Thursday, June 14, 2012

Free will?

Does it feel like you've given up your free will as a parent?  It does to me sometimes.  I don't mean this as a complaint, just an observation.  So many times now it seems like my decisions are made for me.  I should probably spend a little time planning ahead, but it seems difficult to find even the time to do that some days.

So what does this have to do with MMOs?  I showed Lord of the Rings Online to one of my three daughters, who is 7, the other day.  It just happens that my wife started reading her 'The Hobbit' about a week ago and the two of us have been reading it to her depending on who is more available in the evening.  As you can imagine, once I showed it to her, she wanted it on her computer as well, so I downloaded it from Steam.  I didn't think it would run well on her computer that has an older Core2 processor and no video card, but it actually runs quite well in the limited resolution she has it at.
My daughter's Lore Master, Kantrita (imaginative, but not so much with names)
So, as you can imagine, though I'll go through the last two evaluations, my decision has pretty much been made for me.  I'll be playing LotRO with my daughter at least until she loses interest.  She's pretty young to be playing the game, but she'll always have help.  Also, she's pretty good about listening when we've said she's had enough.  Of course, she knows if she doesn't then she won't be doing whatever she was doing for quite a while.

With it being free it's not really costing me anything but time for now.  But since she seen me playing World of Warcraft and seen others on horses now she wants one for herself.  I could just get her a horse pretty inexpensively but I had been looking at the Mithril edition since it seemed like a good deal.  By my count you get four quest packs which would cost 2950 Turbine points, plus a mount that would be 1195 Turbine points, plus 2000 points to use as you'd like for $20.00.  So that's 6145 Turbine  points or at about $1.00 for 100 points over $60 worth of stuff for $20.  Do I have that wrong?

However, I know the best deal is free and $20 isn't close to free and, if I would to buy it for myself and my daughter that's $40.  However, LotRO has one big selling point that the subscription games don't. Once I pay, I have what I purchased until the game goes away.  Still $40 is a lot to pay for something that was free.  Then again, I don't mind spending money on something I enjoy and it's even more difficult to deny it for my daughters.  If she keeps playing until I finish the evaluations, I'll probably splurge on it for myself (unless someone can tell me it's not a good deal) and just make sure I don't get my horse out in her presence and then give one to her as a treat a few weeks later once I've decided it's worth it.

This goes directly to the point of this blog.  When you have limited time, the value of things are very different than when you have a lot of available time.  $15 a month for 80 hours of game-play can seem like a great deal, but if it's only 10 hours, the value of the subscription is much less.  Even if I stick with it, I suspect it will take me at least 6 months to finish the content in the Mithril edition and for that I only have to pay once. Now, if I were someone who finished it in a month, it's probably still a pretty good deal but the value is a lot lower in comparison to the person who plays little.  Similarly the value of $15 VIP membership is much better for someone who plays a lot.

I posted earlier about influences.  It doesn't seem much like an influence when you are on a ride and you only think you know where you'll end up.  It's more like a train I'm hanging onto.  But at least I have fun and some pretty scenery on the way.


  1. $20 seems steep for a person who doesn't game a lot, like you. But LotRO is a good game, and if it's something that you think you'll keep coming back to, at least once a week. Then I think it's worth it.

    But $20 because your daughter wants a horse. That's expensive. Then again, if it's my daughter, I'd probably capitulate and buy it for her. $20 is much cheaper than buying her a real pony. Besides, she might play LotRO until the game dies.

  2. I realize from your comment that I wasn't clear. The idea is that if I think we'll keep playing, then it's a good deal and she could enjoy her horse sooner rather than later. Of course, if she doesn't keep playing (or if I don't keep playing) it's a waste of money.

    I'm going to hold off a bit and see how we both do. Besides, I still have two games to try out!