If you’ve been playing RuneScape for any meaningful amount of time, then it’s almost unheard of to be a person who never, even once, spends some time reminiscing of the past. But surely, considering that there is no way to go back, people would easily let go of that past - of the supposed ‘Golden Age of RuneScape’?
Apparently it’s not very easy to let go. It’s almost unheard of to live in the world of RuneScape without ever hearing people complaining about how ‘good it was back in 2006’. But what do they mean, and why must they constantly feel the need to tell everyone about it?
Well, it’s easy to see why they would do this. One can’t go to a RuneScape forum without noticing 3 or 4 threads about the topic at hand, the topic of ‘the good old days’. It’s simple; the people who are, seemingly, stuck in the past want to get their message out across the communities of RuneScape so that, in their efforts, they might gain followers and cause a rollback, as I’ve heard from many of these players. They want to convince Jagex that the game needn’t progress any further and that the game has never been as good as it was in the Golden Age of 06.
It is almost a ludicrous thought. Jagex don’t do rollbacks, and on the rare occasions that they do it is to fix a serious error, such as the Runecrafting Experience glitch in Dungeoneering. Jagex will still have a version of Runescape, stored away somewhere, that still exists in the Golden Age, but they would need to be out of their minds to undo the last 4 years of work, investment and advancement.
Yes, I understand that, after so much complaining and reduction in the amount of players, Wilderness and Free Trade were brought back into the game, but that is far more significant. By bringing back those game mechanics back into RuneScape, Jagex also brought back the PKers, Pures, Skillers (who supplied PKing) and thus brought more money back to themselves, in terms of paying customers. Some might say that the bringing back of the Wilderness and Free Trade was simply an investment. But what kind of investment would rolling back to a pointless date in ’06 be? So that Jagex would just have to restart their updates, again, and in turn lose money, time and their efforts? I think not.
So this leads me to question what is so alluring about the past that some players cannot let go of it. Well, it’s enough to say that it’s just like real-life. In many different aspects of life, people will hearken back to ‘the good old days’, for example you may hear kids of the 90’s talk about how when they were kids everyone would play Pokemon on their Game Boys, watch ‘good’ cartoons and talked to their friends in real life, not through Facebook or on their new iPhone. Runescape is an entity like any other, there’s a sweet spot which people will want to return to, or lament how it doesn’t exist anymore.
RuneScape is a game where, almost every week, there is something new, things change rapidly. Some instances of content in ’06 were… well… almost everything we have now. The Wilderness and Free Trade is back, which is something players wanted back above all, and has been improved and is on the whole, a lot more user friendly… so what is it? What is missing from RuneScape in 2011 that RuneScape of 2006 had?
Although, that said, there is an issue - not with what's missing, but rather, with what has been gained. Over the past year we have received several updates that make changes to existing skills, and, in turn, make them easier. As touched on by last week's articles – ‘Dying Content’ and ‘An Urn-est Attempt’, Urns are an example of this. It's a pretty easy way to gain additional skilling EXP, and prayer EXP if one uses the Prayer Urns. As a result of updates like these, such as Effigies, skills have become easier with time, and a lot less challenging. But, unfortunately, that's how games have to work. Surely, if Mining was as hard as it was before the Living Rock Caverns, then the number of players taking an interest in the rewards Mining can reap would be dramatically cut. Updates like these serve not only as refreshers, but also as attention grabbers and Member makers.
However, there is one question left unanswered. Why is there constant complaint about the way 2011 RuneScape is, to the way 2006 RuneScape was? Many people make RuneScape seem as if it were two different games, which it is not. RuneScape is a game, and it needs updates to survive and to pull in new players and, in turn, players with paying credit/debit cards (or whatever way one pays for membership nowadays). And, when it comes down to it: what’s done is done - it will never come back.