The exchange of virtual currency to real-world currency can be a problem for many online games. They can cause disruption to game economies, and causing imbalances in player experiences and changing games into pay-to win scenarios. In RuneScape it is the case that trading its OSRS gold digital 'gold' has caused a lot of problems which has led to bots mining the resource, and even allegations that the ability to purchase in-game "bonds" with real-world currency amounts to gambling.
Now, Jagex has revealed strategies to combat the issue. In a recent blog post, credited to "The RuneScape Team", the publisher states that "gold purchased via RWT is a problem in any online game with the possibility of trading currency" as well as that even though its "Anti-Cheating Team has done much to fight RWT sellers both inside and out of the game" It will soon be adopting stronger measures as of immediate effect.
In a statement, Jagex claims to have a "growing staff and new technology", Jagex says it will not be merely in the business of acquiring gold and resources via RWT but also buyers. The intention is to stem the demand, and supply.
Jagex claims it will be sending "messages to those whom we've found engaging on RWT" within "the next few hours". "For anyone who was involved, we want to emphasize that this is the one message, and the only one," they added.
Other measures that developers will consider as punishment for RWT activity are set to include wealth removal which is basically getting rid of gains that are not legitimately earned from accounts of players on a server level - and possible bans.
RuneScape's PvP feature, which is known as the Duel Arena, will also see stricter rules implemented. Jagex affirms that the mode "has been a catalyst for this toxic behaviour", and that 38 percent of the bans for RWT actions up to now stem from this particular aspect of the game. Jagex says this is equivalent approximately "thousands of bans per month".
The developer appears to be taking the nuclear choice, saying "we're looking in the long-term to take down the Duel Arena out of RuneScape entirely." In the meantime it will introduce "some short-term measures" to clean up PvP "until our development teams can bring an important update that completely substitutes for the Duel Arena next year."
These will include a cap on the amount of GP or gold points the players can wager on a match inside the Duel buy OSRS GP Arena. Participants will be able bet "no less than 50m GP for each duel". The additional measures have not been elaborated on yet.