Everquest sells exp boosts: http://games.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08%2F12%2F10%2F0130235&from=rss
I understand that you can purchase exp boosts and even whole levels in some usually eastern world MMOs. I am a bit baffled that EQ now does it and I suspect that it is an experiment by SOA that they try because the game is going down the drain or something. Anyways it makes sense. Does anything you do in EQ really matter to anyone else than yourself anyways?
The end of the article has three very good comments.
* The first reaction is negative - "I'm imagining a game between two people determined by how much they spend on the game."
I react the same instinctively when it comes to a lot of microtransactions such as buying levels and enchanted swords directly from the website in other MMOs. But I have a nagging feeling that my negativity is nonprofessional, uncommercial and oldschool. In any case we have decided not to do this.
* One person points out that some people have time and some people have money.
We acknowledge that fact in Wurm as well and sell silver to those who have money in order for them to be able to purchase services and items from those players who have time to put in instead.
It is very similar to selling the same items and services on the website but the difference is that the players who invest time don't loose out but instead gain on it.
* The third person thinks that it is a question of authenticity. That a person wearing cowboy outfit is expected to be able to at least ride a horse.
One reason to play games is to measure oneself with other players. I like highscore lists and understand where this comment comes from. If I meet the player on top of the battle ranks in a game I expect him or her to be good at fighting. And I like to awe at things and what people achieve. Now, my experience is that in a lot of MMO's nobody cares about you and you care about nobody else or what they achieve. Notch calls them massive single player games I think. Wurm is not like that.
In Wurm we allow you to sell the access (password) to your account since we believe that it is your right but I can never see us starting to sell skill boosts.
Then again - if EQ does it and a majority wants it.. Wurm as a project looses out.
Nah, for now I'll consider it being able to buy aces for your online poker hand. It can't be a durable solution. Wurm shall last for at least 20 more years so it has to be durable.