Do you think a system designed around a trade house would work in an MMO instead of money/gold? By this I mean if certain automations were done for the player, would players accept a trading system as the only option to get other resources the need? If so what kind of automation could you think would help such a system?
Let's say I'm a farmer and I have lots of beef. More than I can eat. I need some iron to repair my tools though and I'm not a miner so I don't have any iron and mining it would take too long. So I go down to the trade post and I put up on an automated system that says 5xbeef for 2xiron. Then let's say along comes a miner who is hungry. What's the best way to hook these people up and then once found easily allow for negotiation.
Would automation (no matter how advanced) still make this a huge pain? I don't see this very often in games. Using gold seems to be the norm since it mimics our real life. However, in a virtual world we don't have all the real world issues like physics... So you would think that some level of automation in virtual trading would make this an attractive option as brings communities together and removes gold farmers and all the other issues related to currency.
Any ideas around what kind of automation you can think of to make a trading system as easy as money?