Along with the early payments, players are generally rewarded with some sort of in-game trinket. Age of Conan's first expansion, launched this week, offered up a Loyal Kappa and Ravager of Jhi pet duo to those who pre-ordered Rise of the Godslayer. Both of these items, while aesthetically cool, are completely unnecessary (they function as fairly weak combat pets and buffers), mainly because Funcom is following the unwritten gaming rule that states thou shalt not provide early adopters any kind of real advantage. Along with the pets, early Godslayer customers were given a bewildering array of expansion upgrade packages to choose from, each featuring different items designed to temporarily boost XP, ease the transition for newbs, or just make their avatars look that much cooler.
Whether all of this is a good thing is up for debate. On the one hand, it's clear that players love any chance to acquire new shinies, even if it means paying a little extra. On the other hand, it can be argued that pre-ordering allows MMORPG makers to deliver unfinished games due to pre-existing demand and blind faith from fans.
What say you, dear readers? Yay or nay on MMORPG pre-orders?