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A Riot is a large gathering of players protesting for a cause or change. Groups involved are often sided with either Jagex, protesters of an update or event and sometimes even Jagex staff members. Note that riots are generally ineffective due to their nature and rarely yield beneficial results.
Riot gear and customs
In riots, players often wear either pink skirts to show that they support the rioters, Wizard robe skirts to show they support Jagex, and either black or green skirts to show that they are neutral. There have also been red skirts and (more commonly on the forums) hats, showing that they are against the riot and protest against the update peacefully. It is not uncommon to see players wearing full robes; and commonly used riot weapons are usually mauls such as the Gadderhammer or the Meat Tenderiser, symbolising a banhammer or a 'Hammer of Justice' so to speak. Afros are also commonly used due to Falador centre's close proximity to Party Pete.
During riots, protesters often try to cover as much of the screen as possible with activities such as spamming the '@' and '&' key, planting mithril seeds, flowers, lighting fires, deploying Dwarf multicannons or using prayers such as Retribution, Wrath, Rapid Heal, Rapid Restore, or Rapid Renewal. Smite and Redemption are also sometimes used by Jagex supporters. For either side, the Protect Item prayers, both the Standard Prayer and the Ancient Curse version, are commonly used.
Trains are also sometimes made by players following either a high-level player or a moderator, the latter often receiving streams of insults and abuse.
Effects of riots
|“||"Rioting" is non-constructive & gets ignored, but [it is not] not against the rules. Spamming or being offensive at a riot would be, though.||”|
— Mod Emilee
Riots tend to be frowned upon by the majority of Runescape's players because they appear to be little more than spam-fests. They ostensibly have a goal of affecting in-game changes, but, in actuality, rioting has been largely ineffective in convincing Jagex to reverse an update; the only documented exceptions to this rule was the Rule Seven Protest and the Protect Item Riot (see below for more details).
The Pay to PK Riot, which lasted from 10 December to 17 December, 2007, was heavily controversial, and much debate raged on as to whether the effects of previous changes to the wilderness were for the better or for the worse. The effects of this riot are the most felt today, with the community still at odds as to the changes implemented.
The following is a summary of the most notable riots in RuneScape, proceeding from earliest to the most recent.
Rule 7 protest
This riot was started on 2 January 2007 shortly after an update to Rule 7 in which all third party clients were banned. Most third party clients inserted themselves into the RuneScape interface to allow the use of calculators, IRC chat programs, and other conveniences. One of the most notable such programs was SwiftSwitch (later renamed to SwiftKit). Many users of the program were outraged that it was banned. Members united in world 27, activating the Retribution prayer and shouting "save ss" and pleading for Jagex to reverse the resolution. The riot even began to spread to the Ice Plateau as many players cast Telegroup spells to take other players there. Smaller F2P gatherings occurred in Varrock square, in world 81. The RuneScape Official Forums were also affected, with the Rants forum reaching over 500 online users (which back then was a lot of people).
Pest Control riot
The Pest Control Riot was a widespread community disapproval movement that occurred on 17 July 2007, when Jagex made an update which involved the lowering of experience gained while playing the Pest Control minigame. Pest Control-experience was lowered by 30% on an average, counting all factors. This resulted in a significant amount of discontent from Pest Control content users.
Duel Arena riot
This riot took place on the evening of 20 November 2007 and on the morning of 21 November 2007. It was in response to the Duel Area maximum stake being capped at 3k, when previously there had been no limit. Rioting mostly took place on World 83 and on the Rants forum. The riot seemed to continue hours later in world 91 where stakers continued to protest against the duelling update. Some phrases used during the riots included "Duelling is dead", "We pay we say", "3k no pay," and more. Many people in the forums and during the riots also displayed their anger with the phrase "Ruinedscape, the Once Massive Online Adventureless Game by Jagex Ltd."
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, it was a riot that took place primarily in Falador square, World 66. It began on 10 December 2007 and lasted for nearly a week, although it did flare up as late as January. It was mainly in response to Jagex's anti-RWT updates (specifically: Wilderness Changes, Bounty Hunter and Clan Wars!, Trade and Drop Changes, and RuneScape vs Real-world Trading). World 66 is where the riots primarily occurred, although there were many other riots occurring at the same time or soon after. It should also be noted that the riot's name is somewhat misleading, and that many other subjects were brought up besides player-killing, such as the trade limit and the Duel Arena stake limit.
Unbalanced trade riot
Also known as the World 1 riot, it was a riot that started sometime in the early morning of 3 January 2008. This riot was caused by many F2P players finding that the update instituting that the trade limit was unfair. It is also the first major riot to ever occur in F2P. This riot lasted around seven hours, after which very few people were still rioting.
Taking place near the 6 month anniversary of the Pay to PK Riot, the Wilderness Riot, also known as the Second Pay to Pk Riot or the June Riot, was held on 4 June 2008 (5 June in some time zones). The aim of the riot was to express dissatisfaction with Jagex's decision to remove player-killing from the Wilderness and general unbalanced trade on 10 December 2007. It lasted throughout the whole day from the early hours of the morning until early the following morning.
PvP glitch riot
This riot took place on 13 April 2009, after Mod Andrew announced that everyone that abused the infinite drop potential glitch would be banned. It occurred in Varrock. This riot was mostly attended by high levels who presumably abused the glitch and were afraid of getting banned. This particular riot lasted for several hours.
Protect Item riot
Taking place on 15 July 2009, it concerned an update where players could no longer use the protect-item prayer in PvP/Bounty Hunter worlds and were automatically skulled, meaning that there was much greater risk to losing expensive items. The updates were enacted to prevent players from using high hitting special attacks while risking next to nothing, a very popular tactic in PvP situations which many players were upset to lose.
Bounty Hunter riot
When the Bounty Hunter craters were removed in early 2009 and replaced with a mock PvP activity of the old Wilderness (Bounty Hunter worlds), players that made a lot of profit off the craters and transferred enormous sums of money in the craters were very upset upon the removal of the craters. This is because the Bounty Hunter worlds, as many player killers say, have a "luck" drop system.
In the old Bounty Hunter craters, every item was dropped upon death so the chance of a good kill was guaranteed.
On 15 May 2009, hundreds of players gathered on World 32, a free-to-play Bounty Hunter world, and protested outside Edgeville bank. Spamming and flaming (towards mods) ensued. People that were against Jagex donned a rune 2h (or any 2h) while Jagex supporters wielded rune platebodies (or any platebody).
Although the riot only lasted a few hours (a couple hours shorter than planned), the effect was considerable; the RuneScape official forums was spammed once again and many other smaller riots were spurred.
Constitution update riot
After the Hitpoints skill was changed to Constitution on the day of 3 March 2010, many people gathered at Falador in world 66 to riot. They were comparing RuneScape to World of Warcraft since all LP and hits are multiplied by 10 after the update. Forums were also spammed with unsatisfied players, but the riots didn't last longer than a couple of days.
Dungeoneering rollback riot
This riot took place on 14 April 2010 in response to a rollback that took place due to a bug allowing players to gain huge amounts of Runecrafting experience while in Daemonheim. The riot began at the Grand Exchange and passed through Draynor Village before congregating in Falador. It soon spilled over into general anger at the Dungeoneering skill, specifically its resemblance to a minigame.
Forum changes protest
This protest took place from the 19 April 2010 to about 29 May 2010. It developed in response to what many players regarded as devastating changes to the forums, including the creation of communities (which many players felt divided existing communities), the removal of suggestions and the transformation of feedback into compliments and rants. What seemed to cause the greatest ire was the removal of Future Updates, due to the strength of the community there and the fact that the Recent Update forum was allowed to remain. This event is unusual in that it mainly took place on the Forums and that it was peaceful, with people who spammed being immediately kicked from the protest's clan chat and told to leave. There were two parts to this protest- a series of gatherings in Varrock, World 20 and continued protests in the Forum Communities section of the forums.
Forum users, particularly those of Future Updates who had lost their main base, wore red hats in their profile pictures and used a common signature to denote their support for demonstrators. The Future Update Forums have since been restored.
On 29 May 2010, Jagex had eliminated the six hour time limit for posting on different forums which was the most widely reviled update change.
Rock climbing boots riot
On 24 June 2010, Jagex released the Quiet Before the Swarm quest. Along with this update came an update to climbing boots. Climbing boots were changed into "Rock Climbing Boots," but the original climbing boots could still be bought from Tenzing. Rock climbing boots were set at a market price of 75k. Players who owned climbing boots were able to sell them or alchemise them for a great profit. Many players were outraged by this and began demanding on the forums for a rollback similar to the Dungeoneering rollback. Rioting broke out on world 66 in Falador square with players demanding a rollback, in the same location and in similar quantities to the First Wilderness Riot. Mod Mark has said in a forum post that they do not intend to rollback these changes and nothing further would be done.
Wilderness and Free Trade Vote riot
In response to the Wilderness and Free Trade Vote that was started on 22 December 2010, many players took to various locations, including Falador and the Grand Exchange, and began spamming the chatbox with commands for other users to join in the vote. There were also accounts created with names such as "vote4rs, nolimit" with the purpose of creating a Clan Chat channel for the rioters to debate about this update. There were high levelled players forming trains around Varrock, Falador, and mostly at Lumbridge castle shouting phrases like "VOTE FOR RS" "vote 4 no limit" and "join vote4rs we can make a change" Interestingly, this was one of the very few riots to support an update. This riot caused World 1 to crash for 1 hour and the pink clothing could not be bought even when there were stocks.
There were riots sticking up for both sides, with some people wanting the "Old RuneScape" and some people going against the idea. Others rioted against the lack of any type of secure login for the poll itself. Forum activity greatly increased on this day, and forums such as the Rants forum, General forum, and the Recent and Future Updates forums were spammed with content relating to the Wilderness and Free Trade Vote. The riot was not in world 66, but rather in world 2 and worlds close to that. Pink clothing was worn, but there was no red clothing.
Veteran cape riot
With the release of the five-year Veteran cape, free players whose accounts were more than five years old found that they were not allowed access to the Veteran Cape, when an earlier post had said the Veteran Cape would be made "available to all players" who had played RuneScape for five or more years. Despite the fact that the Veteran-cape-design polls were made available to free players and the Veteran Cape was the only Cape of Distinction not specifically quoted as being restricted to P2P players, the cape was announced to be a members-only item on the day of its release. Free players led a riot following the release of the cape at Varrock fountain, world 14.
Refer a Friend riot
On the day of 18 August 2011, Jagex released the "Refer a Friend" update, which was if you refer a friend to RuneScape, they get an XP boost for the first week of play. If the friend you referred becomes a member then you would get a 10% XP boost for 7 days. The limit to this boost is 5 per year. Players were outraged by this because it could easily be abused by bots. News of the update first broke in the forums. The forums quickly became flooded with many people opposing this new program. There were hundreds of locked or hidden threads.
This was a pro-Jagex riot, spread across World 42 and a bit on 66 throughout the day. It started 18 January (at the same time as several other websites) 2012, as a Jagex support to spread word about the vagueness in the United States' "Stop Online Piracy Act" or SOPA for short. This act, if passed, had the ability to either force Jagex to close the forums, monitor it for any copywritten material, from song lyrics to books, or lose the entire American RuneScape population.
Squeal of Fortune riot
Evolution of Combat riot
On the 1 September 2012, free to play players gathered at world 1 Falador, and pay to play players gather in world 2 Grand Exchange to protest the planned Evolution of Combat update and to request an old-school RuneScape server for Veterans. In World 2 the Grand Exchange was temporarily muted and players could only use Quick Chat within the area for about an hour before normal chat was restored. To date, Jagex has never removed the ability to chat in game when confronted with a riot or interfered with any riot; something that makes this riot notable. The riot ended on 3 September 2012. On 20 November 2012, another riot broke out due to the release of the EoC, many players were upset that the old combat system was removed and the game is by what they say no longer original.
The Drop riot
Following connectivity issues from The Drop, a worldwide trivia-based event hosted by Jagex, many players who paid 1 million coins to enter the paid round were disconnected and lost their money. Immediately after the event was over and Jagex's Twitch stream went offline, players mobbed to world 66 with the "we pay we say" chant and demanding refunds. Mod Pips also attempted to start a round of the drop in World 66, but this was received with hostility.
The skillcape visual update on 16 March 2015 was put forward due to a Player Power poll. However, soon after the update, players began rioting on World 66 due to the new skillcapes' appearance. The riot ended after the ability to swap back to old skillcapes was announced by Jagex in the RuneScape Forums.
On 29 February 2016, Jagex announced that DarkScape would be shut down, citing a lack of financial sustainability due to limited interest, limited player retention, lacklustre results from targeted marketing efforts, and the game operating at a substantial loss to the company at the time. DarkScape players who had played for 10 or more hours prior to this date would receive a special DarkScape cape on a RuneScape account; there was no way for DarkScape players who had not played for 10 or more hours by this date to acquire the cape, even if they played for any length of time afterwards. DarkScape players were given no advance warning about the closure, and prior to the announcement DarkScape players were promised a variety of updates, including the release of the then-unavailable Dungeoneering skill in a new format specific to DarkScape. Several DarkScape players had also invested significant time and effort into attaining mid-to-high levels and completing the various quests that were able to be completed, and were upset that they had little to show for their DarkScape achievements. Many DarkScape players launched riots on World 1 and World 3 the following day. Mod Conor, Mod Pi, and Mod Kelpie, all of whom were DarkScape developers, responded to various concerns on Twitter and Reddit, eventually confirming that higher-levelled players would receive additional rewards, and that XP lamps would be given to transfer XP at a reduced rate-since DarkScape gave RuneScape members XP at double the rate of DarkScape-to-RuneScape accounts.
Riots and rioters specifically entitled to and for F2P players demanding more attention and change are known as F2P rioters. This type of riot is becoming more and more drastic because Jagex ignores the majority of riots alone, and many people also think that Jagex ignores F2P riots the most (which is one of the reasons the riots happen in the first place).
Many changes and updates to RuneScape, with the few exceptions of several holiday events, are concerned with members only. Many F2P players have long felt that they need better equipment for combat, such as the ability to use yew bows and rune arrows, because F2P players are limited to maple bows, gravite bows, and arrows up to adamant. As such, F2Pers, who make up a very significant portion of Runescape, feel left out and tend to lash out against P2Pers and Jagex alike. These riots have become increasingly violent. F2Pers that support the riot often attack members and pro-Jagex users, dubbed 'supporters', in PvP activities because of their non-support for the riot. In fact, some supporters get very radical and retaliate by flaming the rioters which makes for big flaming fights.
On 19 April 2010, Jagex released an update to F2P Dungeoneering. Jagex stated that P2P players had been abusing the F2P portion of Dungeoneering to gain high amounts of XP, which led to Jagex making changes to F2P Dungeoneering. As of 19 April, F2P players with a combat level of 90 or more gain only 50% of the experience they originally would gain. Many high-levelled F2P players were upset and demanded other solutions to the problem—such as blocking the access of P2P players to F2P Dungeoneering or keeping the XP reduction for members playing the F2P version. Rants & complaints about the issue continue to this day, and Jagex has yet to do anything.
Another hotspot for rioters is the fishing dock at Musa Point. Players have been long demanding a bank and a range here, and this is the issue that causes regular riots there, some of which even spread to Port Sarim and occasionally Falador. The addition of Stiles on 21 April 2010, an NPC who can convert players' fishing inventories into noted fish, has ended many of the F2P riots. However, it continues to be a controversial issue driving riots among P2P players, due to its effect on fish prices.