but its perfectly ok to offer people who buy it before it comes out a headstart, over people who buy it when it comes out.
No it isn't. They shouldn't offer any sort of head start.
And as for Allegory's statement about price segmentation. SE's are not price segmented, and if 24 hours isn't worth $20 to you, I'm sorry. It is to me, and to 60k of us out there. I've been following this game since Imperator was post-poned (not cancelled people...pay attention), and if $20 is what it takes to play it ASAP, it's worth it.
It's not so much a complaint about this specific situation as it is about a bad philosphy that cuild ruin the game were it to leak into any other part. The fundamental point of a game is starting fairness, even in asymmetrical games. In monopoly everyone starts out with the same amount of money. What would be the point of playing monopoly if you could pay 20 real dollars to start out with 500 more fake money?
This is a step away from fairness. It's a step away from the game and a step towards marketing.
If you're going to argue segmentation, how about starting with character transfers, name changes, vent servers (hey, they're huge help in RvR), time to play vs gold selling, 18 year olds with no job vs someone who works 80 hours, etc., etc.,!
Character transfers and name are a convenience so you don't have to relevel the exact same character again. They don't fundamentally alter your play ability. Vent servers are out of the control of the company, and furthermore there is nothing you can do with vent that you cannot already do in the game, it's just easier. It's the same as any combat convenience mod. Gold selling is unfairness and is the same type of issue as offering a head start.
Don't complain about a service you have gotten use out of unless the service rendered wasn't what was paid for. If you don't agree with a service, then don't use it.
The point is that we don't want the service to be offered, but it would be silly not to accept it. If someone offers to let you buy monopoly money for real money then that degrades the game of monopoly, but one would be stupid to try to win at monopoly and not take advantage of that.
Edited to avoid the wrath of raven gods. Edited, Sep 10th 2008 6:57pm by Allegory