Recently, after coming back from an extended break from RuneScape, I decided to venture, once again, to the infamous RuneScape Official Forums (RSOF). While some already think that this is a foolish mistake to begin with, being an old time RSOFer with nearly 20,000 posts, I decided to check in on the status of the community, which is always viewed so negatively. Low and behold, and to my dismay, it was actually still very much alive. I could not understand what people would use RSOF for, besides the glorious rant section and occasional trolling.
Upon realizing that the community is still very much alive, I decided to dive in and investigate. Naturally, I started by looking through General Discussion, one of the most popular discussion boards. Again, to my amazement, it was almost in the exact same place it was before. It was littered with threads like rate the name above you, rate the adventure log above you, etc. Not to mention the various misplaced and locked threads scattered throughout. It was just basically the same. Even after years and many major game updates, the community remained the same...Now, being more curious than I was at the beginning, I decided to try out another popular forum.
With that in mind, I scrolled down and came across the Item Discussion forum. While the basic premise and livelihood of the Item Discussion forum was the same, the threads consisted of more efficiency based questions more than any other type of thread. This was something surprisingly different than what Item Discussion used to be, and it honestly, was quite expected. Nonetheless, the silly, simple questions still remained and there were still some popular thread topics that began years ago still being discussed today. While the specifics may have changed, it seemed as if the basics of what Item Discussion had been still remained.
Being a former, very active member of RSOF trading forums, I just had to check out how those forums were doing. I expected them to be nearly dead and only littered with a few merchants due to the Grand Exchange updates, but to my utter surprise, the bartering forums were all still populated with active trading threads. Most of the threads, with the exception of the Discontinued Items forum, were filled with legitimate buying and selling threads and this left me in dismay. Why would someone go to the trouble of setting up a thread where an actual interaction had to occur, rather than place the item in the Grand Exchange for their desired price and wait? Perhaps he or she was on an infamous Grand Exchange limit or they were trying to make a quick buck on some less knowledgeable forumer, but I was still surprised at the high amount of legitimate threads, in light of all the updates. Once again, another section of RSOF was just as active and the same as it used to be.
While I did not browse through every forum, especially all the new forums which I have had no previous experience with, it seemed, overall, that the RuneScape Official Forums were as high traffic as they had been in the past. Personally, I had expected player usage of RSOF to dwindle to an all time low, especially with the addition of one being able to place an item for any price on the Grand Exchange and with the official acceptance of, arguably more helpful, fan sites. However, I was left surprised. The forums were thriving — about the same as where I had left them years ago. I was only left with one question... How have they still remained alive? How have the trolls not taken over, especially with all the negative clout RSOF gets across the board in fan site discussion threads? Is there enough of an influx of new players to feed the forums or are they just that useful and integral to RuneScape that they cannot be uprooted from their previous position?