An enterprising Old School Runescape player claims to have used a loot exploit to generate and sell around 400 billion gold, which could go for upwards of $100,000 on the game's real-world-trading market.
Runescape sleuth SirPugger highlighted this little operation in a recent video after Twitter user Lyrn (opens in new tab) – whose account was apparently created in December specifically to boast of this scheme – fessed up.
Lyrn told SirPugger that they managed to sell about 400 billion of the 500 billion gold they duped in Old School Runescape before developer Jagex caught on and banned them. A quick look at top OSRS gold sellers shows an exchange rate of roughly $0.28 to $0.31 for a million gold, and a median rate of $0.30 for 400 billion would net Lyrn roughly $120,000 at base value.
How do you make 500 billion gold in a hurry? This dupe goes back to an update (opens in new tab) from November 30 which tweaked Old School Runescape's combat achievements. After completing the hard-tier achievements, players could get a 50% discount when imbuing items at the Soul Wars minigame. However, the amount of points you could reclaim by un-imbuing those items apparently wasn't updated until later, seemingly leaving a few items with an unintended loop of infinite points.
Lyrn's video shows them repeatedly imbuing Black Masks for 250 points and emptying them for 400 points, generating millions of points per hour with some help from bot scripts. They could then spend these points at the minigame's shop on boxes full of runes, ore, arrows, herb seeds, and other resources which can be sold at the game's auction house. They aren't that valuable individually, but with the veritable factory Lyrn had set up using multiple bot accounts, they could very easily cash these resources in for billions.
As SirPugger notes, the price for many of the items featured in Lyrn's dupe tanked around December 18 and 19 – weeks after the achievement update and right before this issue was evidently patched – which suggests mountains of them were dumped into the market at the same time. These prices have mostly recovered since, but the market history supports Lyrn's story.
The OSRS community seems genuinely impressed by the dupe. "Imagine being able to buy a nice car or small apartment because Jagex let you profit Soul Wars points from refunding imbues," reads the top comment on the subreddit's post (opens in new tab) on the dupe.
Some players still suspect that the whole thing was faked using a private server, and that will likely remain a possibility unless Jagex confirms the dupe. (I've reached out to the studio for comment.) Others believe that the anonymous user giving out platinum awards on that same Reddit post is actually Lyrn flexing their profits. There's no definitive proof yet, but this certainly wouldn't be the first loot exploit in Old School Runescape's long and colorful history.
Last year, a group of OSRS players claimed a totally legit, record-setting 16 billion gold bounty after a PvP stakeout months in the making.