RuneScape for me started in late 2004. I remember this specifically because I remember my very first Holiday Event was giving out the East Eggs for the Easter Bunny and receiving the Rubber Chicken in return. I was a 12 years of age, and little did I know I had just begun what now seems to be a lifetime of the World of Gielinor. From that day on, Gielinor was a part of me.
When I first started back on ’05, there were only a handful of ways to acquire items; these were: make your own (armour, runes, weapons, etc.), player-to-player trades, buy from specialty shops, acquire them as drops, or, of course, Player Kill for items you wanted. Only players with extreme dedication and concentration were able to achieve the levels needed to make their own items. Most people just traded other players for the items they wanted. Seems simple, right?
However, along with player-to-player trades inevitably came scamming. There were many scams to look out for; all the way from swapping items (or coins) at the last minute, to just blatantly lying to other players about prices. As much as we all wish it didn’t need to be, scamming will always be a part of the player-to-player trading system. Simple as that. Another thing that came with unrestricted player-to-player sharing was an easy way to sell in game items for real life cash. This is very well known as Real World Trading (or RWT) and single-handedly ruined the RuneScape we all knew (and loved!) in 2007. Because of bots farming billions of gold, and selling it for real-life cash, Jagex was forced to impose strict trade restrictions.
These trade restrictions completely killed the economy because individual players could no longer control prices of items. It caused dramatic price drops/raises, and no way to control it. To try and combat the entire economic issue Jagex released into the game The Grand Exchange. This changed trading completely. No longer did you have to sit in Varrock or Falador banks/streets spamming what you were buying/selling. All you had to do, was go to the Grand Exchange, search for an item and boom, you’re done. Eventually the trade restrictions were completely removed and “Free Trade” had once again returned, but still with the addition of the Grand Exchange. But something just still wasn’t right.
Now, here we are, back to the original trading and acquiring of items mentioned earlier. There is no Grand Exchange for you just simply walk to and find whatever you want. Just like in ’07 and earlier, you have to actually put effort into finding/buying your items! In my opinion, this is the way RuneScape should be. No restrictions, no shortcuts, nothing. You need an item, you work for it!