For more than a year, Jagex has run a seasonal competition, known as Deadman Mode, wherein players generate new accounts and attempt to advance as rapidly as possible through the game. Deaths are heavily penalised, and the event ends after a predetermined duration, typically measured in weeks or months. When this time period is reached, the 2,000 best players are invited to the Deadman Invitational, an advanced version of the mode they were so successful in. The last man standing in this week-long invitational is awarded a $10,000 USD prize.
In season past, Jagex has been under fire for the mechanics they have used to ensure that only one player is left alive at the end of this battle royale. This mechanic, known as “the fog” damages players while they stand in it and slowly expands across the game world, forcing players into more confined spaces and ensuring that no player can simply hide and wait out their foes. The fog has undergone several changes, particularly after an incident during Twitchcon in which the final player had to be disqualified for conduct Jagex considered to be “not in the spirit of the tournament” despite being the last player alive due to a tactic which involved long-term healing to negate the effects of the fog.
This time around, Jagex amped up the lethal potential of the fog. As documented here by TorvestaRS, one of the many Youtubers to make the cut for this Invitational, the fog dealt damage incredibly rapidly and came with, in the eyes of Torvesta and other players like him, little-to-no warning. More than one hundred players were rapidly slain by the sudden onset of the damage, though one group of players, known as Reign of Terror (RoT) made use of the foreknowledge of the final area of the round, waiting for enemies to approach and picking them apart in waves.
While there was no controversy in regards to who the winner of the tournament was, Jagex is certain to face criticism on the part of players over these latest changes. If history is to be used as a reference, Jagex will make many changes going forward, though they may not be seen until after the newest season of Deadman Mode, which began today. Mod Mat K spoke briefly on the issue on Reddit.