n November 26th of 2007, Jagex introduced a revolutionary inter-world trading market called The Varrock Grand Exchange. In hindsight, there is no doubt that this system has revolutionized trading items in Runescape. No longer is standing in banks for hours on end attempting to sell items is a thing of the past. Instead of standing around all day, hoping someone in the area on your world wants your guthix plate legs, you can head over to the VGE and within a few clicks, the grand exchange clerks will line you up with a buyer or seller to meet your needs.
As a result of the exchange, the price in most items has fallen considerably. The rares market has especially taken a beating since the release of the grand exchange. Some items, such as the disk of returning, are currently worth half the value they were previously. This decline in value is obviously due to the instability in the economy as of late. Obviously, when the economy stabilizes, the value of these items will begin increasing again. This is simply inevitable. As long as there is a demand for these items, and a lack of supply, the price tag on party hats and halloween masks will climb. This is referred to as the law of supply and demand; a very basic economic imperative.
Lately, many people have been saying that the VGE allows Jagex to control the price of items, including discontinued rare items. Therefore, according to these critics, Jagex will continue to lower the price of these items. These individuals fail to see the point. The prices of rare items are based on the above mentioned law (the law of supply and demand.) Jagex cannot control the demand of rare items. Additionally, the demand will continue the more new players Runescape gets. Therefore, the only way for Jagex to permanently dampen the increase of rare item values would be to influence the supply. This entails introducing more discontinued items into the game. This statement in itself is an oxymoron. It is highly unlikely that we will ever see more tradable discontinued items enter the game. But, hey, maybe Jagex will surprise us one day!
With the recent updates against unbalanced trade, the small but steady stream of rares leaving the game will also get a lot larger. For instance, if a rich player with many rare items quit playing Runescape in the past, he/she usually gave away his/her rare items to close friends or maybe just dropped them on the ground for other players to enjoy. Now, the only way for a player to pass on his or her wealth after they quit is to drop it in the party room chest. A lot of players will be reluctant to do this. Besides, the sensible thing to do when you quit is hold on to your rare items in case you come back to the game after time. Then, you’ll be even richer then before, because the items will have gained value.
All in all, the rare market will continue to do what it has been doing for years now. I can foresee party hats breaking the 1 billion mark before the new year, but what do I know anyways?