Alex’s Analysis – That’s What He Said

posted by on 12th April 2014, at 5:50pm | Discuss Article


These last few weeks, we’ve been getting some personal messages coming from the Jagex CEO, Mark Gerhard. Basically, he writes about common misconceptions and rumours spread out by the community and gives us, what we are to assume is, the truth behind the matters. He goes into great detail, supplying us with graphics and data figures, and he makes some very convincing arguments to help back up the claims.

I’ve read several mixed reviews about this. The good side is mainly that players appreciate him acknowledging these things and giving mention they are not only aware of the community’s concerns, but are also willing to make the effort to deal with him. The bad side is that they’re using apologies to save them from changing anything, and supplying us with good-looking “facts” that are as trustworthy as pre-opened bottle of “free wine” from Sliske.

Now, I met Mod MMG at Runefest 3. I shook his hand. I had a casual chat with him. To me, he’s got a face and a voice good and proper. In fact, he reminded me very much of one of my NAIT computer teachers whose name, coincidentally enough, was also Mark.

Let me just say right here and now that I believe he’s a great guy. He’s calm, collected, and has his ego very much under control. At the Runefest, he was dressed with a generic staff T-shirt like almost all the other mods were. He didn’t walk around in a Saradomin outfit or dual-wield God-swords; he was as normal a participant as any. If I didn’t know who he was to begin with, I wouldn’t have guessed he was the one in charge of the whole thing. He also spoke with confidence, he knew exactly what he was talking about, and had a casual bit of wit about him. And if by some freak change he was doing that only because it was expected of him in an event we each paid 99 pounds to get into, then he’s also an incredible actor and deserves respect for that too.

That all being said, I want to trust that he speaks truth and that he proudly represents the team as a whole. He’s not one of them suit-wearing big-shots whose word is law and none can oppose. He’s as passionate about making Runescape awesome as we, the community, are.

So, what do I think about these articles themselves? Let’s take them on one by one.

Micro-Payments and Silverhawk Boots:

It’s just a fact; Micro-Payments are the absolute best way for a game to make money. They’ve provided a service to the players as it stands, but if the players want even more, they can add to it. He really didn’t have to justify this; it’s very common knowledge and is used for many different games nowadays.

It’s the same way you can add chocolate sprinkles to an hot fudge sundae for 50 cents. It’s not necessary, and it’s not how the ice cream was intended to be enjoyed, but I love chocolate sprinkles, so I’m willing to pay the extra cash to make the sundae even better and tastier for me! Or to make the people on the street jealous as I eat it in front of them on the bus (that’s a joke; food’s not allowed on the bus). So stop complaining and just enjoy what you have rather than what you wish before it you had. Before it melts, preferably.

He also makes an apology about the Silverhawk Boots offering an immense amount of free experience, but then he says stuff like this:

“[They’re] human and [they] occasionally make mistakes”. Good! In fact, that’s great that they make mistakes! You know what mistakes are? They are the result of trying something new or unknown. If they failed at doing something that elsewhere was done to great effect, that’s not a mistake, that’s false practice.

“Mistakes are only OK if they’re learned from.” Darn right! In fact, so long as you do make the effort to learn from them, mistakes are a good thing. With the Silverhawk Boots, I myself started realizing that my levels were rising considerably quickly because of all the bonuses, and I had to agree that all this free experience was sort of ruining the experience. It served as a good reminder, as for a moment, I got so excited about getting free experience that I forgot about my repeated preachings about “Runescape is a game played for fun”.

You may argue that they should’ve done this a long time ago; stop offering prismatic lamps and ease off the free experience. Things aren’t always black and white. If they just went right ahead and removed all the lamps and bonus experience, then not only was that a lot of work wasted, but there will be players angry at the loss of a good, quick, and possibly much-needed experience bonus to supplement their inability to make time to play the game. And half the time getting experience is essentially grinding in game anyways, so who really cares where the experience comes from? You want bragging rights, you can simply say you never once touched an experience lamp to get your level 99 runecrafting. I can respect that. I got my level 99 construction without the Squeal of Fortune.

Instead, they experimented with different means of handing out this experience. The Silverhawk Boots were an excellent example, where you get agility experience by fighting enemies and training other skills. If you ask me, that’s pretty brilliant. This means I can train a skill I don’t like training by doing a skill I actually enjoy, which is a much better use of my time towards a desired goal! I’ll admit, the experience was rather generous. Something that may have worked better is that you get 1 experience agility for every 10 experience in another skill up to… I dunno, 200 000 agility experience. This means you’d be getting 2 million experience all across other skills for this bonus. I also really like the 2x bonus exp idea where you get bonus experience, but don’t actually get the experience itself until you earn it via tasks. Makes grinding not as tedious.

Myths and Misconceptions:

He gots the facts, yo! He wrote in bullet form. He made us graphs. He divulged on events from the past, repeating numbers I have heard ages ago (95% of bots nuked). And I’m surprised that a full 1% of players have over one billion total GP. And the best part is that despite all the facts, he doesn’t try to defend, justify, or apologize for anything with this one. This is just an FYI post for those who may be interested.

Getting these facts included research. Surveys were conducted, data was collected… I reckon they may have spent almost a week getting all that stuff. To those arguing about it being time better spent on making the game better; this WAS time spent on making the game better. I really appreciate these efforts, and I really hope everyone who was initially believing the negative rumours at least give him the benefit of doubt.

Ultimately, I appreciated the posts and found them very informative and reassuring, and I’m sure I am part of the majority of the community. Regardless of what the rest of community thinks or does, I will continue to play and enjoy Runescape with all its flaws (wouldn’t be fun otherwise). Of course, I’m still looking ever forward to the upcoming construction update. One day…

Until next time,

Cheers, cannoneers!