Old School RuneScape is knee-deep in its latest game-warping League event, Trailblazer Reloaded, and this particular limited-time mode has sparked a fierce feud between players that's quietly become one of the most interesting races in MMOs right now.
OSRS Leagues basically make the MMO play way faster – better loot, more XP, and so on – for a two-month hit of adrenaline and dopamine. For this League, that's largely thanks to the unlockable Relics acquired as you complete tasks worth League points. Relics can be passive or active bonuses that essentially buff certain skills, actions, and play styles. Trailblazer Reloaded, the fourth League event, features some especially spicy Relics in the endgame, but the biggest player divide has actually come from two early-game Relics: Fire Sale and Banker's Note.
Fire Sale lets you get anything sold by item shops for free, provided those items would normally cost gold and not another currency. This includes a wealth of equipment, crafting materials, magic runes, and other invaluable resources. You can't sell these items back to shops for instant cash, but you can easily buy high-value items and turn them into gold using alchemy spells. This gives Fire Sale users a never-ending cash stack and unlimited access to almost anything sold by NPCs.
Banker's Note, meanwhile, ties into the OSRS bank and inventory systems. With some notable exceptions, most items can only be stacked in your inventory if you convert them into notes at a bank, but noted items can't actually be used. If you noted two chestplates, for example, you could carry them in one inventory spot, but you wouldn't be able to wear either of them without un-noting them. The same goes for drinking noted potions or eating noted food.
But with the Banker's Note Relic, you can note and un-note items anywhere in the game without help from a bank, turning your 28 inventory spaces into a bottomless wealth of resources. Just bring a stack of whatever you want and un-note as needed.
It's hard to overstate the power of both of these Relics, and since they're just tier-three unlocks, you get them pretty quickly into the League. Within hours, you can have economy-breaking power at your fingertips. You can't really go wrong with either, but the debate over the short-term and long-term utility for each has fueled some intense MMO theory-crafting, with Banker's Note fans enjoying ultra-fast skilling and easy boss camping, and Fire Sale enthusiasts running wild with everything that NPCs have to offer without having to worry about making it themselves. Both effects are hugely valuable since League accounts can't trade other players.
With hardcore League players approaching pinnacle unlocks and casual players entering the mid-game, the Relic meta is starting to settle. Fire Sale is widely seen as an explosive starter Relic that tapers off a bit in the late-game, while the power of the Banker's Note only increases as you unlock high-end content. But every time it looks like a clear winner has been chosen, somebody will uncover and share a game-changing strategy that flips the table again. Players also have to consider how Fire Sale and Banker's Note interact with the specific regions they explore, as the entire game world isn't available in the League and is instead broken into unlockable sections.
The fight for the League hiscores has been brutal, and while Fire Salers kept a solid lead in the early days – with many other factors in play, most notably how much time one can invest in the MMO – Banker's Note defenders are still in it. There's more than a month left in this league, too, and I can't wait to see what absurd strategies people come up with after spending more time with these Relics. It's not often that an MMO developer hands players the keys to their game's entire economy, even if it is a cordoned-off limited-time mode, and watching the chaos play out is a sight to behold.
Thanks in part to the League hype, OSRS is still breaking player records after 10 years.