We have opened the doors of the Duel Arena to free players, so that they can get a taste of intense one-on-one duelling. Staked and friendly duels will be available, with a number of options to choose from.
The stake restrictions that apply to members’ duels also apply to free-to-play duels. The Duel Tournament area is still members’ only, however.
The F2P Duel Arena is available on all worlds. Visit the Knowledge Base page for more information.
We have decided to increase the number of bank spaces that everyone has! Members will now find that they have 32 extra slots to fill with items bought from the Grand Exchange, future Summoning trinkets or any other use that can be found for them.
Free players have not been left out, either. Eight more slots have been made available, so enjoy filling your newly-expanded bank!
In other news…
Due to recent ‘player stock’ price changes in shops, we’ve introduced a feature to some ‘notable’ NPCs. Jiminua just north-west of Tai Bwo Wannai and Ordan at the Blast Furnace will un-note certain items for a small price. Jiminua will un-note pure essence and Ordan will un-note any ore that is sold in his shop.
The level 85 ‘Teleblock’ spell has been replaced with the new ‘Bounty Locate’ spell as there is no longer a use for the old spell within Bounty Hunter. The new spell ‘Bounty Locate’ will teleport you close to your allocated target within the new Bounty Hunter area.
A bank pin has been added to the Grand Exchange to protect any expensive items you have for sale, or items you’ve successfully bought but not yet collected.
Free players can now purchase Wilderness capes, for all their Clan Wars needs. Visit the Knowledge Base for more information about how.
As discussed in the ‘Trade and Drop Changes’ newspost (which you have hopefully just read), we have changed what happens to your items when you die with the introduction of the gravestone update.
If we had just done that on it’s own, and not adjusted the Wilderness accordingly, it would have meant that PKers could not get loot from their player kills. That would have solved the real-world trading problem, but it wouldn’t have been much fun for PKers! So, we also began working out what changes were needed to the Wilderness.
The brief for this project was as follows: we wanted to make the minimal number of changes to the Wilderness so that it was still fun, had a similar feel, PKers COULD still get drops from their kills and real-world traders COULD NOT use it to transfer items reliably. This was not an easy thing to achieve by any means but, after MUCH thought, we have adjusted it as follows:
1) Fairly early on, we hit upon the idea of letting the players themselves disrupt attempts to real-world trade in the Wilderness. After all, you can attack other players in the Wilderness anyway so, if a trader goes into the Wilderness with the intention of transfering some items to a cheat, all we need is a nearby PKer to kill them both and it solves the problem nicely (as well as being good fun/reward for the PKer who gets the stuff!). The Wilderness is rather big, however, and it was possible for real-world traders to find a remote corner to commit their crimes.
We’ve actually been thinking for quite some time that the Wilderness was a bit on the big side, and it can get quite hard to find other players to fight. So, this added reason gave us the incentive to finally shrink it. Reducing the area makes it easier for the real PKers to find and fight each other, and simultaneously makes it a nightmare for the real-world traders. We’ve gone with three arenas which, combined, have a total area of about 40% of the original size. That’s small enough to deny real-world traders a safe corner to exchange items, but big enough to have a decent area to run around in.
2) No legitimate PKer would have any reason to take unnecessary non-combat items into the PKing area. After all, who in their right mind would take millions of gold into the Wilderness? It doesn’t help win a fight and there is a large chance that you might lose it! Therefore, we’ve changed it so that you can only take in items that you would have a good reason to take in. Again, this makes things considerably more difficult for the cheats who took these items into the Wilderness, purely with the intention of losing them, but this should not affect normal PKers at all.
3) To mix things up a bit, we’ve added a new mechanic which gives you a random ‘bounty’ target when you enter the PKing area. Unless you are a person’s specific ‘bounty’ (there’s more on this later in the newspost) people can no longer randomly kill you, take your goodies and run away. Anyone doing so will find themselves labeled as a Bounty Hunter Rogue and get a three minute penalty. This achieves a few things: firstly, it means that sometimes you will be assigned a target stronger than you, and sometimes a target who is weaker, which means that you won’t just get picked on by stronger players all the time. Secondly, it makes things harder for the real-world trading cheats because there will be players assigned to kill them – muwhahah! Thirdly, since this stops players simply collaborating to get a good score, it means we can finally do something else we’ve wanted to do for a while – adding two new PKing Hiscore tables.
4) Since the PKing area is now dedicated exclusively to PKing and isn’t mixed up with other content – again, something players have been asking us to sort out for some time – players immediately get a skull upon entering the PKing area; after all, that is why they are there. Of course, we don’t want to suddenly make other things in the Wilderness, such as the Abyss, ridiculously easy – they were in the Wilderness originally to balance their higher rewards. So, we have introduced the ‘revenant’ ghosts (more on that below).
5) Finally, we renamed the PKing area to ‘Bounty Hunter’, since it’s now only one of many things in the Wilderness area. This also paves the way for PKing areas in the Wilderness. The plan is to move from one PKing area in the wilderness to a variety of different ones, all with different rules and tactics. In fact, we’ve already added the first new player-vs-player game, with the introduction of ‘Clan Wars’ (see below). Next year, we have planned a chase-based PKing game where some players are trying to survive/escape while others try to hunt them down.
So, that’s the reasoning behind the changes and what we are trying to achieve. The rest of this newspost goes into more details about the adjusted PKing area (now called Bounty Hunter), the first new PKing game (Clan Wars), and the Wilderness ‘revenant’ ghosts.
If you are thinking that crossing the Wilderness, outside of the PKing zone, will be too easy then think again! ‘Revenant’ ghosts of creatures – as diverse as dark beasts, vampires, werewolves and cyclopes – will be harrying you as you trek across the Wilderness. They will do anything in their power to kill you, and their powers are impressive.
They are far more dangerous than their Combat level suggests, as they can attack from all three points of the combat triangle, freeze you, teleblock you, travel in packs and even ‘steal’ you from combat that you have initiated with another creature! Beyond that they can heal themselves, cure themselves of poison and are very aggressive. It’s time to beware the Wilderness, because the revenants are here and looking to wreak terror on the living…
To read more about this Wilderness update, visit the Knowledge Base page.
In the centre of the Wilderness lies Bounty Hunter. This is a dangerous activity, in which you will also be skulled, meaning that you will lose all your items if you die. As described above, this is essentially the original PKing game that has always been in the wilderness, but is now in its own dedicated area, along with a few twists and changes.
The Bounty Hunter volcano is split into three craters, separated by Combat level, in which you will be given the name of a random player. This player is in the arena with you, and you have been tasked with killing them! They are unaware that you are hunting them, but no doubt they soon will be! Track them down, surprise them and then kill them to nab their items and prove yourself to be the bounty hunter of all bounty hunters.
What is so dangerous about this, you ask? Well, someone else in the arena is after you, too! Your name will have been given to another bounty hunter, and you will be firmly in their sights. Can you kill your target before you get killed yourself?
When players enter the Bounty Hunter area, a skull will appear above their heads, variously-coloured to represent the market value of their carried items. It may be tempting to attack any wealthy players who are not your bounty and pick up their items. This kind of non-bounty killing will give you a three minute penalty, during which you CANNOT leave the Bounty Hunter area – making you a tempting target for other players!
A good, clean kill – taking down a player who has been set as your bounty – will gain you Bounty Hunter points, which you can look up on the Bounty Hunter table in the Hiscores section of our website. Killing anyone else will give you Bounty Hunter Rogue points, which can be checked on their own Bounty Hunter Rogue Hiscores table.
Bounty Hunter is only available on certain worlds. To see a full list of themed worlds, visit the Knowledge Base page.
To read more about this update, visit the Knowledge Base page.
A short distance east of the Bounty Hunter volcano lies Clan Wars, a battleground for the many clans of RuneScape.
Starting a clan war is easy; anyone in a Clan Chat channel who has a ‘Captain’ rank or higher can right-click another clan’s captain (or higher) and ‘Challenge’ them while in the Clan Wars challenge hall. That opposing clan member can then choose to accept the challenge or slope off to fight another day.
Once accepted – after all, saying “no” would not be the mark of a true warrior – the two players are taken to the Clan Wars arena, where they await their clan-mates. A red message will appear in the chatbox of these clan members, telling them that they have two minutes to join by entering a portal in the challenge hall. Once those two minutes are up, the battle is on!
The combat is ‘safe’, which means that you will not lose any items when dying in a clan war. Instead, those defeated will find themselves in a viewing area, where they can choose to watch or leave the war.
Battle continues until one side loses all of its players and none remain to fight. Will you be a member of the winning clan? Or will you be watching from the viewing area, observing the battle through viewing orbs and chatting to your team mates about what went wrong?
Unlike Bounty Hunter, Clan Wars is available on every world. To see a full list of themed worlds, visit the Knowledge Base page.
To read more about this update, visit the Knowledge Base page.
We strongly advise you to read this week’s Development Diary before this newspost, so that you can fully understand why we have made these vitally important changes.
To remove real-world trading from RuneScape, we must stop the gold sellers’ ability to function. We believe that the best and only way to do this will be to stop unbalanced trade.
We consider an unbalanced trade to be one that is not equivalent, with a trader receiving items that are much more valuable than those they are giving away. For example, a party hat traded for a bucket is quite obviously an unbalanced trade.
For a trade to be ‘balanced’, the total value of the items being given must be within 3,000gp of the items being received. For example you WOULD be allowed to trade an item worth 15,000gp for an item worth 17,000gp (because the DIFFERENCE is less than 3,000gp). You will be limited to a 3,000gp gain or loss every 15 minutes.
We are aware that many of you will want to prepare for this change. So, initially, we are just going to make the trade system WARN about unbalanced trades, but it will still allow the trade to go through. This seriously reduces any opportunities for scamming, but still gives you a chance to get used to how it works, organise your items, hand back borrowed stuff, and give Christmas presents. Then, in the first week of January, we will change it to simply not allow unbalanced trades outside of the 3,000gp limit. We will be reminding you when the January date approaches, so that you can be best prepared.
For certain categories of account (mostly new accounts) we are actually implementing the trade restriction immediately. This allows us to stop a large chunk of the cheating immediately, since most of the real-world traders are using new accounts due to their previous ones being banned. For the vast majority of players, the trade restriction will come into effect in the first week of January.
We’d like to reassure you that we plan to keep a thriving player-trading economy. We are certainly NOT planning to remove trading from the game! It’s only very unbalanced trades which will be affected. You won’t be forced to use the Grand Exchange to trade either, although that will remain a superb means of buying or selling any of your items.
The 3,000gp rule means that you can still help each other out by offering cheaper items for free. We are certainly not going to stop you giving a Fishing rod or an antipoison potion to those who need it or, indeed, offering inflated amounts for items you want in a hurry, within the 3,000gp limit.
This shouldn’t overly affect legitimate players, as the aim is to make sure there is no reason to NEED to do an unbalanced trade (more on how we have tried to ensure this below). It stops the real-world traders dead, as there is no way they can make delivery of purchased gold/items any more. Our aim is to make gold-selling so difficult that gold sellers and farmers are forced to leave RuneScape forever.
For more information on unbalanced trade, please read the Knowledge Base article.
Any real-world trader will respond to the removal of unbalanced trade by investigating ways round it. They will be looking for alternative ways to transfer gold other than trading. We are one step ahead, however, and have already researched every possible means for them to do so and amended them over the past few months.
We have previously adjusted the Duel Arena, Party Room, shops, etc. to prevent them being used to covertly transfer purchased gold.
One way of covertly transferring gold has not been mentioned yet, and we have addressed it this month. By dropping an item – through death or just discarding it – a real-world trader was able to make an unbalanced trade.
For the removal of unbalanced trade to be successful we must, therefore, change the way that player-dropped items work.
Discarded Item Changes
One way to fix it would be to make all discarded items invisible to other players. After all, a real-world trader would find it difficult to offer another player a stack of gold if their customer could not see it, let alone pick it up!
We’ve not gone quite that far. Instead, we have decided to just limit the visible amount. When you discard items by dropping them on the floor, they will only become visible to other players if their market value is less than 3,000 coins. Items with a market value less than this will become visible to other players after a delay (like before) – unless you’ve already reached your limit of 3,000 coins worth of items on the floor in a 15 minute period. This doesn’t prevent you from discarding unwanted items or picking them up again; the change only restricts the ability of other players to see your discarded stuff.
There are no restrictions to how many items you can drop and how many of them are visible to you – this is only a change to the way your discarded items appear to other players.
Items Dropped on Death Changes
For the same reasons as mentioned above, we have made changes to how items are dropped on death.
When you die, (unless in the Bounty Hunter area – more on this later), you will leave a temporary gravestone behind. While the gravestone remains, your dropped items will not despawn, giving you a bit of time to run back and collect them. Other players will not be able to see or take items from your gravestone.
Your friends can make your gravestone remain for longer, either by repairing it when it starts to crumble or by expending Prayer points to bless it. Your stone can be maintained this way for up to a maximum of an hour. This will give you more time to return and pick up from where you left off.
Please read the Knowledge Base article to find out more about gravestones and how to purchase a variety of gravestone types.
As mentioned before, we have already released several updates that have paved the way for this change. We’ve tried really, really hard to make sure that for everything affected by this week’s changes, we have provided a replacement means of doing the same thing, which is at least as good.
On the left-hand side of the table below, you can see those activities that have been affected by this week’s updates. On the right, we show those recent updates that allow you to continue performing that activity.
New way of performing activity
Helping other players train their skills
Fighting other players to win their drops
Fighting other players to win money
Fighting other players for fun and glory
Duel Arena is now free, and also Clan Wars
Trading items with other players
Balanced trades OR the Grand Exchange
Keeping an economy where the player determines the prices (based on supply and demand)
Looking after the items of a friend who has died
Sharing monster drops when fighting together
Having enough room to store stuff, instead of getting your friend to hold it for you
Extra bank space
Hosting drop parties
Using the party room which we moved to the free world for this purpose
If there’s anything you think that we’ve missed then please let us know on the Suggestions forum. We are confident we can stop the cheaters AND still create all of the types of gameplay you enjoy. It just requires a bit of creative thinking!
You may have heard us talking about real-world trading and its related parts – bots, auto-shoppers, gold farmers, gold sellers – in previous newsposts and even Forum threads. You may not know, however, what these terms mean, how they threaten the evolution of RuneScape and why we must remove them. In this Diary, we explain why real-world trading is an issue that must be solved, what we have done about it in the past, and what we aim to do in the future.
Head to the Development Diary: RuneScape vs Real-World Trading to read more.
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