Over 15k comments in a single thread against Squeal of Fortune and still no word from Jagex. That's just one thread, the forums are full of them. Perhaps the JMods got muted for Real World Trading.
I know it's Easter, but you'd think that someone somewhere would recognise a train wreck when they saw one. It feels planned that the microtransactions were released this week, so that the bank holidays could be used as an excuse for prolonging the lack of response. Nothing feels too insidious to level against the company right now. They've already pre-empted my lowest expectations.
Do I agree with Squeal of Fortune? Of course not, for all of the reasons that I laid out here:Uproar Over Jagex Microtransactions. But there's something more personal too. It bothers me that I've put in all of this work, since December 2006, and now others can simply buy their way to my stats. That's annoying and I've already seen the devaluation in action. Someone in the GE earlier said that they had 98 Runecrafting. My immediate thought was, 'I wonder if that was legit or bought.' I didn't say it aloud, but someone else did. I watched the Runecrafter have to justify their levels, when just a week ago, they would have been held in immediate high esteem.
Incidents like that are going to become endemic, aren't they?
It bothers me, but what's worse is that the last bastion of merit, in my life, has now been sold out. The old lie that hard work equates a great and stable future has never panned out in real life. it did in Runescape. Putting my life on hold to gain my MA never did pay off in the promised riches. Standing at a bank for hours, grinding longbows actually did get me the fletching levels. I've stood by and watched nepotism and middle class money promote people, with less experience and fair fewer qualifications, above my head. I've never seen anyone shoot ahead in Herblore or Crafting without putting the hours in. I've had to put up with being patronised and presented with piles of extra paperwork, because I had the affrontery to be deaf in the Job Centre. But in Runescape, all things were equal. All avatars started the same. All banks were made or broken according to a player's choices. All monsters were defeated on a player's merit and skill. Luck only played the smallest role and that was only beating an algorithm, not divine intervention.
Then Jagex sold us out too. Real life money made it into the game with sanction. They changed the rules and the terms and conditions right in front of our eyes; and didn't even have the decency to announce it. Our egalitarian principles turned out to be so cheap that 110k people still played the game, while only 15,000 of them registered their complaint on the forums. Only 18 sought out places like Develop, where just two months ago, Mark Gerhard rushed to contextualise a damning story. They're reading there and taking note. Only one has volunteered to take a 7k strong petition into the very offices of Insight Venture Partners. It feels like game over.
This week has broken my heart.
I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand-
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep- while I weep!
O God! can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?
Edgar Allan Poe