Two days ago, Arenanet published the contents of the Guild Wars 2 Collectors Edition, along with pricing for the standard, digital deluxe, and collectors edition pre-orders. It’s no secret that I’m a collectors edition maniac, having bought CEs for the original World of Warcraft box and all it’s expansions, Warhammer Online, Lord of the Rings Online, Star Wars: The Old Republic, and probably a couple more that I can’t remember right now. My love of a good Collector’s Edition easily started with the original WoW box – we totally got that CE on a whim at Walmart the night WoW released, before it was known what a huge hit it would be. Throughout the years I’ve displayed the little panda and diablo pets proudly, and I still enjoy looking through the artbook and listening to the soundtrack.
I think though, there’s always an element of risk in the decision to buy a collector’s edition. The game could be huge (WoW) and the CE could bring you enjoyment for years or it could be a flop (WAR) and the CE could go into a storage bin never to be seen again.
Let’s take a look at the GW2 CE physical contents, shall we?
Metal Box: All CEs have to have some nifty container. No map in the box, let’s put it ON the box!
10″ Charr figurine: Not my thing, but I’m sure that some folks will like it. I have hard time liking the Charr after playing through pre-searing in the original Guild Wars, so this doesn’t really appeal to me on a personal level.
5 Art Prints + Frame: I wish we could see exactly which prints are included, as well as if the frame is plastic, cardboard, etc. I don’t see myself ever actually hanging this though.
112 page Making of GW2 book: This would be nice to have. I love the art direction of GW2, it’s easily the most beautiful & unique MMO I’ve seen in a long time as far as that goes.
Best of GW2 Soundtrack: “Best of”? You mean it’s not the entire soundtrack? I adore soundtracks, but I do wish this was everything. If the game is wildly successful I could see a regular soundtrack being released separately, which would kill me if I already had a “Best of” compilation.
Then there are the Digital Deluxe items, included in both the CE and the Digital Deluxe versions:
Summon Mistfire Wolf Skill: A wolf. I’m assuming this is a combat pet. If it’s a combat pet, does it’s power scale or will it only be used during the first few levels? Hm.
Miniature Rytlock: Yet another charr thing, and since it’s a miniature, I suppose this will be the non-combat pet. More on this in a bit.
Chalice of Glory & Tome of Influence: One-time use items. No appeal.
Golem Banker: Neat, but only if you got to keep it long-term. 5 days? Not so much.
Allow me to go girly for just a moment here. Where is the cute? A certain other collector’s edition had choices of a mini-demon, a wicked looking monster-thing, and a baby panda. Guess which one was chosen by most of my characters? That’s right, the baby panda. I get that the Charr are iconic for Guild Wars, but for those of us who dislike the Charr due to their background in Guild Wars Prophecies and/or just due to their looks in general, this seems flat. Guild Wars is certainly capable of cute, we’re seeing that in the miniatures that will be available from the Hall of Monuments. A Sylvari hatchling (or similar) miniature addition would have been adorable and amazing, especially given that it’s the other unique Guild Wars race and is being introduced to the game with GW2.
Overall, as far as CEs go, I hate to say it, but I’m a bit underwhelmed by this one. The digital deluxe items aren’t compelling enough for me to want to shell out an extra $20, and I don’t think that a book & soundtrack are really worth an extra $90. This doesn’t reflect on the game at all, because I still think it’ll be great fun and I do plan on pre-ordering the standard version for the head start, which really is the most important feature to me. I wish the CE had that extra something that really made it a must-have for my collection, but unfortunately it looks like this box won’t be joining the others.