An hour ago, John Shedletsky - creative director at ROBLOX, tweeted this:
April is, obviously, just around the corner and so this news will make many ROBLOXians jump with glee! The trading system has been talked about for well over a year now and users have been quite literally begging for them to produce one.
John thought that it was a good investment for the site and its users and so began work on it, however, before anything could be constructed; they had to decide how it should operate and what the user interface should look like. This became a bit of a problem as all fours types of trading system had their advantages and disadvantages.
(Courtesy of shedletsky.com) The four options were:
- Real time face-to-face trading
- Trades happen quickly once someone you want to trade with is found
- Easy to understand so players can get right into trading
- It has a fun feel and nice personal touch
- You can only trade with players who are online
- You have to find someone “good” to trade with – they have to want what you have and have what you want. If you are looking for rare items, this can be very difficult.
- Bulletin board trading
- You can trade with people who aren’t online. Other people can trade with you when you are not online. This means more potential trading partners.
- Easy to find people offering rare items. Common trades (between like-valued objects) can be executed instantly, since you don’t even need to talk to another person.
- Offers are public, so everyone has a good idea of what different items are worth.
- Complicated trades involving many items are hard to find matches for. Ex: A, B, C, D, and F for X, Y, Z, and Q.
- All trades are public – you don’t specify who on the other end you trade with. Harder to wheel and deal
- Send Specific Offers Through Private Messages
- You can trade with people who aren’t online.
- You can trade with specific people.
- Pretty simple to understand.
- Wheeling and dealing happens in a public forum, so it’s probably harder to get ripped off because someone will tell you a trade is bad.
- Takes a lot of “leg work” to find a good trading partner.
- Trading can be slow – by the time you hunt down someone who has the item you want, they may have traded it away already. It might take you 1-3 days to find out he doesn’t even have what you want any more.
- Have/Want lists posted to a forum doesn’t seem like a very advanced system. Forums were not built with the idea of trading in mind, and Option C makes a forum “the spot” where all the trading action happens. A dedicated interface would offer better affordances.
- A real time auction would be exciting for rare items or expensive sets of items.
- The buyer gets the best possible deal anyone present is willing to offer. So it’s hard to get ripped off.
- The results of the auction are public, so everyone has a good idea of what different items are worth.
- This is a super easy way to unload 50 worthless items at the same time and get back something good in return.
- A real time auction would be boring for common items or cheap sets of items.
- You can only trade with people who are: 1) online and 2) present in the auction house. This probably makes it harder to get the best possible price for a rare item that may not have many potential buyers.
- When you want to trade, you want to trade. You don’t want to stand in line to sell items.
- If there aren't enough buyers logged into the auction house, the whole system stops working.
-Editor of Roblox News