When a 100,000+ players play a game published in 2001 every day, you know you have something of a phenomenon on your hands. One of the oldest MMORPG is still going strong, just like in its glory days. The official Twitch account has more than 200,000 subscribers, with 10,000 spectators on every stream.
First released in 2001, RuneScape was designed by Andrew and Paul Gower. Originally intended as a text-based MUD, the game soon evolved into graphic MUD with the addition of graphics. Two brothers launched the game from their parents’ home in Nottingham, England.
The game quickly garnered popularity, allowing Andrew and Paul to introduce a monthly membership fee. In 2004, RuneScape 2 was launched, featuring superior graphics. By 2009, the game was translated and introduced to players in Germany, France, Brazil, South America, and India.
As time passed, developers continued to improve the game, adding new features and better graphics. In 2013, a massive update was released, colloquially known as RuneScape 3. It completely overhauled the game design, especially graphics, and brought it on par with modern games of the time. The game now featured HTML 5 client, which allowed improved textures, increased draw, and new filters.
The client came with a new lighting engine and support for game controllers. Weather effects were also improved and the interface was now customizable. New, player-driven storylines were introduced, together with world events. However, not everybody was pleased with it. One of the reasons was that the new client was buggy and was soon replaced with a C++-based one, called NXT.
Old School RuneScape
In response to community demands, developers opened a poll to gauge players’ interest in playing the older version of the game. After receiving positive feedback, they launched 50 new servers, featuring Old School RuneScape, as it was officially named. In essence, it was an older version of the game as it was on August 10th, 2007.
One of the features people liked the best was Old School RuneScape Gold. You can check here just how much demand there is for it and how you can actually make money from playing OSRS. There is even an eSports PvP mode “Deadman”, which is highly popular.
Why Players Love Old School RuneScape
Old School RuneScape seems to be a pet project for Jagex. The game still receives updates, although sporadically. That makes players know that they aren’t forgotten and that developers think about them, something increasingly rare in the modern gaming industry. The latest update introduced mini-games that proved to be very popular with the community.
It may sound counterintuitive, but most players enjoy Old School RuneScape because of its graphics. It is ironic because it was considered archaic and outdated even in 2013 when the game was released, let alone today. Still, there is something in the pixelated view of OSRS that just draws people to it. Some call it nostalgia, as most people who play Old School RuneScape are veteran players from the early days of the game.
In October of 2018, Old School RuneScape was released on Android and iOS. Players can now enjoy the game everywhere, and not just in front of their PC. This has further increased the popularity of the game and even draw new players to it.
One of the most popular features of Old School RuneScape is its combat system. Players are constantly motivated to look for better gear that would allow them to tackle bigger and more dangerous enemies in the game. Team combats are even more popular, as players create their own groups to play the game. Finally, with crafting, they can create their own weapons and equipment and either sell them or use them for themselves.
If PvP doesn’t interest you, you can go on one of many quests in the game. You can also try hunting one of the monsters featured in Old School RuneScape. There are plenty of them to choose from but be careful, as some of them can be quite dangerous, especially for new players.
The approach Old School RuneScape takes towards players’ characters isn’t unique, but it is executed excellently. There are no classes in the game. Each character has the same 23 skills they can develop throughout the game. Free game mode provides 15 skills, while paid members get an additional eight. Broadly speaking, they are divided into Combat skills (like Ranged and Strength), Gathering skills (mining and Fishing), Support (Agility, Thieving), and Artisan skills (Herblore, Fletching).
The more you use the skill, the faster it develops, ranging from one to 99. Better skills offer more opportunities. For instance, the higher your Smithing is, the better weapons you can make. With erasing the lines between classes, each player can develop their character freely without limitations. You can create unique combinations that best suit your playing style. Ideally, all your skills will reach level 99.
Old School RuneScape offers many quests to its players. They are divided into three major groups according to players’ skill level, Novice, Experienced, and Master. Each level presents quests that are harder to complete, gradually increasing the challenge. This means that both new and veteran players can enjoy them and not find them boring.
Occasionally, new quests are added to the game. Some of them can be played by everyone, while a majority is reserved for paid members. There are around 20 free quests and 120 member-only ones. Apart from quests, the game also offers minigames and treasure trails, two modes that are very popular with players.
Many of the elements from RuneScape have found their way into modern MMORPG games, but Old School RuneScape still has a dose of uniqueness not many of its competitors can achieve. Perhaps that is a part of the game’s allure, the knowledge that it represents the original titles many have tried to copy, but without success. Players appreciate the fachet that the game has set standards for the entire genre and even today can offer satisfaction to the people that play it.