There are many variables to any situation, but in the real world, one’s respect can be earned in a multitude of ways; maybe you have a well thought-of job, or possibly you live in a big house and drive a fancy car, or maybe you gain respect due to your age (with which comes knowledge, experience, and wisdom).
As with most large communities, many of the RuneScape person-to-person interactions can be viewed as relating to or applicable to real life situations. Although I will admit finding a large, three-headed, fire-breathing dragon in your average suburb might be a bit challenging, the kinds people you meet tend to fall into the stereotypical personae: the friendly ones, the immature ones, the helpful ones, the backstabbers, the cocky ones, and the ones who keep to themselves. In the real world, a good portion of a person’s success is determined by what hand life has dealt them. But RuneScape is different in the sense that, all accounts were started on a level playing field. We all started off with a bronze axe, some bread, a fishing net, 25 coins, etc; at one point in time, we were all in Lumbridge walking around probably asking, “where am I?” or “can you help me?” Personally, I find it incredible to realize that every person in this game has built their legacy from the ground up.
So the question is what determines respect inside a game such as RuneScape? Is it the items you own? Is it the amount of time you’ve been playing? Is it the way you interact with other players? Is it your amount of levels or experience you’ve achieved? It’s an interesting question to ask yourself. In my own opinion, I feel that the community as a whole places the wealthy and the high ranking far above the other criteria. Even if you consider yourself to be socially conscious, I’d like you to name the second and third ranked players overall without checking the hiscores…haven’t these players worked (almost) as hard as the top rank? What about the players on the other fourteen pages of the hiscores; they have all 99s, but receive little to no extolment or laud for their efforts. I’m not saying that this way of thinking is completely wrong, per say, but I do think it is a bit tainted.
It has long been accepted as an ugly truth that some skill capes are ‘easier’ to achieve than others, but I believe that they all deserve some level of praise and recognition. All skill capes require time, patience, and money (you still have to fork over the 99k to buy the cape eventually, right?). Where has RuneScape society as a whole drawn the line of having money over attaining levels or vice versa? In your own opinion, would you have more respect for the head of a merchanting clan with five sets of max cash or the player who possesses an account with both capped Mining and Agility XP? (Yes…the same person has 200M experience in mining AND 200M experience in agility.)
Being the owner of a maxed combat account, such as myself, has its advantages. While that might appear seemingly obvious in many ways, I would like to point out one that might not have crossed your mind: I don’t readily notice combat levels; the majority of accounts are green to me. The same can be said for level 3 accounts in reverse. This gem allows myself to simply not hold prejudices based upon a person’s combat level; in a sense, someone has a chance to earn my respect before I can subconsciously grade them.
Respect is derived from many facets: some I mentioned and many I did not; a well-balanced mixture of these spoken and unspoken qualities is needed to earn my respect. However one aspect that never fails to grab my attention is when I see a lower leveled account wearing a scythe or bunny ears; my mouth drops open in awe of their accomplishments: not only that they have stuck with the game for over six years, but because they are my RS elders.