These messages are almost overwhelming at times. They make prison servers feel less like being incarcerated and more like visiting a casino.Once you’ve made your fortune in the mines, you can spend your hard-earned cash buying gear to compete in the PvP arenas.

Until I learned to recognise the places I shouldn’t go, I managed to repeatedly wander into these PvP zones, where I was summarily executed by flying players who appeared to be firing nuclear warhead-tipped arrows. There is no equity of any sort here, no attempt to level the playing field for new players—the richest and most established players dominate these spaces, wielding god-like power to lay waste to their enemies (when they can be bothered to compete).

In addition to prestige and bragging rights, surviving the arena can get you free loot from Runescape 07 gold, special titles, unique resources (at least one server offers bounties on player heads), and a chance to advance on the leaderboards.