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Members, pay-to-play or P2P, are players who have paid subscriptions to have access to the full version of RuneScape. The pay-to-play version of RuneScape was first announced on 4 October 2001, and fully instated on 27 February 2002.

Jagex, the company that owns RuneScape, introduced Membership as a way to cover the vast majority of the costs of RuneScape, such as in-game updates, extra staffing, server hosting, etc. As a benefit, members have many more privileges and usable features in the game and on the RuneScape website.

Many people's critiques of the game are due solely to the limitations of a non-member in the game, specifically at a higher level as content and areas becomes repetitive and dull. However, a large proportion of the community do not see this as an issue, arguing that free players aren't entitled to the same benefits as paying customers.

SubscriptionEdit

See Membership subscription for payment options

In order to become a member and access the pay-to-play version of RuneScape, players must first have a subscription. When players subscribe, they receive members credit which allows them to access the pay-to-play version of RuneScape. When you start a subscription by credit card, it will be paid monthly. Subscriptions through different payment methods may have varying lengths, although there is a minimum length of one month. Jagex is affiliated with several payment providers, each providing different subscription payment methods and prices. Different payment methods require different information to be given during a secure payment process.

Furthermore, players may use a bond, an in-game item that allows a player to pay for selected account-related and out-of-game benefits such as membership, Runecoins and Treasure hunter keys with in-game resources. Since these Bonds may be purchased directly from the Grand Exchange or other players, this essentially means that players may instead opt to pay for their own memberships through coins, the in-game currency, rather than real world money.

Extra featuresEdit

Magic carpet

A player using the magic carpet transportation method.

Membership unlocks many features of RuneScape that are not available to free players: almost all recent updates to RuneScape have been for members, with the exception of a few major updates in the past months. There are very few quests available to free players, while new quests available to members are added at a rate of one or two a month. This is a condensed list of features unlocked with membership below:
  • Ability to change character names.
  • Ten extra skills, as well as more capabilities in free-to-play skills.
  • Ability to purchase skill capes when achieving level 99 (and 120 in Dungeoneering's case) in a skill.
  • Higher capabilities in other skills.
  • Use of several transportation systems.
  • Much larger explorable area (around 3 times as big).
  • More accessible servers (members can access free-to-play worlds and pay-to-play worlds, although they cannot access most members only features in free-to-play worlds).
  • More minigames, such as Pest Control, Soul Wars, and Stealing Creation.
  • Ability to do Distractions and Diversions, such as Treasure Trails, Penguin Hide and Seek, Evil Trees and Shooting Stars.
  • Better (and a more varied range of) equipment, such as Dragon, Barrows, Bandos, Crystal etc. weapons and armour.
  • More bank space. Non-members' 103 (353 if all bank boosters are purchased) bank slots versus members' 571 (821 if all bank boosters are purchased).
  • More space for Grand Exchange offers (non-members have only 2 spaces and members have all 6).
  • Members can create their own house using the POH system along with the Construction skill.
  • Access to Player-owned Ports (requires 90 in at least one of the following skills: Fishing, Slayer, Runecrafting, Herblore, Prayer, or Thieving).
  • A huge amount of members-only items.
  • Many more quests.
  • Many more titles obtainable.
  • No advertisements above the game and throughout the official website.
  • More music and sound effects.
  • A few more emotes such as air guitar (requires 500 unlocked songs), Faint (requires the completion of the mime Court Case) and Taskmaster (requires all tasks to be completed in the Task system).
  • Ability to post on the RuneScape Official Forums regardless of their character's level/experience (The only non-members who can post on the forums are those with at least 2.5 million XP total or have an overall skill total exceeding or equal to 350).
  • More efficient ways to make money.
  • The ability to access fullscreen mode on the main screen.
  • The ability to take a photo using the Photo Booth feature for use on the forums as an avatar.
  • The ability to fight many high level bosses like the King Black Dragon, God War Bosses and more.
  • The ability to fight a wide variety of other monsters, ranging from Yaks to Dragons, which drop items such as Dragon bones that are worth a reasonable amount of money on the Grand Exchange.
  • The unique ability of owning a pet.
  • Access to the Members Loyalty Programme to gain extra features such as Auras, Emotes and Outfits.
  • The ability to create and enter Clan citadels for clans.
  • More keys on the Treasure Hunter.
  • A 10% discount from Solomon's General Store.
  • Full access to official seasonal and holiday events.
  • Full access to all Abilities.
  • Access to 2 more Action bars

These benefits will only be available if the member logs onto a members server. If a members-only item is on a non-members server it will not be usable.

Although if you go onto a free server while membership is activated, the bank space will still be increased beyond the normal free limit, and you may still place things in even if there isn't one already in there. Fullscreen mode is also available on free servers while membership is activated.

Members-only skillsEdit

Currently there are 10 skills in RuneScape that are only available to members out of a total of 26 skills. The members-only skills are listed in alphabetical order below:

Small Summoning obelisk recharge

A player at a Summoning obelisk.

There are many benefits upon unlocking these skills. Many members quests have members skill requirements. Agility allows run energy to recharge faster, allows players to run for longer amounts of time, and allows entry to certain areas and use of many shortcuts. With Construction, players can build their own player-owned house and erect God statues across the map which then become altars to recharge prayer. Farming allows players to grow fruits, vegetables, herbs, and trees that only they will be able to cut. Herblore lets players make potions to aid them in combat and the training of other skills. Hunter is a great money maker, and items from it help train several other skills. Thieving allows entry into certain areas as well as being an easy money source. Slayer unlocks new monsters and items, as well as the Slayer Dart spell, Broad-tipped bolts, and Broad arrows. Summoning allows members to summon helpful beasts that can aid the player by holding items, boosting stats, helping in combat, restoring health, among other abilities. Some familiars have secondary abilities such as the pack yak can bank items and the bunyip can allow you to eat raw fish.

Members-only areasEdit

Free players have strictly limited access to the world of RuneScape. Free players can only access the kingdoms of Asgarnia and Misthalin, the north-eastern most point of Karamja, and most of the Wilderness. Instant Demo players can only access the kingdom of Misthalin which has extremely limited access. Membership allows full access to the entire world.

Here is a list of some, but not all of the lands reserved for members:

Spirit tree

A player using a Spirit tree to teleport.

MinigamesEdit

Most of the minigames in RuneScape are members only. Minigames are interactive competitions between players and usually require or involve cooperation and communication. However, some minigames are just for players to play on their own. Minigames can also be good methods to gain experience in combat or non-combat skills, or to just invoke fun competition. Minigames are arguably one of the most enjoyable aspects of RuneScape, and a common reason that impel many to become Members as most of them are restricted to members. Random events can also be considered a form of a minigame, however, as given by their name, they are completely random and so the player cannot choose when to "play".

Here is an alphabetical list of the currently available members-only minigames, along with a short explanation:

Stealing Creation Hunter

A player playing Stealing Creation.

  • Burthorpe Games Room - A room where players can compete in various board games.
  • Castle Wars - An extremely popular competitive game of combat Capture the Flag, in which two teams infiltrate each the enemy castle and fight to score. Tickets rewarded to the winners can be exchanged for decorative Castle Wars armour and capes. Complicated strategy and tactics have been developed as well!
  • Champion Challenge - Engage the titans of eight different races of monsters in special rules battles! If you defeat them all, you can face the gnome champion!
  • Conquest - A turn-based strategy game where two players command a squad of Void Knights and try to eliminate their opponent.
  • Duel Tournaments - Members can head under the Duel Arena to compete for millions of coins in tournaments.
  • Fishing Trawler - An interesting fishing minigame in which players sail along the sea trying to keep a leaking ship afloat while they fix their net and catch some fish! Rewards are fish up to your fishing level, so the higher the better!
  • Gnome Ball - A challenging Agility minigame where players try to pass and charge with a small ball towards a hoop to score a goal, while defending gnomes attempt to tackle them before they can throw it. Players earn both Agility and Ranging experience if they're successful!
  • Gnome Restaurant - Players try their hand at delivering food to hungry customers in record speed! A variety of unique items and other rewards are available.
  • Mage Arena - Learn the Divine Storm and earn god capes and god staves.
  • Mage Training Arena - One of the fastest ways to earn Magic experience; the Arena offers four different minigames each involving a different type of magic. If you are successful in these games, you can earn Pizazz points to exchange for runes or the valued Infinity Robes!
  • Pest Control - This immensely popular team combat minigame involves protecting the vulnerable Void Knight while you fight incoming monsters. Commendation Points which can be exchanged for experience in any combat skill as well as a selection of items are rewarded to successful teams.
  • Pyramid Plunder - A source of extremely fast Thieving experience. Combat is interestingly integrated into the game.
  • Ranging guild minigames - A fast way to train Ranging which can even be profitable! Players can even exchange tickets earned as rewards for coveted rune arrows.
  • Rat Pits - Players can train their cats to be a fierce hellcat or a clever Wily cat in these arenas of battle between cat and mouse, then show off their fully trained cats to their friends!
Juggling balls

A player juggling balls, in Balthazar Beauregard's Big Top Bonanza.

  • Rogue's Den - Players show their deft abilities as they navigate this tricky maze filled with traps and obstacles. Fail and be teleported out! Depending on success, players earn fair amounts of Agility and Thieving experience as well as Rogue Armour displaying their skill.
  • Shades of Mort'ton - Build up a temple and defend it from attacking evil spirits! One of the best ways to train Crafting, a good source of Firemaking experience, or a good way for players to test their prowess in combat and see how long they can last against the shades while they train up their combat skills! Shades of Mort'ton quest must be completed before you can play this minigame.
  • Sorceress's Garden - Players attempt to sneak around watchful elementals guarding their gardens to get the a Sq'irk Tree to pick Sq'irk fruits. If caught, they are teleported out! Excellent Thieving experience.
  • Soul Wars - A challenging minigame where you kill avatars with your team. Rewards combat experience and pets.
  • Tai Bwo Wannai Cleanup - Help clean up the village of Tai Bwo Wannai. Beware, as players may encounter dangerous Bush Snakes and Broodoo victims! Players earn the village currency of trading sticks for a reward.
  • Tears of Guthix - Collect the tears of the God of Balance in a sacred cave guarded by his faithful snake servant Juna. The tears give the best reward of all - experience in the players' worst skill.
  • Temple Trekking - Escort citizens through the dangerous Mort Myre Swamp in Morytania to a temple on the River Salve. If successful, players earn tokens exchangeable for a random reward, including resources such as herbs or ores, or tomes exchangeable for experience in specific skills!
  • Treasure Trail - Players follow cryptic clues on wild chases to valuable rewards. Rewards include runes, God pages, Ornamental armour, Rune god armour, Third age armour, and others.
  • Trouble Brewing - Two teams compete as each try to brew the most bottles of rum! Experience in a variety of skills can be earned for performing the many complicated tasks needed in the process of rum production.
  • TzHaar Fight Cave - Players fight alone against an army of Tzhaar monsters! If they can withstand the masses, and defeat the dreaded TzTok-Jad, the third most powerful monster in the game, they can earn the coveted Fire cape! Winners as well as less fortunate participants earn varied amounts of the Tzhaar currency of Tokkul.
  • TzHaar Fight Pit - Players are thrown into pits where they fight an every-man-for-himself battle to the death! Deadly alliances and betrayals are all a part of the game. Tokkul is rewarded to the winner of each round

It's highly recommended that if a Member were to ever be bored or not happy with the current Membership, they should at least try out various minigames just for the fun of it.

Unlockable capabilities in skillsEdit

Free players are limited in their access to the skills available in RuneScape. Since areas and training methods are also limited, it can be difficult for free players to obtain high levels in much of the free-to-play skills. Free players cannot use members items for combat and cannot use some of the abilities or items reached at higher levels in the free skills. Many guilds are also located in members only areas. Membership brings full access to not only several members skills, but also the free skills. Prior to the Evolution of Combat update, it also gave special attacks to specific weaponry.

Members-only questsEdit

The vast majority of quests in RuneScape are restricted to members. These quests unlock many important features, new areas, various transportation systems, and many new skills. There are currently 19 free-to-play quests, 150 members-only quests and 1 tutorial quest. A complete list of members quests is found here.

Some quests granting useful abilities are listed below:

Low difficultyEdit

Dwarf cannon

A Members-only ranged weapon, the Dwarf multicannon.

Medium difficultyEdit

These quests are highly recommended to finish, as this allows access to a larger variety of weaponry and armour and just as important, faster and easier transportation.

High difficultyEdit

Task SystemEdit

When you become a member, some of the first things you should do are the "Easy" parts of the Task System. The rewards are listed below:

Extra serversEdit

Members can access and log into servers reserved for the pay-to-play version of RuneScape. If members wish to, they may also log into free-to-play worlds, although on these servers they can't use any in-game features that are accessible only in pay-to-play worlds. There are 86 members-only worlds out of a total of 171 worlds.

Additional website featuresEdit

Players who opt for pay-to-play are given access to a few sections of the RuneScape website that are unavailable to free players:

  • The forums - Free players may use the official forums if they have more than 2.5 million xp or a skill total of 350+. This makes it more difficult to use a valuable method of communication, which can limit contact with other players in the Marketplace, Game, RS-Classic, and Community forum sections for trading, clan recruitment, clan discussion, game discussion, or other reasons, as well as removing the only easy way to contact Jagex: the Support section of the forums, which allows for suggestion of updates, rants, complaints and feedback.
  • The Adventurer's Log
  • The Hiscores (Previously members and free players could use this. After 31 March 2014 by the power to player, it is open again to free players.)

Membership strategyEdit

In order to save money, some players will pay for a few months of membership and then cancel or end payments. Before becoming a member, they will prepare for the new features by obtaining items that will allow them to quickly train members only skills and do members only quests. After they have completed their desired goals, they will cancel their membership and begin preparation again. While most members do not choose to switch like this, it is a good idea to obtain items that new members will need in large amounts before beginning membership.

Soon-to-be member checklist:

  • Regular, oak, and willow logs to quickly train Fletching.
  • Food such as cakes or lobsters to train Agility and/or Thieving with less chance of dying.
  • Vials and secondary ingredients for Herblore (such as Red spider's eggs and Limpwurt root).
  • Coal and other ores to take advantage of Blast Furnace for Smithing.
  • Enough coins to pay for all the equipment and skill items that you plan to buy once you are a member (this may seem difficult due to the limiting method and efficiency of making money in F2P).
  • Items to utilise new capabilities in free skills that come with membership.
  • Items required to do basic member quests you plan to complete.
  • Moderately high levels, as this removes possible time wasted while training F2P skills in Member's worlds as you could have trained these without a subscription.

Recommended members questsEdit

If you plan to do members quests, it is a good idea to get any Free Player levels before you become a member, so you can spend more time doing members-only quests or skills without wasting membership credit for something you could do in free player worlds.

Preparing for an ending membershipEdit

When going from Pay-to-play to Free-to-play, there are many things you want to consider before your membership ends. Along with being restricted by the smaller free world area and limited to the free skills, bank space is an important aspect to consider. Non-members are mostly limited to 103 bank spaces whereas Members have 468 extra bank spaces (for a total of 571 bank spaces).

  • Even if you are planning on becoming a member again you will have to sell most of the items. If you still have more than 83 (or 103) non-member items in the bank after your membership ends, the extra items will still be in the bank, but you cannot deposit anymore items unless duplicate of the item is already there. To see how many extra F2P items you have in your bank move your mouse cursor over the number that indicates how many members items you hold in your bank.
  • Member items are not usable and equipable in the Free-to-play servers, but you may keep them in the bank. You may consider selling every valuable P2P items if you are NOT willing to become a member again. Less expensive ones and some quest-related items are more worthy to be kept, and more importantly, don't take up F2P bank space. These cheaper items may quicken your process if you subscribe again.
  • Using bank tagging is useful for sorting out the items, you may also see some convenient tools like Pot, which is barely useful inside F2P playing. Disposal of these cheap items would lead to efficient bank sorting.
  • When the membership ends and you still have members armour equipped, you will still be wielding the armour, weapons, shields, etc., but they will have the special abilities & stats disabled. You cannot train Dungeoneering if you wish to keep these items equipped. Once unequipped you cannot reequip them until you log into a members world. For skill cape wearers (including Max cape), dropping and selling all other capes will lessen the hazard of accidentally unequipping the cape. A questing cape is not recommended, as it will unequip when the next quest is released. Also, a completionist cape (or even trimmed) is strongly NOT recommended as it will unequip when new content is released.
  • Players can only initate a trading request on top-left and top-middle slots in Grand Exchange inside free worlds. However, transactions can be completed in all slots even if a player has terminated subscription.

Other RuneScape ServersEdit

RuneScape members can play on the Old School RuneScape servers.

If a member has logged onto RuneScape Classic in the last 6 months they can play on the RuneScape Classic servers.

TriviaEdit

  • Jagex reached the one million member count mark on 4 May 2007.[1]
  • If you train combat and you are wielding a members' item on a free to play world in the weapon slot, this will result in 'you are wearing an item which prevents you from attacking' and you cannot fight unless you unequip it. When the free version of RuneScape Classic existed, members' weapons would automatically become unequipped when the player logs in to a free world.
  • In the God letters, members were referred to as 'nobility' while free players were peasants. It was also said that they paid taxes to the counsel.
  • Paul Gower stated that the first members benefit was being able to login any time players wanted.[2]
  • Members will have all their members' skills drained to 5 on a free world, and slowly recover on a member's world, except for Summoning which must be recharged on a summoning obelisk.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ http://news.runescape.com/newsitem.ws?id=789 NEWS - 4 May 2007 - RuneScape reaches one million members!
  2. ^ http://twitter.com/RuneFest/status/22349419276

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