A Review on Runescape.
For many gamers, the mention of Runescape conjures an image low graphics, tedious skill leveling, and a young community (IE: immature players). However, for those of us who have remained loyal to Runescape over the years, the game represents much more: a community which influences new features through content polls and feedback. Seasonal events which are humorous and novel, reliable, quality updates to both the mechanics of the game and the world in which we play.
Runescape is one of the few games on the market which has gone through a complete overhaul, essentially creating a sequel with which players could transfer current characters without starting over. The transition of moving everyone from Runescape (now referred to as Runescape Classic) to this new version of the game allowed for many improvements; graphic upgrades, changes to interface, and the elimination of certain in-game requirements (such as sleeping). The original version of Runescape is still accessible, for any players seeking a nostalgic escape.
Originally set in a fixed-size window, Runescape has updated their game’s graphics over the years to include alternate camera angles, realistic water, and moving shadows. While this java-based browser game remains limited in its visual quality, Jagex has continuously pushed the capabilities of the Java engine to deliver the most attractive game possible. This includes two major updates to the graphics engine within the last year alone.
Players have also seen an increase in character customization over the years; new hair styles, colors and textures have been added in addition to “costume” options and other wardrobe features.
The landscape, monsters and NPCs have also frequently received makeovers. “Lumbridge,” the starting location for new players, was one of the first towns to be completely renovated. These changes often complimented an implementation of an “Achievement Diary;” a list of special objectives players can complete at each given town. Many locations are still pending selection to be featured for one of these additions.
Unlike most MMORPGs, Runescape doesn’t give the illusion of listening to the players – Jagex actually does take user opinions into account. They implemented “guaranteed content polls” to allow their membership to immediately, and transparently, influence new content. One example of which was the naming of a new Slayer monster, and the naming of one of the pubs in the world.
Another update that Jagex added to the game which I have not encountered in any other MMORPG is what they call the “Tools for Games” feature. This includes various items such as voting hats, checkpoints for creating races and tools for hide-and-seek. These additions allow players to create their own games within the world, a common inclination among player clans.
Although the game does not offer “grouping” in the traditional sense, it does allow for “multi-combat areas” where the one-person-per-monster rule is lifted, allowing folks to collaborate in killing attempts. This allows for a high volume of “solo-ability,” which is often a complaint among players in other MMORPGs. Being forced to resort to PUGs (Pick-Up-Groups) to complete tasks isn’t a concern on Runescape.