Originally Posted by Freyalise
Pretty sure they always were?
there were games that didn't even have a cash shop
and if it did, the cash items did not provide a huge advantage
* gunbound - free to download and play, alot of items can be bought with ingame currency and there's avatar-off zones
* starcraft - you pay once for the game and never have to pay again.
* stepmania online - free to download and play, the server owner does not require you to pay money, just asks for donations
but those are non-mmorpgs
maple back in the day had no cash shop
and when it did, it was fashion only
pets did not provide THAT big of an advantage
and exp cards did not come out til years after the game was released