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Pay to PK Riot

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The Pay to Pk Riot (also known as the World 66 Riot, the First Wilderness Riot, the End of RuneScape Riot, the Free Trade Riot, and the Falador Riot) was a riot that took place primarily in Falador square, World 66, in December 2007 as part of the Aftermath of the Bounty Hunter update. It began on 10 December and lasted for nearly a week. It was mainly in response to the following updates:

The Pay to Pk Riot occurred primarily in World 66, although there were many other riots occurring at the same time or soon after, some of the more significant including the Mod Hasmo Riot in World 18 and the Unbalanced Trade Riot in World 1. It should also be noted that the riot's name is somewhat misleading, and that many other subjects were brought up besides pking. Along with the riot, a 'mass-logoff' was held at midnight, the day that the update was announced. It is estimated that, at one point, there were fewer than 4,000 people playing at one time. Even to this day, the Pay to PK Riot is considered to be one of the largest, longest, and most impactive player unrests against Jagex in the history of the game. This is primarily because of the extensive and unprecedented measures taken to combat macroers, which had very significant impacts on the game as a whole.

The RiotEdit

Many players felt that the removal of unbalanced trades obliterated Merchanting, made helping friends difficult, and killed activities such as law running, nature running, and training methods such as trading cooked for raw food. Others believed that this had severely handicapped Player-Killing, duelling, clans, and pure accounts; some were simply angry that they could no longer reliably transfer items between their accounts. Still others were ranting about Jagex's recent anti-real world trading updates in general, such as the Grand Exchange, the changes to the shop system, the staking limit at the Duel Arena, and lootshare.

Riots of varying sizes started on many worlds and in many locations, Worlds 18, 66, and 69 being the most notable. The servers were nearly always at the maximum capacity of 2,000 players. The rioters covered a large area, including Falador square, the Party Room, the White Knights' Castle, both of the city's banks, and some of the forested area north of the city. Large amounts of miscellaneous items such as Shears, Hammers, and leather gloves were dropped on the ground, as well as Mithril seeds being planted. Cannons were set up, clockwork toys were released, origami balloons were set loose, magic spells were cast, guards were killed; these, along with a variety of other things, were used with the sole intent of adding to the chaos. Dropped items were often used to spell out phrases, the most common being "PK". Other players purposely killed themselves so that their gravestones would cover the area.

The players spammed protest chants, such as "We Pay, We Say", "No kills no bills" and "We Pay To PK". Players turned the Retribution prayer on en masse. Many players used offensive language, mainly to insult Jagex. Some player moderators in the area attempted to stop these rule-breakers, but many other player moderators decided to join the riot. Hundreds of players entered Mod Chihiro's clan chat, the majority of which insulted Jagex and rioted about the updates, although Mod Chihiro was not logged on at the time.

Midway through the riot, players began buying pink skirts and pink gnome robes. The pink skirts were a result of riots that had originally developed in Varrock Square, which possesses a clothes store where pink skirts are sold. These became the unofficial "riot outfit" and some players began selling the outfits, calling them "full pink". Soon, nearly half of the players in the area were clothed with pink clothing, and many more were dropped, sold to the Falador General Store, and released in the Party Room. There were also players shouting pro-Jagex messages such as "Support Jagex - read the diary" to combat the rioters. The diary they mention refers to the Development Diary, explaining Jagex's reasoning for the updates. These players began to buy blue skirts in a fight against the pink-clad rioters. Soon the two sides began an all-out-flame, insulting each other's loyalties.

On the evening of 11 December, the riot calmed down, although a large amount of rioters still remained. When 12 December came, the riot became centralized in Falador once again, although it was considerably smaller. By the weekend of the 15th and 16th, the riot had all but died, with only a few dwindling players in the area. On the 17th, Jagex announced a number of changes they would be making to the recent updates.[4] Although these were designed to resolve many of the issues, the majority of the ranters were not pleased with these, as they felt they did not address many of the problems.

The ForumsEdit

During the riot, the official RuneScape Forums were incredibly busy, with over 1700 people logged in. The rants forum alone reached over 1,500 active users and the recent updates forum reached over 400, although it is probable that many more were viewing the forums but not logged in. Many players were posting rants that were rule-breaking, involved ASCII art, spam, or a combination of all 3. This eventually prompted the Forum Moderators to post a sticky warning players that they will be banned if they break rules on the forums. In the News and Announcements forum, the threads concerning the wilderness changes and real world trading reached 2,000 posts fairly quickly. The sticky in the rants forum concerning the updates reached over 40,000 posts within the first two days, eventually being reset twice to prevent the thread from being overloaded. Meanwhile, the sticky in recent updates reached over 21,000 posts. The forums, unable to cope with the large amount of players, went offline multiple times throughout the day.

AftermathEdit

Although the riot largely ended on 4th January large-scale player response could still be seen for months after. The forums remained crowded with discussions and debates regarding the changes well into 2008. The release of summoning was somewhat controversial at the time, with many feeling the skill was meant to draw attention away from the changes. Others felt it was a way of making up for them, although Jagex has never released any official statement regarding this. On 21st February, Jagex released a news article acknowledging players' discontent[5] (although they did not directly refer to the riot), describing the progress of various changes to the new systems. This was followed on 27th March by a second[6], and although more were scheduled for release, none ever were. Player response to these proposed changes was mixed.

The Pay to Pk Riot is, to date, the longest riot, having gone on for roughly seven straight days, not including its brief revival on 2nd January through 4th.

It is estimated that Jagex lost about 30,000-40,000 paying members (and a lot more F2P players) because of this. These lost players gave Jagex an estimated £154,553 per month, and about £1,855,000 a year, which translates into around $3,198,276 USD. Soon after the riots were over, very rarely one could see more than 180,000 players online (but this may also be due to a lack of bots that these updates were made to get rid of).

On 1 February 2011 Jagex brought the wilderness and free trade back, as well as making the Duel Arena coin limit free and a change in the Grand Exchange to be able to offer on any item for any price.

TriviaEdit

  • This riot was duplicated each year in a "Wilderness Riot" where hundreds of people would gather in large cities and spam all over the place about how much they wanted the PK Wilderness back. After 1 February 2011, this has stopped.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Jagex. "Wilderness Changes, Bounty Hunter and Clan Wars!." 10-Dec-2007. RuneScape News.
  2. ^ Jagex. "Trade and Drop Changes." 10-Dec-2007. RuneScape News.
  3. ^ Jagex. "RuneScape vs Real-world Trading." 10-Dec-2007. RuneScape News.
  4. ^ Jagex. "Future Changes to Recent Updates." 17-Dec-2007. RuneScape News.
  5. ^ Jagex. "The State of Play." 21-Feb-2008. RuneScape News.
  6. ^ Jagex. "The State of Play." 27-Mar-2008. RuneScape News.

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