The Tip.It Times

Issue 15799gp

A Tour of RuneFest 2011

Written by and edited by Jaffy1

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Despite my desires, I did not have the pleasure of attending RuneFest last year. After seeing all the amazing photos and stories, I decided that I absolutely had to attend RuneFest 2011. And so I did.

RuneFest Venue
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This year, RuneFest was hosted at the Old Billingsgate in London, England. The venue itself was amazing - a great multi-story building with a gorgeous view of the Thames River and the London Bridge. But I'm not here to talk about the venue, am I??

On Saturday, October 29th MageUK and I arrived at the Old Billingsgate a little later than we had hoped. The doors of RuneFest opened at 9am for VIP members and we didn't arrive until a bit after 9:30. But on the bright side, that meant there was no queue in the VIP line! So we waltzed right in, Tip.It Guestbook in hand.

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Immediately we were asked for our t-shirt sizes and each handed a RuneFest bag containing goodies! We received lanyards with the schedule of events throughout the two days of RuneFest, t-shirts bearing the brand new RuneScape logo, a variety of concept art prints, name tags, pins, pens, and redemption codes for the exclusive RuneFest in-game item!


We walked around the ground floor of the venue and admired the general splendor of the area. Stalls were set up selling food and drinks, there were multiple canvases hung up on the walls for people to sign, a bar in the centre of the room for cocktails, and a variety of tents set up where you could have your fortune told or meet some Jagex Staff members!

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After taking in the sights, MageUK and I sought out our group of friends from Tip.It (including another administrator, Siobhana). The lovely Laikrob also presented me with a bribe gift of Sour Skittles!

RuneFest Admins

Then we all headed up the stairs to check out the VIP area. Outside of the main room were about 10 PCs set up for the VIP members to log in to RuneScape. Almost every PC was already in use! This gaming station remained quite popular for the entirety of RuneFest! The main VIP room was decorated in the Zanaris style! It was filled with mushroom chairs, sofas made of grass, and people playing music! You could almost see the fairies flying around! Jagex Staff members were scattered throughout the area and we immediately began chatting them up! I made sure to get the Tip.It Guestbook signed by Andrew, MMG, and all the other Jagex Staff members wandering about.

Soon enough it was 11am, which meant it was time for the first insider session on the main stage: A Decade of Gielinor. This insider session took us through the past ten years of RuneScape: from its creation, through RuneScape Classic, and up to where we are now. Andrew and Paul talked about what their original intentions were for the game and how their ideas changed and evolved as time went on. For example, quests originally served as a way to allow the players to "waste" time, explore the land, and make the world feel bigger (by making players constantly run back and forth or building annoying fences that forced players to run out of their ways, etc.). But now, there is a much bigger focus on adventure, storyline and puzzles. Quests are a lot longer and more complicated. And as quests got more advanced, there became a bigger need for quest guides!

RuneFest Quest Guides
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Can you spot the Tip.It quest guide screenshots??

At 1:00 pm, MageUK, Siobhana and I headed down to the CM Bar to begin setting up our Tip.It area. We came equipped with several hundred Tip.It stickers and badges, and a few t-shirts for special giveaways. We were provided with a monitor to put up the Tip.It homepage for people to view and for the next two hours we sat around meeting and talking to fellow Tip.It'ers! We were able to shake hands, answer questions, meet other fan site representatives, and of course, bond with the community management Jagex Staff members!


The CM Bar was conveniently located next to a real bar serving drinks, so the Tip.It admins never went thirsty! ;)

After our two hours at the CM Bar were up, the other administrators and I sat down to participate in a pub quiz, RuneScape style! The quiz was hosted by none other than Party Pete!


"Team Tip.It" failed pretty miserably in the pub quiz, but hey, at least we tried!

At 4pm, MageUK and I headed to our next insider session, A Character is Born - Part 1. In this session, the audience helped direct the look and feel of a new monster boss! We voted on the species, colour, number of eyes, and other physical attributes. As our votes were cast, we were able to see the results, and the concept artist would design the monster accordingly. The concept artist sketched the creature in real time while other Jagex Staff members sat on stage and spoke about what it takes to create graphics and concept art for RuneScape.


Unfortunately the other Tip.It admins and I missed two interesting main stage events at the end of the first day of RuneFest: Break into the Industry and the Golden Gnome Video Awards... but duty called! Mod Edu and Mod Zack pulled us and the other fan site admins away for a super secret group meeting! Okay so it wasn't that secret. We all got together to talk about fan site concerns, communication, and support in general. It was great to sit down together on mushroom chairs to talk about serious issues surrounding fan site life!

After the meeting, MageUK and I rushed off to make our dinner reservations, waving goodbye to day one of RuneFest. I know, I know, we missed the Halloween Party!

The next morning, we dragged ourselves out of bed at about 8:30am and hopped on the Tube to make our way back to RuneFest, where Siobhana was waiting for us at the CM Bar. We once again got our Tip.It Stall set up and prepared for another day of guestbook signing and handing out merchandise. We even got Party Pete to sign our book!


At about 10:30am, I was shocked when a fellow Tip.It'er, bonus_malus, came rushing up to the CM Bar with two cups from Starbucks, one for me and one for Siobhana! That Grande hot chocolate with no whipped cream gave me the caffeine I needed to really start off the day! We graciously awarded him with a nice Tip.It t-shirt!

The CM Bar was located just above the very popular gaming pit, where probably over 50 PCs were set up for people to play RuneScape! At around 11am, MageUK and I grabbed our bags of merchandise and headed down to the pit to get everyone in the Tip.It spirit.


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While people skilled, PKed, battled JMods, and tried out the new Dominion Tower, we pinned them with Tip.It badges and handed out stickers!

When we returned to the CM Bar, Teezkut - a well-known RuneScape artist - was waiting for us. We were all excited to meet him because he is the recent winner of our Tip.It Real Life Clan Citadel Competition! We grabbed Mod Edu and presented Teezkut with his prize, a beautiful piece of Clan Citadel concept art signed by a wide variety of Jagex Staff members! Below you can see Mod Edu (right) presenting Teezkut (left) with this awesome piece of concept art.

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At 1:00pm, MageUK and I attended the Community Matters insider session with the head of community management, Mod Baker011. Throughout the previous day, RuneFest attendees were allowed to fill out cards with their community questions. These questions were then placed in a box, from which Mod Baker011 drew questions to respond to. These questions and answers included:

Will we ever be able to have forum signatures or post videos and images?
The RuneScape website and forum are both undergoing major changes and we will hopefully see these features in the near future!

When will Jagex start recruiting for more player moderators and forum moderators?
Jagex is working on getting both of these teams polished up and squared away. They want to work on releasing more specific guidelines for these teams to bring everyone onto the same page. Once both teams have been overhauled and polished, they'll work on increasing the numbers.

And a general note to the public.. beware of Mod Baker011. He likes his nerf guns.


This particular insider session wasn't all serious. At one point, a JMod decided to have a bit of fun in-game... ;)


First, the audience participated in a vote. We were asked to pick which type of creature to spawn and where to spawn them! As you can see from the results, we chose to release "cute creatures" in the Grand Exchange!


Then, the Jagex Moderator made his way to the Grand Exchange (one click teleport via the map) and fired up his Rotten Potato.

Check out that inventory! ;)

The "CM-Tool" option is what allows Jagex Staff members to spawn creatures and perform other fun actions. After spawning cute creatures, the JMod then went a little crazy with hands, zombies, and other monsters! No TzTok-Jad, unfortunately!

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The next insider session was the RuneQuiz. Before it started, the other Tip.It admins and I headed backstage to add to the pile of prizes. We contributed three Tip.It t-shirts, signed by most of the JMods who attended RuneFest!


While Siobhana got her own t-shirt signed by the RuneQuiz host, Mod Clark, we snuck around "behind the scenes" and chatted with the relaxing JMods... and tech guys!

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Then... it was time for the quiz!

Like all of the previous audience votes, each person was given a vote casting device to participate in the quiz. After a little over 15 questions, the results were tallied. They used the serial numbers of the voting devices to determine the people with the three highest scores. These contestants were brought up on stage to battle it out for first, second, and third place... with a twist. They weren't supposed to continue answering questions, they were supposed to guess which response would receive the most votes from the rest of the audience! Mod Clark would ask the audience a question, we would respond, the three constestants would write their guesses down on pieces of paper and hold them up, then the results would be posted and they would receive points according to the percentage of votes that their guess received.

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And as promised, each contestant was awarded with JMod-signed Tip.It t-shirts, along with other prizes provided by Jagex! Oh and did we mention that each t-shirt was lovingly kissed by Mod Poppy??


Next up was the Greatest Glitches insider session! In this session, representatives from the quality assurance team came up on stage and spoke to us about their duty: ensuring that the game is as bug-free as possible! Now if you consider how many NPCs, objects, quests, and skills are in the game, their job suddenly seems a lot more difficult!

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Imagine having to check each and everyone of those objects! Yikes! It looks like they do a pretty good job though!

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The QA team showed us a variety of screenshots of funny glitches and told us a couple of their favourite stories. They also explained a few of the QA tools they have available to them.

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They have a "Greater Demon Punchbag." As you can see, this monster is an insane level 1708! Think you can take him on??? This monster allows the QA team to easily test new weapons and spells without having to worry about killing monsters too quickly!

Here are two funny glitches for you to chuckle at...

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I was a little disappointed to find out that they didn't discuss any of the major glitches (like 6/6/06 or the recent Ring of Wealth/Corporeal Beast glitch, etc.). Those were the glitches I was expecting to hear about, considering the title of the session: Greatest Glitches. The glitches they did talk about were more amusing than really interesting.

After that session, I attended part two of the A Character is Born session. If you remember, the first session was all about concept art and the beginning stages of graphics creation. This second session was about 3D modeling.

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In the above photo you can see the concept art from the day before on the far left, the 3D model as the artist creates it on the right, and four JMods standing on stage. As the artist worked on his model, other JMods from the graphics department talked about concept art, 3D modeling, animation, and how they all fit together.

The last insider session, but certainly not the least, was RuneScape 2012. As the title suggests, this session was all about upcoming updates! But first, Mod Mark brought a few RuneFest attendees on stage to congratulate them on their awesome RuneScape costumes!

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Mod Mark, the lead designer of RuneScape, gave us a sneak peak into his crazy ideas and plans for the game.

First, Jagex is planning a revamp of the armour in-game! Don't freak out.. we're just talking cosmetics here! They want the armour to look more like individual pieces and have more character and interesting elements. Right now a lot of the armour pieces (especially the "noob" ones - like full bronze) look very plain, dull, and don't have a high level of detail. I think we can all agree that the planned updates will change that! below you can see a few pieces of concept art and the actual RuneScape 3D models (on the right side of each image). The concept art shows the original ideas and the models display how the characters and armour will look in-game.

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Due for release sometime this month, we have a brand new magic-based slayer dungeon! Below are actual screenshots from the update.

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And finally, we were shown a few pieces of concept art that illustrate Mod Mark's ideas for the future. First up is the RuneScape Olympics!

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Mod Mark envisions the olympics being just as you'd expect the olympics to be... but RuneScape style. Instead of your typical shot put, maybe we'll be throwing gnomes! Instead of ribbon twirling, how about twirling abyssal whips? If you're hungry for competition, you're bound to love this future update!

The next update Mod Mark discussed was very vague. He made it clear that this idea is still very much bouncing around in his head and he isn't quite sure which direction it will take.

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Mod Mark said that people keep coming to him saying that they love having the Wilderness and PKing back, but they miss a few aspects from Bounty Hunter. They like having a specific target to kill. From there, Mark started thinking about ways to make Bounty Hunter a bit more interesting. What if there was a weapon given to a RuneScape player by the Gods? This weapon makes the wielder more powerful than any other player. But because it makes the person so powerful, it makes everyone else want to kill that person to claim the weapon.

Next up... drumroll please... SAILING!!!!

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Just kidding! These are "player owned ports." The idea is that people (I assume NPCs) go out on their boats, go on adventures, and bring back resources and high level (80-99) recipes for you to use. It was not clear as to how this update will take form. It was compared to player owned houses, so does that mean it will tie into the construction skill? I suppose only time will tell.

And guess what guys! We will soon have two new monsters joining us in-game. This is Jagex's way of revisiting old content. Game updates aren't just about adding completely new areas, events, and characters. Sometimes it's important to look at old content and think about how you can expand upon it and revisit it. So some of our old favourite monsters are getting companions!

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Kalphite King
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Queen Black Dragon

I personally think the Kalphite King's concept art looks epic!

After our sneak peak into Mod Mark's imagination, it was time to celebrate 10 years of RuneScape!

Jagex commissioned the creation of an incredibly detailed RuneScape-themed cake. The cake was created in Baltimore, Maryland and then shipped to London, England! When it was on display, everyone assumed it was a clay model.. we were shocked to find out that it was actually a cake! I bet you want a piece of it ;)

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Unfortunately, this amazing cake couldn't last forever. Despite our best efforts, we couldn't stop MMG from cutting the cake to bits.

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Once the cake had been cut, we all rushed back out into the main room to celebrate with cake, champagne, and an awesome drop party (complete with party hats)!



In conclusion, RuneFest was an amazing event. Not just because of the decorations, the games, and the insider sessions, but also because it was an amazing opportunity to meet the people that I've been talking to online for months or even years. I was able to sit down face-to-face with my fellow Tip.It administrators, Jagex Staff members, and other in-game friends. I'm disappointed that there seemed to be too many events and too few hours in the day... but hey, there's always next year!

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Do you have any thoughts or comments about this week's articles? Want to discuss these articles with your fellow RuneScapers? We invite you to discuss them in this forum topic.

Tags: Events Real Life

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