Sounds like an interesting idea. I don't see any major problems with it. You might argue that training up something (eg. swords) needs you to actually use a sword (rather than a mace, say). OTOH you might say that experience in general means you are becoming better at everything.
Well, I suppose one idea would be to implement roadblocks of some sort - every few skill levels, to increase the skill of that item further, you'd have to go through a training session - a tutorial of sorts on the best way to use that skill, then a test (maybe "go and kill 5 vampires using only a sword (no magic, fire-breathing, summoning, etc)").
Your idea of Valour points sounds similar to Honor points that you get (for doing pvp) in World of Warcraft. Again, that sounds reasonable. You might have negative Valour if you kill a friend, which should discourage people from doing that.
Good idea. I didn't know it's used in WoW though, I don't play it. Also, players who repeatedly kill their friends/city/house members (maybe they don't care about Valour?) could be reported to their city's court system, who could then deal a fitting punishment?
Your idea of converting gold to/from experience is also interesting. A conceivable problem is that everyone will just become traders, and work their way up to high levels without actually fighting anything. Coupled with the idea of allowing them to learn (say, swordsmanship) without actually picking up a sword, might lead to ridiculous situations where someone has very high sword skills, but has never left a major city, and never used a sword.
Yes, indeed. However, adding in the roadblocks as stated above would stop everyone being traders only. Of course, there would be all sorts of ways to get experience - mob-killing and money-changing are just two of them - questing for one, maybe organized battlefields too? 10 players vs 10 players, each team has to complete some goal before the other team, each team can attack the other? Valour and experience could both come as a reward for winning.
Also, who would they trade with if everyone was a trader? No-one would ever use anything, meaning that the game is rather pointless - what's the point of a game where you trade all day long? Anyway, they'd all end up playing at some point, after all, that's what they were trading for in the first place.
Perhaps a variant would be to allow players to hire mercenaries, so they are putting their gold to good use, but still have to go out and find the mobs and kill them.
Erm...I don't quite get you here. The mercenaries would help them fight? Would the mercenaries be NPCs or other players?
Anyway, I rather dislike this idea, as players would end up hiring 100-200 mercenaries (paid for by RL money) and letting them do all the work. That would give a really significant disadvantage to the non-PayPal players (no good having a free game if you have to pay $500/month to get anywhere). I'd like it to be possible for a non-PayPal player to defeat a PayPal Player, albeit with some difficulty. Of course, this is the difficulty with all free-but-paid-for games, and probably deserves it's own thread.
Thanks for replying!
P.S.: Oh, and sorry for making a new account, but I lost my password into the depths of Mailinator for the last one.