The RuneScape inflation: can it ever be stopped?

By Gamer H

Iam sure a lot of you will recognize this situation: You have been making a lot of money merchanting, so you can now finally buy that rare you have always wanted to have. And at the Falador park market, you find the price has gone up, again! Now you will need to get even more money in order to buy yourself that single rare (perhaps it is a blue party hat?).

The rising of prices in RuneScape and the real world is caused by inflation. And inflation can exist for many different reasons. In this article I will point out what causes inflation in RuneScape. What has been attempted by Jagex to stop it? And how have those measures actually worked out? And... Are there more possible ways to stop inflation? Read on to find it out...

Inflation in RuneScape is caused by two reasons: 1. Too much money. 2. Not enough products to meet the demand.

To say it short: the players of RuneScape are too rich, so we can pay huge amounts of money for digital hats of coloured paper. We pay that much because there are by far not enough of those Party Hats to meet the demand. That raises the prices a lot: everyone who is willing to sell a Party Hat has a great influence on the price. And Party Hats themselves are, as the Wise Old Man in Draynor Village says "incredibly expensive".

Now the problem with rares is that they are rare. In RuneScape there are unlimited resources of everything. So when more people reach smithing level 99, the price of rune platebodies will go down. As there are also unlimited amounts of money in the game, there is no problem with that. No, the problem is that there is no unlimited amount of rares in the game.

Ok, we know how inflation is caused, but how are we going to stop it? Jagex has already done several attempts to stop the huge inflation on the prices of rares. One of the first was the Barrows. A simple idea, give players a fun new way to get high level armor. But that new high level armor needs to be repaired very often so it costs a lot of money. Another attempt was construction. When construction was launched, it took a huge amount of money from the RuneScape economy and caused Party Hats to drop in price for about 20%.

Construction worked at first, like all new skills, it was popular. However, there are not many people constructing now, and overall the skill has stabilized. It still drains some money from the RuneScape economy, but not as much as it used to. And by far, it does not match the amount of money created every day, mainly by people high alching.

Unfortunately, there is no good way to stop inflation in RuneScape. Of course, it is possible to take the high alchemy spell from the game. But then people would be angry for a while, and then just low alch their items or sell them to the general store. But the main problem is with the rares anyway. All other items are getting into the RuneScape economy at huge speed. At this moment everywhere are people cutting magic bows, smithing rune platebodies, crafting amulets of glory and stealing blood runes from their chests near Ardougne.

So, the best option to stop inflation would be making rares untradeable. This way they can not rise in price anymore, and people would get richer and richer, but it does not matter as the amount of items grows with the amount of money. Evidently, this is not going to happen. Although Jagex have tried to introduce various ways to stop the inflation, all of them have only worked partially, and there is most likely no good way to completely stop it. Feel free to post any comments or thoughts about this Herald article in this topic.

Last update: 01-Jun-2008
Log in to Global RuneScape