Yup that's right; the game of Runescape was officially released in January 2001 which makes it five years to the month now! Last week's article looked back at the highlights of 2005 and I'd like to take a brief look over the past five years and comment on some issues that come to mind.
Thinking about it, the game has come a long way over the relatively short period of five years, yet many players would argue that it has a long way to go (improve) in the future too. Most players would only be familiar with the newest version of Runescape as opposed to the original version now known as “Runescape Classic”. I'd suggest plugging that into your favourite search engine and having a look through some of the pages that come up so you can get a taste of the original version which ran as the game from January 2001 until February 2004; just over three years. The current version is barely two years old having been released in March 2004.
There are plenty of topics and threads in the Tip.It Forums reminiscing back to the “golden days” so I'll let those eager of you to use your initiative and rummage through them. One of the most striking contrasts that come to mind is the community aspect and how it has developed (some would say deteriorated) over the years. This can be put down to two main reasons:
- The massive increase in the number of players.
- The increased commercialisation of the game.
To some extent, the reasons are obviously interlinked, but I like to hark back to the days when Runescape news posts were made by individuals from Jagex (notably the Gowers) where sincere concern and care for the community aspect of the game was shown. Take a look at this old news post from Novermber 2002 as an example. I believe it speaks for itself. And how about these three topics:
- We just keep getting bigger! (Jan 2003)
- New kids on the block (Feb 2003)
- Bang! I win! Jagex team photo (Apr 2003)
Its clear how these kinds of things, no matter how minor they might seem, fostered a good link between Jagex and the community of players. There were also only a handful of worlds and you'd often come across other people you know by coincidence; which would be a nice surprise. Nowadays, there is a lack of personality in the news posts and with the start of the Jagex Shop, it appears that the game is becoming less and less about the players and more about making profit. Just my personal opinion.
Another thing that I especially liked was when they kept us informed about how they were dealing with cheaters. In particular, I remember the news item entitled Cheating scum banned (Dec 2002) owing to the rashness of the language used and 14 months later came More cheating scum banned (Jan 2004) announcing up to 1000 bans with 100 names shamed publicly. Perhaps it's just me, but I'd like to know about these things and how they deal with rule breakers nowadays.
Moving on, something that will not be forgotten in a hurry was the big fiasco surrounding the concept of Fatigue, and having to regularly ‘sleep' on a bed (and later sleeping bags) because doing many tasks would increase your fatigue to 100%. And quite annoyingly, you'd have to type in a word to wake yourself up as shown below. This included mining, fishing, agility courses and more. Many attempts were made at balancing this new concept with features in the game and new bed locations sprang up across the world map! Rocks were split into hard rocks and soft rock we had deep and shallow fishing spots, combat training by fighting other monsters gave fatigue and numerous other changes. Thankfully the new version of Runescape did away with all that.
Quite an important part of the game was Player Killing (PKing) in the wilderness and Dueling in any location. The old version of the game had two distinct features that are now absent. There was the “three round” system where you were forced to melee with your opponent for at least 3 hits of damage. This resulted in the concept of being “3-hit” were for example, a person with 60HP could be killed by an opponent hitting 25, 15, 20 on them. This defined the majority of the tactics for PKing and Rangers and Mages had relatively little effectiveness. As for dueling, this was not limited to its own arena like nowadays so people would often request a duel at any location for the sake of a free teleport to Lumbridge. And around where you would respawn in Lumbridge, was where all the players met up to fight for their large stakes. It was a totally different art compared to how you duel nowadays. Notice the sleeping bag in the player's inventory below.
Lastly, some of quick points. Firstly is the comparison of Certificates in the old version to bank notes nowadays. I recollect spending many hours in Draynor Village long ago ‘certing' my lobsters so that I could sell them in large amounts to other players. This has to be the most boring thing ever as you had to run between the bank to the NPC and could only cert 25 items at a time. Secondly was the tactic of power mining or power fishing where you would perform that skill purely for the sake of gaining XP. This worked because once your inventory was full of ore or fish, you could carry on mining or fishing and the items you'd obtain would simply drop to the floor. In fact, I believe it helped many a miner on their way to 85 mining. And finally, what I was particularly fond of in the old version was the simplicity and cartoon like feel that came with the game – as beautifully presented in the below image.
So Happy anniversary Runescape on becoming five years old, it has certainly has been a period full of dynamism and change. Although this article mainly focused on the old version, I believe it did so justifiably because it was the original game that started everything off. Feel free to check out last week's article for commentary on more recent updates.
Did You Know...
...that because of the new The Enchanting Chamber minigame at the Mage Training Arena, cosmics have been in great demand because of the good experience gained enchanting there. As a result of that, cosmics have risen to higher prices, around 225-250gp each. That makes double crafting those at level 59 runecrafting a very effective money-making method. (Thanks Adam007!)
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