The reasoning, according to ArenaNet, is that the studio saw players hoarding certain materials in Heart of Thorns that should have been common, but players were hoarding and selling small numbers at best, leading to some unbalanced costs on the trading post. The studio’s ostensible hope is that this change will encourage players to sell more and keep materials moving.
“With the arrival of Path of Fire, many new materials and components will be added to Material Storage,” says ArenaNet’s Gaile Gray. “But for a handful of items, we’ve specifically decided not to start with them in Material Storage, and instead to add them to the storage system later. Why? Well, at the launch of Heart of Thorns, we noticed a peculiar behavior: most players will deposit first when clearing their inventory, and then proceed to take actions like salvaging, opening chests, or, crucially, putting items on the Trading Post. This tended to mean that before a player will post an item on the Trading Post, they’ll wait to accrue a full stack in their Material Storage. During the early period of Heart of Thorns, this significantly contributed to the early expense of flax, which was abundantly available but, for the most part, was ‘warehoused’ in the banks of players.”
“In an experiment to see if we can combat the early steep price of a handful of materials, we will launch Path of Fire without those items being depositable. Once we are comfortable with the supply and price—which we believe should become apparent in weeks, not months—we will add them to material storage. We know how important inventory space is to players, and we take seriously how much of your time is spent playing versus managing your play. Hopefully, this decision will help ensure a steady supply of materials to the market, without unduly burdening your bags.”
It’s not entirely clear which materials will be affected. If your inventory space is already of crucial importance to you, or your chief reason for depositing all your mats was to clear inventory space like normal people, or if you’d spent money on expanding your material storage stacks believing the system would continue to support your mats… well, this isn’t good news. It’s probably just plain bad news. The uproar on Reddit concurs (over 650 comments as we type this). Sorry.