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So mostly I've been in here singing the praises of this game because I really have been enjoying it and really do see the depth of work that went into it. But here is where I have to question a certain aspect of the game and wonder if there couldn't have been a better way of implementing said aspect.
When I first started playing AoW I played it for free. Under the free system I got to do pretty much the same as anyone who had VIP with the exception that I couldn't be a divinator, my experience cultivated at a lower rate per tick, I and I could not choose the option to continue cultivating experience, or run an offline stall, when I was not online.
I didn't know what any of this stuff meant anyway back then, and so none of it mattered. I logged in daily, did what I had to do in order to build myself up in the way that I wanted to, and then set up my stall (so that I could make some unbound) and walked away from the machine until the server either kicked me, or until I could get back to it.
What I am saying is that I stayed logged into that game as much as I possibly could because I knew that the moment that I logged out I would be falling behind.
During this time I played the game almost religiously. I logged in every day, as many times a day as I could, and either set up my stall or went out and did things. It was clearly becoming an alternate life and I am not ashamed to say that I was totally digging it too because I "thought" that it was also that same alternate life to everyone else who had been playing it.
Then one day, more out of respect than out of necessity, I decided to go VIP.
All of a sudden my need to log in daily completely changed. I no longer needed to stay online to cultivate, I no longer needed to stay online to operate my stall, and in fact, my cultivation increased so much that I started flying through skill levels to the point that the only reason I had to log back in was to make sure that I wasn't missing out because something had stalled (those of you playing know what I mean by this).
So suddenly I don't log in nearly as much anymore. It is no longer an alternate life but now a game again. I am keeping up with most everyone else easily, and save for my tradeskills, really don't HAVE to do anything right now. My offline stall is keeping me in the butter brickle so I don't have to leave my machine online for hours and hours anymore, but then I am also not socializing nearly as much anymore either because, because of the easy money, I now no longer have to barter or make friends with people who have the things that I need.
I don't know but this all seems totally counterproductive to making an addictive timekilling MMO the likes that people enjoy the most doesn't it?
Or am I in a minority on that last point?