Putting on my game designer hat for a minute, one common observation is that real-$ sales of Zen might be too low for management's taste. Here's a proposal to help eliminate that : make VIP real $ only, and drop the Zen <-> AD exchange (ZAX). Here's how I'd do it, and in this order:
1) Duplicate almost all Zen store items (except VIP, keys, module-completion purchases, items like the 'Hero of the North Pack' and maybe also companion slots) to the Wondrous Bazaar (WB)'s list. Add a slight markup, e.g. a 2000 Zen item would be on the WB at 1.2mil AD, rather than 1,000,000 at a 500:1. Alternatively to an AD markup, sweeten the deal so that real-$ Zen purchases of mounts/companions are account wide pickup -- like mounts already are -- and WB-mounts/companions are per-toon only. And, add a Zen store item (for real-$ only) to buy AD at a fixed cost, 500:1.
2) Make Manycoins bank accept/withdraw AD for safekeeping, just like MC already does with game-gold. (And I'd pay real-$ Zen for the ability to deposit/withdraw other campaign currencies at Manycoins, too). This would make transferring AD between accounts much simpler than the ZAX method of putting in a lowball offer, canceling and withdrawing.
3) If, and only if, the above two are done, then simply close the ZAX. After step 1, the general items once available via AD->Zen (for the F2P crowd) are still completely available. All the big ticket items like VIP require real $. And, after step 2, the ZAX's same-account transfer functions would be preserved, and the AD backlog would be gone. But, as above, this has to be done LAST.
Doing these three steps would ensure Cryptic gets real $ for big purchases -- including VIP -- and allows people to buy AD when a big weekend comes around. The F2P crowd could use their AD to fund most, but not all, items. Those that invest $ would get them sooner, faster, and hopefully better. The AD people earn would apply to in-game items.
Thanks for reading.