The Pros and Cons of the Defiance Exchange Feature Shutting Down

By Jeff Francis
Pros and cons of the Defiance Exchange shutting down

There are a number of features that online gamers take for granted, and one of these is the mmo auction house. A major part of the in-game economy of mmo games is the auction house, where players can buy needed gear or sell items to amass a virtual fortune. Yet not every game boasts this feature. The Defiance mmofps recently added an auction house in the form of their Exchange system, but in a surprising move, Trion Worlds has just announced the upcoming removal of the Defiance Exchange system from the game altogether. While such a circumstance could be a head scratcher, there are both positives and negatives for such a decision. Let's examine the pros and cons of the Defiance Exchange system shutting down.

Players were taken by surprise by the announcement of the Defiance Exchange being shut down by Trion Worlds. The statement by the developers read, "We come to you today with some difficult news: we have decided to remove the Exchange from the game. This decision was not made lightly, as a tremendous amount of work and thought has gone into this system. We truly feel that, as designed, it was a benefit for all players. However, after considerable thought and discussion, we concluded that removing it was the best way to move forward. Since the release of the Exchange, we have experienced many unforeseen technical issues that only presented themselves once the system was under full load. Despite our best efforts, these issues were impossible to identify during internal testing, as they required active, concurrent use by a large number players to fully manifest." So was shutting down the game's equivalent of the mmo auction house the right thing to do?

While the removal of the Defiance Exchange system looks to be wholly a bad thing, there are some positives to be considered. The first is that the developers said that the Exchange was interfering quite a bit with the game's stability. The main culprit was the technical limitations of the software for Defiance (which you can play for free here). While losing a feature is not normally considered a good thing, having poor stability for an mmo fps is far, far worse. Every online shooter needs to run smoothly for the players to have fun and enjoy the game. Anything that disrupts the smooth operation of the constant sci-fi action has to be either fixed or removed. As Trion Worlds realized that the game's software would not allow the Defiance Exchange feature to be fixed, jettisoning it from the game entirely was the right call.

Another positive aspect of the Defiance Exchange system shutting down is that it does put a dampener on those people exploiting the system. Trion Worlds noted that a sizable number of players were using the mmo auction house to inject currency gained from third party programs into the game. A number of players in the game's forums have expressed relief that the rampant duping of weapons will now be curtailed. Again, shutting down the system has a positive effect by limiting the in-game impact of those abusing the feature for their own gain.

There are some significant cons to the Defiance Exchange system being shut down. The most obvious is that the game no longer has their own version of the mmo auction house. This means that players will have to actively go back to doing individual trades once again within the mmofps. Personally, I find this type of situation a major hassle. If I want to sell some items in a game, I would prefer to list them for sale in an mmo auction house and get on with some adventures. I don't play online games to relentlessly hawk my wares in the chat channel. Having an auction system gives players more time to actually play the game instead of trying to act as a shopkeeper. To be honest, I am rather stunned that the Defiance Exchange system was a very late addition to the game.

Another negative for the Defiance Exchange system ending is that a good number of players paid to become patrons in order to use the feature, and such players have expressed their displeasure in the game's forums. Trion Worlds has stated that anybody who bought a Patron Pass within the last two months will get a free 30 day Patron Pass. While this additional patron time is a good thing, it still isn't great that players still paid real money to have access to a feature, only to have the feature discontinued. I would not call this situation a bait-and-switch as the developers have repeatedly tried to fix the issues with the Defiance Exchange system, all to no avail. One last negative is that players who still have items listed in the mmo auction system will lose them when it shuts down for good. To be fair, though, Trion Worlds will give players plenty of advance warning so that they can remove their listings and reclaim their items.

There is no doubt that the Defiance Exchange feature being shut down is a pretty big blow. It's extremely hard to imagine an online game without an mmo auction house system in place. The main negatives is that players will have to go back to doing individual trades and that there were players who paid to become patrons in order to access the Exchange system. With that being said, there are some positives to the Defiance Exchange being removed from the mmo fps. One pro is that players duping weapons and using third party programs to mess with the in-game economy should be stymied to an extent. The main advantage to the Exchange shutting down is that it vastly increases the stability of the game, which is probably the most important factor for an online shooter. In the end, there are both good and bad results to the Defiance Exchange ending, and the developers currently have no plans on bringing it back in the future.


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