Tangent on Why I Love RuneScape and my Hope for Future MMO’s

 

RuneScape is a game I had played towards the end of elementary school and throughout middle school. At that time I didn’t have much experience in MMO’s and the social side of these games, so I was able to become immersed in the world and spend hundreds of hours simply running around and grinding skills. At one point I was even in a clan that was fairly wealthy and brought some low-level players such as myself on crazy quests and equipped us with expensive items that I couldn’t have gotten on my own. All of this contributed to some very fond memories of first playing MMORPG’s (as I’m sure similar experiences have done for others) even though my taste in RPG’s and combat has changed significantly over the years.

 

Every once in a while, every few months or so, I’ll log back into RuneScape just to see the world and try to relive fond experiences. The time I played (2009-2012ish) was a strange point in the game’s development, and due to this Oldschool RS is too primitive for my taste and the recent version of RS3 is refreshing and modern, though vastly different from when I played. I’m unable to access my old account as it was either deactivated due to years of absence or I just won’t have access to the credentials for it ever again. With my new account, I would quickly get bored as I prefer action combat in any game to the slow single-target combat of RS, and the quests and skill grind just don’t feel as rewarding as they used to. I could never find a way to experience the game the way I did years ago and just decided that those would be nostalgic memories that I sadly don’t have a record of. Not being able to login to my old account meant I would never be able to contact any old clan mates or friends (if they even still played) and adventuring alone in RS just wasn’t the experience I remembered so fondly.

These days I have a lot of trouble getting into MMO’s even with beautifully crafted games such as Black Desert Online (which I have played and currently own) with an amazing combat system and stunning visuals. The problem is the social aspect, the Massively Multiplayer part of the genre. So many newer MMO’s are riddled with players that only want to solo, AFK grind skills, or just skip through most of the game on their own to play endgame content.

Disappointed and disheartened by recent experiences, I decided to check out RuneScape today and try again to search for what I found so great in the game before. This time I logged in, went on the grind for some mining for an hour, and then went over to the Grand Exchange to put my wares up for sale. Once I got there I saw a group of about 15 people excited and surrounding one high-level player who was mentioning something about a bond giveaway. Before I knew it I had spent two and a half hours with this group of randoms making jokes, doing some wacky fetch tasks for the chance of winning a bond or some equipment, and overall just having a good time. We had a party, shared items, talked about different things and I was once again immersed (socially, at least) in this game. Eventually, some guy named “Kushzzy” even gave me over 3 million coins for simply making him laugh and buying him some in-game beer (which is definitely not worth even a fraction of that amount of money). This was a great experience, and for the first time in a long time, I was able to have that same heartwarming feeling of enjoying a virtual world with random people even if just for a short while. I’m not in a clan, though I do have the person who initially was hosting the bond giveaway as well as Kushzzy added now and may return to RuneScape just to have fun socially again.

 
 After having a great time in a decades-old MMO doing things not even relevant to the game itself, I do have hope for another great MMO to arise that will deliver on both the gameplay side, via modern technologies, and the social side of building a community as fun-loving and welcoming as those who still log into RuneScape for a wacky fun time. I’m more on the side of roleplay for social interaction and being immersed in the gameplay and storyline of a game, but anything is better than logging into the beautiful world of a game like Black Desert only to see hundreds online that are either AFK fishing or auto-running to some quest. Even games like and including RuneScape are so much more focused on the grind and PvP aspects that are good for streaming and quick gameplay sessions rather than building a meaningful multiplayer experience. In addition to that, I’ve been hoping for a truly player-driven game with a living world and a meaningful economy based on player actions (similar to pre-Grand Exchange RuneScape, though on a much more grand scale).
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This is where a new MMORPG scheduled for 2018, Ashes of Creation, comes in. I try really hard to avoid hype since it has been dangerous in recent years for many games, though Ashes of Creation is something I am really looking forward to. The devs are hardcore MMO players themselves and fully acknowledge the flaws of big studios trying to craft a meaningful multiplayer experience yet who fall into the typical cash grab or pay-for-convenience tropes that have murdered many recent titles. They have talked thoroughly about how Ashes of Creation will be ultimately player driven with the world changing and evolving based on player and group decisions and the progression of the game changing based on player interaction on a massive scale. It is the plan for Ashes that gives me optimism for the next generation of MMO’s and I truly hope that in the next few years a game comes out that is impactful enough to allow myself and thousands of others to experience a world the same way I was sucked into RuneScape as a younger kid. Whoever can hit the sweet spot, whether it be Intrepid Studios with Ashes of Creation or otherwise, of social interaction, gameplay mechanics, and an immersive world will strike gold and form a new generation of dedicated MMO players to create new memories of truly experiencing and enjoying a multiplayer open world that can bring every type of person together.
Since I’ve mentioned Ashes of Creation, here are links to some videos that reveal a lot about the game’s plans and should outline why there is a lot of hype around the prospect of this game.
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