but the main problem is you don't need gold ever, since you can just steal whatever you want from merchants.
Umm no, since you can only steal once from a person, and as you level up and they restock new items. You wont be able to steal those, and items scale up pretty fast in A2 and onwards. Bartering is the main way you get items.
So then it becomes a game of hoarding every item to sell with high bartering and attitude, which ends up being just a tedious waste of time imo.
After learning how to afford everything through bartering you realize there' no point to waste time and not help yourself to a hefty 300k gold for the rest of the game lol. The loot system is flawed in this way