We all know that RuneScape has its flaws, which can be debated and argued about until we run out of breath, but if one person was to say that “the community is very much split” It’s a very difficult point to argue against. You would have to be a very oblivious person to not realize that, over the years, Jagex has become more community focused. This has been accomplished by running events, being in their clan chats a lot and spending more time talking to their players in a more general way. But, what are they doing for us?
Firstly, anyone who has played RuneScape for a while, and been part of the community, would know that RSOF used to be a ‘troll’s paradise’ – I personally never ventured anywhere near the general discussion forums and only used it for the Marketplace. Jagex wanted to fix it - they didn't want RSOF to be a place that most people avoided, but rather a little store of community chat and banter. So through Jagex’s attempts of community cohesion, trying to bring the community together as one via events, public debates, discussions and taking in player suggestions, the RSOF has undoubtedly improved immensely compared to what it was. Although it is needless to say that it has still got a population of trolls (though this is something you find on nearly all forums across the internet.)
Don’t forget that they’ve also turned their attention to the world of social networking. It’s hard to find anyone nowadays, who doesn’t use some sort of social networking, or at least be fairly aware of what it is – even just individual websites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. To keep up with it, Jagex decided to make the RuneScape Facebook and Twitter accounts, which release a series of hints every week for the next update – a pointless, yet nice gesture from the company. It also gives them a chance to talk and interact with their players in a way that was complicated in the past. One effort from talking to the community has already been implemented into the game – the notes system, a useful and handy feature which was suggested by a player. Needless to say, the best possible example of community cohesion and listening to the community has come out recently and is set to change the future of RuneScape for some time. I am, of course, talking about the Wilderness & Free Trade update.
Besides this, Jagex’s community support team also run a series of its own events. One such example is the ‘Banishing of the Revenants’, which saw players and Jagex staff alike hunting and killing the revenants as one. And one cannot forget the support they pump into RuneScape Fansites and their own event teams (take Tip.It and the Tip.It Events Team as an example) - it is no longer rare to see Jagex promoting an event, be it through Facebook, Twitter or the RSOF.
But with all this support being pumped in to the community, surely there is slack elsewhere? Well, take a look at the previous month’s updates. They'll generally show 3-4 updates and a lot of community updates/events, so the evidence clearly shows there's not slack in terms of giving us updates (although that doesn't mean that the updates themselves are not slacking). Jagex are still giving the dose of 4 weekly updates a month (generally), but now we also have a lot of community events running as well. So are they really slacking? I, personally, would say no.
With all this effort for community cohesion, can we still say that the community is split? Sure, we have our Player Killers, our Skillers and our average players who have very different ideologies. We have efficiency players, quest fanatics and endless different types of players. There’s no denying that a little event run by Jagex, or any other fansite for that matter, can’t make an effort in bringing them together. In my honest opinion, I think that they certainly are doing a good job with the Community Management team working closely with us. It gives us a chance to have our say, and have a bit of fun.