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Reducing overcrowding problems


TheElf

Your feeling about overcrowding  

5 members have voted

  1. 1. How do you feel about overcrowding?

    • Overcrowding is ok, only bots should go. If you can't finish a task, drop it
      2
    • I would want a fair chance to skill, overcrowding should go
      2
    • We should fix overcrowding problem and remove as many bots as we can
      1
    • I don't mind bots or overcrowding
      0
  2. 2. What do you think about Veteran Server approach

    • Good idea, it would hurt bots badly
      5
    • Bad idea, it would hurt certain pures badly
      0
    • If you do it alone it isn't enough, if you do the rest of suggested updates it isn't needed
      0


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What happens now?

It is pretty hard to finish certain slayer tasks, or practice in some skilling areas because they are overcrowded. And as it seems practically impossible to stop bot issues, they would stay crowded on most runescape worlds. Overcrowding is independent of bot problems, because if bot use would be impossible, we would have overcrowding by "chineese gold farmes". So overcrowding and bot use are two separate but related problems. While we probably cannot target bot problem directly and effectively with content updates, we can target the overcrowding problem and some related RWT problems with a few specific updates.

 

Most of the overcrowded areas are relatively higher level skilling areas, so they influence the gameplay of medium to high level players mostly. In certain areas it is practically impossible to kill some monsters required for slayer tasks, it is pretty hard to gather certain resources, and this overcrowding problem influences gameplay.

 

When in some area players don't have a realistic chance of succesful skilling, they avoid the area, and give up the control over those resources, so RWT related companies can keep significant control of the market of some item (green d'hides, etc), which can change prices, and influence chances at skilling in other skills, and increase the profitability of RWT groups. Also if people can't farm items, and RWT groups control the market more people feel inclined to consider illegal RWT transactions. Fixing this problem seems to be urgent.

 

Why it is a problem?

The above issues can make the game much less enjoyable for mid and high level players, and they leave in droves demanding "bot nukes" and other ineffective solutions. Sadly RWT groups control some of the market. And these incidents make the game less enjoyable. It can result to lost customers for JAGEX, and with this some lost income.

 

Why can't other suggested / used routes help?

The most suggested way to deal with the overcrowding is by trying to eliminate bots. For JAGEX it isn't possible nor feasible to stop bots. Even after a suggested bot nuke, we would see new bots, they would level up quickly, the problem would return. And bot developers would learn a lot from nuke, so it would make additional bot nukes harder.

 

Overcrowding would be a problem even without bots, as RWT companies can use living employees to gather materials in those areas, and the overcrowding problem, related market and RWT problems would stay the same, even if by miracle all the bots would vanish. We would just see "chineese gold farmers". So any option that targets bots only / directly is doomed to fail. This is why I wouldn't try to target bots directly.

 

Another option JAGEX have considered to make bot use for RWT reasons less profitable. SoF is their way to introduce a "perfectly legal" competition to reduce profitability of illegal RWT. It seems like it would become "too much of microtransaction" while "not enough to push most bots out" at same time, so this aproach alone wouldn't help. Options like "in game tradeable membership objects" can be also considered to reduce profitability of RWT clans, but without enough money sink from character deaths that approach isn't feasible without significant additional changes. Such things don't have a real effect when certain markets in game are essentially controlled by groups interested RWT, so in addition to competition from SoF and other things, we need in game competition for them to break their market dominance. Targeting the overcrowding caused by them directly is essential.

 

While social slayer can increase your chance to get a kill even in overcrowded areas, doing such slayer tasks are still far from feasible.

 

While using authenticator to make botting harder looks feasible, the fact that authenticators can be emulated on the very same PC the bot runs on revents the issue.

 

Known ways to reduce overcrowding

World of Warcraft and many other "theme park" type MMOs use instanced dungeons, to reduce overcrowding. While Star Wars: The Old Republic uses private phases for some quests. Copying these ideas directly wouldn't work in Runescape, as Runescape focuses mostly on skilling, and the overcrowding problem isn't centered on bossing or questing.

 

Runescape is a different game, with different structure, and any and all solutions can be turned into skill structure of the game.

 

How would I solve the problem?

 

Increase the amount of skilling options where players don't have to deal with overcrowding issues in a series of updates. As it is a complex problem affecting multiple parts of the game, it needs a complex solution. And for the solution to work, we need to mitigate its side effects.

  • As the most influenced areas are medium to high level skilling areas and most real players (not bots) who really need it for normal gameplay (single skill focused characters, some types of pures are excluded) are veterans with older account, it is feasible to make servers for "veterans" with 1, 2, 5 and 10 years old accounts. These servers would be less crowded. But when such players would move to these worlds often, they would reduce overcrowding in other worlds as well.
  • Add two Daemonheim slayer masters, so players can choose to slay in Daemonheim, avoiding possibility of overcrowded tasks. One for low level floors, one for high level floors.
  • In addition to current "slayer monsters" in Daemonheim, make sure some monsters assigned by current slayer masters can appear in Daemonheim.
  • Create resource dungeons for some monsters given as slayer tasks (Green dragons for example), and make some resource dungeons instanced or require high dungeoneering level
  • Create more resource dungeons for hunter
  • More "Pay to enter" dungeons (similar to Brimhaven dungeon), with important resource dungeons could help. It is a money sink, and they can add more skilling options.
  • Revise construction, to allow training more skills in Players Owned Houses. Either by adding new options for current skill levels, or by turning it into the 2nd skill with level 120 option.
  • Make it possible for players to invite vendors to make them stay in Players Owned Houses. It should be a serious money sink (as it can needed to fix other market issues)
    • Monster traders and trainers should be able to sell certain "slayer monsters" to players. They should face these monsters in some "Arena" type rooms.
    • Ability to train some skills directly in PoH based on resources you can buy can be a significant money drain.

    [*]As some of these updates would make skilling easier we would need a new time sink type skill. Archeology.

    • In structure it would be similar to Slayer, as you would have to work on specific assigned tasks
    • It would be a skill where overcrowding problems shouldn't happen. So it would help to reduce overcrowding further, by drawing attention away from overcrowded areas. So would further reduce overcrowding
    • It would require a "pay to enter" digsite dungeon to find some artifact / relic. Restoring the found artifact could be your Archeology task.
    • It would require several different skills and different materials to finish restoring artifacts.
    • Some steps at restoring artifacts would be similar to Artisans workshop activities.
    • To restore artifacts, you would need some well equipped room in your PoH, which would be another money sink
    • Finished artifacts could be:
      • Items you trade for more xp in a museum
      • Actually good items (weapons, armor, etc). With this, we can return player created items to top of food chain.

      [*]In addition to above artifacts, player should be able to find magic item fragments in various areas (drops, skilling), which can be turned into items with the help of archeology and another skill. It should be possible to smuggle such fragments out of daemonheim

      [*]With archeology introduced the demand for items easily obtainable by grinding would be reduced a bit. And the new important items would be made by a process that focuses less on grinding and more on actual player involvement. If it is fun to do things, people would be less inclined to buy stuff on RWT sites.

Additional considerations

While most of the above options are very easy to implement, with the exception of Archeology, they would be several different updates, each and every update reducing overcrowding directly and independently. But probably we need the whole complex solution to see the problem solved...

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Overcrowding would still be an issue on the non-veteran worlds. The new players would still have to compete against bots and gold farmers on the normal servers.

But I still like the idea. At least this could be a part-solution. Along with the money-sink suggestions of yours I believe that this could at least get rid of some of the problems that you take up here.

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Add me if you so wish: SwreeTak

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