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The Case against a Trade Economy

Well we’re going to agree to disagree here :wink:
I think the fundamental driving factors of sticking with an ARPG are indeed Skinner Box or one-armed bandit mechanics, and unidentified items can be a part of that. It’s a question of how you do it, really.

I’ll leave it with this.

You play the game, and an Event ™ happens. When it happens is random. But when it does, good loot drops, and you get excited about it.

I assure you that there is no meaningful difference to that Event ™ between the drop on the ground vs. the identification mechanic, other than moving the point in time, and adding toil for the player.

I just think it’s more than a little hyperbolic to describe - for instance - just the identification of Exalted items, and nothing else, as “toil” for the player. Quite to the contrary, I think it’s a motivating clicking action and would underscore the value and special status of certain item types.
I don’t expect this fyi, I think there’s a good reason this isn’t a part of LE right now, in EHG’s mind. This is just another hypothetical :slight_smile:

Fundamentally I just don’t think it’s good to have loot in a state where you could effectively be picking up nothing except crafting mats, the further you progress, because your filter already eliminates all of that. Basically, if you’ll allow me to apply some hyperbole myself, it is still RNG and you can still feel shafted and bored by loot, you just skipped a step which may have prolonged that process. Efficient? Yes. More fun? I’m not so sure. The illusion of potential value in drops is a critical thing to play with, and also a key reason why getting Trade or lack of Trade right is so important.

I think the devs would be implementing obstacles for themselves by doing something like this.

I simly hate identification mechanic especialy in PoE when you have to indentify every single item. This is reason why I ignore rare drop in PoE even with filter most of time. D3 removed identification process from rares (leg/set have tome for one click for whole inventory) and it was good move (forgot that they destroyed rares later). GD have identified items and gameplay is smother. Identification is usable only if you drop few items per hour and this is not even close to drop quantity in LE or any other ARPG.

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Official Last Epoch Multiplayer FAQ - Developer Blog - Last Epoch Forums
" 1. What will the trade system be like?
Our current plans regarding the trade system are still a work in progress and will require scale testing, but are centralized around having an area for players to congregate called The Bazaar. In the Bazaar you can visit other player’s shops and purchase items for in-game gold. The player shops that appear are random so the act of finding gear that you are interested in feels like browsing an active bazaar instead of finding players on third party websites to trade with directly. We want the main item hunt to remain outside of trade so making this an enjoyable experience but not the clear best way to obtain better items is our goal. Players in a party will also be able to gift items to each other, as long as the item dropped after both players joined the party."

" 1. Are you changing loot drop rates or crafting because of multiplayer?
Perhaps. But if so, not drastically. We want the drop rates to be mainly balanced around self-found and feel we are doing a decent job of this right now. Because of the way the trade system is planned to work we don’t believe this will throw off the balance of the item hunt drastically."

So I missed this few weeks ago, but it seems they’ve become a bit more concrete about the current plans. Namely, it sounds like it is indeed going more or less in the direction I was hoping for - largely balanced around SSF, with the opportunity to trade, but in a very non-deterministic way. You can’t just type stats in a search bar and convert gold to upgrades in an ingame UI (or even a site outside of the game), and loot sounds like it will not be changed much.

Basically, no AH, no real barter, but you can browse a Bazaar and hunt for worthwhile stuff? Seems like a good “hybrid” approach, i’m curious how it will play out and how much it will change after implementation, if at all.

Wow, this seems pretty neat and is a rather novel concept. I hope there is a lot of “sell space” so you aren’t stuck bringing only 10-12 items to the bazaar.

this all sounds good - but restricted sell slots inevitably ends in inflated item prices.

Trade and auction functions can ruin looting, which makes me sad especially considering that LE is a looting game.
Quick idea; Player traded items can only be bought using a unique lootable-only drop, something like a time crystal, which is suitably rare. Time crystals can also be redeemed in the in-game shop for cosmetics, lending them value. For players that want an item, trade the crystal with another player. For players that don’t like trading, just redeem the crystal directly in the cosmetics shop. Sellers get rich with time crystals and own an impressive collection of cosmetics without getting out their wallets.

Maybe not cosmetics(affects the companies wallet), maybe something that is useful in crafting(like turning rares into exalteds, but being very hard to get, auto-fractures and picks a random affix, so are chase items for every build)

The point is it needs to be rare, useful in SSF and it needs to encourage playing the game.

While I can understand the concerns against trading in the perspective of a single person, I cannot understand them reflecting poorly on a broad audience.

First of all, nobody forces you to trade, just giving the options would be very welcome by a big chunk of arpg players. You could make the same argument about forbidding sharing build guides by ToT on the basis players should make their own builds, while I love forging a character so it does fit my playstyle I also do know a lot of people who are bad at exactly that, but they know they are thus they are trying to find finished builds they enjoy.

It is basically the same with trading. It just is giving the options to players who want to participate in trading, everyone is free to use self imposed challenges like guild trading only.

If the main concern is that trading would make gear progression rather meaningless and it is in the best interest of the game to prevent that, another way would be to “gate” the trading until you reached level 100.
That way when you really hit a progression lock, or maybe just want to try out something else on your character you could get the missing pieces. Maybe even put a cooldown on it so you are not allowed to “buy” more than x items a day/week.
Trading also does include a lot more than just gold. Back in diablo2 for example gold was basically meaningless, literally just for SoJ gambing. Trading items for items I think is a rather healthy system to trading in itself.
I myself am all for trading, with limits. And please keep trading out of the global chats.

What happens after the first level 100 char? I can use it to buy gear for any other char and we’re back at square one.

It would not be self imposed, it would be imposed to everyone because of how trading impacts those who choose not to partecipate in it.

We saw how well it went in PoE where gold is just called with another name…

Trade only with those in your party and only for a short period of time after the drop occurred, that would be already a huge advantage to play in party.
Even though this would make bot “services” pop-up like crazy to sell particular drops to your account.

It is normal that first char go thru most of challenges and next one have less obstacles in way because you have gear or currency or crafting materials from first char. You also learned game mechanic better or from your mistakes.

This does not influence the fact that trading would be completely open after the first char and droprates will need adjustment.

I´m for trading from lvl 1. I just pointed out that second char has easier life regardless trade.

I remember a few PoE leagues ago I picked up a yellow bow just because I had a space for it in my inventory and that was the end of the map run. It turned out to cost 25ex. And I didn’t even 6 linked it I was too lazy just sold it as is.

Honestly the simplest solution is if you don’t want to trade, don’t trade.

Quit worrying about how others get their loot.

All this hub bub over loot drops being adjusted is likely way over blown. Its not like this is some seriously competitive game or esport or big money streaming business. Its just a bunch of nerds whacking monsters and getting goodies.

I’m sure the game won’t come to an end just because Jojo999 bought his Sword of Yippee instead of killing a 1000 monsters to get it. In fact, only 2 people are going to give a rats patootie how Jojo999 got his Sword of Yippee. Jojo and the person who sold it to him.

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No if an item is character bound on purchase

Lets look at trading and item rarity. I’ll start with just 2 players, and a rare Boss item which drops only 1% of the time on Boss kill (major boss, like Lagon or Emperor of Corpses).

If both players run the boss 100 times, they should get the item once. In reality, however, RNG is RNG, so its possible 1 player got 2 and 1 player got none. It happens, this is a small sample size.

So, the item dropped its proscribed 1% of the time as the Devs intended. If Player 1 trades their extra to player 2, the only thing which changed was ownership, but there’s still only 2 items after 200 runs, as intended. (Again, this gets better with higher sample sizes).

But what is the effect? Player 2 would normally run that boss X more times until the RNG gods smiled on them. But with Trade, they don’t have to. They take the currency they got from those 100 failed runs and hand it over to player 1 for the item. Player 1 now has 1 item, currency from those 100 runs they ran themselves, and currency from another 100 runs from player 2. So, while the items have evened out, ownership-wise, the currency has tilted to have a wealthy and poor player. But no worries! The process can reverse when Player 2 has the extra item, and Player 1 buys it, so now we’re back even again. 2 players, even items (per the drop rate), and even currency.

How did this affect the game?

  • Players didn’t need to grind for their desired item more than the proscribed drop rate (i.e. run same boss 300 times to get a 1% drop item due to bad RNG luck).
  • Players could even choose to focus on the currency (dunno, maybe kill a lot more monsters than you normally would, not skipping them) with the express knowledge that with enough players in the game, someone is pulling good RNG and has extras for sale, so their own RNG no longer really matters.
  • But, now, you have some players not even running the boss, because maybe currency is more abundant in just echo nodes, so the drop rate is lower than intended, because some players aren’t shooting for the item, just currency.

None of that is meant to support or oppose trade, its just what I could think of as the effect of Trade. It’s not exhaustive, so please add more. My goal here is to understand more objectively the effects of trading. And by trading, in this case, I am talking about open, unrestricted trading, not the Bazaar as proposed. i.e. if full trading exists, what is its effect?