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Is Jagex trying to kill runescape?

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Firstly, a disclaimer: I haven't played since late '09. As a result, some of my general knowledge of the game may not be up to par. If you see a mistake, please correct me and I'll edit.

 

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Every game has a life-span; this much is basically unarguable. The natural life flow of a game dictates that it will eventually peak and deteriorate after that point. Even the so-called great classics maintain only a cult following after a long enough time. Runescape shouldn't be any different.

 

So the question is: When will Runescape die? When will it cease to be a mainstream game and maintain only a cult following? Many of you, I'm sure, think that's happening as we speak. I agree. But what I also think is that Jagex is doing it deliberately.

 

Now, this is a pretty big, and hard to prove claim; so let me start with some backstory.

 

A while back, I was reading the wikipedia article on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (you may all know him better as the man who wrote the famous Sherlock Holmes novels). I found an interesting section:

 

"Death" of Sherlock Holmes

 

In 1890 Conan Doyle studied ophthalmology in Vienna, and moved to London in 1891 to set up a practice as an ophthalmologist. He wrote in his autobiography that not a single patient crossed his door. This gave him more time for writing, and in November 1891 he wrote to his mother: "I think of slaying Holmes ... and winding him up for good and all. He takes my mind from better things." His mother responded, "You may do what you deem fit, but the crowds will not take this lightheartedly."

In December 1893, in order to dedicate more of his time to more "important" works—his historical novels— Conan Doyle had Holmes and Professor Moriarty apparently plunge to their deaths together down the Reichenbach Falls in the story "The Final Problem". Public outcry, however, led him to bring the character back in 1901, in The Hound of the Baskervilles. In "The Adventure of the Empty House", it was explained that only Moriarty had fallen; but since Holmes had other dangerous enemies—especially Colonel Sebastian Moran—he had arranged to also be temporarily "dead". Holmes ultimately was featured in a total of 56 short stories and four Conan Doyle novels, and has since appeared in many novels and stories by other authors.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sir_Arthur_Conan_Doyle#.22Death.22_of_Sherlock_Holmes

 

In summary; Doyle was tired of writing about the same old character, so he deliberately changed things up so that he'd have to write about Holmes no longer. It didn't work, but that's irrellevant.

 

I believe Jagex is doing the same thing.

 

My biggest argument in support of this is, of course - botting and RWT.

 

Why did Jagex bring back free trade and the wilderness? Of course, people wanted it - but that much was obvious. That hadn't changed - people always wanted free trade and the wildy. In December 2007, the bot/rwt problem was so bad that Jagex majorly changed the game - and it worked. Afterwards, the game was largely bot-free (at least compared to what it was like before). Yet all of a sudden - they changed it back.

 

What changed? What happened to all the reasons they put forward for removal of free trade back in 2007? Were they irrelevant? I doubt it. How could they be? Bots ruined the game then and they continue to. Jagex's promised "secret action" against the bots is basically non-existent (or at least all public evidence seems to indicate this). As a result, bots run rampant, and Jagex doesn't seem to care - at all.

 

Now, in what scenario does a company looking to make money completely ignore the demands of their real users and do something that seems, to all intents and purposes, to be self-destructive? The only thing I can think of is that they want to stop selling their product.

 

We also know that Jagex has branched out. They already have a variety of other games and a massive MMO (SD, possibly an rs replacement) on the way. Perhaps they feel that RS will no longer be a profitable enterprise in the future? It would certainly explain why Andrew appears to have severed ties with them.

 

From an outsider's perspective, it seems as if they don't care anymore. Their rule enforcement is awful; they don't care about accounts being compromised (it seems to be happening more and more as of late). The updates have been lackluster for some time....all in all it seems as if they're devoting most of their resources to something else and the welfare of runescape is no longer their primary concern.

 

Now, this is all just wild speculation on my part - obviously I have little solid evidence to actually confirm any of this. But I'm curious to get your opinions - is this at all plausible?


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This behavior could be explained if Andrew was still the owner of the game. But when you have outside investors in a company, only the bottom line counts. These guys are in it to make money, they wouldn't break the game for that reason. If they are losing money, it's not on purpose, but rather by being incompetent.


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This behavior could be explained if Andrew was still the owner of the game. But when you have outside investors in a company, only the bottom line counts. These guys are in it to make money, they wouldn't break the game for that reason. If they are losing money, it's not on purpose, but rather by being incompetent.

Well what I'm getting at is that perhaps the investors feel that RS is no longer the best way for Jagex to make money, and they would prefer Jagex focuses on their other products.


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I don't think Jagex is trying to 'kill' RS per se, but they have no problem if it dies after they suck as much money out of it as they can in the process. Jagex is now owned by investors and not gamers. They have no concern whether or not someone has put 10 hours or 1000 hours into the game, so long as those hours were spent throwing pennies into the Jagex coffers. Even if 99% of the 'players' are bots, Jagex won't care. Hey, at least robots can't complain every time there's an update... until someone writes a RSOF bot :rolleyes:

 

Note: When I say Jagex, I mean the owners and not the employees. I know for a fact that many JMods have a strong connection to this games past and I'm sure they want it to keep going. However, the owners are the ones who make decisions about whether or not to suck every last penny out of players as the game dies, or to make it into a long term game with slim profit margins.

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They recently appointed a new CMO which makes me think that they are interested in promoting their game - I think they want to make more money, which is not always in the interest of the players, as recent updates have shown.

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I don't think Jagex is stupid enough to deliberately kill a profitable game (which I do believe RS is right now). On the other hand I don't think they would support a game that only costs money, even for historical reasons.

 

I think (hope) that Jagex would just announce a stop to updates and a big reduction in the number of servers (from ~270 to ~100 or so) if they wanted to end the game, rather than alienating the user base by (effectively) allowing botting. Until a lot of servers are empty I don't see them do either because the game would be profitable even at a fairly low number of subscribers if you only have server costs. It doesn't reflect well on the company to allow bots and would reduce customer numbers for any follow-up mmorpg they would make. In short, I think it's more in Jagex' interests to reduce botting. It's just hard to combine it with the easy account creation and easy bot scripting.


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This behavior could be explained if Andrew was still the owner of the game. But when you have outside investors in a company, only the bottom line counts. These guys are in it to make money, they wouldn't break the game for that reason. If they are losing money, it's not on purpose, but rather by being incompetent.

Well what I'm getting at is that perhaps the investors feel that RS is no longer the best way for Jagex to make money, and they would prefer Jagex focuses on their other products.

The ones that haven't even been released to the public and haven't proven that they are viable money makers?

 

EDIT: I'm not sure the connection to Sherlock Holmes is entirely appropriate, Conan Doyle had total creative control over what he wrote and published and didn't appear to need to make a lot of money from the books. With investors owning rs they want it to continue to be profitable for as long as possible.


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They're not trying to kill it. They just want to milk it.

 

If it dies, oh well. There's always another cow in the field.


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This behavior could be explained if Andrew was still the owner of the game. But when you have outside investors in a company, only the bottom line counts. These guys are in it to make money, they wouldn't break the game for that reason. If they are losing money, it's not on purpose, but rather by being incompetent.

Well what I'm getting at is that perhaps the investors feel that RS is no longer the best way for Jagex to make money, and they would prefer Jagex focuses on their other products.

The ones that haven't even been released to the public and haven't proven that they are viable money makers?

Of course, but I don't know what's going on behind the scenes.


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I don't think so. Your biggest reason is that they want to "focus on other products." That would make sense if they wanted their current employees to migrate over to their other games, but that's not really the case. They've been hiring loads of new people to work on other games and continue to hire for RuneScape. If they were trying to kill RuneScape I don't think that would be the case.


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You know -- in some ways this reminds me a little of those conspiracy theories, like for 9/11 or the Kennedy assassination -- because, somehow, it's more comforting to think that those in charge have deliberately messed things up, than to realize that something is broken and possibly cannot ever be fixed ...

 

Personally -- I'd like to think that this entire screw up (restoration of free trade + wildy = unlimited and unrestricted bots) has more to do with "gross earnings" and "the bottom line" and "short-term gains" and the inability to see what is going to happen in the future when the [cabbage] hits the fan, than an alternative where the management of Jagex is deliberately [bleep]ing us over for $5 a month.

 

If it's the latter, I'd at least like a kiss first ...

 

<_<


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I agree... Runescape had his best days. Most people lost intrest after al those years. (a lifespan of 10 years for a game is LONG!)

So they try to get what they can from the game. Jagex knows this.

Jagex Main focus is going to their new game Stellar Dawn. Wich, i hope, wont get flooded by bots, gold farmers, etc.

Release will be in a few months (normally before 31 dec 2011)


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The money that was made from the spike of bringing in new users due to bringing back free trade and wilderness probably evens out against that of people leaving due to bots and I imagine they have underestimated the extent of which bots have come back into the game and the rate that they deal with them.

 

They're after money from RuneScape more than ever now and that's blatantly obvious, with a massive increase in focus towards marketing as the company as a whole shows that. They're not going to let RuneScape die any time soon and the certainly aren't trying to kill it off.

 

I imagine Stellar Dawn and Transformers are going to be entirely different to RuneScape and won't take away much of the user base if any at all, especially Transformers. Stellar Dawn may do but it'll be different enough I think to only do small damage to the current user base.

 

Some of their recent decisions haven't been great at all and I'm sure they realise they're pissing off a lot of their current users but I imagine they're hoping this'll even out as they'll be bringing in new users to take their place. And their current handling of bots isn't as good as it needs to be, especially considering their weaker punishments towards bots now which is most likely due to the possibility to get more money out of them but I highly doubt they're purposely not punishing bots for the same reason they just seem to be unable to cope with the numbers.

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Well obviously leaving the bots does help their bottom line - enabling them to make more money from the game like you said. And yes, it is quite the conspiracy theory aha. It's odd, usually I'm not one for conspiracies...


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Well obviously leaving the bots does help their bottom line - enabling them to make more money from the game like you said. And yes, it is quite the conspiracy theory aha. It's odd, usually I'm not one for conspiracies...

 

Except the reason they got rid of them in the first place is still there. The gold farmers most likely don't bring jagex any money at all and cost them money and these are the main ones they're unable to handle as there's just far too many of them. The "legit" players who bot are the ones they make money off and ones that'll come back after being rolled back and buying their account back hence why that option is there so they can continue to make money off those people. They have absolutely no reason to leave gold farmers in the game as they do more harm than good to both the community and to Jagex themselves and I honestly don't believe Jagex would purposely leave them in the game they're just unable to handle the volume of them.

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Well obviously leaving the bots does help their bottom line - enabling them to make more money from the game like you said. And yes, it is quite the conspiracy theory aha. It's odd, usually I'm not one for conspiracies...

 

Except the reason they got rid of them in the first place is still there. The gold farmers most likely don't bring jagex any money at all and cost them money and these are the main ones they're unable to handle as there's just far too many of them. The "legit" players who bot are the ones they make money off and ones that'll come back after being rolled back and buying their account back hence why that option is there so they can continue to make money off those people. They have absolutely no reason to leave gold farmers in the game as they do more harm than good to both the community and to Jagex themselves and I honestly don't believe Jagex would purposely leave them in the game they're just unable to handle the volume of them.

But then I question why they bothered re-adding free trade at all? They were quite clear that the december 07 changes were the only realistic solution when they implemented them...


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Well obviously leaving the bots does help their bottom line - enabling them to make more money from the game like you said. And yes, it is quite the conspiracy theory aha. It's odd, usually I'm not one for conspiracies...

 

Except the reason they got rid of them in the first place is still there. The gold farmers most likely don't bring jagex any money at all and cost them money and these are the main ones they're unable to handle as there's just far too many of them. The "legit" players who bot are the ones they make money off and ones that'll come back after being rolled back and buying their account back hence why that option is there so they can continue to make money off those people. They have absolutely no reason to leave gold farmers in the game as they do more harm than good to both the community and to Jagex themselves and I honestly don't believe Jagex would purposely leave them in the game they're just unable to handle the volume of them.

But then I question why they bothered re-adding free trade at all? They were quite clear that the december 07 changes were the only realistic solution when they implemented them...

 

No idea. I imagine they have more to prevent that now and to fight the chargebacks so maybe it's not costing them money directly in that regard but I doubt they'll be getting anything from them either. It's impossible to say really but I doubt, even Jagex, would purposely keep gold farmers around in game.

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I don't think so. Your biggest reason is that they want to "focus on other products." That would make sense if they wanted their current employees to migrate over to their other games, but that's not really the case. They've been hiring loads of new people to work on other games and continue to hire for RuneScape. If they were trying to kill RuneScape I don't think that would be the case.

While this is true, I'd be surprised if RS wasn't their biggest employer, so has many people working on it.

 

Their thirst for money is obvious, especially with the new membership points. How much more blatant can you get than that?


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Well obviously leaving the bots does help their bottom line - enabling them to make more money from the game like you said. And yes, it is quite the conspiracy theory aha. It's odd, usually I'm not one for conspiracies...

 

Except the reason they got rid of them in the first place is still there. The gold farmers most likely don't bring jagex any money at all and cost them money and these are the main ones they're unable to handle as there's just far too many of them. The "legit" players who bot are the ones they make money off and ones that'll come back after being rolled back and buying their account back hence why that option is there so they can continue to make money off those people. They have absolutely no reason to leave gold farmers in the game as they do more harm than good to both the community and to Jagex themselves and I honestly don't believe Jagex would purposely leave them in the game they're just unable to handle the volume of them.

But then I question why they bothered re-adding free trade at all? They were quite clear that the december 07 changes were the only realistic solution when they implemented them...

From what I remember the main problem JaGeX was facing back in 07 was that gold farmers were using stolen credit card numbers which was getting them in a lot of trouble with banks and the financial sector. It would seem like that problem is no longer there so isn't as much of a reason to control them; all we can do right now is whine at them on the internet about how the game is broken and maybe stop our subscriptions, before they could be sued for thousands if not millions of dollars.


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Well obviously leaving the bots does help their bottom line - enabling them to make more money from the game like you said. And yes, it is quite the conspiracy theory aha. It's odd, usually I'm not one for conspiracies...

 

Except the reason they got rid of them in the first place is still there. The gold farmers most likely don't bring jagex any money at all and cost them money and these are the main ones they're unable to handle as there's just far too many of them. The "legit" players who bot are the ones they make money off and ones that'll come back after being rolled back and buying their account back hence why that option is there so they can continue to make money off those people. They have absolutely no reason to leave gold farmers in the game as they do more harm than good to both the community and to Jagex themselves and I honestly don't believe Jagex would purposely leave them in the game they're just unable to handle the volume of them.

But then I question why they bothered re-adding free trade at all? They were quite clear that the december 07 changes were the only realistic solution when they implemented them...

 

The only reason to bring back the "original [child-safe] wildy" and free-trade was to get more traffic on the game itself with the hope that it would bring in more memberships and thereby greater income.

 

Whether or not that move has made Runescape more profitable remains to be determined ...


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From what I remember the main problem JaGeX was facing back in 07 was that gold farmers were using stolen credit card numbers which was getting them in a lot of trouble with banks and the financial sector. It would seem like that problem is no longer there so isn't as much of a reason to control them; all we can do right now is whine at them on the internet about how the game is broken and maybe stop our subscriptions, before they could be sued for thousands if not millions of dollars.

I wonder what changed though, to stop that from being an issue?


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No. Next question.


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This behavior could be explained if Andrew was still the owner of the game. But when you have outside investors in a company, only the bottom line counts. These guys are in it to make money, they wouldn't break the game for that reason. If they are losing money, it's not on purpose, but rather by being incompetent.

Well what I'm getting at is that perhaps the investors feel that RS is no longer the best way for Jagex to make money, and they would prefer Jagex focuses on their other products.

 

Tell me, what else has Jagex got at the moment that can even make them money? Yeah, they've got other games on the horizon, but other then funorb which hasn't been updated in a year, and that War of Legends game (which I have no idea how much money it makes) Jagex has nothing. Ergo, RS is, I'm going to guesstimate 60% of their income. Maybe more, maybe less. It's far too significant a chunk for them to abandon. Honestly, I think Jagex killing RuneScape would be akin to them either doing mass layoffs or declaring bankruptcy in all honesty.

 

The far more likely solution is that the investors just want to see cash. They aren't interested in the long-term health of the game, just money. The rampant bot problem brings in money due to all the members botting. If Jagex were to get rid of these bots, it would likely involve Jagex losing (another guesstimate) 75% of the income all the bots bring in. That would be totally unacceptable to an investor who owns a large share of Jagex and just wants to see money.

 

Plus, it's already been pointed out that if Jagex wanted to "kill" RuneScape, they'd just stop offering updates and cut servers down, especially F2P (since I don't think that's profitable) and since a large amount of people would quit at that announcement.

 

Well obviously leaving the bots does help their bottom line - enabling them to make more money from the game like you said. And yes, it is quite the conspiracy theory aha. It's odd, usually I'm not one for conspiracies...

 

Except the reason they got rid of them in the first place is still there. The gold farmers most likely don't bring jagex any money at all and cost them money and these are the main ones they're unable to handle as there's just far too many of them. The "legit" players who bot are the ones they make money off and ones that'll come back after being rolled back and buying their account back hence why that option is there so they can continue to make money off those people. They have absolutely no reason to leave gold farmers in the game as they do more harm than good to both the community and to Jagex themselves and I honestly don't believe Jagex would purposely leave them in the game they're just unable to handle the volume of them.

 

Pray tell, as long as the gold farmers are paying their $5 a month, how are they costing the game anything? Also, forget the community, or long-term health or anything, when I say "costing the game anything" I mean in terms of dollars.

 

They aren't. When Jagex was originally forced to remove wilde/FT it was because many of these gold farmers were paying for RS with stolen credit cards. People would eventually notice someone using their credit card for Jagex, the card companies would talk to Jagex and Jagex (at the very least) would be forced to compensate monetarily, I'd imagine. Possibly other legal fees or something too, idk. Eventually, the credit card companies told Jagex to deal with this problem or they'd boycott Jagex. That would mean no one would be able to use credit cards to pay for RS membership, thus severely cutting into their profit margin.

 

Now? As far as I know, gold-farming is illegal in China. This isn't random - this means that a significant amount of the people who would have gold-farmed for money via stolen credit cards are no longer doing so. (Or possibly for other reasons.) This group has to be gone, otherwise Jagex wouldn't be able to profitably run Jagex due to the reasons mentioned in my previous paragraph.

 

To summarize: the reason they got rid of them in the first place isn't there or Jagex wouldn't have been able to bring back free trade.

 

Well obviously leaving the bots does help their bottom line - enabling them to make more money from the game like you said. And yes, it is quite the conspiracy theory aha. It's odd, usually I'm not one for conspiracies...

 

Except the reason they got rid of them in the first place is still there. The gold farmers most likely don't bring jagex any money at all and cost them money and these are the main ones they're unable to handle as there's just far too many of them. The "legit" players who bot are the ones they make money off and ones that'll come back after being rolled back and buying their account back hence why that option is there so they can continue to make money off those people. They have absolutely no reason to leave gold farmers in the game as they do more harm than good to both the community and to Jagex themselves and I honestly don't believe Jagex would purposely leave them in the game they're just unable to handle the volume of them.

But then I question why they bothered re-adding free trade at all? They were quite clear that the december 07 changes were the only realistic solution when they implemented them...

 

The only reason to bring back the "original [child-safe] wildy" and free-trade was to get more traffic on the game itself with the hope that it would bring in more memberships and thereby greater income.

 

Whether or not that move has made Runescape more profitable remains to be determined ...

 

I can guarantee you that it has. I'm 99% positive that the average number of players playing RS at any given time has gone up since then. In the short run, Jagex has gotten many more members out of the deal. In the long run, this attitude is likely to kill RS. Also, what do you mean by "original [child-safe] wilde"? The most child safe one was the one with all those revs.


Squab unleashes Megiddo! Completed all quests and hard diaries. 75+ Skiller. (At one point.) 2000+ total. 99 Magic.
[spoiler=The rest of my sig. You know you wanna see it.]

my difinition of noob is i dont like u, either u are better then me or u are worst them me

Buying spins make you a bad person...don't do it. It's like buying nukes for North Korea.

Well if it bothers you that the game is more fun now, then you can go cry in a corner. :shame:

your article was the equivalent of a circumcized porcupine

The only thing wrong with it is the lack of a percentage for when you need to stroke it.

 


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Poignant Purple to Lokie's Ravishing Red and Alg's Brilliant Blue.

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Well obviously leaving the bots does help their bottom line - enabling them to make more money from the game like you said. And yes, it is quite the conspiracy theory aha. It's odd, usually I'm not one for conspiracies...

 

Except the reason they got rid of them in the first place is still there. The gold farmers most likely don't bring jagex any money at all and cost them money and these are the main ones they're unable to handle as there's just far too many of them. The "legit" players who bot are the ones they make money off and ones that'll come back after being rolled back and buying their account back hence why that option is there so they can continue to make money off those people. They have absolutely no reason to leave gold farmers in the game as they do more harm than good to both the community and to Jagex themselves and I honestly don't believe Jagex would purposely leave them in the game they're just unable to handle the volume of them.

 

Pray tell, as long as the gold farmers are paying their $5 a month, how are they costing the game anything? Also, forget the community, or long-term health or anything, when I say "costing the game anything" I mean in terms of dollars.

 

They aren't. When Jagex was originally forced to remove wilde/FT it was because many of these gold farmers were paying for RS with stolen credit cards. People would eventually notice someone using their credit card for Jagex, the card companies would talk to Jagex and Jagex (at the very least) would be forced to compensate monetarily, I'd imagine. Possibly other legal fees or something too, idk. Eventually, the credit card companies told Jagex to deal with this problem or they'd boycott Jagex. That would mean no one would be able to use credit cards to pay for RS membership, thus severely cutting into their profit margin.

 

Now? As far as I know, gold-farming is illegal in China. This isn't random - this means that a significant amount of the people who would have gold-farmed for money via stolen credit cards are no longer doing so. (Or possibly for other reasons.) This group has to be gone, otherwise Jagex wouldn't be able to profitably run Jagex due to the reasons mentioned in my previous paragraph.

 

To summarize: the reason they got rid of them in the first place isn't there or Jagex wouldn't have been able to bring back free trade.

 

The gold farmers will still be using illegitimate means to pay for membership, be it stolen cards or whatever. I just imagine Jagex are better equipped now to handle with such problems as much it doesn't cost them as much as it did before and hence why they were able to bring free trade back to the game. However because the methods of payments are not legit Jagex make nothing from it which is why there's no reason to keep them around.

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