Recently, Square Enix decided to drop the first item in their Final Fantasy XI Player’s Collection. It’s a pendant with the price tag of $42.99, complete with silver-plated metal and synthetic leather. To their credit, Square Enix realizes that regular consumers are not willing to buy expensive and ugly items for no reason. So instead of just allowing the pendant to speak for itself, the company is offering an in-game bonus for consumers. Buying the pendant allows players to teleport around FFXI’s virtual world at will.
I think it’s always a bad deal for every MMO player involved when special abilities hit an external market. The necklace is a “unique one-time opportunity,” which may mean it will disappear in the abyss when all ten of them are sold, but I’m still a bit confused as to why a company would encourage players to break their own game. There’s a reason free-to-play MMOs aren’t any fun past the first couple of days, and it’s a direct result of this kind of system. Who wants to party up with a dude that can teleport around like a madman, or in extreme cases, use boxing gloves instead of gauntlets?
What do you guys think? Is it okay to toss out these items for in-game abilities that others won’t have access to? Does it hurt your MMO experience?