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Protecting Game Integrity

November 15 2017
Protecting Game Integrity

We're very proud of how proactive we are with the steps we take to counter rule-breaking. For the month of October the ICU team banned 237,923 bots in Old School alone. Alongside this the Player Support team are slowly rolling out a new process to tackle scammers, website advertisers, and those who engage in player-run games of chance. This news post addresses the following issues: Bot Prevention, Real World Trading via the Duel Arena, and ongoing issues with Disconnections. Protecting the competitive integrity of Old School RuneScape is essential to ensuring a more enjoyable playing experience for legitimate players. This post contains a number of changes to content which we feel will benefit you. It's important for us to point that the measures proposed here won't replace any measures we already have in place, but rather it's about what we, as a development team, can do to specific pieces of content to improve the Old School experience for genuine players. Note that any changes here will be implemented without a poll. However, we are intent on hearing what you have to say about any pitched changes, and we welcome alternative suggestions.

Bot Prevention Methods

Everyday we ban thousands of bots in Old School, however we understand that some do slip through our net. We remain dedicated to ensuring that the anti-cheating team keeps growing, and the methods we use to detect bots keep advancing. Alongside this we've been discussing ways to tackle this via some in-game changes that will make commonly botted items more difficult to get for a bot, yet won't affect our genuine players. Any changes will in no way replace the incredible work done by Mod Weath and the rest of the ICU team. Changes to content are solely intended to see if we can improve your playing experience.

Box Traps

As it stands hunting Chinchompas is readily done by all accounts. We'd like to add completion of Eagles Peak as a requirement to use Box Traps. If this requirement is added then we'd make changes to the quest to ensure skillers would be able to complete it. Currently the player must kill a level 14 Kebbit to obtain a feather. The change we'd like to make would result in making the Kebbit flee to drop the feather. Again, this change will ensure that completion of the quest will not negatively impact specific account builds.

Anti-Dragon & Dragonfire Shields

We'd like to add starting the Dragon Slayer quest as a requirement to equip both the Anti-dragon shield and the Dragonfire shield. The intention of this would be to make botting dragons more difficult. Note that since only partial completion of Dragon Slayer is required, it shouldn't negatively affect skillers or pures (beyond making them reach the 32 Quest points needed to begin the quest).

Lundail's Arena-side Rune Shop (Mage Arena Rune Shop)

Lundail's shop, in the deep wilderness, is heavily abused by bots to buy cheap runes. We are considering adding completion of The Mage Arena miniquest as a requirement to be able to buy from this shop. This does require 60 Magic, and more exposure to the Wilderness so it will potentially negatively impact builds aiming to stay below 60 Magic.

Magic Guild Store (Rune Shop)

The Guild shop is much more accessible than perhaps it should be. To combat this we'd like to add The Hand in the Sand as a requirement for purchasing runes from this shop. The association is formed because some of the quest requires interaction with the Magic Guild. The quest itself has very low requirements, and the rewards will not negatively impact the progress of specific account builds.

Zaff's Staves

Zaff's stocked battlestaves (not to be confused with the Diary reward) are frequently botted. The lack of any requirement whatsoever makes them a popular target. We've seen multiple suggestions, and we'd like to mention a number of our favourites and for further discussion to take place. Some players have posited removing the stocked battlestaves entirely (and leaving only the Diary rewards available), whilst others suggest locking access to them behind completion of the What Lies Below quest. We welcome all feedback and other suggestions you might have.

Stealing the Wine of Zamorak

The Monks of Zamorak currently only attack the player if they attempt to pick up the wine. They could also be made to attack when it is telegrabbed. In addition, the monks could have their stats increased to make them more dangerous. This would only affect the Wine spawn in the Asgarnian temple and not the one in the Wilderness. We welcome your feedback on the proposed changes.

Mage Training Arena: Enchanting Chamber

The Mage Training Arena can be a source of frustration to those having to compete with bots. To address this we'd like to add a Magic requirement of 68 to pick up Dragonstones in the Enchanting Chamber. This requirement wouldn't prevent players with a lower level from accessing the Chamber, they just wouldn't be able to pick up Dragonstones. 68 was chosen as it is the requirement to enchant Dragonstone jewellery.

Real World Trading through the Duel Arena

The Duel Arena is an iconic part of Old School RuneScape, yet it has its problems. The Duel Arena is currently fuelling Real World Traders that stake based on odds to acquire huge sums of in-game gold, which they then sell online. We do not want to remove the Duel Arena from the game as it's particularly iconic to the feel of Old School RuneScape. So we'd like to discuss some options with you in order to address the problems we face:

  • An option to adjust your stats, similar to the Tournament Worlds. This option would mean that the odds stakers lose their advantage, and we keep the Duel Arena open.
  • A trade weighting limit on stakes which would prevent one side being heavily weighted over the other. This again is with the intention of stopping odds stakers. It would work akin to the trade limit of old. You can stake as much as you'd like, but your opponent has to stake an amount which is within a certain range of your stake.

  • Disconnections

    Recently there was an increased amount of chatter and frustration regarding connectivity. Were all too aware of the impact it had on your playing experience. Its in our best interests to ensure that the servers are stable, and so we worked very hard to tackle the problems. We have been working with our internet providers and improving our network, and so at the moment we're satisfied with how connectivity is, but we aren't going to be complacent. It became apparent that we needed to establish a better way to capture data when you ran into problems. Should you continue to experience connectivity issues then we'd like you to fill in this survey so we're able to collate as much information as possible. We'll also be working on streamlining the process of reporting disconnections with a view to allowing you to report disconnections whilst in-game, but there is no date in mind for that.

    Individual DDoS Protection

    There have been reports and allegations of individuals being targeted. Whilst we aren't able to police your individual IP address, we can help educate you with the best advice to protecting it.

    A DDoS is an overflow of information packets sent to an IP address. Most personal connections won't be able to handle all of the information packets, and will then be effectively blocked from maintaining a connection until the attack lets up.

    A DDoS can only work if the attacker has an IP address to target, so it's absolutely paramount to protect your IP address. We strongly recommend avoiding unfamilar websites, such as a clan's offsite forum, or untrusted VoIP servers, such as a clan's TeamSpeak. If you are navigating to unfamiliar websites or VoIP servers then we recommend connecting via VPN/Proxy. There are many sources of free proxy servers available.

    If you suspect that somebody has acquired your IP address then it's recommended that you contact your ISP. The majority of ISPs will change your IP address at your request. Find a customer service or technical support contact at your ISP and ask for a new IP address. If for some reason they will not help you change your IP address, you can attempt to force an IP change by unplugging every PC, router, modem, or other network hardware and computer from the internet for a period of 24 hours.

    Protecting your IP address is entirely your responsibility. Jagex is not responsible for your IP address becoming compromised, and your connection being targeted by others.

    We do actively take action against accounts where we have credible evidence that they are DDoSing other players. You can submit any evidence to tipoff@jagex.com. In order to aid our investigations please look to provide the following pieces of information:

  • RuneScape display name
  • World the disconnection took place on
  • Time/Date of disconnection
  • Any video evidence
  • Any other information you have
  • As mentioned above, we are open to the community's ideas on tackling this issue and we welcome your feedback on the official forums, Reddit, and Twitter. You can discuss this post on our forums.

    Mods Archie, Ash, Ayiza, Curse, Ed, Ghost, Jed, John C, Kieren, Mat K, Maz, Roq, Ry, Stone, Sween, TomH, Weath, West & Wolf
    The Old School Team

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