Runescape is a very well known game with over 200 million accounts and 70K people on average playing. It also has a Guinness world record for being one of the most popular games in the world BUT this isn’t your happy review that really encourages you to play. This is a negative review. Don’t get me wrong, Runescape is a brilliant game but if I could make a statement about it all I could say is “It’s not what it used to be…” Let me explain why.
In the beginning (1998) there was devious MUD (Multi User Dungeon) it was 2D and very basic. Very little is known about it as only around 200 people had actually registered during the times of DeviousMUD but if it wasn’t for this we wouldn’t have had Runescape. You could say Devious MUD was the very foundations of Runescape (or the stone of Jas!)Eventually Devious MUD would get old as it was 2D. Also very few people played so those clever students at Cambridge (Andrew Gower & Paul Gower) created Runescape in 2001.
But that’s not the be-all and end-all! Runescape was still 2D in sprites but it was mostly 3D. This was also very basic but it proved a massive hit! There were very few mostly 3D online games at the time but now you may be wondering about the price. Runescape was free at the time but money was being lost. Jagex (The Cambridge based company that made Runescape) needed to make profit or Runescape could be no more so they made membership which allowed you to full access of the game and free members had less access. In the present the free version of Runescape is very limited in exploration. Membership was not free however. It still isn’t and will never be.
Now it’s 2004 and more and more MMO’s were emerging such as World Of Warcraft (which I might review) and Guild Wars. They were both completely 3D so Jagex again had to catch up or people would stop playing the part 3D part 2D game. What they began was possibly the biggest update that the Runescape community had ever seen. Runescape was being upgraded from the ground up. A new version of Runescape was in the process of being made which must have been awe-inspiring for players.
The whole scripting and graphics engine had to be completely redesigned from the ground up. This may seem small but you have to remember Runescape would have been quite big at the time and the coding must have been year’s worth of scripting. It was colossal but it was finished in 2006. It was completely 3D and was massive. The graphics may not have been as good as competitors but people loved it. Most of the Runescape player base had stopped playing the old Runescape and because of this Jagex completely closed down the old Runescape and changed Runescape to Runescape 2 with a number of new changes. Quite a few which the player-base did not like. The old Runescape was renamed to Runescape classic and was shut down leaving the new Runescape.
Now it’s 2012 and perhaps the second biggest update ever has started. Runescape’s combat was being completely redesigned. Combat at the time was very basic and almost turn-based. The skills you could perform were very limited as it was just attack, attack, eat and so on. What Jagex were planning to do was change the way combat worked. Before the problem with Runescape was that melee was the only way to win. Magic and archery was too weak and limited compared to the wrath of swords, scimitars and maces. The good thing about this update was that magic and archery were empowered and could now stand a chance against the wrath of melee. This gave more variety in the way players fought. There are only 2 problems with this update: First, this update does not feel unique. The new combat was the exactly as any standard MMO combat system and if my experiences are correct up to this point (2013) a lot of the attack names are exactly the same as ones I heard in other games such as World of Warcraft. In fact, what the attacks actually did are quite similar.
And now, (I wish I done this in 2012…) There is something else new (at this point I abandoned Runescae completely) There was ANOTHER Runescape. Except, this time, it didn’t really have anything new. The graphics are only slightly better and usually is unnoticeable. A few areas have been redesigned and that about it! To me it seems like a sorry excuse for an update. I’m sorry Jagex but you’ve lost your way….