<sigh> I'm boored so I'll post on this thread for funsies.... after all, so many of you seem to be quite exited.
A few remarks:
Diablo does not equal SWG in any way.
The buying and selling of accounts and items in MMO's has been going on since their inception. (including MUDS)
As long as the identity barrier extends no farther than your IP addy there will never be any foolproof method for the industry to counteract the selling or trading of accounts. [The first one to figure out a different way will benefit by selling the license to the next developer who, then, figures out how to USE it effectively ]
Complete enforcement of the Almighty EULA is very expensive and has little return. Companies will only respond to gross violations of the EULA, highly publicized violations or violations in which they have direct knowledge or irrefutable evidence. In short, they will not waste energy on heavy investigations of single instance infringements. They WILL react quickly in the presence of obvious fault or danger to the game's reputation. On some occastions, they will take up the banner in a flurry of activity in order to discourage future violators. They probably have that tactic on a calendar somewhere:
'August 20, 2003 -To Do List- 1) Perma Ban 3 EULA violators on each server... have a coke and cheesecake..stamp out insurrection! ALL BOW TO THE EULA!'
K, here's the real deal.
1) Vet MMORPG'ers have dealt with this from the beginning. The idiot that is ebaying will probably get traced down somewhere and PermaBanned because of the small amount of publicity shown in this thread. That is a good thing in my opinion. I can't stand ebayed characters to begin with. But there will be 100 other shmoes out there who don't get caught and make a few dollars. <shrugs>
2) SOE will do all it can to enforce the EULA to a point. After that, it takes way too much captial in time and effort for them to police the system. It simply can't be done effectively. They will do their best to enforce direct infringements to the EULA that effect our quality of play, the stability of the servers and architecture, the game system itself and the exploitation of bugs/hacks. They have their hands full with just doing all those things so that 'we' the player-base 'rock the boat' as little as possible. Every time someone mentions 'ebaying' they cringe. Give them a break.
3) Diablo was killed by dupes and hacks. EVERY MMO DEVELOPER IS AWARE OF THE SIGNIFICANCE OF DUPES AND HACKS IN THEIR GAME BECAUSE OF THIS. They will ruthlessly root out these problems and squash them like little itty bitty bugs... 'nough said.
4) Ebayed items and characters that manage to slip past the Watchers of the EULA (evil Darth Vader music here..) will not have much, if any, effect on your personal game play. The only effect will be your jealousy of another player who, stupidly, spent $150.00 on some half-baked rifle. Big deal, play your own game and let them play theirs. Take my word for it, it will not affect any changes worth mentioning in your game experience. Suck it up, stop whining and learn to play more effectively. You will far surpass the best ebayed character in the end.
I can understand the excitement shown by some posters in this thread if you have never played in an MMORPG. Believe me, vets also shared this concern when this first became evident. Later, we grew to understant that it really had little effect on the way current MMO's are handled. For the most part, any ebaying will be transparent to you. It doesn't mean it is right, but there is only so much that can be done about it.
... never bought an item, never bought a character, never used ONE hack ... hmm.. but my sniper did /sneak through about 50 HI-RED difficulty missions in AO before they nerfed him ..well, I did dupe cash for fun in Diablo, but only with one character... uh, I reset some variables in Wing Commander just for fun once.. uh, errm.. OK OK! I have sinned! Forgive me!!!....