Trade Manifesto

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NemoJr wrote:
After being frustrated with the trade system more than a few times and going through this manifesto more than a few times, there are a few things I need to get off my chest. No offense intended.

First, the elephant in the room: Diablo 3.

When taken as a whole, this manifesto could be summarized as: "We saw the problems the Auction House caused in Diablo 3, so we're trying to avoid similar issues by making trading in PoE possible, but only just."

Diablo 3 had a bunch of problems, and excluding the Real-Money AH, almost none of them were caused by the AH. The AH merely acted as a "clusterfuck multiplier"; I'll try to explain this somewhere below.

Now the specific points:

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Items Matter. Trade is Important.
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Trade in Path of Exile

In these sections, you talk about the importance of acquiring, keeping, and proving ownership of certain items in ARPGs. And then, you somehow turn it into an argument about how trading is important. Whether you look at it from a "bragging rights" or "sense of accomplishment" perspective, it just doesn't make sense. There's a reason why SSF exists, isn't there?

There's no "glory" in an item you outright bought from someone else, only practicality. The current system is impractical. Simple as that.

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Easy trade reduces the number of times a character improves their items.

If you mean endgame progression, people already do that. Because of how hard it is to get the exact sockets, links, and affixes you want, on the specific class and type of item you want, players just make some money, buy / craft the exact items they want, and then go back to making more money to buy the last few BiS items they need, hopefully before the league is over. Once you get a 6L chest with decent affixes, you're practically married to it.

If you mean early/mid-game progression, easy trading doesn't cause fewer upgrades, socket pressure does. Newer players will either stick to their 3L/4L items for longer, foregoing that feeling of incrementally upgrading your gear, or they'll use all the jewelers and fuses they find on said incremental upgrades (a decision they'll sorely regret later in the game).

Experienced players will simply get something like Tabula Rasa (no matter how obnoxious the trading experience is) which completely sidesteps the socket issue, and rush to the endgame where they can finally upgrade to the gear they want. Once. Or twice.

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Easy trade would make the disparity between different players too great

I'm having a hard time understanding this section. You're saying that players who regularly trade (despite the terrible system) are vastly more powerful than those who don't, and then go on to claim easier trade (which would encourage more players to participate) would somehow make it... worse?

Wouldn't that be the exact opposite? Wouldn't that be leveling the playing field a bit? Like I said, I'm having a hard with this section. The logic doesn't add up.

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Easy trade allows for greater abuse by automation

Two words: Price fixing.

Translation: Both systems will have their problems. It's just that the current one seems like a great inconvenience for players, and a slight delay for bots.

Bots don't care; they're bots. They don't have to choose between playing Path of Exile and Path of Trading (enjoyment vs. efficiency). They don't get bored / frustrated by archaic systems and shelf the game as a result. Did I mention they're bots?

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Easy trade means reducing drop rates

I saved this point for last because I have a bone to pick with this line of thinking. This might be a good time to explain that bit about D3 and the AH I mentioned:

D3's AH not only made the bad itemization in the game more apparent, but it also made it worse, albeit in an indirect way, thanks to this kind of developer philosophy.

Because people couldn't find decent items by simply playing the game, they flocked to the AH, and because everyone and their mother geared their character from the AH, the devs became obsessed with the idea of "preserving the health of the economy" which prevented them from improving drop rates of desirable items. I'm sure you can see the problem here.

I wish, just for once, a developer would simply buck this philosophy, stop obsessively worrying about items being too easy to acquire, and let the players have fun in their own way, with no strings attached, instead of feeling like they have to stay on top of emerging trends and currency exchange rates and all that BS. There's a website dedicated to PoE currency exchange rates FFS. I thought this was an ARPG where we kill monsters and get loot. This is madness. I just want to play this game you made. LET ME PLAY YOUR GAME.

-

P.S. Don't ask me why I bothered to type this long-ass post which most people won't even read, because I honestly don't know. I had opinions that I wanted to opinion, so I opinion'd.

Thanks to anyone who read all that.

<insert round of applause gif here>
The only thing i wish for is an accept button so that the item is automatically moved to my stash/inventory and the seller gets his pay. Currently the fake sellers are ruining the currency and item market for a long time now.

I'm actively playing since 2013 and it's becoming frustrating as fuck to dig through all the fake offers to find a valid one.

Also the bot problem is out of hand. I ocasionally spot them in item trades but kinda 90%+ on the currency market are bot offers which can be easily spotted by their reaction times, messages (which often are the default bot messages from its devs) and behaviour.

Trade would be fine if you would have to sell what you offered, possibly even afk and offline.

Take EVE Online for example, it has several markets to put your items into and it disappears from your stash till it's bought.
PN: Haegar_der_Schreckliche
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NemoJr wrote:
"
Easy trade means reducing drop rates

I saved this point for last because I have a bone to pick with this line of thinking. This might be a good time to explain that bit about D3 and the AH I mentioned:

D3's AH not only made the bad itemization in the game more apparent, but it also made it worse, albeit in an indirect way, thanks to this kind of developer philosophy.

Because people couldn't find decent items by simply playing the game, they flocked to the AH, and because everyone and their mother geared their character from the AH, the devs became obsessed with the idea of "preserving the health of the economy" which prevented them from improving drop rates of desirable items. I'm sure you can see the problem here.

I wish, just for once, a developer would simply buck this philosophy, stop obsessively worrying about items being too easy to acquire, and let the players have fun in their own way, with no strings attached, instead of feeling like they have to stay on top of emerging trends and currency exchange rates and all that BS. There's a website dedicated to PoE currency exchange rates FFS. I thought this was an ARPG where we kill monsters and get loot. This is madness. I just want to play this game you made. LET ME PLAY YOUR GAME.
You are right, it is all about the design philosophy, and here GGG made their decision to keep the players bussy through grinding. They can't say that straight and it is not that simple.
Yes, some of the arguments in this manifest feels incoherent, but I think this is because the manifest tries to fight for a design decision that is up to GGG. PoE is designed for a certain target audience and easy trading is not considered to be part of it. That is the core message of this manifest. If you think the arguements are confusing then better ignore them. The core message will not change without them.

If you are interested, I put some additional thoughts on easy trading.
Spoiler
Lets assume that this would happen and decent equip is available to everyone easily through traiding. This will result in a hugh power creep. Once you bought your best in slots and killed the uber elder you are litterly done with the game. Trade is a shortcut to achieving everything the game has to offer. That is the reason why gamedesigners are not willing to change their philosophy. Every ARPG is rigged this way. It is part of the formular making ARPG successful over 20 years now. It is the grind that makes the people playing the game not the best in slot character having achieved everything.
As I pointed out in a previous post, current trade is just an illusion of having every item desired in hands reach. The good stuff will always be rare and expensive. Easy trading will not change it, but it will break the current ballance of power creep and stretching the endgame content. Easy trading will turn PoE into something different that GGG had not in mind when designing it.
I think that many issues with current traiding result from meta build hype and GGGs design philosophy to ballance league mechanics and endgame content around meta builds. Trade is the carrot for all those who never will play SSF. In the end, you will end grinding like everyone else. Current trading is just a diffent way to experience the grind.
Let's explore new playstyles - Play it your own way, not just like the others.
If QA doesn't fit into release schedule then something is going wrong.
"
Synopse wrote:
Yes, some of the arguments in this manifest feels incoherent, but I think this is because the manifest tries to fight for a design decision that is up to GGG. PoE is designed for a certain target audience and easy trading is not considered to be part of it.
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Synopse wrote:
Trade is a shortcut to achieving everything the game has to offer. That is the reason why gamedesigners are not willing to change their philosophy. Every ARPG is rigged this way. It is part of the formular making ARPG successful over 20 years now. It is the grind that makes the people playing the game not the best in slot character having achieved everything.

I'm a somewhat seasoned gamer with quite a few ARPGs (or "loot games" in general) under my belt, so I like to think I have a good idea how "The Grind(tm)" works. :)

Not only that, I also consider myself part of that target audience.

That post may have started as a way of venting out my frustration with the trade system, but the more I put it into words, the more I realized I didn't want easier trade, but rather wanted a game that didn't actively push me towards trading.

I think the manifesto feels incoherent because it tries to fight for two conflicting design philosophies at the same time. It's right there at the top: "Items Matter. Trade is Important."

Ironically, for items to matter, the current trade system is OK. It's personal, it requires one-on-one interaction. It makes even traded items "special". In theory. The theory falls apart when trading becomes the preferred method for getting everything you need, because despite being a major speed bump and source of frustration, it's still the most efficient method of acquisition.

But if trade is important, and should be used for pretty much everything in the game (like it is now) then it definitely needs to be streamlined, diminishing the value of self-found items even further.

There are no winners as long as they try to hold on to both of these ideas.

-

As I've said elsewhere, the real problem might be that the drop rates are balanced with Standard League in mind, despite the temporary leagues being "the big thing". In Standard it works because you would get everything you need, given enough time. In temp leagues you simply don't have that kind of time. There are build specific items you need to get ASAP (because tick-tock) so what happens is "trade to the rescue!"...

So we trade. Even if we hate it.
____________________________________________________________________________________

- Self-proclaimed king of level 172 budget builds -
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It is a very good discussion, we are having here.

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NemoJr wrote:
That post may have started as a way of venting out my frustration with the trade system, but the more I put it into words, the more I realized I didn't want easier trade, but rather wanted a game that didn't actively push me towards trading.
I know what you are talking about. I personally try to ignore trading most of the time when playing ARPGs.

"
NemoJr wrote:
I think the manifesto feels incoherent because it tries to fight for two conflicting design philosophies at the same time. It's right there at the top: "Items Matter. Trade is Important."
That is a good analysis. It seems to be that GGG has a tendency picking conflicting design goals. (E.g., Beastiary's interuption of clear speed and buffing clear speed at the same time.)

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NemoJr wrote:
So we trade. Even if we hate it.
Actually, that is something I refuse to join, and surprisingly, it doesn't hurt too much. The poision forcing one to trade is comparing one's game progress with that of streamers and pro-gamers, which I don't do.

Instead of picking the shortcut of trading to catch up, I play at my pace and even do stuff in standard only, because I don't progress fast enough to open endgame content in 3 month in league.
First, it felt odd, because I was hitting the wall pretty early and progress curve was steep. But after a while I realized that I play for the fun again, not for catching up in progress.

That is my preference of course, but PoE allows my to play it myway. Yes, it take time and it can be frustating, but this is based on my decision and no longer linked to players who can play more often and play more efficient builds than I do. I acually play builds which perform good but are not meta. In this case, trading can be ignored, if you can live with having progress stagnating in yellow maps and stalling on red maps, till you are lucky enough to find the required upgrades (or you decided to join the meta and pick on of the uber-skill of the league).

To me, it feels much more rewarding to find the loot by myself. A trade may open new content quickly but then you never felt the joy of having that item dropping to your feet. This joy keeps me motivated and trading never can do that for me. I acknowledge that there are different opinions on that, but that is allright. It requires a lot of patience and it can pile-up frustation massively, if you are stuck and waiting for an upgrade, but that is the grind as I like it... ;-)

(Edit: Typos)
Let's explore new playstyles - Play it your own way, not just like the others.
If QA doesn't fit into release schedule then something is going wrong.
Last edited by Synopse on Jun 11, 2018, 2:11:13 PM
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Synopse wrote:
"
NemoJr wrote:
So we trade. Even if we hate it.
Actually, that is something I refuse to join, and surprisingly, it doesn't hurt too much. The poision forcing one to trade is comparing one's game progress with that of streamers and pro-gamers, which I don't do.

Instead of picking the shortcut of trading to catch up, I play at my pace and even do stuff in standard only, because I don't progress fast enough to open endgame content in 3 month in league.

For me, personally, the "poison" that's ruining my fun isn't peer pressure, but the other thing you mentioned. I don't care how the "top players" play, nor do I need the confidence boost from having higher virtual numbers than the "scrubs".

What pisses me off to no end is the time pressure. It pisses me off because, like you said, it's nigh-impossible to both "play it your way" and feel like you've experienced all the league has to offer. It's like the game is telling you "either play it the most efficient way possible, or go play Standard, you filthy casual" which I just might do, league exclusive rewards be damned.

But yeah, good talk. I like discussions about game mechanics and psychology, so I tend to get a bit carried away sometimes. :)
____________________________________________________________________________________

- Self-proclaimed king of level 172 budget builds -
"Security token has expired. Please submit the form again."
____________________________________________________________________________________
"
NemoJr wrote:
What pisses me off to no end is the time pressure. It pisses me off because, like you said, it's nigh-impossible to both "play it your way" and feel like you've experienced all the league has to offer. It's like the game is telling you "either play it the most efficient way possible, or go play Standard, you filthy casual" which I just might do, league exclusive rewards be damned.
That is my observation too. Actually, GGG is the one transporting peer preasure through forcing everyone playing clear speed meta in leagues. They want us to burn bright and fast, every league, and without a break in between. Thenagain, standard is completely different: slow pace and stable in content.

An intersting observeration, I never realized it that clear: Standard and league have conflicting design goals. I always thought that league content is considered to be beta testing for new game mechanics, but actually they split content in slow and fast pace game play.
That is arilliant!

I wonder if this happened by purpose or by accident. Anyway, it helps allot on decision making, if playing standard or league.

For me, standard becomes even more apealing now. Actually, I'm already playing a lot standard but from time to time I join the league, just realizing that it is still the clear speed meta and not how I like to play this game.

Too bad that not every league content is intergrated to standard, but that is the grain of salt playing standard, I guess.
Let's explore new playstyles - Play it your own way, not just like the others.
If QA doesn't fit into release schedule then something is going wrong.
"
Synopse wrote:
I always thought that league content is considered to be beta testing for new game mechanics, but actually they split content in slow and fast pace game play.

I think it's a little bit of both. What better way to get free testers than offering them shiny in-game rewards? Hell, they even have a deadline! Professional QA personnel that you don't need to pay!

YOU HEAR THAT GGG? I KNOW WHAT YOU'RE UP TO! ;)

I'm not ashamed to admit that's how they drew me in, as well.

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Synopse wrote:
Too bad that not every league content is intergrated to standard, but that is the grain of salt playing standard, I guess.

That's pretty much the only reason I can't ignore the temp leagues entirely. Yet.

Even the things that do get added are sometimes gutted to the point of uselessness. I feel that stuff like breaches and essences, for example, only really work when they're fairly abundant, if not in every instance.

What's the point of low-level essences when you collect ~5-10 of them (most of which aren't what you need) during your entire early leveling process? Or with breaches being as rare as they are, when you get ~2 splinters per breach, and need 100 of each kind for them to be useful, hasn't "the grind" gone too far?
____________________________________________________________________________________

- Self-proclaimed king of level 172 budget builds -
"Security token has expired. Please submit the form again."
____________________________________________________________________________________
"
NemoJr wrote:
I think it's a little bit of both. What better way to get free testers than offering them shiny in-game rewards? Hell, they even have a deadline! Professional QA personnel that you don't need to pay!
Then it is double brilliant!

As a free-to-play game, it is fair to give something in return when playing it.
Actually, I like to give my feedback on the new content. My hopes are that GGG can improve it that way I maybe liked better.
For me, the clear speed is the annoying part, not being tricked into a beta test.

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NemoJr wrote:
Even the things that do get added are sometimes gutted to the point of uselessness. I feel that stuff like breaches and essences, for example, only really work when they're fairly abundant, if not in every instance.

What's the point of low-level essences when you collect ~5-10 of them (most of which aren't what you need) during your entire early leveling process? Or with breaches being as rare as they are, when you get ~2 splinters per breach, and need 100 of each kind for them to be useful, hasn't "the grind" gone too far?
I am not sure, if it is gutted to the point of uselessness or if it just feels like that because we are able to compare it with the league related.

For instance, I skipped breach and it doesn't feel too bad find a few breach splinter. Thenagain, it can take a very long time till you can open you first breach map. This league they added breach as a zana mod making breachlords much more available in standard as well. But yes, it is still grind and you need chaos orbs to run zana mods.

Actually, I like the slow grind in standard. It is a guarantee that there is still something to achieve, even if I play this game for another 2-3 years. If I think of how boring D1-3 got after finding all important uniques with ever class then I am happy that GGG has much more to offer and I do not necessarly spoil myself with clear speed meta in standard. You can even do a rest by creating a SSF character which is pretty cool in terms of replay value. Actually, standard has much more to offer than one might see at a glance.
Thanks for helping me to find new incentives playing standard. :)
Let's explore new playstyles - Play it your own way, not just like the others.
If QA doesn't fit into release schedule then something is going wrong.
"
Synopse wrote:
I am not sure, if it is gutted to the point of uselessness or if it just feels like that because we are able to compare it with the league related.

For instance, I skipped breach and it doesn't feel too bad find a few breach splinter.

Funny enough, I also wasn't present during the Breach league, but I did make my highest-level-yet character during the last Flashback event when breaches were... what, 1 in every 3 instances or something? It felt about right.

I'm guessing even in Standard, the splinters would be more like a counter that's ticking ever-so-slowly towards 100 (that I'd largely ignore until it is 100), rather than something I'd look forward to. But hey, if it works for you, great.

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Synopse wrote:
Thanks for helping me to find new incentives playing standard. :)

Shh... I wouldn't want GGG to think I'm chasing players away from their precious temp leagues. So let's just keep it between us, here, on the internet. OK?

I should go.
____________________________________________________________________________________

- Self-proclaimed king of level 172 budget builds -
"Security token has expired. Please submit the form again."
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