Sorry man but I call total BS on that.
Since the shop scanner update came out, I’ve visited lots of places I never suspected existed. I’ve explored more than ever before.
Before when I needed something, I went to the same places in Ultima City. I was always frustrated when I couldn’t find what I was looking for.
Now, before I do that, I check on my own world, and I’m often surprised to find what I’m looking for. I just have to run a bit, but I’m happy to do it if the prices are good.
The most frustrating thing that I experienced while looking for something since the update was when I made the trek to @JaceyLive 's place on Dzassak and found out that it was a floating platform in the sky and the portal to get up there was god-knows-where, but no way to climb from the ground.
Aside from that, I’d say it could be great if devs ( @james ) would add a feature to allow us to specify a color for something we’re looking for. I was looking for Cold Berry Gleam a few days ago, and couldn’t find any with the shop scanner thing. Ended-up coming on the forums to ask for some.
Anyway, I’m sure the small players who have just a little house with 3 shop stands are happy to have customers buying their stuff. I found some shop stands in small houses with no portals because they belonged to players who likely can’t afford to fuel them.
And malls are still very relevant. You come to find something, and you find 100 more things nearby that you might want to buy. That’s the point of malls.
It’s easy to repeat “it destroys the economy in the game” or “the economy is busted” over and over, but could you support the claim with explanations?