Jagex is offering a year of membership at a discounted price, but before you buy Premier Club as fast as your fingers can type let's take a look at what you get and see if its a value worth buying. Take it from me, I know deals; I once bought a case of steaks from the back of a truck. In the past Premier Club has been packed with perks and although it has lessened over time its important to examine what you actually get.
Lets begin by just listing the contents of the package and then we can take them on one by one.
Keep in mind I'll be evaluating the gold package for $79.99. It starts with a 30% discount on membership for 1 year (current rate, not grandfathered rate). You also get a Desert Pantheon Aura and an Ancient Menaphite outfit. The long time favorite of 1 extra Treasure Hunter key per day is back along with a 50% discount on rune metrics and 150,000 loyalty points. You will also get access to VIP forums and world, along with a forum and chat badge. Finally, you get Premier Club exclusive Q and A's, pre-paid card promotional items, and old school membership. Phew there you go - that's all of it, now lets dive in to see if its a deal that would make a couponing wife proud...or is it more like leaving Best Buy with an item you didn't want and a warranty you don't need as you walk to your vehicle not quite sure how it happened.
A 30% discount on membership is pretty good. That is unless of course you are subject to a grandfathered rate in which case you're paying more for a year of Premier Club than you would for a year of grandfathered membership. That means if you are on one of these lower rates Premier Club is about the perks not the the membership. A player that pays full price for membership every month will get a substantial price break.
Next up is the real meat and potatoes, the Desert Pantheon Aura. These Premier Club Auras have been major draws in the past and they are always good. This year it gets 250 charges a day granting you the ability to store up to 500. You spend the charges on various buffs. For example you can get a 20% LP boost up to 1000 LP for 50 charges or 2 sign of life effects for 1 hour for 125 charges. For skillers you can increase XP gain by 10% for an hour for 200 charges or double your divine location gathering limit for 150 charges. You can also benefit your friends with a 10% pulse core effect for 10 minutes costing 100 charges.
As it stands right now I'm less than impressed. Its a far cry from the Dwarven Insight Aura or last years Mahjarrat Aura. The extra life points could be useful but not if your aura has to take the place of a DPS Aura. In addition I still don't know if this bonus would stack on top of bonfires, if it didn't I fail to see why you would use it over a bonfire. That being said the 2x Sign of Life could literally be a life saver especially for someone who is just starting to break into high level bossing. The 10% XP gain for an hour is just a joke. I don't think that's worth almost your whole days charges nor do I think the pulse core buff is very good either. The divine location buff on the other hand is pretty good. Right now that costs Vis Wax and Vis Wax is expensive if you don't make it yourself; having a buff that can double your gathering limit for free is really good. All in all the two benefits to the aura that are helpful are the sign of life effect and the divine location buff.
Now let's take a look at the real MVP of this package the extra treasure hunter key and the 150,000 Loyalty Points. Well this is it, the whole reason to buy Premier if you are on a grandfathered rate. This is what justifies the extra $20 your paying for a year. Lets look at the treasure hunter value itself. An extra key per day is an additional 365 keys for free. Now you can buy a 450 key package for $99 but that's not really applicable here. In order to reach 365 you'd have to buy one 200 key package for $50 followed by 2x 75 key package for another $40 and top it off with a 15 key package for $5. That would give you 365 keys for a whooping $95. Obviously someone would spend the extra $4 and buy the 450 keys but the point still stands that the extra keys nearly pays for the package itself. Loyalty points are also quite useful. Not everyone uses them and I've heard stories of people that have obscene amount of them, but to someone who uses them for auras especially this is a really good perk. 150K loyalty points can buy a legendary jack of trades aura out right or give you a good start for the pricier legendary skilling auras that usually go in the 230-234k range.
The rest of the Premier Club is little add-ons that some people may like but personally I don't think they amount to much. The forum and chat badges are meh while the VIP world is nice if you have friends that hang out in it otherwise its kind of useless, lets face it - RS isn't a crowded lagfest anymore. The Q and A exclusive is cool but it depends on how often they do them and the info that will be disseminated throughout the community. It's really just a chance for you to get your own question personally addressed by a JMod. I think the gem is that you receive the items they give away with pre-paid cards throughout the year. Don't underestimate this, it could be a real sleeper when it comes to value added. It could possibly be a dud as well but I think if you look at where Treasure Hunter and other promotions have been going, its a good bet this little addition will pay off. Lastly there is an outfit the Ancient Menaphite outfit so...ya there's that.
There were a few noticeable omissions this year: no pet, no emotes, and no teleport animation. I think this was a decent call this year, it lowered the price considerably and we're already inundated with pets and emotes and animations anyway. It was much better to give people a better deal then some Mickey Mouse stuff that no one asked for and no one wanted.
I think its safe to say that Premier Club is a decent deal this year. Its not the best it's ever been but its far from the worst. If you pay full price and can afford it then what are you waiting for? If you are short on cash remember you can buy it with bonds. Right now it's 20 Bonds but the offer goes until February, and if you buy a smaller package (i.e. Bronze or Silver) you can upgrade it at a later date. There is enough value to justify buying Premier Club for the people that pay grandfathered rates. I have never before bought Premier and this year very well might be the first. With that, I will leave you to your shopping and until next time, Happy RuneScaping.