The integrity of our game is paramount to us. A lot of Old School's charm and appeal comes from just how impactful in-game achievements are. We know you're extremely proud of your accomplishments, and we want to keep it that way. You work hard for your 99s, and that shouldn't be undermined. Today we want to offer some clarity about the concerns you have about player actions that undermine those achievements.
As per our existing rules:
Providing or purchasing account services including - but not limited to - things like paying someone to increase your account's experience or complete quests and activities on your behalf are a form of Real World Trading, and are therefore prohibited.
Note that this is not a new change to the game rules.
So, what does this mean? Simply that paying someone - whether that be with real-world cash or in-game items/money - to complete tasks or activities while logged into your account on your behalf is not allowed. This is what we mean by Real World Trading. Even if you're 'paying' with in-game items, you're still buying an 'out-of-game', real-world service.
However, there has been some confusion about how this ties into another existing rule, namely:
Game items must only be exchanged for other items/services within the game.
This rule was written long before account services such as those described above became prevalent, and it's definitely unfortunate that it includes the word 'services'. So let us explain exactly what it means in this context.
A player might trade in-game gold for another player's in-game item, or they might pay another player with in-game gold to help with in-game activities, like essence running or having quest items delivered to your location. All of which is absolutely fine. You're absolutely free to buy in-game help with in-game items - that is what the 'services' means in this context.
So, the distinction is thus
- Paying for in-game help from a fellow RuneScape player (with in-game money or items) is absolutely fine.
- Paying for out-of-game help from a real person logged into your account (with either in-game or real-world money/items) is a severe breach of the rules.
Hopefully that clears up any confusion.
However, enforcing these rules presents many challenges.
The truth is, as long as there's money to be gained, battling any form of cheating in online gaming is an arms race. The culprits and rule-breakers will continue to adapt to bypass our efforts, especially as new tools to aid rule-breaking become even cheaper and even more accessible. We meet this challenge by continuing to invest in our our tools, and we will take every possible action.
Beyond this, however, we believe that the best weapon in our arsenal is our relationship with community and industry partners. We're going to use these relationships to target the places where account services are advertised. These services are offered on various community platforms and boards and are, frankly, a blight on our game. So we'll be going after social media profiles, websites, community servers and forums where such ads appear, or even places and/or individuals that simply direct others to such services.
But we also need your help.
With tomorrow's (Wednesday, March 24th) game update you'll notice a slight change to the options in the Report Abuse interface. We'll be updating the 'Buying or selling an account' report option to 'Buying/selling accounts and services'. This can be used to highlight players advertising this activity in-game. This will allow us to track the problem at its source, quickly identifying where such services are hosted and allowing us to take them down.
We'd like to thank you for your support in tackling rule-breaking and striving to do what's best for Old School. This is a new approach, and it's one we'll continue refining. Building and executing new processes takes time, especially when multiple platforms and parties are involved, but rest assured we're hell-bent on doing what's right.
The Old School Team