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1.2M  RuneScape  Players Vote To Restore PvP, Free Trade Features
1.2M RuneScape Players Vote To Restore PvP, Free Trade Features
January 18, 2011 | By Eric Caoili

January 18, 2011 | By Eric Caoili

After inviting players to vote on RuneScape's direction and receiving over 1.2 million ballots, developer and publisher Jagex will reinstate Wilderness and Free Trade features in the MMORPG.

The company removed these features -- which allowed for unrestricted trade of virtual goods/money and player-versus-player combat -- in 2007 to "combat botting, gold farming, and item scamming."

Since then, Jagex claims it has since evolved its systems to quickly detect cheating, and invited players last month to decide whether the features should return. The company received over 1.2 million votes in under three weeks, with 91 percent of players supporting the features' restoration.

The developer will add unrestricted trade and the Wilderness area to the free-to-play online game (RuneScape also features a paid monthly subscription option with access to more features and content, and no advertising) starting February 1.

"I firmly believe that the Wilderness represents the ultimate risk versus reward experience in any MMO and the incredible support for the campaign demonstrates that our players agree," says Jagex CEO Mark Gehard.

Gerhard adds, "It has been fantastic to watch the community mobilize in support of the update and we can now introduce these features certain in the knowledge that they are what our community want.

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referendumno voter
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I suppose all trade publications simply repeat what the companies tell them, however, there is a glaring error in what Jagex claims about this referendum, and so, your article contains the same error.

The error is that you may not equate the number of VOTES cast in the referendum with the number of VOTERS or PLAYERS.

Jagex encouraged players to create new accounts to vote with.

In an initial "petition," ostensibly to determine the level of interest in reverting to the old systems of wilderness combat and unlimited trade, they allowed players to fraudulently vote other players accounts as well as every account they already had, as well as all the new accounts they cared to create. Only "yes" votes were possible on this first vote.

In both votes, there was a substantial number of players in support of the idea that were members of a fanatical minority who had been desiring this rollback to old policies for years. They freely admitted in forum discussions to voting multiple times for the proposal, frequently admitting as many as five or ten times per player. Some admitted creating bots to create new accounts and vote them. I have personally found evidence of one "player" (probably a professional botter from an Asian country) who voted "yes" at least 30 times that I could count.

"No" voters tended to have fewer accounts to begin with than "yes" voters due to the different styles of play involved in PVPing and botting (the two biggest beneficiary factions of the proposal) versus skilling and PVM styles. They also showed no tendency to make new accounts simply to vote with, and were generally more mature and honest during the debate (I NEVER saw a "no" voter admit multivoting during the forum debate), leading an objective person to conclude that "yes" voters cast FAR more votes per player than did "no" voters.

Jagex clearly designed the two votes specifically to fraudulently generate as much apparent support for the idea as possible, and other evidence than the obviously flawed polls indicate that they had every intention of reverting to free trade/old wilderness before ever announcing the votes.

P.S. after a month, there is NO evidence of the "evolved cheat detection systems" they bragged about; botters, scammers and beggars are again RAMPANT in the game with no evidence of any efforts at abatement. There was also an immediate spate of hacking with massive theft after implementation. All of these scenarios were correctly predicted by "no" voters during the vote debate.