RuneScape recently had a tournament called the Deadman Invitational during Runefest this year and the outcome turned out to be quite the controversy. The tournament had a $20,000 pot for the winner, but it turns out that winner actually cheated and is now being disqualified.
The Deadman Invitational wrapped up on September 25 with publisher Jagex putting out a press release revealing the winners. A few days later, they released a new statement, nullifying the results as it came to light that the winner cheated. They’re now unsure of what to do with the prize funds.
The cheating in question wasn’t immediately obvious, as Old School RuneScape’s Deadman mode comprises of 2000 players being dropped onto islands and whittling each other down. It would be easy to miss an unsanctioned alliance between seven players teaming up against the rest of the players. In response, Jagex disqualified these players.
“We’re proud of our attempts to continue innovating to ensure a fresh and competitive finish to each tournament,” Jagex Said on the official RuneScape site. “The initial reaction to distributing survivors across four Islands was very positive, and it’s clear that we’re moving in the right direction.
“The red island was warned repeatedly, and we reached out many, many times to them. Whilst we did appropriately warn players that failure to fight would result in disqualification, it ultimately did mean that we had to make a tough decision ‘in the moment’.
“In hindsight perhaps we could’ve opted to take a random member of the team through to the final area, but we stand by the decision we made.”
The situation gets worse, however. The actual winner of the tournament was further disqualified for being the face of a bot farm, the ruiner of all MMORPGs.
“A standard subsequent investigation into the winner of the tournament took place and the winner was responsible for the creation of a bot farm. Naturally, all accounts linked to this botting activity have now been banned,” Jagex wrote.
But the question that still remains is what will Jagex do with the $20,000 prize money, which the cheaters have now forfeit? They’ve raised a few ideas, from distributing it among the remaining finalists, carrying it over to the next season, making a charitable donation, or a mixture of those options.
Luckily, Jagex has taken the difficulties they’ve faced in this tournament as a learning experience.“Going forward we’ll be utilising a number of the points raised in today’s retrospective,” the company states. “We’ll continue to discuss how best we can change the mechanics of the final, with a view to implementing the changes as early as possible and with a potential beta playthrough.”
It seems they’ve learned where their weaknesses lie, in terms of exploitable gameplay, publically admit to it, and aim to fix it in the future. As the publisher of a classic, we can only hope they aim to do just that,