They will add an AH. They are just hoping to see if the masses will get past their juvenile temper tantrums, and try to give the imposed system a try first. In the grand scheme of MMO longevity, a week or two isnt very long to respond "OMG, the people don't like this, lets fix it NAO!"
I'm in no way a fan of the current system of using retainers to promote trade. I haven't even bothered trying that since the beta. The upcomming updates to retainers... is pretty much what SE said we'd have as a system, months ago. I really wouldn't expect an AH for a couple of months at the earliest. We'll have to endure an update, and maybe another or 2. It's just one of those things, where they implement something, and it doesn't quite work out how they intended. Like how Ninja was intended to be a DD/Enfeeb, and ended up being a tank. SE adds. The people demands. SE fixes to appease the masses. But most major changes to MMO's, planned or otherwise, won't necessarily happen overnight.
That said, the retainer system has nothing to do with the AH, regardless of how they work out. The most primary feature of the Retainers, is storage. As mentioned before, we don't have a Mog House, or any sort of bank/storage feature. Even if they add a SOOPER DOOPER AUCTION HOUSE system, people will still buy retainers, simply because space is a premium.
Also, we are now taking steps to increase the number of retainers that a character is able to simultaneously employ.
Seems like we'll be able to hire more retainers for free...
Free? Where'd you get that? More like "you are now free to buy more" is more likely. Edited, Sep 30th 2010 11:08am by LordDVS