Earlier this week, Jagex formally introduced us to the ‘Power to the Players’ initiative. This initiative has one purpose, and that is to make sure that RuneScape is run by the community. Many players are dissatisfied about the updates that have happened in the past 12 months and they want their voices heard.
This year was the Year of the Player and, as Mod Mark stated in the Power to the Players video, they didn’t accomplish as much as they had hoped. That’s why, in 2014, they want to ask the players about every update before it happens in the form of a poll. In the video, they gave us the example of ‘Inventor Skill vs. Elf City’. This is obviously a very difficult choice as I, personally, have been waiting to see both in-game. The players will vote on which update they want to happen first and the winner, obviously, will be done before the loser.
For many players, this initiative is a godsend. They are unhappy with the updates that have occurred in the past several years and want their opinion heard. Other players, however, are afraid of one of the major flaws that could happen with the Power to the Player polling. Many players are uninformed and are very reluctant toward any type of change. They want the game to stay the same and they don’t want any new update rolling along that could potentially affect them in a negative way.
A few months ago, Jagex polled us on a prestige system. The prestige system poll had more ‘nay’ than ‘yay’ votes so the system was not added. Whether or not the system would be a positive update for the game is a matter of personal opinion, but there is one thing that we can all agree on: many players were uninformed about the system. They heard the words ‘roll-back a 99’ and they were absolutely against it and wouldn’t change their minds. With the prestige system, you could change back to level 99 whenever you wished. There were a lot of players who didn’t know this and had voted against the system in the polls for this reason.
A few months ago, Jagex introduced bonds. Up to the date of release, we had no idea that these would be sneaking their way into the game. Bonds are a very controversial item and many players still refuse to believe that they’ve helped tremendously against the real world trading problem that has been running rampant in RuneScape for many years. If Jagex were to poll us on something controversial like bonds, it would receive an enormous amount of votes against it simply because people see something they don’t like and refuse to see how it could be any good.
Back in April on Old School RuneScape, we saw a poll for the return of holiday items. The community had voted for holiday items to be readily available to everybody. Now, many players feel that this is not a good thing and that holiday items are useless. What if the community of RuneScape 3 votes for something and wins by an overwhelming majority but, some months later, we see that we don’t like the updates. Will there then be a poll to remove content that the development team worked so hard on?
The Power to the Players initiative sounds like a great idea, but there can potentially be many issues with the system. In order for the system to work like it should, Jagex needs to oversee it and make changes as necessary. It will be dangerous to give players *all* of the power because often times, we don’t even know what we want.