Death Cost Changes in RuneScape: What You Need to Know
Death costs changed in RuneScape 3, meaning you will pay less each time you die. Death is part of the game, and regardless of how much you try to avoid it, you will probably die plenty of times throughout your RuneScape career. Avoiding death is so challenging that a game mode is fully dedicated to avoiding death: hardcore ironman or HCIM, where the restriction extends past the interaction with other players. It imposes that you never die because you will lose your hardcore status if you do. So, unless you’re playing on an HCIM, these changes will impact how much gold you spend by dying.
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When it comes to something that can drastically change the game’s economy, such as changing the death cost, you have to account for many more factors that are meant to keep the balance of the in-game economy. This means that if you’re going to pay less for something, you will end up paying more for something else to even it out.
Jagex has accounted for how drastically reducing the death cost would impact the economy since less gold would leave the game than before. Death cost was the biggest gold sink in RuneScape, so to maintain the gold balance, Jagex needed to bring other gold sinks to even out the gap between the gold taken out of the game and the previous death cost and the current death count.
After investigating a few options, they decided that the fairest approach was penalizing the players using the Grand Exchange. This is fantastic news for ironman players as they will not be affected by the grand exchange tax but will pay considerably less every time they die. Therefore, instead of paying the heavy death costs, you will now pay a 2 percent fee every time you sell something on the GE.
Gold sinks are, as you may already know, ways that take gold out of the game. They are crucial for the health of any game’s economy because without them, prices would skyrocket, and an unstable economy is unpredictable and unfair to the players.
According to Jagex’s calculations, these are the most important gold sinks currently in RuneScape:
- Death costs
- General stores
- Bond tax
- Degrading items recharging
- Kingdom of Miscellania
- Boss instances
- Max guild Portal redirection fee
- Combination potion unlocks
Because the death cost is such a crucial gold sink, Jagex needs to replace it with something as efficient at taking out gold. The solution already proven viable in Old School RuneScape is introducing a GE percentage tax.
Why the Change?
Many players have complained about having to pay, sometimes even unaffordable amounts of gold, to reclaim their valuable gear from their graves. Still, Jagex saw an opportunity during the December 2021-January 2022 event Franks free deaths. The four-week event featured free deaths for various bosses, with variations specific for each week.
It became apparent to Jagex that players are more likely to engage in PvP encounters if they are okay with dying and wasting money. This is crucial, especially for newer players who are just trying out content or learning a new piece of content. It is also important that veteran players who are running best in slot gear don’t feel punished by the death cost.
The 4-week event was the start of the change, and Jagex finally delivered what they promised and made death more bearable. Another big reason is that the death calculations were very complicated, with different percentages for items belonging to different gold value intervals. Jagex wanted to simplify this and make it so that you will always know how much a potential death could cost you based on what you’re wearing. The solution is really clean, as you’ll always have to pay the same set percentage regardless of your gear’s value: 0.1 percent. This drastically reduces the cost of death regardless of what you are wearing.
Quality of Life
Another aspect that Jagex has addressed with the death cost changes is quality of life. Some items lost on death had to be reclaimed for a fee from specific NPCs. You will still have to pay the set fee, but you can do so from the grave interface rather than having to teleport or run to specific NPCs.
The second quality of life improvement that comes with the death cost changes is that the grave will now have an overflow storage where you’ll reclaim items lost two deaths ago. One of the most frustrating experiences in RuneScape was losing some valuable items from your grave due to dying without claiming the items from your grave first. If that happens now, you will still be able to get your initial items back. However, whatever items are in the overflow storage will cost 1 percent instead of 0.1 percent.
What You Should Know
With the changes to death cost, you will pay considerably less for each death, and dying will feel less overwhelming with just 0.1 percent of your gear’s value. However, the flip of the coin is that you will continually pay for this every time you sell something on the grand exchange in the form of the 2 percent tax applicable to all items that cost over 50 gold.