The Secret World’s recent membership status tweaks have more than a few players up in arms. A 450+ post thread on the official forums chronicles the argument: Funcom has added in-game badges as a reward for subscribers. Seems like a nice perk, right?
The trouble is, some players argue, that displaying the badge isn’t optional, which means that players are being forced to display their contribution and status to everyone in the game and cannot keep their finances private. “Having a permanent name plate is counter productive, discriminatory and crass,” writes one player. “It segregates players into haves and have-nots [and] breaks immersion by dragging a little bit of the real world into my escape from the real world.” Players also suggest that they aren’t thrilled being turned into walking advertisements for the subscription. Affected subbers have requested that the badge be toggleable, though Funcom hasn’t yet responded.
It’s not quite a RealID fiasco in the making, but it’s evidently a concern. What do you think about MMO studios implementing “rewards” like this?