The Tip.It Times

Issue 199gp

RuneScape: A game for the young?

Written by and edited by Tip.It

RuneScape -- A once proud game of skill in the times of RSC and the early days of RS2. The community was not too small, and not too large… The players consisted of adults and teenagers, bringing the maturity of age into the game. There was not the mass of preteens in the game, who just weren’t experienced enough to understand the basics of a community game. There weren’t those under aged kids who blew up like an active volcano when they didn’t get their way. RuneScape was a community built on adults and young adults alike that enjoyed the community and experience that MMORPG's had to offer. Alas, that community of old is gone.

As time goes on, any game becomes more popular. Especially one as easily accessible as RuneScape. But what separates each game from another, is how the company handles that growth spurt, and handles the demands for new updates in the game. Some games do quite well, and their game flourishes with action, adventure and a feeling that you really make a difference in the game. These games usually have a grand community of mature players. But some games mistakenly take a turn for the younger audience, and attract preteens and the simple gamers like flies to honey, without considering the consequences. Jagex took this turn for the young as they started increasing turning their game into profit, by appealing to their largest slice of the player base. The children.

The advertisement of RuneScape in Miniclip was a heavy blow to RuneScape's player base. As most know, Miniclip is a gaming website for kids, with their games at a constant G rating. The moment the Miniclip games spotted the newly advertised game called RuneScape, they flocked into its website like a stampede of deranged cattle that’s been hyped up with Red Bull in their water troughs. The game flourished with this newfound attention of course, as its population skyrocketed. But, the increase in gamers, and the increase in profit came at a very heavy cost.

The swarm of preteens that joined RuneScape quickly infested it. Jagex was forced to lower the maturity of its updates for it to be appropriate for these adolescents. RuneScape lacked in blood and gore of any sort, so as to keep the game PG to its newly found young audience. Updates such as the Town Crier and Stronghold of Security littered the news pages of the RuneScape Homepage. These updates were made for those players that couldn’t take the time to look in the Knowledge Base for their answers, and had to have incentive to learn about those silver crowns of a PMOD, or account security. They created a little cartoon to put at the top of the homepage, which was so simplified and childish, that it was almost unbearable to watch by the older players. The cartoon structure of the shifty eyes of the slow moving head of the “bad guy”, and the simplified animation is just idiotic. Not to mention the “good guy/innocent victim” did the usual cry for joy when a PMOD muted the “bad guy”. Oh whoopee… The PMOD saves the day. Go to your local Town Crier to learn about these wonderful players of the game.

The quests of RuneScape are simple to do, and take little skill other than a high enough level for certain parts – which can be achieved by constant grinding. The themes of the quests never get too scary, and when they do, they always have a happy ending for the little tykes of RuneScape. Wouldn’t want them to have nightmares, now would you? The monsters of RuneScape look like goofy cartoon characters, even with the new graphical updates. Who’s ever heard of a zombie with a bubbly shaped body that had no blood stains, and just wobbled around as if it was made of Jello? What kind of demon always falls on its knees, raises its head to the sky and howls whenever it's defeated? Only one from a badly-animated cartoon for kids, in reality. And last time I checked, demons didn’t howl. Why can’t falling over just be enough? They have to add a cheesy effect so as to give the kids something fun to watch, and give them a false sense of achievement that they vanquished a “demon”. In the quest Demon Slayer, you’re told to get a powerful sword to “vanquish the wicked demon!” Of course, the prince that holds one of the keys is a bungler, and you have to go and find the key. How typical for the young audience. Then in the movie scene when the demon is summoned, it shows the leading dark wizard tiptoeing away, like you’d find in a Scooby-Doo rerun when the bad guy tries to sneak away. Why don’t they add on “And I would have gotten away with it if it weren’t for you meddling demon slayers!” while they’re at it?

RuneScape has gone from a decent game with a great community game that took some strategy to play, to a cute little game that a 10 year old plays. The constant warning signs when entering a dangerous part of the game just make the game much less thrilling. So you’re walking, about to enter a dark cavern, not having any idea what’s in there, when suddenly a box pups up saying “Look out! It’s dangerous in there… You could be killed! ” Oh, really? Never mind, I guess I’ll take a detour. *Runs off in another direction.* Jagex is not helping the community with their childish updates. All they’re doing is doing is ruining the world known as RuneScape. If Jagex really wanted to help the community, they would make the game challenging, less of a constant grind fest and gripping in parts, so that the particular player doesn’t get all high strung with accomplishments, only to be dropped like a rock when they fail at something.

Is this really what RuneScape should be about? As many know, I am retired now. I quit RuneScape for numerous reasons, one of them being the level of stupidity that the game has acquired. People want a game with challenge... That’s what they really enjoy. What’s the fun in constant clicking to achieve levels? It doesn’t take brains and it doesn’t take technique. It’s just click after click after click. RuneScape might seem like a huge game, that’s all great and all with their easily accessible java graphics, but is it really? Is the accessibility a good enough price to pay for the slacking community? People become obsessed with RuneScape because of its simplicity, and because its so easy to gain achievements. When someone joins a game that they can easily accomplish things in when they wouldn’t really be able to in the real world, they become obsessed with it. It becomes their new ecstasy, as they slowly turn away from the complicated real world. After all, who wants to face the disappointments of Life when they can hide behind a game they can do anything in? Is Jagex really helping any by making this game addictive and simple to play? I think not. Do you?


Credit to: Cloudcat2

Did You Know...
Chain armour has better crush defence than plate armour.

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