Jagex being too strict?

By Gamer H

I am sorry for all you Einstein fans, but this week, again, no article on teleportation in RuneScape and the Theory of Relativity. Instead, you can read about the (in)famous RuneScape rules. Some say they give us too much space to behave bad, others think they are all right, and a lot of people say they are too strict. Thanks to Alien for giving me an idea again, now start reading or you will get a black mark!

This topic has been put up in the RuneScape forums by Lord Grug, if you wish to read it yourself, the quickfind code is 27-28-69-40518338. Lord Grug's concerns are mainly about rule 12, which forbids us RuneScape players to trade in-game items for real world items. The problem is that players are getting scared of borrowing their friends' armor and handing out presents, as Jagex is very strict on the rules, any one way trade (a trade in which you trade something to the other, but receive nothing back) is suspecious these days.

The big problem with these one-way trades is that it is impossible to find out if someone either buys something for real-life money/items/services, or just gets a nice present or borrows something from their friends. About this, Jagex made a news post on the 20th of December 2006:

We would also like to reassure players that we have a very safe way of detecting this (by tracking back to known real-world traders). We DON'T just look for unbalanced trades! So there is no need to worry about being banned unfairly. We are extremely cautious to avoid that, and are aware people often lend each other items, etc...

Now what is the point here, two things:
-Jagex monitors accounts which are known to be owned by real-world traders.
-Apparently Jagex let those real-world trading accounts break the rules, just to find and ban other rule breakers.
Of course I can not complain about the first point, Jagex is taking care to make sure everyone obeys the rules and to keep the game fun and safe to play for everyone. But leaving big rule breakers in the game to catch others who are actually comitting a quite small "crime"?

Now, of course it can be very clear someone is real-world trading from time to time. If you get a large amount of gold from someone who has never been in your friends' list, it is clear something is wrong, especially if that person is also on the list of real world trading accounts. But there are also examples which are less clear, like this one, posted on the RuneScape forums by Stylomilo (a forum mod actually):

I also have a Real-Life Friend whose Account got banned a few Months ago. He got banned for Real World Trading. When I asked him - He merely claimed he was "giving out free stuff to noobs on that day". When I asked him more clearly - He admitted that he had sold a set of Full Rune to his friend a couple of days back. See? Jagex is fair, aren't they? They wouldn't ban any innocent Account for nothing, if no Rules have been broken. Don't ask me how they're able to know if a Player is breaking the Rules or not, I wouldn't know as I'm not Jagex.

To perform real life trades, I assume you would either need to know someone in real life, or you need to send the money somehow. Now let us assume these traders knew each other in real life, then it would be impossible for Jagex to know this set of full rune was being sold. Now this could be proof that Jagex is indeed tracking one-way trades. So apperently, you can not give your friends sets of full rune as presents anymore.

Now, do we really need to be scared? Is Jagex becoming a secret police force RuneScape players should be afraid of? Is it now unsafe to trade items without receiving anything back? The answer is: no. Jagex is trying to protect us and RuneScape against bad people who are too lazy to do work themselves and therefore just buy accounts and items. Sometimes the attempts to keep order in RuneScape are getting a little bit out of hand, but overall we can say it works fine. What we really need to be afraid of? The Wise Old Man in Draynor Village, he seems very eager to have our blue partyhats, another one who is too lazy to work!

Last update: 14-Mar-2007
Log in to Global RuneScape