Ah 2007, I remember it well. I was seventeen and still enjoying childhood and I was blissfully ignorant of what adult life held in store for me. The passage of time is inevitable though, and with it comes change, lots and lots of change. Sometimes change can be a hard pill to swallow—like realising you can’t be a carefree and irresponsible child forever. But by and large, change is a good and necessary part of life and no matter how fondly you may remember the past; living in it is never a good idea.
I can try and hide the topic of this article and make it appear enigmatic, but in reality, anyone who's anyone in the world of RuneScape already knows exactly what my metaphor of an introduction is all about. Players have been speculating for some time now that Jagex have been taking notice of a disgruntled minority of the player base who have been calling for a revival of some ancient relics, largely forgotten in time by the majority of present day players.
The relics in question are, of course, RuneScape servers that exist in a time bubble from 2007. Circa four days ago, Jagex confirmed the existence of such a project, much to the excitement/chagrin of the player base. Such a controversial announcement was never going to be universally greeted or rejected by 100% of the population (that would be boring), but is there a right and wrong answer to such a historically important decision in terms of RuneScape's current position in the world of MMO's? It's hard to be objective about such a topic, but I wouldn't be much of a writer if I didn't try, so here goes...
I may as well start with the most obvious factor: nostalgia. It's healthy to reminisce about times gone by, about things in the past that we used to enjoy and appreciate. Some people even enjoy the literal side of nostalgia, like watching an old cartoon they enjoyed as a child. Although I am admittedly neutral in regards to whether 2007 servers should return, I won't be investing any considerable amount of time in them myself. Yet, will I log in to them? Absolutely, but purely for purposes of curiosity; to see how much the game has changed and to reminisce about experiences I had in the game from days gone by.
There's always a dangerous line that many people cross with nostalgia though, and I just hope that players that vote for these servers aren't doing so with the hopes of returning to a self constructed memory of a golden age RuneScape. It is never a good idea to live in the past.
Of course, fun is subjective, and if players prefer an older version of Jagex's favorite child then nobody has the right to tell them otherwise. Even so, as much as pro-2007 players want to believe, these servers won't be a carbon copy, perfect replica of their fondest memories.
These servers will be an entire reboot of a six year old snapshot of the game and try as I might, I can't help but see these servers as a marvelous and potentially fascinating experiment. As far as the general populous is aware, there will be no grossly inflated discontinued items, no botted and devalued resources, no inflated currency and literally no economy. As a neutral party, I am fascinated by the prospect of witnessing a re-born economy grow from nothing to something and unless you were a player on the first days of RuneScape Classic, this will be something that many people will either not remember or have never witnessed.
At the same time, the potential repercussions of this on serious 2007 supporters, I feel, is not fully understood. It's ironic really, that one of the main gripes that people have with the affectionately dubbed 'EoCScape' is that the game is too easy, yet, one of the main gameplay aspects 2007 die-hards want is a quite rightly, working player killing mechanic. The simple fact is, the slow and technically masochistic nature of Jagex's 2007 experience rates, ensures all of the high end and worthwhile items in the game won't even exist for a long, long time.
There are a million and one aspects of this topic that could be scrutinized, and I would love to explore them all but for the sake of not rambling on for thousands of words, I have tried to focus on the biggest issues that a lot of players have in regards to a for and against format of the upcoming update. Perhaps the largest concern for players apprehensive towards the legacy servers is the potential schism that having essentially two different games will cause. It is a perfectly valid concern to have regardless of personal feelings towards the topic, and Jagex need to be cautious.
Cynicism aside, I truly believe Jagex want to make all their players, new and old feel catered for, and their aim is arguably that they want to draw players back to the game that they may have lost with the Evolution of Combat. Regardless of how popular the 2007 servers prove to be, the community WILL be fragmented on some scale. How balanced those scales will ultimately be remains to be seen though, and whilst Jagex may think they are bringing back a previously lost community with such a move, there is still a prevailing feeling that perhaps Jagex don't have enough confidence in the current games lifespan and subsequently decided to create a form of pseudo time travel for RuneScape.
In the end though, Jagex would have made their mind up about legacy servers long before the publicity poll was announced to the public and regardless of how successful the stunt turns out to be, we will at least know once and for all how divisive the release of EoC servers were.