Okay so we know for sure that there will be an auction house in GW2 and that it actually spans over several different servers(!) Thus there will be a huge player controlled market.
I am very happy about this decision by Anet since I personally think that having a dynamic, player controlled game economy is one of the features that makes an MMO truly come alive and feel like a real world!
The problem I see is; what the h*ll are people going to trade? The reasons for why I ask this question are the following:
1. There will be pretty much no gear progression in GW 2 except from improving the visual style of your gear.
I see this as a very impairing feature for the games market. For example; who would want to farm gold for hours in order to buy reagents for crafting an item that does not give you a reasonable amount of "joy" by having your stats upgraded, but instead just improves your helmet's looks so that it looks cooler?Don't get me wrong on this though, I can see that there is an incentive to go to the auction house to get stuff for your character, it is just that I don't see visual improvements as a strong incentive to buy stuff at the AH. Thus I think the market will be much less interesting and that it will not become the awesome feature it is supposed to be.
2. There is no competition for reagents or loot.
Anet has stated that mineralnodes, herbs etc. will not be forfeited once looted by a player so that everyone can loot it at least once for themselves. This also applies to loot, if you participate in killing a boss you will get your own personal loot and not compete for the loot with the rest of players.
All this leads to one thing: There will be a massive supply of loot and reagents which raises the question wheter there will be a demand high enough to meet this supply?
Of course it is a smart move to take away loot and reagent competition beacuse it is annoying when someone else steals your mineral node but I think the tradeoff is further impairment of the games economy. I have actually started to believe that it is these things we see as "annoying", such as your loot never dropping or mineral nodes constantly being farmed out is what makes these kind of interactive worlds fun.
So what do you guys think? Will there be a sprawling market in GW2 or will it be flawed and not contribute very much to the game experience?