The Daily Grind: Is player trading a make-or-break MMO feature for you?

    
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MOP reader Xijit recently pointed us to a thread on Bless Online’s Steam page where players are noting that person-to-person trading is not currently possible in some overseas versions of the game, including the Japanese servers. While a Neowiz representative wrote, “There has been a TON of feedback from players that they would like trading for the Steam release, so it is not set in stone yet that trading will not be available for Steam,” that didn’t stop the discussion and frustration over the possibility.

What surprised me was how many people are in favor of demolishing player trade in some form or other on the grounds that it reduces RMT and/or pay-to-win. Personally, I consider player trading crucial to MMOs and don’t even like it when they make it difficult, the way some of my favorite MMOs already do – Guild Wars 2 makes you mail items to each other, for example, while in Trove, you have to hunt down a trading post or leave items in a secured bin in your guildhall.

Is player trading a make-or-break MMO feature for you?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!

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Veldara
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Veldara

For me personally, if a title doesn’t support trading of any kind, then absolutely it’s a dealbreaker. Being able to give items to your friends/fellow party members/guildemates, is crucial to the online experience for me. Even Warframe and Path of Exile, their trading system can still be a bit of a rub for me, but at the very least they have trading in place.

Ideally for me I’d much rather have the convenience of an auction house than having to use third-party websites to get things done but I get why design teams do what they do in this regard.

Reader
Jake Long

Player Trading is a deal breaker for me. I would still be Playing Black desert online if they simply implemented a better more successful trading system. they didn’t, and failed miserably, I am now “antagonized” to the point that I don”t want to hear about Black desert online and I feel cheated out of my money for what they decided to do. Could have been a great game, but the Devs choices ultimately brought down what would have been a great MMO if trading was properly implemented and if the game was not reduced to a single player open world rpg.

As a player that had hopes for Black desert online, and have them crushed brutally by the trading system and rampant abuse by Gold sellers and players using multiple accounts at once, or whatever nonsense they use to make a buck, I began to think about what could a developer do to stop the abuse that i have seen in MMO’s as far back as Star Wars Galaxies Pre-NGE (for those that know of that awesome game).

The solution i came to was to allow items to be traded only 1 time, by a binding method, and regardless of who produced or sold the item whether player or NPC.
This will severely limit gold sellers all the while allowing trading in the game world.
examples are the following
1 Player produces an item thru crafting and placed into a bazaar system (or whatever the devs decide to call a player auction house system), the buyer upon purchasing the item, gets the item bound to their account, where by to use the item, the item number (which will have account name/data and the item data as a number, to do a “use check” where the game confirms who is using the item and if it all checks out, the item is used. (if the item does not coincide with any data, the item and player are placed in probation for either being a hack or a cheat)
2)A player produces an item from crafting, but does not “use” it, the item remains unbound, until traded, in which the item then becomes bound to whoever purchases or receives the item, whether it be a player or NPC
4)A player receives an item from a quest reward, those items are automatically bound to the player
5)A player has a stash of “drop items” from monster kills, and would like a piece of armor crafted from the items that another player would craft for them, a crafting pact would be required with all items coming from the player who would receive the finished product. this crafting pact is basically a type of monetary compensation for services rendered in game (this will only apply if stats are achieved by player skill and are not item locked stats)
6) a player upon buying items from an NPC will still get the items bound to their account immediately and cannot sell them or trade them to another player or NPC for whatever reason (an all sales final” type of system)(the reason for this is because in Black desert online, one of the ways gold miners circumvented the system was by a gold seller (using cash earned thru botting) would buy a massive amount of health pots, then the player who paid them real cash would get thru a trade those hp pots. and the player upon getting those hp pots, would then turn around and sell them to the NPC in turn, and receive in game cash as a reward).

So if a Bless dev reads this, or someone connected to Neowiz reads this message/post, please consider the above recommendation for the Bless MMO, I would really love to play an MMO again where inflation or and gold sellers are not around. I know that the above situation can work if implemented.

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Rolan Storm

Of course. All that anti-RMT propaganda is nonsense. Only makes things difficult for player – my example was BDO. And RMT still there, by the way.

Reader
cista2bpo

When I found out I could not give items to my friends in Black Desert, and that market prices were mostly fixed, I stopped playing.

Reader
Leiloni

I rarely use player to player trade systems so I don’t really mind. I didn’t care when BDO did it. It’s a nice to have for me but not in any way a must have. I would say I prefer games keep them, but if they have to make me use a mailbox or something similar that’s ok. It’s not an inconvenience when I’m going to a mailbox for other stuff anyway.

Xijit
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Kickstarter Donor
Xijit

This is a huge issue for me (Obviously … just the rumor of it upset me enough to send in this tip) because the inability to SHARE kills all sense of community and collaboration & is the root cause for why I originally left Black Desert a year and a half ago.

You wouldn’t think that it would be that big of a deal or impact gameplay that much, but when you have to explain over and over again to new players that there is essentially no player to player interactions outside of PvP and the marketplace: you feel it.

And when you couple that with how bad the marketplace is (zero reward for any kind of crafting: all that anyone buys for is Gear upgrades / Repairs & ship crafting) the game as a MMO simply crawls into a corner and dyes.

BDO is not a MMO; BDO is a single player game, set in a shared world.

Bless was my last great hope for finding an escape from the crippled economies present in every other MMO on the market, but now that is clearly on shaky ground as Neowiz is apparently apathetic on that element of game play.

Reader
Leiloni

there is essentially no player to player interactions outside of PvP and the marketplace: you feel it.

What do you mean by this? The only thing they don’t have in BDO is player trade. You can group with people to grind mobs, or do bosses, as well as for PvP. You just can’t give or sell them an item directly, but when you make a game whose gameplay is ripe for cheating and botting like BDO did, that’s the price the devs have to pay for it.

Xijit
Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Xijit

how is BDO ripe for cheating or botting?

Everything requires personal interaction to get it done and combat is not tab target So I would really like to see how botting would work with that)

Reader
styopa

Yes, it was one of the basic elements of BDO that drove me away. I play with my sons, and we like to adventure together. The idea that if I get something they can use, I can’t just hand over to them, is stupid bullshit.

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Bryan Gregory

Black Desert Online’s lack of player trading along with predefined prices for every item on the marketplace actually works pretty well, IMO. It feels like the economy is well taken care of. It’s something I’ve always wanted to see attempted at least once. I’ve seen a lot of MMO economies ruined via player trading due to variables like gold farmers/sellers, cheating/botting/duping, and manipulation. While BDO isn’t pure of course, I can certainly say it’s got some of the least problems with gold sellers and hacked accounts out of any MMO. So it’s nice to have an option like BDO in an MMO world where just about every game has player trading. I’d say it’s okay to add a few more to the list.

Of course, player trading is neat. Even the ability to manipulate the market is sort of neat despite my distaste for it (ex. buying up a bunch of an item and raising the price). But it really depends on what kind of trading we’re talking about. In modern MMOs like WoW, items are usually sold via the auction house. Can we really call the AH ‘player trading?’ We never interact or pay attention to the buyer or sellers names. But the alternative is something akin to pre-Bazaar Everquest where we’re all standing in the same zone shouting the same line with our wares listed, bartering with one another, which is much more time consuming than just popping your stuff on the AH and then continuing to play the game. It can also get boring, especially if you play during off hours.

Personally I can enjoy any of these systems, but I do have to say that when it comes to being able to trade with other players, I care more about being able to give items to friends/guildies than I do about economic trading.

Reader
rafael12104

Make or break? Hmm. So it depends.

An auction house is a trading function is it not? So, if a game doesn’t have direct trading between players but it has an auction house, I might be ok with it. Or may be it has another trade function which matches up demand and supply. That is fine too.

But whatever the scheme, trading has to be a feature, yes. But no, it doesn’t have to be direct for me.

Reader
Kevin Smith

For me this is a yes and a no. I like to have central auction houses in games. It is easy to post and look thru others items in one location. With that said I can’t stand any game that has the stupid personal vendors which end up cluttering the map with personal stalls. If that is the type of trading then a big no thank you. I can even do without personal trading sometimes because I get tired of people seeing you get something and getting whispers in under a second do you need that ect….