NOTE: This interview has a Special Discussion Thread for all comments and questions.
When will the new PvP updates regarding Bounty Hunting be introduced? Will it be possible to player kill without taking part in the game?
I’m working on these at the moment. They’re actually being tested as I type so the answer is ‘as soon as humanly possible’. :D As was recently (although briefly) explained on the forums – you’ll be able to kill other players anywhere on these special worlds, with the Bounty Hunter gameplay built in on-top. This is soon to be released so I don’t want to spoil it too much but hopefully it will provide another option for those frantic for [PKing/PvP]. -- Mod Tim
I'd like to know about the combat triangle, specifically that melee seems to have a lot of high end content compared to ranged and magic. I'm talking about stuff like the piety and chivalry prayers that only melee players can get the full benefit from, and high end gear like the Abyssal Whip, godswords, stuff like that.
I suppose it would be nice to have a really evenly balanced combat triangle. As the game evolves; as players show preferences for certain styles of combat and new content is released it’s bound to change a the combat triangle. We are aware of this and hope to find and implement ways to improve balancing at the same time as not annoying players that have worked hard under the current system. We do read the forums (although we perhaps don’t post on them as much) so suggestions are always welcome there. -- Mod Tim
Will there be another Grand Master quest this year? If so, will we be seeing Lucien during this quest?
There’s no Grand Master quest planned along the size of ‘While Guthix Sleeps’ for release this year, but we’re aware of the need for high level quests and other types of content. So watch this space! -- Mod Tim
Will there be a new expansion or a new quest regarding the area south of Al Kharid in 2009?
I don’t think we can say anything on this matter. -- Mod Tim
Are there plans for a new "Special Quest" like Recipe for Disaster?
‘Recipe for Disaster’ was a collaboration between multiple developers to celebrate reaching the 100th quest. It was not only something a bit different for players to experience, it was actually a fun experience as a content developer as we often only write content together individually or as small groups. We’re always trying to do ‘special quests’ but I’m not sure if there will be anything quite like ‘Recipe for Disaster’ – I wonder what we’ll do for the 200th quest! -- Mod Tim
Will there be any more quests like the 'Making History' quest, in which you are in the past of RuneScape trying to figure out where it all came from?
That’s a good question for me to answer – ‘Making History’ was the first quest I worked on (it was actually part of my interview) over 3 years ago and I quite enjoyed writing ‘Meeting History’. These were never meant to be huge ‘epic’ quests but rather were made to satisfy those who have some sort of interest in the history of RuneScape. I’d quite like to work on another, but that does depend somewhat on what players are crying out for. There’s certainly plenty of history pencilled down for us to tell! Perhaps we can have the player going back in time to revive poor Snowy... ‘Barking History’
Could you confirm, and expand upon the idea that we will be able to change our Runescape user/display names (from Mod MMG)?
I don’t think we can say anything on this matter. -- Mod Tim
Any details as to any kind of major update to Magic (new spellbook, runes etc), or have we pretty much reached the saturation of the skill?
I think we fairly regularly release the odd spell. Rune-wise, there’s quite a lot to be getting on with, but I wouldn’t be surprised if another spell book pops up! I was lucky enough to add the Lunar Spell book which I really enjoyed. I[t] think because with magic, the possibilities are pretty endless -- Mod Tim
Herblore, Prayer, Farming, Hunter and even Woodcutting don't have any new abilities beyond a certain point (nothing in 90s nor high 80s) - any plans to add more? Possibly quest-related?
I’ll take Woodcutting as an example. This skill has been around since the birth of Runescape, and by now our players are getting pretty good at it. With the exception of the Cursed Magic tree from Spirit of Summer and the Elder Evil trees, there is little to unlock after level 75. At the same time however, adding high-level content is something that shouldn’t be taken lightly, and we would want to cater for our skillers as well as stimulating Runescape’s economy. -- Mod Trick
My final question regarding content in the future is - how far is Jagex going to go in reaching for the older teen and adult "WoW" market? A few years ago Jagex stated publicly that most of their customers were males under 15. Most parents are happy to send money to Jagex knowing that they cared about their child's safety (no, I don't mean "waahh I lost my party hat", I mean sharing phone numbers and school names etc.) Will Jagex continue that commitment?
First and foremost is our commitment to the safety of our players, whatever age they may be. We want Runescape to be a safe and enjoyable place for all. That being said, there is a desire to shift to a slightly more mature setting. We’re not talking about obscenity and nudity, but we don’t want to patronise our players so much. The changes won’t happen overnight, but what we may see are quests with more serious plot and player decisions, puzzles that require more thought, and a reduction in player pampering. -- Mod Trick
I know Jagex has announced they will be concentrating on skilling updates now that PKing has had its round, but will other clan related minigames be released? If so, what details can be given?
As with all future updates, we don’t want to spoil any surprise by telling you what’s in store. -- Mod Trick
How are the clan chat changes coming along? What new features are planned to be included that have not been suggested by players?
I can’t talk about future updates, but I will say that player suggestions are very much appreciated. I often look through the ideas our players post on the forums, and I’m happy to find everyone as enthusiastic about improving the game as we are. Keep them coming! -- Mod Trick
Are there any plans in the future for dungeons that are 'instanced' or that make having well coordinated groups a larger benefit?
Team-play is something we always want to encourage, and as you say, increasing the benefit gained through cooperation is the best way to sell this. As for ‘instanced’ areas, these allow us to create and modify a challenge uniquely for the players inside. The combination of these key features is something we’re looking into... and that’s all I can say right now. -- Mod Trick
Burn X - Myth or possible addition to avoid early carpel tunnel?
Myth. Making skill training more automated encourages AFK play, and we wouldn’t want to take away from the players who already did it the hard way. -- Mod Trick
How do Quest NPC's die such as Duradell, but we always respawn?
An interesting question. From a story point of view, it may be that the Gods smile upon the player. From making cakes in Cook’s Assistant to defeating Tormented Demons in While Guthix Sleeps, our protagonist plays a big part in the affairs of Runescape. Perhaps some deity is protecting our player for some greater purpose as yet unknown. As for a gameplay point of view: Perma-death is not to be taken lightly. The time put into raising skill levels and acquiring items is so enormous that wiping the slate clean, you’ll be glad to hear, is just not an option. -- Mod Trick
Has Trouble Brewing been looked at for balancing? For years it's been the case that if you just fill water you can max out points alot faster than playing the game.
As we’ve mentioned, balancing is a very difficult procedure to get right. Whilst I can’t comment on trouble brewing I can tell you that during the design of the Evil Tree, sheets and sheets of numbers, graphs and calculations were produced. Our Quality Assurance team is awesome at finding the things we’ve missed, but it’s often hard to predict how things will work when lots of players get involved. -- Mod Trick
Does Jagex have plans to expand our houses? Perhaps with more rooms or more storage? (For example : Armory, Rare Items Display, Pet pen)
Expanding our existing assets is something we always love to do, but we have to balance this with the value of writing new content. In the past, quest and minigame rewards have had an effect on the existing skills in game, and I think we’ll continue to see the same. -- Mod Trick
Aside from this interview, what other interesting aspects of this partnership do you have planned?
We’ve already started to offer the fansites we’re currently communicating with support in a number of areas. As well as continued support in these areas (more staff interviews, more event support and so on), we’ll be looking at new ways we can support each fansite. I think it’s important that we find out what kind of support fansites would most appreciate from us – it’s no good us offering loads of support in an area that they’re not really interested in and I’d much rather focus our efforts on something that’ll have a real impact. -- Mod Hohbein
What exactly is your point of view on Fansites?
They’re awesome. :D -- Mod Hohbein
What will happen to RuneScape once MechScape appears? Will the support for RuneScape continue as is, or will it start to dwindle over the years?
Not at all. MechScape is entirely separate to RuneScape (it has a separate development teams, support teams etc) and the level of support we offer RuneScape players will not be effected when MechScape is launched. -- Mod Hohbein
Not offence intended, but I'm sure the clan world would like to know why did Jagex took years to shift their opinion and finally start catering to clans.
We’re really interested in identifying and supporting the various communities that play RuneScape. We have some seriously dedicated players, and some fantastic communities already existing within RuneScape and we really want to start getting involved with them as much as possible. Clans and Fansites are just two examples of communities we’re really keen to support. -- Mod Hohbein
Does Jagex plan to hold future clan events, such as the Jagex Cup?
Absolutely. We’re always looking at what events could be fun, and as the Jagex Cup seems to be going down a treat, it’s something we’ll probably look to repeat in future. -- Mod Hohbein
Will pre-paid time cards come to other parts of the world soon?
We do have plans to release them in other regions in the future. We already have prepaid cards in the USA and Europe and are looking to introduce them in other places as soon as we can. -- Mod Hohbein
Does Jagex Plan to do anything to let adults exchange messengers or contact details?
This is not something that we plan to do. -- Mod Hohbein
Does Jagex plan to do anything with clan websites, such as white listing them?
Players mentioning safe websites/fansites in-game won’t have any action taken against them. We will still be taking swift action against players who advertise dangerous or inappropriate websites. -- Mod Hohbein
In the beginning you didn't really seem like fansites much (as seen by requesting all fan sites not to release a quest guide straight away for the Mourning's End part 2 quest), and obviously your views since then has changed (regarding fansites). But if there was one thing about fansites you could change what would it be?
I wouldn’t say Jagex didn’t like fansites – we’ve always appreciated the amount of effort they put in and, although we didn’t officially recognise any, we certainly didn’t dislike them. What would we change? Nothing, really! They know what they’re doing and they know how they want to help people – changing anything would kind of defeat the object of having player-run fansites in the first place. -- Mod Hohbein
What's the most expensive thing you've ever broken in Jagex, (RuneScape wise?)
I accidentally introduced a bug which involved a player getting locked into combat during ‘a soul’s bane’. They logged out and couldn’t log back in for days as the account was perpetually locked in combat until we gave their account a nudge (and fixed the bug as well of course). Ooops! -- Mod Tim
Do you have anything in store for camels?
We can’t neglect those poor creatures for long – I imagine they’ll be used sometime in the future. -- Mod Tim
Pie or cabbage?
Pie. -- Mod Tim
How many Jagex staff play RuneScape "for fun"?
Quite a lot. We even have a scoreboard within the company – trying to best our fellow colleagues! As I believe it is for many roles within the company: work is a much easier when you understand and know the game you’re contributing to. It can be really fun to play content you’ve helped developed alongside players, seeing how they choose to interact with it – the shortcuts you might not have thought of, the parts they find easy, difficult, annoying or fun. -- Mod Tim
For the staff who do play RuneScape - do they ever get upset at some updates like some normal players do?
I’ve never been upset, but then I’m lucky enough to have a good picture of why certain updates are made and can appreciate things more from behind the scenes. When I do see players upset it is often disheartening – writing content is a complex process and it’s not really feasible to give all players a 100% clear picture of all the intricacies. But feedback positive or negative is always useful. -- Mod Tim