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  1. #1
    The Lightbringer Karizee's Avatar
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    Introducing the New Trading Post

    Introducing the New Trading Post


    by Pat Cavit on September 4, 2014


    As part of the upcoming feature pack for Guild Wars 2, we’ll be shipping a change that’s been a long time in the making: a brand-new Trading Post! We’ve put a lot of work into it to streamline the most common actions and clarify what’s happening when you’re using it. As part of the streamlining, we’ve cut down the amount of work required for getting what you need, significantly expanded searching and filtering options, and even fundamentally rethought the UI.


    Where’d All the Tabs Go?

    Previously the Trading Post was built using four UI tabs: Browsing, Selling, History, and the Pick-Up tab. We haven’t fundamentally changed that structure, but the implementation has been completely reworked. We did away with the four UI tabs in favor of navigation that’s closer to the Gem Store so now switching between them is nearly instant. It’s required a total rewrite of the Trading Post front end, but the results are worth it.





    As part of this process, the Pick-Up tab has been removed, but we don’t think you’ll miss it. We’ve built a brand-new way to retrieve your coins and items, the Delivery Box. Best of all, it’s always available no matter where you are on the Trading Post. You can now see at a glance whether you’ve got coins or items to pick up, and of course it automatically updates as new sales complete. You can also expand it to get more details about the items waiting for you when you visit a Black Lion Trading Company representative.


    Browsing, Searching, and Filtering

    The Trading Post has a vast array of items available on it, one of the benefits of a truly global economy. No matter what you need, you’re almost always going to be able to find someone selling it. The multitude of items being sold on the Trading Post does have one unfortunate downside—it can be tough to find the item you want! The first iteration of the Trading Post didn’t do a great job of exposing its offerings to users, and that’s something we’ve worked hard to improve.

    To help facilitate finding items that matter to you, we’ve been focusing on two different but related ways of using the Trading Post: browsing, for those who aren’t sure exactly what they want, and searching, for folks who’ve got their eyes on a particular item.

    The biggest step toward getting the browsing experience squared away was ensuring that the Trading Post shows sensible, easy-to-select categories that align with users’ interests. We’ve done away with the requirement to open a panel just to get at high-level filtering options like categories and instead put them into a persistent panel on the left side. Now it’s easier than ever to browse and jump between categories.

    Searching has always been integral to the Trading Post experience, and we’ve worked to really polish it and ensure that it’s better than ever in this release. Search is now integrated with the persistent categories on the left, so you can easily narrow down your searches to just specific categories. Searching through the entirety of the Trading Post’s data is still easy, but now it’s just that much easier to filter down to exactly what you want.





    These new, easier-to-understand categories are really just a streamlined way of allowing you to filter items. This is probably the most visible aspect of how we’ve beefed up the filters available to you, but it’s certainly not the only one.

    The expanded filtering options available when searching in the new Trading Post include:
    • Category (completely reorganized to better fit expectations)
    • Subcategory (also completely reorganized)
    • Rarity
    • Level
    • “Available now” to limit search results to only items with active listings
    • Attributes like power and precision (and many more) are available within the Armor and Weapons categories
    • Profession is now a filter available within the Armor and Weapons categories; Armor will apply a weight filter (light, medium, heavy), and Weapons will filter to only those types appropriate for your character
    • Bag size
    • Crafting discipline and level

    Adding these new filtering options is a good start, but it was important that we also increased the visibility of your current filter settings.

    It’s all too easy when hunting for that one perfect item to complete your look to overfilter, leaving you with no useful results. Fortunately, we’ve got a couple of improvements to the search workflow that should help. Filters are now applied to search results immediately, making it easier to know if you’re heading toward a useful result. The Trading Post now shows you exactly which filters you’ve applied above the list of results, and removing any one of them is as easy as clicking on them. This way, you should never be surprised by the results if you forget that you left a detailed filter enabled.


    Buying and Selling

    A big part of the rework has been identifying areas in the Trading Post where you’re doing similar things and trying to ensure that those all work the same. You can see that work in the new left-side categories, bags, and transactions tabs, or the unified filter display above items. It’s perhaps most obvious, though, when you’re buying and selling items.

    One of the biggest challenges about the Trading Post has been ensuring that users understand what’s happening. It’s not terribly common to have a game market that works more like a stock market than an auction house, and that means that we need to do a great job of messaging. Never is clear messaging and useful, timely feedback more important than when you’re about to spend some gold or sell one of your hard-won items from your inventory.

    Buying and selling on the Trading Post both share an awful lot of similarities: they’re both item focused, they both involve choosing a quantity, and they both benefit from showing you existing listings to help you make the best decisions. The more we looked at this, the more we were sure we could build a solution that would unify the experience.


    Getting All the (Item) Details

    The new unified order dialog provides a more intuitive and interactive way for you to buy, sell, or just check the market for an item from anywhere on the new Trading Post. We made sure that the dialog is available anywhere items are shown on the Trading Post. This way you can always pull up the current market for an item without losing your hand-forged search query.





    This new dialog also tries to help guide you to a better understanding of the results of your actions. Now when buying or selling, you see your proposed listing reflected immediately in the UI alongside the existing listings. We’ve found that this can be very helpful in teaching players that are new to the Trading Post what all those inputs actually do, and act as a useful sanity check for experienced traders.


    Selling

    Perhaps the most useful thing about the Trading Post is the ability to sell items from your inventory on it no matter where you may be in Tyria. Evon Gnashblade spent years and considerable resources building up the infrastructure necessary to allow you to sell your items from Tyria’s darkest and most inhospitable corners, and now you get to reap the rewards. I wouldn’t say he did it entirely for your benefit (that doesn’t sound like something he’d do), but it sure feels that way. When you’re out adventuring in the world, it’s almost always a better idea to sell your unwanted items and resources on the Trading Post than to give them to the nearest vendor.

    Since selling on the Trading Post is so useful to players, we knew that the experience we were building this time around would need to be top-notch. Pointing out that selling on the Trading Post is better than selling your items to a vendor is fine, but if the process is painful, users will rightfully ignore it. We had a lot of discussions around what selling on the Trading Post should be, and we’re very excited with where those conversations led us.

    The most obvious change to selling on the new Trading Post is that no longer are your items sorted by their name. Items are now shown in the same order they appear in your inventory. All your equipped bags are shown on the left-hand side for filtering, just like categories when browsing. The sell interface also respects invisible bag, allowing you to squirrel away your most prized possessions to keep them safe from accidental clicks. In case you’ve just finished a particularly rewarding dungeon or WvW battle and are overwhelmed with items, we’ve also built in real-time text filtering.

    Improving the visibility of the fees incurred while using the Trading Post was also important. Previously, we’d show you the listing fee and projected profit when selling, but this left out the successful exchange fee that comes out of the seller’s profit on every transaction. Feeding all those birds that shuttle your wares to the Trading Post isn’t cheap, or so Evon claims. It was better than nothing, but we got a lot of feedback that the projected profit was confusing because we weren’t calling out all the fees. The new selling UI in the Trading Post explicitly calls out both the listing fee and the exchange fee, so there shouldn’t be any surprises when selling.


    Transactions

    My Transactions hasn’t seen as many changes as the rest of the Trading Post, but we certainly haven’t forgotten it. The major difference is that it has been given the same side-navigation treatment as the others, putting the top-level filtering of current and historical transactions in front of you as simply as possible. There have also been some low-level organizational changes to how we fetch and display your listing data in order to make switching between those sections seamless and smooth.

    This reworking of the navigation makes getting a high-level view of your Trading Post interactions just that much easier.


    Better Technology for a Faster Trading Post

    We’ve never really made a secret of the fact that the Trading Post is a very custom web application built for running inside the game. Building those pieces of the interface that way has provided us with a ton of benefits. It’s also brought with it a unique set of challenges, both in matching the rest of the UI and ensuring that performance is acceptable. Definitely the most visible downside to that decision has been the slow initial loading for the entire Black Lion Trading Company panel. A huge part of the work we’ve done on improving the overall Trading Post experience has been focusing on performance from a technology perspective. To that end, we’re introducing a completely new browser engine into the game. When building the new Trading Post on top of this new, faster browser engine, we’ve also biased our technical decisions toward making things fast.

    When looking at the big picture of where time was spent when loading the old Trading Post, a few places that were very expensive stood out. We were able to gain huge performance improvements by updating the game client so that the embedded browser could access things the game already knows about. There’s no reason we should have to download an icon for an in-game item from the Trading Post servers; it’s already in the game files. This same optimization can also be made for basic item information like name, description, and vendor price. In the new Trading Post, we avoid going out to a server whenever possible, and the experience is faster and better for it.


    We Aren’t Done Yet

    All of the underlying technical changes weren’t done solely for performance. Having had time to reflect on what we liked about the previous iteration of the Trading Post (and spending even more time on what we didn’t like about it!), it became clear that a new approach was needed to ensure that improvements could continue to be made. The old Trading Post was made by a significantly smaller team on a very tight schedule, but this time around, we’ve had more people contributing and given ourselves much more time. It’s led to an objectively better product, one that we’re all very proud of. It’s also a product that is easier for us to ship fixes and updates on, which is hugely important to us.

    At ArenaNet, we strive to iterate on the things we build, both internally before we ship new features and externally after we’ve gotten feedback from our players. The Trading Post is no different. It’s taken some time for us to come up with this reworking, but we hope you enjoy using it as much as we’ve enjoyed building it.

    Remember, you’ll get to see the new Trading Post for yourself when the September 2014 Feature Pack goes live, so be sure to log in on Tuesday, September 9, and check it out!

    https://www.guildwars2.com/en/news/i...-trading-post/
    Who knows more of gods than I? Horse gods and fire gods, gods made of gold with gemstone eyes, gods carved of cedar wood, gods chiseled into mountains, gods of empty air... I know them all.
    ~Euron "Crow's Eye" Greyjoy

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Karizee View Post
    [*]Profession is now a filter available within the Armor and Weapons categories; Armor will apply a weight filter (light, medium, heavy), and Weapons will filter to only those types appropriate for your character
    hallelujah, it's about time

  3. #3
    I like the new TP interface; hopefully the performance improvements will be as great as they claim. This is one of the few Feature Pack items that actually deserved it's own day -- and got a blog post that's almost longer than the sum of the other items in the feature pack!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryngo Blackratchet View Post
    Yeah, Rhandric is right, as usual.

  4. #4
    Oh, that UI looks bad. I bet my husband is going to tell me exactly what he thinks of it too when he sees it in-game. He designs a lot of software interfaces for a living.

    Good lord, that is awful looking. So big, chunky and nested.

    Yowza.

  5. #5

  6. #6
    The Lightbringer Karizee's Avatar
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    Looks to be the same size it was before, don't confuse a cropped screenshot with the size of the screen.

    Can't wait to take this baby out for a spin and see how fast it flies! The new engine aspect is very interesting, they could possibly add an ingame interface for the wiki or even a bestiary to show boss/mob skills and emotes hmmm?
    Who knows more of gods than I? Horse gods and fire gods, gods made of gold with gemstone eyes, gods carved of cedar wood, gods chiseled into mountains, gods of empty air... I know them all.
    ~Euron "Crow's Eye" Greyjoy

  7. #7
    The Lightbringer Vizardlorde's Avatar
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    YAY no more light armor for my ranger and maybe I'll be able to find green backpieces now.
    Can you believe it? My ISP is amazing, look

    Oh yea i forgot there was a 0. in front of the 8 ... internet service in America sucks.

  8. #8
    It looks alright but I think I'll need some time to get used to it. I agree with Fencers that it does look a little too much too close on each other like the 2nd picture. I hope the white border does not stay because that can make a huge difference.
    GW2 tag: Silverbleed.3169 (EU)

  9. #9
    Looks mostly good. Yay for finally being able to search weapons and armor based on profession. I really don't understand why the projected profit line had to go. I mean couldn't they have just updated it so that line took into account all the fees so it would be more accurate? Like they could have just renamed it "Profit" and taken out all applicable fees already. That's just a weird change.

  10. #10
    Introducing...introductions for introductions!

    Seriously, does every little bit of this feature patch need its own marketing page? Sheesh.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Edge- View Post
    Introducing...introductions for introductions!

    Seriously, does every little bit of this feature patch need its own marketing page? Sheesh.
    Nah, arenanet is one of the few devs that going to tell something more than patchnotes and rare posts on the own game forum. It's okay i think. But they shouldn't expand any feature to an extreme.
    Reverse Nostalgia: Everything is so cool and awesome now that i can't imagine how the game has been survived after the ubercrap of vanilla / tbc with over 10 million players.
    My bet: WoD Release not until November 2014
    wat...

  12. #12
    And yet I still need to go talk to some dink to get my money and stuff when I can send things to the TP from anywhere in the world via magical birdie. Yeah, great overhaul, guys.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Fencers View Post
    Oh, that UI looks bad. I bet my husband is going to tell me exactly what he thinks of it too when he sees it in-game. He designs a lot of software interfaces for a living.

    Good lord, that is awful looking. So big, chunky and nested.

    Yowza.
    Visually I don't think it looks bad, I'm not so good at telling if something will runny smoothly until I get a chance to use it though.

    The only thing I think I would change would be getting rid of that welcome to the TP thing on the front page and it is weird they had a whole new window appear to sell an item.
    Last edited by worprz; 2014-09-04 at 10:24 PM.

  14. #14
    Warchief Maarius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fencers View Post
    Oh, that UI looks bad. I bet my husband is going to tell me exactly what he thinks of it too when he sees it in-game. He designs a lot of software interfaces for a living.

    Good lord, that is awful looking. So big, chunky and nested.

    Yowza.
    Could you give me a few examples of well done UI? I have no idea why this one should be bad.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Maarius View Post
    Could you give me a few examples of well done UI? I have no idea why this one should be bad.
    http://imgur.com/JCL64Fc
    http://imgur.com/SfVvQFV
    http://imgur.com/22qoWim

  16. #16
    Eh, wildstars looks okay on the surface, but it was buggy as hell and had some technically issues between the xchange and the auction house, which should have been merged, or at the very least, both had all of the options that the other had. It wasn't bad, but it was still far from perfect. That first one looked pretty good though.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by HardlyWaken View Post
    Eh, wildstars looks okay on the surface
    I was speaking on the aesthetic of the GW2 AH UI. Not the function. The latter is irrelevant to my posts here regarding User Interfaces for the MMO auction houses/trading posts/etc.

  18. #18
    So ... we can search for backpieces now?
    Garth Brooks convinced me it's not living if I stand outside the fire

  19. #19
    Warchief Maarius's Avatar
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    well imho the aesthetic of those doesn't fit the painterly style the GW2-UI has at the moment. Also I find the buttons not as visible as GW2s new system, so newbies could have a harder time to find all the subcategories. Other than that it's very subjective.

  20. #20
    Wildstar's UI is worse in my view. The text/faux-3d look of the boxes don't mix. Hell, Wildstar loses just for having awful text all around.

    I like Rift's UI but its really run of the mill.

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