Jagex often tries to fix what they have messed up. Nothing is more apparent than the RWT, which they have used many updates to try to counteract. They realized that the biggest problem in Runescape was the amount of gold that was in the hands of players. Skills like Summoning, Construction, and Herblore require massive amounts of gold to train. They were introduced partly for removing some of the gold in the game. The biggest effect on the economy was the GE and trade limits. And something many might not think of, the Bonus XP weekend had its way with many of the raw materials used by the players.
The Grand Exchange has probably impacted the Runescape Economy and the general feel of Runescape. Before the GE many of us remember the bank sales that frequented Varrock West Bank and having to travel all over the place and use the forums to get items. Now we can just go to the GE and get what we need. It made the set prices that the economy runs on now. There is always or almost always a steady supply of raw materials, armor, weapons, and other items that the players need. It has greatly impacted how we trade and how the economy works in Runescape.
Trade Limits are essential to todays Runescape Economy. It is the base of the system, along with the GE. They both control the way we sell and buy. Before the Trade Limits, many of us used Bank Sales or the forums to conduct our trades. Now a days many of us do not use the classic way of trading anymore. Some of us who have had friends on our lists for months can trade up to 200k+. This has truly shaped the economy for what it is today. Junk trading has evolved from the limits; a way of getting around the prices of high level items by adding junk to the trade to increase the value. I do believe almost all of the trading face-to-face is done in World 1 and 2, at the GE.
Bonus XP weekend
Bonus XP weekend came as a surprise to many as it was never thought that Jagex would ever do this in Runescape. People bought up materials such as herbs, logs, and ores. This raised the price of all of these items to very high prices. I think this greatly affected many of the items permanently. Many of the easiest ways to train involved common materials, and were bought up quickly. These weekends will always drive the cost of these items up and keep the prices high for a while after the weekends is over. I think future weekends will have an impact on the economy, even more than the last one had. Many people will begin buying materials weeks before the weekend so they are ready and will try to get materials at their cheapest price.
Money Sink Skills
We all hate training the skills you have to sink money into. You can put 4m into Summoning and only get a few levels. Construction is the same way, along with Herblore. At the end they have their bonuses, training them drains a lot of money from you. Summoning takes the most as you need to buy shards. The shards are usually the biggest expense in training Summoning. Construction sinks the money in making the planks. The hundreds of thousands planks that are made drain millions of GP a day.
I think that most of us agree the Runescape Economy has gone downhill over the years, largely in part to most of these updates. There isn’t much support for the economy getting better as items are a lot more expensive than they ever were. Rares have gone through the roof and anyone lucky enough to have a Santa Hat or H’ween Mask from a few years ago would be very lucky today. I do not think that anything that Jagex has tried to do to fix the economy has done any good. Most of their updates have had little reason and often angered the players. Whether or not you agree, there isn’t much of an argument for any other viewpoint.