You've been staring at the sites, pawing at the pics, thinking in the threads, and frolicking in the flicks. Now you've decided that yes, indeed you will be getting FFXIV. Alas, you've still a couple of more choices to make. Namely, "should I spend the extra money for the Collector's Edition, or just get the standard version?", and, "should I bother with pre-ordering or just wait?" Well, pour yourself a nice glass of your favorite beverage, because we're going to try to figure out what's best for you. All set? Got your woogie? Wanna borrow mine? Okay, here we go...
The standard version comes with everything you need to play the game, just like the Collector's Edition. The only difference is the Collector's Edition comes with some bonus material for a higher price. The current pricing for a standard is $49.99, and the Collector's is $74.99, making the Collector's roughly $25.00 more. I know, basic math, right? Well, I just want to point out that price difference now, because it's about to go down.
The Collector's Edition, along with everything that comes with the standard, will come with some bonus material that may very well make it well worth picking up. Let's take a look...
1st, you get access to the full game eight days before the standard users. This means instant mini-celebrity status in all FFXIV related forums. For those eight days the rest of us are going to be looking at you to answer many of our questions. This is a perfect oportunity for you to make contacts and set the foundation to Linkshells. Enjoy the space, because it's about to get real cozy in there. Being I've no way to set a price on this and your pre-release time is counted as game time when game-cost is calculated, let's set the value of this at $0.00.
2nd, you'll get a "Behind the Scenes" DVD which will show you some of what it took to make FFXIV. You'll see their offices, conference rooms, and key staff members. You'll hear interviews, music, and stories. While something like this is very interesting to some and boring to others, let's set the value of this at $5.00 if this DVD interests you.
3rd, you'll get a security token. The security token is a small device that can fit on a keychain that'll work with your normal password. When you press a button on it, it'll supply you with a random generated password that a person will need to access your FFXIV account. This will prevent anyone else from being able to gain access to your account. In this world of keyloggers, this is an added security measure that some might find very reasuring. It can also be used to prevent someone from playing "untill they get their homework done". If this device interests you, then you should know that they normally are sold for $10.00.
4th, you'll get a Travel Journal. This is a large, pleather bound tome engraved with the FFXIV logo. It's of respectable size, and is specificly made to help you cronicle your adventures and findings. With plenty of space and illustrations of original FFXIV artwork never before seen, this could very well be your prized possession from this collection. Books of a simular quality will cost you around $10.00, but being this also includes never released concept art it's value, if this interests you, is $15.00.
5th, you'll recieve a voucher that can be redeemed to recieve a personalized "Right of Passage" certificate. Presented in a diploma-like style and stamped with a unique serial number, this may be something you'ld find yourself framing and hanging on your wall. I really can't figure out a value for this. To me, it's a nice little thing, but I really wouldn't pay for it.
6th, you'll recieve your first 30 days of game play free. This alone is a $13.00 value.
7th, you'll recieve a Buddy Pass. This code is meant to be given to a friend to allow them access into the game for limited time for free. Perfect for someone who games with a roomate or spouce. Sure, it's purpose is to help to coax a gamer friend to play FFXIV with you, but there's nothing stoping you from using it to score some free time for a mule. I've no idea how long this free-time is, so let's assume a week. That's about a $5.00 value.
So, add up the value of the items that interest you and you might find that the extra $25.00 is well worth it.
BUT THAT"S NOT ALL! (sorry, I always wanted to say that)
If you decide to pre-order, Square Enix will also supply you with a code to score you a bonus item for use in the game. If you pre-order the standard version, you'll receive the Garland Goggles, a pair of very cool looking specs that'll speed up skill progression (think like a percentage bonus to exp). If you pre-order the Colector's edition, you'll receive the Onion Helm that'll speed up the process of recovering from KO. Which of these two are the better?
The Onion Helm by far is the better. The goggles, although very nice when used to speed up progression in crafting, will not be nearly as handy as the Onion Helm when you're out adventuring, which will be most of what you do. Also, you'll eventually find an item that'll be better (or at least more efficient in a different way) than the goggles, whereas the Onion Helm will always be a very handy tool you'll always be happy to have whenever you get KO'd. Being the Onion Helm is only available by pre-ordering the Collector's Edition, this gives the Collector's Edition a very good +1.
Now let's say you've decided upon which version you want and you've also decided to pre-order to score the nice bonus. Where should you pre-order from? Easy. Amazon.com
By chosing Amazon, they will give you $10.00 credit for use in any future video game purchase, as well as lowering the price if at ANY TIME after the point of sale that it's price is lowered on their site (i.e. a promotional sale), and they will honor any additional bonus content that may become offered before it's release. Basicly, you'll get ten-bucks and whatever other goodies that may come for it down the road.
So, let's look at what I was able to calculate for myself. Collector's Edition = $25.00 - DVD - Token - Journal - 30 days - Amazon $10 = negative $28.00. In this way of thinking, it's cheaper for me to pre-order the Collector's Edition than buying just the standard, and I only calculated the items that interested me.
What did you come up with?