I made my first account on Fantage on February 21, 2009. It was really fun back then; cute items, cute avatars, cute pets, cute everything. There weren't E-coins or Gold, just Premium Membership. I liked it better like that. Though there was still a distinction between Premium Members and non-members, you could still get some cute items as a non-member. Premium Members definitely got benefits, but the amount they got was fair, in my opinion. Most importantly, the users were decent kids. I don't recall ever seeing someone want a "whun/one". There were proms, sure, and "PDs" (prom dates), but somehow those don't seem as bad.
And then came E-coins.
E-coins were pointless. Still are, in my opinion. Yes, you get to keep items forever (because for reasons I still can't fathom, once your membership ends, you can't wear your Premium Member items unless you renew your subscription), but you still have to pay for the bloody currency. With real money. And membership didn't go away either, mind you. I just accepted the situation and silently judged everyone from a distance.
Then came Trade 'N' Sell, then Vintage Gold. Trade 'N' Sell was great- us users could FINALLY give our unwanted items to other people! But because of scamming, it had to be closed, and was replaced by Vintage Gold. Everyone hated Vintage Gold. EVERYONE. The prices, mandated by Fantage, were too freaking high (100,000 Stars for one hairstyle? Seriously?), and rare, old items (Beta items!) could now be bought by anyone with enough Stars.
But then MyMall happened, and that probably went past the point of no return.
Because of MyMall, we now have THREE currencies (Stars, E-coins, and Gold). THREE. That's too many. Two would be okay, but three? Why? Premium Members have also been getting more and more benefits during all this, until it's come to the point where you almost have to spend SOME money in order to enjoy your experience with Fantage. Even then, enjoyment is probably a strong word; more like bitter acceptance and deep self-loathing. I've been an off-and-on Premium Member since December 2009, and everyday, I ask myself "Why am I still paying for this?" The kids are appalling, I swear that the fashions get more stripper-iffic by the day, you need Premium Membership and/or Gold (E-coins are slowly becoming more and more redundant) to do anything, and the staff never listens to our complaints. Plus, the higher-ups of Fantage overwork their employees to death.
I stay on the site out of some convoluted sense of duty, but a lot of other people have quit. If you don't already have an account and want to join now, my advice to you is to steer clear, or go with either the Safe Chat or No Chat options. Save yourself the mental trauma in some way, PLEASE.