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Any RuneScape veteran who played before the introduction of the Grand Exchange will remember that World 1 and World 2 both used to be unofficially (and later, officially) designated hubs for player trading. On World 1 (which was F2P), the activity was centered around Varrock's west bank, while on World 2 (which was P2P), it was centered around Falador's east bank and the large park to the north of it. If you ventured to those spots, you would find a great mass of players and would then be quickly swamped in a sea of flashing, sliding, scrolling, waving, shaking, and/or multicolored text advertising countless buy/sell offers.
I actually didn't visit Worlds 1 and 2 very much back then. For most smaller and quicker trades of less value, I preferred simply heading to the nearest major bank of whatever world I was playing on; for more difficult or larger trades worth millions of coins, I generally went to the official forums to find or post an offer, and then coordinated with whoever happened to respond. I logged on to Worlds 1 and 2 pretty infrequently, perhaps if I was trying to buy or sell something but was so far unable to do so in another avenue; a few times I logged on purely out of boredom, and once or twice because I felt rich enough to browse the great deal of sell offers and maybe buy something that happened to catch my fancy.
Despite this, I still miss dearly the incredible liveliness of World 1's Varrock and World 2's Falador—the whole experience was like walking through a crowded virtual bazaar. Worlds 1 and 2 always seemed full in those days, and oftentimes I would have to click the login button many, many times until I could finally connect. After the Grand Exchange was put into the game, the trading activity was reduced considerably, as most folks preferred the more automated and usually quicker—but far more dull and boring—system of the Grand Exchange to the constant manual typing that was typical of Worlds 1 and 2, and which was required for advertising your offer. It is a shame, because the trading activity that went on daily in those two worlds back then was, I think, a very exciting and unique player-driven element of RuneScape that definitely contributed to the fun and experience of the game. The Grand Exchange may be quicker and requires less effort, perhaps, but it is also less fun.
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This page last modified on 2 December 2019.