It happened that last weekend combined double exp (relevant only in that it got me back into the game in the first place) with a double "diamond" sale and half off permanent mounts. As a result, I was able to snag something significantly beyond what $10 bought back in 2009 - Darren's mount is a plain brown horse that goes at +55% speed, while my new ride goes at 70%, can supposedly carry a second passenger, has a fancier animated texture, and can hover over water without dismounting, all for $5 after the sales. As always, it pays to wait when cash shops are concerned.
In some ways, the way in which the deal got better drives home Darren's point about how arbitrary the digital horse sale is. On the other hand, the $10 I spent on a pre-paid card (which got me some bonus goodies, and ensured that no one involved has any credit card info they can cough up in the event of a hacking debacle) is the only money that I've spent on the game thus far, and I've gotten well more than that much entertainment out of it. For the most part, I'm regarding the money almost as a gratuity, with the fact that I no longer need to worry about 30-day mount promos expiring as an added bonus.
Revisiting the item shop
After the last time I wrote about ROM, I basically decided to take a step back from the experience rather than push forward and end up with burnout on the game. The experience is unapologetically a grind, which routinely offers nominally higher level quests that send you back to fight low level mobs you were grinding on a few quests back.
|Read carefully, this text is your only warning that this particular quest may spawn an elite mob who will one-shot you and give you exp debt.|
If you're bent on never spending a dime on the game, this gets irritating really quickly. That said, now that I have a relatively firm idea of what the currency is worth and which bonuses I consider necessary to have a fun experience, it looks like a night's worth of solid entertainment in ROM will cost me about $1. That's more than the cost per night on a subscription MMO if you're playing every single day, but much less than you pay per night if you only play one or two weekends a month.
(None of this considers the prices on the game's potentially pricey cash store item enhancements, which I haven't needed for solo play thus far and would probably price me out of the market relatively quickly.)
Overall, I think this is a game I will revisit from time to time. In particular, I'm curious about the planned addition of a back-up secondary class to the game. My current balance of diamonds and potions (from promos etc) will see me through a fair chunk of that from the back of my blue winged $5 horse, so I'm not complaining.
P.S. The prepaid card I redeemed supposedly comes with a 30 day promo mount code that I now no longer need since I own a permanent mount.
|On the plus side, ankle-deep water does not frighten this horse away. On the down side, after playing several games with real flying mounts that have less fancy wings than these, I occasionally expect my new ride to be able to take off.|