RuneScape has wound its way through many revisions and editions over the years, but Jagex usually left the original versions standing – or in the case of Old School RuneScape, brought it back and injected it with new life. Unfortunately, the company has decided it’s time to pull the plug on RuneScape Classic, which is the version of the game that launched way back in 2001 (and looks the part).
“It is with great sadness that we have taken the difficult decision to say goodbye to RuneScape Classic, which we will be winding down over the next 3 months,” the studio says. “With advancements in technology helping to further support both RuneScape and Old School RuneScape, our tools are no longer compatible with Classic. This is particularly a problem with our community safety and macro detection tools. The game is now easily abused with the use of 3rd party macro tools, and botting has become an increasing issue. […] The truth is that bots and lack of community safety tools are serious problems, however, we also feel that we can no longer offer long term service reliability due to the growing risk of unrecoverable game breaking bugs. The number of bugs is getting worse, and we’re gradually seeing the game breaking. It’s important to highlight that these are bugs which we can’t fix due to the unsupported nature of the game.”
Jagex’s RuneScape-themed fan festival, RuneFest 2018, is locked in for October 5th-6th this year, and tickets are officially on sale as of 11 a.m. this morning. The UK company is calling it “the biggest and best RuneFest yet,” partly owing to its new (and twice as large) venue in Farnborough (outside London rather than in it). Tickets run £150 (just over $200 US) and get you into both days of events.
“RuneFest 2018 will see a world first with the premiere of RuneScape Live, an exclusive performance of RuneScape music by the world-famous Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra. […] While the theme for the eighth RuneFest will be revealed at a later date, the event promises to build upon previous years mix of announcements, LAN gaming, role-playing, and developer panels. […] Main stage showcases, big hitting entertainment, new activities and panel sessions, meet ups with JMods & Content Creators, all wrapped up in a new theme that will transport RuneScape and Old School players to iconic areas of Gielinor.”
Sometimes, you need to stop and smell the cherry blossoms. Which is a bit of an odd thing to do in Britain, the home of RuneScape developer Jagex; it’s not really known as a place filled with cherry blossoms. Just the same, that’s the theme behind bonus items offered up for any purchase of RuneCoins from today until June 3rd. One of the items you can pick up is a Cherry Blossom Parasol, which may not have a great deal of function to it but should still be very pleasant to tote around.
Of course, the newest patch itself falls into a similar category; it’s all about quality of life improvements from top to bottom, including fixing bugs with four-tick auto attacking and improving the visuals on lodestones. So expected to see the word “fixed” and “corrected” a lot in the patch notes. But that should improve your overall quality of life, so while it’s not new content, the sentiment should still be appreciable.
The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!
Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from Hellion, Reign of Guilds, Skyforge, Old School RuneScape, War of Rights, Lineage M, Heroes and Generals, Aurcus Online, ARK Park, Dark and Light, Wild Terra, Citadel: Forged With Fire, and Hearthstone, all waiting for you after the break!
Back in the late 1990s and early 2000s, I was remarkably reluctant to enter into the field of MMORPGs despite being a perfect candidate (a gaming geek who loved fantasy and sci-fi RPGs). All of the reasons that I had at the time for stalling really could have been boiled down to a single word: accessibility.
MMOs back then looked — and probably were — very inaccessible. They had a payment barrier. They required a lot of setup and hardware. Their interfaces were cluttered and their gameplay interactions were obtuse. Frankly, I got the impression that a lot of them were a mess that was only understandable to those who had put in hundreds of hours to decipher the format.
When MMOs started to become more accessible, particularly with City of Heroes, World of Warcraft, and Guild Wars, I eagerly jumped in. Those three titles in particular made giant leaps forward in opening up these games to the first-time player. But that doesn’t mean that MMORPGs have arrived at universal accessibility just yet. Here are ten areas that studios could be improving in order to make their titles more appealing and understandable to outsiders.
With the ever-developing, ever-growing nature of MMORPGs, the expansion truly has a life of its own. By now we are well acquainted with the cycle that runs from gestation to obsolescence and can usually point to where any particular expansion is on this chart.
The Lazy Goldmaker outlined the typical progression of MMO expansion packs with a six-step cycle that focuses heavily on the economy and raiding: “After the final raid of the expansion we will enter the last content drought. This is typically the longest period with nothing exciting added to the game. We are in the middle of this phase of Legion currently. Most of the markets from the live expansion will still be viable, but profit margins will be decreasing, as will prices on all goods.”
Read on for more MMO blog essays, including ones that cover EVE Online, Wizard101, SWTOR, and LOTRO!
With Chronicle: RuneScape Legends now slated to shutter in summer, Massively OP’s MJ will be saddened by the loss of the unique features of the card/board game hybrid. It’s been a while since she shared some adventures, so today she’ll bring you another battle with the Bandit King. Join us live at 8:00 p.m.
What: Chronicle: RuneScape Legends
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 8:00 p.m. EDT on Monday, May 14th, 2018
The developer Jagex is best known for various versions of RuneScape and shuttering any project that isn’t RuneScape. Ace of Spades is shutting down in July, its FunOrb game portal is shutting down sometime over the next three months, and even Chronicles: RuneScape Legends is being quietly taken down in August. In all three cases, a lack of development resources to address technical errors has been cited for the reason for taking down the games.
There are, however, abundant technical development resources for running the beta for Old School RuneScape‘s mobile version, so that’s still happening with the new always-on Android version. The core of having it always on is just what it sounds like; players can expect the servers to remain on and available at all times, rather than setting a firm end date for the beta testing. If all goes well, more players will be invited over time. So you could theoretically play one version in your phone and one version on the computer, if you really needed to do that for some reason.
On this week’s show, Bree and Justin look ahead at the next generation of MMORPGs in development while saying farewell to a couple of the old guard. It’s a podcast full of conspiracies, time magic, debates over subscriptions, and way too much talk about Farscape!
It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.
Listen to the show right now:
Jagex CEO Phil Mansell is making the press rounds this week, unloading interesting quotes on GIbiz, including the admission that Jagex felt it had neglected RuneScape when it was focusing on other projects that didn’t materialize. The good news is that the studio has turned it all around.
“A few weeks ago we had our highest peak concurrent user level for eight years,” he tells GIbiz. “In terms of subscription levels, it’s the highest for seven and a half years. Those games are going through a real renaissance, and not just as a one off. We’ve had four years of consistent growth now.”
That isn’t to say the company is giving up on other games, however. Mansell says Jagex is actually working on other stuff. One of them will ideally become a “mid-budget online title,” but the other? The other is a “next generation MMO” – a “living game” that “capitalizes” on what Jagex has learned from 17 years of RuneScape.
Look down — and it’ll be the last thing you’ll ever see! That’s because fury and death arrive in the form of short character races in MMORPGs. Even if they hit below the belt, their music is sweet to the ears! In this episode of Battle Bards, the crew take on themes from Gnomes, Halflings, Dwarves, and other short races in MMOs.
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 120: Short stuff (or download it) now:
By the time that World of Warcraft came on the scene in 2004, the MMORPG industry had already gravitated toward standard when it came to the interface — specifically, the camera angle. MMO players and devs seemed to prefer third-person views that either peered over the shoulder of avatars or followed right behind them. For decades now, we’ve grown used to watching our characters’ rears as they jog along, and we can’t really imagine the experience otherwise.
Yet when you think about it, while this camera perspective is overwhelmingly used in the genre, it’s not the only one that crops up in MMOs. We’ve seen both old and new titles experiment with the camera angle, sometimes out of style and sometimes out of necessity (here’s a great Gamasutra article on the subject).
For today’s list, we’re going to look at 10 MMORPGs where the camera is positioned in a different way than you’d normally expect, especially if you are coming from modern games.
Live today in regular flavor RuneScape is a brand-new update that ought to make thieves in particular happy.
“Safecracking is a new training method, unlocked after completing the Buyers and Cellars quest and related capers. From the safes you’ll get Thieving XP, cold hard cash and reward points. These points can be spent on gubbins like a consumable reward that protects you from being stunned, as well as an item that allows you to instantly remove all suspicion from one elf clan.”
To make the “slightly AFK training method” of safecracking actually function, Jagex has added master lockpicks and master stethoscope too, with a grand total of 49 safes now scattered all over the game world. Happy stealing!
The studio has a few other tweaks for you today too, including a ton of bugfixes and adjustments to dungeoneering token bags.