Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Runescape: The Glory Days

*Disclaimer: This post will deal with Runescape as it was played years ago, not the new Runescape that most people play now.  Some people call this Old School Runescape.  I call it the Glory Days.*

I first started playing Runescape in September of 2003.  This was way back in the day, long before Runescape became the most popular free MMORPG of all time.  The plot was simple.  You created your own character, and did whatever you want. 
Runescape Classic: When things were Simple

There was no clear objective to do, rather you could do whatever you wanted.  If you wanted to kill monsters and enemies, go ahead.  If you wanted to chop down trees, catch shrimp, and cook yourself a nice dinner, be my guest.  If you wanted to just walk around and talk to other players and meet people from around the world, do it.  Nobody is stopping you. 

A bunch of players hanging out.

As time passed, the game evolved.  A year or two after I joined, Runescape 2 came out.  Runescape 2 made Runescape 1 look like a Beta version.  The graphics engine was entirely revamped, and so was the combat sytem.  It was like an entirely different game in itself.  It took a while for me to adjust, but when I did, I found it a lot of fun.

Runescape 2: A complete Graphical remake of Runescape 1

The best part of Runescape for me was the fact that it was an MMORPG.  I found it a revelation that I could talk to random people from the comfort of my bedroom.  There was a friends list where you could add people you have met.  Adding people to your friends list would give you an alert whenever they logged on.  Therefore, you would know when your friend was playing, and could coordinate hanging out with them online.

At the height of Runescape popularity.

It didn't take long for Runescape to become very popular.  At the height of popularity, there would be over 200,000 people online during peak hours of the day.

My favorite part of Runescape was playing a mini-game called Castle Wars.  I have easily spent over 2000 hours playing Castle Wars, and I do not regret it one bit.  Castle Wars is basically Capture the Flag.  There is a flag in each castle, and you have to steal the enemies flag and bring it back to your own base.  At the same time, you have to prevent the enemy from stealing your flag and running back to their base.  A game lasted 20 minutes long, and the team that scored the most points was declared the winner.  Even though the game seemed simple, there was a high amount of strategy involved.  There were specific Clans people made that you could join that were dedicated to Castle Wars, and I was a part of one of them.   

Two opponents meeting each other in Castle Wars

You may be wondering: Do I still play Runescape?  Sadly, the answer is No.  I stopped playing in May of 2012.  The next question to ask: Why?  Is it because you grew up?  No, that is not the reason.  The reason I quit Runescape is I did not like the updates and changes that the company was making to the game.  Starting in 2011, Runescape became more "money focused" rather than "content focused".  It seemed like the content that they were required you to spend real money to fully enjoy them. 

This picture shows the graphical improvements of Runescape

In addition, the community changed.  The days of people playing Runescape for fun and enjoyment was over.  Now, it was all about "Who can get to the highest level in the fastest amount of time?"  People were complaining about how long it took them to level up, and how boring it was doing the same thing over and over again.  To these people, it was like playing Runescape was a chore, not something to be looked forward to.

Monster Hunting in Runescape: Killing the King Black Dragon

Having said all that, Runescape still was a great and amazing game.  The concept of an Adventure game, where you can explore and do whatever you want: killing monsters, go on Quests, talk with people from around the world, was revolutionary for me.  And all those hours I spent playing Castle Wars, playing until my eyes hurt from staring at the computer screen.  Those were the days...


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