Just read this post , it is about the obscure MMO (Uncharted Waters Online) . It has some deep insights onto game dynamics, rarely exposed , particularly for an obscure asian f2p game. What lead me to read is was the mention of UWO as "EvE on the sea" and some think it was superior to potbs .But what matters is not the game , but excellent insights in some consequences extreme optimization and min maxing can lead to if the game is not consciously designed in order to avoid.
The solution to those kind of things are imho simple - let the economy be real. No buying npcs, no npc driven gains or loot drops out of thin air. Don't put artificial systems where the real one would do better. Stable systems are self balancing, they reach equilibrium, unless there is some out of whack mechanics "designed" in. Like all those oodles of money made from NPCs and sunk into equally odious moneysinks !
Among other issues exposed are severe population imbalance, vulnerability to botting and gold sellers in f2p, . Imho everyone thinking about design should ask himself what mechanism I have in place to prevent such things?