Are Jagex unintentionally drastically changing other parts of the game the more they update? With the recent PvP updates there has been a lot of discussion on the effect that this is having on the economy.
When the PvP worlds were released in October 2008 many players were excited about the prospect of being able to PK again, myself included. However since then it appears that Jagex is perhaps focusing too much on PvP and trying to make the game just about that while killing off other aspects of the game at the same time.
For example before PvP worlds came out the Dragon Full Helmet was worth over 50M GP and was only obtainable by Mithril Dragon hunters. As the drop was released as a PvP drop it has since plummeted to less than 10M, less than 20% of its price when the PvP worlds were first introduced. On top of that the Dragonfire Shield has also plummeted in price going from roughly 25M to about 15M about a 40% drop in price. Seeing as both of those items were rare drops from Mithril dragons and neither of them (especially the Dragon Full Helm) were used for PKing it seems silly to put them as PvP drops other than to have an item of reasonable value as a possible reward. If that was the case what was wrong with something such as the God Wars Dungeon items which was released just a few short months after Mithril Dragons and Dragonfire Shields. Those were items which were occasionally actually lost by players who were PKing and still had a high value, why didn’t Jagex add some of the God Wars dungeon armour/weapons to the PvP drop lists instead? What makes the God Wars dungeon so much more important than Mithril Dragons? Jagex had no problem putting drops from other bosses into the PvP drop list so what makes the God Wars Dungeon so special?
Other items have dropped in price due to being PvP drops, all of the Dagannoth King Boss drops fell in price, for example, Mystic Mud Staves are currently worth less than their Non-Mystic counterpart due to the Mystic versions dropping in PvP.
PvP also effects other aspects of the game, with days up to the re-release of Bounty Hunter sharks were not buyable from the grand exchange even at max price meaning that various players who had stocked up on sharks prior to this could make a quicker profit with little to no effort and also meant that fishers could make a little extra profit. With the original release of PvP worlds back in October a lot of items became unbuyable, rune sets sky rocketed, all varieties of Dragon Daggers became unbuyable and the Dharok armour set (mainly the helmet) shot up in price due to its usefulness. Due to the way the Grand Exchange works it was a while before these items were buyable again and many players who don’t care for PvP were affected, something that seems to be happening more and more as Jagex seem to be switching their focus to PvP rather than PvE or “Skilling”.
Surprisingly one part of the game that seems relatively unaffected was Summoning and Slayer, familiars have very limited uses in the PvP worlds due to the majority of the PKing done in single combat zones (Although I guess the bug involving beast of burden familiars to boost drop potential had a very large effect on the game) and Slayer items have pretty much stayed stable this whole time, Abyssal Whips have fluctuated very little over the past half a year, Granite Mauls are really the only slayer item to be positively effected with the price of those rising slightly while Dark Bows took the biggest hit to Slayers by reducing in price by about 20%, not a lot when you compare it to the majority of items that took a major hit from PvP worlds.
Would it have been possible for Jagex to re-introduce PvP into the game without causing the economy to drastically change? Quite possibly, the Dragon Full Helmet situation could very easily have been avoided by simply just not having it as a PvP drop and same goes to other boss drops that players didn’t use for PKing previously. The price of sharks and things such as Rune armour sets were always going to shoot up when PvP came back no matter what form Jagex put it in but a lot of the drops have, in my opinion, affected the game in a way they shouldn’t have. While PvP may be a large part of the game for a lot of players I’d say there are more players who don’t care for PvP and have been affected by something in a negative way.
No matter what updates Jagex put in there will always be some sort of affect on the game and there’s really no easy way around that but very rarely does any non-PvP update affect the game as much. Who knows, perhaps within the next month Jagex will bring out an update which makes the Abyssal Whip obsolete or something similarly chaotic.