Or, consider the rules in school or sometimes work that demand "NO FOOD OR DRINKS (OR GUM) IN THIS ROOM!" While our initial impression may involve thinking about how uptight or strict the owners of the building are, remember to realize that because of that rule, we're not limited to sitting in the chairs that were left empty because someone happened to spill their Banana Berry Jamba Juice on the seat and--by some mysterious, silent agreement between everyone else--lack the necessary sanitation.
So, what has KingsIsle done for players that most of us fail to notice right away? And why are we primarily against this "beneficial" action in the first place...there's got to be a catch, right? Right. Improved qualities of life involve that wonderful Death spell we all hope our Necromancer allies have in their decks: sacrifice. In other words, to get something, you've got to give something, regardless of how much control we have over what's in the transaction in the case of Wizard101. Let's look at the lack of a trade function for items between different accounts.
Consider what is distinctly missing from Wizard101 that is annoyingly present in a lot of other MMORPGs, in terms of the game economy. Spam bots. Buy/Trade/Sell spamming. "Shopkeeper" mode (being AFK for hours upon hours, congesting up servers, with rip-off prices on display). Farm bots. Chaotic inflation of prices of items due to the spontaneous reaction of supply and demand in a virtual world. Most of these, if not all, would be present in Wizard101 if given the chance, especially in our era of instant gratification. A lot of people would not take the time to learn the game thoroughly via farming, but would rather purchase their Grand armor to create a false sense of accomplishment. As a result, because these hasty players failed to give any decent farming time, they'll have to rely on a future purchase should they create an alternate that will also don Level 50 gear.
Alright, but I've spent countless months, literally, trying to farm for this super special awesome fizzlestickin' item...and I still can't get it...can I justify for a merchant system now?? Keep in mind how drops work. Everyone has the same chance at a specific loot, but that doesn't mean you will have the same outcome as others. Every time loot is dropped, it is a completely separate event from the last and the next; not getting an item in Farm #1 is not going to increase or decrease your chances for getting that item in Farm #2. That said, players will have different results than one another, and thus rarity of an item will vary from 1:1 odds to 1:1,000,000,000 in terms of perspective. Here's the point: with you in desperate demand for your item, anyone else who has it could fix the prices against your favor. And exactly how much do you think that item should be worth? Remember, because of different witnessed and experienced drop rates, you're going to find yourself in quite a lot of disputes over the item's value.
Speaking of fixed prices, imagine what would happen to KingsIsle's Crown prices. If trading equipment was allowed, then the pool of fully geared Grandmasters would have little incentive to make purchases. That then will lead to a revision of stats on Crown armor to the point of obvious imbalance, which would only lead to seemingly unfair spikes in Crown values. Then we are facing a game that has unattractively become based on who can spend the most to obtain the best gear. We can try to make the argument that the Company, as of today, is already a money monger, but if you step back a bit, you may see the bigger picture here:
Going back to what Wizard101 isn't riddled with, due to the lack of an exchange function, let us say that those game economy cliches do become a part of the game. To keep the integrity and reputation as a family-friendly MMO, the Company would have more expenses to cover than necessary. Wage expense, and hand-in-hand with that: tax expense, would increase as KingsIsle tries to survive as a business AND satisfy our endless demands, by placing some employees on a scam and spam watch. Higher operating expenses (or the costs a business faces when carrying out their mission statement) would mean raised pricing models. Instead of the standard $10/month base subscription fee, we could be facing an average extra $60 annually.
One of the reasons why I enjoy the game is because we don't have that unnecessary distraction of worrying about biting off on the wrong end of the stick in a transaction with another player. Moreover, it's a nice feeling knowing that almost any, if not all, avatar running around in our game is actually played by a human, as opposed to some fancy macro program. The begging and scamming is reduced to, interestingly enough, "Wings for Treasure Cards"; when I first played, it used to be "Mount for Treasure Cards." Heck, just seeing the way other players behave when it comes to trading items that we can obtain for free, craft, and buy with Gold or Crowns, my wish for Wizard101 parallels that of Jester's from Wizard101Central:
... When items are trade able and have a real dollar value, scams are RAMPANT. Cheating, (like I did) becomes the norm. Over powered characters (like mine) dominate(d) the game. People are out for blood. Because items have such value and are trade able, people found ways to hack the items and trade those UBER hacked items for untold amounts of money. Some people made millions.
It was/is a hostile environment for kids.
Personally, I hope Wizard101 stays the innocent game it is now. Once items become trade able, the game loses it's innocence and becomes a hostile place. I *think* the developers know this, as they are no strangers to MMOs.
Regardless if KingsIsle did consider the consequences thoroughly of allowing players to trade equipment or if they simply just left the system alone out of a fluke, it's unavoidable to say that they've done a great job thus far.
Though, this topic is truly volatile, and I welcome any arguments that support the side of why trading should be incorporated into the game. I admit it would be nice to have another source of income and save time on revisiting Briskbreeze for the rings, but I can't rid that cliche: be careful what you wish for.
Thanks again for your time!