I wasn't here for Loot 1.0 so I can only read about what it was like. Correct me if I'm wrong, but weren't all the actual uber players profiting so much from this system that they had to introduce Loot 2.0 in the first place? I just hear of the ubers stacking as much crit/crit damage as they can while running IMK2s with EST armor + Mod faps and ending up with positive TT returns.
I want to try to give a very complete answer to this because I think it's important:
When I joined in late 06, I was very active, into 2007, right up until 2008. There was no Iron missions or Codex, no Skill boosts, no buffs, no strongboxes. Skilling as a hunter was a hard grind, really hard. It was a lot of work figuring out what guns to use, they kept switching names as you progressed, I remember going from Breer to the Korss series
, then to GeoTrek, etc... There was a lot of math involved with every single decision we had to make.
In late 2007, I found a spot I liked and just grinded down Atrax, over and over and over, for hours and hours everyday, for weeks. I don't think I ever had a run that was profitable. I was depositing about $1,000/week. I was buying other things too with the money but the hunting part was pure loss; paying for the skills. The money I spent was now "trapped" in the skills I had acquired, which was not that much, didn't even make it to level 20 but not really sure exactly what I got up to at the time. At the end of that experiment, I invested what little ped I had left into a bunch of Apartments, which were really abundant and cheap on the auction at the time (~350 ped each).
I'd like to have you take a look at this thread
, from back then. That thread embodies the soul and spirit of that period for me. The replies and comments in the thread are most often just as enlightening as the updates from itree himself. It really wasn't that simple to skill up in Loot 1.0, it was a hard grind and most people experienced losses, even he could barely make a profit at the end, as careful and dedicated to the numbers as he was. And look at the minuscule progress he made despite all that effort, it is a completely diiferent paradigm then today's EU.
I came back in 2011 to buy some CLDs. I hunted a bit but nothing serious. Went back in hibernation mode. Wasn't until late 2015 till I started getting curious about what was going on in Entropia again. I think that's when I saw some folks on Twitch kiting Prots in Earth Shock Trooper using the trick that messi describes in his "story" thread. That's probably when MA took notice and got to work on a different loot system, aka Loot 2.0
So the Loot 1.0 system, did work as intended for a while; if you were studious, patient (not seeking shortcuts), and consistent at it, you could basicly move forward at very little to no cost, but it took YEARS to get anywhere. But don't kid yourself, itree's account is isolated; most people still lost money hunting.
The period that everybody likes to talk about with the EST exploit, that was kind of short lived in comparisson to the whole thing. So when I say high-level players "deserved" to have a head start on their Looter professions, I was referring to the big picture, not just looking at the 2 or so years of EST exploiting.
I hope I did a good job of putting some perspective on things.