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Earth_Poet

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Everything posted by Earth_Poet

  1. The irony is, whenever people who oppose price manipulation bring up history or any real-world comparisons, we're told that we are not allowed to compare the real world to a video game, and that we are just taking this game way too seriously. So we start from the 90s? dot-com bubble and burst, Enron scandals, and hedge funds turning a housing problem into a global recession. If you are willing to look back any further you will see that the America-esque, capitalist market has laws prohibiting the same practices, because it disrupts supply and demand as well as competition.
  2. I think it would be a useful tool for pures, but I also think you pointed out the downsides to it. Could be that when you "lock" defense, you won't be able to attack anything if you have defense or controlled training selected. When you get up there, one wrong move could gain you a level. I don't see how a feature like this would be too much for pures to have.
  3. Very nice read. Gratz to Divination on winning the Skilling Cup. The FT article I found very interesting. I do hope you continue on with the Clan Chronicle through the summer. It's a very positive read for the community.
  4. I don't like the price floors or ceilings either. Why is a whip floored at 1.4M when the high alch price is only 72k while many other items are floored below alching price? I also would like to see an increase in individual trade caps. The main I can't entertain removing price caps is because Jagex won't even consider that idea, so we have to come up with something else. Plus, I still think we'd run into problems as long as the GE dictates all trades in the game.
  5. Very big congratulations to you, n_odie. Well deserved. :thumbup:
  6. Well, this thread turned into the same thing as all the rest. I guess everybody's more interested in flaming. "Merchants" don't want to change, apparently because it's just a game, and it's not my game, it's our game, and as long as it's our game, they can do whatever they want. I guess they really mean it's their game. I hope they do make set prices now. Have fun guys.
  7. [hide=lordkafei] Its wrong in game, because it is a scam, and scamming IS against the rules. Jagex obviously does not agree, as the forums are full of recruitment posts. Not even the trigger-happy forum mods are taking up your cause. 1 2 3 I could go on and on... If this is so against the rules, why doesn't Jagex intervene? :P [/hide] You have a very good point. If it is against the rules, then why doesn't Jagex intervene? On the other hand, if it isn't against the rules, then why does the CEO of Jagex tell players this: That's why we need clarity from Jagex on this issue before we can go on. That was my very first suggestion before anything else.
  8. Dirk, the problem is Jagex won't even consider that, because they put them there to stop RWT. Opening caps does open up opportunity for RWT again. While I don't mind the caps so much, I really hate the price floors and ceilings. [hide=lordkafei] [/hide] There is no murder in the game. All of those guards that you kill...they are codes put there for that very purpose in the game. Same goes in PVP worlds. If you are in pking, you are following exactly what was designed in the game. What happened when Jagex decided against luring though? The built the Ditch of Stupidity to make their point. I don't follow the relevance to your argument. I'm not sure there is even one. It's just a distraction. "What about...what about thieving?" Is that next? For those that are saying it's not explicitly written in the rules that it price manipulation is illegal, you're right. It doesn't explicitly say it is legal either. And we've already presented evidence that Jagex doesn't favor price manipulation. So that's one of the things I'm pushing for. I want Jagex to make an official post either way, because this current argument isn't favorable to either side. [hide=tyluke] [/hide] We must be playing two different games, because everything you point out as a reason not to change is exactly what I'm already seeing in the game. Large clans are buying out bulks of resources. There isn't constant buying and selling, it's constantly getting disrupted, because of constant cycles dumping and launching. [hide=bedman] [/hide] I don't see how updating the GE faster will do anything but lower the risk even further for merchant clans and quicken the rate of rises and falls. It'd further disrupt any true value of an item, because it would be harder to tell how much it is with the constant shifts in the graphs. [hide=xxxgod] [/hide] It would help some to lift trade caps, but 1) Jagex wouldn't listen to that idea since they put trade caps in to stop RWT, which only keeping bottoms wouldn't eliminate, and 2) as long as everybody is on a one-world order trading system like GE, the potential for manipulation becomes magnified.
  9. [hide=FooK-A-Ji] [/hide] FooK, I know your post was targeted at a single player, but there are also a lot of generalizations being made. We are probably on opposite sides of this argument, but I can agree with a lot of your post. I can only speak for myself, but I am not looking to ban anybody from the game right now. Mainly, because threatening players with bans will be as effective as it was against macros, just as you pointed. It's a finger-in-the-dike solution, and it's only reactive instead of fixing anything. I know you said you hate real-world terminology thrown around, but another reason I'm not wanting bans is ex post facto. We can both agree that Jagex's policy is unclear on this situation, and the best thing that could happen first is to clear the fog and issue an official policy. No matter what side Jagex happens to fall, it would do a lot of good. We can debate ethics all we want on the subject, but to be blunt the players who are opposed to price manipulation aren't going anywhere. If this animosity from both sides continue, then if and when Jagex ever does decide to do something, you'll see no sympathy from the other side. You mention that both sides should work together to meet each other's wishes, and that is what I really want to do. I don't want stricter price caps. I would like to preserve what little freedom we have left in the economy while finding a way to fix the vulnerabilities in the GE. I won't stop making real world comparisons. I don't care if you find me delusional or pathetic, or whatever point you were making with that statement. Truth is, whenever I hear talk about stricter price caps I hear the other side screaming, "No, that's socialism! Laissez-faire! Laissez-faire!" Both sides have been making real world comparisons. There are markets controlled by fascists. The United States doesn't have a purely free enterprise market either. There are regulations within it. Different economic attitudes and models have been debated to which is better for centuries. I doubt we'll be able to solve those problems on a game forum, but it's only Tuesday, so you never know. ;) I am ashamed to say that I haven't been above the fighting, but I am trying to find some new answers that we can all agree on. I haven't found them yet, but hey, I came up with something that everybody hated, so at least we're in the right direction. :D I'm a gambler, not an economist. I want to attract someone with better ideas to help out. Are you willing to help?
  10. [hide=lordkafei] Your gathering of roots has nothing to do with me. If you want roots for yourself and the GE price is too high, go get your own. There is no monopoly on roots - just a perceived monopoly on harvested roots. If you gather your own roots and keep them, then you don't have to worry about anyone cornering the market. Price swings will not effect you, because you have learned to gather your own raw materials. There cannot be buyers if there are no sellers. Merchants buy on the GE solely because people are willing to sell. If there were no sellers, merchants could not "corner the market." [/hide] Well, there's really nothing I can work with here. It isn't my personal problems I'm worried about. I was just using your own example. If your response is that I should become a completely self reliant player, than that's the solution for all of us, which means eliminating trade altogether. Neither of us would support that. And I refuse to settle for "things are fine just the way it is." I really am trying hard to work with you here. I want to find a way to balance the trade system without killing the economy. [hide=troacctid] Merchanting clans won't be handicapped just because some people start trading face-to-face, not any more than a meat company would suffer because one of us decides to go vegan. There would still be thousands upon thousands of GE users to exploit. "Incentives to encourage trade outside the GE" would do nothing to stop the problem. [/hide] To quote myself: If you increase the level of trading outside of the GE, you will lower the impact the GE itself, as well as any price manipulation on the GE, on the economy as a whole. If you want to stop price manipulation, you have to bring in competition. Price manipulation is only a symptom. The real problems are with how the GE was implemented into the game. The strings that came attached to it were way too much. Will this completely wipe out price manipulation from Runescape? No, but it would at least bring it back down to levels before. That's the goal. Aside from increasing competition, the other solution is more regulations. For some of the posters that have been preaching laissez-faire, I'm trying to find an answer that doesn't involve more control. We don't have to limit the GE. You gave good reasons not to earlier. I am fully aware of how frustrating trading was before the GE. Back then, I had prices of most items memorized, because they tended to shift very little. Today, prices move daily and I couldn't tell you without looking at a graph. I don't want 10 pages of fighting over the ethics of price manipulation. Neither of us are going to change our beliefs on that subject. I want to work with merchants to find something we can agree on. Both sides refusing to budge isn't the answer.
  11. [hide=lordkafei] :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup: As usual, the solutions to the "problem" are more onerous than the "problem" itself. There are two unstated problems with the GE: (1) The general populace perceives the GE as a huge store instead of being a marketplace. (2) There is simply too much money floating around in Runescape Solving (1) requires nothing more than some re-education and maturity. People must realize they are not entitled to go to the GE and buy items at a certain price if someone else is willing to pay more, for whatever reason. Players are entitled to go gather their own items if the GE price is too high, but to complain that the GE is broken is simply folly. IOW, "get off your lazy, spoiled backsides and go gather your own roots." On to (2): In the real world, you would never see manipulations on the scale that we see in the game. Why? Because in the real world, there is not enough private capital to move markets the way they are moved in Runescape. In the past, skills have been used as moneysinks (construction from the get-go, latter-day herblore, etc). This approach penalizes the small player instead of the so-called evil merchants. The only real way to remove money from the game fairly is with an income tax. I shudder to think of the complexity in implementing it - but it would be a way of taxing the profits of the merchants and keeping them somewhat in check. Sufficient tax rates could discourage the process altogether. I guess you would have to calculate it on a transactional basis. If I buy 100,000 clean torstals @ 2500 per and sell them in a month for 2600 per, I have made 10,000,000 gp profit which is open to taxation. The GE looks at my history, sees I made a profit, and deducts 35-40% for taxes. [/hide] @1. I'm wondering when actually wanting to play the game turned into a luxury, and price manipulation turned into a necessity. Merchants may have a right to play the game, but unfortunately you don't get to do it at my expense, because I have a right to play, too. Hmm....maybe I should "get off my lazy, spoiled backside and gather" my own resources so you can waddle over to your computer and corner the market. You're right! I should work harder, so you can do less! /sarcasm You're looking shortsighted at the "whiny" posts just as many of the "whiners" might be looking at their own situation. I'm trying to look at it from a bigger picture (in fact that's what most of my topic was explaining which makes me think you didn't even bother to read it), and I only see problems getting worse. @2. There are several cases of manipulation in the real world that run very, very similar to what merchant clans are doing. The reason they don't reach these scales is because economists tend to smell a rat in their kitchen faster than teenage gamers. For example, Fisk/Gould were brought down by the government flooding more gold into the market and driving the prices down. Though inflation is always a problem, the GE is not creating inflation. Though I'm not a fan of the tax system, but that gives some ideas. I knew suggesting limiting the GE would be unpopular, but it was better than the real idea I had in my head of doing away with the GE altogether, and I certainly believe it's better than set prices on all goods. What I've heard is an overwhelming "no" to restricting the GE, and that's fair. Some people gave very good reasons. What needs to happen then is more incentives to encourage trade outside of the GE, because a single, unilateral trading system gives way too much power to manipulators. As someone mentioned earlier, price manipulation has always occurred to some degree in the game, but never on this scale before. I want a system that brings a little more balance to the game's economy, and if that means that some people will have to actually "earn" their money like you want me to "gather" my own roots, then so be it. I'll think more about it tomorrow. Thank you for the comments and suggestions.
  12. I'll agree that my idea may not be the perfect solution, but I hope it can move us in the right direction. I don't want to start another thread of "it's wrong! no it's not! yes it is! no it's not!" This circular argument gets us nowhere. There are people out there who have legitimate concerns about price manipulation, and have legitimate reasons why it should stop. The sooner we can find common ground, the better. I have a feeling any changes are going to flare tempers and may cause riots, but yes, Jagex needs to speak up either way. Old-school World 2, Falador Park anyone? The difference is manipulators have to come out of the shadows in order to do this. Before the GE, anybody trying to price manipulate or scam through the forums were locked, deleted, or even action taken against the guilty parties. And that's if the mods could get to the forum before the flamers would eat them up and call them out. You can't put a plate of cookies in front of the fat kid, and tell him not to eat any. If the fat kid thinks he can get away with it, he'll eat a cookie. A poster on another thread said, "hate the game, not the player." Although the poster was just showing his [wagon], there is some truth to this. Simply banning players is a finger-in-the-dike solution. Without changing the system, there will always be more players cropping up. Look at autoers. Jagex has had very strict rules against macro programs for years, yet players are still willing to risk it all and try it. No, the system has to change, and instead of more regulations, I feel we could turn the market against price manipulators by creating more competition against not only them, but the GE as well.
  13. No, it is not proof. It does not state that manipulation is against the rules and, furthermore, is a bald faced lie- they have changed prices in the past without the intent to prevent manipulation. Raw bird meat, harpoons, and other summoning seconds had their shop prices increased to match the GE. The statement implies that it is against the rules with the intent. If it wasn't against their rules, why would Jagex intervene? But Raven is right. Mods quoted in a clanchat, or ambiguous statements found in the KB are not enough. That's why I want Jagex to make an official policy that explicitly states it's against the rules. There was a time when the Jagex forum rules stated price manipulation was illegal, because that's where most trades occurred. Threads trying to "pump" up prices were locked back then. Since nobody trades on the forums anymore that rule has long disappeared along with the old forums.
  14. If I could get rid of the trade caps I would, but we can't. We're stuck with them. I'm suggesting LIMITING the Grand Exchange's influence, while enhancing personal trade abilities. I'm offering a way beyond the only trade system we really use. I think you're trying to say trade would die without the GE, and I think that's a complete farce. How did players trade chinchompas before the GE? They found people buying or selling them. How did players obtain insulated boots? From the Slayer Masters. As for the rest of your post, it makes a huge leap in assumptions with no connection. Remove the GE (which I didn't suggest)...and then Jagex goes out of business. I don't buy that. I suppose they could do that, but the problem with that is it would be way to easy for them to scam each other. It would end up as musical chairs, with whoever is left holding the merchandise when the music stops, wins.
  15. Deceptively changing prices at will does more damage than good. It also affects any honest players who were using those items, and it drives instability into the market through a loss of confidence in the prices. I'm not saying this is a perfect solution, but I hope it can at least show people there are alternatives that could benefit everyone.
  16. OK, this is jumping way off topic now, but the Federal Reserve Act was enacted in 1913. The Great Depression began in 1929. And none of this applies to our current situation in Runescape.
  17. If it's unethical, then how is it not wrong? I understand the hesitance on wanting to do anything about it, but I won't accept a shrug and say, "can't do nothing about it." I believe there is a solution somewhere that both sides can agree on. Laissez-faire may mean "let it be," but I don't think it means "look the other way whenever something wrong happens." Sorry, by wrong I meant illegal. Obviously, anything unethical is wrong. My mistake! but it is illegal
  18. So do you have anything to contribute, or a better solution? Or are you just here to troll? If it's unethical, then how is it not wrong? I understand the hesitance on wanting to do anything about it, but I won't accept a shrug and say, "can't do nothing about it." I believe there is a solution somewhere that both sides can agree on. Laissez-faire may mean "let it be," but I don't think it means "look the other way whenever something wrong happens." To answer the bottom of your post, I am against more trade restrictions, and this is my attempt at finding a different solution. Now, for the rest of your post. Player/player trades would count the same way GE trades count in price changes as you suggested, and I did say that in my essay. Being generous, let's say half of the trades would be occurring on the GE, and half the trades outside of the GE. Even if a merchant clan managed to buy out all items on the GE, they would still only be controlling 50% of the market. That means they still have competition outside of the GE to contend with. Ideally, if the prices begin to rise, a competing merchant can undercut the price manipulators by selling for less. This creates competition, and can undermine the price manipulation plans. That means that in order for merchant clans to corner the market, they have to control both the GE, and the thousands of trades that would be occurring outside of the GE. I also mentioned a method to prevent merchants from spam trading one another to manipulate prices.
  19. Before I begin I want to point out this essay implies that there is a problem with price manipulation and it must be stopped. While I dont want to discourage any replies in favor of price manipulators, what my true aim is to promote a solution that we can all live with, that will benefit everyones style of play. I oppose price manipulation, but I don't think it makes those that do it inherently evil. A Growing Problem Merchant clans. There has been a lot of talk about them lately. Is price manipulation wrong? Should something be done about merchant clans, and price manipulation? More importantly, what can be done? My answers to the first two questions are yes, and yes. The final question is a bit trickier. Heres a solution that I propose. When it comes to stopping price manipulation, there seems to be two common solutions presented: lift trade caps, or restrict trade caps even further. Although I am opposed to price manipulation, I feel neither of these solutions will produce the results we seek, and can potentially make things worse for the rest of us. Lifting trade caps is not a viable solution Jagex will consider. Removing trade caps opens the door to RWT once again, and considering the trade caps were put in place to prevent RWT in the first place its not likely that Jagex would entertain this idea. Furthermore, it only lifts what restrictions are in place for merchant clans, allowing them to buy out items at greater speed. The only benefit against merchant clans is it would create greater risk for them. The current price caps actually serve as a safety net for merchant clans who know the prices will only rise or fall to a certain point. Alternatively, tightening the trade caps even further will cause more harm than good. If there is any trade cap available, it can and will be manipulated through the system we have now. The only difference this would make would be to slow down merchant clans. However, stricter trade caps also run the risk of bottlenecking other items in the GE. For example, if an items value is affected by an update, it will take longer for the price to meet its demand and stabilize. Restricting trade caps will not eliminate price manipulation, and will only hurt us further. Stricter trade caps will also lead us down a path towards set-in-stone prices. You may have heard some players call out words like communism or socialism. Most of these comments are nothing more than political hot buttons we hear in the media, and I believe some players are simply reciting what they hear without understanding what it means. There is some truth to this though. If Jagex decided to set all prices, then our economy would resemble a system called market socialism. Set prices would eliminate price manipulation, but also a valuable emergent aspect of Runescape. Players who are savvy enough to recognize the supply and demand in our economy should not have to suffer. Many of our skills are reflective of how much money you can raise, and there should be multiple avenues of making money available. So how can we remove price manipulation without destroying merchanting altogether? Surely, there must be some way. I think there is, but in order to understand this method we need to first look at why price manipulation has become so desirable. Why is Manipulation so Profitable? Merchant clans serve one primary purpose, and its not to make friends. Merchant clans band together to possess greater influence over the economy. To put it simply, the more money you have, the more power you have. It works in their favor for two reasons: 1. If merchants are working together, then it reduces their competition against each other. 2. They have an enhanced ability to buy out all available stock of a particular item on the GE. In the real world, a merchant clan would be known as a collusion. The practice of buying out a dominating share of stock for the express purposes of restricting supply and manipulating its price is known as cornering the market. There are laws in preventing these practices in most countries, and for very good reason. Merchant clans are beneficial because they are able to eliminate competition amongst themselves (by banding together), and gain the ability to overrun any outside competition. However, merchant clans are only a symptom. The real underlying problem is the GE. The flaw in the GEs design was when Jagex chose to implement its system as a form of control over all trades. The GE sets universal prices caps whether you choose to trade inside the GE or not. Therefore, it makes little sense for most players to trade anywhere else, as you will be getting the exact same results with fewer headaches through the GE. The GE has become the center for nearly all trading within Runescape, and that is where the real problem is. If 99% of all trades occur on the GE, then it concentrates all goods for sale into one location. If you manage to manipulate the GE, you manage to manipulate virtually all trading in the game. A price manipulator can funnel all sales of their target item directly to them with complete anonymity, and move the price at their will. Looking at this from another angle, every time you choose to use the GE, you are paying an invisible tax directly to merchant clans. The Solution Merchant clans have abused the GE to reduce their competition, reduce their risk, and create a monopoly (or oligopoly to be more accurate) on trading. Therefore, the answer does not lie in heavier restrictions. Instead, we can take a more lateral approach to the solution by increasing competition against merchant clans. In order to do this though, we have to reduce the influence the GE has over all of us. First, Jagex must take a stand against price manipulation. They must make an official policy against these practices, and post it on the front page. There mustnt be any doubt where Jagexs position is. If the honest players are aware of the policy, then they will stop. Then, Jagex must take a more active approach in monitoring trade activity, and punishing those who abuse the system. Next, the GE should be limited to a certain number of worlds available, similar to PVP worlds. All trades within the GE only occur within these worlds, and all access to the GE is limited to these worlds with the exception of the collection boxes at the banks. This may seem harsh to some of you, but it is with good purpose. This would reduce the influence of the GE, not trading. The downside to this would be that the GE worlds would always be full, and to some degree that would be the point. The true intention behind this is to encourage player-to-player trading, and all individual trades should count towards influencing the GEs prices as well. Individual trading should also be enhanced with a system called Bank Wire Transactions. The bank wires are real-time, individual trades that can be conducted across different worlds. A seller can locate a buyer through forums, cc, or whatever means they choose. They can make a trade between the two players at any bank, but it must be done in real-time. Basically, its the same as normal trading, except it doesnt have to be done face to face. Spam trading would be where two or more players are simply trading back and forth to one another in hopes to raise prices. There should be detection that would prevent spam traders similar to how door spammers were stopped. The biggest enemy to merchant clans would be to create more diversity within the market, encouraging more avenues of trade. This would reduce the amount of trades taking place on the GE itself, and thus reducing the power to manipulate all trades. Greater levels of trading will have two negative impacts on merchant clans: 1. it will take more effort to corner the market 2. it will increase their risk It will be more difficult for price manipulators to influence all individual trades, and because this system creates more individual sales it means more competition against them. This will drive out most price manipulators who are just looking for easy money, and anybody left trying can be punished in smaller numbers. The Benefits Although my method would help to reduce the level of influence price manipulators have on the market, it still leaves plenty of room for money-making opportunities. Not everybody will be able to access the GE. Also, not everybody is willing to search for buyers and sellers on their own. This would allow profits to be made by trading at more desirable prices within the trade caps already in place. Essentially, this would bring back much of the old way of merchanting, which is what merchanting actually is. Merchants could once again find players who are willing to pay a little more or sell for a little less in exchange for the convenience of a quick transaction. Once again, merchants would be able to collect commission for their efforts, but it will take more work than the 5 minute bids on the GE and your done kind of days. Even though old-school merchanting might come back, players would have greater abilities to make trades on their own if they choose to do the legwork with the GE and bank wires. I believe this method offers a realistic solution to our current problems. It has the potential to benefit both players and merchants, while nullifying price manipulation. However, I wont say this plan is perfect. If Jagex says they listen to our ideas, then we need to come up with a REAL solution they can use. I welcome any discussion, criticism, or suggestions that can help us build a better plan.
  20. Merchant clans are more often inclined to manipulate common goods with greater demand. Your method would do nothing to prevent price manipulation on seeds, potions, food, etc. Also, and if you read through my previous posts you'll see that I am opposed to price manipulation, but do you really think more restrictions on everybody is worth eradicating price manipulators? I think we can come up with better solutions to the problem.
  21. Explain how the GE is a dictatorship.
  22. I was still pretty new to the game when I got membership. I was around a lvl 20. The first thing I did in the game was exactly what you pointed out. I found a map of the world and I walked all over it, since my Magic was too low to teleport anywhere. If any members haven't explored the world on foot, I'd recommend it. Of course, eventually everything gets explored, then it's off to the races. I think the last time I went "exploring" was to check out the new graphics when HD was released.
  23. It's because everyone is forced onto the GE, and makes it easier to manipulate prices against everyone. If all trades were occurring at say, 50% GE and 50% other ways, it makes it harder to bend prices at your will. I'm not saying it would completely eliminate price manipulation, but encouraging individual trades and reducing the dominance of the GE system will do two things to MCs: 1. it will take more effort to corner the market 2. it will increase their risk. It will reduce the number of price manipulators, and anybody left trying can be punished in smaller numbers. Also, by implementing my proposal instead of trade caps, it will help reduce price manipulation while not eliminating opportunity for merchants to profit. If anything, it would help increase opportunity. My way would help bring back the old way of merchanting, which is actually what merchanting is. Merchants could find opportunistic buys, and trade to players outside of GE worlds with a slight commission. Players could choose to either take the convenience of merchant trades in exchange for a higher price in their own worlds, or opt to do the work themselves and look for better prices elsewhere. It would mimic a lot of the old style of trading, but the GE and server to server trading would enhance it, which is what it should have done all along. Lifting or restricting price caps is a horizontal approach to the problem. Increasing more ways to trade is a more lateral approach, benefiting players and merchants while nullifying price manipulation.
  24. Good question. Should the caps be further restricted as an effort to combat MCs (Merchant Clans)? My response to his would be no, but that's a bit simple. Further cap restrictions have the potential of doing more harm than good in the long run. Any type of price gap that can be manipulated will be manipulated. The only difference this would make would be to slow down the MCs methods. The side effect of this would create an even greater bottleneck within the GE, forcing items in demand to rise at a much slower pace, and items abundant in supply to fall much slower till they reach acceptable prices. There are also philosophical arguments to be had. Tighter caps leads us one step closer to set prices, which would be the only way to ensure an end to price manipulation. This sends us closer to a system called market socialism, where the authority (Jagex) sets all prices. You have to decide if this is a system you would really want in order to defeat price manipulators. To paraphrase Benjamin Franklin, those who are willing to sacrifice liberty for security will lose both and deserve neither. I know, I know, it's just a game...but still... Another solution would be to go in the opposite direction, and lift price caps on all goods. Of course, this opens the door to RWT once again. See how the solutions of yesterday have created the problems we have today? So if we can't limit trade, and we can open trade, then what can we do? My ideal solution would involve less coding, and more human. The first Jagex must do is state their position on price manipulation and MCs. It must be an official policy, and a front page news announcement. This alone won't put a stop to it, but at least we can make the honest players honest once again. Then, Jagex must get more involved inside the game by monitoring the trades occuring in the GE, taking action against players on a case by case basis. Action could include trade temporarily disabled, mutes, or even bans if necessary. The GE graphs should include statistics on what items are fluctuating according to actual value, not percentages. If a common item sells for 2 gp, then changes to 3 gp who cares? All of the information should be accessed within the game, too. This can alert players to what items have been increasing or decreasing in price. Finally, the GE should be limited to a set number of worlds. The downside to this is the GE worlds would fill up fast, but the intention behind this is to encourage player/player trades, and these trades should count towards influencing GE prices. (I see some flaw in this as well, MCs could max trade each other all day long to raise prices.) I would guesstimate that over 95% of trades occur on the GE. This means that MCs have the ability to dominate that much of the market, and doing it anonymously at that. We have no control over who we can sell to or not on the GE. Individual trading could also be enhanced. Players should be able to conduct live, individual trades across servers. They could contact each other over forums, cc, or whatever means, and conduct a trade though a bank. The biggest enemy to MCs would be to create more diversity within the market, encouraging more avenues of trade. Limiting price caps may put a squeeze one them, but they in turn put a squeeze on us all, and eventually plays even more into their hands. Okay, that was long, and was pretty much rambling off the top of my head. I do see some areas that would need tweaking, but overall I hope my point gets through.
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