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Salmoneus

Sal's Realm Declaration of Intent

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Hey guys,

 

The Squeal of Fortune was released earlier this month, and I think it's clear that the majority of the RuneScape community seems quite discontent with the ability to buy spins for real life cash. We've been listening!

 

We sent Jagex a message regarding the SoF, including our own thoughts and opinions of how it has impacted RuneScape (mainly in a negative way), and we're hoping that we can get their attention and make a difference.

 

The following is the message we sent to Jagex. I'll keep this topic updated with any news as it comes in. :)

 

The Sal's Realm Manifesto

 

 

In recent times of economic hardship, many online games are seeing a fall off of subscriptions to paying services. As sad as this fact is, the reality of it can be seen in the declining population of RuneScape. At the end of the day what is important for Jagex is to see a game well-made and a profit made for both them and their shareholders. As players, we both respect Jagex’s business interests and embrace the product that makes us customers of Jagex in the first place. In short, we have a deep care for future of the company and game we've all grown to love so much.

 

Because of this love for RuneScape, we at Sal's Realm have always held the opinion that RuneScape is a success both as a game and product thanks to the deep level of respect that Jagex and the player community have for each other; as both strive to make the game the best experience it can be. Because of this fact, many players are curious as to how Jagex can continue to remain in the black in the next financial year with the recurring economic hardships many are facing. While many other games have long relied on fully subscription-based models, other popular free to play games have made use of the micro-transaction model, which is the offer of virtual goods/benefits for a small real world price.

 

Many small online games have used this micro-transaction model to gain immense profits, a decision for which many players do not begrudge them--so long as the game remains balanced and enjoyable. However, some game companies simply do not hold micro-transactions as within the spirit of their product, as they quite often give certain players unfair advantages over others. Jagex has seemingly taken such a stance in the past. In fact, CEO Mark Gerhard has been quoted in The Guardian as saying:

 

"A lot of the free offerings are sadly misleading because they're not. Most of them rely on the microtransaction system, which is really a stealth tax; I prefer to call it death by a thousand cuts," says Mark Gerhard, the chief executive of RuneScape's creator, Jagex. His titles solely use advertising and membership revenue streams; there are no in-game transactions. “It’s the psychology of it. You can better monetise a person taking 20 cents off them for every item, than to ask someone for $10 up front. Commercially you can say it's a great opportunity, the way of the future. Ethically you can say it devalues the product."

 

You can then of course see the quandary presented to players by the update to the Squeal of Fortune on April 2nd, 2012: specifically the ability to purchase more spins. Should one invest enough real-world money, one could actually receive enough experience from the wheel to achieve level 99 in a skill.

 

Further silence from Jagex on the issue has continued to frustrate users, causing many to cancel their memberships, further hurting the game. We sincerely hope to see some form of explanation from Jagex in the coming weeks, as well as a sincere attempt the outrage of the community to heart and mind in reevaluating this update.

 

Obviously, we wish nothing but the best for Jagex and the continued well-being of RuneScape, but the Sal’s community has asked itself: can we support this newest move by Jagex to implement micro-transactions, a move they themselves only a few years ago would have deemed unethical? The answer is no. Even as expensive as it would be for one to buy enough spins to advance a skill to level 99, it still remains that the possibility exists for a Jagex-sponsored RWT extravaganza.

 

Sal's Realm of RuneScape was brought forth by the love of a game by one man. It has since then grown into a community full of different people from different walks of life. We're proud to hold a Platinum-level fansite rating, because it displays our commitment to this game, the high standards set by Jagex, and the player-community. But because we have such love for this game, we must ask that Jagex reconsider their decision, and recall that the spirit of this game is what draws people into it.

 

It’s highly disappointing, upon login, to see Jagex pushing the Squeal Wheel so aggressively, as well as so prominently displaying the option to pay real-world money to buy more spins. This is such a far cry from the original stances supposedly held by this company that it’s nauseating. Jagex’s disregard for player security by making it so easy to buy spins with stored credit card information opens less-aware players up to hardship if their account password is stolen. Furthermore, Jagex’s as well as their evident intent to take advantage of their users—especially younger players—in what is essentially a form of gambling is deeply troubling to customers who remember a much more “players-first” RuneScape that has slowly been eroded as time has progressed.

 

These comments may well end in Sal's losing its Platinum-level rating. But we are servants to our community, and we feel confident knowing that these views are keeping with the true spirit of the game, which perhaps has been the driving force of this site for all its years. This is a decision of conscience. We cannot in good faith support this move by Jagex.

 

While this all may sound rude or harsh considering how much we all have loved RuneScape over the years, it is only said out of that same love and care. To quote James A Baldwin, "I love America more than any other country in this world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually." We simply have invested so much of our time and effort into this game and its community that we are deeply troubled that something as unethical as this recent update by Jagex would ever show up in this wonderful game. We encourage Jagex, if they read this, to not be insulted, but hopefully awed by the fact that they have created a community with an ethical sense this strong and be inspired to work with the community to reach a solution that pleases both parties.

 

Thank you,

 

Sal’s Realm of RuneScape Staff

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GIVE ME LIBERTY OR GIVE ME DEATH!

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Wow it's pretty well written.

 

Now we just have to hope that Jagex will actually read it...

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tysm

 

if they remove sof ill probly renew my membership

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It's great coming back to Sal's and seeing this. This is exactly why I keep coming back to RuneScape, and why I keep choosing to stay with Sal's. I love this game and I love the community.

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Thankyou!

It's gone to the point where people have bought 99's purely off spins, bad jagex!

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I think we really hold a passion, in this community, for the welfare of the game. And it is a strong community - I've been to other fansites and they don't hold the same sort of standards as Sal's. And once again, with this letter, I believe it is safe to say the entire community supports it.

 

I haven't been a member here for nearly as long as some (early Jan, '09), but I would just like to thank the staff for the active role in which they have played in the community (beyond banns and announcements :P).

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Oh wow. I wish I could understand that, but it seems good. :)

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I think we really hold a passion, in this community, for the welfare of the game. And it is a strong community - I've been to other fansites and they don't hold the same sort of standards as Sal's. And once again, with this letter, I believe it is safe to say the entire community supports it.

 

I haven't been a member here for nearly as long as some (early Jan, '09), but I would just like to thank the staff for the active role in which they have played in the community (beyond banns and announcements :P).

I think it is important for everyone to realize that we do listen and we do want to stand behind the voice of our community. I mean... personally, I think it is pointless to be upset over this since I doubt it will help (as one might have noticed in a thread earlier this month), but I still supported that we should send the letter. I do not really want to speak for the entire Staff, but I really believe that most of us want to do the best thing possible for our community. We are all Sal's Realm, it is not "Us and You", or "Sal and us", or "Staff and plebs" and I like that we can at least get behind something together, even if we do not necessarily think the same.

 

In the end, I believe the community is the most important around here. Since this is a game forum, it is only natural that we should all take somewhat of an interest in the situation of the game, and I think this is one of those cases where we should at least be a unified community, even if we do not all believe it will help.

 

At least we can hope this will reach through to JaGEx and if nothing else, this community will know that we at least said what needed to be said. :)

Edited by Yuanrang

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Nicely written and I share your views on this. I'll be interested to see if we get a reply. They've been keeping very quiet on the subject.

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582227_10151511172161777_719636776_9994563_147115427_n.jpg

 

A friend drew this, I rather liked it, if you can get the reference.

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Beautifully written, exactly my thoughts, I'm very displeased with the recent update. At first I was content but now I see that it's limitless and fast way of training I feel like all my work is being devalued by those who can afford it.

 

OMO, Jagex have been preaching that bots are ruining the game, but the way Jagex are acting I see less difference in what Jagex are doing and what Gold Bots are doing. In a way it legitimises botting which makes me very uncomfortable.

 

Go Sals! :D

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Beautiful letter, hopefully they will wake up with this. Or just ignore it like they have been with everything so far. Thanks Sal and the whole staff for this.

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582227_10151511172161777_719636776_9994563_147115427_n.jpg

 

A friend drew this, I rather liked it, if you can get the reference.

This is amazing, it should be front-page material

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These comments may well end in Sal's losing its Platinum-level rating. But we are servants to our community, and we feel confident knowing that these views are keeping with the true spirit of the game, which perhaps has been the driving force of this site for all its years. This is a decision of conscience. We cannot in good faith support this move by Jagex.

 

Should it lose its Platinum level rating for this, I will be more proud to be a Salmon than I ever was with said rating.

 

I just want to thank you, and all the staff, for writing this and having the courage to send it in. I'm sure the rating means a lot to you; it generates site traffic, adds members, and gives you all something to brag about at Runefest. To put it on the line in the interest of our community and the game is a wonderful gesture; I don't think you can be thanked enough.

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582227_10151511172161777_719636776_9994563_147115427_n.jpg

 

A friend drew this, I rather liked it, if you can get the reference.

 

Troll should be wearing santa hat.

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very nicely written, I'm glad you stand behind your forum in this :)

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How did I miss this being posted? Either way, I'm proud that we sent this off to Jagex.

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Very well written although I hope it doesn't make us lose a relationship with the company.

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