Equal footing in MMO’s. It is one of the premises which current pay to play is based upon. One price, one world and one level of play mechanics. The fact that any player can achieve any end in the game is gold dust to many people.
Now clearly there is a measure of this in Pay to Play games. However there is no mechanic which ensures equality for all. There is one currency still which all must spend to purchase items, unlock dungeons and attain your mounts.
This valuable resource is, of course, time. Now there is a valuable equation for this to show that the pregidous in Micro-transactions is apparent in subscription games. That equation is
Time = Money
Simple enough. The fact is, to get anywhere in any game requires time. And just like with money where some have and some have not, there are people who are time rich and time poor. The disparaty becomes apparant if you level in a guild and you can see many who start together are spread far out by the time the first one caps out.
Now the arguement of course is everyone has time, they simply choose to spend it differently. Money can be a little harder to come by for some. Time I would suggest is equally hard for some to spare. Long working weeks, family commitments, children. Some people simply cannot afford to spend the time to stay on the curve that many have discussed. RMT XP pots can help to get the most out of the time some people can spare and it becomes of value. Though people blessed enough to be Money rich and time rich can also use these to rocket ahead.
It Just goes to show that no game mechanic out there offers a level playing field. There will always be those that excel in these competitive games. Whether through time investment or money investment. Gaming equality is an illusion and while it is still obvious most people will prefer one method of investment over another, it is wrong to believe the same inequalities do not exist in both systems. It’s just less obvious that there are inequalities in P2P MMO’s if you are time rich (Which is of course relative).