It is to limit Gold Spammers. Albeit it isn't doing much good, but that is the reason, and it is a valid one.
I don't see it as a problem with gold spammer, just make gold spamming by a buddy key account, ban the original account as well. If people are giving keys to people they do not know, thats already a problem.
5 days is a little short. My daughter tried it, was very frustrated by the space controls, she had never played a game like it, and by the time she started to get the hang of it, it was bed time Sunday. so her buddy key expired before she really got much beyond SB01. But it did let her check out the game, but not enough for her to commit to buying it. She will check back in summer when she has more play time.
If it is to limit gold spammers it is not working.
I haven't had a gold spammer whisper me in about 2 weeks now and only 4 pieces of mail in that time. Trust me. It''s better than a lot of MMOs out there (try playing **** and you'll see the difference).
This is the earliest I've ever seen a game have trial accounts. YMMV. Those who bought the collector's edition have 3 trial accounts they can share as well.
I've played a couple MMORPG were a couple buddy keys were included with the normal game box. Usually they were 15 day keys.
The need to put some restrictions on trial accounts before open trials.
- One character
- Limit to credits (10K would be enough
- Limit to level (I'd say not, but cannot get promoted so no tier 2+ ships, would for ever be ensigns, but could be ensign 45)
- No Initiating Trades (can trade if other player initiates)
- No inviting in to group (can be invited to a group)
- Trial really needs to be 10 days (tyically friday to following monday to get 2 weekends in)
I would think you'd want us to be able to give out as many buddy keys as we can to get people to try your game.
Collectors edition came with 3 "guest passes". A friend of mine used one and is mad at me for making try this game, doubt I will use the other 2, don't want anyone else mad at me over this crap. /shrug