One of RuneScape's better and more popular experiments is celebrating its fourth birthday today. Old School RuneScape, the 2007-era version of the game that started up four years ago to cater to those looking for a more classic experience, has arguably become as popular if not more so than the standard RuneScape client.
To mark this occasion, Jagex is throwing an in-game bash courtesy of Party Pete. Players who participate can snag themselves a Gnome child's hat, a war ship, and a cow outfit. The studio also opened up a dozen new worlds to accommodate the growing demand for Old School RuneScape.
"This year is a double anniversary for Old School RuneScape; not only does the game celebrate its fourth birthday, but it's also the 10th anniversary of the 'snapshot' server we used to bring Old School to life," said Producer Mathew Kemp.
"One life. One goal. Survive."
If you fancy yourself a skilled -- and hardcore -- RuneScape player, then your ultimate test starts in just a few days. The Old-School RuneScape server is debuting a new hardcore ironman mode on November 10th, giving each character just one life to experience as long as possible. This isn't permadeath: Once a hardcore ironman character dies, they can continue on in standard ironman mode.
Over in regular RuneScape, there's a new grandmaster quest coming this month: Children of Mah. The team has created a new skilling method to help players meet the requirements for this epic tale. Another fun addition to the game this month is the bounty hunter in PvP.
Catch up on RuneScape's recent developments with the video diaries below.
There's been this thing in the news over the past two weeks about a certain (illegal) fan-run vanilla World of Warcraft server and its untimely demise. You may have heard of it. Beyond the topic of emulators, the shutdown of Nostalrius has certainly revitalized the discussion over the place for classic MMO servers, player demand for them, and their profitability.
Jagex chimed in with its own opinion, and considering that the studio runs its own classic server with Old School RuneScape, you could rightly assume that it is very much in favor of the concept.
"We can now say that releasing Old School RuneScape was one of the best decisions we ever made," Jagex said. "Since Old School RuneScape's launch in February 2013 we have seen just short of seven million players log in with over two-and-a-half million becoming members."
You can read the rest of the studio's argument regarding classic MMO servers after the break.
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 has a lot of years under its belt, and a lot of content under its hood. In fact, it's 15 for the former, and there's no way I can possibly list the latter succinctly -- not with nearly weekly updates! And the game has no intention of slowing down, either. Plenty of new content is on the horizon for this next year. I sat down with devs at a special RuneScape 15th anniversary event in the UK last week to learn all about what the future holds. Lead Designer Dave Osborne shared what he called the "evil master plan," which included the upcoming mobile and CCG games as well as plenty of new content in both the main MMO and the old school version. Here's the lowdown on what the MMO fans have to look forward to in the coming months.
RuneScape's 2007 server enjoyed a booming year in 2015, and Old School RuneScape will be offering even more this year. The developers posted an overview of what players can expect to roll out in 2016, starting with the new continent of Zeah.
Zeah will be introduced over the course of a few updates, starting with the city of Great Kourend. Great Kourend is divided into five sections, one of each of the major houses, and reputedly offers many opportunities for skilling up characters.
Other features to come for Old School RuneScape include the introduction of the clan system, additional tournaments, and more skilling updates.
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!
This week RuneScape revealed some big plans for next year's 15th anniversary, World of Warships announced its an anime mode, we got our first look at E3 2016, and more!
Are RuneScape's 2007 servers not quite old school and hardcore enough for you? Well then, Jagex has a solution to help you keep your edge: new deadman PvP worlds.
Deadman mode, which is activated on three of Old Schoool RuneScape's servers, is a more intense PvP setting with fully open world PvP and harsh death penalties: "If you die to a player, you will lose the 28 most valuable stacks of items from your bank to a bank raid, all items that you have on your person, and half of the experience you have gained in any unprotected skills," Jagex warns.
Even getting offed by a PvE mob will set players back some as well, although there are limited ways to protect skill progression and personal items in this mode.
Old School RuneScape is gearing up for its first-ever competitive tournament. The contest runs from July 24th through July 26th, and it will feature a total cash prize pot of $10,000.
Three game modes are in play: King of the Hill, First to X Kills, and Last Team Standing. Eight teams of five players will compete in the game's Clan Wars area. "This summer, we can't wait to adapt Old School RuneScape for the e-sports community and watch teams battle their way to victory in this inaugural $10,000 competitive tournament," says Jagex product manager Matthew Kemp via press release. You can apply on the official website.
Source: Jagex press release