A Riot is a large gathering of players protesting for a cause or change. Groups involved are often sided with either Jagex, known as the Jagex-supporters (or just the Supporters), protesters of an update or event, known mainly as just the Protesters, and sometimes even Jagex staff members and player moderators are involved, however, the latter mainly tends to remain neutral and indifferent.
Riot gear and customs
In recent riots, players often wear either pink skirts to show that they support the rioters, blue 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, symbolizing a banhammer or a 'Hammer of Justice' so to speak.
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, 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.
Most rioters wear a common pink-justice based outfit, as shown in the picture. The pink symbolises protesting Jagex, the Meat tenderiser represents a banhammer, the amulet shows the balance of Jagex supporters versus opposers, and the ring provides easy access to Falador and the Cabbage Patch for drop spamming. Since there are no pink gloves in Runescape, many players use Pink coloured shirts.
Effects upon and by the community
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 effecting 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.
Mod Emilee once said that riots have the opposite effect of a constructive feedback and are generally ignored.
History of riots in RuneScape
The following is a summary of the most notable riots in RuneScape, proceeding from earliest to the most recent.
Rule Seven 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 sk" 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).
14 Hour Riot
This was a major protest against Jagex that occurred in World 28 in Falador on 24 February 2007. Allegedly, a famous player-killer named Elvemage was muted for luring another player. Allegedly, Elvemage said "Mods should burn in hell"[source needed] when a moderator was present and which got him muted immediately. Due to this, a riot started and several people were muted as a result. It started as a riot specifically about Elvemage, but soon spread to mutes and bans. Many of those who participated in the riot set up cannons and used the Retribution prayer.
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 activity. 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, beginning on 10 December 2007 and lasting 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.
Mod Hasmo Riot
Also known as the World 18 Riot, this riot was initiated by Mod Hasmo's visit to Edgeville in world 18 after the Bounty Hunter and Wilderness changes of 10 December 2007. Hasmo was met by players with enormous hostility. Hasmo was heavily flamed by the players in the area, many of whom were former PKers, stakers, and merchants that had been negatively affected by the recent updates. Hasmo attempted to calm things down but the situation only increased in intensity. The riot lasted for about 15 minutes and ended after Mod Hasmo left world 18. After the riot, some players claimed to have seen two Jagex mods during the event but Mod Hasmo was the only verifiable one there. After the riot, Mod Hasmo was spotted near the Wilderness in world 69. He was bombarded with question after question. Obscene language was used, and Mod Hasmo quickly muted the offending players and logged off.
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.
The 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). Rumours of a few prominent, famous player killers attending the event were circulated.
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.
The constitution skill was formerly known as hitpoints or HP. On 3 March 2010, there was an update to the HP skill. Everything concerning health was multiplied by a factor of 10 (such as damage dealt and total health). Although it had no sizable effect on the way the game was played, some players believed it was an unnecessary change to a basic part of RuneScape.
On the day of the update and the day after, there was some rioting between Falador and the Grand Exchange, mostly on World 66. Some common chants were "It's HP, not LP" and "Welcome to Wowscape," an accusation that RuneScape was becoming more like World of Warcraft.
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 xp 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 an activity. The most-used slogan was "We Pay We Say" (similar to the Pay to PK riot). There were other phrases used, such as "bring back durial321" (a reference to the Falador massacre). The rioters also parodied other riots, using phrases such as "shave the whales" and "we pay to eat cabbages" (again, similar to the pvp riots). The riot took place on World 66, and protesters seemed to be attempting to recreate the scenes associated with the Pay to PK riot. However, the riot was not as successful, and many rioters were flamed by general players.
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 RiotOn 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 alchemize 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 will be done. Within a small amount of time people started spreading to the forums to express their anger towards Jagex. Many of these players have either been muted, temporarily banned from the forums, or their contents hidden. Some people are still currently arguing on the Runescape Forums (Mostly on the "recent updates" forum) but Jagex has made barely any responses.
As be the customs; spectators and activists alike will see the traditional pink robes, cannons, familiars, fires, gravestones, junk items dropped etc. It is currently unknown if Mods will balance out the change in any way. You can also see occasional shouts of "old wildy" through the chaos; a reference to the wilderness pk riot years back.
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.
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 were no red clothing. Mods tried to stop rioters, but were pushed out of the way and many people just made new accounts to riot more. Also, many people started wielding banners with skulls meaning the wilderness, in response to the new Ring of Wealth update which led to a sigil glitch where you could get back to back Divine Sigils at the Corporal Beast. Some players could make up to 43M per run, and about 40 kills per hour.
Capes of Distinction Riot
With the release of Capes of Distinction, F2P players found that they could not wear them, when an earlier post had said "available to all players". This riot was mostly on world 14, at Varrock fountain.
Rants Removal Protest
On 16 June 2011 Jagex announced a Forum Restructure. Included in this forum update was the removal of three sections: Roleplaying In-Game, Dungeoneering Feedback, Clans Website Feedback, and the most controversial: Rants. In response, furious players began spamming the Compliments forum, while others wore red hats on their avatars in protest. Posts mentioning Rants or ranters were quickly locked, and many mutes were applied by Jagex Mods themselves. By 21 June, the amount of spam and locked or hidden posts had begun to settle down. The aftermath of the forum restructure can still be seen today as protesters occasionally post their dissent about controversial updates throughout the Compliments forum.
Clan Citadel Riot
On 26 July 2011, Jagex released their Clan Citadel update, which was known to be the "biggest update of the year". The servers were unaccessible for around 30 minutes after the update, which made people very mad, as they were anxious to check out the new clan citadels. Eventually, after the servers start working and people get in, it is soon discovered that the update was not coded correctly, and people were not able to make their citadels. Soon, many threads on the Runescape forums started popping up about it. Mod Emilee locked a riot thread saying, "This is getting boring, go ahead and riot, have fun with it.", and the rioting began.
In the beginning, the riot was strictly focused on the clan citadel update not working. There were many people spamming "We pay for updates that work!" and "Fix your coding before you release it"! At this point, there were around 40 people at the riot. Eventually, when the main advertisers of the riot were banned off of the forums, the riot slowly ended. Not a single Jmod showed up to mute anybody there.
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. The riot began in Falador Square on World 66. People were shouting things along the lines of "We Pay, We Say!","Kill the bots", and "Ban the bots, Show Us Justice."
The riot also spread to the forums, where the update post was spammed continuously, and dozens of other topics were made protesting the update. There was also continuations of the riot found on Facebook on some of Runescape's posts.
Prayer points riot
On 6 September 2011, Jagex made a change to the Prayer skill, multiplying the prayer points by 10 making 990 prayer points the maximum. At the beginning many players ranted about it on the forums, and then spread to Falador in World 66.
After the release of ClusterFlutterer, many former botters gathered in Falador Square on World 62. They spammed phrases such as "Save the whales" and even attempted to use autotalkers. The riot was quickly countered by masses of legitimate players praising Jagex with phrases such as "Gf botters," and the autotalkers were muted. As of 27th October, a few players were still "performing" and had been there for over 24 hours. By 28th October, they were gone, having either given up or been removed.
Golden scythe Riot
After the release of the ingame RuneFest event, many players were expecting to receive a Golden Scythe but didn't. this was met with a lot of disappointment and anger. The Riot started on 29th October 2011 on world 66. After a few hours, it had calmed down a lot, with a few still arguing on world 42.
"Strikes" "Boycotts", and "Walkouts"
Another way for players to communicate their displeasure is by staging a "walkout", otherwise known as a Boycott or Strike. By ceasing to provide either a good or service, players of a certain profession, such as fishermen, may cause lasting damage to the RuneScape economy. Fishermen have at times stopped fishing a certain type of fish; in late 2008, a dramatic rise in Swordfish prices was partially attributed to a Fishermen strike. If players are upset about a certain item, they may also cease to buy it. The infamous drop in Rune Platebodies came after price controls on Rune items were revealed to players. Furious merchants and combatants sold off their platebodies, causing an unprecedented drop. This led to Jagex's eventual loosening of price controls with the Free Trade update.
However, complete stoppage of trading an item is hard to achieve. Many players often take advantage of an item's rise in price or drop in price, and either sell or buy the item being stuck or boycotted. For this reason, strikes and boycotts do not generally work because of the difficulty in organising such a mass protest.
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 recent 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.
- Spamming the chat-box, either with messages relating to the riot or with nonsense such as "@@@@", "&&&&", "////" or "####".
- Arguing and flaming between the two sides of the riot.
- Use of overhead prayers such as Redemption or Retribution.
- Setting up Dwarf Cannons amongst the rioters.
- Servers filled to capacity for the larger riots.
- Players posting about the riot on the forums.
- Presence of moderators attempting to keep order and mute the most aggressive rule-breakers.
- Players teleporting each other using Teleother or Telegroup spells, or in some teleport locations like Varrock players teleporting a bunch of people to the site.
- Players who misconceive the purpose of the updates and join out of peer pressure.
- Summoning familiars, larger ones such as Titans are commonly seen.
- Lighting fires, dropping many of a cheap item such as a pot or knife,deployment of clockwork toys, and planting Mithril seeds are also seen among the chaos.
World 66 is known to be an unofficial riot world, this is because of the world title "Running law runes", which stands for running for justice and as a result makes this world common for riots.
- It had become some thing of a tradition for rioters to wear pink. In the dungeoneering Rollback free to play riots however the rioters wore black skirts and priest gowns. In the recent forum riots, red hats were worn- partly due to their noticeability in forum avatars. It is not uncommon to go into a thread in Forum Communities and find most of the players wearing red hats.
- Shortly after the Constitution update, Mod MMG had to temporarily disable his friends chat due to rants.
- During the rock climbing boots update riots, Mod Mark closed his friends chat due to rants. Since then it has been reopened.
- Sometime during the Prayer Points Riot, Mod MMG closed his friends chat, since then it has been reopened.