Boom! Did you hear that explosion? Bang Kaboom! How about that one? Can you even handle all these bombs dropped right on top of your skull? The Evolution of Combat, Player Owned Ports, Grandmaster quests galore (including The World Wakes), a proposal to reintroduce RuneScape 2007 servers, and now comes the final surprise: RuneScape 3. Bombs, one after the other, dropping on members' heads, coercing them to stay, tempting, seducing... and quite frankly, it works.
I can confidently say that in all my years of playing RuneScape, there has never been a more exciting time to play RuneScape. 2012 was characterized by a loss of faith in Jagex by the player base (or at least the vocal minority) due to unpopular marketing ploys (see the infamous Squeal of Fortune), yet that does not tell the full story. Towards the end of 2012, and this explosive beginning to 2013, Jagex has seemed hell-bent on regaining popular support and propelling RuneScape to the top of the game industry while repudiating those myriad prophecies heralding the end of RuneScape. As we can see, the world did not end in 2012, and neither did RuneScape.
Really, what reason is there to oppose this update? Nostalgic people prefer older graphics, true, but the introduction of more sophisticated graphics is pretty much objectively superior to older graphics, as far as objectivity goes in the gaming industry. Others may comment about increasing hardware requirements, but keep in mind that Jagex claimed RuneScape 3 will improve performance, not to mention the fact that you will be still able to use the client Java-based version if you prefer. Perhaps some people (like me) simply cannot keep up with how much and how fast RuneScape is changing, but change is inevitable. It is rather simple: either we get with the program or admit we have outgrown this game.
Indeed, this game is changing at a blistering fast pace, so let us discuss what kind of changes to expect. The brief Behind the Scenes video promises a world that you create, a world shaped by your choices and whims. Of course, this is absolutely mouth-watering for avid questers (provided that your choices cannot block off certain crucial content), but this is a "wait-and-see" example that relies fairly heavily on its proper execution. The new and improved game itself promises stunning new graphics which promote gameplay immersion (which I have written an article about). However, it is clear that these changes merely come with RuneScape 3; they do not constitute RuneScape 3. What exactly does that statement mean?
Stated simply, it means that RuneScape 3 is actually overdue. Those bombs I mentioned earlier are more than just pretty flashes which grab your attention; they are changing the face of the game itself. Someone who has taken a 9-month break from RuneScape will be utterly lost and confused due to the new interface of the Evolution of Combat, and he will feel lost when exploring the vast new content of Player Owned Ports. This player will have missed the most groundbreaking quest of all time, an essential plot development that changes the history of Gielinor forever afterwards. This player will no longer see the full Bandos and Chaotic Rapier setups which were so prevalent; instead, he will be greeted with new, high-level armor from bigger and badder bosses than ever before. He will not be playing the RuneScape he knew; he will be playing an entirely new game: RuneScape 3.
The culmination of major updates over the past few months is what truly constitutes RuneScape 3, and the overhaul of the fundamental structure of the game itself (from Java to HTML) will only enhance the conspicuous contrast between old and the new. Personally, I praise and applaud Jagex, for this is exactly what the company needed: a fresh face, a bold foray into the modern gaming. RuneScape 3 is already underway, so I merely leave you with one final question: are you ready?