“Sean Murray made some off-hand comment about trading but the composition and nature of the game became manifestly obvious over time. I watched a late gameplay video and saw the survival stuff: my trading game didn’t exist. I didn’t feel the need to blame either myself or Hello Games for those feelings: I didn’t want to accuse anyone. Why do I feel so alone here?”
There was an entire trailer devoted to trade. Literally, all four gameplay pillars — Explore, Fight, Trade, Survive — got their own trailer, a month before release.
And to your question of “Why do you have to buy a game on its release date if you’re significantly unsure about its content?” — I wasn’t unsure about its content. I — apparently foolishly — believed that when the developers gave interviews and released trailers highlighting the game’s features, that the game would actually contain those features. Why is that unreasonable?