Alex’s Analysis – It’s called Fayre because it isn’t Fair.

posted by on 27th April 2017, at 12:00pm

The spring-time holiday event is here, and Runescape’s released something that’s somewhat new to the whole shebang (real word; look it up). A big giant Fayre! With games and prizes and attractions. A bit on the meager side with only a handful of rides (and no roller coasters; lame!), but it is a holiday event.

The Fayre is an event that is a sort of extension of the summer beach event. The Lumbridge Crater has been reclaimed by nature, so rather than having to fill it with sand again, it’s become stable enough to turn into a park of sorts. Could turn it into a gnome-ball pitch if there wasn’t the risk of dropping the ball down that bottomless hole in the middle. But then again, what park doesn’t have a bottomless hole somewhere?

Does everybody remember going to those ticket-based arcades? Where they put tokens or quarters into a game based on either raw skill or luck in an attempt to win tickets? Each quarter would net you perhaps 5 tickets at a time, and if you were super-lucky, you could win these 100 ticket jackpots. And there were these really cool prizes that were worth 10,000 tickets that nobody ever won, purely to for incentive for kids to nag parents into winning them that thing?

It’s fun, yes, but profit still remains the number one reason why such things exist. Effectively, they’re like casinos, except they’re a lot more fun and you intentionally don’t win any money back. So… basically they’re better at extorting money than casinos.

The Runescape Fayre is not that much different, except it’s a little less fun (not even a mini-game for the claw?), you get a bunch of free tokens each day, and the top prizes are in a relatively reachable position. There are also times in the day where everything operates for free, which means free tickets, which means free stuff. Everybody likes free stuff! But nobody wants to have to shell out a hundred bucks in bonds just to unlock it all. That’s just silly.

So what’s the point of it, then? Worst micro-transaction update ever? I think not.

First up, I’m going to give you guys a word of advice; you don’t have to unlock everything. None of the stuff is required for a cape, or high-score, or barely even a show of status. You’ll probably discard them in the next month anyways, never to be seen or worn again. Unlocking everything is only for those crazy obsessed hyper-completionists. And that’s fine; you’re not really meant to be able to unlock everything. That’s why arcades had those 10,000 ticket prizes. They’re there for incentive to help people get into it (and for those actually hardcore enough to go for it).

As such, this is why the Fayre prizes themselves in Runescape are a bit ridiculous and somewhat diversified. Myself, I’m only really interested in the dancing and juggling emotes, and those are definitely within the realm of “free tokens only”.

Second, you don’t have to yell about it. After a single day, the ticket reward count had gone up x6 because like-minded individuals complained in the rants forum that e only got 9-10 tickets the first day, and after noticing the trend, it was easy for the folks at Jagex to update it. They are paying attention to consumer feedback. As a business, it’s not just a right; it’s part of the whole service. Customer satisfaction.

Third, it’s a holiday event. It’s not meant to replace Araxxor or bossing, nor is it supposed to be a key method of training. It’s just a little extra for some exclusive loot that’s been supplied to provide players with an experience that’s somewhat unique to Runescape. Plus, we actually put in effort to make that giant slide, so actually getting to slide down it has become all the more worthwhile.

Therefore, I think they really nailed this one. The rides and stands are old-fashioned and portable, there’s hardly any magic involved anywhere, and there are plenty of jokes to go around. Neat that they even added a couple of player-based cameos. Even the in-game characters are somewhat sketchy in their own fun sort of way. They’re in it for the fun, but also for the money. And don’t tell me you haven’t picked that ringleaders’ pockets at least once. He looks like one of those wealthy merchants in Taverly.

So like a real Fayre, there’s something for everyone here! There are rides and activities you can perform just to watch your character have a good time, there are things that give you a nice free chunk of experience, there are scavenger hunts you can do for a bit of discovery, or you can indeed just go for the prizes. Just remember that they’re always in for the profits, and to remember to limit yourselves and not give into temptation.

Because darn it, despite all that, it’s still fun!

Until next time,

Cheers, cannoneers!

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