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|I guess that's the real catch-22. The fundamental advancement mechanism in these games, unlike say an FPS, RTS, etc., is time invested. You advance primarily by the time you invest into playing the game (although there are certainly other factors -- who your friends are, how well you socialize and maintain relationships, your general knowledge of the world, gameplay strategy, etc.). And as long other games in the genre really do seem to have created a product that promotes the selection of "group mates" based entirely on the items they carry.|
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Formerly of MMORPG.com
Currently Lead Designer for Bit Trap Studios