That is the question. Players now have the choice to play the broken, pay-to-win pissing contest known as RuneScape 3 or the inert work-simulator known as RuneScape 2. There is seemingly no “better” choice between the two, but there are individual parts of each game that are superior to the other version.
In RuneScape 2 (or Old School for now), we saw a simple point-and-click combat system with the only variation being from eating, drinking potions, praying, and using special attacks. Hits and hit points were standardized logically from 1 to 99. Protection prayers actually protected players. Weapons and equipment had logical numerical values attributed to them. In RuneScape 3 (or EoC for the time being), combat consists of eating and using abilities. Hits are arbitrarily multiplied by 10, 100, 1000, or whatever multiple they’re on now. Protection prayers may as well not be a feature. Weapons and armor have no consistent numerical values attributed them. One system is clearly a failure.
Winner: RuneScape 2
In RuneScape 2, most of the quests have pretty good backstories, but the stories in the quests themselves are more or less mediocre. RuneScape 3 on the other hand has better constructed (but maybe not as nostalgic) quests, some with voice acting and some with great detail and puzzles put into them. Try comparing, for example, Recipe for Disaster to While Guthix Sleeps. The puzzles, plot, characters, battles, and adventure are all significantly better in While Guthix Sleeps.
Winner: RuneScape 3
In RuneScape 2, training skills is a grind fest and nothing more. If you want high levels, you have invest a large amount of time into the game of serious clicking. Socializing and being distracted aren’t exactly options if you have limited time to play. RuneScape 3, on the other hand, is far too easy. Most skills can be trained AFK and amount to no achievement (regardless of how minuscule) whatsoever. They’re hardly anything worth noting. Anyway, RuneScape is still the same old same old regardless of what might be implied in this article. Skills have never been a strongpoint of fun for the game and they probably never will be.
RuneScape 2 had shaky mechanics at best. Path-finding is broken and will still randomly turn players around in the opposite direction while in the middle of running toward a desired destination. Getting around is tiresome as well with long-distance running often not being a practical method. Not to mention the interface isn’t very friendly (albeit, more simple). RuneScape 3 has the vast majority of the kinks worked out in the extra 6 years of development it had. Traveling, be it by running or some form of quick transportation, is far more convenient. The interface, while more accessible for not-so-casual players, is far more complex, though.
Winner: RuneScape 3
Similarly to the advantages RuneScape 2 had in combat over RuneScape 3, the Old School game has simpler PvP. With the traditional combat formula in place, making a pure is still practical. RuneScape 3 isn’t quite on par with PvP. While it does have Wilderness Warbands, which some may find fun, it overcomplicates combat with very large hits (that may very well be small hits), abilities, and misleading equipment stats. If you desire to know what’s going on during a fight, it would probably be wise to avoid PvP in RuneScape 3.
Winner: RuneScape 2
Neither game is better than the other. Which game you should play should be determined by what qualities you care about more in a game. If you care about PvP and combat the most, Old School RuneScape is for you. If you care about a stable game with good quests, RuneScape 3 is for you. If it weren’t obvious already, play whichever one you find more fun and don’t rant about other players who don’t have the same preferences as you. To each his own.