So when you plunk down your hard-earned cash for a version of Star Wars The Old Republic, you’re going to have a few options. More than likely, if you’re really lucky, there might be a few Collector’s Editions left. Don’t count on that from EA’s online store though as they’ve been sold out for awhile now. You get some nice things with it, but I couldn’t justify the cost at the time. I looked into pre-ordering the standard version on disc and download, and the Digital Deluxe and thought the options in the Deluxe weren’t worth the extra expense. Since it’s an MMO anyway that I’d have to download for pre-launch, I just bought the downloadable standard version. Check out some of my thoughts on the beta that led me to actually pre-ordering here and some prep work I did before launch here.
Well Early Access hit and I’ve been playing since I got in and decided that after working 130 hours over two weeks that I’d treat myself and ended up getting the Digital Deluxe option. I got my e-mail with my registration code and after I plugged that in they offered me the chance to upgrade version for the same price as I’d have paid for getting the Digital Deluxe. This is not unlike Guild Wars allowing you to upgrade your version to the Game of the Year after the fact.
Let’s re-cap what you actually get for your $20 for the Digital Deluxe upgrade. First, you get access to the VIP area on the main station to whatever area you’re in, Republic or Empire. There is an exclusive vendor there available to anyone with VIP access. All they had when I checked though was a vehicle I was not going to be able to afford for many, many, many levels. The other vendors are the standard cantina vendors available anywhere and the Collector’s Edition Vendor who won’t even talk to you because you only have the Digital Deluxe version, not the Collector’s Edition. So really VIP access to me wasn’t that big of a perk.
Next on the chopping block is a bunch of visual items that really don’t do anything for you other than to let you show off. First you have a holographic dancer you can throw out that looks like any of the holographic dancers at pretty much any of the cantinas. There’s a flare gun that shoots a flare into the air just like the Alderaan trailer and the Republic in game opening cutscene. The last bit of fluff is a holo cam that takes a screenshot for you from the first person view of your character. None of these are terribly exciting. Anyone can take screenshots, you can see the dancers in any cantina, and the flare gun is fun for about two shots and then it disappears never to be seen again because really it’s just eating up inventory.
So what can you actually use out of the Digital Deluxe items? Well, first you have the Training Droid which is supposed to assist in combat. How it actually works is you have to click on it, it pops out on a targeted enemy and I guess annoys them while they fire on you. I’ve yet to notice them helping me all that much. They take so long to summon up that I took so much fire that I almost ended up dying and the damage doesn’t seem like all that much. Not a great help here. So the Training Droid is not very useful for the most part. The last item you get is the STAP, the Single Troop Aerial Platform, which is the equivalent of a mount. It looks ok, but the thing with the STAP is you can’t actually use it until level 25, so it sits cluttering up valuable inventory space until you can put it on your ship or into storage on your homeworld and even then it’s another ten levels before you can use it. I really would have liked to have been able to use this from the start. Areas are huge in this game and you don’t have the ability to sprint until level 14 with transport being very few and far between. I’m sure this vehicle is unique to this version of the game as you can buy others later in the game, but I’m not all that impressed with something I’ve only seen an icon for.
For 20 bucks you get access to an area you can only use parts of, lots of fluff items that just take up inventory space, an almost useless droid, and a vehicle you can’t use for the first 25 levels of your character. Yeah I’m kinda regretting dropping the extra 20 bucks on this now. If the items had actually had some use, like the pre-order crystal, which is better than any other crystal at starting levels, then I might not be having buyer’s remorse.
One thing I am not regretting however, is setting up my security key. The security key ties into either your smartphone, a free service, or you can buy a cheap key from their website. What it does is generate a random key of characters to log you in to the website and the game in a more secure state to help prevent hacks from happening to your account. The bonus to this is you get access to a vendor at the main space station for your Republic or Imperial fleet that has some unique items you can’t really get anywhere else.
It’s also a bit of fluff, but this is fluff I didn’t have to pay more cash far and my account is more secure. You can get a fleet pass here, which lets you port back to the fleet starting at level 16. Always useful. There are companion customizations, and for the girl characters, dancer’s outfits. For people looking for other travel options, there’s another speeder bike you can get here but can’t use until level 50. For the party animal there’s the Rhythm Augmentation Droid that apparently plays music when you click on it for up to 30 seconds. While I’ll probably only get the fleet pass and the Exchange Bandit (speeder bike) I think it was still worth locking down my account with the security pass.