En Masse Entertainment just announced that the upcoming MMORPG TERA will feature an item called “Chronoscroll”, in order to fight real money trading in the game.
Openly inspired by the PLEX (Pilot License Extension) system featured in EVE Online, Chronoscrolls will be officially available for purchase on the game’s online store and will extend a player’s game time by thirty days. What differentiates them from normal game time cards is that they are actual in-game items, and they can be traded and sold to other players.
This allows people that want to purchase gold in the game, to do so officially and without repercussion by buying Chronoscrolls and then selling them to other players, skipping the RMT middleman and theoretically (very much so) putting him out of business.
En Masse actually talked with EVE Online‘s developer CCP in order to learn the ins and outs of the PLEX trade and facilitate the creation of their own system. Hopefully CCP told them very clearly that PLEX didn’t really remove RMT from EVE Online, and while it’s somewhat effective, a very strict surveillance and banning policy is still needed.
Of course the downside is that, no matter how you see it, Chronoscrolls introduce some form of officially sanctioned “pay to win” mechanics into the game. Some may find that a cause of concern especially in a game that features a consensus-based political system, in which bribery might easily be the perfect element to push the scale off-balance.