It's no secret that many denizens of RuneScape believe in the "good old times." Stuck in a permanent sort of remembrance, they long for a time more innocent and more carefree. I must admit that I also feel this nostalgia at times. However, what pervades my RuneScape experience is not a constant desire to return to the past. Strangely enough, I tend to look in the opposite direction with hopeful eyes.
You see, I am stuck in a peculiar position where I am neither amongst the careful low levels nor the elite high levels. I am certainly working towards that elusive Bandos armor and Chaotic rapier, but it all seems so far away at times. There comes a point when the money-making capabilities of your character stagnate for a period of time while the prices of everything drastically rise. Thus, I slave away until I can finally accumulate enough to buy the dazzling Amulet of Fury. Having depleted my cash pile, I start to earn my bank again.
It doesn't stop with the money either. Suddenly, levels become far and few between as the experience for each level skyrockets. Whether I put in time or money, the skills become incredibly expensive and the benefits don't come soon. It's quite discouraging to see that you must double your experience before obtaining some small benefit. I follow up my hours of money-making with hours of skilling, but days go by before I start to see the fruits of my labors.
All around me, my options are blocked due to high requirements. Boss hunting is out of the question without a high combat or good gear. Good gear is hard to come by without extensive questing. Extensive questing requires high level skills in order to complete them. High level skills and good gear require copious amounts of money. Money is best earned through boss hunting. Words of efficiency swirl around my head, yet I cannot take any of the paths that efficiency dictates. I am at a loss, so I choose no option at all.
All the while, I dream of a time when I have nearly everything at my disposal. I will have skills in the high 90s with extreme potions and Ancient Curses. My full Bandos set and Chaotic weaponry will shred through the bosses with ease, opening a lucrative money-making option while simultaneously enjoying myself. No doors will be closed to me because I can train however I want to train. Life is good, and RuneScape will bring me joy.
Or will it? Nostalgia for the past is an elusive quest with no clear answer, yet an entirely optimistic view of the future is no better. The nostalgic, 'golden' times we seek of endless fun simply do not exist; our minds twist reality when we remember through rose-colored glasses. On the other hand, I am forced to confront a depressing reality: the idealistic future I seek does not exist either. More than likely, I will soon tire of what is available to me. Even with everything that I desire in RuneScape, I will not be satisfied. Ironically, I would probably turn backwards and be infected with the same case of nostalgia that haunts this population.
Even if this future does exist for me, it's not getting any closer. It still looms, impossibly far ahead, while I am unable to make a decision. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, yet I somehow lack the courage to take that first step. Now, I realize how pointless it is to dream of far-off luxuries, but the result of this is not discouragement.
What about the present, which we so often neglect? What can I do right now to make my experience enjoyable? It feels as if I have shaken off some chains, as the world of RuneScape becomes open to me. I cannot slay with my full Bandos, but what's wrong with slaying with a Fighter torso anyway? When was the last time I visited Darkmeyer and killed some Vyrewatch, just because I can? The only reason that these doors were closed was because I closed them myself. There's no need for a distant future; how about having fun right now?