Here we are in the year 2010, and RuneScape is still alive and well. I’m still alive and, well, that’s good too. How did I get here? How has it been so long and I’m still an active player of RuneScape? And better yet, how am I still a noob? To answer as many of these questions as we can, let’s go back to a younger and more innocent time. When men were men and sheep were nervous. Oh wait, that’s too far back. Okay, let’s only go back to a time before Syzygy in RuneScape.
***** fog rolls in and other superfluous special effects occur *****
Here sits a bored young computer professional. Okay not so young in Earth years, but inside he’s still young at heart. He has a lot of spare time on his hands and quite frankly, he’s a little bored. What to do with all this time? He enjoys strategy and simulation games. He enjoys PCs. He, in fact, has a new PC at home that is at his disposal. It’s only natural that he wanders onto the World Wide Web (as they called it) and searches out sources of entertainment to satisfy his idle mind. He finds a number of text-based games that satisfy him temporarily. He learns that he really enjoys setting goals for himself and then achieving them. Games come and go, never seeming to last for any significant length of time. He wanders in the vast wilderness of web based games until one day, the following conversation occurs.
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*conversation may not have occurred exactly as will be stated, but you will get the gist of it. Names have also been modified to protect those involved.
Me (my real name): Hi Other Player, how are you today?
Other Player (not real name): Good, how are you today?
Me: I’m good also. Pretty much the same as always. I’m here playing this text-based game like I usually am.
Other Player: I haven’t been here as much lately as you may have noticed. I found a new game to play that I enjoy. Maybe you should take a look at it and try it out.
Me: Oh yeah. What’s it called?
Other Player: It’s called RuneScape. It’s pretty neat. It’s not like this game. It’s not text-based. It actually has graphics. And even better, it’s multiplayer. Almost like a little world where you can do things and you can see other people doing things. Neat sounding, eh?
Me: Ya. What’s the address for it? I’ll go take a look at it a little later.
***** window pops closed *****
When he finally does as he says and takes a look at it, he becomes hooked. This is THE game. His activity in any of the other games he was playing dwindles to nothing and all his attention is focused on RuneScape, only because he enjoys it so much.
And that’s how it all started.
Of course, like most new players to any new game, I had a lot of learning to do. I was a noob. Some things took longer than others to understand. I can still remember my first death. Here I was wandering around outside Lumbridge, when I came across a black cape on the ground. Cool! A black cape! I like it. I picked up the cape and put it on. Next thing I know I’m being attacked. Where did he come from? Why is he attacking me? “Stop” I say and then I ask “Where did you come from? Why are you attacking me?”. I get no answer and I try to run away, but alas it’s too late. Curses! ‘You have died’. “Hey, where’s my black cape. Aw, man.” Later that day as I’m wandering around again, I come across another black cape on the ground. “Ya, right, like I’m gonna pick it up and put it on” as I run away. “Run, Escape!”. Only later did I realize that it was a highwayman and not another player, and that they spawned in certain areas. A few combat levels later, he wasn’t going to do that to me again.
Once I was able to defend myself from the mystical foes that popped up from nowhere, I felt more comfortable wandering the lands. Me and my trusty pickaxe. This is when pickaxes were of one type called ‘pickaxe’. I fancied myself as a miner and dreamed of one day being able to make my own elite armor. I vowed never to wear anything that I couldn’t make myself. Day after day I would swing my pickaxe at rocks and hope that I would be rewarded with ores. This was back in the days when the rocks wouldn’t tell you that they had ores waiting for you to pluck from them. Not a big issue when mining copper and tin, because they were almost always willing to give you an ore. But as I progressed I found the rocks to be a lot less compliant. By the time I was able to mine adamant ore, I found the rocks downright belligerent. ‘Give me an ore already!’ Months went by as I progressed in my endeavour to be a master miner/smith until the day of my first rune rock expedition. I’d heard things about this place called ‘The Wild’. There were supposedly 2 mythical rocks out there that would sacrifice rune ores if you tirelessly wailed away on them with your pickaxe.
This is where my noob alter ego crept out once again. This time instead of picking up a black cape, I made the mistake of mining one of these mythical rune ores. No sooner had it appeared in my inventory, than out of nowhere appeared another aggressive intruder. Here I was standing in my adamant armor that I had fashioned myself, thank you very much, peering into my inventory at one of these never seen by my eyes ores, and someone was attacking me while chanting ‘Die noob … muahahahahahaha’. Of course, I followed his instructions. ‘You have died’. Unlike my previous deadly encounter, I didn’t make the mistake of thinking my demise was tied directly to the magical appearance of a rune rock in my inventory. This fuelled my interest in following two new directions to avoid this occurrence again. I decided to get strong by training some every day by killing some of those guards that hung around the black knight’s fortress. (They worked for the bad guys, so it was ok). As well, in the meantime while I was getting tough and buff, I’d be more careful in the wild and be prepared for those that wanted my demise. Until I was stronger my fight or flight instinct would have to be flight.
It wasn’t long before I was more comfortable mining rune ore. I also found that once I could smelt and smith rune ore, that others who weren’t as able were willing to have me smelt and smith for them. Eventually, as my skills progressed, I was able to smith items that people wanted and had a thriving business of making and selling rune items. People would sell me rune ores for 12k each and I’d buy coal as well, smelt and smith bars and sell items for a 1k profit per bar. Before I knew it I had reached a goal of mine. I had reached level 99 in the smithing skill. I was a master smith. And it only took 2 years. Maybe I wasn’t a noob anymore!
Within days of me reaching this goal another event happened. Jagex was ready to release the newer improved version of RuneScape. We liked to call it RuneScape 2, although it was basically the same game. Things looked a bit different, including my characters mug. I no longer had a face that often made me think of a less than intelligent version of George W. Bush. I looked more like an adventurer who maybe knew what he was doing. But there was still some noob left in me. My training areas in RuneScape 1 weren’t as successful in RuneScape 2. But this wasn’t a big setback. Through some trial and error, I found a better location and my noob alter ego was only temporarily visible. Maybe, just maybe, that would be that last time I’d see him.
But alas that was not to be the case. Over time he would appear again and again for very brief periods. Every time a new quest, event, or skill came out he would wake up and once again be visible. Instead of thinking of this as a bad thing, I learned to embrace the idea of being a noob. And if I was going to be a noob, then I was going to be a big strong talented noob. So what if every now and then it showed through. After all, you’re a noob for a while and then you learn something new.
Time passed, my noob alter ego appeared, my skills progressed and eventually one by one I mastered each of the skills I applied myself too. Well, not really mastered, but I did achieve level 99 in each of them. No one knows everything about everything. And I’m well aware that I don’t know it all and never will. My alter ego is always there to let me know that.
And you now what? He’s right. Cause along comes a new skill... Dungeoneering. And once again, over eight years after I started playing RuneScape, I’m a noob once again. Yippee!