Sunday, 6 December 2009

Why prices in Runescape must rise

Why are all items in Runescape going up in price?

One word.

Deflation and money debasement. Actually thats three but maths was never really my strong point.

But this is not the only reason, for that we have to go way back to the beginning, to a beginning I can only surmise at and guess due to not being there. When Runescape was new it was a happy time, so many people were running around plucking chickens and fisting goblins and selling their ill-gotton gains to shops that there wasn't a problem. So many people were poor that it didn't really matter but even in these early days there was trouble brewing, staking you see had the potential to double ones money constantly and most have seen what happens when you start with the number 2 and keep doubling...

If you started at 2x2 and carried on, by the 19th time you would have 1M

By 30 strokes you have that magical 2.147B number

But normal people do not stake 2gp to start off do they? ;)

Within a short while it became obvious that somehow people would have to be able to carry items of great wealth in order to get around the 2.147bil limit and Jagex delivered in fine form.

They invented party hats which were finite by their very nature and some got many and some got none, but most got one.

What one man has another must want...

Anyway, back in the day you could probably pick up a party hat for 50k, which meant some hours chopping trees or killing cows but something happened a year or so later...someone did the seemingly impossible and got 99 smithing. And the whole world rejoiced.

What happened then can only be described as mass happiness on an epic scale, for merchants who had a rune platebody was had his ticket to billions because see, when everyone else is stuck on adamant, he who is harder to hit is he who has an advantage in staking. People would allegedly swap party hats for these early plates that gave them a distinct advantage in battle.

After a few weeks of this another would get 99 smithing due to seeing how well it worked for the other unnamed guy, and then another and yet another and in time the price for plate bodies has been done but now no one but a few rich merchants hold all the party hats...and much lamenting was going on with stakers who could see their plates were of little value really because anyone could make them.

But people would die to black dragons and demons and that wealth would disappear and they would need food and goods and other sundries....wealth came into the game for sure, but it was taken out in equal measure.

Jump forward a year or two and now partyhats are being traded for millions of gold pieces due to traders only allowing them to be sold for that price and no one wanting to spend millions on a hat just to turn around again and sell for 10gp so the price was kept high.

This worked well for a long time as stakers could now stake party hats which had an intrinsic value of only pennies that cost millions and that would help with the 2.147bil limit.

Roll forward another five years and now you have many hundreds of high class merchants who buy out everything, double the price and then sell it off but with millions more people to buy and sell to the issue has been compounded a hundred-fold, they need to be able to do something about this problematic issue of money and it is not easy now to get hold of party hats, in the beginning when clans first started out you could get an easter egg for 4M but as they became "rarer" the price quadrupled as more and more needed to exchange money.

But there is a problem, whereas before players could be relied upon to do the monumentally stupid and kill themselves we got gravestones, which cut the risk of loss by 95% if you ran fast or got a friend to bless your grave...

PvP made a comeback with items costing upto 5M each suddenly appearing from thin air for next to no risk with 76k tricking.

Now that hats are finite, they then turn to other high ticket items such as rune bars, logs, essense...pretty much anything they can get thier hands on except for spirit shards because they are not something that can be sold easily.

And the money keeps flowing in with nowhere to go...

There are a few things that can be done to stop this flow or at least curtail and divert it:

*Jagex could simply step in, cap all the prices but that has been tried with the GE previously and patently did not work and mass whining ensued. (check partyhat whine)

*Jagex could ban all trading completely and they game will die as not very many can be bothered collecting absolutely everything themselves.

*Bring in a new skill that costs a lot of money so only the very rich or those that can be bothered to collect 500,000 wines of Zamorak/ 2,000,000 oak planks can ever have a hope to be the best in, but they did that twice with construction and summoning didn't they?

Increase the price cap somehow or at least get around it, maybe make some kind of bearer bond which can be bought from an NPC for set prices of 10M to 100M (without having to speak to him multiple times) and sold back for the exact same value.

So there you are, what can be done to get around this inflation, as it is hard for us all to trade well or safely with items costing more and more all the time, if it carries on we could have the real life equivilent of hyperinflation some say.



*This post is a summation of what went on, since I was not here for the most part, and compes mentis for even less of it events may have worked out differently in some cases.

Poll at top of forum

I have added a small poll to the top of this blog, for reasons that may become clearer later.

When you buy items in the GE what system do you use?

Do you buy in round numbers such as 1800, 1900, 10k

Or do you randomise it by choosing prices such as 1876, 1937, 10834?

Or do you simply choose the highest or lowest and hope for the best and you don't pay too much?