The month of June saw the return of Jagex’s monthly “Behind the Scenes”, often referred to as BTS. Behind the Scenes was removed at the start of 2009 and replaced with Developers Diaries, however many people remember what it was about - it was a monthly outlook at the expected updates for the coming month.
This all sounds well and good, most of us are eager to know what updates will be out soon, so we all love the BTS. However, we found that we loved it a little too much that many players took the predictions of the BTS to be set-in-stone truth. Then, when Jagex didn’t manage to get all the updates in for that month, or were having issues that delayed one of the updates in the BTS... a lot of people didn’t like it.
Nobody likes to be disappointed. Behind the Scenes updates give us something to look forward to. While it also reduces the disappointment when a system update comes and the update you were expecting doesn’t arrive, it also creates disappointment when Jagex can’t do the update that you were looking forward to. This disappointment, and subsequent anger, was why Jagex removed BTS in the first place. People were putting unrealistic stock in BTS and were getting extremely angry at Jagex for not coming through with their ‘promise’, despite the fact that BTS was nothing of the sort like that.
For those of us who took the BTS with a bit of a pinch of salt, realising that in a game as big as Runescape it is incredibly easy for things to just not work, the loss of the Behind the Scenes was a shame. It was understandable though, Jagex didn’t need the extra pressures put on them to force out updates just to comply with their BTS schedule. Because the updates were being hurried through, they were being made live with bugs and faults still present, something that annoyed more than just the players that saw the BTS as a definitive update schedule for the month.
However, after more than a year of Behind the Scenes being gone, Jagex suddenly brought it back. The BTS arrived to thunderous applause yet again. The BTS for June was well received, albeit quite a large shock to the community. The BTS for July was one packed with rather exciting new content. It came promising us a new quest, Dungeoneering 1.5 and a rework of the Treasure Trails clue scrolls, including a new set of ‘Elite Treasure Trails’. The first two were released and things were merry and bright... but not for long.
It was the Monday of the final week in July, people were eagerly awaiting a system update and the new Treasure Trails. They didn’t come. “Okay, well Monday isn’t usually when Jagex updates anyway. Most updates come out on a Tuesday.” Many players told themselves this, although others still went to the Runescape Official Forums and complained to Jagex that they should have updated already.
Then came Tuesday, the day most people were expecting the new Treasure Trails to arrive on. But yet again the update was postponed. The majority of sensible players looking forward to the update were now patiently waiting and wondering if there had been some sort of hold up. “Well even if it hasn’t been out yet, there’s three more days of the week for them to update yet. It’s not unknown for a Wednesday update.”
Then, of course, came Wednesday and instead of an update we were given a post on the Runescape Official Forums by Mod Emilee. A post on the RSOF about an update isn’t often a good sign, especially when it’s titled “Game Update Delay – No Game Update This Week”. Ouch. Cue the raging masses.
It turns out that the new Treasure Trails was accompanying a graphics engine update as well. This graphics update is the cause of the postponing, since when they were running compatibility checks they found that the update couldn’t run on lower-end processors. And, since Jagex strives towards keeping the game accessible for everyone, fixing this is clearly important.
Yet, the people complained and cried. There was outrage and fury. Jagex had promised the new Treasure Trails! How dare they postpone it for a week! They promised it! It’s not faaaaair! I have to make do with the thousands of hours of content already in game now! How on Earth am I supposed to entertain myself if I don’t have shiny new things to click every week?! We pay, we say!
To think, some people wondered why Jagex removed BTS. This is exactly why, the Behind the Scenes is not a promise or a definite schedule, it’s just an estimation of what they expect to be released this month. When working with computers and programming, you quickly learn that it is incredibly easy for things to mess up and become problematic over the smallest thing. Delays are almost guaranteed.
So really, the rage and upset over this is just rather stupid if you ask me. The update will be out soon enough anyway and there’s enough content to be getting on with in the meantime. And, if you think that you ‘deserve’ this update NOW because you’re a paying member, then the solution is to stop paying. It’s rather simple. I just hope that Jagex don’t decide to remove the BTS again just because of the players who can’t understand the difference between a promise and a prediction. I wouldn’t blame them if they did though. I’d be tired of hearing kids going “But they said!” too.