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DevBlog:Game Integrity in Old School RuneScape

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Blog written by Mod Pips on 18th March 2013
Mod Pips talk over the plans to maintain game integrity in OSRS.
Discuss this on the forums.


Hi everyone,

In this devblog I wanted to talk about how we’re planning to safeguard the integrity of the Old School RuneScape, especially the burgeoning community and game economy.

Games of Chance

The first topic is games of chance – also known as hosting, flower games or dicing. This has been a major topic of concern for players, with as much (if not more) demand for action from the Old School community. As you may have seen in the news post on the main RuneScape site, we’ve added a new rule against player-run games of chance, and as with all rules this applies across the main and Old School games. To quote the rule “You must not advertise, organize, promote or participate in player-run games of chance, where game money or items are staked on the outcome of a random activity.“ Players caught doing this will receive a strike against their account, escalating from muting to temp banning to a last-resort permanent ban.

Today we’ve also patched the Old School game with a couple of tweaks to support this new rule. A right-click Report abuse shortcut has been added so it is quicker to report any players who are breaking the rules. We recommend players use the “Encouraging Rule Breaking” entry to report players involved with games of chance. We’ve also tweaked the behavior of items such as mithril seeds and toy horses so they can not readily be used for games of chance. As an urgent policy-level change to the game rules and relating to player safety, this update is not being put to a poll. I felt it was important to make the Old School game equally resistant to those wanting to run games of chance, so that it would not be vulnerable to hosts looking for an alternate venue to ply their now illicit trade. We’ve listened to the very passionate calls to stamp out hosted games of chance, and hope the community will rally around this and help us keep it out of the game for good.

Bots

The second topic I want to talk about bots – the use of illegal 3rd party programs inside RuneScape. We are definitely aware there is an issue, and that bots are becoming more common inside the game. This is something we take incredibly seriously, especially at the early stages of the Old School economy.

In the last week we’ve been manually banning several thousand botting accounts a day, but obviously are not keeping up. We’re currently in the process of integrating a portion of the BotWatch tech into Old School RuneScape, and then we can progressively roll out more specific and automated bot and spam detection algorithms over the coming weeks and months.

Players have asked us “what can I do to help?” and there are several things:

  • Make use of the report abuse tool and the new right-click reporting shortcut. While we may not be able to manually ban all bots in real time, this tool also feeds us data which helps us hone the bot detection software.
  • Don’t participate in activities related to botting. Running a bot yourself, as well as placing your account at high risk of a perm ban, makes you more vulnerable to account hijacking, damages the game economy and the old school experience for others. Also, the less the demand for black market gold, the smaller the supply from gold farmers will be.
  • Similarly, don’t condone such behaviour from others and make bot use and real-world-trading socially unacceptable. Let your friends and clan mates know that you think buying gold or using bots is wrong and won’t be tolerated.

PMods

The third topic is PMods – the player moderators who keep an eye out for rule breaking in the game and escalate serious issues to Jagex moderators. There are a significant amount of active PMods in Old School as their mod status carried over from the main game. We are going to be recruiting more PMods, specifically for Old School RuneScape, and will post in the forums with news of when this starts in the near future.


As you can see we’re taking action in various ways to safeguard the game integrity. It won’t necessarily be easy, and we’ll need your support and feedback to help us be effective over the longer term. So, as always, please let us know your thoughts and ideas in the Old School Feedback forum.

Thanks,

Mod Pips


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