Time for a Runescape / Jagex update for the two of you who slightly care :)… or this post might be titled “The Browning of Runescape”
Last Septemberish, I wrote about how the new owners of Runescape had taken drastic steps to “Nuke” the accounts using automated scripts to “play” the game to earn gold pieces (gp) which are then sold for real money and then sold back to people who want to “buy” their way into the game fast (probably to in tern be able to make real money), creating something of a ponzi scheme all by itself.
Jagex made itself techically an “American” company so they could go into a court in Boston in front of a friendly judge who threw the book at the most successful of the bot makers. The owner of that company went to work for Jagex, supposedly to help them fight people making bots. He turned over the information of every person who had every sold or purchased a script from his company.
Jagex canceled the accounts of something like 8 million players to return Runescape to being a “fair” game. In Jagex’s language that means that people cannot use their “Status” in real life to have an advantage in the game.
So how is this working out? After the initial shock, the place was flooded with people running scams of several flavors, all based on gambling with the central idea of seperating stupid (or very young) players from their gp. Recently, Jagex itself introduced the “Sqeal of Fortune” which spins a wheel and gives you random prizes. About 2 weeks ago, they started selling spins on the wheel for real money, essentially deciding if you can’t beat the gold sellers, compete with them.
The quote in the title was said to me by another player after I knew him for maybe an hour. We were going through a building fighting monsters together when he blurted that out. On the Internet, what people are in real life (including their sex) is only what you tell them, either directly or less reliably by inference.
The smart people have left Runescape for more fertile places. People have ability to set a skin tone of their character, which may or may not have anything to do with their own ethnic identify – but generally a larger portion of the people left playing appear to be “urban” – portraying themselves as dark skinned, using coarse language and creating a very hostile game. Pretty much any attempt at manners, proper social skills, respect for females, using your mind to advance instead of just “killing stuff as fast as possible”, and creating friendships is futile at this point.
Runescape has become Detroit.
Today, a new update was released that dramatically revamps one of the hardest skills (Runecrafting). Two weeks ago, I started a free trial account to see just what the game is like for a new customer. While I advance much faster because I already know the game and where everything is, etc… after two weeks I’m probably about where I was after a year when I played the game back in 2006. In about three hours today, I advanced the runecrafting skill 21 levels (out of 99), which under the old game rules would have taken months of tedious work.
Work has been replaced with building self-esteem. Earning money has been replaced with government (aka Jagex) handouts of valueless money and teaching 13 year olds that the path to success is to gamble. Intelligence and thoughtful decision making has been replaced with random violence against strangers in order to take their stuff away, especially if they are rich and/or fat.
In other words, America has come to Runescape.