For those who have been in touch with the market of runes and pure essence must have noticed the huge changes in prices of these during the past few weeks and months. These have directly coincided with a lot of Jagex's recent major updates to the community, and I will try to pinpoint the reasons for these huge changes, and what we can do to stop them. My point relates to the fact that the demand for pure essence is far outweighing the supply at the moment, and another 'category' of players needs to be given an incentive to mine pure essence, to bring back the supply of pure essence to the runecrafters. I believe that free players are the best category for this, as they were given a somewhat raw deal when pure essence came out in the first place.
Let us first go back to the 20th April 2006, when pure essence was first introduced. Basically, the differences between 'Pure Essence' and 'Rune Essence' were:
1. That Pure Essence would be only mine-able by members with a mining level of 30.
2. Rune Essence could be used to craft all F2p runes (Air, Mind, Water, Earth, Fire, Body), while Pure Essence could craft all runes.
Before this update, a huge proportion of the essence in the game was being mined by autoers (cheats who used a macro to mine essence without a player needing to be at the keyboard). This update deterred macros from bothering to mine essence, unless they chose to upgrade their account to membership status. Sadly, the macroers did begin to member their accounts and continue the illegal practise (though it probably made Jagex a mint with the money made by all this sudden membership of macroers! ).
As the months have passed (it has been over 18 months since the introduction of pure essence), more and more macroers had taken to mining pure essence. This had lowered the price quite drastically (I remember it dropping to as little as 60gp each at one stage, which was not much more than rune essence was back in 2006!)
The most outgoing, and arguably brave statement by Jagex was made on the 10th December 2007, when they eliminated PKing as it was, as well as announcing that they were to get rid of all unbalanced trades by early January. While most players had a few weeks to sort out any outstanding loans owed to friends, this was the day of demise for all macroers. Any new accounts made after the 10th of December would not be able to do unbalanced trades, even before January 2nd.
With the rate of new accounts being made and banned, a lot of macroing stopped during that week, as many macroers could be identified and given permanent bans within just a day or two. Any new accounts would be unable to RWT, so autoing was removed.
Let us now consider how this loss of macroers led to massive hyperinflation in the Pure Essence market. Back in the days when only one type of essence existed, there were a few large groups who tended to mine essence the most.
Group One: F2P Players - Mining essence was often a great way to make money as a non-member; it was easy to sell and you could always get a fair price for it.
Group Two: Macroers - Essence mining is not a complicated procedure. Many bots were made with the sole intention of using the essence mine to make a quick profit, much of which was sold in Real World Trades.
Group Three: New Members - When a player upgrades his account with membership, many more methods of moneymaking are accessible. However, many new members would prefer to stick with what they were doing in f2p as not to confuse themselves when discovering the massive members area. Plus, essence pouches and alternate essence mine locations made mining it slightly easier in the members' game.
20th April 2006 made it impossible for f2pers (Group 1) to make a decent profit with essence mining, and 10th December 2007 eliminated all macroers (Group 2) from the game. So, only Group 3 remains new members. I do know that more people mine essence than new members, but it is a general category and it tends to be the trend. Most members can access new methods within a few months of playing, leaving the gap for new members to step in.
When I first got membership I confined myself to the essence mine so I could save up for my first Dragon Longsword. However, it was only within a couple of weeks that I realised the huge income hike I could get if I actually crafted the essence I was mining into runes that I could sell for a much higher price. I then realised I could buy the essence to craft instead of mining it, as essence prices were cheap, but nature runes were worth plenty! I have never mined essence since, and I believe this rotation of new players also continues. Nobody in their right mind would mine essence for ever, surely?
As we have established by now, there are now very few players who would find mining pure essence profitable. This is bad news for runecrafters, who relied on mass amounts of pure essence in the game to convert into their runes. This has led to inflation in the pure essence market, as there are not enough essence miners to meet the demands of the runecrafters. Runecrafters (who are a rich bunch anyway!) , are forced to pay more for their essence, as they need to offer more than their peers to make a sale. So, the price of essence rises and rises.
This has unfortunately coincided with Jagex's other update in December 2007 - the removal of the Wilderness as we know it. Players are now unable to fight with one another within the wilderness itself, only in the mini-game 'Bounty Hunter', which needs some SERIOUS improvements if it is ever to live up to the standards that the wilderness once was.
This has had a huge reaction on many of the markets in Runescape, in particular runecrafting. The rune that is crafted the most by far is the nature rune, as the most popular method of training magic is through the spell high alchemy. A huge proportion of players would train magic only because they wanted to use the more devastating spells in the wilderness. But when the wilderness was removed, they had no real reason to continue training mage, and therefore no reason to buy nature runes. Those who do still buy natures can afford to buy for a lot cheaper, as the market is the opposite as it is for pure essence Supply exceeds demand, so the price goes down.
Basically, what I am asking for is to bring back one of the suppliers of pure essence into the game. Earlier, I mentioned that only the group of 'new members' still bother to mine essence, as f2pers and macroers have been eliminated from the game.
Obviously, it would be ridiculous to bring back macroers, but why not f2pers? The reason decent essence was removed from f2p was to try to deter macroers from creating new accounts, as they would have to pay a membership fee to successfully mine. Now that macroers have been taken away, why not give the ability back to f2p?
I do NOT think that all existing essence should be made into one type of 'all-in-one essence', as this would disrupt the economy and there is no real reason to do it. What I propose is that the level cap of 30 mining should still be used, but pure essence should be available to be mined by non-members as well. This would supply the huge demand set by an ever-growing list of active runecrafters, and would hopefully bring back some profit into the skill, while helping f2pers make a decent profit.
For those afraid that this update may actually make regular 'rune essence' quite a rare item, I believe that within the essence mine, there should be a 'rune essence' mine, and a 'pure essence mine.' So if there was any reason a player wanted to mine the less useful essence, they would be able to. An incentive to this idea would also to make the regular 'rune essence' mine significantly quicker to mine than pure essence. And f2pers who used pure essence for their own personal runecrafting could have an incentive of an xp boost or something similar.
At the moment, one minority of the Runescape community (new members) is doing the work of the macroers and f2pers combined. By bringing a new input into the equation, we may be able to balance the economy and stop pure essence from becoming a rarity.
Did You Know...
...If you talk to a farmer after checking the health of your tree, you can pay them 200 coins to chop the tree down for you! Although this saves time, you do not get the roots like normal.
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