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Trading! or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bazaar!


Oh man, I’m mad I didn’t find this game earlier, just so I could have taken part in this conversation earlier.

GGG massively failed at developing a trade system that was reasonable. It would be okay in a LAN of 4 people together (since that’s how they designed it, to be a game that would fit in in 2001, but not 2019), but it massively fails in every way imaginable at scale. The Trade Manifesto Chris wrote is more of a mockery and a misunderstanding of his players than it is a well-researched explanation of how game markets work.

Please don’t copy their dumpster fire of a system in any way.

Even games from the early 2000s have decent and enjoyable trade systems. I personally enjoy how it’s done in Ragnarok Online (even though it relies on a 3rd party indexer to find items, and even then it can’t handle selling items of over 1 billion zenny–it’s a miracle the game is still alive after so long, much less the economy is still running). I think a fair bit of innovation has to come into play.

On the topic of Legendaries, I think there’s 3 other options: Smart Drops, so only legendaries for your class will drop for you (so you don’t find a Void Knight-focused sword if you’re a Lich); Another is making Legendaries only tradable for other Legendaries, so you can’t RMT to enter the upper echelons of the game instantly; The final I thought about was making Legendaries shatterable to create high-end tradable crafting components. I like upgrading or modifying Legendaries as an idea, we see PoE doing that now with Veiled Mods (except it’s still boring grind-forever RNG gating there).

Cygnus, I think you have the best idea overall. I haven’t seen that done before, or even attempted. It would take a bit of time, and a decent size training data set so your AI could give mods a base value, but I think you could make one hell of a trading AI, especially if you trained it to always win–the bank always wins. It could even act as a 3rd-party in the trade experience, and keep track of how much money it has, and if it gets low, its offers start to dip in response, so it can learn from the negative traits that led it to lose money, and regulate the number of less-desirable items on the market.

Whatever is implemented, just please don’t make it like PoE. I’ve noticed most of the people who posted here that mentioned PoE are SSF, and I don’t think that’s a coincidence (SSF Vegan Crossfitter BTW)


I am sure you know what makes a successful ARPG trade system than the founder and CEO of the de facto king of the hills currently.


Im certainly not going to take sides, but i personally dislike the trade system in POE, and I also think that it could be something that either makes LE stand out, or makes it a POE clone.


I think it is important for people who dislike the POE trade system to explain why they dislike it. Because if the reason is that it’s a pain in the ass to trade (and believe me, I’m in this group) then Chris has achieved EXACTLY what he was shooting for. Trade is not meant to be easy and smooth in POE.


Hahaha, fair enough!

Your hit the nail on the head. Trade is difficult to organise, requires currency which itself has fluctuating value (100 chaos at the start of the league vs the end) and drops randomly (getting exalt from act 1 lol).
It almost encourages RMT and, as far as i can tell, GGG simply gave everyone a trade button and said “lets just let it do its thing”. It did do its thing, and markets do tend to be self regulating (until they arent), but it feels like an after-thought to a game that never intended to have trading.


And I suppose this is where we have to agree to disagree.

Instead of an afterthought, I think GGG has put very deep and serious thoughts into this which is why they have not buckled all these years.

My issue with folks who complains about the GGG trade system (no offence) is that my reading of their complaint is exactly what I thought. But they do not realise why it is so important for trade in POE to be inconvenient and I’m still not convinced that suggestions brought up would make for a superior trade experience that also promotes a healthy player economy, that balances both playing the game and trading.


Just because PoE is big, doesn’t mean it does everything perfectly. If it did, no one would be here.
I don’t think you were around during the desync days, because if you were, you’d remember the desync manifesto he wrote, where he explained that rubberbanding was good. The game was, nevermind the memes, literally unplayable. /oos was the most popular macro in the game, and HC numbers dwindled to nothing. It wasn’t until he relented on his decision and listened to his playerbase, and they added lockstep, that they found boatloads of massive bugs in their predictive code and improved it. The game got better for listening to his players.
Reasons why I hate PoE trade:

  1. It’s massively outdated, and took no thought at all to design. Originally, there was no trade, and honestly Chris didn’t want to implement it. Go look at the old forums and you’ll see how we used to trade–you had to post your items on the forums, find a set time, and meet up to trade. It was a nightmare, and games from the 90s did it better. The only reason it got better (if you call poexyz/poetrade/etc better) is because of the one time Chris relented and listened to his players… go make a few forum trades, then go use Acquisition, then go use poetrade, and see how things get better when player’s voices are heard.
  2. It’s inefficient. It’s kind of a trope that “Trade must be hard,” but it really doesn’t. Whether trade is slow or fast will has little to no effect on the top players–they will be putting more time into the game overall and will benefit the most. Casual 20-hour a week players will be massively impacted however, as they might spend half their time trading, and that much less time actually playing the game. There’s been no good argument that explains why trade must be bad or difficult. Complexity disincentivizes trading.
  3. It’s subject to massive manipulation. There is no impetus for a seller to actually sell an item. You can list an item for a ridiculous price (low or high) and no one can stop you. I can list a Headhunter for 10ex lower than its current price and cause its value to tank overnight. You can buy a few of an item and raise their base price to raise its value. People who spend all their time trading benefit the most from trade in this system, since they will only make more and more money. Trading should be a supplementary system to the game, it should not be THE game.
    In most games, I enjoy building up my mercantile skills, and doing my best to dominate a market. I spent an entire year building up the best Weaponsmith I could create in SWG, and I made custom high-end weapons. If I had to spend all my time physically interacting with people to sell my items, I would have gone bankrupt in a week–it allowed me to focus my time on crafting the highest quality items in the game, and doing what I loved.

  1. POE isn’t perfect. But I think fostering community/public multiplayer is a bigger problem than trade.

  2. I have been on POE longer than most :slight_smile:

  3. You clearly misunderstood Chris in the manifesto. He meant more frequent micro corrections of desync (more small rubber banding) is better than the state back then when corrections were less frequent but extreme when the correction took place (less but large rubber banding).

  4. Trade can plausibly be improved. But the suggestions offered by most are imo more likely to make things worse - not necessarily that the trading experience is worse. But you end up with a stronger trading metagame.

  5. Which brings to the point about trade efficiency. Most are asking for greater trade efficiency thinking that would allow players to focus on the game instead of the trade. But they don’t realise that what’s more likely to happen is that people end up trading more than playing the game when trading becomes a better experience and an easier avenue to upgrade rather than playing the game.

  6. An efficient trade system than requires less human intervention is going to be subjected to MORE trade manipulation because scripts and bots are better suited to scalp such markets.

I know where you are coming from when you say you want to focus on what you love (playing the game) instead of trading. But I’m suggesting you might want to be careful about what you’re wishing for.


I am very careful for what I wish for. Many of the arguments in the “trade has to suck” camp are fundamentally rooted on the idea that trade is a constant, that you will always be trading… but it’s really not. Unless you find enjoyment in trading (which isn’t a bad thing), odds are you will only participate in buying items as long as you need something… but even in ARPGs, there’s a ceiling, you will hit the optimal state for your build, and unless something new comes out, you’ll be done.

More efficiency isn’t a bad thing, a bad thing would be recklessly implementing a system with vulnerabilities that you know are there and doing nothing about it :slight_smile: As it is, a vast majority of the currency market is run by bots… and players are okay with it because the bots are more efficient than interacting with players, who may or may not respond, may try and rip you off, may yell at you for literally no reason, etc. They know they are there and do nothing about it, which kind of shows you the unofficial viewpoint on bots.
I, unlike many other ARPG players, have actually played more than one or two games, and I’ve seen it done well. I don’t spend all my time trading endlessly, I spend my time having fun–it feels almost like it’s a stopgap introduced into the game to fill out the holes for when people realize that there really isn’t much content to the game.
The suggestions may make things worse, or they may make them better. You don’t know that.
I didn’t misunderstand Chris at all, he was still wrong.
How much longer than most? Do you want to measure and see who wins? :wink:
Does an ARPG even need a community? Trade isn’t the way to foster community, since it is a fundamentally adversarial system–it’s a competition, and building friendships with people you are fighting against isn’t normally how that works. Community should be built through forums, reddit, guilds, parties, discord, etc… like it is everywhere else.

I like the design they are aiming for here, it makes every trade impactful.

I think Cygnus’ idea has the most potential… it could easily be a scholarly article in the future.


Final replies here because I sense we are reaching a point where we basically have to agree to disagree.

  1. We describe as if trade was a constant because the belief is that many players would choose to do the things that get them the most returns even if it’s not fun. That’s the worry about an efficient trade system, that someone may feel complied to play the auction house than the game. From your reply I know ure not that type of player. But I posit that players like you are the exception rather than the norm.

  2. I agree for many things we won’t know until we try it. If you check my post history here you would know that I’m not a fan of auction houses/bazaar but I’ve also made it clear I’m willing to see the team implement their vision and try it before commenting further.

  3. Simply insisting Chris is wrong doesn’t lend the impression that you’re open to other’s idea. Why is he wrong? (But never mind. No need for us to delve further into this).

  4. My point wasn’t to compare. But if like you can check me out on Poe forums. Same handler. Just saying that I’ve experienced everything you described in your original reply to me (because you thought I must have started more recently).

  5. When I said community/public multiplayer I literally meant that POE is more of a solo game than anything based on its league/challenges design. I didn’t mean to conflate it with trade. I agree the player interactions is better experienced through parties and/or guilds. I’m not an advocate for player interactions through trade.

  6. @Cygnus bazaar idea is novel and interesting. But I’m not optismtic that the team could come up with an implementation that would execute well. But like I said, whatever the team wish to try, I’ll experience it, and feedback again.


I think you’re right in terms of my idea. I think it would be kinda groundbreaking for an online game, but it would take ALOT of work and testing and tweaking to get it to work, and these lovely folk already have a busy schedule.


It is safe to say in the context of all the economy/trade handling ideas, Cygnus’s idea significantly stands out to be fresh, unique yet to be handled with care to the max to get the best of it imho. It indeed requires very tight tweaking and to be well-thought and fleshed out to get the benefits right on the startup and rooted. However, if EHG can ever pull this idea off among many others, undoubtedly the outcome shall be big enough to pay off way-way worthy of having it that the title may live up to its name alone for that matter, for years to come.

I hope devs wouldn’t steer away from this nonconventional approach by comprehending that as a risk and instead as an innovative move to turn the potential into opportunity in this competitive field.