Another common option for MMORPG game developers is the “Item Store” method. With this marketing strategy, the game itself is free and fully playable. You are able to get basic and decent items and succeed relatively well. However, if you are willing to pay a small amount of cash, you can get the uber sword +10 of dragon slaying that does 10 times more damage than anything you can find in the game.
This means that the people willing to pay are going to be the best at the game in terms of gear. They don’t even have to explore all the content, they can just buy the gear and grind out levels being able to kill things well above their own level. And PVP is seriously unbalanced, as those that pay can do more damage and survive more damage than those who don’t.
Still, the base game is free, and that attracts a lot of players. People will play almost anything if it’s free, and being owned by a bunch of noobs who bought their gear at the store is still better than being owned by the same noobs while paying to play the game.
I’ve got a couple more fianancing posts, then I’ll start analyzing the benefits and consequences of using different class and skill systems.