Elder Scrolls Online’s collector’s edition will give you crabs

esoEven if I’m not interested in a particular MMO, I always will sit up and pay attention when a collector’s edition is announced.  I just have a weakness for them, perhaps because a part of me pines for the days when PC game boxes were large enough to double as a tombstone.

So Amazon futzed up and leaked the image of Elder Scrolls Online’s CE and it… is… really disappointing.  I’ll admit that not rooting for the game probably tempers one’s reaction, but this whole package just feels lackluster.  Here’s what comes with it:

  • Copy of the game
  • Game world map
  • 224-page book on the game world
  • 12″ statue of some demon dude
  • White Imperial horse mount
  • Mudcrab vanity pet
  • Rings of mara
  • The ability to play as an Imperial in any alliance

Aaaand that’s it.  Maybe this is one of several possible special editions, but I’m thinking not.  It just feels lacking.  The statue and book are good physical items, but where’s the soundtrack?  Really, where’s the soundtrack?  CEs and soundtracks are meant to go together, otherwise you get Lucky Charms without the marshmallows.

I don’t know if the last feature — the ability to play as an Imperial — is something to cheer about.  I guess this is an exclusive race, which is slightly ballsy on the part of ZeniMax; will subscribers be happy when one of their character creation options is greyed out?  If it offers access to content one couldn’t get otherwise, I could see it being tempting.  Again, not a big Elder Scrolls guy here.

The mount and mudcrab are bland to me — expected but nothing to cheer about.  Yay.  A crab.  Can I teach the crab to ride the horse?  Then that would be something.  Oh, the legends they would create!

I guess the lesson that I take away from this is that some CEs are duds and some are expensive duds and some are worthy of the extra bucks.  I really hope that WildStar does much better than this.


12 thoughts on “Elder Scrolls Online’s collector’s edition will give you crabs

  1. pkudude99 January 29, 2014 / 9:01 am

    Other than the obvious lack of a soundtrack, I don’t think this is a bad CE. I don’t see the Imperial race as being a big deal, but the mount is a nice bonus, and c’mon! Everyone loves mudcrabs!

    The rest seems pretty typical for a CE — some random statue, the map, the book, and some minor in-game item that will give you a 1% increase for the 1st 5 levels or so before better items supersede it.

    That said… I’m still not completely sold on ESO as a game I’ll stick with. It’s releasing 2 days from my bday, so it’s going to be my bday present to myself, but I really don’t know how long I’d be planning to play it and thus if I’d feel like I’d gotten a decent value for my $$$ even buying the “regular” edition, much less a CE.

  2. darkeye January 29, 2014 / 10:47 am

    Well since races have unique racial skills, then Imperials will be under extra scrutiny to not be seen to give an advantage.

    Besides the Imperials being playable on any alliance, the digital pre-order bonuses seem to give the bonus to roll any race on any alliance. Now that is a bit ridiculous, why have alliances with a story tied to sets of three races and then let players buy out of that restriction. It will likely be possible to purchase that in the cash shop after release as well. Disliked the arbritary alliance restrictions from the start and don’t like this decision.

  3. HarbingerZero January 29, 2014 / 10:48 am

    Agreed. I’m all for statues…but statues of Demon Lords are a little hard to put up in my office. And soundtracks are a *must* for a collector’s edition. Digital collectors I could do though – I like the rings that give you a boost when playing with a friend.

    The biggest bonus here that I would have paid the extra money for is actually part of every pre-order…the ability to play any race with any faction.

  4. Green Armadillo January 29, 2014 / 10:49 am

    According to the FAQ, you will be able to upgrade to digital Imperial status later. I assume for $20 since that seems to be the difference in price. FWIW, the jump in price to the physical CE is only $40, that’s comparatively low when you consider recent titles that launched at $60 with $150 CE’s and could explain the relatively limited swag.


    Never been that fond of this series so I have no idea how significant lack of access to the Imperial race is. Also worth noting that there are faction restrictions on other races that are waived for pre-orders and will presumably be an additional fee after launch (though I don’t see this confirmed). Not thrilled about this, but it’s no real surprise given the current trend in penalties for failure to make a non-refundable pre-purchase while the game remains under restrictive NDA. (They say “pre-order bonus”, I say the glass is half empty.)

  5. Warsyde January 29, 2014 / 12:56 pm

    This sounds like pretty much every CE ever. You get a book, a statue, some extras. Sounds normal to me. I’m not a collector’s edition guy though, I think they’re all a big waste of money.

  6. mightydarv January 29, 2014 / 1:32 pm

    I actually do take issue, at least conceptually, with the Imperial race being locked to purchase with the CE.
    First, it’s not just a cosmetic thing like most pre-order bonuses, or some starter gear that might give you a leg up but will be replaced in an afternoon, or a free mount where you are functionally trading that X amount of extra money spent out of the game into an ingame mount that, while cosmetically different from what you can buy at Mounts R Us does the same dang thing. The Imperial race is content. Pure and simple. An Elder Scrolls game is heavily about the lore, the world, your character as you move through it, and how others react and respond to you. Any Imperial-specific conversations, interactions, story, or even random quips from NPCs is locked to the CE. That’s completely leaving aside any consideration of what ingame racial bonuses they get.
    And if this game was a F2P/Hybrid model of some kind, well that would be one thing. You expect to have to pony up money for some pieces of content (fluff or otherwise) that you really want.
    This is a full-box price + full sub-price game. It’s not even like FFXIV where the game has a reduced box price and a lower base sub rate. This is full, AAA priced.
    No. Just no.
    If you go the full, old-school box plus sub route (which I have no problem with, I will defend that model) you DO NOT GET TO TRIPLE DIP FOR MORE MONEY TO UNLOCK ANY BASIC ADDITIONAL CONTENT, especially not content that is clearly ready at launch. That’s the line. Buy to play with a cash shop (GW2, Neverwinter, TSW, etc)? Sure. F2P/Hybrid with a cash shop (Lotro)? Sure. Box + sub with that giving you the full run of content, expansions notwithstanding (WoW, FFXIV)? Sure.
    But you pick 2 of the 3. If you want to dip past that, you go carefully, and you do it for fluff and cosmetics. That line over there? They just hopped over it casually and are now looking around furtively to see if anybody noticed that one little move. And personally, no I’m not entirely okay with that. It’s a small thing, yeah, but it’s a step across that line.

  7. Doone January 29, 2014 / 9:23 pm

    Syncaine made a rather astute observation about this pack that I won’t mention here. I wasn’t going to touch it, but not because it didn’t deserve to be pointed out. You should check it out, Syp.

    Also, crabs are never bland.

  8. Izlain January 30, 2014 / 4:16 am

    I don’t really see where a soundtrack is something I would want… ever. You are going to hear the music as you play the game, and in most cases the music gets repetitive and boring, so why would I want to listen to it outside of the game? If I’m in my car I don’t want to hear the “sounds of ESO” when I could be listening to some metal or whatever else I’m in the mood for. Even when game music is really good (and there are many examples of this), it’s not something that really screams “listen to me all the time”. At least, that’s my two cents.

  9. Ethu January 30, 2014 / 6:54 am

    I’m totally with darkeye on the topic of removing the alliance-restrictions. This is ridiculous. The whole background of the game is based on the alliances formed by distinct peoples and now they’re throwing it overboard to lure potential customers into throwing 80 bucks at them. I kinda liked the game until now… but SWTOR already taught me a lesson on money grabbing.

  10. j3w3l January 30, 2014 / 7:39 am

    ethu.. actually you get that for pre ordering the base game.

  11. Ethu February 4, 2014 / 8:26 am

    Yeah someone else already pointed it out for me, thank you. Doesn’t make it any better for me sadly. Won’t buy it.

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