In light of the issues brought up with purchasing spins, let’s go back in time to explore some other well-known controversial updates. Some have inspired riots and some have not. Regardless of the severity, Jagex has undoubtedly released several questionable updates prior to this one. Here are five other controversial updates to remind us that this probably isn’t the 'end of RuneScape' like so many have formerly predicted following the disagreeable changes of the past:
5. The Use of 3rd Party Clients Violates Rule 7 (2007)
Originally, RuneScape rules were numbered. The seventh rule was simply titled “Macroing.” Logically, the rule should have applied just to using scripts to achieve an in-game advantage such as botting software and auto-clickers. It was actually like that for a while until Jagex added third party clients to violations of the rule. Unfortunately, this included the then popular program known as Swift-kit.
For those of you who don’t know, Swift-kit was a client similar to the downloadable RS client we have now. Except that, at the time, it was extremely useful for allowing a player to switch worlds quickly, look up player stats in pvp, and a variety of other useful features. Everything was still done manually (therefore, not macroing), only quicker.
PKers and skillers alike gathered in an in-game riot to protest the change. The forums erupted with complaints about the change and how Swift-kit didn’t actually constitute macroing. Eventually, Jagex once again permitted the use of Swift-kit and other (legal) 3rd party clients.
4. RuneScape Classic Becomes Members Only (2005)
RuneScape Classic, still going by the name RuneScape, once sat atop the list of free games on Miniclip. However, after RuneScape 2 became the main game, most of the interest in RSC died down to the point where it was almost exclusively veterans and bots. In fact, bots had become so prevalent, that some were actually designed to help players. There was a series of bots by the names of Icarian _____ who would cycle around the free map to lead both new and lazy players to their destination, all while telling some repetitive jokes along the way.
This seems all well and good except that it reached a point where bots actually outnumbered players. Jagex took notice and banned several thousand accounts. To go along with the mass-ban, Jagex also shut off RuneScape Classic to free players and all new accounts. Players had to log in within the next half year to allow their account to remain active. This remained highly controversial because top players who had simply forgotten to log in during that time period no longer had access to the game they once loved and those who couldn’t afford to pay also lost their accounts.
Almost exactly 5 years later, Mod Mmg announced the return of RSC servers in a live Q&A.
3. Hit Points Becomes Constitution (2010)
Welcomed by many, loathed by even more, the changes to hit points were certainly controversial. What is now the constitution skill was originally called hit points. The name change wasn’t a big deal to most players, but some (including myself) still stubbornly refer to it as hit points. What was a big deal was when hit points and hits of players and monsters were multiplied by ten.
Some argued that the update was beneficial because hitting a monster, for instance, for 23.9 (hp) damage originally rounded down to 23 and now it would be for 239 (lp) damage. Others argued that it was a pointless change that only had the purpose of attracting the limited attention spans of 12 year olds who enjoy seeing higher hits. Whatever the case, the community was certainly split on the update.
2. Wilderness Referendum (2010/2011)
While the opinion of the outcome was clearly one-sided, it was Jagex’s actions that were questionable. At first, there was a petition requiring so many signatures to even bring the issue to voting. The process? Entering a username. Any username. That’s right, no password needed. Not only that, but you could vote with the same username multiple times.
Suspicions were raised that the whole referendum was simply a publicity stunt. Jagex wanted to use its players to tell former players (who quit due to the removal of free trade) that it was returning. Saying that over a million votes/”signatures” were needed to even consider bringing back free trade did in fact return the attention of former players. The only evidence that appears to be in Jagex’s favor, in fact, is that they were completely unprepared for the return of bots.
1. Climbing Boots Changes (2010)
I decided to contact an expert on this one. That expert is none other than THAT ONE CLIMBING BOOTS GUY himself - Logdotzip. Here's what he had to say:
What made the update so controversial can be summed up in two different ways...one being much larger of a reason than the other. The lesser reason is how nonchalant Jagex was about it. The change in their price from 212 to 75,000gp was mentioned as a side update in their "In Other News..." section.
"We've updated the climbing boots that you are able to buy after starting the Death Plateau quest. The price of existing boots will be increased to be more appropriate in relation to their usefulness (i.e. their combat stats)."
So basically the big WTF moment here is that Jagex, in essence, said "In Other News... We've artificially increased the price of an item by over 32,000% and people lucky enough to have stockpiled them are now hundreds of millions of GP richer!" As if it wasn't some sort of big deal.
Now, the bigger controversy was this:
A lot of pictures of people with hundreds, all the way up to hundreds of thousands of boots, started surfacing, most fake, but some real. Mod Mark from the Jagex team insisted that not one player account, as far as he knew, had more than about 1,800 pairs of boots. Even 1,800 is a lot, 13.5 million GP, going by their trade value during the update. The problem was, that wasn't true. Many players came out and said they had tens of thousands of pairs. Even a Staff member of Tip.It admitted they made over 400 million off the update, because they were a PKer and always kept a healthy supply of the boots.
The biggest controversy, still part of the second one, was where I come into the picture.
Around the time of the update the clan Smokin' Mils was notorious for their price manipulation of items. There was no Free Trade during this time, so SM would take their high ups that had billions, and would buy out items in giant "merches" (though it was more of manipulation then anything). Once they got the item to a high enough price, they would dump it back into the GE for insane profits at the expense of your average player.
One of the high ranking in the clan had stockpiled close to a billion GP worth of climbing boots. In the private section of their forums this player openly bragged about knowing about the Climbing Boots change before it happened and claimed that he knew about the update because one of the people working for Jagex was his cousin, and he had some inside information.
The role I took on was that of a furious player. I used to make a lot of YouTube videos about RuneScape at the time, and I made an angry one about this update, showing screenshots of the player's merch, and his post in their private forum about knowing beforehand. I also included a picture of Mod Mark stating that no account had more than 1,800 pairs of boots. It had catchy music and the like, so naturally, it spread fast. I also made a lengthy forum post on the RSOF that coupled with the video. The forum post broke no rules and didn't even reference my video. When I got on the computer later on, on the first day, the video hit like 20 - 30 thousand views. I had also been banned from the Forums for an indefinite amount of time. My thread wasn't even hidden, it was completely deleted. All posts I had made from the last few days up until then were also deleted. I was contacted by Jmods and Pmods, both advising me that it would be "in my best interests" to remove the video. So in response, I made two follow-up videos. They also got quite a lot of viral views.
Players responded in a multitude of ways, most of which was focused on me. Call it my 15 minutes, if you will. The entire RuneScape forums, including the Pmod and High Level Forums were spammed with both my video and my name everywhere. People were getting forum banned for saying my name in posts. They were getting muted in game for saying my name in Mod CCs. World 66 was filled with my name being shouted everywhere. I simply logged in and without so much as a word, a train of people instantly started following me spamming nonstop.
As anyone can tell, RuneScape has had its ups and downs over the years. Ultimately, players have been told the (lack of a) RuneScape sky is falling over and over again, yet it's never quite the end. So long as a true micro-transaction program never surfaces, history shows that the players will make it through the Squeal of Fortune fiasco or any other mistakes Jagex throws our way.