RuneScape players are finally getting something today that they’ve been wanting for half of forever: a mining and smithing update, or at least the beta for it. Pretty much every content–related article we’ve posted on RuneScape’s plans since 2015 has touched on the desire to make this oft-requested update happen. And now it’s finally here, albet it in beta format.
Don’t look at me – RuneScape players have always been unfathomable.
In Mining and Smithing 2.0, expect “the ore bag, upgrading equipment, decorating equipment, heating with the forge, non-competitive rocks, new tiers of metal and much more!” Jagex promises. Since it’s a beta, “You’ll find yourself locked into one small area with all the Mining and Smithing content you’ll need. You won’t have access to anything else, including the Artisans’ Workshop, cannonballs, mining outfits, auras, familiars and the toolbelt as these haven’t yet been updated.”
There was a time when it seemed like the downloadable client was going to be an inevitable casualty of the march of technology. Games like City of Steam bet themselves entirely on the idea that you could just play a full MMO in your browser, no client download needed. Why waste time with streaming clients like World of Warcraft or Guild Wars 2 when you could just load up your browser?
Except that anyone with memory will realize that’s not even close to what happened. While various games have experimented with lowering the time between “start downloading” and “start playing,” at the end of the day we’re still downloading clients to play. It’s arguable that having more MMO options on central services like Steam has actually done more for availability, as you don’t need to hunt the titles down individually.
But just because there was never a huge sea change that completely rewrote the way we download and play MMOs doesn’t mean that the core idea doesn’t have merits. A browser-based game has a smaller footprint, after all, and it also means you can play from a wider variety of computers. Heck, some games like RuneScape have done quite well while embracing browser clients. So what do you think? Would you like to see more MMOs offer browser-based clients? Or was that a notion that’s really been made obsolete and irrelevant with more mobile gaming options?
It comes with the territory of Old School RuneScape that players are more interested in the systems and content offerings than the visual pizazz. And while there are those that actually find the retro graphics charming, there is always room for improvements.
Jagex is putting out an update this week that adds many graphical enhancements that have been in the works for a while now. This also marks the start of the “Quality of Life Month” for the game’s development focus, with improvements to Mage Arena II, better user interface functionality, and a couple of dozen other suggestions from the playerbase that the studio put into practice.
And it’s neither here nor there, but did you know that Old School RuneScape is turning five years old on the 22nd? Pretty amazing that this experiment has thrived and lasted so long!
If the newer version of RuneScape is more your jam, then you’ll probably be very interested to hear the plans in the video below that the team has for February. Here’s a quick preview: rework, rework, rework!
Legacy, vanilla, classic, progression – call them what you like, but alternative server rulesets, particularly of the nostalgia-driven kind, are all the rage in 2018. Just since the dawn of the new year, we’ve gotten a new server type for Age of Conan, with RIFT’s on the way – not to mention World of Warcraft’s looming in our future. And those are just the new ones! Games like RuneScape, EverQuest II, and Ultima Online already run similar servers.
That said, does every MMORPG need one? Aren’t some MMORPGs already in pretty good shape without needing a spin-off for nostalgia’s sake? Is it in every MMO’s best interests to prioritize, on some level, the very older ideas it intentionally left behind? That’s the question I’ve posed to the writers this week: Are there any MMORPGs that should stay far, far away from legacy servers, and if so, why?
Looking forward to playing some Old School RuneScape on your phone or tablet this year? That day is getting closer all the time, and a new blog post shares how much space and data the app will use.
The base application for the mobile MMO is 30 MB, which is certainly on the small side. The team estimates that the game will use
about 103 MB of data transfer and between 8% and 12% of battery charge per hour of gameplay. [Jagex has since said this figure is not accurate and it is working on a better estimate.]
The team said that it is laying the groundwork for future updates on both Android and iOS: “An MMORPG which receives weekly content and engine updates is somewhat a new concept in mobile gaming, and so one area of difficulty we had to navigate was the manner in which app stores vet app updates. We’ve been engaged in discussions with both Apple and Google to ensure the app is fit for being on the stores, and we’re making good progress with both!”
Over in regular RuneScape, new features such as Aura Management are being added to the game in response to player feedback. “More bank space and less faff” are the results of this change.
Remember way back when MU Ignition first went into beta testing? You know, back in the wild days of early January? Because it’s launching on January 23rd, so there’s no time for reminiscing. There’s no time for anything. This is MU Ignition, we do everything at top speed and we may very well scream into a camera like an ad for the world’s worst energy drink while we do so. Intense!
The game is offering rewards for everyone who pre-registers for the game between now (January 16th) and January 22nd, as well as everyone who shares the game’s 18-second announcement trailer on Facebook. And it’s a browser-based game, so that means you won’t have to worry about downloading a client if you’re curious about trying it. At least you can’t lament the game lingering in beta forever, that’s something.
Can’t decide between your love of two popular geek fantasy franchises? Come on over to Crowfall, and you can enjoy both!
The Crowfall art team is happy to announce that work has progressed on two additional gender/race combinations, the male Nethari and the male Half-Elf. The latter can give thanks to pop culture for his outfit: “The inspiration for their gear was a bit of the Night’s Watch from Game of Thrones and a bit Ranger from Lord of the Rings. Shrouded in dark fabrics and leathers, they blend into the night and the shadows and walk among the creatures of the world without notice.”
These racial options should be in the game soon. Players who pick the male Nethari can roll up a Confessor, Templar, or Assassin, while the male Half-Elf is all about being a Ranger, Assassin, or Druid. Next on ArtCraft’s plate? The male and female versions of the High Elf. So many Elves, so little time.
Get ready to “juice your sq’irks,” whatever that means, because RuneScape is hitting 2018 at a dead run. Looking at the year ahead, Jagex had plenty to say about some of the content coming to the game over the next several months.
Upcoming events and patches include a giant eyeball dungeon, RuneScape’s 17th birthday (with cake!), a divination outfit, more use for gems, benefits from the bank rework, and an aura interface. And that’s just January.
“The move away from expansions bears fruit, and the fruits are juicy,” teased Mod Raven. More fun additions and changes are planned for the spring, such as a Robin Hood outfit, a clue scroll log, deep sea fishing, a group ironman mode, a minigame hub, a calendar of events, and the launch of RuneScape Mobile later this year.
Believe it or not, but 2018 marks the fifth anniversary of the debut of Old School RuneScape, the 2007-era version of the MMO that has proved to be just as popular (maybe even moreso) than the regular edition. And kicking off the celebrations this year is a brand-new world-spanning quest that just so happens to be a sequel to one of the game’s most popular missions.
Dragon Slayer II is a story of “intrigue, unforgettable battles, and high-end rewards,” according to Jagex. The quest is designed to be challenging and for experienced player, utilizing both combat and puzzles in its design. Players who beat it will gain access to the highly useful Myths’ Guild.
“More than 16 years after the original Dragon Slayer quest launched and gave players their toughest challenge, we’re giving them an even grander challenge to overcome with Dragon Slayer II, one of our most memorable adventures yet!” writes Senior Product Manager Mathew Kemp. “2018 is a real milestone year for Old School RuneScape; in addition to celebrating our fifth anniversary next month, we’re of course looking forward to the launch of Old School on mobile platforms soon!”
Last week, we posted a rundown of the most popular MMORPG articles of 2017, calculated strictly by the number of pageviews they got. Today, we’re going to take a look at the most popular articles of 2017 as measured by comments, which provides an entirely different overview of the year and the genre.
This list is a little wonky as we couldn’t keep a lot of our January comments when we were booted off Livefyre. (Some of the old comments were restored, but others were simply lost because Livefyre wasn’t properly saving them back. Long story.) So technically, we lost a month. Still, I think we have a pretty good picture of what people really truly want to talk about (which isn’t always the same thing you like to click on!).
It’s time to take a diversion to play — and listen — to the minigames tucked inside of our MMOs! The Battle Bards haul out their last show of 2012 with an eclectic and fun assortment of minigame soundtracks. While minigame-specific music might be hard to hunt down, this trio did their best and are reasonably satisfied with the result. Which is good, because no refunds on this podcast!
Battle Bards is a bi-weekly podcast that alternates between examining a single MMO’s soundtrack and exploring music tracks revolving around a theme. MOP’s Justin co-hosts with bloggers Steff and Syl. The cast is available on iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn, Pocket Casts, Stitcher, and Player.FM.
Listen to Episode 112: MMO minigame music (or download it) now:
If someone — and we are not necessarily suggesting you — were to create an MMO Christmas carol album, what songs would be included? “Raiders from the Realms of Glory” would definitely be one. “The 12 Dailies of Christmas” is a possibility. And if “Grandma Got Run Over By a Wildly Oversized Mammoth Mount” got cut, then the album might as well pack it in and call it a day.
Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about making this happen, because MMORPGs already contain a surprising amount of winter holiday music. These range from the traditional Christmas ballads to adventurous tracks that incorporate the sound of the season.
So as you make some gaming time this holiday week, here’s a half-dozen Christmas tunes from MMOs to keep you company (even if you’ve been naughty this year!).
The RuneScape team is out of here, y’all. Turn the lights off, nobody’s home.
Oh, they’ll be back, it’s just that Jagex is winding down for the holiday season to give its hard-working team members a break. That doesn’t mean that RuneScape’s going dark; on the contrary, with the Winter Weekend events running all month, the advent calendar, and free presents via LootScape, there are goodies for all good little boys and girls.
Before locking up for Christmas, Jagex did tease what’s coming in 2018: “There’s plenty coming in the new year, and we’ll be showcasing much of it in the Year Ahead video on the 5th of January. We’ll be covering RuneScape Mobile, mining and smithing, bank rework and a few surprises.”