ever have the only color I like out of that pack repeatedly. What would be the point?

I hope something changes soon in regards to these color pack prices. For now, I’m back to leveling alts while I wait for the prices to drop or a huge sale to hit. My captain will just have to suffer the indignity of riding a war-steed that looks like nearly every other war-steed in Rohan because I’m far too cranky about these prices to spend any of my precious TP on these color packs any time soon.

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Avatar of Ketani

About Ketani

Ketani is CSTM's resident Livestock and Fertilizer expert. When not leveling more captains, she enjoys raiding, crafting, adding new horses to her collection, stomping shrews, betting on hobbit races, exploring haunted burrows, attending plays at the Frostbluff Theatre and tracking down wild cosmetics and making outfits out of them.

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42 Responses to “The Price of a Well-dressed War-steed”

  1. cithryth Says:

    Great write up you pretty much hit the nail on the head. Andi agree about the accessories, they are priced fine as are the war steed hide patterns that are available.

    Just one small correction though: you don’t need to buy a separate dye pack for the mane/tail and the hide color. When you buy a hide color pack you can use it for both. So there’s that at least I guess, but the prices are still outrageous.

    Reply

    • Avatar of Ketani
      Ketani Says:

      Ah, thanks for the correction! So, it’s not quite as bad as I’d feared, but it’s still a ridiculous price. :)

      Reply

      • Sig Says:

        It is still an issue if you want two colors for hide and hair that are not packaged together. I have to buy three color packs to make just one of my characters steeds look the way I want it

        Reply

  2. Jacked Says:

    I totally agree with the general theme of this. My biggest gripe is the gouging of it being character, and not account bound. If i’m buying things with TP, an account wide, real-world-equivalent currency, i would like to buy things that are account-bound and not tied to a SINGLE character.

    Bank space, bags, wallet, shared bank. Its all account bound, spending THIS much money, for something that only works on ONE character is too much for me. The first time i saw how much these things cost, and the fact that it was character-bound, my first thought was “maaaan.. They are going to make a fortune” which is, i suppose, the point.

    Reply

    • Rebecca Says:

      Or quite the oposiste, they won’t make anything at all because in this economy people can not afford to spend that much on cosmetics. I wouldn’t even spend that many TP per cosmetic or color if they were account wide. They need to be account wide, and also priced more reasonably with the option to choose your own colors, whether it be individually or in a pack of 4.

      Reply

  3. Caelas Says:

    Very nice post and i couldnt agree more… i can also feel with you solutions you write for Turbine to correct this while not loosing any money over it (actually they could make loads of more money by introducing those changes you propose) and i would most definately buy a couplef of colours if they would be singled out for a lower price (like the 150TP option per colour you mention).

    Since Turbine is a smart company and they have been known on changing their mind on stuff on request of the community i feel there might be actually the possibility they introduce another pricing option later on…

    Crossing my fingers and in the meanwhile enjoying this great expansion!

    Have fun and Ketani keep on writing ;)

    Caelas
    The Shadows Kinship
    Laurelin

    Reply

    • Avatar of Ketani
      Ketani Says:

      And with the suggestion of 150 TP for a single color, it’s actually a little more expensive per color than buying a pack of 4. It’s just that having a *choice* as to what colors you get or don’t get makes a big enough difference that it doesn’t sting as much when you pay for it!

      Reply

  4. Belamanth Says:

    Signed on all positions. The absolute minimum to get me even thinking about spending a single TP on steed cosmetics would be to make it an account wide purchase.

    Reply

  5. Ayalinda Says:

    I just don’t see how Turbine thought this was a good pricing model, when even the big cosmetic blogs/sites aren’t investing in the system.

    I guess I can see where the logic comes from in that once you’ve bought it that character has it, whereas equipment dyes are one shot, but how many people spend TP on dyes?

    I really think the issue is the bundling. But less because there is only 1 colour you like, and more that people don’t want more than 1 colour hide at a time. I think the biggest cosmetic market is for people like me who just want 1 unique appearance which we’ll use for a long time to set us a bit apart, at which point re-usability isn’t really a selling point.

    The price in my mind would be 1000 points to get something that looks nice.

    Reply

  6. Joshua Says:

    It’s worth mentioning (which I haven’t seen anyone do so far) that everyone gets a starter set of steed wardrobe colours. It’s maybe 7 in total, but that’s better than nothing.

    Reply

    • Crell of Riddermark, Vanguard Says:

      None of which are ‘hide/tail’ colors. They’re all equipment colors.

      Reply

      • RB DD Says:

        I think there’s 1 hide you can get from a Bugud gift box. I haven’t gotten it yet though :(

        Reply

        • Sig Says:

          Yep there is some sort of spotted or dapple hide from Warband spoils boxes. I have not seen one yet.

          Reply

          • Avatar of Ketani
            Ketani Says:

            There is a spotted warsteed hide. I’ve seen it drop at least 4 times now. Not for myself, of course. Elb’s gotten it two drop twice for his warden, but since they’re Bind on Acquire, he couldn’t even give me his spare. :(

            It’s not specific to one particular warband gift box, though. I’ve seen people get it from warbands in both Sutcrofts and Entwash Vale.

      • Joshua Says:

        Yes, but given the fact that nobody else has mentioned this fact at all, it’s worth bringing up.

        Reply

        • Avatar of Ketani
          Ketani Says:

          Except it was mentioned in the post…

          “Include more than one hide and mane/tail color for free: We have several equipment dye colors available to us for free. Why can’t we have another option or three from the start instead of all war-steeds having the same default color?”

          Reply

  7. Tori Says:

    Totally with you on this – way to expensive to even consider for me. So I won’t be purchasing anything unless some changes are made.

    Reply

  8. Sig Says:

    Great write up!

    At this point I would be totally fine with them splitting the colors into singles and making the cost 150TP. I would certainly prefer them to be account wide but I would at the least buy them at this price, either way. (I want Copper and Black for my Hunter but probably not for my Guard, etc.)

    What I can tell you is if the pricing was this way, I would spend more than 595 TP total in the end on this stuff, where as now I will not spend any.

    Also, thank you for the linkage!

    Reply

  9. Cosmetic Lotro Says:

    Great post, very complete outline of the issues! I also agree that the accessories and hide patterns are quite reasonably priced. I see those as “cosmetics for horses” and dont mind them having a price and being single character. On the contrary the dye colors are at the heart of every outfitters toolbox. They are elementary to a successful outfit. Without reasonable access to colors well… the entire warsteed customization system is rendered useless.

    Reply

  10. susan Says:

    I finally broke down and used some saved tokens to buy one color pack and one pc of gear. that made it at least semi enjoyable to be able to ride something different.

    the forums are full of people asking to buy one color at a time, but if this is a consumable color I wish they would cut it out and quit giving the suits at turbine more ways to rip you off. at least the color packs are infinite, one silver lining in this whole mess.

    im content to leave my horse as it it for the rest of my adventure in rohan. perhaps others will too and vote with their purses the fail of this high priced gouging.

    Reply

    • Avatar of Ketani
      Ketani Says:

      I don’t think anyone is asking for one consumable color at a time. Just an option to unlock one color from one of the packs rather than having to buy 4 at a time.

      I would be MUCH less likely to buy any colors if they were consumable.

      Reply

  11. Lilythorn Says:

    I think the pricing for the dye packs / war steed stuff in general is indicative of a major push by Turbine to raise prices in the store across the board.

    The dwarf chest cosmetic, doubling the prices of the 4th and 5th bags (then putting them on “sale” for 2 weeks at the original price)… I predict we’ll be seeing a lot more egregious pricing to come.

    This is the dark side of a store where you control both the supply AND the demand.

    Reply

  12. Isilwren Says:

    I completely agree. After looking over the prices I decided I would not buy any of the colors until Turbine came up with a better idea of allowing the players to choose individual colors or reduce the prices of the color packs. In the meantime I will just focus on improving my horse’s stats. Hopefully knowing that this many people are upset with the color pack costs and non account-wide access will make them change their minds about the system.

    Reply

  13. Elyanna Says:

    I am holding onto the hope that they will make the colors acccount-wide.. otherwise I can’t see myself getting into the steed cosmetic system, with four characters to outfit. :(

    Reply

  14. susan Says:

    seems like turbine has been given some sort of word from WB to better bring in some revenue this quarter or else…

    Reply

    • Crell of Riddermark, Vanguard Says:

      They wont bring in any profit if the pricing is such that average consumers arent buying the product.

      Reply

  15. Andy Says:

    I’ll be sticking to whatever bits the RNG boxes decide to give out. Store stuff is just too expensive for a per character purchase. So far it seems that every hut in rohan has it’s own seperate banner or pennant.

    I had a look at the dyes and stuff shortly after I got my mount but was really turned off by the fact you cant seem to preview any of the dyes to see how either steed or cosmetic look when altered. That and every button I clicked on seemed to take me to a BUY THIS STUFF page on the store.

    Was hoping that dyes would be scholar craftable, for the cosmetics at least. But then again that runs the risk of a crafting profession becoming good for players making some ingame cash so wont ever happen.

    As far as the mount itself goes Binky will remain proudly offwhite happy in the knowledge that at least its not just another generic-classmount brown.

    Reply

    • Avatar of Ketani
      Ketani Says:

      For things that can have their color changed, in the mount panel (second tab after you hit shift + m to bring that up), if you preview something on your mount you can see the colors possible (including ones you don’t yet own) by clicking the multi-colored button to the right of where the item slots and then mousing over a different color.

      This is an example of trying on a halter from one of the sets in the store and previewing it in red: http://i.imgur.com/8iX9m.png

      Reply

      • Andy Says:

        Obvious now I know but sometimes the irritating BUY NOW!!!!!!!!!!!! aspect to the store gets in the way of seeing what is actually what.

        Reply

  16. Avatar of beriahim
    beriahim Says:

    We are Elves of Gondolin and we approve this message.

    Reply

  17. Plunderbunny Says:

    I’m glad you could relate to my post on the forums. Not everyone has a lot of TPs laying around and some have to budget wisely. Not only that, many of us have multiple alts who will be in Rohan someday. At the current prices that adds up to a lot of hurt. I don’t think they thought about the cost of one color for one character being more than what a VIP gets in one month. And the excuse they gave would have made more sense if the four colors were actually 4 different colors. lol I bought black so my LM could have the black pinto look I fell in love with. The other 3 colors in the pack are basically lighter shades of black (ie; dark grey). Not all that exciting of a deal for 595.

    Reply

  18. Calder Says:

    In my opinion, Turbine mislead their customers with the “matching war-steed appearance” claim, by not matching the color of the steeds. Since Turbine already have my TP for a bunch of store steeds, but have lied about matching war-steed appearances, my wallet will be remaining firmly closed where war-steed cosmetics are concerned. Once burned…

    Reply

    • Avatar of Ketani
      Ketani Says:

      Yeah, that really ticks me off. The color of the steed is essential to the appearance in my opinion. They definitely don’t match as it is now. It makes me wary of what will happen whenever they get around to releasing the Captain steed. It’d have to be something that offers something really good for a war-steed to get me to buy, even though I’ve been looking forward to it since the class steeds were first announced.

      Reply

  19. Sigela Says:

    I agree with every point made here.

    I have yet to see ANYONE in game with a colored warsteed.

    The only semi-bright spot in war-steed cosmetics is that at least the war-steeds start a nice grey color that lets most all colors look good on it instead of, wait for it because you’ve all heard me say it before, that horrendous clay-yellow they’ve been slapping on all the recent mounts. With that nice grey, I even forked out the TP to buy the minstrel steed for my minstrel because, for as ugly as it is on a yellow horse, it’s rather pretty on a grey horse. Now he’s gonna craft his own dyes to make an outfit that looks good on his horse.

    Reply

    • Avatar of Ketani
      Ketani Says:

      Oh, I know! I’m so glad that our war-steeds are not that horrid boring blonde that has been used for everything lately. I was so annoyed that the pictures advertising the fall festival showed a nice red-brown horse when the in-game one was that stupid yellow that I didn’t even bother to get the festival steed. A first for me!

      There’s no variety in our free options, but at least it’s a much better looking default than we could have gotten!

      Reply

  20. Tony Says:

    Totally agree on the prices. I was amazed when I saw them.

    It’d be one thing if we at least had a few color swatches available. But to give us one and expect us to buy 4+ more? It just seems nuts to me.

    Reply

  21. Strunto Says:

    I suppose it’s worth mentioning that at least you know what you’re getting when you purchase a color pack. On Guild Wars 2, the cash shop seems extremely dependant on RNG drops, which makes buying anything from the gem shop a (painful) gamble, as many of us have experienced during the presently active Halloween festival.

    I only spent a few dollars in the store and found myself so disheartened and discouraged that I was seriously considering leaving the game and giving Rohan a spin. It’s awfully unfortunate that the same price gouging is occuring back at my ‘home’ game.

    I sincerely hope Turbine listens to this very well-expressed appeal to better judgment!

    Reply

    • susan Says:

      meh, I just got the dye pack for gear as I thought it would be nice to customize the few pcs I have. bleah, that gear dye is only for the paid skins and class steed gear. It does not work on store bought gear items or on the RoR gear given to preorders.

      i went thru the descriptions on the gear items in store, and no where does it state item is not dyeable.

      so basically a wad of tokens down the drain as I have nothing to dye. feel kinda ripped off since they used the term gear dye pack.. but cant use it on store gear.

      Reply

  22. Kynta Says:

    Why not just make wardsteed equipment outfit dyable like our character stuff is…(don’t know if someone already mentioned this and if they did, ignore me. :P) But we don’t have to pay TP to dye our chracter’s outfits, why the horses? *blinks*

    Reply

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