Path of Exile Has an Official Trading Hub

Path of Exile is an excellent ARPG built on top of an unusual economy, where every item – even the most throwaway of identification scrolls – has intrinsic value in both usage and trade. There’s no gold or even premium currency used in-game at all, and to top it all off, there is no auction house. The only way to exchange gear is direct; player to player.

At least two of the responses here point out that not being able to reach the seller is a problem with the current system. That’s true, and something the devs are trying to address by including whether the buyer is afk, both on the official trade site and as data available to third-party sites through the API.

That’s a separable problem from whether having to conduct an in-game sale with another party, as opposed to just being able to instantly pay and receive goods through an automated system, would be better design. As some other posters pointed out, the devs are very aware of this tradeoff; in the xbox version and the Chinese version recently launched, they made the tradeoff differently by making sales instantaneous but making the search interface more cumbersome.

Their assessment is obviously–and explicitly–that robust search coupled with instant purchase, akin to the d3 auction house, would make itemization and upgrading so easy that a small amount of currency/grinding would get you very desirable items (6-linked items, good corruptions on uniques, etc.). They also think it would make in-game drops unexciting most of the time, which is already a problem for the most advanced and efficient players. You can disagree, but I think that to do so, you need a theory of why their assumptions about drop rate and itemization are wrong, as well as to acknowledge that you disagree with their vision of their own game, which is driving the design decision.

Personally, I have found afk sellers to be an annoying problem, but beyond that don’t mind having to go to another instance to buy. It’s always fun to see someone else’s stuff (sellers usually sell from their own “hideout,” a custom ingame space), and sometimes you end up discussing the item or something else about the game. Also, if you know the game and builds well, you usually don’t have trouble getting what you need, in my experience.


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