While every Destiny player has their own itemized wish list of features they’d like to see added to the game, there are a select few most can agree on. Obviously, a cohesive story and better gear allocation are two of the more pressing matters that Destiny fans would like to see addressed, but there’s another feature that could prove even more important.
Item trading is not something that all MMOs, or MMO-like experiences, allow, but it’s one that most players of said games have requested. Destiny is no different; many players regularly request item trading to either share some of their exotic gear wealth, or simply to help their lower level friends get a head start.
However, when it comes to adding item trading to Destiny, Bungie has been relatively quiet on the issue. And when they do address it, the best answer players can get is a curt, “No.”
During the latest Destiny livestream, Bungie once again addressed the topic of item trading, only this time they had a little more to say. Players hoping to get something in the form of an unequivocal, “Yes,” will likely come away disappointed by Bungie Creative Director Christopher Barrett’s response, but it does bode well for the future of the franchise.
While touring The Reef, the new social space launching alongside House of Wolves, Barrett was asked point blank whether item trading might be added to Destiny. He acknowledged the seemingly endless fan requests, and even said that item trading is something the development team is looking at, but right now they don’t have anything to announce.
“It’s something we’re…there’s downsides to it and there’s upsides…The investment designers, there’s a lot of conversations I’m sure that happen about that. We’re always considering features like that. Personally, I’d prefer not to have player trading. But you’ll get different opinions across the entire team.”
The good news is that Bungie seems to be considering a possible item trading system, but Barrett doesn’t appear to be a fan of the feature. He wouldn’t explain why Destiny item trading is not on his personal to-do list, but it’s not too hard to guess why.
See, while Destiny may have an active community of millions, it’s also built around earning ones own loot. Accumulating enough Strange Coins for Xur, completing the Nightfall Strike in the hopes of an exotic weapon dropping, or running through one of the raids and getting a lucky gear drop are all part of the Destiny experience, but item trading could remove the need to experience those pieces of content. In essence, it lets certain players skip past a lot of the more grind-y-elements of the game in order to reach the level cap.
That, in itself, is not necessarily a bad thing, since Destiny’s Random Number Generator can be extremely cruel. Some players have watched their friends earn and promptly dismantle Vex Mythoclast after Vex Mythoclast, while they have yet to see a single one drop. If that friend could simply trade that extra Vex Mythoclast over, it would eliminate a lot of that frustration.
However, a trading system also opens up room for exploitation, as has been seen with countless MMOs over the years. Since many players desperately covet some of Destiny’s best weapons, there’s the very real possibility that they might pay to get a weapon or piece of gear. Alongside that, it’s not hard to imagine an eBay channel opening up whereby Destiny players sell their gear to the top bidder. One player pays to skip the line, and the other profits off their frivolous spending.
In the end, since Destiny is mostly a cooperative experience we could see a future sequel adding item trading. But, we wouldn’t be surprised to see Bungie put a lot of restrictions on the system in order to combat exploitation. We will have to wait and see.