Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Fall of Runescape / I'm Back

So, I realize now that it's been damn near 3 years since I last posted here, and my blog had a total of 2 posts up until today. Strangely enough, after running out of games to play, I found myself browsing Runescape's website. Glancing around to make sure no one was watching, I created a new account. I'm actually not terribly disappointed in what I've seen so far... but of course, that's a different topic for another time. As I detailed in my last post, this one will be about the downfall of the game I loved so dearly, chronicling eventually into exploring my other MMORPG adventures (SWTOR, WoW, Guild Wars 2, Runescape again). So, onward with the depressing story of Runescape's fall from glory, in my eyes, at least.

I would get home from school and immediately hop on Runescape. It was my first experience with an MMORPG, so it sucked me in and I was completely fine with that. However, like with many online games, once the vocal minority started to speak up, the company that created the game (in this case, Jagex), felt that it would be wise to listen to the fanbase.

What these companies have trouble realizing (I'm looking at YOU, Blizzard), is that the vocal part of their fanbase is typically the minority; many gamers don't have a presence on the forum, myself included. People tend to not praise the game either, typically they stay quiet until they get butthurt over some minute detail that wouldn't bother a respectable player. I'm going to try to avoid the angry rants and move on to exactly what Jagex did wrong.

Every year, Runescape gained more and more players. It's not uncommon for a game's following to increase over time, so I'm not entirely sure why they didn't anticipate more complaints. People would join the game, play around, and run out into the wilderness. The wilderness was in area in which players could freely attack one another, so new players running into the area were quickly killed and then they'd lose all of their items. These new players would then complain on the forums, rather than learning from the experience and not repeating their past mistakes. In response, Jagex put a trench by the wilderness, and when you tried to jump over said trench, you were given a warning message, saying something to the effect of:

"WARNING! The wilderness is dangerous, other players can attack you here!"

This, I was fine with. It didn't really hurt the experienced players, and it should have shut the newfags up... but here's where it gets ridiculous. People continued to complain about losing their items. After being warned, and catered to, they continued to scream at Jagex because they apparently just couldn't quite grasp the fact that this area was dangerous and if they didn't like it, they shouldn't go there.

I mean, I know it's so difficult to understand. It's very hard to figure out that maybe if you can die there, you shouldn't have all of your valuables with you. It's tough. You poor, poor idiots.

To follow this up, Jagex decided that they would remove the open wilderness entirely, and instead, they'd offer a minigame called "bounty hunter." This was around the end of 2007, and what was commonly referred to among Runescape's fanbase as "The Death of Runescape." This is what finally got the typically quiet players to rise up, and people literally started protesting the change (as seen in the picture). Never before have I seen a group of player in a game come together like that. Runescape lost a lot of subscribers at this point, including myself. Runescape's updates were already getting to be a bit, dare I say, 'casual.' The fans were already iffy. When this happened, everyone freaked out, and I don't blame them. The wilderness was an integral part of Runescape, and until this update, the only place where the free players could PvP. Jagex was quickly squeezing the life out of this game. The worst part was that, when you killed someone, they didn't drop their items. They dropped a little gravestone, and if they made it back to the gravestone before it disappeared (which was a long time), they got their stuff back. What was the point, now?

However, it doesn't end there. It gets worse. At the same time that Jagex wrecked the wilderness, they also catered to the players complaining about being scammed out of items. As in, old players charging ridiculously high prices for poor items, or switching out a rune scimitar for a mithril one when trading (see the picture). So, rather than telling these horribly stupid players to pay more attention, Jagex completely got rid of free trade. That's right. They began to set their own prices on items, and controlled the in-game economy by not letting you sell items outside of their set prices. You could trade for the item price, give or take 5,000 gold (which wasn't much). Now everyone had the best items in the game, because no one could take advantage of their craft. You couldn't smith a Rune Platebody and sell it for your own price; you sold it for Jagex's price.

Now, seeing as how I quit playing at this point (rightfully so), it wasn't until very recently that I saw the changes they had made. The players had lashed back after this, and Jagex quickly tried to console them with little insignificant updates. It didn't work. Eventually, in early 2011, the wilderness was returned to its former, open-PvP glory, when the players voted for the decision in a poll. Restoring the old wild won when 91% of the players voted for it... but that's something we can discuss later. This has been the fall of Runescape. Next time, I'll talk about my limited experience with Runescape after this happened, and then my current Runescape character. Thanks for reading.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Good Times: Runescape

Yes, Runescape was my drug of choice a few years ago. In this post I'll outline the best times I've had in Runescape, what I found that I loved in that game, and what I miss about it. Next post, I'll talk about the downfall, and what killed Runescape for me. Jagex, you all have small boners.

I can remember some of the greatest times I had were my PKing/PVP moments... and I am by no means a PVP type of person. I've always been more into PVE, and killing high level monsters, and raiding with my friends. One thing I liked about Runescape a ton was th
e fact that there was no grinding! Yes, grinding is an option, but since it was skill-based and not class-based, it never felt redundant. There was always something new to do, and so many skills to play. Unlike current games... where I kill 20 alligators and report back to Sergeant Sweet Tits. Well... you get the idea. I enjoyed not being forced to grind.

My cousin and I would go out to Karamja, I believe, and go into the volcano to kill Lesser Demons. Sometimes they would drop nice armor, and even when they didn't it was still fun to just sit around with friends and talk while you slaughter things. Especially bunnies. I also recall when Jagex started "upgrading" the graphics. One of

their bigger mistakes, in my opinion. It took away from the game, they made it too cartoony. Those Lesser Demons I once killed started to resemble the devil in the Tenacious D movie.

But one of my other favorite things to do was to make money. Because, unlike a lot of games in which making money means merchanting (which is boring), in Runescape, any money you made got you experience in a skill. If you were getting logs to sell to someone, you'd get WC (woodcutting) levels. If you were making bowstrings, you'd get Crafting levels. If you were just killing demons or dragons, you would get Attack, Defense, Strength, or Magic, or Ranged levels. Not to mention a ton of gold. But by doing that, Jagex let players make their own classes, and by doing this, the player economy was very good on all of the worlds. Of course, with all the good comes the bad. The fact that the game was free, and the actual "membership" was only $5 per month, meant that you got the little 9 year old kids that tend to think everyone is a "n00b."

Example being. Once, I was walking towards the city of Falador, to go to the bank and get some stuff out. I don't remember what. But this guy walks up behind me and starts following me. He goes,
"Want to buy some Weapon Poison for 10k?" Now, while I had 10k gold with me, I didn't think I wanted to. It was a good price, but if I got the materials, I had a friend with high herbalism that would make it for me for free. So. I said,
"No thanks, I have a friend that can make it for me." Then he goes,
"Fine, noob!" and runs away.


Most people don't know what the word noob means. There really isn't a meaning. It's just a more derogative form of the word "newb" which means newbie. The word has given me some good laughs though. Kids in that game throw it around like it's the worst insult in the world. It really doesn't mean much of anything. Just makes the user of the word look like an idiot. This is why we call the young player
s online (well, the annoying ones anyway) nooblets.

Another fun thing I did in Runescape was build my house. I'd have huge house parties, with like 50 people. Some friends, some strangers... Regardless of who was there, it was just full of food and duels and good times. It was like a the stereotypical tavern in medieval times. Just laughs and booze and sodomy. Not a whole lot of sodomy, though. Just dancing and head banging (insider).

One other great part of Runescape was the Dragon weapons and armor. The elites of the game were the Dragon tier.

◄◄◄Example of the Dragon Longsword.

Dragon longsword, Dragon chainmail, Dragon medium helmet... Good stuff. I had the longsword, battleaxe, and mace. Why I had 3 weapons,
don't ask. But I primarily used the longsword until I got the battleaxe, the mace just kind of looked cool. But you had to go on these epic quests to get them, and it was fun doing the quests. Whether it was the Hero's Quest, or... well, the D Long quest was something about fairies, I think. Hm. That's going to bug me. But I loved doing that. The quests in the game were all different, I could always run around pwning different things, making different items, no griding involved!

I don't know how much more I can say about the good times of Runescape. Yes, there were a ton of them, and I miss them dearly. Next we'll discuss the downfall of Runescape and why I can't stand Jagex now. It'll be a long topic, not for the faint of heart. Until then, play on.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Entering the MMO World - RuneScape

It all started in my 5th grade year. My cousin found this new game, on a level we had never experienced before! Now, because I was 11 and this was the year 2005, it comes as no surprise that this was my first MMO. This game is a browser-based Ultima Online ripoff known as RuneScape. Now, when I started playing this game, I thought it was better than sex.

At that point in my life, it was.

Running around, killing goblins, doing quests, wishing I could be a "member", getting my ph4t lootz.. it just never got old. I loved that game. The graphics were a bit crude, but I enjoyed it. As the game evolved, so did my cousin and I. I met a lot of new friends and had a lot of fun. I don't remember much from the beginning of that game. I just remembered that ever since they stuck me on "Tutorial Island" I fell in love with it.

What I do remember is the best times that I had. When I first started to make some extra cash. When I first learned to effectively PK. When I became good at PKing and PVPing. Honestly, this game taught me a lot just about problem solving and how to outsmart stupid people. Which is very useful. Anyway, below, I will talk about the good times that made me regard the world of MMOs as FTW. However, later, I will talk about the bad times, and what made me leave RuneScape... This blog will be a guide, of what to do and what not to do, and how to have fun in MMOs.

PKing. Player Killing. I was probably around level 30 or 40 when my cousin and I explored this one. There was an area in RuneScape called "The Wilderness." But we all referred to it as the Wild. This was an area in which you could fight other players. As you got deeper in the Wild, you were able to fight players whose levels were further from yours (i.e. if I was level 50, and in level 5 wild, I could fight anyone from level 45-55). I would take someone out into deep wilderness, running away from them, until I got to level 10-ish wild, where my cousin and some other higher leveled friends would kill the person following me. We'd loot, sell the armor, and split the earnings. It was a lot of fun. People would go out to the Wild to access things such as shrines, shops, or monsters that held powerful weapons. You'd wait until they had the powerful weapons, and kill them (or at least attempt to). My name in this game was Kitty11115. (please, don't ask. lol) and my cousin's was BigBoy111133. In the Wild, it went a little something like this.

Kitty11115 stepped into the Wilderness with Bigboy111133 at his side. In the wild, there were no guards. There was no safety. If you went in and came back out alive, you were lucky. Most didn't last long. Kitty motioned to BigBoy to come closer. Kitty held his Dragon Longsword, made of the finest Dwarven metal, tightly, and he held his Granite Shield close. Bigboy had sheathed his blade and pulled out his Lava staff, a staff capable of wielding an unlimited amount of fire and earthen power. He also toted a bag of death runes, law runes, and various other runes. A man equipped in full iron gear walked past the hiding place.
"Our first kill," Kitty said with a grin as he put on his Rune Full Helm.
"You can't be serious," BigBoy said, "he won't have anything of value."
"Of course he will! You're buying into his illusion. He's headed to the Chaos Shrine. That means he obviously has a Chaos Talisman. He's wearing the weak armor to make himself look as if he's poor." Kitty explained. BigBoy thought about this for a moment.
"Hmm... I guess so."
Kitty pointed at the man. "Get him."
Bigboy pulled the power of runes into his veins and cast "Snare," calling up the earth to ensnare the man to the ground. As the now stuck man scrambled to put on a suit of Rune Chainmail, Kitty ran at him. BigBoy cast Earth Blast, and knocked the man to the ground with a vicious crash. The man, dressed in Rune Chainmail and Rune Platelegs, got up to the ground and before BigBoy could cast a spell, he smashed BigBoy across the knee with a well-aimed blow from his Rune Warhammer. But by now, Kitty was already upon him. The man swung his warhammer at Kitty with brute force, but Kitty dodged and lashed out with his sword, cutting the throat from the surprisingly powerful man. He fell to his knees, and tried to speak but the only sound heard was blood sputtering from his throat. Soon, he was on the ground, bleeding into the soil. Oh well. He'd be back at Lumbridge in like 10 seconds regardless. But... that also means that Kitty and BigBoy get most of his items. As they took the pieces of Rune, and the man's money, not to mention the rune essence, they thought of all of the gold they would pull in from this load. BigBoy had an injured knee, but he'd just eat some lobster and be back in no time. Off to Varrock they went, with the loot in their bags. They'd find a buyer in the bank there, for sure.

Now that storytime is over, I must tell you that it really wasn't that glamorous. There was no sweet animations or plots involved in PKing. But it was surprisingly rewarding to kill and loot the idiots that were dumb enough to go out into the wild without being ready.
This concludes today's segment. But I'm not done with the topic yet. Soon, I'll discuss more of the entertainment in MMOs, my finest moments in RuneScape, and then the downfall of RuneScape. After that, I'll continue with the topic of online gaming. Until then... Well... do whatever, I guess. Check out the new, crappy Runescape, maybe. Peace.