I can remember about a year ago when Runescape was doing a Live Stream Q & A about once a week for 6 weeks. They covered alot of ground from EoC to SoF. It was a great thing for the community and gave everyone a chance to get their questions answered. Out of all the questions that were asked one stood the most out to me and is the only one I can remember a year later. It was a simple question.
Will member benefits ever be made free?
Before any of the Mods made a reply I already knew the answer, it was going to be an obvious ‘no’. I was very surprised at the answer, Mod MMG (CEO of Runescape) gave a very non committal ‘we don’t have any plans of this in the future’.
A year later, member benefits can now be placed on your account without spending any cash outside of the game.
Players can now buy bonds for $5 each. With one bond a player can cash it in for 14 days of membership, 8 spins on the SoF, 160 Runecoins, or sell it for gp.
What I think:
The purpose of these bonds were put into the game to take out the ‘middle man’. To destroy the real world trading of Runescape gold from illegal websites. Why buy Runescape gold from an sketchy source when you can buy a bond directly from Jagex and then turn around and sell it for gp? And with buying a bond you can decide to get much more than just Runescape gold, you can turn it in for membership, spins, or runecoins.
The people who hate the update are all screaming “real world trading, Runescape’s going against their word”. Seriously? Runescape has had the ‘real world trading’ option since last year, it was called SoF or SGS. Do I like real world trading? No, I don’t like the idea that you can become ‘good’ at a game just by spending money. It puts those who spend the hours in game and not buying things at a disadvantage. Lets face it. There has been real world trading going on probably since Runescape first started, or at least a few years after. Even if Jagex did not implement the bonds there would still be real world trading. In the video themselves Jagex said that 40% of their player base goes out and buys Runescape gold from third parties. Bonds do not add real world trading to the game. Instead the help balance the economy and give players who do not have the funds to buy membership a way to get it without spending money in real life. Its a win, win, win.
The only problem that I see is that if in game bond prices drop really low (around or under 1m). People will just go back to buying money from third parties because they can get more cash for their buck. Instead of spending $5 for 1m they can spend $10 for 11m. The prices of bonds are all dependent upon how many people actually buy with real life money, so in the long run everything should even out.
Another plus that comes with bonds is the money sink aspect. If you trade a bond to a player, that player can’t trade the bond again without spending 10% the GE price to ‘recharge’ the bond. With all those bonds flying around that 10% tax adds up fast, and takes all the extra money out of the game to better even the economy.
In the end bonds are not real world trading. Real world trading will happen regardless, with bonds or without them. Bonds just give Jagex more money to better support their game. Would you want to be giving your money to some third party over in China doing who knows what? Or would you rather give that money to Jagex to better support the game? I don’t know about you but I would choose the latter any day. Bonds also give the less privileged player all aspects of the game. I love this, for 4 years I was a f2p player, and if I still was one I would have jumped at the chance to spend gp for membership.
Sure threaten to quit Runescape with the new update, but its silly, you’d be quitting for a reason that was around since early 2000’s.