With everyone being able to craft everything and have access to every resource at their finger tips it creates a closed feeling with the economy. You don't need my help and I don't need yours is pretty much how it is, I really feel that it's not to late to change this. In my opinion it should be put back to how it was before the game launched and let everyone pick 1 craft, it was so much fun back then when everyone had to help each other.
We used to trade for all kinds of stuff back before launch, I really think that it's not to late to go back to this setup. Give everyone points in their point pool and let them add the extra points to something else for the craft skills they have already leveled.
If the game doesn't revert back to the limited crafting per person I think it will always lack a real economy system and never truly shine in that area. (I think this would really hurt the game in the long run, most people want an economy - crafters want to be able to have worth and non-crafters want to be able to buy from others)
If there is absolutely no way that we will ever go back to 1 craft per person then the only way to allow the economy to thrive imo would be to make it so that your base stat greatly hinders the quality and durablity for how long your items last. Even if you can craft everything, without the crafting base stats to back it up your stuff needs to be so crappy that you won't want to use it for long and you will want to find a real crafter to get what you need.
Resource Distribution A major problem in the game right now imo
An idea for resource placement could work like this:
-Limited areas around the Lake and some parts of the major rivers would be covered in sand.
-Resource piles would feel less plentiful if there were more people camping them, which is more of a player population problem.
-Granite should only be found on a mountain and not scattered in random spots just about every where you walk.
-Basalt should be only at the highest elevations on mountain tops.
Everything else should also have it's limitations, not going to list them all.
My thoughts on the $40 price tag
As far as the price of the game goes in order to appeal to a greater amount of people it shouldn't cost more than $20 at the most with a $10 montly sub. When you compare this game with other AAA titles (yes i say AAA because the cost is close in comparison) it's just a turn off for people and they feel like they have been cheated. (I don't feel this way and was glad to hand over my $40, but I understand how the majority of the people feel about it) There's just to many free to play games out and a lot of them are getting away from the pay to win scenerio that was a turn off for the games that first started with f2p. Most of the recent games that have gone f2p give you most of the content for free and make up their money with vanity items.