OK, I'm going to confess something. Once the diamond jubilee thing came out and they announced the Squeal of Fortune now offered rare rewards at 10 times their current appearance rate, I decided that now was the time I give it a try. So I spent $100 buying 200 spins each for me and my brother ($100 = 400 spins; spin for a quarter). Used them to get a load of experience, some good spending money, and the full dragon ceremonial (completed with 17 spins left) and Queens Guard garb (completed with 3 spins left - much harder to get, strangely enough).
Not the first time I'm guilty of that. I've spent over a hundred buying keys for Team Fortress 2. Most of them bore shoddy results (but thank goodness for strange items now; mostly anything you get is good).
Why would I do that? Why would I blow good money on something I can't even hold in my hand, or in some cases, not even brag about to friends? The majority of them don't even play these games. My boss at work wouldn't at all be impressed (don't even know how much of a gamer he is).
There are multiple reasons why I did it, and perhaps a few for why you should give it a try as well. Read at your own discretion.
1: I simply wanted the dragon ceremonial. Because they messed with my favourite black wizards hat (see my Runescape avatar for a preview), I had to seek out a new attire, and I liked how the dragon ceremonial looked and worked. I could change the color to something considerably close to my favourite shade of blue, and it went very well with the Serene Gaze aura. Not to mention it's an uncommon garb and it makes me look somewhat unique. I like being unique. Everybody does.
2: I wanted to take advantage of the new increased chances of a rare item. Never gotten one before, after all. Like many humans, I was very curious to see for myself what kind of experience the huge lamp gave me, or if I could get one of those super-rare cosmetic items like the katana or a tattoo. It was the best time out of many; chances were high that they might've realized that it was getting "too" easy to get rares, and they might've lowered it slightly again (based off past events).
3: I support Jagex (and Valve, for that matter). They are a gaming company, and they've kept me entertained for 11 years, so I wanted to consider it 11 years worth of tips. They've kept me entertained for 11 years; half of which I wasn't even a member. Didn't cost anything; it was just a game I could play for the fun of it. But, the economy has been hard, and they've had to make some difficult decisions. But I respect them as an ambitious company striving to create an incredible experience for their players.
It's not always about the money, I find. Yes, it's business; yes, it can be frustrating, soul-depriving work sometimes; and yes, Jagex is a large company with many, MANY mouths to feed. If it was more about making money, I could think of dozens of ways they could make twice what they're making on the game right now. They nuked the bots, taking out perhaps 60% of the player base; many of them members. And they didn't raise the price of admission as a result. Lately they've been more about the community, anyways.
And getting something good back for it is always nice.
4: Surprisingly enough, it is wicked good experience. I got about 2 full inventories worth of free-skill small and medium lamps (with 5 times the experience I'd get from a 50-penguin-point turnover), and several directed ones to provide me with some nice all-around experience. I used the lamps I got (including a huge 52000 exp prayer lamp!) to achieve my smithing goal, my cooking goal, my herblore goal, my summoning goal, and my slayer goal; all of which might have taken me a long time of playing to achieve otherwise.
And here, you're wondering about whatever happened to the crazy guy who loves setting goals and taking his time with everything. Fact of the matter is, I've had those goals for an awful long time, and they were getting rather stale. Thing about goals is that you set them to be completed, and if they're never completed, they become morally depriving. So I completed them so that I could set some new goals and keep things exciting for myself. You're supposed to strive towards and complete goals, not simply have them for the point of having them.
5: I didn't actually buy virtual items. I bought time. I could've gotten all that experience on my own, yes, but it would've taken me days. Maybe months.
Runescape will last long for me, but it won't last forever. I do plan (... well, "hope") on getting level 99 everything one day. Taking down the Fight Kiln, soloing Kree'Arra, completing the Dominion Tower... still a long ways to go before I have the skill, practice, and confidence to do all these things.
I spent $100. I make that in 1 day at my full-time job, doing something I enjoy doing. If I spent the day playing Runescape, I would've probably only achieved one of those goals (I'm a very random player who cannot stick with one task before wanting to do something else). Works out in the end if you think about it.
6: Simply to see what it was like. You only live once. Try everything.
It's like going to an incredibly fancy restaurant. The atmosphere is incredibly nice despite you only being there for an hour or so, and the food, although professionally done, is incredibly expensive. You don't actually pay for the food; you pay for the memorable experience. You don't go there every day by yourself just for lunch, you go there once in a blue moon with friends and family, sit around, and just chat. Hang out, talk about stuff, maybe play the occasional dinner game. Could easily do it at home as well, but the atmosphere provided is usually nicer, and nobody is left out having to set the table or cook; it's all done for you.
That being said, unless they come out with this other wicked awesome item on the squeal, that's going to be the one and only time I ever do something like that.
7: Practice. No, really. After spinning 200 times, I sort of learned how to "aim". It's possible, you know. Not perfectly accurate, but if you can narrow the chance of getting your target item down to a quarter of the available items, it really helps. Bulls-eyed a fish mask after the second try (first try, I missed and hit a 200 000 red space - no joke!).
So there. You're free to your opinion, but those are my reasons, and I'm sticking with them. What's done is done, and I benefited in more ways than you think.
And no, I'm not buying anybody else any spin tickets.
This was originally posted as an Informer Economy