I was poking around in the Guild Wars 2 cash shop this weekend when I realized that ArenaNet is selling teleports to Noble’s Folly. Like the Captain’s Airship and the Royal Terrace before it, Noble’s Folly is basically a mini-zone cordoned off just for players who’ve purchased intermittently available temp or perma tickets to get in (I think they drop too — I managed to snag a freebie one for the Airship long ago). There’s nothing particularly overpowering about the locations; they’re all about convenience, with city gates, crafting stations, banks, guild banks, merchants, the mystic toilet all in a really cool, condensed spot. Regular players miss out only on the atmosphere (and they might have to run a few extra steps between the important NPCs).
This isn’t the first or even the most notable example of special locations for paying players; City of Heroes, for example, famously created an entire server for VIPs (subscribers). Daybreak does the same for the EverQuest franchise. And then there’s a more extreme version in the form of Star Citizen’s Million Mile High Club for backers who’ve dropped 10,000 bucks on the game.
Does this sort of thing bother you, or do you chalk it up to a trivial acknowledgement of the players who pour the most monetary support into an MMORPG? Should MMORPGs have special areas for paying players, be those payments in subs, donations, or cash shop purchases?