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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Trading System Imminent!

The trading system is finally arriving! Hallelujah!

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 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.

- Real Time Auction House Best Offer

  • 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