Anyone not interested in PoE can skip this post. It’s kind of offtopic and I apologize for that.
I admit I did not get into the trading and I am ready to concede that any impressions drawn from that game are from my perspective and is possibly not the way others experienced the game. However, I think my way of playing was a perfectly valid way to enjoy the game (It seems to be even officially supported currently). I don’t agree that trading would’ve taken zero effort or zero time investment, but those are obviously not meant to be literal statements so I am not sure to what extent of effortlessness you mean. I never did the research so I cannot say what it would’ve been like. Though, I concede “spending tens of hours” is from the perspective of my personal style and I guess I can’t fault PoE for that.
I felt trading was pretty badly designed in PoE in regards to “just playing the game” (ie. from start to finish) as, like you said, hoarding the currency and trading them was preferred if you were starting out instead of using them yourself. Trading is also generally something I don’t enjoy doing and I would rather discover game elements inside the game rather than in a wiki or trading forum (eg. this is the item my build needs). So I played completely self found with a basic self made build. I would’ve liked if more game mechanics were available to me, despite playing the game the way I played it.
To draw a parallel: There were other mechanics that I just did not want to mess with eg. alt+f4 being developer (Chris something?) endorsed way of staying alive playing hardcore. From what I hear the game was balanced around it. I did not like it and consequently I did not use it and just picked the elements of the game I liked and went with them. Was I gating myself from “not dying” by not using alt+f4? Yes I guess, but I did not want to use the mechanic. I think it would be fair to say I wouldn’t want it to be implemented into VT2 either (if it were relevant), because I think it’s horrible design.
So we get to the gist of it: I don’t want the developers to spend time implementing mechanics, that may or may not be out of my reach (be it via RNG or some other limiting factor). I would rather most mechanics were more or less readily available. Yes, I realize it’s very much a “I want this to be like this, because I want it to be like it”, but arguments for these things most of the time are. The whole PoE thing is a massive digression I think: It doesn’t really matter if I didn’t play the game like it was “supposed to”. I would’ve enjoyed the game more if more of it was available to me the way I played it. Much like one of the reasons I enjoy VT2 is the fact that barriers to access new mechanics are not excessively high for my standards.
I played through most of the content that was available at the time. At the time it was difficulties 1,2 and 3. I have to admit I never beat difficulty 3 Malachai (last boss at the time), because I died trying out the maps (played Hardcore) and didn’t feel like starting a new character. But I was in the last part of the last act.
Also,the fact that you DID want to try those “gated” things is actually the matter at hand.
I really didn’t have that strong of a desire to try them out, but yeah it would’ve been nice to have the mechanics around. For example I would’ve liked if there mechanics to avoid elemental damage other than capping resistance & stacking health (raising res caps & “spell blocking” were unique mechanics IIRC).
I think we might be arguing mostly over semantics at least when it comes to VT2, because I do like new mechanics and I don’t care if only reds have them as long as the reds themselves are reasonably acquirable (which they at the moment are not).