Old School Runescape
Old School Runescape is a remake of the original Runescape and was made available on February 22, 2013. The reason for the remake was due to players not liking the content changes and as a result the players asked for a remake which led to the creation of Old School Runescape. For this same reason, all major updates in the game have to be voted “yes” for by at least 75% of the voters. In order to vote, the player must be a member which acts as a barrier to entry since this would prevent people creating hundreds of accounts just to skew the votes. Old School Runescape is a fantasy MMORG where the player can train an eclectic of skills to create new items. In addition, players can kill monsters and also partake in battles against other players. They also have the choice to do quests which provide a storyline to the game. Due to the time the game was released, this game is very nostalgic to many teenagers nowadays and as such have many veteran players. Given the player base, it is very concerning that many ethical issues come up regarding the gameplay as it may have a negative impact on society.
- 1 Game Play
- 2 Professional Scene: Deadman Mode
- 3 Ethical Concerns
- 4 References
Worn Equipment are the equipment that can be worn by the player. There are 11 equipment slots which include head, cape, neck, ammunition, weapon, shield, body, leg, hand, feet, and ring slot. Each of these equipment slots allow the player to equip respective items and may give positive or negative bonuses in either attack or defense bonuses. These bonuses are categorized by stab, slash, crush, magic, and range. In addition, equipment may also give melee strength, range strength, magic percent damage, and prayer bonus. Bonuses in attack increase the accuracy of the hit, while bonuses in strength increase the damage dealt by the hit. Prayer bonuses makes it so that the player’s prayer points drain slower.
There are four different spell books in the game. These include Standard, Ancient, Lunar, and Arceuus spell books. Unfortunately, the player can only have access to one spell book at a time. Players are able, however, to swap their spell books by taking a visit to the Occult altar. The only exception to this is the magic cape which is obtained when a player reaches level 99 magic. The perk of the magic cape allows the user to switch to any spell book, however there is a limit of five uses every 24 hours. The Standard spell book has a variety of spells and therefore is the most commonly used. The Ancient spell book is more offensive based and is more commonly used by player killers (Pkers). The Lunar spell book is skill-oriented and utility based. Therefore, it is most commonly used by skillers who want to train magic and another skill simultaneously. The Arceuus spell book is mainly used for training prayer through reviving ensouled heads of monsters.
In Old School Runescape, there are many quests that can be completed which always guarantees some kind of reward. As of April 19, 2018 there are 137 quests in Old School Runescape with 20 being available to all players and 117 being exclusive to members. These rewards include quest points, experience rewards, item rewards, and content unlock rewards. As such, if a player wanted to access the game in its entirety, they would have to complete these quests. Unfortunately, some of these quest can be quite tedious and long. Quest length ranges from five minutes to over three hours. Due to this, many players avoid questing the best they can and complete only quests that pertain to what they want to do in the game.
These quests provide a structured system for players to acquaint themselves with the game as well as provide significant rewards for completing end-game content.
In terms of the most important quests to complete, these include: Dragon Slayer, Dragon Slayer II, Druidic Ritual, Tree Gnome Village, Animal Magnetism, Dwarf Cannon, Recipe for Disaster Series, Lost City, Fairytale I – Growing Pains, Fairytale II – Cure a Queen, The Grand Tree, Horror from the Deep, The Fremennik Trails, The Fremennik Isles, Monkey Madness I, Monkey Madness II, Desert Treasure, Regicide, Lunar Diplomacy, King’s Ransom. These quests are considered the most important quests because they unlock transportations systems which allow for easier travelling through the game. In addition, they unlock items that are the best in slot (BIS) meaning that it is the best item in the game for that specific item slot. Furthermore, they unlock access to one of the best money makers in the game. There are also several quests which unlock a different spell book and unlocks the cannon.
Specifically, Dragon Slayer and Dragon Slayer II provides access to Vorkath which is 3m/hr and rune dragons which are quite easily killed generating 1m/hr. Furthermore, Ava’s assembler, the best in slot for range for the cape slot, is unlocked from this quest. Druidic Ritual unlocks the Herblore skill. Completion of Tree Gnome Village and The Grand Tree grants access and usage of spirit trees which gives easy transportation to areas that may be in the middle of nowhere. Animal Magnetism gives access to Ava’s accumulator which is amazing since it will prevent the need to pick up arrows or bolts manually. Completion of Dwarf Cannon unlocks the ability to use a cannon which great speeds up killing monsters. The Recipe for Disaster series provides access to Barrows gloves which is the best in slot for all attack styles for the hand slot. Lost City provides access and usage of dragon daggers which is one of cheapest yet effective KO weapons. Fairytale I and II give access and usage to fairy rings which is another very useful transportation option. Horror from the Deep gives access and usage of damaged books which can be filled with respective pages and are an inexpensive but effective shield slot. The Fremennik Trials and The Fremennik Isles give access to the helm of Neitznot which is the best in slot for the head slot. Completion of Monkey Madness I grants access to the dragon scimitar which is the best in slot melee weapon for training at level 60 attack. Desert Treasure unlocks the ancient spell book which allows the player to use all ancient spells. Completion of Regicide provides access to killing Zulrah which is about 2m/hr. Lunar diplomacy unlocks the lunar spell book which allows the player to use all lunar spells. King’s Random unlocks the ability to use Piety which is the strongest melee prayer.
The achievement Diary(also known as Diaries or Tasks) is a set of challenges players must complete in order to unlock substantial quality of life improvements in the game. The achievement diary is currently available to players with premium membership and is comprised of four categories, Easy, Medium, Hard, and Elite. These tasks are tied to a certain region in the game, currently 11 regions and unlock exclusive armor that is used for improvements in the game. The easy tasks typically do not take much time or skill but as you progress through the diaries the skills required increase and as a result the time needed to unlock the higher level content increases as well. Early rewards start small with things such as free teleports and shortcuts however they quickly become substantial rewards in which the player is able to teleport into hard to reach areas and has access to high level shortcuts solely through completion of these diaries.
The high level nature of these achievements and rewards oftentimes brings up the issue with newer players in which old time players potentially have an advantage over newer players who might not have these diaries unlocked. The newer players might feel discouraged or unwelcome in the game, especially one with a heavy emphasis on its PVP aspect such as Old School Runescape.
There are 23 skills in the game. These skills can be categorized into four groups which are combat, gathering, artisan, and support. However, players often narrow these four groups further and simply separating them between combat and non-combat. For all skills except Hitpoints and Herblore, they all start at level one. Hitpoints start at level 10, while Herblore starts at level three. The highest level for all skills including Hitpoints and Herblore is 99. When level 99 is achieved for a certain skill, the player can buy the respective skill cape for 99,000 gold pieces (GP). Each skill cape has a unique perk to it and some may be more useful than others. If a player manages to achieve level 99 in all 23 skills, they can obtain the max cape which combines the perk of all 23 capes into one single cape. This cape is highly sought after and well respected by all players. In essence, the player has “won” the game when they have obtained this cape. However, the game does not really have an “end”, so players often continue to play even after obtaining the max cape.
The 23 skills in the game are Attack, Strength, Defense, Ranged, Prayer, Magic, Runecrafting, Hitpoints, Crafting, Mining, Smithing, Fishing, Cooking, Firemaking, Woodcutting, Agility, Herblore, Thieving, Fletching, Slayer, Farming, Construction, and Hunter. Each skill is quite self-explanatory and is in essence exactly what it sounds like. Higher Attack allows the player to wield stronger weapons and hit more accurately with melee. Higher Strength allows the player to deal more damage with melee. Higher Defense allows the player to equip tankier equipment which provide higher defense bonuses thereby reducing the chance of getting hit by a melee or ranged attack. Higher Ranged allows the player to wield stronger hand held weapons such as bows and crossbows and increases the chance of hitting. Higher Prayer gives players access to better prayers which will aid the player when fighting against monsters or players. Higher Magic increases the accuracy of hitting with a magic spell and decreases the chance of getting hit by a magic spell. Runecrafting gives the player the ability to create runes through Pure essence and Rune essence. Hitpoints is the health of the player and therefore the higher the Hitpoints the better it is for the player. Crafting gives the player the ability to create armor, weapons, pottery, glass, and jewellery. Mining gives the player the ability to mine rocks which will in return give the player the respective ore that they have mined. Smithing gives the player the ability to convert ores obtained from rocks into bars by placing it in a furnace. In addition, it allows the player to create weapons and armor by using the respective bars on an anvil with a hammer. Fishing gives the player the ability to catch different types of fish and with higher level fishing players can obtain better fish which can be cooked and eaten to heal Hitpoints. Cooking gives the player the ability to cook fish, meats, bread, pies, stews, pizzas, cakes, wine, drinks, and vegetables and higher level cooking allows the player to cook better food which heals more Hitpoints. Firemaking gives the player the ability to create a fire by using a log with a tinderbox. Woodcutting gives the player the ability to chop down trees and at a higher level players can chop better trees. Agility gives players access to shortcuts and at higher levels increases the regeneration rate of run energy and provides an eclectic of shortcuts. Herblore gives the player the ability to create potions. Thieving gives the player the ability to pickpocket and steal from non-player characters (NPCs). Fletching gives the player the ability to make their own shields, arrows, bows, javelins, bolts, crossbows, and darts. Slayer gives the player the ability to fight special monsters that can only be attacked after achieving a high enough Slayer level for the respective monster. Farming gives the player the ability to grow allotments, hops, trees, fruit trees, bushes, flowers, herbs, roots, and scarecrows. Construction gives the player the ability to make their own house and decorate it accordingly based on their Construction level. Hunter gives the player the ability to catch birds, butterflies, implings and also the ability to set traps.
Player Versus Monster (PVM)
PVMing is when a player fights a monster in an attempt to kill it. Whenever the player successfully hits the monster, the player gains experience depending on their attack style used. If a player successfully kills the monster, there is often some sort of loot that gets dropped in which the player can pick up. Loot is separated into guaranteed drops and non-guaranteed drops. Within the non-guaranteed drops, there is the main drop table and the rare drop table. The main drop table is always rolled on when a monster is killed, however this only gives the player a chance of getting something from the main drop table and does not guarantee that something has to be dropped from the table. The rare drop table is a special drop table that only certain monsters have and is another drop table that is sometimes rolled and provide above average loot. PVMing is often regarded as the best way to making money because skilling (the act of training non-combat skills) usually results in a loss of money or very little money compared to killing monsters. As such some players focus mainly on killing monsters and avoid skilling.
Player Versus Player (PVP)
PVPing is when a player fights another player. This can only occur in several locations. These locations include the Wilderness, Castle Wars, Duel Arena, Clan Wars, and Last Man Standing. All deaths in these locations are “safe” with the exception of the Wilderness. A death is considered “safe” if when the player dies, they keep all items in their inventory and what they have equipped. A “non-safe” death is when a player loses all their items in their inventory and what they have equipped except the three most valuable items. This is only the case if the player is non skulled. If a player is skulled has a “non-safe” death, then they will lose all their items in their inventory and what they have equipped. A player will only receive a skull if they attack another player in the Wilderness. However, the player only gets a skull if they initiate the attack, and therefore players that counter attack do not receive a skull. PVPing is often regarded as high risk and high reward. This is because a player can be risking a lot of valuable items and if the player is able to kill them, then they will be able to reap the reward. However, players should also take into account that they themselves could also die.
Professional Scene: Deadman Mode
Deadman Mode is a special edition of the game where there are many changes in comparison to the normal game mode. One major difference is the experience gained. Experience gained in Deadman Mode is multiplied by 10 and changes depending on whether the player is in a safe zone or not while gaining experience. When a player gains experience in a safe zone, the experience gained is multiplied by 10. When a player gains experience in a non-safe zone, the experience gained is multiplied by 15. Safe zones are predetermined areas where players can’t attack other players. Non-safe zones are any other area and therefore players can attack any other player whenever they want to. When Deadman mode begins, all players start with a brand new account. As such, it is a brand new economy and gold pieces are very valuable and highly sought after. When a player kills another player, the killer gets a key which steals the 10 most expensive stacks of items from the player that was killed. When a player dies whilst skulled, not only do they lose the 10 most expensive items in their bank, but also lose experience in unprotected skills. Each player can protect two combat skills and three non-combat skills.
The Deadman Mode tournament lasts for seven days and throughout this period of time they want to train and get the best weapons and armors in the game to prepare for the “Final Hour”. The “Final Hour” is when all deaths are permanent and log the player out if they die during this time. Players are randomly selected to go to one of two locations given to them. They have 30 minutes to get to their designated location otherwise they will be automatically killed by fog. After arriving at the designated location players must fight each other until only 64 players are left in each location. When there are only 128 players left each player is randomly matched with another player and fight in a 1v1 arena. This process continues until only one player remains, who is then announced as the winner of the tournament.
There are times in which players may intentionally DDOS another player with good weapons and armor during the tournament in order to take their items. This is the most impactful and occurs most during the Deadman Mode tournament. In fact, this happens the most on streamers because their location in game is available to anyone watching the stream. They DDOS would happen when the player is in a non-safe zone and therefore be vulnerable to attacks without the ability to react or move their character in game. This is highly unethical because many streamers play extremely long hours just to have better stats and weapons in the game during the 7 day tournament. However, with just one DDOS attack, the player would lose everything that they worked for. The worst thing about these DDOS attacks is Jagex, the company game developer is unable to track down the culprit and the DDOSer is able to get away with it. It is a great concern that solutions to DDOSing is basically useless because people keep developing ways to make it anonymous and untraceable.
As with any game with some sort of in game currency, scamming is always a major problem that raises concern. Old School Runescape is no different and players are susceptible to all kinds of scamming. One of the most basic scams is simply showing a valuable item to a player in the trading screen but then quickly switching the item with another item that looks very similar to it which results in the victim overpaying for the item that they had wanted. However, not only do they not get the item that they want, they also just lost a large amount of money for it. Scamming is highly unethical and should be viewed on the same level as scamming someone in real life. Virtual scamming can lead to a very bad situation for the victim because sometimes people spend large amounts of cash for in game items which can greatly affect their financial stability. Furthermore, players that scam in virtual environments may think it is fine to scam in real life as well and could potentially lead to more cases of scamming in the real world. As such, scamming in virtual environments should not be taken lightly and should be punished accordingly.
Players in the game can go to the Duel Arena which is a mini game that allows two players to fight each other but with “safe” deaths. The key thing to note here is that players are able to wager items or gold pieces before the fight and winner of the fight takes all. This essentially makes a casino out of the Duel Arena. Although the players are only gambling with in game currency, players often get addicted to it as it can make extremes amounts of money in a very short time. Most fights are usually 60-90 seconds long and as such players can constantly “gamble” and pretty much double their input every time they win. However, just as with gambling in real life, there can be losing streaks and lead to many players going broke as well. This raises an ethical concern because players that become addicted to gambling with in game currency probably are more susceptible to getting addicted to gambling in real life. This topic has always been a concern in the Old School Runescape community as well, but has yet to be taken care of.
The issue of Botting, or the use of macros to perform repetitive tasks is a very big issue in many MMORPGs. With Runescape having been written in Java, many script developers hardly have any trouble writing scripts that perform repetitive actions for them. Because a large portion of progressing through the game deals with performing actions over and over in order to level up. It is perfect for programs that are written in a way that they perform a task without human interference.  However the use of these bots devalues the accomplishments of players that got the levels themselves through traditional means, it also harms the economy. Botting is either used in order to level up or perform repetitive tasks in order to generate money. Botting is most commonly used to do tasks that will generate large amounts of money, usually through gathering resources. As a result, this would cause the price of the botted resources to go down due to the major increase in supply. Furthermore, this would create inflation for the in game currency which devalues gold pieces earned by players who earned the money legitimately. Even though Jagex has a bot banning system, there are still many bots in the game and as such create a major problem for the in game economy which leads to ethical issues.
Gold farming is the issue where players create large amounts of accounts in order to perform repetitive tasks to generate currencies. A single account by itself will not generate much in-game currency however a player with 10 accounts running in the background leads to a large amount of gold being brought into the economy and thus it creates an imbalance in the economy. This issue is one that is against the game rules and for good reason, it devalues the gold of players who have earned their currency through legitimate means and thus leads to ethical issues such as cheating.
The issue of luring is one that involves a player to "lure" another player into high level wilderness with a substantial amount of wealth in his inventory. The idea is to draw a player far enough to where he cannot escape with as much stuff as possible. The lurer oftentimes baits the player by offering to expose a bug in the game which might allow him to double his things, the player then proceeds to bring a large amount of wealth into high level wilderness where a group of other players is waiting to ambush the player. This is another form of scamming which brings its own ethical issues.
Real World Trading
The issue of Real World Trading or RWT is one that typically occurs in many MMORPGs, it involves players selling their in-game currencies for real world currencies or selling their accounts. Players may go on these gold selling websites and purchase large amounts of gold and progress through the game at a significantly faster rate than those who advance through traditional means as acquiring in game currency is the most time consuming aspect of the game. Because players wish to protect their accomplishments this is typically frowned upon in MMORPGs both by players and the developing team behind the game. The purchasing of in-game currency through RWT is a punishable offense in most MMORPGS. They have good reasons for it however as selling a leveled up account is something many players have tried to do but it devalues the accomplishments of high level players that have progressed through the game by traditional means and thus is can be looked at as a form of cheating in game.