Well folks it’s still 2020, and because a worldwide pandemic, civil unrest, and a controversial election wasn’t enough controversy for one year I’m here to take your mind away from all that with an even more divisive topic this month, direct purchase of oddments. I know what your thinking, “Tanis come on, you can’t just start an article out like that. I mean take us out for dinner first before you remind us of this most painful of microtransactions decisions!” Sorry, like I said, it’s 2020 nobody has time for all that. All kidding aside, oddments have been a hot topic recently. Twice oddments had been used in Treasure Hunter exploits in recent weeks. There has also been speculation that oddments may be the mechanism to end RNG based MTX. This month let’s take a look at why that’s not a scary or radical idea and is a solution to RNG-based MTX.
Let me begin by saying that I am an opponent of XP lamps from Treasure Hunter or any other microtransaction. That being said I support bonus XP stars. You probably are asking yourself isn’t that a distinction without any real difference? I mean it’s all unearned XP, right? The answer to that is no. Bonus XP, while it is technically unearned XP, is not the same because you still have to engage and play the game to redeem it. Granted it’s a subtle difference but a very important one. It makes bonus XP a convenience or quality of life item meant to enhance the game rather than just skipping content altogether. Now that we’ve dispensed with the lamp issue, let’s get into the direct purchasing of oddments.
Oddments are a currency in the game that can be spent in the oddments store. This store offers a host of cosmetic items along with bonus XP stars, lamps, and pulse cores. The way you get oddments is to convert treasure hunter prizes that you don’t want into oddments. This isn’t the only way to get oddments but it is by far the most prevalent way and was in part responsible for the recent treasure hunter exploits. In fact, there have been new restrictions added to the store that impose a limit of no more than 60 prismatic stars can be purchased in a day. This was an attempt to address the exploits that oddments were involved in. Of course, there is a much simpler way to achieve the same goal and improve MTX in the game on the whole.
The simple answer is that RuneScape needs an all-encompassing store currency. Right now we use RuneCoins for the Solomon store, rare item tokens for some cosmetics, and oddments for both cosmetics and XP items. It all gets quite confusing. What if there was a way to bring everything under one roof and have one currency. Good news there is and it’s called oddments. The oddments store should be revamped and expanded to cover everything from Solomon’s to the rare item token shop and the loyalty store. Move it all to the oddments shop and use oddments as the currency. Now here’s the really good part make oddments available in purchasable packs just like rune coins. That means there would be no other kinds of currency that could be spent in the store and oddments would replace rune coins as purchasable currency.
Now let’s take a look at what a change like this would look like. First off, using oddments as a universal currency in RuneScape would alleviate the confusion about having so many different currencies. I know what you’re thinking, but what does that have to do with the direct purchase of bonus XP? It’s simple, making oddments one currency and bringing all the shops under one roof means that there wouldn’t be a distinction between a store that sold cosmetics and one that sold bonus XP items. The reason for that is that there would only be one way to purchase anything and that would be through oddments. That means players couldn’t say that Solomon’s is OK because it’s cosmetics but the oddment store is bad because it has XP items. The other thing that direct purchase of oddments can do for the game is an end treasure hunter. That’s right do I have your attention now? This could remove RNG from MTX.
People should get what they pay for. That’s why RNG has no place in microtransactions. That being said as players we are going to have to face some truths. MTX is never going to cease to exist, not only is it profitable, but it’s in demand. I know it’s in demand because it’s profitable. The best we can do is guide its path. Cosmetics are great and they are a piece of the solution, but players have to recognize that many other players do want to buy bonus XP. Therefore we need a compromise not just with Jagex but with each other. This is that compromise. Put all purchasable items under one roof, have one currency to rule them all (oddments). Eliminate treasure hunter, which in turn eliminates RNG. Eliminate XP lamps from the store. Keep the limits on how many stars can be purchased in a day, and allow oddments to be purchased with real-world money.
At the end of the day, this is a middle-ground approach. No one side is walking away with everything. It is a pragmatic realistic approach that takes into account each of the parties involved. This won’t fly with the more idealistic players that will never accept MTX as a tenant of their gaming identity, but it will do the most good for the most amount of people. There is only one way to find out if it would work. We need to run an experiment to see if players would like it enough to implement the full compromise at a later date. At first, we just need to try making oddments purchasable to show everyone the world wouldn’t end.
Well, that’s it, my gift to you, something else to argue about in 2020. We’ll be back in 2021 with new articles on plenty of new content coming. I hope everyone has a safe and wonderful holiday season and until next time, Happy RuneScaping.