Firstly, before I start, let me refer back to my only other Tip.It Times submission, back in 2008 - Letters to the Editor #17, where I wrote the latter half of that submission. My viewpoint on the issues, although full of teenage whimsicality now that I look back on it, stands the same. The GE is still a wonderful thing, and obviously Jagex has made huge strides again in the two years since I wrote that submission - although oddly enough I took another delve into retirement shortly after writing that piece.
Now, getting back into the game a few months ago, after losing my job (keep that in mind, that's important later) and being unable to find another one for such an extent of time that I actually remembered RS and have a drive to play again (one that won't fade any time soon, I'm sure - the game seems like a brand new place to me all over again, with such an extended break from it.) I'm greeted by...the return of free trade. And the old wilderness, what a dream, right? They pretty much said it was gone for good back in '07, due to real world trading and bots in China and Korea. PvP is a huge part of the game for me and ended up killing any sort of drive I had to do in order to further myself - I mean, all I did was in order to advance myself to be stronger in the wilderness, in order to be able to survive two-on-one attacks where I may not have, in order to get that kill before someone teleported out, or ran far enough south that I was restricted from attacking. So I have to believe, although I can't put a marker on it, that that was when I began to remove myself from the game.
In any case though, the referendum and the return of free trade has come, passed, and been implemented, and once again, as with the GE and the removal of free trade in the wilderness, I'm greeted again by negativity. After my brief return in LTTE17, I quickly regained touch with the community, and saw the negativity towards the GE - something most people seemed to loathe, rather than find the bright spot in it I had seen. Now, the opposite has happened - the GE remains, but there are no limits, essentially making RS a universal World 2 Falador/Varrock, just as it used to be - minus the typing - and the community is once again filled with negativity. Maybe, in Jagex's words, it's just a vocal minority I'm seeing, but it begs the question - is there anything this company can do that will be received with a positive voice from the community? Jagex takes away free trade, the community rants, Jagex brings it back, the community rants - only now the ranting is about the "invisible" tools Jagex has put to work to combat RWT and bots, and the surely massive influx in said illicit practices this will bring. For starters, nobody can be sure of anything - we don't know, maybe all the RWTs and botters have moved on to a more RWT/Bot friendly game, one with less safeguards, and have left RS behind - save for the ones still here. We don't know yet, and we can't be sure of anything, so why be so sure and so positive that it will happen?
Firstly, in regards to the reaction to this update, I point the finger at the community - this is what we wanted, be happy with it. I know I sure as hell am - hell, I got killed twice by two different clans in high risk wilderness today, but I don't even care - the real wilderness is back, although much changed (landscape wise) from the last time I ventured into it. Secondly, the Runescape economy is much different than that in real life - and this is where the whole "losing my job" thing comes into play - in real life, the economy takes a dive, and we have to wait years for it to be fixed. Government almost surely must step in and take steps to restore it, even though the United States is supposed to be laissez faire, a government "hands off" economy - meanwhile, young students like myself who want to enter a new field are stuck waiting for calls from different agencies, institutions, you name it - in search of a new job - it's not an immediate change.
How does this all get back to Runescape? The Runescape economy is different. Runescape's economy is affected by various things in its own universe, game updates, new items, rarity, etc. - Runescape is not bound to the rules of the real life market. Runescape's economy can and is often influenced by small groups of people - merchanting clans, namely - that can raise or lower prices as they please, due to the concentrated efforts of a few people. If, for instance, RWT and botting does make a huge return, and Jagex can't combat it effectively, guess who can? The community. The community can drive prices up and down, because Runescape is solely a supply and demand economy. If we drive the guide price on the grand exchange for - let's say willow logs - down to 2gp a log, the bots, the RWTs farming those items, they can't make a profit, because you can be sure their macros are set to just place things on the GE at guide price. It could be done in a matter of days, all anyone would need to do is organize a rally - advertise on the RSOF, here on Tip.it, on all fansites - generate enough support, and the price for any item can skyrocket or plunge, because RS is an immediate effect - we, the community, we control the economy, not bots or RWTs. We choose what prices to buy and sell at, and ultimately, we make this game profitable for those rule-breakers - and just like that, we can make it a capital nightmare for them.
My point being, instead of all this negativity surrounding the release of a feature so coveted at one time, we all need to take a moment and think about ways to help Jagex make this game a better place. That Report Abuse button is the first step - but if we, the community, notice that botters and RWTs are making an impact - someone needs to step up and help bring it down. I know I'd be happy to lead the charge. We don't know if it will happen, we have yet to see, as we're only on our fourth day (at the time of writing) with the "old" RS back, but let's enjoy it - let's stop being so negative. Let's see what the highest price we can sell ashes for is - let's see how many old friends we can gather, and how many wanderers we can kill in the wilderness - because, while they can attack from all three sides of the combat triangle if they want to, chances are, they're not going to, as that's a waste of inventory space and time spent switching triangles - because now, revenants are stuck in a dungeon, where we can choose to fight or ignore them. We have what we wanted - no limits on trades, gift giving to friends, we can now lend items with a forced return - something we couldn't do before - and we can finally have a free for all out in the wilderness again if we wanted to. It's all or nothing again, let's wait to see the results of this reversion, and go have a good time!
Oh, and now that I'm finished here, I'll be heading back to train, and take on a couple quests for some stronger items and magic, so I don't get destroyed out in the wilderness next time...