To prevent inflation items should be given a life time with a rapair pool.
Yuck. Some kind of time tick down is just cruel. If you are referring to the usual sort of wear/break stuff that's reasonable. I like the way DDO (D&D mmo) did it, with items being worn down by use and eventually breaking if they aren't repaired. They also had a chance of permanent damage being done if repairs were made after a damage threshold was crossed. Obviously a snapped sword that's repaired would never be quite the same as a brand new one. -- If you wanted you could implement environmental effects on them so that a sword used (i.e. in combat) in the rain would get wet and have a small chance of getting rusty (i.e. it either dries off okay or gains the 'rusty' attribute and slowly rusts away until repaired). It could be as simple as oiling/drying it and/or using an oiled sheath, but that might just make it people do the dull/repetitive/tedious typing rather than just going and having it repaired. You might also make it so you have climate data and a sword used in a cold environment might have a chance of simply snapping while in use b/c the cold weather made it brittle. -- Of course, better quality/rarer gear should either not be affected or be less affected because it would really suck if your nice, shiny, fancy sword was just as breakable as a piece of junk.