Different games call it different things. But whether you call it “Soulbound” “bio-linked” or “no-trade”, it all means the same thing: you can’t give away or sell an item once you have it. Developers put in no-trade items so that you’re forced to beat a boss to get a great piece of loot or forced to actually earn your own armor for your character. You can’t just have a friend give you a set of all the top-tier items and tell you that you beat the game.
This is the case with the epic jewelry rewards for the “Heroic” instances in Star Wars Galaxies. But tomorrow’s patch for Star Wars Galaxies will remove the no-trade tag from all new heroic jewelry.
The goal it seems is to remove the no-trade tag from the game entirely. Auctions for full sets of all the end-game rewards will run a player about 50 million credits. All the best armor in the game, the best rewards for instances, and one of the best weapons can be purchased for real life dollars. Some players buy SWG virtual trading cards which are commonly traded for in-game credits and some send the cash to Chinese credit farmers directly.
The effect of making end-game trade-able is to remove the last bit of theme-park elements from the mess that is Star Wars Galaxies. While some took the change well, my friends referred to this newest patch as the “New NGE”
Buying jewelry makes sense, but that epic jewelry isn’t really just jewelry… it’s a set of stats and skill modifiers related to your class as a reward for completing all the content the game has to offer. If end game items are trade-able, then character advancement is trade-able. Put away that lightsaber, it’s time to swipe your credit card instead.