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The Daily Grind: Pre-order now!

Jef Reahard

Pre-ordering has become something of an epidemic in the gaming industry. Whether you're looking to plunk down five bucks at Gamestop several weeks in advance of Red Dead Redemption or pay for the full enchilada on Amazon and wait for them to ship you a box on launch day, companies large and small have taken to offering their goods up for sale before they're really for sale. MMORPGs aren't left out of course. Currently the darling of the pre-order ball is Realtime Worlds' All Points Bulletin, simply by virtue of being the next big genre release.

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?

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