2) The upside to paying NPC's is that you remove that currency from the economy. People starting the game when it first comes out don't notice how important this is, but later in the game, newbies get raped by inflation.
Well, MMO's are generally about group play moreso than narrative. Similar to other group play systems (sports, for example), people expect some kind of prize for their effort. It is competitive (to varying degrees) and cooperative, but the MMO definitely relinquishes narrating a story to the back seat, if not ignoring it entirely. Fun gameplay doesn't necessarily disinclude fun loot, as well. Getting loot can be, and often is, fun. I honestly don't think you can have MMO's have stories as compelling as single player games, just because of the nature of the genre. But, then again, I'm open to being pleasantly surprised. Maybe they just need better writers.Which is really sad -- MMOs should be about stories and characters and atmosphere and fun gameplay, not about getting more stuff and making more gold. That's at the heart of my ranting, so I hope that sheds some light on my reaction to ingame economy for TSW.
Like I said, I'm happy if people enjoy crafting and grinding materials. Whatever floats your boat. But I don't think it must be in TSW for the game to work. That's all I'm saying.
Kind of a sidetrack, but this brings to mind something else I've had rattling about. I would love to see breath taking cinematic moments and I don't see why they can't be accomplished with instancing. I'm thinking of stuff similar to Shadow of the Colossus, probably one of the few games to come very close to approaching art, if not jumping that line entirely. I want to come to the end of a quest series and a cutscene happens in which I am completely stunned by it. I guess this is where storytelling comes in, too, but I'm thinking more along the lines of visual beauty and such (high polygon counts don't mean beautiful scenes).