There have been many articles about '07 vs EOC, the future of the game and the role of each type in it. Most times this leads to discussion and heated debate, since it is (almost) impossible to satisfy everyone.
When Jagex revealed their desire to incorporate much of the old combat system and even graphics in to the current game it was suggested, even by one of the YouTube heroes of many legendary players, that Jagex should disband the old school servers to recombine the community. This did not help his popularity.
As you might know, I argued against '07's introduction the first place, since at least to me, the results were logical. But that is water under the bridge, the legacy servers exist and have at least brought some players back to Jagex, if not to the wider community. I obviously don’t know what is going to happen, however I don't think Jagex will kill the goose as long as it is laying golden eggs, in other words: the '07 servers are probably here to stay. There is even a chance there will be even more fragmentation if enough players demand other types of servers.
Because of this I would like to suggest other ways to help the community, the first specifically for clans.
I would like to see Jagex add access to the EOC clan chats to '07. Not by mirroring the EOC setup, but by adding it on top of the current clan chats used in Old School, the ones in EOC called ‘Friend Chats’. Currently '07 players show up in the clan chats when they log out and sit in the lobby, only to disappear again when they start playing. Even though it’s a minority, these people are sorely missed and slowly lose touch with their clan mates as time moves on.
Some of us play mostly for the social part: the chatting, banter and sense of belonging. As it stands now, those people who play for the social aspect are forced to stay with EOC, to have ready access to clan chats. This is a rather big part of the player base, as shown by one of my earlier articles. Others play for the fun of playing and some of these players enjoy '07 a hell of a lot more then EOC, and as such play on those servers. I think they would still love to stay in touch with their clan mates as they did for years before, but they have to make a choice. Then there are the players that wants both of these things and, at the moment, they are royally screwed.
Many of us look towards other ways to communicate, be it IRC, Skype, Teamspeak or forums. Unfortunately this is not ideal as we know Jagex is not the biggest fan of this, since it most times requires sharing personal details to get in touch with each other.
In the end there are many upsides to allowing Old School players access to the regular clan chats that should be worth expending a little effort by Jagex to program this option. A lot of upsides, and very few downsides, since no one HAS to use the option if it would be offered.
Expanding on this we get to my second proposal: Jagex could further reintegrate its community of players, without doing drastic things like ending the '07 or even '14 servers by making combined events.
I am thinking of holiday events or dedicated mini-games. Obviously they would have to be situated on separate servers from the normal games. The citadels have shown this can be done.
Jagex are nowadays offering us various settings for combat and graphics, the extremes wider apart than ever, and this makes me think this can be done. In the EOC game one can play in a small old fashioned window or wide screen with all the trimmings and still play the same game.
The biggest hurdle would be balancing the possible combat parts while the rewards could be tailored to each type and level. Because the characters in Old School do not directly compete with those in the modern game normally any small unbalance would not make the game less fair, as long as the joined activity remained playable and fun to both sides.
I might not have to tell you any more, if you are a regular reader, but the community, the real human beings behind the avatars are what matters the most to me. The suggestions I’ve made would go a long way to making us one family again, joined in our love for this game and not divided by the love and hate for various incarnations of it.
So Jagex: please break down the wall and allow those stuck in the past to join those who don't know how great that past actually was.