The following is a perennial complaint that I have had with these kinds of games since the beginning of time; Here I am, going around killing monsters, rescuing people and finding desperately needed stuff. I keep running into fellow government employees, who need my services, who will not teach me important skills unless I massively overpay them. Their excuse? "I have expenses". F*** that. At the very least you need a better story, or a sub-plot dealing with the massive corruption within the system. Just saying.
(I have added *'s to swear words to maintain my blog's family qualities. Show it to your kids!)
Now, this was a friend, not a beta tester. If it was one of my friendly, volunteer beta testers who was bitching me out, I would have come up with a very calm, polite, non-profane response. Since this was a friend, I felt no such limitations. I thought the answer was simultaneously amusing and enlightening enough to be included here.
This is awesome! Of all the things that are completely unrealistic in the system (Like that you can't climb a ten foot wall, or that you can use MAGIC), you get angry at the one thing that basically corresponds to how things work in the Actual World.
For example, suppose you work in some government agency. Say the Department of the Interior. And you need to mail out a thousand letters for some reason or another. So you put them all in a big box and you take them to the post office and are, like, "Please mail these." And the guy behind the counter will say, "You have to buy stamps." And you'll say, "But we both work for the government! It's all the same money! So help me out!" And he'll be, like, "You have a budget. And we have a budget. You can't use our resources without sharing your resources. So f*** you! Pay me!"
Or, more to the point, look back at your military history. When our big, fat, rich country goes to war, in the chaos of the thing it's inevitable that some soldiers get too much of one thing and others don't get near enough. Thus, bartering occurs. (To see a lot of this, I highly recommend Generation Kill by Evan Wright.) Say you're a marine and your night vision goggles ain't working because you never got batteries. And you see someone from the next battalion over carrying a crate of the batteries. And you're, like, "Hey! I need batteries! Give me a few of yours!" And he's, like, "Cool! Our machines guns don't work because we don't have enough grease. Give me a can of grease." And you're, like, "But we're both fighting together! On the same side! Semper fi! Ooo-Rah!" And he'll be, like, "Yeah. Ooo-Rah. F*** you! Pay me!"
Or you're a guy in a fantasy world, and you see some archer training her troops, and you're, like, "I see you're all busy and stuff, and you don't know me from a hole in the ground, and you have work you need to be doing and defenses that need shoring up and maybe you want to sleep sometimes, but you should drop everything now in order to give Bow and Arrow Lessons 101 to my sorry ass. OK?" I'm sure you can see where this is going.
"F*** you! Pay me!"
I hope that this brings some clarity to this perplexing issue.
Also, game balance, need to give you something to do with money, blah, blah, blah. This is my main justification, and I'm sticking with it.