Alex’s Analysis – Why do they do it?

posted by on 14th May 2012, at 9:21pm

NOTE: To those who are “legit” gambling hosts, take this with a pinch of salt. Jagex still strongly oppose in-game player-to-player gambling, and I do too. So although you meant to provide a legitimate, promising service to those who have nothing else to go towards, I’m still somewhat disappointed that you’re supporting the existence of this problem. And for the record, I don’t trust you even if you say you are “legit” or “trusted”. Scammers will also say they are “legit” and “trusted” – it’s not like they’re bound to gambler code not to.

Scammers. Gamblers. Con-noobs. It’s no longer about immoral trick-based trading. They have evolved to the point of being absolutely ridiculous.

You know who I’m talking about. You see them in the Grand Exchange all the time on populated worlds. “Doubling money”, “hot/cold game”, … and my personal favourite: “legit 2-trades”. For the fun of it, I pretend I’ve fallen for it hook, line, and sinker, and I bug them by being completely adamant about utilizing common sense and fairness.

For example, I saw somebody once saying that they’ll upgrade armor, and they’re wearing full runite. OK, I think, I’ll see if I can score his runite plate. So I trade him and throw up an adamantite plate. He tries to accept without giving me anything back. So I tell him, if he can upgrade stuff, then he should just give me his runite plate in exchange for my adamantite plate and keep his “upgraded adamantite plate” in exchange. Fair, right?

Apparently not. He either complains, or he leaves the trade. But I’ve never gotten a good excuse from any of them as to why aside from “I don’t actually have a runite plate”, to which I usually make sure he does first before attempting this. Either they pretend that I never existed and continue auto-typing, or they call me names and log out. Of course, they’re not justified; I was, in all spirit, being as fair, polite, and proper as I could. They cannot do anything to me.

Jagex have specified it numerous times that they do not support gambling like this. They have improved and upgraded the trade screen time and time again to absolutely prevent scamming, going so far as to make a “your friend changed the offer” confirmation screen when you click accept, and even that will bring you to a second confirmation screen to make absolute sure you know what you’re doing.

They may say “legit”. They may say “trusted source”. They may have an open clan chat. They may even have a “decoy” pretend to actually do it and “show off their winnings”. Do not fall for that. They’re only words. None of them can be trusted.

If you want to gamble so badly, do a level 3 clue scroll or something. Yes, it’s a rather ridiculous gamble with as much potential for a rare as you’d have getting an auspicious katana from a daily spin, but it’s at least a gamble you can trust that will probably have the same luck-based payoff. And they’re fun. And aside from time, they really don’t cost anything.

So why do they do it? Jagex had at Real World Trading a long time ago and showed us all fairly brutally how far they were willing to go to stop it. Anybody with the kind of money that the scammers want usually have the common sense to not fall for these kinds of scams (I tried “upgrading” a bronze chain I picked off a goblin once – they never did it).

Do I know why they do it? Of course not. I have not and will most likely never resort to these means; mainly because I enjoy Runescape too much playing it the way I like: 12 years, and not a single level 99 non-combat skill. Can I make a hypothetical assumption as to why they like to do it based off sense-making logic? Downright I can.

For a start, they do it because they want to have fun, but they don’t want to take the game seriously. And I don’t “entirely” blame them. It’s a virtual world. You gain absolutely nothing from it aside from what you learn or get from other players. You can’t brag about level 99 construction on your resume to the foreman of the remodelling of the Yankee stadium, but you can brag to your friends that you just “scammed 3 million off a skiller noob”. What’s the point of playing it then if not to have fun in your own ways?

My answer to that is that they’re missing out. Runescape’s not for them. Yes, they get the glory of swindling other players, and yes, they don’t have to worry about any “disastrous” consequences for getting caught or found out. 95% of the time, they just get mouthed off by other players, to which they log out and try again on another world. But I can see them just standing around the player-busy areas shouting their auto-typed advertisements, and even when they do somehow get a nibble, it doesn’t even last that long. And again, 95% of the time, they get mouthed off. They’re much better off playing online poker or some other, less tightened MMO or something along those lines if they want it for the thrill of domination. At least there, they don’t have to wait half an hour for a response.

My second reason is that they do it as an act of rebellion. Jagex had been hitting Real-World Traders harder than any other online game in existence, going so far as you remove the wilderness and invoke trade-limits all in one crushing update that saw off perhaps 70% of the user population (95% of them being immoral players, so it was totally worth it). They do it just to show the Runescape Community that despite Jagex’s best efforts, there is still dishonesty allowed to roam free, utilizing every possible method out there. “Flower Games”, “Horse Games”, “Hot and Cold” … really, you guys?

o that, I ask why do they bother trying to prove the point? It’s a point that doesn’t need proving. Yes, people are dishonest. Yes, people have every means to be dishonest. Mostly everybody in the world knows that from experience. Runescape is one of a very small minority expending all efforts to remove this kind of dishonesty and provide their players with a clean, fun, respectful environment for their players that few other games can. You don’t need to challenge their system for the sake of proving that it’s a false hope! In fact, I beg that they don’t. Runescape is a video game. An escape from the stress of real life. The last thing I want is to be told that my means of escape doesn’t work.

It’s like a company creating a parking lot. They pour the cement and level it out perfectly, and some moron steps over the warning barricades and tramples across it. They do it because they’re too lazy to go around or they think they can do better, or to even “test” its perfection and make a statement that the city workers aren’t working hard enough. If you guys have ever laid down cement before, you’ll know how much work it is to keep it perfectly flat without cracking and how much harder it is to fill in holes and maintain consistency. Perhaps this is one out of 7 patches of cement they had to lay down that day, and they are absolutely exhausted. And there are thousands of morons out there who see a flat patch of cement and, by immediate and total instinct, think that the sole purpose of it is to receive handprints and names by some arbitrary teachings they got through peer pressure and spoiled upbringings.

The third reason they do it is because they’re simply clueless or ignorant to the fact that there are Good Faith rules in Runescape. To ensure we respect your fellow player, Jagex laid out several rules that, if they are broken, a player can report the rule-breaker themselves and a whole section of the QA department reviews and judges such reports. But they didn’t know these rules existed. They just skimmed through the warning screens and attempted to TAS speed-run the tutorial level just to start playing. Perhaps they even are aware; they just pretend they don’t know and say something like “oh, sorry, I’ll go read them” after being caught to avoid a report after breaking a rule.

To that, I can only suggest to them that they read and respect these rules. All games should be played by the rules. If you don’t follow the rules in professional baseball, for example, and run around the bases pushing people off them and then tagging them with the ball to get them “out”, then you’ve got chaos. Yes, there is a rule about physical contact like that, but it’s buried within section something, paragraph whatever within the rulebook, and you’d probably have to hire a lawyer to find the darn thing in there. But it’s still in there, and it’s still meant to be followed, and if you have any respect for your fellow player, you will hire that lawyer and understand all the rules before you even think of going pro.

Video games are no different; especially multi-player games. Cheat at single-player games, it doesn’t matter; you’re not ruining the experience for anybody. But we on Runescape are those baseball players who are safe on base, and if you’re going to get us out, then do it the way baseball is meant to be played. We earned our spot on base. It will have to be by our individual and team effort that we win or lose, not by some jerk who thinks he can abuse the system.

Lastly, they do it for the laughs. To which I say it’s not funny. Unless it happens to somebody else that probably deserves it for not listening to common sense. Then it’s only moderately funny.

Until next time; cheers, cannoneers!

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