Happy 2014, Scapers. Did you know there’s a birthday coming up soon? By April this year, RuneScape 2 will be ten years old. For some of us, it feels like it was just yesterday when the pickaxes disappeared from over our heads and into our hands, @ran@ lost its meaning, and hours of certing lobsters were wasted with the introduction of bank notes. For others, it’s the only version of the game they even knew before RuneScape 3’s release. But what makes RuneScape 3 so interesting is that it, too, is 10 years in the making. Unlike most games, it wasn’t built from scratch and released, but rather it built on every upgrade made to RuneScape 2. Let’s take a look at just how RuneScape 3 got to where it is today.
Beyond the official release of RuneScape 2 to the public, this year also so the introduction of the Runecrafting skill, Castle Wars, and 16 quests that have all had further quests built upon them (perhaps most notably Monkey Madness).
Some might call 2005 the year of quests as it saw the release of 29 of them. Among them were Desert Treasure, Tears of Guthix, and the infamous Moruning’s Ends Part 2. Additionally, 2005 brought with it two loved skills in Slayer and Farming. Maybe one other noteworthy feature, often taken for granted, was the introduction of Skill-X, which no longer required payers to manually complete each action (such as cooking an inventory of fish).
(This is also the year I started playing, a momentous occasion for us all. :P - Ed.)
Perhaps my favorite year of the game due to it being my first year of membership and getting to partake in the fanfare of all the new updates on release day, this year was a good one. We saw two more huge skills in Construction and Hunter. There were 21 new quests, including the 100th one in Recipe for Disaster. But who could forget the monumental addition of Trouble Brewing, right guys? Guys?
Another popular year for old school players to identify as their favorite, this year is the basis of the Old School RuneScape game available to payers today. While there were no new skills this year, Jagex made up for it with 14 new quests (albeit, none particularly notable) and other miscellaneous features. Among them were the Grand Exchange, Piety, bracelets, achievement diaries, the Godwars Dungeon, and gravestones. Unfortunately, these were followed by the removal of wilderness PvP. Yikes.
This year began with a bang and a bust. The removal of free trade (for quite a few years) was followed by the popular Summoning skill. Many players quit at this time, but most stuck around with further expectations from the game. Aside from these and the revolutionary Vinesweeper minigame, this year also brought us new HD graphics, more achievement diaries, and 18 new quests. Among those 18 quests was the first grandmaster quest in While Guthix Sleeps.
This was a bit of a slow year. With no new skills and only 12 new quests (none of them being too important), perhaps “deposit all”, the new agility courses, the run energy upgrade, and the five minute logout timer are the only other features of the year still relevant to RuneScape 3 today.
This was another 12 quest year, but among them are the grandmaster quests, Nomad’s Requiem and The Void Stares Back. There was a new skill in Dungeoneering, although controversial due to its similarities to minigames. Additionally, we gained Slayer helmets, Slayer challenges, and elite achievement diaries (renamed as “tasks”).
This year returned the precious free trade and Wilderness PvP that veterans missed so dearly. It continued the good start with a grandmaster quest in Ritual of the Mahjarrat (but only 8 other quests), Nex, Capes of Distinction, the Dominion Tower, the toolbelt, and the money pouch. Unfortunately, the return of free trade also brought with it a massive influx of bots the likes of which the game had never seen before. This culminated in October with the Bot Nuke, which brought sweeping anti-bot changes to the core of the game that continue to this day.
This 11 quest year saw the release of another grandmaster quest in The Brink of Extinction. Other noteable features include the lodestone network, the Runespan, bonfires, the Queen Black Dragon, and the much hated Evolution of Combat, now generally accepted by the playerbase. This year also saw the removal of random events, largely due to the ongoing success of the previous year's anti-bot updates, which had been a staple of RS2 since its release.
This year was the final year of RuneScape 2 and the first of RuneScape 3. This year was jam packed with plenty of smaller, yet notable features like the Kalphite King and Vorago. There were only 5 quests this year, which is the slowest year ever for them. However, among them are two grandmaster quests in Birthright of the Dwarves and the game-changing quest The World Wakes, ushering in the Sixth Age. Last, but definitely not least is the release of the first skill in three years in Divination.
That’s the shortest summary of the ten years leading up to today’s game I could give. It’s certainly been incredible watching the transformation from lowly RuneScape Classic to the RuneScape 3 we know today. Who knows what 2014 has in store for this great game? Only time will tell.