One thing I have learned in 15 years of wasting away the hours in assorted MMOs is that it’s nearly impossible to predict the depths that players will sink to if you let them.
For example, EQ is having its Big Anniversary Event right now, and one of the selling points is that it includes a set of missions that players who attended last year’s Fan Faire designed.
One of them involves putting together a bouquet of flowers, which means that you need to run around to a bunch of zones where flowers can be harvested, or bought, bundle then up and give them to an NPC. It’s fun and a little sweet – I mean, how often do you give an NPC anything other than a sword in the gut?
Except, well, someone realized that one flower in particular is sold by a merchant who can be killed. This is very unusual for EQ – most merchants and quest NPCs are flagged as unattackable. The dev who implemented the quest just happened to use a very old merchant who hadn’t been updated with the immunity coding.
So… The player who put 2 and 2 together bought a bunch of these flowers, put them up on EQ’s bazaar (think auction house) at 1500x the original price and has been keeping the merchant killed ever since.
Eventually this will get fixed, of course, and it’s really only hurting the impatient, but it really does go to show you the extremes a very specific sort of player will go to in order to make a virtual buck.