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Kevin♫

Member Since 21 Jan 2007
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Corporeal Beast - Discussion

26 July 2014 - 01:19 PM

Corporeal Beast - Discussion

mod_ronan

July 25 2014

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We have opened up a discussion on our forums about the Corporeal Beast.

The Corporeal Beast is a boss that many players have requested for quite some time and we now have the opportunity to introduce the monster into the game. We want to make sure that every aspect of the boss is how the players want it to be, so we need as much feedback as you can give.

Here is a sneak-peek of Corporeal Beast in Old School from the recent developer Q&A. Mod Reach and Mod Alfred attempted to take him on as a duo.



Head over to our forums and chip in on the Corporeal Beast discussion.

Mods Alfred, Ash, John C, Mat K, Reach, Ronan and Weath
The Old School Team

F2P Trial Expansion

23 July 2014 - 05:13 PM

F2P Trial Expansion

mod_ronan

July 17 2014

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We all have the same aims for Old School, we want a vibrant and active community as well as a stable game to play. We both believe that F2P has a part to play in achieving this which is why we are opening the F2P trial to players who have not had membership for 90 days.

As we mentioned when we first spoke about this in the ‘Bots & F2P’ dev blog in May, our biggest risk with F2P are players unsubscribing and playing the F2P game. If the revenue generated by Old School starts to suffer because of this there is the possibility of support for it being allocated elsewhere which in turn will mean less updates. This is something that neither you nor we want. A successful game is something that both you and we want. This is why in May we opened F2P on a trial basis for new users.

When we launched the trial we were looking at two things, how will the bots behave and will the new accounts decide to go to F2P and either become members 2 weeks later than they would normally do or not subscribe at all.

Bots

When we released the F2P trial we did see a sudden glut of bots join all with the intention of farming yews and selling the proceeds. However, it seems they hadn’t read the dev blog properly as we mentioned we would disable yew trees for the trial. We saw a huge amount of accounts with level 40 woodcutting standing around scratching their heads just before we banned them.

The graph below shows the amount of unique bots in Old School. As you can see after an initial peak over the first couple of weeks, the bots in game have remained stable and at a very manageable amount.


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This led us to the conclusion that F2P without the yew trees was not going to increase the bot population. With the added improvements in the bot hunting processes we have, we are seeing that 75% of gold farming accounts are banned within 48 hours of being created so bots are more under control now than ever.

New accounts

One of the things we wanted to answer with the F2P trial was how the subscribing behaviour would change for new accounts. When the F2P trial launched we immediately saw a reduction of about 30% in new accounts becoming members. However, this was more than made up by new accounts entering the trial and then becoming members leaving us with a net gain which has allowed Old School to grow in members every day since the trial came out. The trial has been a success in regards to extra members it has bought to the community. The F2P to P2P conversion rate we have seen is as good as Runescape has ever had in the last 5 years.

The average subscriber played Old School for around 23 hours before becoming a member and as you can see from the graph below 90% of players who subscribed, did so before the 11th day of the trial.

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Due to the strong conversion rate and that most players are subbing well before the end of the trial, we have no plans to extend the trial for a longer period of time or offer a F2P version where you have access to it permanently. We think that giving permanent access to F2P will cause more members to unsubscribe without bringing any noticeable increase in new members which does help delivering what we are all aiming for; a vibrant and active community to support the stability of Old School. We know that for some of you the prospect of a permanent F2P system which is similar to how it was in 2007 is appealing and you will be disappointed that we are not heading in that direction. However, it is important to realise that the commercial environment has changed hugely in the last seven years and revenue streams such as adverts bring in a fraction of what they did back in the day.

The next steps

One thing that did surprise us with the trial is that there were a significant amount of players who created new accounts, played them for a bit and then subscribed an existing account. These are returning players who went to the trouble of making a free account and then realising that they were enjoying themselves and then making their main account a member again.

Clearly, the next step to take in this trial is to remove the barriers for returning players so they can access the trial on their main accounts. So, from the 24th July until the 28th of August, any account which has not been a member for 90 days will be able to access the F2P servers for 2 weeks. This will be in addition to the trial continuing to work for new accounts.

While this second part of the trial is ongoing, we will be analysing the results to see how things go. In a similar fashion to the new account trial, we will be monitoring how returning players subscribe and what changes this trial will have on them. Once we have the data we need from this trial, we can look at what the next step will be.

How you can help

With the trial opening up for returning members this gives a great opportunity to get in touch with past Old School players. We were told by a lot of you that some of your friends didn’t want to come back and start a new account and this is the ideal opportunity to let them know that now they can.

For all the clans out there, we will be allowing you to update your member lists in the clan cup if you want to invite some old clan mates to fight for you in the F2P clan cups. Let’s get some impressive turn outs which will help push clans forward and show everyone what excitement you can get.

We hope to see a lot of players take advantage of this opportunity and to help even more, we are leaving the summer special offer of 25% off 3 months of membership open until the 28th July. So, they can get a good deal on their membership too.

At the end of the day, the more success we have with the trials, the bigger and better the community will become. You will see more players, make more friends and enjoy Old School even more.

Discuss this on our forums.

Mods Alfred, Ash, John C, Mat K, Reach, Ronan & Weath
The Old School Team

Bonds And Runefest

23 July 2014 - 05:07 PM

Bonds and RuneFest

mod_ronan
July 18 2014

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With the RuneFest announcement being made earlier today many of you will have noticed that you are able to buy your tickets, hotels, food, drink and souvenirs using bonds. Last year showed us that there are a huge amount of Old School players that love attending RuneFest and we thought it is only fair that we should start a discussion about whether you wanted to take advantage of this offer. The one thing to be clear about is that this is just a discussion and you won’t suddenly wake up one morning to see bonds appearing in Old School. If bonds are introduced they will be done on the communities terms and only after passing a poll.

The benefits of bonds have been well documented, they help in the battle against bots and real world trading, you can use them to buy membership (which is particularly useful when it comes to the F2P trial) as well being able to use them to pay for your RuneFest trip. The one thing you as a community need to be aware of is that at some point a player will have to buy that bond for real world money and will trade that bond for gold coins. That is the reality of the system and you can’t have one without another.

The movement of gold between RuneScape and Old School via the gold swapping clans is well established and has been facilitating the use of bonds in Old School for a long time now. Bringing bonds directly into Old School will remove the risk that gold swapping clans bring.

We know that some of you may see bonds as a prelude to other microtransactions like treasure hunter or Solomon’s store. Again, if this community wanted these we could do them, but we are pretty sure you don’t. If you want bonds in Old School only to be used for membership and RuneFest only then we can do that. If you don’t want bonds in Old School at all then you won’t see them.

This decision is for the community to make, and we think now is the right time to ask this question – how do you feel about bonds in Old School?

See the main RuneFest post here.

Discuss this on our forums.

Mods Alfred, Ash, John C, Mat K, Reach, Ronan & Weath
The Old School Team

Shelling Kills Four Boys On Gaza Beach; Israel, Hamas Set 5-Hour Truce

20 July 2014 - 12:33 PM

http://www.reuters.c...N0FI04420140716

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(Reuters) - Israeli shelling killed four Palestinian boys on a Gaza beach on Wednesday, an incident the military called tragic, and Israel and Hamas said they would cease attacks for five hours on Thursday for a humanitarian truce requested by the United Nations.

Palestinian militants fired more than 130 rockets into Israel on the ninth day of a war in which Israeli attacks have killed 216 Palestinians, including six in two air strikes on Wednesday. Most of the casualties were civilians, health officials in Gaza said.

In Israel, a civilian has been killed by one of more than 1,000 Palestinian rockets fired and more than half a dozen people have been wounded.

With no end to the fighting in sight, Israel is poised to expand its war on Hamas militants, from shelling and aerial and naval assaults thus far into possible ground action, with around 30,000 reservists called up since the offensive began.

"The direction now is to continue air strikes and, if need be, enter with ground forces in a tactical, measured manner," an Israeli official said on Wednesday after an overnight session of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's security cabinet.

Netanyahu told mayors of rocket-struck towns: “We will continue to conduct this campaign until its goal is achieved. We will use as much force as necessary to restore quiet to Israel's residents.”

But Israel agreed to a televised appeal from the U.N. Middle East peace envoy Robert Serry for a "humanitarian pause" to give Palestinians in Gaza a chance to buy food and get medical attention.

The United Nations' emergency relief coordinator, Valerie Amos, said in a statement she was "extremely concerned about the escalation of hostilities in Gaza and its impact on civilians."

She said in addition to the casualties, public services in Gaza had been suspended and its water supply was at risk.

The Israeli military said it would "cease operational activity" for five hours beginning at 10 a.m. (3 a.m. EDT) on Thursday to permit Gazans to attend to humanitarian needs, but would respond "firmly and decisively" if Islamist Hamas militants launched attacks against Israel during that time.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said the "militant factions accepted the offer by the United Nations for calm in the field for five hours between 10:00 a.m. and 15:00 on Thursday, for humanitarian needs."

In one of the worst single incidents of the conflict, an Israeli gunboat off Gaza's Mediterranean coast shelled a beach, killing four boys - two aged 10 and the others 9 and 11 - from one family and critically wounding another youngster, witnesses and Ashraf al-Qidra of the Gaza Health Ministry said.

The Israeli military said the reported civilian casualties were unintended and "tragic" and it was investigating what happened. "Based on preliminary results, the target of this strike was Hamas terrorist operatives," it said in a statement.

Netanyahu says Israel's armed forces try to avoid civilian casualties but that militant rocket crews put noncombatants at risk by operating in crowded residential areas.

President Barack Obama said the United States supported Egyptian efforts to bring about a ceasefire. U.S. officials would use their diplomatic resources over the next 24 hours to pursue closing a deal, he told reporters at the White House.

"We’ve all been heartbroken by the violence, especially the death and injury of so many innocent civilians in Gaza - men, women and children who were caught in the crossfire," Obama said. "The Israeli people and the Palestinian people don’t want to live like this. They deserve to live in peace and security, free from fear."

CHASED BY SHELLS

Ahmed Abu Hassera, who witnessed the incident at the shore, told Reuters: "The kids were playing on the beach. They were all ... under the age of 15."

"When the first shell hit land, they ran away but another shell hit them all," said Abu Hassera, whose shirt was stained with blood. "It looked as if the shells were chasing them."

Israeli shelling has frequently targeted Gaza beaches, which Israel suspects are staging areas for militants.

Earlier, Hamas's Abu Zuhri told reporters in Gaza: "These crimes will not succeed to break our will. We will continue the confrontation and resistance and we promise (Israel) will pay the price for all these crimes."

Six other Palestinians including four members of one family, among them a 70-year-old woman and two children aged 4 and 6, were killed in two Israeli air strikes in the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis, medics said.

Israel urged the evacuation of several districts in the Gaza Strip where more than 100,000 people live, threatening a ground offensive.

On the diplomatic front, the Hamas political leadership of Gaza formally rejected Cairo's ceasefire plan a day after its armed wing spurned it. Militants kept up rocket salvoes at Israel, which held its fire for six hours on Tuesday.

But despite the collapse of Egypt's truce efforts, there were signs of efforts still under way to nail down a ceasefire.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas discussed Egypt's plan in Cairo on Wednesday with senior Hamas official Moussa Abu Marzouk, Egyptian and Palestinian news agencies said.

In Washington, Secretary of State John Kerry said the United States was doing "everything in our power" to achieve a truce.

Gaza health officials say most of the Palestinians killed in the worst flare-up of violence with Israel in two years have been civilians. Gaza's Al-Mezan Center for Human rights said 259 houses had been demolished by Israeli air strikes and 1,034 damaged, along with 34 mosques and four hospitals.

ISRAELIS RACE TO SHELTERS

The rocket volleys from Gaza have made a race to shelters a daily routine for hundreds of thousands in the Jewish state. One Israeli has been killed in the rocket fire. Most of the Palestinian projectiles have crashed on open ground or been intercepted by Israel's Iron Dome anti-missile shield.

The military said Iron Dome shot down 82 of 132 rockets launched at Israel on Wednesday, while the others struck without causing casualties. One salvo, at coastal Ashkelon, forced visiting Norwegian Foreign Minister Boerge Brende into a shelter.

Authorised by Netanyahu's security cabinet to escalate the offensive, the military relayed warnings to inhabitants in northern Gaza with dropped leaflets and mass phone calls. But in the Shejaia and Zeitoun districts, bastions of popular support for Hamas and the Islamic Jihad faction, there was no sign residents were heeding the Israeli call to leave.

"Failure to comply will endanger your lives and the lives of your family," said a recorded message received by residents of districts, which sprawl out to the sandy, barbed-wire border with Israel.

Maher Abu Saa'ed, a 45-year-old doctor in Zeitoun, said that with many areas of Gaza under attack, nowhere was safe and he would not leave despite the telephoned Israeli warning.

"To ask hundreds of people to leave their houses and go to the centre of the city is insane, a sick joke," he said.

Announcing Hamas's formal rejection of Egypt's ceasefire plan, Abu Zuhri said the outcome of deliberations within the Islamist movement "was to reject the proposal and, therefore, Hamas informed Egypt last night it apologises for not accepting it."

Hamas leaders have said any Gaza ceasefire must include an end to Israel's blockade of the territory, recommitment to a truce reached after an eight-day war there in 2012 and the release of hundreds of its activists arrested in the occupied West Bank while Israel hunted for three abducted Jewish seminary students last month.

The three teens were later found dead, and a Palestinian youth was later murdered in what appeared a revenge attack by Israelis. Those killings led to the current bout of hostilities. Hamas also wants Egypt to ease curbs at its Rafah crossing with Gaza, imposed after the toppling of Islamist President Mohamed Mursi in Cairo a year ago.

Asked what he was doing about the crisis in Gaza, Kerry said: "Our concern is to have a legitimate ceasefire and to see if we can find a way to stop the conflict and killing so that we can get to the real issues that are underlying it. We’re doing everything in our power."

The latest round of U.S.-brokered talks to settle the six-decade-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict collapsed in April.

(Additional reporting by Maayan Lubell and Dan Williams in Jerusalem, Noah Browning in Gaza and Stephen Kalin, Michael Georgy and Yasmine Saleh in Cairo, Michelle Nichols at the UN, Jeff Mason in Washington; Editing by Jeffrey Heller, Mark Heinrich and Mohammad Zargham)

Malaysian Airlines Plane Shot Down Over Ukraine

18 July 2014 - 09:53 AM

http://www.thestar.c...st_ukraine.html

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Surface-to-air missile destroyed Malaysian plane, U.S. says
U.S. officials confirm a missile shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17

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DOMINIQUE FAGET / AFP/GETTY IMAGES
A man wanders amongst large pieces of the Malaysia Airlines plane shot down on its way from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.
By: Tanya Talaga Staff Reporter, Published on Thu Jul 17 2014
As Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak pleaded for international access to the remains of a Malaysia Airlines jetliner that was shot out of the sky over eastern Ukraine on Thursday, it was left to those living in the village of Grabovo to first respond to the disaster.
U.S. officials have confirmed a surface-to-air missile is responsible for the downing of flight MH17, killing all 298 on board — including one Canadian. The flight was on its way from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Plumes of black smoke led to where the plane went down near Grabovo, a rebel-held village in the eastern region of Ukraine that is at the centre of a tug of war between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian forces.
Pieces of steel, bloodied bodies — many still intact, even a dead child still strapped into the seat, could be seen strewn over the fields along with personal items such as head phones, luggage and travel guides.
The cockpit and a turbine engine lay a kilometre apart and the tail of the plane landed another 10 km away. Sticks with white flags marked signs of human remains.
“It fell down in pieces,” said one rescue worker as tents were set up to gather the dead.
While both sides blame each other for shooting down the passenger flight, the Kyiv Post reported Ukraine’s security service intercepted a phone call between separatists that seems to indicate they were the ones behind the missile launch.
“It’s 100 percent a passenger (civilian) aircraft,” one militant is recorded as saying, the Kyiv Post reported, adding the two separatists spoke of how there were no weapons at the site.
“Absolutely nothing. Civilian items, medicinal stuff, towels, toilet paper,” they said.

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