More details on Kendricke’s blog.
My thoughts? I’ll be brief. I don’t think this is appropriate for a subscription MMO. If SOE were to take EQ or EQ2 free to play? Sure. But item shops in a subscription-only MMO are… well… they cause Internet explosions. And if I were an EQ player, I’d be pretty horked, too. Especially since EQ is all about PvE progression, which from my brief reading appears to be for sale to the highest bidder now (well, XP-wise anyway – do the XP potions work for earning AA points?).
But they’re not the first, they won’t be the last. Item shops work. Item shops will, I suspect, do very well in Freerealms, SOE’s promising new free-to-play MMO. But retrofitting them to older MMOs? That’s the kicker. It will be interesting to see if the community adopts this or revolts.
(links ganked from Moorgard, because I suspect he came up first in my GoogleReader.)