Runescape Still Exists, Is Getting A Threequel

By Nathan Grayson on March 23rd, 2013 at 1:00 pm.

I never actually played much Runescape. Growing up, I was a snobby, Everquest-obsessed so-and-so. “Look at all these graphics,” I’d say. “My Iksar warrior is made up of so many polygons that you practically can’t count them but still kinda can.” I did have a few friends who swore by the lo-fi MMO, though, and it’s not hard to see why. Back then, free, easily runnable portals to lands beyond our wildest imaginations were hard to come by. Runescape, then, holds a very special place in many hearts, and for that reason it will never dieeeee. And so, we arrive at Runescape 3. Yes, there was a Runescape 2.  Find out what warrants the curvy, alluringly sensual new digit after the break.

HTML 5! Take that, young me. And also, those jeans look awful, your hair is dumb, and you call that music? Ugh. Anyway. Runescape 3 brings the world into the Sixth Age, which means “massive changes” that all players will apparently have a chance at shaping. So say some incredibly enthusiastic men:

“The world is on a precipice, massive change is coming to the game world and the players will be at the forefront of that choice, leading the charge into the future.”

Which is… fairly vague. But there are other things too. Gameplay wise, interface is getting the biggest overhaul, granting players the ability to “tear and share” different elements to form some kind of mighty, lumbering Franken-UI. Meanwhile, audio’s also getting a boost, and there’ll be a new website to tie the whole thing together.

Runescape 3 will apparently fall right on top of Runescape 2 – presumably crushing it flat as whatever variety of pancake often serves as a landing pad for entire kingdoms – so no new characters or accounts will be required. Which, admittedly, makes it sound like a cosmetic change first and foremost, but who knows? Maybe the Sixth Age will turn the whole world upside-down and fling its landing pancake into the sun.

Runescape 3 will launch this summer. And now, the inevitable concluding question: Do any of you still play Runescape? Frequently, even? If so, why?

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35 Comments »

  1. Artificial says:

    I sadly still play Runescape. I started playing in 2004 when I was in school and it’s pretty much all I ever played. I played it solidy until about 4 years ago where my life became more busy, and the constant updates to the game just made it less and less appealing to play to the point where I stopped altogether.

    They just recently re-released an older version from 2007 though which is just before the point where it took a severe nose dive, so I’m happily bathing in the nostalgia once again. Doubt it’ll keep me interested for long though, I certainly don’t feel tempted to play the new ‘EoC’ version or RS3 when it comes out.

    There’s boring little life story for you.

  2. Redcoat-Mic says:

    Alright, cool, but really the soaring music and them passionately spitting out “IT’S LIKE YOU’RE THERE, THE TEXTURES MAKE THE WORLD COME ALIVE!” is a bit silly.

    I mean it looks better, but it still looks like shit. That’s not a bad thing as their point is to be accessible of course, but it’s not exactly Crysis…

    • Kid_A says:

      For something being run in a browser, the screenshots in the videos (assuming they’re accurate renders from in-game) look rather good actually. Very Torchlight-esque.

      • Palodin says:

        I’d say they probably are real, the game in its current state doesn’t look TOO far off that

  3. WoundedBum says:

    I liked Runescape because of the huge amount of skills, haven’t played it properly in years but the fishing, crafting etc was all a lot of fun.

  4. sockpuppetclock says:

    All Runescape ever did for me was make me think a game centered entirely around lumberjacking would be the best game ever made.

  5. ikbenbeter says:

    So many candles.

    • yurusei says:

      We’ve added more candles so our faces HAVE MORE VOLUMETRIC LIGHTING. MONUMENTAL.

    • abremms says:

      I thought what the candles had to say was interesting, I wish they would have interviewed the devs in the background more, though.

    • Aardvarkk says:

      They were a bit gratuitous.

  6. Tams80 says:

    I used to love RuneScape, but they ruined it.

    OK, perhaps I grew out of it, got fed up with it dominating my life and the repetitive grind, but what really make me leave (and not stay when I returned a few years later) were the changes they made.

    It used to be rather simple with some good story lines. Then with the change in management, first they just focused on the existing world, rather than expanding on what they had hinted at (The East, Priffindras) and then they went that ‘how can we make more money route’ and essentially introduced gambling to the game.

    It’s graphical quality never was it’s strong point and now it looks like they are trying too hard. I laughed a little when even on the lowest settings fairly new laptop couldn’t play it smoothly, when I used to be able to play fine on an ageing desktop from the 90s.

    It’s age probably hasn’t helped. When I logged back on, almost everyone seemed to be at or near the highest level. It used to be that high levels were rare (and often helpful).

    O, the thumbnail for that video looks like one of the Jagex developers rubbing his hands with greed, waiting for people to waste money on this.

    • Rhuhuhuhu says:

      I agree that Runescape has fallen to its own succes.

      When I played it for a few months with friends, there was no railroading, handholding or anything in that order: I died on my first day, losing my entire starter kit.

      Welcome to this world. We are not here to impress you, you are here to impress us!

      With that mindset, runescape was an amazing place of free trading on many levels, lots of player vs player combat and the first truly ‘massive’ experiences I’ve had in a game.

      But that was to tough for some, so they removed most individual trading (including the excitements and risks associated), they removed the wilderness for short and they removed most of the spoils of such violence (in comparison with WoW; PVP makes you rich).

      I still follow the game, looking at all the design changes from a design perspective. They’ve done a fair amount of damage control bringing back some of the original flair, but truth to be told, it doesn’t feel the same.

      So yes. Runescape to me is a classic like EVE is, although Runescape to a nose dive when it didn’t had the guts to remain so.

  7. derella says:

    *DRAMATIC PAN TO VOTIVE CANDLES*

  8. ScubaMonster says:

    Too much fat guys talking and not enough game footage.

  9. Koozer says:

    Most of my memories with Runescape involve burying chicken bones and harvesting respawning nature runes from a chest with 15 other people huddled around it. Those agility courses were very entertaining though.

  10. Azradesh says:

    I thought only children played Runescape, and only because it was free, so why not?

  11. Frostbrynger says:

    In my humble opinion Runescape was always a poor men Ultima Online. Don’t know, but it seems to me whatever RS has ever done, UO has done it better. Although considering the existence of Freeshards the price isn’t an argument either.

    I haven’t played RS for a few years. Seems like they are working on turning RS into a generic Freemium game, while investing as little as possible. And I also noticed that they are celebrating updates, that wouldn’t even be worth a line in the patchnotes of other games. I’m pretty sure that “Runescape 3″ won’t be a big step in any direction for this game.

  12. Eddy9000 says:

    I though I’d give runescape 1 a go back in the day. Created my character, logged on, saw 20 people stood round a tree chopping wood, and then logged off never to return.

  13. Premium User Badge

    princec says:

    I went for an “interview” at Jagex once. To cut a long and boring story short, I ended up nearly giving the CEO (Mark Gerhardt I think his hame is) a fat lip for wasting my time and being an arrogant dickhead. Wish I had, now. Would have been a more interesting story.

    • Eskatos says:

      If you didn’t meet Steven Jagex himself they clearly weren’t taking you seriously.

  14. Distec says:

    Were you expecting something else?

    It’s like if saw an RPS article about the next COD being a military FPS and then expressing disappointment they didn’t turn it into an RPG.

    …Maybe that could be cool. I dunno.

    • Squishpoke says:

      The multiplayer portion is already an RPG, because you persistently unlock perks and weapons to give you an advantage over those who haven’t played as much.

      • Biaxident says:

        That’s an extremely tenuous definition of an RPG.

        • Squishpoke says:

          To give a better definition: “a game having a high degree of skill abstraction combined with arbitrary progression for such abstracted skills”

  15. ervink2 says:

    They’re doing what they’ve been doing for the last few years; desperately trying to extend the life of a rapidly dying game, and I say this as someone who has been playing for years. The game has been through more graphical revamps than I can count, and the game is just obviously too small to fit the many mainstream aspects they’re trying to squeeze into it. The reason runescape was so popular in the first place is because it had some very unique game play aspects that to this day I haven’t seen in any other game. But now they’re throwing all of that away to make the game resemble more modern games, which it never will. But apparently the developers are too incompetent to just make a new game and are instead bent on milking this one until it’s completely dry by constantly heaping on useless graphical revamps on top of each other. Seriously, this isn’t going to be runescape 3, it will be something closer to runescape 8, and by the time it comes out the player base will be the smallest it’s been in many years. This is so depressing to watch.

    It’s also fascinating to watch how the game has become almost completely geared towards long time, high level players, new players are almost nonexistent at this point. Literally most of the game has been made obsolete, and all content updates are focused on giving existing players stuff to do, because so many players have maxed skills and gotten the best items. If you want to know what it looks like when a once extremely popular and vibrant mmo dies, this is it.

    • Tams80 says:

      I remember (O dear, here I go…) when the suggestions and complaints forums were almost full of “Please could we have more high level content”, that turned into “We w4nt mOaR High lvl st00f!”. JaGeX pandered to this and along with other things ruined the game.

  16. Geen says:

    And not a single shit was given that day.

  17. jobeal says:

    I do still play Runescape. I find it enjoyable and relaxing.
    Although a few good points have been made in the comments, a lot of the criticism is rather outdated/uninformed. Yes, the game is aging. Yes, the game could use new players. However, those who say that the game’s “unique game mechanics” have been “ruined” are obfuscating matters.

    Before the recent combat overhaul – the “Evolution of Combat” – you clicked on the monster, and waited. Occasionally, you might even be able to click once to use a preset “special attack,” or click on food/potions in your inventory. But besides that, you sat there. How anyone could find this a “unique game mechanic” is beyond me. The overhaul unsurprisingly demands that you spend a bit of time getting used to the new combat system; however, it is much improved, as are many other areas of the game.

    I am impressed with the genuine player-driven story advancement that has started to take place. No, RS3 is NOT just a cosmetic overhaul. RS3 will enable eventual expansion to other gaming consoles, tables, smartphones, and even smartTVs. RS3 will overhaul the entire medium that the user experiences the game in; completely overhauling the code architecture is definitely a front-page update for any game. Period.

    The game was, and still is, vibrant.

    • reptonious says:

      You’s a Jagex goof.

      • jobeal says:

        Yes; because I enjoy playing Runescape, the only explanation is that I am a Jagex employee who spends his time posting anonymous comments on gaming websites singing praises of the game.
        Please.

  18. remover says:

    Back in the day, I didn’t understand why people would attack the game on it’s graphics.

    It was a JAVA game that ran in a browser, and I thought it was very impressive considering what they were doing.