Is Every Paid MMO Service Evul?

Is every paid MMO-service evul?

There. I said it. I don’t mean below the belt paid services, wink-wink, nudge-nudge. Those are just disturbing and every MMO’s version of the Lion’s Pride inn is … let’s just not go there.

I’m talking about other services, mostly created by players or fans, or even other companies, and I’m curious what you think. Specifcially I’m curious about MMO services that aren’t provided by MMO companies themselves – so for example, count LoTRO’s Turbine points shenanigans or Blizzard’s pet/mount sales out (though I’m curious about those too, come to think of it). I’m not really looking at gold selling/buying here – most people would agree that’s bad (though if you disagree do say, and why – you won’t get lynched). But is it thatgold selling gives the rest of paid services a bad name when some of them are actually useful and above board, or is it simply that they’re all bad and wrong and should be taken out back and burned at the stake?

So what sort of things am I thinking about? Well, let’s see… off the top of my head, these are the kind of ‘paid’ services I’ve seen floating around:

  • Guild websites and hosting – HAH! Weren’t expecting this one, right? Surely there’s nothing wrong with people providing your in game community a website – or is there?
  • Consulting/coaching – helping you play better, whatever ‘play better’ means to you as a player. Is that bad n’ wrong or a useful service – or something you wish half the idiots in your randoms would do?
  • Various e-books – gold guides, levelling guides, class guides, raid guides. I’ve seen opinions on these widely differ depending on the type of ebook, too.
  • Advertising
  • There are probably more – feel free to talk about them too.

I’ve been wondering this on and off for a while now and have never quite been able to put my finger on what the general feel in the community for this stuff is. Reading round the blogosphere I regularly see both people vehemently against paid services and others trying to provide them while getting all kinds of feedback, both positive and negative. Tobold’s post today – which we highlighted earlier – just brought this back to mind as something I’ve been meaning to throw out there for a while.

So. What do you think? Are all paid, extra, MMO services filthy trickses from the legions of Mordor, or are some of them acceptable and theoretically useful?