Recently, RuneScape and Old School players have experienced intermittent network issues, such as spikes of lag or even disconnections. It was particularly bad this last Sunday afternoon/evening, where many players had their gameplay disrupted.
These disruptions are (for the most part) due to 'DDoS' attacks – where junk data is sent to flood the internet connections to our servers. This causes players to lag and is sometimes bad enough to cause disconnections.
DDoS attacks are a serious problem, and have recently affected a number of large online game services. Unfortunately, RuneScape and Old School's communities are also sometimes targeted by this anti-social behaviour.
I want to let you know we are working to tackle this problem on multiple fronts, and - while it is not be possible to be totally immune - we will take every step we can to reduce the impact to your game.
What we're doing about it
Grave timers (RuneScape) – A temporary change has been made to increase the time given to recover items following a character dying to a minimum of 30 minutes. This change is now live and will be kept in place until the death system rework is released.
Death system (RuneScape) – We are going to fast-track community discussion and development of a significant rework to the death system in RuneScape. This change will allow players to pre-decide what happens to all of their items upon death so there isn't a 'race against the clock' to reach the grave marker, as currently happens. Read Mod Hunter's Death System Rework outline on the forums for more details. We aim to get this to you in the next few months.
Death system (Old School) – A few weeks ago further changes were made to Old School's character death system so that if you died during PvP only those who are logged in to your world at the time of your death and have remained logged in can see your items. This means targeted disconnections have no (in-game) financial gain for griefers.
Network resilience (All) – We are continuing to invest in upgrading our network infrastructure and making configuration changes so RuneScape and Old School will be more robust in the face of disruptive network traffic. This work will happen in stages over the next few weeks and months.
Thanks for your patience
The unfortunate situation is that it is cheaper to attack via DDoS than defend against it, and as much as we invest to strengthen our network defences, it's always possible for even greater volumes of traffic to be summoned in an attack. This is why in addition to upgrading our infrastructure we also need to deal with the problems at a gameplay level, which is why the death system rework will be critical in reducing the frustration felt from unexpected disconnections.
We also continue to collaborate with other online games services and work with law enforcement to pursue those who perpetrate such disruption. If you have any information about the DDoS attacks which could assist prosecution please email email@example.com.
Please accept our sincere apologies if you've been affected by this disruption and thanks for your support and patience.