Why are people happy with this? This is terrible news - GGG is basically saying "We think things are fine as-is, and don't intend to change anything".
What does it matter if you're doing your searches on poe.trade, or poe/trade? Trading is going to be exactly the same either way.
I stopped playing PoE because I just couldn't stand the trading system, and was hoping to return once they saw improvements. But now, it seems like they don't intend to make any, because they see the idea of making changes as being too risky.
They correctly identify a number of problems, but do nothing to explore possible solutions, simply saying "Well, I guess we're just gonna have to stick with the status quo forever then". If players find the process of completing trades a terrible, horrible experience, and players also want easy searching, why not put the bottleneck in the number of items available to search? And that DOESN'T have to mean reduced drop rates - limited slots for posting items available to trade would have the same effect.
And GGG admits another issue here that's been bugging me for a long time, with no solution planned. I, personally, would be very happy to play PoE with no trading whatsoever, either with the restriction of being totally solo, or having personal loot (ala Diablo 3). However, by GGG's own admission:
While a regular player would be lucky to accumulate a small handful of Exalted Orbs in a league, a trader might reach hundreds in the same timeframe...The significant differences in character power and player progression caused by trade has already created a situation where Path of Exile is very hard for some players and quite easy for others. Some people never stand a chance of seeing some of the Atlas of Worlds content, while others can rather quickly defeat it and are looking for new challenges.
They're basically admitting, that for the average player, SSF mode is not an option for someone who just wants to play the game without engaging in what they perceive as an awful trading system. The end-game content in SSF is simply out of reach for all but the most hardcore, most dedicated players.
I don't understand why GGG doesn't fix this, so regular players who don't want to engage in trading (such as myself) can play the game we want. After all, as GGG points out, we are the overwhelming majority. The easiest fix would be to simply have have higher droprates in SSF, to offset the lack of progression from trading, but I can understand why GGG wouldn't want to do this, as characters in SSF can be converted to standard leagues.
So...rather than buffing the player to compensate, why not nerf the enemies? Simply make the enemies in SSF weaker, so that a player in SSF, using gear they create and find themselves, is at the same relative power level to enemy monsters than a character in standard leagues with gear from trading.
All in all, I'm very saddened by this response. The gameplay of PoE is phenomenal, and it's a game I want to love. I bought it before Act 2 was even out, and it's a game I keep returning to, hoping they'll have finally fixed enough frustrating problems that I can stick it out through endgame, and finally see all the game has to offer. Sadly, this feels like GGG announcing that that day will never come, and I don't understand why everyone, who has spent the last several years complaining about trade, seems so happy about it.