I consider myself to be a dinosaur in RuneScape. Not because of my personal age, nor because of the length of time that I have spent playing RuneScape, but because I am part of a dying breed of RuneScape players. People who want to play RuneScape.
You see, for better or worse, through thick and thin, I love this game. I love what it as it is, I love what it's been. I'm weary of its future, but there are a group of people still involved in this game, namely the Gowers, that if I ever heard they were getting out of the game I'd very likely follow them out. I like to play this game. That's what sets me apart it seems. I like to play the game. I like to train skills, talk to a few people I know, kill stuff, and quest. I am quite the avid quester. It seems though that RuneScape is turning away from this mentality however. Jagex has in the past year taken a turn towards doing more for their community outside of the games they produce. Many may not agree, but I am of the opinion that their content has suffered in part because of this.
You see, I don't care about RuneScape videos or Machinima. I don't care about clans. I don't care about community organized clue fests. I don't care about attending community events or if J-mods attend said events. Again, like I said, I like to play the game. What has always set RuneScape apart, despite its status as a MMO, is that RuneScape was very much geared towards solo players that wanted to play the game. I loved that. I miss that. I think too much time, effort, and resources now go towards gearing RuneScape toward collective entities and people whose interest in the game lies outside of actually playing it.
I personally believe that the majority of RuneScape players are kind of like me. They want to play the game. They don't care about some Orb to help them make videos. They are looking for the next thing they can do in the game. They get aggravated when they see their company using an inordinate amount of time dealing with clans and YouTube video makers. However you are not going to hear about this because they aren't very vocal. They are too busy trying to figure out which quest to complete next or which skill to train.
First up is the soon, well next week as I write this, Orb of Oculus. Despite what is said about the update, I am aware that a lot of work has gone into this update. I don’t think that it will simply be a viewing of things from previously unused angles. This is going to feature cinematic viewing that has required a lot of time and effort in development. Is it cool? Probably, but for those of us who don’t care about Machinima this is monumental amount of resources wasted on something we’ll never appreciate.
Now the other half is their newfound focus on clans. I don’t think that clans are a bad thing per se, but in the name of “Clan Support” Jagex appears to be investing huge effort into accommodating them. I realize they play their own role in some people’s gaming experience, but I think their actual importance is very much out of proportion to their perceived importance. A majority of players that I have interacted with related me that they’ve never been in any clans. The reason that is most commonly given reason is because of bad experiences with clans.
In my opinion I think the reason why RuneScape has lost some of its luster, some of its shine, why so many people think it is dying and why the amount of new players has leveled off is because they have moved too far out of the zone that they excel in. They are trying to push too many boundaries instead of just trying to do what they are good at. When they put their focus into developing their games, it’s almost universally a homerun. That is why I have such high hopes for the new skill. If Jagex really stands for “Just about the Game Experience” then they need to be about the gaming experience and the community to handle itself.
RuneScape isn't dying. It's us, the dinosaurs, people that simply wish to enjoy the game that are dying.