Gaming Stories: Runescape:The Falador Massacre


Runescape is a popular fantasy MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game) that was created on January 4th, 2001 by a studio called Jagex. The game has seen its fair share of time and has a thriving community to this day that still actively loves and plays the game regularly. The game has over 300 million accounts created and was recognized by the genius book of world records as the largest and most updated free to play MMORPG ever. What makes Runescape so massively popular is the game doesn’t give the player a set path to follow and encourages the player to set their own goals and play the game they want to play it. The fantasy world of Gielinor is one full of a multitude of things to do and achieve, with a seemingly never ending list of things to do and achieve. The game is also highly player interactive and is full to the brim with NPCs (Non Playable Characters) that are interesting and fleshed out. The quests and the world also being just as fleshed out with cities and kingdoms and realms all over the place, the world almost seems endless. With this foundation defined, understanding that Runescape has had a long history and is seemingly one of most successful games ever made, hasn’t always been a easy ride. The game has had its fair share of controversies and issues within the game, along with its development and its ongoing support through the years, but this one particular event that happened within the game itself has made so much history it has been implemented into the games backstory and lore.  This is the story of the Falador Massacre.

Starting within a city called Falador in the world of Gielinor on January 6th 2002 a player named “Cursed You” had been the first player ever to achieve 99 Construction. Achieving 99 in a skill in Runescape is a long tedious process that is seen as an extremely impressive feat and was being celebrated by players at the time of the massacres outbreak. Construction is a skill that allows the player to make a their own player made house to decorate and design all for themselves. “Cursed You” was said to be hosting a party at his fancy player made house to celebrate his accomplishment when a small group of players in the game retained the ability to attack other players anywhere in Gielinor outside of PvP (Player versus player) areas. Gielinor being a large world, the game does support players fighting each other but only in specific regions of the world are players enabled to kill one another. All other areas of the game were considered to be safe spots and players couldn’t attack other players. This bug broke this rule and players began taking advantage of this and started attacking tons of players in crowded cities starting by slaughtering everyone at Cursed You’s” party. This was such a big deal because in Runescape, killing players causes them to drop all of their items they have on them upon death. Meaning every hard earned item and everything a player could have spent tons of time working to get could have been lost in an instant do to this bug.

It was said the bug spread of a city named east Rimmington to Falador East Bank as players all over Gielinor tried to escape the attackers. Players ran to banks trying to put all of their items safely away from attackers. Left and right players were being killed, loosing all of their hard earned items from the attackers. Not all were abusing the bug to attack players though. There were reports that some players took the bug and used it to protect other players from the attackers being some of the only resistance other players had other than running to banks to deposit their items. Soon Jagex’s night shift team were alerted by other players and other player moderators sending Jagex emergency tickets about the issue. Jagex however was not able to act instantly, not being able to ban the players because the abusing players couldn’t have action taken against them because players cant be logged out during combat with another player. All Jagex could do at the time was message players accounts and ask them to stop doing what they were doing waiting for players to quit combat in order to be able to ban their accounts.

Reports that came in from the tickets all said that the bug had originated inside of “Cursed You’s” house party and so the Jagex team temporarily banned his account, not knowing if he had been the direct cause of the bug or not. It was more or less a safety precaution, he was unbanned the next day. The massacre continued on throughout Runescape and the moderators were hard at work banning as many players they could getting outside of combat. Eventually fading out the players within the massacre, the bug abusers eventually had been fully banned after a few hours of chaos in Gielinor.

The aftermath was full of players flooding forums to get their items back that they lost to the bug abusers. It was later said by the Jagex team that there wouldn’t be any compensation for lost items due to technical limitations, and the fact that there weren’t enough players who lost their items for it to be a bigger issue. Overall the issue was soon resolved and people eventually forgot the event. Jagex then memorialized the event in the game making it a yearly event for players to attack each other freely.

The event was a big statement of history for gaming but at the end of the day, everything was resolved and now its just in the past.