Might give you a clue that they have more funding than Reverie or 505. More funding equals more hype.
Though I don't know it to be the actual case, if TWN did use the strategy you mentioned to keep their forums alive, I would be less inclined to participate in their community. Less action on the forums, so you stir the pot with keys? How about stirring the pot with development ideas, in game/out of game events, you know, some ACTUAL CONTENT.
Having your community blow up to several tens of thousand or even hundreds of thousands of users is great, assuming your product is already polished, or very nearly spot on. Oh, and that your customer and technical support can handle that kind of load. And don't forget about them hamsters. Someone has to feed them too! It doesn't help to bring a ton of people in to see that your game is still in need of a few more months of work, your servers are outdated, or that it takes 3 weeks to get a CS ticket response. Most won't be sympathetic and will sign it off as "sub-par crap" and never come back again. Fyi, I played in the Rift beta, and 95% of things worked, and I even managed to get a response to a ticket that I submitted. During a beta! You're also talking about somewhere in the range of 5-10 times the amount of content in Rift as there is in DoF, another indicator of financial and support capability.
I'm not sure I even get this...why would I want a key that only gives me a chance
of participating? Again, this sounds gimmicky.
When did the education system ditch the book, The Tortoise and the Hare? Please read it.
Really? I think I just threw up a little. Please become a sleazy car salesman.
Sadly, though your post came off very authoritative, you probably don't have any professional experience in the game industry.
Build a game for people to play, and the money will come. Build a game for money, and the players will leave.