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This post is about fantasy MMOs.
One of the most addicting factors in MMO's are wanting to get better gear. Let me explain why fantasy MMO's are messing up big time with gear distribution.
When one maxes a certain level, the only difference between players is what gear they have on. Infact, gear could be much harder and take much longer to obtain then getting to max level--in the long run.
Just like you can't skip levels...you shouldn't be able to skip levels in gear.
The Item Building Method: You cannot earn gear B without earning gear A. A<B<C<D...ect.
No one should be able to skip gear and go straight into the best peices.
The Item Building Method should only be taken into account at MAX level.
MMOs take an extremely large amount of time to play. They are an investment where one spends an average of 2-6 hours every day while paying a monthly cost. This isn't like watching tv passively. You are engaged in the game and involved more so then any other entertainment medium. People SHOULD take gear distribution seriously if they play the game seriously.