Today, in other news Jagex introduced two "Quick Chat Only worlds" where you can only use quick chat to communicate. You can no longer send a personal pm to someone on your friend list, type out an insult, or even say congrats on a level to a friend. It is a cold, impersonal world and although Jagex promises they will never take away free chat, it worries me greatly. These worlds render player moderators useless, and encourage AFKing or silent training in other skills. in fact, two people on my list told me they were going to use those worlds hoping to level while playing Xbox Live, Which is fairly sad...
Our Community has already been growing farther apart from the way it was in classic, farther from the days you logged in and made friends with random people, and now we have the option of logging into an automated world which may as well be a single player game. What surprised me is that for all day of this launch, it has kept a steady 600-900 user player base on the members world, and a 400-1000 base of users on the free world. It baffles me that 500 players want silence, let alone 600 or more. I fear in time Jagex will clamp down on us, reducing the number of normal worlds, while not breaking their promise of keeping free chat for all, or do us even worse, promising us that we will always be able to chat "freely" just like Runescape Classic was left open for all to use..on a few worlds. Of course we all know how that went ...Most players were locked out of classic for not using it; what if this happens for "free chat" and it becomes something of yesteryear? The game survived with reduced trading, how many of us actually believe Jagex will keep their word? They said they would, but at times, I find it hard to trust them, through mistakes or mishaps or just doing what needed to be done, I have placed trust in jagex, perhaps it was my fault to believe rsc characters would never be harmed, they never said they would, or my fault for hoping trade would be left..or the wild....but the unknown future scares me. And it seems hard to trust someone when I gave them wholeheartedly my trust, and in the end, it was broken. I trust you Jagex, to keep your word.
Clearly as a long time player, the signs on the wall have me scared that this, regardless of reassurances is the beginning of the end for free chat.
I read the update about the quickchat worlds and was chilled a bit...After all, why would there be a need for a place that didn't allow for freedom to chat in the Runescape community that really was built on .. well.. community... not automatic responses, but actual human interaction...But, I decided I would hop onto world 160 and see how things were going. The opening message that was waiting for me chilled me quite a bit more than just reading about it.
"This is a quickchat only world. On this particular world you can only chat using quickchat. If you want to chat freely then please change to a different world. Click here to continue"
At those words, I felt an urge to turn and flee, before I could be hunted down as some kind of renegade freethinker. Instead, I clicked to continue and teleported to the Castlewars bank, where I was met with cheer... I think...I'm not entirely sure, since it wasn't "free speech" and nobody was emoting.. Or anything at all, but standing there.
"Let's play Castlewars"
"Let's play Castlewars"
I hurriedly teleported to Sophanem, thinking to try the latest quest... and joined a file of eerily silent questgoers after catching a carpet to Pollnivneach...Nobody broke the silence...we simply walked quietly through town to the NPC...
I then decided to try out Lumbridge on world 161, the free quickchat server world. I used a lesser character for this endeavor, so that I wouldn't draw attention to myself. It was eerie.. Free of folks seeking boyfriends and girlfriends yes, but eerie... The chat area moved slowly with "Hello!" "Good Day!" and "Hi" and then there was nothing for a bit except for one person whose quick chat requested a beer barrel flatpack. Finally I saw "Could you please lead me to location: Varrock?" and rushed toward the user.. Wait, that wasnt him.. Maybe this one.. no.. that wasn't him.. Finally I found him, and frantically searched for an answer. I would lead him! I would help! "Yes" my text told him... Only he had wandered away... "Could you please lead me to location: Varrock?" came again and I hunted him down... only I lost him again while I was trying to figure out how to convey that I would gladly help. By the time I realized there was a "follow me" response option, he had given up and logged out. I logged out shortly after him... I thought we were discouraging the "bot" thing... but wow.. whole worlds made up of only automatic responses... Manually chosen perhaps, but still very generic...
Perhaps the thought behind this particular update is that parents might allow their even younger children to try Runescape... Maybe lower the suggested age demographic by creating such "safe" worlds. That isn't very reassuring to me, much as it really doesn't bother me if younger children want to play. What bothers me is the thought that the rest of us, the free chatters could get shuffled into a corner if those "autobot" type worlds show more promise in the bank account... And like my co-writer...I wonder if "free chat" will be relegated to only a few worlds... technically the truth .. not removed, but pushed to the back of the bus...
Upon the release of FunOrb, muted players from RuneScape found themselves, once again, unable to communicate with others. Their past offenses continued to haunt them. Although the release of Quick Chat did not benefit the majority of the population, the minority—muted players—had been given a chance to speak once more. The previous freedom is no longer there, but at least muted players do not have to resort to mime actions to tell someone congratulations on 99 Defence. With Quick Chat now also on FunOrb, muted players have even more freedom; as well as being able to communicate with fellow 'Orbers, Quick Chat messages may be sent to fellow 'Scapers. The benefits for Quick Chat linked to both gaming sites are obvious. Want to play a round of Chess? No problem, even if you are muted. Send a Quick Chat message and you and your friend will be battling in minutes.
However, less obvious situations have risen. No worries, these new cases are not damaging, they aid another minority: the disabled. Not the disabled, as in mentally handicapped, but disabled as in slow typers and those without a keyboard. Slow typers no longer have to dread using a keyboard (though they better get used to it); now they can utilize Quick Chat as a typing machine. Their fifty-words-per-minute has ceased to be an impediment. Giving helpful advice is a few clicks away. As mentioned before, players without a keyboard do not have to use, for example, an on-screen typing pad. Though it is likely many 'board-less players play the game, another small, but equally important, group of players can smile bigger smiles. Bigger smiles for people who have disabilities in not feeling like an outcast by giving them a place where they do not stick out. A place for mutes, long sorry for what they did but stuck in a punishment to blend in without being asked if they are muted, Quick chat words provide solitude and equality to those who for various reasons would not fit in free chat worlds...
Did You Know...
...that there is now a fairy ring code for the Haunted Woods fairy ring? It's A-L-Q!
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