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A Declaration of Intent by Sal's Realm

Posted on April 29, 2012 02:29 AM UTC by Salmoneus

Earlier this month, the Squeal of Fortune was released in RuneScape. It's been made abundantly clear that a great many members of the RuneScape community don't support the update allowing players to buy spins with real-life money. We've been listening to you! Earlier this week we sent a letter to Jagex regarding the Squeal of Fortune, combining some of the most recurring concerns and complaints with our own thoughts and opinions of how the SoF has negatively impacted RuneScape. We're hoping that we can grab Jagex's attention and make a difference, to keep RuneScape a fun and fair game for everyone!

The following is the message we sent to Jagex on April 25. We'll keep you posted on any developments or updates as we receive them!

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

Happy New Year!

Posted on January 01, 2012 12:18 AM UTC by Salmoneus

From everyone here at Sal's Realm, I'd like to wish you all a safe, cheerful, and prosperous New Year! This year we've seen a huge overhaul of our website, but there's much more coming in 2012! Keep on the lookout for future updates here at Sal's!

Best wishes to everyone for 2012!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted on November 24, 2011 09:44 PM UTC by Salmoneus

It's that time of year again for Americans: Thanksgiving! Enjoy your time spent with family and friends, and of course, eating your favourite foods on this special day! Whilst Thanksgiving is an American holiday, I hope everyone takes some time to recognize all of the good things in your lives right now, and I hope you all have a wonderful day! We here at Sal's Realm are thankful for you -- our site readers -- for using our site for your RuneScape needs. Thank you!

On behalf of the entire staff here at Sal's Realm of RuneScape, I'd like to wish everyone a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday!

Happy New Year!

Posted on January 01, 2011 03:00 AM UTC by Salmoneus

Happy New Year to everyone from all of us at Sal's Realm of RuneScape! Have fun and be safe!

Keep your eyes peeled for some big changes coming to our site in 2011! :-)


Christmas Party!

Posted on December 27, 2004 04:30 AM UTC by Salmoneus

Today's earlier RuneScape Party was a great success! Many people showed up, and drops ranged from Steel to Rune armor & weapons, ores, gems and cash, as well as other assorted items. After the drop party, everyone went on a Wilderness Hunt for me and 1800, and eventually we were found to be hiding in the Lava Maze. See this topic on the forum for screenshots and details.


Merry Christmas!

Posted on December 26, 2004 04:55 AM UTC by Salmoneus

Merry Christmas to one and all! A guide for the Haunted Mine Quest has been added to the site, with lots of pictures and helpful info for all the questers out there looking for help with it. I've also added a new scroller to the site which will display both RuneScape updates (like before), and links to new guides added on this site. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone!


Happy Turkey Day!

Posted on November 25, 2004 09:30 PM UTC by Salmoneus

I just wanted to say 'Happy Turkey Day!' to everyone who celebrates today. Hopefully everyone has a great day with lots of turkey (gobble, gobble), potatoes, stuffing and anything else that you're going to eat today.

There have also been some small additions and fixes to the site, including some more words being added to the Dictionary, fixes in the Smithing guide, and a fix on the Elemental Workshop Quest guide. Happy Turkey Day!


Happy Halloween!

Posted on October 31, 2004 07:40 PM UTC by Salmoneus

I just wanted to say HAPPY HALLOWEEN to everyone here at the site, and have a fun time Trick-or-Treating tonight. It doesn't look like there are any drops going on in RuneScape today, or any 'official' events for that matter and it's somewhat disappointing, but I guess that's Jagex's choice. Anyhow, Happy Halloween!


Happy Easter

Posted on April 12, 2004 01:50 AM UTC by Salmoneus

Well, I was very close to finishing a RuneScape Woodcutting guide, but I didn't have enough time to check all of the info. It should be finished by tomorrow. Anyhow, I wanted to say Happy Easter to everyone today. I know it's a little late, but I was hoping to get that guide up as an Easter surprise thing...


RS2 Guide Progress

Posted on April 04, 2004 03:25 AM UTC by Salmoneus

Like I said, I would post with info about the new guides for the second version of RuneScape. Anyhow, so far I've begun work on the crafting guide, which is one of the longest, most complex and difficult (but fun!) guides to complete, but the crafting skill has had several important additions to it. Not only am I hoping to get this monster-of-a-guide out of the way, but I'm hoping that by releasing all the new info it will help some people out with the new items too. I'm planning to release this first guide sometime early next week, but no promises! ;·)


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