Confirming what we’ve already been told, details about the Wild Bunch– Jesse, Doc, and Butch– were released today from Pixonic. And contrary to expectations, Pixo has mixed up the distribution model.
In events past, the Wild Bunch were available only for the duration of the event, and only for the special event currency (snowflakes for Christmas, coins for the Lunar New Year). And the price was steep. 13,000 for the Heavy, 6500 for the Medium, 3250 for the Light.
At the rate of exchange that you could buy event currency for, that translated into $100, $50, and $25- more or less (more on that in a moment). These prices made a Lancelot– the premier Heavy of the last bot expansion- a relative bargain at around $40.
Now it’s important to note that all prices are approximate, because the rate of exchange between real money and ingame currency fluctuates a little bit depending on how much you buy. Go in for 500Au at a time, that Lancelot is $50. Spring for the 14,000Au deal instead and that prices drops to around $36. Bulk discount, nothing new there.
What makes this event interesting is that for the first time, the Wild Bunch are available for Gold instead of event currency. And now that the “funny money” veneer has fallen off, there’s a lot of sticker shock going around the community today.
Holy Maloney, what the blazes is Pixonic thinking?
I’ve predicted before that the Wild Bunch would drop down to Gold availability after the Dash bots went live, with the Dash bots taking their place as the new event currency bots. So I’m off on the timing, but right about the Wild Bunch being purchasable for Gold.
What I certainly didn’t expect was that Pixo would keep the Wild Bunch at the same price points. They’re still available for about the same amount of money as they were before, but you’re just going to be getting them with Gold instead of something else. This simultaneously makes them easier and harder to buy.
They’re easier to buy because we already have Gold! The event currencies were “cashed out” for treasure chests in the previous events, but Gold is something perpetual on the account. If you happen to have 3,500Au burning a hole in your pocket, congratulations, you can buy a Jesse without spending a nickel of real money.
It’s harder, however, because unless something changes for the event, you won’t have the opportunity to do “coin swaps” with your clanmates. For those joining us after this past event, if you bought a gift of event currency for a clanmate of yours, not only did you get free Premium time, but they also got 20% more currency as a bonus. Enterprising players would arrange to gift one another with clanmates for the bonus rather than simply buy for themselves. When I got my Doc, the bonus coins I got from swapping helped make the Jesse a discount purchase. That incentive may not be there this time around.
So now that we’ve looked at how they’ll be attainable, the natural question to follow is a deceptively complicated one: are they worth it?
In the end, mileage varies widely. If you’re a multi-millionaire, you can buy as much as you want and not bat an eye. If you’re living paycheck to paycheck, however, your valuation threshold may be considerably higher. Ultimately, it’s a personal decision as to where your entertainment dollars go.
That said, however, we can at least approach the question differently by asking, if you don’t already have them, are they the best use of your money? And while “fun” is another subjective thing, we can still make some comparisons.
Each of the three Wild Bunch seem very niche, with only one or two effective loadouts. For the Jesse, the consensus pick is that the Magnum Jesse is the way to go.
Kidding, just seeing if you were paying attention there. The Jesse is an Aphid boat, pure and simple. The ability to throw four sets almost at the same time lets the Jesse stand in for the Patton (a Medium) in terms of firepower. The substantial discrepancy in the health pool is marginally offset by the Jesse’s high speed, yet the consensus on this guy seems to be that he’s fun to play, but too squishy to be genuinely effective.
I mean, if we’re gonna talk bang for the buck, this is a wiser investment. Galahad provides a tremendous return on investment, whereas the Jesse will always be very narrow. Throw in an Aphid, and you’ll still be saving 250Au.
Full disclosure- the Doc is one of my very favorite bots. My first-ever DREDDGUIDE was on the Hydra Doc build, and people seemed to really enjoy it. The Tulumba Doc is another common configuration for this very uncommon bot, and some people seem to enjoy even mixing it up with Orkans. Although I find the Orkan configuration theoretically dicey given the Doc’s relative frailty, it’s certainly an option.
Now, let’s see what you could do with 7000Au. Hmmm…
Again, with a little Gold left over.
If you’re looking for a Medium bot with some legs that can swap between two sets of weapons, then the choice is clear. If instead you’re looking for what’s going to provide more punch on the battlefield, however, you might consider the package on the right a more worthwhile investment. I call my Lancelot a sledgehammer, and it can be a monster on the battlefield. It’s certainly more consistent a raw damage performer than the Doc most of the time.
Knifing not your thing? Like to support from a distance? Gotchu covered, fam.
A Fury and a Zeus. While Tridents are pretty bread and butter, Zeus Furies aren’t uncommon either. Both are midrange support, and while the Doc isn’t a bad option, you’ll again get more for less staying with conventional buys.
It’s certainly true that the quad-Trebuchet Butch is a thing to be feared on the battlefield, and even some of the community’s most advanced pilots have a healthy respect for the build. But from there, the options are narrower, and Trebuchets don’t come cheaply themselves.
But looking at the pricetag of the Butch brings to mind all those Toys R Us shopping spree contest commercials on the television when I was a kid. You know, the lucky winner running around screaming with a shopping cart, dumping whatever he or she wanted into it? 14,000Au is a lot of dumping.
A lot of dumping.
Seriously. One each of the BritBots, and a nice starter kit of two Orkans, an Ancile, and Aphid. Or…one heavy bot best used for sniping.
Seen in this context, the Wild Bunch really shouldn’t be an option for the new or intermediate player looking to fill out the fundamentals. Rather, what Pixonic is selling here is novelty and exclusivity, which appeals to a spectrum of interests ranging from the “gotta have ’em all” collector to the hipster-type who likes to be seen driving a Tesla in a road full of Priuses. And in that regard, there is value in buying the Wild Bunch, because they deliver on those promises. They’re unlike any other bots out there- and they’re fun as hell.
So don’t let me talk you out of it- the ultimate determination of value for someone is the enjoyment they’ll get from it, and the Wild Bunch are a worthwhile purchase for the right type of player.
But in order to make this viable, you need to be either
- Already have everything else
- Really into the playstyle of your Wild Bunch bot of choice (or willing to take a punt on it)
Preferably, at least two of the four.
As for me, I’ve already told the kids to expect ramen dinners for the next two weeks.
Ramen breakfasts, too…