Jagex is retiring RuneScape’s DarkScape “experiment” at the end of March.
“DarkScape offered an intriguing twist on the traditional RuneScape gameplay, and the experimental mode caught some players’ attention when we launched it in September last year. The majority of players came to it out from regular RuneScape or Old School, but soon returned to those games to resume their main adventures. Today, there’s a small, hardcore community that continues to play DarkScape. Unfortunately, it’s just not big enough to warrant ongoing development. The updates made along the way allowed us to experiment with RuneScape’s PvP gameplay systems, play around with changes to the game economy, and test out major changes to combat and equipment behaviour.”
The game mode will close on March 28th; expect events and surprises until the sunset. Hardcore DarkScape players will be compensated with a month of free time in RuneScape and a cape to boot. Jagex suggests former DarkScape players may also like the Deadman mode playable in Old School RuneScape.
RuneScape itself has just patched in a new update aimed at F2P players; it includes new bosses, new combat abilities, dual-wielding, and dungeoneering weapons.
RuneScape seems to be an MMO that’s incredibly easy to dismiss by the wider MMO community for being “too kiddy” or being a little too outside the boundaries of standard big-budget MMOs. Yet ignoring or belittling it would be a mistake: RuneScape has accumulated a massive audience over the years and been innovating and experimenting with ideas that other MMOs are too chicken to touch.
While it’s not a perfect game, RuneScape and its developer Jagex have shown a willingness to adapt to the community’s needs and try different things to see if they’ll take hold and work. Instead of coasting along into its elder years, RuneScape has been working hard to earn the continued patronage of its playerbase, and I think that should go noticed today.
In that spirit, we’re going to take a trip through 10 of the most innovative or interesting experiments that RuneScape has performed over its 15 years of operation.
DarkScape, the RuneScape spin-off with open-world PvP and a deeper economy, patched up yesterday to fix various issues but also to add a little incentive to subscribe. Members now get double the bank space of free players, with 100 slots total available to use.
A patch earlier this month added in a giant mole in Falador Park, adjusted Al Kharid to be a low-risk area, and made it easier for players to see their kill-to-death ratio.
DarkScape is RuneScape, only it’s not. It’s an official spinoff of the existing game, it features all of the game’s content that’s been developed over its lifespan, but it also has features that the core game doesn’t have such as worldwide free-for-all PvP. Only the cities have high-level guards, and no part of the game is entirely safe. It’s the same game, but it’s also a very different take on matters.
The changes don’t stop with PvP rules, either: Economies are more diversified between cities, travel is more costly and dangerous, and all content is available for free even if you’re not a RuneScape member. It’s an interesting experiment in changing a few rules of the game and altering the whole playing landscape, so if you’re in the mood for a new free-for-all arena or want to see how RuneScape plays with a bit more danger, go ahead and check it out.