The Tip.It Times

Issue 3699gp

The Anti-Hack Bribe

Written by and edited by Tip.It

I've seen many updates in my time where gamers have cried, "Jagex has lost touch!" It didn't take an update for me to say that—it took a news post. Jagex recently announced the "Anti-Hack" device. I will now preface my opinions on this new update by first saying it's comforting to know that Jagex is 1, willing to take a loss to make us safer, and 2, they are in this game for the long-haul. And let it be known that I have the utmost respect for Jagex.

As an IT professional, I am all for security, honestly, I preach it to clients day in and day out; but people are naïve about passwords, and many pick really sad and pathetic passwords. Companies have reacted by requiring multi-faceted authentication for devices, so idiots don’t have to think about creating a secure password. Do we need one for RuneScape? Hell no. This is a game that, whether you like it or not, is mostly played by children the ages of 10-18, most of whom go to public schools and who probably encounter other RuneScape players daily. Selling a physical device to kids isn’t smart. What's stopping a bully from beating up a child for his RuneScape key and password? Not much. Secondly, does Jagex know where adults play? I play at work. As an adult I play RuneScape because 1, my friends play, and 2, it’s about all I can sneak on at work because of its Java browser-based design. USB devices are grounds for dismissal—no thanks.

It’s awfully sweet of Jagex to poll us, but currently 48% of RuneScape players would pay $10 for a low price for a device of this nature, and on the terms that they get more bank space. Sounds like players just want bank space, and bank space Jagex would give us, as they might feel it would make us more secure. I don’t know about you, but I’d probably drop my least valuable item or use up a material I was hoarding to free up space for a purchase. I don’t think the extra 5, 10, 15 or even 50 spaces would increase my net worth to a point to where, if I was hacked, I would be upset about losing those additional items. Why not give it to me now? It's silly Jagex cut costs over the years by pretty much hiding Classic in an obscure corner, limiting it down to one server so few PvP worlds that they have, are full. Yet Jagex is willing to take an illogical, and perhaps massive, loss to the company's bottom line to make us more secure. While noble, and even perhaps honorable, I still don't see it as an effective and worthy venture.

Jagex has long said they would never charge money for an in-game advantage; if they wanted to sell me a godsword, I’d plunk down $50, but bank space? I shouldn’t have to buy a type of security for that advantage. While I am not immune to being hacked, I don't think I need an even higher level of security when the restrictive RWT updates have given less incentive for a hacker to hack you; I really don't think I need the same level of protection I use at my job. Which other MMOs offer such wonderful security options? WoW does, and, on top of that, they also have a support line; and, in my view, better customer service. And you know what? Blizzard can restore gold and items, a service that RuneScape is either unable or unwilling to do. I don't see this newest system as viable, unless Jagex decides to step it up and be more like the industry leader in MMO customer service and security, a title that Blizzard holds. Heck, how secure is the RuneScape login anyway? It’s not case-sensitive. If I lose my key, I’m screwed; and what if I get it damaged? Screwed again. If lost, would I just have to wait on Jagex to ship me a new one, forcing me to wait to play RuneScape? From a firm's point of view, it is increasingly beneficial to buy thin computers without USB drives because of information theft and industrial sabotage; what if my firm does the same? Then I cant play at work. The key is not necessary, that’s fine. I won’t feel any more secure by spending a small sum of money on this option when I am confident in my security as is, and I doubt I’ll even buy the bank space alone.

If I recall, we were told bank space was limited for technical reasons, so it’s ironic that, after you make a purchase for “security”, it can be tossed in as a bonus. Switching servers would take longer, a nightmare for resource gathering if the worlds are crowded, not to mention PvPing. I am all for added security, but to throw on benefits for doing it makes it seem like a bribe. It’s almost like Jagex is offering one of the most demanded requests in order to sell a product that the majority of people don’t need. But how much bank space are they talking about for $10? 5 spaces, 20, 50, 100, unlimited? How much space is $10 really worth? I’d pay $10 for space, I’d also buy some godswords off of Jagex if they would sell them, but they won’t. It's unfair for me to gain an advantage over other players who don’t have the money. Money isn’t my issue at all, but I’m sure it will affect some. I don’t see how offering bank space for people is any more of an advantage to Jagex's profit than selling godswords or GP for cash.

If Jagex wanted us to be “secure”, why not offer us a customer support line to call if we fear we have been hacked, or even do what my work PC forces me to do, and make me create a password that meets certain requirements in length, characters, alpha-numerics, symbol inclusions and more. That’s just basic fundamental workplace security that most workplaces employ.

Sell me bank space, just don’t do it as a bonus for a product that will make the game more inconvenient and feel more like work than it already does, when I’m doing the work of leveling and grinding.

They are taking feedback on their official forums, so make your voice heard.

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