Jagex, the company behind RuneScape, has announced HearthScape! Actually, that's a lie. They've announced Chronicle: RuneScape Legends! It's a collectible card game based on the RuneScape universe so you can see the possible influence of Blizzard's recent Warcraft-based hit, Hearthstone, though.
The developers explain that the game will be "played out within the pages of a living book" and will feature such things as quest-building, letting you craft your own RPGs against enemies from the RuneScapeiverse and, of course, PvP.
RuneScape is an intriguing game to me. I don't know anyone who has mentioned playing it and yet it has been going for 13 years and boasts over 200 million registered account holders. The only time it has ever come up in conversation was at GameCamp last year when I met someone who worked on it. They described a fascinating-sounding murder mystery which I think was set in a monastery or nunnery.
What I'm getting at with this is that even though I've never been into World of Warcraft, I've played some of the previous Warcraft games and Dota 2 – which started life as a Warcraft III mod. As a result, many of the characters are familiar to me or I recognise them through references or echoes in other games. That's why Hearthstone had the appeal of the familiar, despite me drifting pretty far from its core universe over the years, and was a big part of why I played it as long as I did. With RuneScape I don't have any of that familiarity on which to draw.
I guess, with more than 200 million existing RuneScape account holders to appeal to (and to presumably act as a recruitment force if it's any good) that might well not be a problem for Jagex. But I'd be curious to see how new players react to the game and its cast of characters.
Lead designer, James Sweatman, said: "We’ve been quietly developing Chronicle: RuneScape Legends since the start of the year to ensure that it’s not only a fun and compelling player experience, but one still very much interwoven into the rich lore of RuneScape."
If you're a regular player of RuneScape I'd be really interested to know more about what keeps you coming back to the game and what you'd like to see included in this CCG. It's currently being scheduled for a 2015 release on PC as well as tablet and mobile. Basically, TELL ME OF YOUR RUNEWORLD.