Ok, such a basic thing makes my mind whirl. So I am going to talk really simply for MY sake, not yours.
Here are my arguments for it, or at least against the standard sub model:
1) No, that 15 dollars a month is not just paying for "access" to the game, nor is it paying for "time in game." You are RMT'ing, right now, if you pay a sub. You paid 50 bucks for a BOX, which is the only thing NOT virtual. RMT is the trade of real money for virtual items.
IF you only paid "for access" (airhead on the Massively comments section) then what does access entail? The avatar? Oh, but you HAVE to have that, right. Ok. How about the avatars newbie stuff (weapons, armor, space ship?) How bout that newbie horse you might get, or that newbie special item for being you know, a newbie?
Just because those items are almost standard within MMO's does not mean that they are a law in MMO's. If anything, this argument of "I ain't RMT'ing, I am paying for timed access..." simply shows how flawed and silly the "standard" model is. After all, I get just "timed access" (there are still limits to limitless amounts in MMO F2P games...after all, servers must shut down and they can do whatever they want with my time) for FREE in a F2P game. You are paying 15 DOLLARS for it. HA!
Anything above (depending, of course, on the game) MOVING is a luxury item. Being that there are no rules at all (unless player created) on how you enjoy something like a video game (Sally enjoys the scenery while walking, Bob enjoys killing dragons) than there are no rules for what has VALUE. Paying real money for something MIGHT create value, but you still do not own that sword, not if you paid for it with your monthly sub OR with a cash shop. You have paid for the USE of that sword, just like the guns at the lazer tag place (that smells like urine.)
You might value that cool sword, but I think it is poop.
So, you, standard sub model, are just a form of RMT'er.
2) "A player with real money has an advantage over me": No, he doesn't. Unless the MMO is crafted ONLY around the premise of "He who has the first cash shop bought item WINS and the game is closed down forever" then there is no such thing as competition in an MMO. After all, even in MMO's that have "rules" such as PvP or "uber gear" are there other activities besides participating in those pursuits. Just because role-play, crafting, or exploring is not as valuable to you, (some of you) does not mean it does not exist as a choice or that it does not have value.
A player buying a sword that you "worked for" (remember we are talking video games here, a recreational activity) does not take away the value of your memories. If you think so, you are so easily swayed that I would like to ask you to send me, blindly, 4 million dollars. Because I need it.
I admit that it is possible, and even very likely, that players will feel de-valued by a cash-shop/RMT type of system in a game. Sure. But those players need to stop worrying about it, simply put. Do you find that most communities in cash-shop (FULL cash shop) games are only filled with players worrying over others players gear? NO and NO. They accept it for what it is: something that other players might be able to afford to do, while they cannot.
3) A player with multiple accounts is somehow OK with the "no cash shop" crowd. Somehow, (this boggles my mind) they do not see that multiple account holder as having a financial advantage over them. They see them as, I don't know, dedicated? Somehow they do not connect that player and his insta-team (tm) with an advantage over themselves, yet see a player that has a cool looking sword that cost 5 bucks as the downfall of their game.
4) The economies will survive. Players with more gold and more items spend more gold and trade more items in game. Just because I can go and buy potions in Mabinogi does not mean that I never buy things from players. Especially because there is not one single MMO out there that uses cash shops and RMT that allows access to the best, most sought after items in the entire game ONLY through the cash shop. Do they offer some GREAT items? Of course. Not without offering choices.
If I bought 100 plat for 100 dollars, that does not mean I will ignore your armor in the AH just because I can buy it in the cash shop? That means, more than likely, that I will succumb to (you guessed it) IMPULSE BUYING. I will shrug off the MORE expensive items (compared to the past, because you got greedy and raised your prices) because I have 100 PLAT! Everyone gets richer. It all balances out.
We are not talking thousands of dollars here. We are talking, on average, what that multi-boxer spends on his additional account. You know, the dedicated guy.
5) Most SOE players do not care about the cash shops/RMT. They were recently dropped into EQ2, and the response has been so good that they have hired additonal staff to work on the shops. That means either they are stupid, or they are making some money. Players are not quitting in droves, and neither will most of you, cash-shop haters.
6) This has to do with the EGO, period. With the value one places on other players reactions to his/her stuff.
Here's the deal, though: the whole idea of "uber items" needs to pass. Uber items, if anything, are a false sense of achievement. After all, there are reasons that players trash those uber items for another, better one. That's because they like the thought of uber-dom, not the item. But the problems start when you give another player that same uber item, and tell the original player that the uber item can be gained in easier ways.The original player has an issue with another player "not earning" his/her item, the same way he did. Instead, the "easier" player earned it with real life money, which takes real life work to get. After all, every player is acting in REAL LIFE to manipulate his character, so how is acting as a employed person any different than acting as someone with 6 hours a night to kill?
I can't wait for this to pass. Cash shops/RMT are/is the future, thankfully. If I am going to paying real life money (sub) for virtual items (every single thing in the game that is not real) then at least I want to control where it goes and for what.
If anything, this might make VG enough cash for more adverts, more staff, whatever they need. Perhaps the communities methods of "Let's talk about the same 5 issues (that have nothing to do with communtiy sites/activities) over and over" is not working.