Player identification number

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Not to be confused with Bank PIN.

A player identification number (often referred to as PID) is a unique identification number that each player possesses. It determines the priority between two or more players when simultaneously performing tasks throughout RuneScape.

Calculating[edit | edit source]

A random player I.D. is assigned to a player upon logging into the game, and it changes each time they log in. Prior to the player I.D. system, priority between players was based on the players' IP addresses.

When the server processes players, it goes through them each in turn. If you are first in the list, you get processed first. In early versions of Classic, you always got put at the end of the list (if I remember rightly), so if you stayed logged in you would end up at the beginning of the list eventually. Being processed first meant you could catch up with people more easily when following them, which gave an advantage particularly in the wilderness with PVP. A low PID means you were at the beginning of the list, high PIDs were at the end.

This is no longer true, as you are now placed in a random place in the list and everyone else is shuffled up, so you don’t retain the same PID throughout your session. This makes things much fairer.

 
— Game Engine Team

Update History[edit | edit source]

The game engine no longer prioritises players' actions based on the IP address from which they are logged in. When two players perform an action simultaneously, the game has to decide which to process first. Previously it was doing this in a predictable order, taking into account the players' IP addresses, which meant that people could get an unfair advantage in competitive gameplay. A version of this fix was applied to RuneScape some time after the archive date from which OSRS was taken.
 
29 August, 2013
The Old School game engine often has to deal with two players doing something at the same time. This could be dealing damage to a monster, dealing damage to a player, picking up an item, anything at all. When this happens, the game engine needs a way to decide which player's action is processed first.

Previously, the game engine would give every player logged into a world a random level of priority every game tick. This made the processing of player's actions entirely random and completely unpredictable. While the system being unpredictable can, in some instances, be an advantage, this also caused a lot of inconsistencies in combat (most noticeably player-vs-player combat).

In order to make combat and many other aspects of the game more consistent, instead of randomising the priority each player is given every game tick, priority is now only randomised once every 100 - 150 game ticks (60 - 90 seconds). Within the duel arena, the relative priority of players who are fighting each other will not change throughout the duration of a duel.

The biggest benefit to this change is that it gives players in PvP more consistent combat, allowing them to play according to their priority.

 
14 April, 2016
On Bounty Hunter, PvP and tournament worlds, PID will randomise more often. In these worlds, PID will randomise every 40 to 60 game ticks (24 to 36 seconds) per player rather than the previous 100 to 150 game ticks (60 to 90 seconds) per player. Feel free to try out the changes on these worlds and let us know how you find them. From there, we can make any necessary adjustments and roll them out to the rest of the game. The way PID works within the duel area has not changed.
 
9 August, 2018


Examples of PID prioritisation[edit | edit source]

The following list contains examples of when a player I.D. becomes a factor in determining which player has the higher and lower priority.

  • PvM - Determines which player will deal the first hit of damage on a particular monster (and will get the monster if in single-way combat) when both players simultaneously attack the same monster.
  • PvP - Determines which player gets the first hit or when both players simultaneously attack each other at the beginning of combat.
  • Setting up barricades - Determines if another player can walk through a barricade that was just set up by another player in Castle Wars.
  • Closing doors - Determines if a player can walk through a doorway while another player closes it at the same time.
  • "Catching" in RuneScape Classic - Player I.D. determines if a player can "catch" another player when player killing in the Wilderness. "Catching" is a RuneScape Classic term where after three rounds of combat, a player runs from their opponent, and the other player can "catch" them by chasing after them and attacking them again, bringing them back into combat.
  • Picking up items amongst other players - Affects which player gets an item if two or more players pick it up at the same time.

See also[edit | edit source]