I couldn't sleep last night and just kept thinking about random junk, and this idea for the Trade Portal we all love to hate popped into my head. And at the time it seemed brilliant to me! But that could just be the pre-sleep craze, so bear with me.
Most people who think of a Trade Portal think of a way to trade items and runes, etc. with other users. The biggest reason why the Trade Portal would never work as most want it to is that it would be too easy to create an alternate login and just "trade" with yourself, giving your alt an enormous advantage over other players at the same level. There is no way this would ever be implemented as it is totally unfair.
However, my thought is far more complex. What if the Trade Portal was more like a marketplace? Let's say you just rolled a Superior Bulwark rune but got some bad rolls (like two resists). You could do as you've done in the past and just break it down and get a shard back, or maybe you post it to the marketplace and some lower level player would snap it up. Maybe a badly rolled 4 star rare superior rune is worth a million gold to someone, or 200 gems, or 500 aether? Would you rather have that than the superior shard? I think I might.
So here is what I'm thinking, and I would love some feedback on this:
You have an item you want to "trade". For the sake of simplicity, let's call it a rune like the example above. Although it could be an Evo or group or Evos, or whatever. Instead of tapping "Salvage", you tap "Sell", which brings you to a screen where you choose what kind of currency you'd like to receive. Maybe you're short on gold, so you tap gold.
Now here is where it gets interesting... You will have no control over the price that rune or item sells for. There would be an economy in the background of the system that values everything, with changes over time. The starting price for your badly rolled 4 star rare superior bulwark rune is 5 million gold (just a random number). For every hour that it sits on the trade portal, the price drops by 5% until the item is sold to someone at a price they are willing to pay. So after a few hours, some level 45 player that scrimped and saved 3 million gold says "Whoa, a Superior Bulwark! I'll take that!" and buys it. You get mail containing 3 million gold and the rune goes away. You might have gotten 5 million if it was worth it, or 50k gold, if it was total trash and nobody wanted to pay anything for it. It would depend on the economy of players interested in trading.
The same could be done with gems, or aether, or honor potentially. Just choose "I want Gems" as your trade value, and maybe you'll get back 75 gems for your bad rune.
The cool part of this is that you can now take extra things like evos, or materials, and put them up for sale. I think the big draw about this to the DB devs is that it would encourage players of all levels to be more engaged with the community, spending gold and gems to get the cool items they would otherwise grind for months and months to get. And when you can buy something, you will probably be more likely to spend some money.
The downside is that it does increase the potential for pay-to-play players and whales to get the things they need to win more easily, but isn't that already the case? I think this would help the regular player be more competitive and add a sense of community back to the game that only comes from being in a guild. I'd love to hear your ideas!