Members, pay-to-play or P2P, are players who have paid subscriptions or redeemed bonds to have access to the full version of RuneScape. The pay-to-play version of RuneScape was first announced on 4 October 2001, and fully instated on 27 February 2002.
Jagex, the company that owns RuneScape, introduced Membership as a way to cover the vast majority of the costs of RuneScape, such as in-game updates, extra staffing, server hosting, etc. As a benefit, members have many more privileges and usable features in the game and on the RuneScape website.
Many people's critiques of the game are due solely to the limitations of a non-member in the game, specifically at a higher level as content and areas become repetitive and dull. However, a large proportion of the community do not see this as an issue, arguing that free players aren't entitled to the same benefits as paying customers.
See Membership subscription for payment options
In order to become a member and access the pay-to-play version of RuneScape, players must first have a subscription. When players subscribe, they receive members credit which allows them to access the pay-to-play version of RuneScape. When you start a subscription by credit card, it will be paid monthly. Subscriptions through different payment methods may have varying lengths, although there is a minimum length of one month. Jagex is affiliated with several payment providers, each providing different subscription payment methods and prices. Different payment methods require different information to be given during a secure payment process.
Furthermore, players may use bonds, an in-game item that allows a player to pay for selected account-related and out-of-game benefits such as membership, Runecoins and Treasure hunter keys with in-game resources. Since these Bonds may be purchased directly from the Grand Exchange or other players, this essentially means that players may instead opt to pay for their own memberships through coins, the in-game currency, rather than real world money.
Membership unlocks many features of RuneScape that are not available to free players: almost all recent updates to RuneScape have been for members, with the exception of a few major updates in the past months. There are very few quests available to free players, while new quests available to members are added at a rate of one or two a month. This is a condensed list of features unlocked with membership below:
- Ability to change character names.
- More bank space. Non-members' 50 bank slots versus members' 150.
- No advertisements above the game and throughout the official website.
- Ability to post on the RuneScape Official Forums regardless of their character's level/experience (The only non-members who can post on the forums are those with at least 2.5 million experience total or have an overall skill total exceeding or equal to 350). (Unknown whether levels in DarkScape count.)
- The ability to access fullscreen mode on the main screen.[ ]
- The ability to take a photo using the Photo Booth feature for use on the forums as an avatar.
- 1.5 times the experience gain.
- Lower taxes.
Additional website featuresEdit
Players who opt for pay-to-play are given access to a few sections of the RuneScape website that are unavailable to free players:
- The forums - Free players may use the official forums if they have more than 2.5 million experience or a skill total of 350+. This makes it more difficult to use a valuable method of communication, which can limit contact with other players in the Marketplace, Game, RS-Classic, and Community forum sections for trading, clan recruitment, clan discussion, game discussion, or other reasons, as well as removing the only easy way to contact Jagex: the Support section of the forums, which allows for suggestion of updates, rants, complaints and feedback.
Preparing for an ending membershipEdit
When going from Pay-to-play to Free-to-play, there are many things you want to consider before your membership ends. Bank space is an important aspect to consider. Non-members are mostly limited to 50 bank spaces whereas Members have 100 extra bank spaces (for a total of 150 bank spaces).
- Even if you are planning on becoming a member again you will have to sell most of the items. If you still have more than 50 items in the bank after your membership ends, the extra items will still be in the bank, but you cannot deposit anymore items unless duplicate of the item is already there.
Other RuneScape ServersEdit
If a member has logged onto RuneScape Classic during one of its reopening periods, they can play on the RuneScape Classic servers as a member.
- If you train combat and you are wielding a members' item on a free to play world in the weapon slot, this will result in 'you are wearing an item which prevents you from attacking' and you cannot fight unless you unequip it. When the free version of RuneScape Classic existed, members' weapons would automatically become unequipped when the player logs in to a free world.
- In the God letters, members were referred to as 'nobility' while free players were peasants. It was also said that they paid taxes to the counsel.
- With the introduction of taxes, this statement is somewhat ironic, as one of the membership benefits is lower taxes.
- Paul Gower stated that the first members benefit was being able to login any time players wanted.