"Barrowing godsword plz" is not an unusual statement in any area of RuneScape after the so-called day that RuneScape died. Most, if not all of us, know about the changes to RuneScape that occurred on December 10th, 2007. It is not these changes that I am here to discuss, but the changes that happened as a result of that update and specifically, a single change. These resulting updates being the removal of free trade and the introduction of main features such as Coinshare, the Assist system, and Item Lending. By now I assume most of you know what I am going to discuss by simply reading the first line but if you don't, it's the Item Lending system. Some may say that an article talking about an update that was over a year and a half ago is too late; however, it just allows for a better article because of the allotted time allowed to observe this update.
Before the removal of free trade helping your friends in RuneScape was something you could do freely and without restriction, obviously. After the removal of the trading system, that RuneScape had relied on for so many years, you were restricted to helping your friends within a 30,000 gold piece limit (later raised to 60,000 GP). Many complained that they would no longer be able to lend their friends items in order to help them out; whether this be killing a boss monster or letting them borrow a obscure item for a quest. After this, the ranters went to work in making it clear to Jagex that we wish to have that ability again. Without further ado, Jagex released the Item Lending System on July 29th, 2008, which was greeted with mixed responses throughout the RuneScape public.
Over a year later, item lending has become a part of most RuneScapers' daily activities; whether it's borrowing a godsword for your own personal use, or lending something to a friend, or to get rid of junk. Item lending allows for more opportunities for both the lender and the borrower. These range from allowing you to sucessfully solo a boss, allowing your clan to have the upper hand due to the item you acquired, and even finally having enough gold coins to buy something you have always wanted. And in this respect, the item-lending feature is a savior for many, many people in RuneScape. Nevertheless, with every good thing there must be a side effect, which can range from something very small to something detrimental.
With the feature came the onslaught or people asking, begging, and even demanding that someone with a highly sought-after, lendable item (i.e. the godswords) to lend it to them for free or for money in return. After awhile this can get annoying for many, causing them to either turn off their chats to the public, which can result in you missing out on something, or acting rudely towards the person asking to borrowing your item. This along with the unfair advantage you might achieve by being lent an item even though you didn't work for it can cause the dislike of the entire system (of course I mean outside of PvP as you cannot take lent items there). Some people go as far as to not allow anyone to borrow their item in resent of this feature.
Of course, it wasn't always this way. Before the removal of free trade no one dared to ask for someone’s hard earned item and only the occasional very good friend asked and even got the loan. Well, some don't like this feature, it causes the pestering of players, it sometimes gives an unfair advantage to players, and was a very rare occurrence in the past. So why do we even have this feature? Was it to fulfill people's last hopes of even coming close to having free trade again? So, in turn, was item lending a waste of Jagex's time?