Sometimes a new perspective on an old topic can change the way the topic will be discussed forever. This does not happen often, nor will the new perspective I am about to discuss will have that effect. However, a new way to view something can spark vivid discussions, which is vital to communities. I am well aware that this topic has been discussed a lot, by everyone and especially me, but I can assure you that this will be food for thought for many. This new approach I have been talking about is reflation.
Reflation being a term that can best describe the economic sequence of deflation then inflation, which leads the the previous state before the deflation. This applies to RuneScape when you look at a large range of economic trends over the past two years. Pre-trade limit RuneScape, many will argue, was the hey-day of RuneScape itself. However, the prices were near what they are today for many items and yet many complain about the prices today and at the same time praise that very same time period for being great. This however, relates to the whole concept of nostalgia that effects people's conception of a certain time. The main point being that two years ago prices were the same as today's "outrageously inflated prices". There also happened to be less gold in the economy at that time and in fact, less of all items, with the exception of rares.
After the introduction of the trade limits and the prompt following of the introduction of summoning, many things happened. First off, many stakers, pkers, and people angered at the recent changes-quit, causing billions of GP and items to suddenly leave the game and decrease the supply of many items, including rares. Some people went as far as selling off their items to quit with cash on hand, causing the market to be flooded with items,which was the cause of the crash of the rare market. Second, many people began to spend millions on summoning related items, causing a massive deflation in the form of buying shards for summoning. This caused many items to drop in value because of the resulting shortage of GP in the game. On March 31st, summoning was updated and made even better than on original release. This in turn caused more people who were on the fence about the new skill to spend the money and level it for the now, better benefits. Another stage of deflation promptly followed this and items slowly but surely reached record lows.
After the 13th of October 2008, players were given a substitute to the old wilderness of the pre-2008 updates. PvP worlds were introduced on this day and on December 9th 2008, an upgrade to the loot system and a revealing of the drop system was made. This sparked the generation of PvP 'trickers', which many blame for the inflation that plagued RuneScape after this change. After over six months of big items like dragon full helms and dragonfire shields being pumped into the game, Jagex threw a curve ball and took those out of the drop system and replaced them with statues that can be traded for straight GP on June 16th 2009. This was when major inflation or a reflation to past prices occurred. More and more people began to 'farm' GP this way over the summer causing prices to skyrocket. After tweaks and changes this has now decreased and settled down so that prices are relatively stable today.
Of course, without these updates, prices would have changed naturally. The basic principle of supply and demand affecting items like Bandos and partyhats would have come into play nonetheless. Instead, we went down a route of deflation and rapid inflation to form, in essence, a reflation of prices. Remember, this is just a thought and the term reflation does not represent this process if it were to happen in real life , but I thought that it would be a fitting term to describe the past two years of RuneScape's economy.