RuneScape is making a comeback! Old School RuneScape, the foundation of many middle school memories, is returning as a mobile game. Some Android players are already jumping back into the polygonal kingdom via a limited beta, with iOS players getting their invites "later in the summer." And you know what a new platform means: new players.
While the beta of mobile RuneScape is likely filled with veterans of the game, eager to relive old adventures, it will eventually open up to a wider audience. Particularly wide-eyed newbies looking to try out that hot new phone game they heard about on Facebook. These newcomers will likely turn to their seniors for guidance. Good seniors will respond kindly, offering advice and maybe even some free items. Others...will see these newbs as an opportunity.
Scams have long been a part of MMOs, and RuneScape is no exception. Here are three of the most well-known ways to rip off fellow players. Well, known to longtime RuneScape fans. New players might not be lucky enough to hear about them until it's too late.
Free Armor Trimming!
Perhaps the most infamous scam in RuneScape history, it was run so often back in the day it reached meme status. The funny thing is, it's actually the simplest trick to pull off. The scammer just stands in a public area and offers free armor trimming services. By "trimming armor" they mean they'll take someone's set of Rune Armor and turn it into the upgraded Rune Armor (g) or (t). Except they don't actually do the trimming part.
The idea is to convince a poor soul to give up their armor willingly. The victim sets up a one-sided trade where they give the scammer their armor, expecting to get back an upgraded version. Instead, the scammer takes the armor and runs. And that's how to get free armor.
As easy and tempting as it seems, it's hard to recommend actually running this scam. It's so well-known that it has its own wiki page. As such, people who are seen offering free armor trimming are often swiftly reported and punished with long-term bans.
Don't Worry, The Skull Is Just For Show...
If trying to trick someone into handing over their armor isn't your forte, you can always take it by force. Eliminating other players, known as PKing in the game, will cause them to drop a lot of their stuff. That makes whatever goodies they were carrying are now yours for the taking.
There are, of course, protections against this sort of thing. Otherwise the game would just be anarchy, people destroying each other in a never-ending battle for loot. Sort of like that beginning sequence from Ready Player One but without all the cool cameos. Players can only off one another freely in the Wilderness.
The Wilderness is a giant part of the RuneScape world where anyone can attack anyone. There are also certain monsters and quests in the Wilderness. That means that, to truly advance in the game, everyone has to brave the Wilderness at some point. It also means that experienced players have the perfect excuse to lure unsuspecting newbies into the PvP zone. "Hey let's go to the Wilderness and train on this monster, it'll help you level faster!" Before they know it, the new player is following their more powerful "friend" into a trap.
Fortunately, players who meet their end in the Wilderness still get to keep their three most valuable items. Unless they have a skull above their heads. Players who attack another player without provocation earn a skull. Those who die with a skull drop everything, even their most valuable items. There are ways to trick a new player into giving themselves a skull, linked here, allowing one to off them and take everything they own.
Double Or Nothing
This one is similar to "Free Armor Trimming" but is much simpler to pull off. The armor trimming trick usually requires the scammer to wear an expensive set of armor, a sort of "example" of their work. That might not be viable right away. The scam "Doubling Money" only requires some extra gold, making it a scam that almost anyone can do.
It starts off like many other scams, with the scammer standing in a public place and shouting "Doubling money!" When approached by a potential victim, the scammer offers to do a "test run" with a small amount. Give me 10k coins, and I'll give you back 20k. The scammer doubles the money and returns it as promised, and the victim is hopefully swayed by their sudden profit. Then, the scammer offers to double a much larger amount now that they've proved their legitimacy. That's the ruse. Once the victim hands over a large sum of money, the scammer disappears.
There are variations to this trick. Some scammers will increase the doubling amount in several small increments, taking the time to build trust before asking for the big sum. More desperate people will just take that first "test money" and run. Others will get a friend to do a small doubling and rave about how "legitimate" they are. The danger of this scam is how easy it is to make it look legit. New players are easily sucked in by the illusion of profit, and scammers can easily change it up to suit the target.
Whether its stealing armor, ambushing unsuspecting newbs, or raking in cash, most RuneScape scams hinge on one thing: trust. New players will likely be overwhelmed by everything the game has to offer. They'll feel lost, and be all too willing to accept the help of more experienced players. It's up to veterans to set the tone for this revitalized age of RuneScape. Will you guide these lost lambs? Or will you take them for all they're worth?