Bonds will be tradeable items players can purchase and then redeem for membership time, spins, and RuneCoins in RuneScape.
In an attempt to help reduce the effects of gold farming in its long-running MMORPG RuneScape, Jagex has announced the introduction of Bonds, a new in-game item that can be purchased for real money and then traded for in-game resources. Bonds, in turn, can be redeemed by players for 14 days of membership, eight spins, or 160 RuneCoins. "Bonds are the equivalent of a tradeable membership item that can be freely traded or gifted for any other tradeable item," explained Jagex CEO Mark Gerhard in a video detailing Bond use.
Jagex is introducing Bonds primarily as a means to combat the prevalence of gold farming in RuneScape. According to Gerhard, the developer has had to remove more than 3.7 trillion GP (yes, trillion) from gold farmers this past year and has had to ban more than 1.1 million bot accounts. In spite of this gold farming continues to survive with as much as 50 percent of the game's player base purchasing illicit gold each month.
The company, in turn, hopes that the introduction of Bonds will give players a legitimate alternative to gold farming. The update introducing the new items will also include a gold sink designed to help the RuneScape economy readjust and recover from some of the extreme in-game inflation caused by gold farming. "This update follows months of careful consideration, analysis and discussion," said Gerhard. "Alongside our other initiatives and with your help we're going to wipe out gold farming for good."