I started playing this game in October of 2005. The most valuable non-rare item in the game at the time was the Dragon Chainbody, which was valued in the neighborhood of 20-25 million coins. Although it was a value I couldn’t wrap my head around, the Chain was an incredible find, available through either near-obscene luck at Dust Devils, or the unlikely drop from the then-feared Kalphite Queen. In October of 2005, we looked forward to the Dragon Plate.
Imagine the excitement when last week, the first-ever Grandmaster Quest was released, and the Dragon Plate became available to players! What a raucous it would cause! What an uproar! After years and years of waiting, finally the heralded item had come to bear. It was beautiful, valuable, pleasantly difficult to obtain, and accompanied an amazing quest.
Unfortunately, by now the general populace - does not care. I’m not stating opinion here but rather mathematical observation: after five days the price had begun to drop. This cannot be particularly appetizing for Jagex, who waited so long to release their heralded item. Did the buildup and anticipation for this item really wane in THREE DAYS!!!?!
Now, some claim that the previously robust drop rate for dragon pieces was discounting value, but were the true long term value high, we would not have seen such a Wall-Streetesque fall. This item simply hit the market three years too late. What else could Jagex have expected?
In the time that the Dragon Plate has been teased, many items have been issued, including more powerful armors like Dharok’s, Torag’s, Guthan’s, and Verac’s Barrow Armor. All offer premiere defense bonuses and a great price savings. If a player wanted to avoid degrading items, armor such as Bandos’ Chestplate is available, with better defensive bonuses, a strength bonus, and a lower price than the GodWars items. If a player seeks prestige, Third-Age Melee Armor is more expensive, very hard to come by, and has better statistics.
In short, by taking too long to release the Dragon Plate, Jagex has ruined the effect it would make on the market. There is still a novelty to the item, and it has given a brief-spike to the free-falling price of the Dragon Full Helm, but by and large the once-sought after item came and went with barely a whisper.
Unfortunately, this forces Jagex into a difficult situation regarding future rollouts of highly-valued items:
- Tease the release of large, valuable, highly sought after items and risk their total value being marginalized in the meanwhile.
- Roll out big, worthwhile items quickly, but risk reaching a tipping point - where items are too powerful, there are too many high-powered weapons and armors, and there is no way to offer better pieces without compromising the remaining balance of the game.
It is plainly obvious that the game has moved in the direction of being more raid-intensive. In the last year, large monsters have been introduced at an ever-increasing rate. The Mithril Dragons, Corporeal Beasts, Tormented Demons are just a few new major boss monsters to enter the game and upset the once-delicate balance of power.
Interestingly enough, both Corporeal Beast and Tormented Demons require a large variety of skills and quests to hunt. This seems to trend towards Jagex driving players to develop a single central character, as only characters whom have had massive time investments can expect to hunt these creatures. Also, with limitations on trading, one cannot simply transfer an item from their main character to some side-project character (at least not legally or safely).
There are still many potential avenues to explore for Jagex to offer new things for players to enjoy. How do you expect Jagex to schedule their future rollouts? Will the introduction of new dungeons and raids grind to a halt? Will they continue to increase more and more powerful items, or find some way to taper the power of their releases? Will items of great value begin to be steered towards being skill-related?
Did You Know...
... that if you use any item on a Leprechaun, the farming item exchange screen will appear? (Thanks to Hantoumei!)
Do you have any thoughts or comments about what you've just read? Want to discuss these articles with your fellow RuneScapers? We invite you to discuss the articles in this forum topic.
Letters to the Editor are now being accepted! If you have some thoughts to share with the Editor about this or any other Tip.It Times article, please refer to this forum topic for more information on writing a letter to the Editor. Selected letters will be published in the Times' usual space on the main website during those weeks that no Tip.It Times article is being published.