In Stormwaltz’s latest update, he discusses a bit why banking and secure trading weren’t implemented in AC.
Thus, we’ve come to the conclusion that when people ask for banks, they’re not asking for a bank. That is, a safe place to put their pyreal, so they can run around unburdened. What they’re asking for are safety deposit boxes, so they can stash their equipment in a safe location, and recover at will. In other words, they’re asking for houses.
Actually, one of the things I’ve heard about AC is that high level chars don’t actually have a whole lot to spend those pyreals on, so maybe it IS all about the Asherons (or whoever appears on the 10000 Pyreal trade note). I do think that just offering a character a strongbox in an inn as opposed to a little cottage in the country is a bit more consistent with the world. I mean, come on. In UO everyone aspires to be a homeowner. A little two story brick number, with a picket fence and a tamed dog happily barking outside. It’s not Sosaria, it’s Suburbia! Maybe it’s just me, but for me, the words “adventurer” and “homeowner” do not converge in that great Venn Diagram of Gaming Gestalt. “Sorry, I can’t go with you to smash the enemy, I’ve got to work on the yard.”
Being able to place a home (and thus a mark on the world itself) is an important ability of the game — but not one everyone should feel required to do by the game mechanics. (“If I don’t have a house with a trapped rodent, I can’t be a 7X GM Warrior King!”) Turbine gets a kudo for recognizing that options in this area are good.
Of course, they then turn around and lose this kudo for totally forgetting why people need secure trading. Here’s what Stormwaltz has to say about that…
What we’ll probably do for secure trade is code a “broker” NPC, who can function as a pseudo-container for both sides. To force all players to interact through a secure trade interface at all times would be cumbersome – just ask the monarch the distributes ph4t 13wt to his vassals every week.
Well gee, that works. Allow secure trading, but only if a Speshul NPC is nearby! (You could call it “Tradespot“.) Historically accurate? Possibly. “Allrighty, Hegor the Stupid, give me 9000 Pyreals and I’ll give you a sandwich.” “Uuuuuh, OK.” “Hah hah! I lied! *runs away*” “Duuuuh, that always happens. If dis were Darktide, I could do somethin about dat.”
The question is, though, is trading something you want to encourage in an ORPG, and if so, is fraud something you want to encourage as well? Maybe reducing the frustration level of your players is worth a little inaccuracy.