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Elder Scrolls Fans Refuse To Dress Up Horses

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It’s amazing how finicky the die-hard gaming public is. Actually, it’s not amazing at times; it’s embarrassing. A recent item for Bethesda’s Elder Scrolls title has caused controversy, the type that makes you sit back and shake your head while you reflect on other hobbies you’ll be taking up.

The item in question is armor. Horse armor, to be specific. To reiterate:

Horse armor. For a horse that doesn’t exist. Armor.

Now that we’re clear, this specific item costs 200 Microsoft Points. These are the types of micro-transactions Microsoft let us know would be part of the Live experience. 200 Points comes in around $2.50. The PC version of the game offers the same item, only for $1.99.

This was apparently the breaking point for some people. After spending $60 (or more for the Collector’s Edition) to purchase a game, why should they be forced to buy more? It’s a logical standpoint.

The problem is that this has to be some of the most ridiculous whining this industry has ever dealt with. It’s so minor and trivial; it’s baffling how anyone can turn this into an issue. If you don’t want your horse dressed in shiny new armor, then save all of us the trouble of reading about it and DON’T BUY IT.

Most of these people seem to have no trouble with laying down cash for new quests to extend their experience or open up the world in the game. Regardless of what you paid for the game initially, things like $2.50 horse armor will fund those extra quests. Whether or not you realize it, this is an industry, and the people who slaved away for years to bring you Oblivion have the right to earn a few extra bucks. If the experience and delays were all worth it to you to buy the game in the first place, then it’s unreal that there are complaints about a single meager item.

This isn’t something that’s required to complete the game. It’s not required to do a certain quest. You, as an Elder Scrolls player, have no reason to actually purchase this item. The in-game benefits are meaningless. The gaming industry is under attack from politicians and media hounds, and you’re spending time bitching on a message board about how your horse can’t have armor because you’re “taking a stand.”

Wow. How heroic.

Grow up. It’s not as if Bethesda is the only one doing this. Been to the Marketplace lately? Rare is charging the same price for Gamer Pictures, those little barely discernable pics that accompany your Gamer Card. They have the same effect, or actually, that’s no effect. They serve no purpose, just like this horse armor that’s sending people into a frenzy.

Could this be a precedent? Could other companies see a $ sign in added content? Of course, and I’ll be the first one to download content I know I’ll enjoy (those Ghost Recon co-op levels can arrive any day now Ubiboft). Purchasing an item and then complaining about how you were ripped off doesn’t solve anything. You’ve bought it, and the deal is done. Do more research next time.

Debate will of course continue, and Bethesda will need to issue some PR fluff to clean this up. They shouldn’t have to. There is no debate here now, and there never should have been one to begin with. If you feel the need to get the armor for your horse, nothing will stop you. If you don’t, then there’s no need to let everyone know. There are far more pressing issues at the moment.

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About Matt Paprocki

Matt Paprocki has critiqued home media and video games for 13 years and is the reviews editor for Pulp365.com. His current passion project is the technically minded DoBlu.com. You can read Matt's body of work via his personal WordPress blog, and follow him on Twitter @Matt_Paprocki.
  • http://victorplenty.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    How much is the barding patch for Barbie Horse Adventures? That’s what I want to know, and Gabe wants to know it too.

  • sal m

    good point matt…people should be making fun of those who want to spend the money on this, not on the companies who offer the opportunity for people to waste their money.

  • http://8823 joe bob

    hiiii mom! hiii bob! hiiii!

    horsey horsey!

  • Hayabusa

    Those who enjoy a fluent pace in storyline’s to hold their attention might throw Elder Scrolls: Oblivion to the side very quickly. You are completely in control of the pace of the plot in Oblivion, which is what I love because the game is essentially letting you craft your own destiny however you like it. As an escaped prisoner, the Emperor Uriel Septim VII places the task of seeking out his illegitimate son Martin as he is the heir to the throne (after Uriel Septim VIII himself is killed). As the son of Uriel Septim Martin is the only one that can help you close the portal gates to Oblivion(hell) that have opened all over Cyrodiil.