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Looks like there are misconceptions about IRE games.
1. All IRE games ARE "pay to win" games. Don't let to fool yourself by "you don't need to pay" whiteknights, they lie in your face. Yes, you can't just create a character and start pwn people if you are new to IRE combat, but that's it. In a month or two you will learn the ropes and your PvP proficiency will be defined solely by amount of real money spent on character. Expect 300-400$ for barely playable character and thousands for one of the best. Or you can start grinding and achieve the same in your sixties.
2. IRE games require grinding of korean scale. While in most muds grinding is part of character development (you level and gain skills), IRE games have grinding mostly to annoy you (you have to buy skills with real money anyway). Basically, if you played korean MMO like Lineage, you will find many similarities.
3. IRE games are all about scripting. And that's actually good. Requirement of scripting is a cool feature and makes a great minigame intertwined with other game mechanics.
4. Player run organizations are made quite poorly in IRE games. They are mostly pointless, as a member of leadership you can write useless help files (nobody reads them anyway), induct and ban people and that's it basically. The game world is completely static and you can't make any difference at all (besides some admin-run events). On the other hand all disadvantages of player run orgs were carefully kept. You have to put up with retarded people and cliques in leadership, you risk with your skills (bought with real money) and so on.