Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Wilderness and Free Trade may be returning to Runescape.

There's a healthy dose of nostalgia for you.

Runescape. The name alone brings nostalgia to many people, myself included. The game has gone through many changes, some good, some bad. The most "hated" update was the removal of free trade and the wilderness.

For those who don't play, the wilderness was a zone in the game where players could fight each other. The one who died would lose most, if not all, of their equipment. The winnter would loot their corpse. Many people made accounts strictly for player killing. A good percent of the games population was centered around this one feature.

Free trade is something you'll find in any game. You could ask your buddy to loan you that brand new cool sword, or help out someone starting the game with a set of armor and a weapon. They limited what you could do to only so much, so instead of being able to give your friend 100k worth of gold and equipment, you could only give them 10k every 15 minutes. All items in the game were given set values. A big auction house styled system was put in place. The economy was forever changed.

The group dedicated to player killing were enraged. The Wilderness was replaced with the Bounty Hunter minigame. While it delivered a player killing minigame with a chance to earn loot, it was not even close to being the same and was severely broken it it's own rights. There were massive riots in-game for many days afterwards.

But Jagex did not do this to lose a large chunk of their playerbase. The game was bloated with bots being funded by stolen credit cards. Jagex was being sued, and the outlook was bad. So they removed the problem. No longer could a person steal a credit card, make a plethora of accounts funded by that stolen credit card, bot on those characters, then sell the loot they received for in-game gold which they sold on RWT (real world trading) sites.

Jagex did not have to worry about being sued into non-existance and players did not have to compete with the 20 to 30 bots at fishing spots or woodcutting groves. Seems like a win-win situation for both, right?

But there was still the fact that you could not really make money from Pvping or help out newbie friends. Now Jagex is saying their bot detection is much better than it was all those years ago, and they feel confident that they can handle bots and rwting without resorting to a "nuke everything" button.

Over 1.2 million people have voted. 91% voted for the return of free trade and the wilderness, 7% voted no, and 2% said they did not care either way. Voting is closed, and the fate of free trade and wilderness update will be revealed on Monday, Janurary 17th.

So what do you think? Did you vote yes? no? What are your most fond moments of Runescape? Leave a comment!

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