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The Daily Grind: Should newbie rewards match veteran rewards?

Eliot Lefebvre

Star Trek Online fans got a little testy when it looked like new players would get the game for less with twice the free time. And you can't exactly blame them -- after all, it's hard enough being an early adopter for a new MMO, and you expect to suffer through a few bugs with the knowledge that you're in on the ground floor. MMOcrunch went so far as to call it a pre-order penalty, arguing that for every reward that new players get, veteran players should get something in exchange.

It's a nice philosophy, and one that games like City of Heroes have adopted in earnest with a reward program for veterans, plus new bundle packs of the game for new players. On the other hand, World of Warcraft offers nothing much to veteran players while the cover price of the game keeps going down, and that hasn't particularly impacted its sales. What do you think? Should there be an even distribution of rewards for the newcomers and the old standbys? Or is it more important to entice new players, and the old players should enjoy the extra time they've spent in the game thus far?

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