Those of you who have been playing RuneScape for a while might have noticed a change in the attitude of players over the time, especially this year. Being overrun by bots and seeing various scam attempts everywhere might remind some of the free trade era back in 2007, which, funnily enough, has returned in 2011. In less than a month, Jagex suddenly took care of these problems and lot more. But are the problems really solved now, and did nothing else come in place of it?
Allow me to start on the first problem of today’s RuneScape: bots. Although bots have been a problem for as long as RuneScape's conception, 2010 and especially 2011 were the worst years. The worst thing was the fact that the bots were no longer those shallow green guys chopping Yew trees, but paying member accounts, occupying various resources. Green Dragon, Turoths and the Rune Essence mine to name a few hotspots. Especially after the return of free trade (and therefore easier Real-World-Trading), the amount of bots in RuneScape was ridiculously high! Jagex promised to take care of this problem, but they promised so many times, that the players (including myself) eventually started to mock every promise.
That was, until 21 October. Named ‘’Clusterfutterer’’ or the Bot Nuke in general, this update actually did kill the bots! According to Mod Mark at RuneFest, up to 7.7 million accounts have been banned. And the best thing was that some of the bot creators admitted their defeat. RuneScape was free of bots! The aftermath now is that various common locations in RuneScape are uncannily empty. Caterby had 1 fisher. The Rune Essence mine had as little as 2 miners! Now that the bots are gone now, we face the amount of actual RuneScape players, and it is really not that high. The community has to grow again, and I am hoping for the active players that this does in fact happen.
One thing which stands out the most for me during all of this is the fact that the amount of ''real'' players is so horribly low. It was even bigger before the return of Free trade! Thus the attempt of Jagex, to bring back old players and give the game a boost by reverting the infamous changed made in 2007, has pretty much failed. While I see the amount of players playing growing day by day, I still wonder if we will get the activity back like we used to have.
The second problem in the world of RuneScape was the ’’dicing’’. Created to be a tool for clans, players soon exploited it, stating that you could win double your stake if the dice rolled more than a certain amount. Gambling is a problem both in the real world and in games, and producers try to avoid it nowadays. For example, there are no more slot machines in recent Pokémon games. Although RuneScape and Pokémon can hardly be compared to each other, you can be sure Jagex does not want a gambling activity like this in their game. Or in their own words, an unfair way to earn money. Besides, countless of (careless) players got scammed, which is something you also want to prevent. Now that the dicing scheme is gone, RuneScape certainly has to be a safe place again!