If one was to look back at the last 10 years of their life, what would a top 20 list of their most time consuming activities look like? What if you did it? Would RuneScape join nourishment, sleeping, breathing, socializing, and possibly working or time in school on that particular tally? If so, keep reading, if not, take a lap...metaphorically speaking that is (who needs exercise, that's an xp waste!)
Over the last 8 years of my life I've been an avid RuneScape player, logging 95 days of real time on my avatar. That's nearly 2% of my last 8 years. Could I have spent the time better? Maybe. Could any of us have spent the time any better? Probably. But, that's not what I'm after here, no, what I'm after is simply: was it worth it? Was it worth it for you? While I don't believe anyone reading this would say no, I do believe that doubt may be starting to set in for some of the key veteran group. With relative uncertainty about the games future, how can one not be worried about their precious time?
Is pouring out days of my life to a game that will eventually die out and be nothing to me the greatest use of my time? I feel as if this question will be answered within the next few months. With RS3 being released, two new skills and possibly the production of a new MMO on the horizon (Stellar Dawn perhaps? One can only hope...or maybe that's just me fanboy-ing, who knows?) it's a pivotal period for the RS development team. How will they deal with the pressure? Will they come through with great content, making players want to continue to spend time on the game, or will the game come to a screeching halt? With the release of RuneScape 3 running relatively smoothly (although possibly a little rushed, therefore a tad bit more buggy than anyone expected) can the chaos be contained with other huge releases upcoming?
With a never-static game, updates are the key. In the past, Jagex has not only always put out updates, but has also been fortunate enough to put out consistently above average updates at a steady pace. With so many updates and possible projects in the near future, Jagex may put some of what made RuneScape the game it is on the back burner. One can only hope for the best in these categories and hopefully Jagex stays true to themselves and their player base in a surely hectic time period coming up. A tell tale sign of how things are going at Jagex HQ, I think, will be the release of Divination. Jagex could potentially be in over their heads with more massive updates then we've seen since the creation and release of RuneScape 2!
It's a sobering fact that no game can stay popular forever; many games have learned that the hard way, but I believe that the next year will be crucial for RuneScape's future success. This time can breathe new life into a plateaued player base, and it could help bolster numbers to keep RuneScape alive for another decade, but more importantly, it could determine whether or not our time has been for nothing but the memories. No matter what happens, Jagex holds the games' future in the hard drives of their office computers. Can RuneScape, the game and fans, withstand so much change? Stay tuned to find out!