I'm sure many of you have heard the saying “it's the little things in life that matter.” With all of the major updates in Runescape lately garnering a substantial amount of criticism, I thought it would be a good time to point out a lot of the little things that Jagex does that go rather unnoticed.
One major element that very few people seem to make much notice of is the in-game music. Every quest releases at least one new track, many times two or three, and any time a new area is released adds another one or two. Take this month for example, with a quest, a new area, and the release of clan citadels all slated. Even on a low estimate, five new songs will be released this month alone. On the rare occasion there's a quest heavy month with a minigame thrown in, the count could reach seven or eight songs, all requiring writing, recording, and production. I know many people don't even listen to this music, as not everyone enjoys medieval themed instrumental music, but there's a lot of effort here that goes largely unnoticed. I myself like to listen to it once as I enjoy the new content, just to experience it the way the developers imagined and, more often than not, it really does make the quest or minigame more enjoyable.
Another aspect so many people overlook about Runescape is the absolutely massive amount of history and back story that is involved. I wonder how many of you saw the update this week releasing a quite expansive chunk of Daemonheim lore, thought, “Eh, lame,” and skipped right past it. There's pages upon pages of rather intricate storyline for even the simplest area of the game, and yet players pass over it without even acknowledging that it's there. I have no doubt that many people would find this storyline interesting if they took the time to actually read into it, but without making it necessary to everyday gameplay, which I'd very much like to see, it just doesn't get the attention it deserves. Now, I'm not going to fault you for it, because as I said, this lore doesn't matter much at all to the average player and is far from essential to enjoying the game, which I feel is rather sad when you consider the amount of work done to keep everything straight. Take a look around next time you do a quest and take the time to learn the back story of the area involved. You never know what you might learn.
A third, more visible portion of the game that players seldom acknowledge is the graphics. The graphics themselves may not be particularly stunning by video game standards, but I managed to take a wrong turn in Lletya doing a clue scroll the other day, and wound up in a rather beautiful area. Graphically updated yew trees stood near a small pond, with some rabbits hopping nearby, all crammed into a far off corner on the game that most players probably have never even seen on the world map, let alone been to. That insignificant piece of the game, yet so wonderfully crafted by Jagex, even knowing it would hardly ever be seen, made me have a little more appreciation for the graphics designers at Jagex. Even if you don't experience these areas in everyday play, give a little credit where it's due for the designers of these little pieces of paradise, instead of walking right by their creations like they're chalk drawings on a sidewalk.
Of course, I can't expect everyone to garner the enjoyment I do out of content like this. Put simply, different people enjoy doing different things. I would, however, like to pose you all a question. Are you really enjoying the game for all it's worth, or are you making a “speed run” and ignoring all the content that makes Runescape as complex as it is?