Double Vision – Through the Eyes of a 99 Runecrafter

posted by on 19th November 2009, at 10:06pm | 6 Comments

Well, it seems that Jagex has done it once again. They’ve massacred the economy more than enough with the removal of the wilderness and the trade limit, but I think something is still missing. They could always nerf one of the most profitable and respected skills in the game. Oh wait…silly me, they already have, and what better time to do it than when the profit rate is at its highest!

Let’s go back in time for a little bit. About 3-4 years ago, runecrafting was one of the easiest skills to train. Easier and quicker than cooking? Maybe not, but it wasn’t the second slowest skill in the game. All you had to do was set a decent price for runners, have a ludicrous amount of essence, and the ability to deal with a bunch of whiny noobs. In other words, you stood there. This is how most runecrafters did their training. They had a spot in their inventory for noted essence, cash, and possibly nature runes. That leaves 25 spaces for unnoted essence.

25 essence * 9 experience per nature crafted = 225 experience per trade

When I used to run natures back then, skilled crafters could complete a trade and craft their runes within 5-10 seconds. That means on average one would receive ~ 1,800 experience per minute and over 100k exp an hour! What’s my point? Runecrafting was easy to train. Not only that, but natures sold for about 350 gp each. Some crafters paid their runners in cash, others paid in natures. Either way, after level 91 runecrafting you made a profit whether you hired runners or crafted natures yourself.

Bottom line: Runecrafting was quick and highly profitable.

Then came the infamous Grand Exchange and the trade limit. The method of hiring essence runners was drastically affected in a negative way. Somewhere around this time Jagex introduced Pure Essence into the game. All of this contributed to the massive decline in runecrafting experience rates. Jagex tried to compensate for all the nerfing they had done in order to prevent RWT by developing the Assist System. They had the best intentions with this update, but it couldn’t bring back the speedy rates in which runecrafting used to be trained. It only allowed 30k exp per day, and that wasn’t even an equivalent to half an hour’s training. Many players began to stop training runecrafting because it became so slow and boring. However, nature runes were still in the low to mid 200 gp range. There was still a good profit opportunity for making natures, and even more for doubles. This is about the time I started getting serious about runecrafting. I wanted a decent and steady source of income so I started crafting law runes. I made a decent amount of money for the average player. I reached the low 70s by doing this, and decided I would attempt to get level 91. It took me 4 months of nothing but runecrafting every time I was on, but I finally got it. I used my new level to pull in about 800-900k gp per hour for a total of about 35m and got 99 smithing shortly afterwards. After 99 smithing, I went ahead and finished out my runecrafting journey and achieved 99 two months later.

Point #2: At this stage, runecrafting was extremely slow but still had high profit potential.

Up until now, the market for natures has had its ups and downs, but overall it has been at its highest. Until, of course, Jagex decided to take it one step further and crush the runecrafting skill. With the addition of 4 new elemental spells came a subtle, or so you might think, tweak to the runecrafting skill. The “tweak” blurred the lines of the multiple rune requirement levels. Instead of a level 22 crafting 3 airs per essence and a level 33 crafting 4 airs per essence, someone with level 22-32 runecrafting could craft 4 airs per essence. Each level increases the chance of 4 airs per essence while level 33 ultimately guarantees a 100% success rate. For you physics buffs, they have eliminated the quantum-leap concept from multiple rune crafting. The same concept applies to all runes too. Level 44 RCrs have the potential to obtain 2 natures per essence now. Level 45s have a greater chance, and so forth; thus, finally achieving a 100% success rate at level 91. Basically, someone who has level ~60 RC has about half the success rate of someone who has level 91. Also, after you achieve level 91, there are no perks. Should someone that has worked a fraction of what level 91s have worked have access to almost all of what I and nearly 7,000 other players do? Should level 70 slayers be able to kill abyssal demons if they complete a few tasks from Duradel? I’ll let the level 85+ slayers decide on that, and I guarantee the majority would HIGHLY disapprove. If level 70s can make 75% of the natures I can, what is so special about being level 91 or 99 for that matter? Exactly. Nothing. If we have literally 602,700 players with partial access to double nature crafting (which 0.49% of ranked runecrafters legitimately have via level 91+) there will be an overflow of natures in the economy, therefore the prices will most likely drop significantly.

Final Point: Runecrafting is extremely slow AND now possibly not nearly as profitable.

Why train it? What is your incentive besides a slightly better ratio in the game engine that lets you somehow pull essence out of thin air or make it disappear? It makes no sense and will have a massive effect on the skill and the economy. A lot of it has to do with the players as well, so we will just have to see what happens. Six months of mine and possibly more of other players’ lives have been thrown back into their faces due to this “subtle tweak” Jagex has snuck in this week. I never thought I’d see the day when Jagex nerfed one of the best skill-based moneymaking methods in the game. Aside from money, the hard work that was put into getting level 91 by veteran crafters, such as me, was all in vain. Even lower levels are upset with this update because they have no motive to train runecrafting anymore. Jagex has pushed their boundaries far enough. It has to stop somewhere, and it just might for me if this is not fixed. I spend my free time playing their game and I’ve contributed over $300 to their payroll. I expect a little common sense when it comes to fundamental updates. Why can’t we just have new spells and move on? They have been carrying on about high level updates, but to me this seems pretty anti-high level. This is a very poor judgment on Jagex’s part, but I challenge them to prove me wrong by fixing this.