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RuneScape

RuneScape's Lost City of the Elves expands further

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Patches, RuneScape, Free-to-Play

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RuneScape's been going gaga over the unveiling of its Lost City of the Elves since it opened its doors for business back in September. However, that release was only part of the Lost City, since Jagex "found" more of it to put out the door today.

After much anticipation, the second half of Prifddinas is now live in RuneScape. The city was "designed for and by the high-level community" and now includes four new clans with specialized offerings. Jagex said that there are eight additional skills for players to learn and plenty of secrets tucked away in nooks and crannies.

We've got a video of the Lost City that you can check out after the break!

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RuneScape announces Hearthstone-like card game

Betas, Fantasy, New Titles, RuneScape, Free-to-Play, Browser, Mobile, Trading Card Games

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Hearthstone's success is hard to ignore in the industry, and it doesn't take much effort to connect the dots between that title's growth and Jagex's decision to develop an in-game card battler for RuneScape. The UK-based studio announced that it's making Chronicle: RuneScape Legends to be played inside of its popular MMO.

Chronicle takes place inside a "magical book" that challenges players to use deck-building to create quests that can be completed through PvE and PvP card battles. "Your opponent will be creating quests in parallel with you, but watch out as they might try to steal your weapons or gold," the website states. "At the end of your quests you do battle, with the last person standing the victor!"

According to Eurogamer, Jagex has been working on Chronicle since the beginning of the year to be released sometime in 2015 for the PC, Mac, and mobile devices. Chronicle is currently accepting beta sign-ups.

RuneScape customer service helps 500K players in a year

Fantasy, MMO Industry, RuneScape, Free-to-Play

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To coincide with National Customer Service Week in the United Kingdom, RuneScape is preparing a series of posts and meetups about and with the customer service team. To kick it off, the team put together an infographic about its previous year's efforts with players.

Probably the most stunning figure is that the 28-member team assisted 500,000 players over the course of a year. A majority of those service requests were for account issues. Response time was decent but not astounding, with 25% of calls answered within an hour and a "vast majority" addressed within 24 hours. The team was happy that 75% of those helped rated the help as eight or above out of 10.

You can view the full infographic after the break.

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RuneScape's Lost City of the Elves is open to players

Fantasy, Video, Patches, News Items, RuneScape, Free-to-Play, Browser

Herein lies our ancient lost city, which we call 'Ancient Lost City.'  We aren't very good at names.
It's been a decade of waiting, but RuneScape players are finally able to enter Prifddinas, the capital of the elves and the culmination of a storyline that's been going for a very long time. Players can jump into the zone right now and start exploring the districts of the long-locked city, taking on various clan challenges in an area designed to reward high-level play.

Challenges include defeating 10 sequential bosses with stacking debuffs after each match, maximizing one's skills, or proving one's familiarity with trades like mining and farming. There's also more content throughout the city, with plans to roll out even more parts of the city before the year is out. Click past the jump for the trailer, and jump on into the game if you just can't wait to get your elvish exploration going.

[Source: Jagex press release]

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Jagex CEO resigning in December

Fantasy, MMO Industry, News Items, RuneScape, Free-to-Play

Jagex CEO Mark Gerhard is leaving his post in December according to an open letter on the RuneScape website. Gerhard writes passionately about the game's community and his efforts to combat gold-farming during his five-year stint as CEO.

Gerhard, who has been with Jagex a total of seven years, did not specify the reasons for his departure nor who will take his place.

Perfect Ten: MMOs that deserve another chance

Dungeons and Dragons Online, EverQuest II, Opinion, Star Trek Online, RuneScape, Marvel Heroes, The Secret World, DC Universe Online, Star Wars: The Old Republic, RIFT, Perfect Ten, Miscellaneous, Neverwinter

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First impressions matter. First impressions count. First impressions are lasting. These commonly cited maxims are true, but I would like to add one more: "First impressions can be deceiving." Due to our nature of making snap judgments, experiencing something at the wrong time or being impatient, we can rush to a conclusion that could rob us of something we could truly love.

There are few things that frustrate me more than seeing MMO gamers adopt the gospel of the first impressions and refuse to ever return to a game afterward. We keep treating MMOs as disposable, one-shot entertainment that must be plundered quickly right out of the gate instead of seeing them as reusable fun that gets better with time.

So the next time you feel bored waiting for the next MMO to launch so that you can make a two-month first impression and then leave forever, why not give an older title a second try? In this week's countdown, I'm going to make a case for 10 MMOs that deserve another chance even if you wrote them off long ago.

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How RMT is changing RuneScape's economy for the better

Fantasy, Business Models, Economy, Game Mechanics, News Items, RuneScape, Free-to-Play, Browser

RMT has a bad reputation for promoting the seedy underbelly of online gaming, but some MMOs are trying to turn that effect around, like RuneScape. According to developer Jagex, a pair of RuneScape players recently took advantage of their game's Bond system (akin to PLEX or CREDD) to fund their trip to the RuneFest fan convention in October. The studio detailed other positive effects of the Bond system in a press release this morning, explaining that the system has improved the game's economy:
Since their September 2013 debut, around 2.3 million Bonds have been purchased; more than 80 percent of those Bonds have been redeemed for membership, with 27.6 million membership days obtained to date. The introduction of Bonds also had a swift and dramatic effect on the levels of gold-farming in the game, which plummeted by 81 percent within weeks, and also helped bring a more stable in-game economy for players. Over the past year, more than 316.5 billion in-game gold pieces have been sunk into Bond trades by the community.
RuneScape VP Phil Mansell said that over the last year, "nearly 20% of RuneScape players [paid] for their membership subscription through their in-game efforts and half of the premium RuneCoin currency comes from bond redemptions."

[Source: Jagex press release]

The Game Archaeologist: Ironman modes and elective permadeath

Asheron's Call, Dofus, Dungeons and Dragons Online, EverQuest, MMO Industry, Opinion, Star Wars Galaxies, RuneScape, The Game Archaeologist, Miscellaneous, Wizardry Online, Star Citizen, H1Z1

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One facet of video games that's been around almost since the very beginning is the difficulty level. This has allowed the player to choose how hard or easy a game would be from the onset, influencing factors such as the number of enemies, hardiness of bad guys, fragility of the player character, and available loot (or lack of it). I used to love how some of those '90s shareware titles would mock me for picking easy, sometimes portraying my character wearing a baby bonnet and sucking its thumb. Real gamers, the devs implied, go tough or go home.

With a few exceptions, MMOs operate on a fixed level of difficulty for all of their players. Instead of assigning blanket difficulty client-side, the game world portions difficulty into areas, usually according to level or activity. Some games have instances with adjustable difficulty levels, but past that what you get is also what I get.

This might be changing. A very fringe but dedicated group of players have championed such ideas as elective ironman and permadeath modes for their MMOs, and at least one studio is responding positively to that desire. Would you choose to make your MMO experience harder than everyone else in exchange for nothing more than a bigger challenge and a more "realistic" experience?

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RuneScape celebrates player creativity with Golden Gnome Awards

Fantasy, Culture, Events (Real-World), RuneScape, Free-to-Play

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Nominations have opened for RuneScape's Golden Gnome Awards, the fourth such award ceremony devoted to celebrating player creativity and talent.

"We want to continue to recognise all forms of talent, moving beyond just the video making awards given in the past," the team posted. "Whether you're an artist, video maker, cosplayer, or a role model for the community, there's a Golden Gnome out there waiting for you."

This year the categories have expanded to award excellence in video and live streaming, art, cosplay, and being a community champion. The latter is an "unsung hero" whom players feel should be recognized for his or her contributions. The Golden Gnome Awards will be given out at the next RuneFest.

Old School RuneScape temporarily changes death penalty due to DDoS attacks

Fantasy, Bugs, MMO Industry, PvP, RuneScape, Free-to-Play

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The brutal DDoS attacks that have hit RuneScape over the past week have caused the developers of the 2007-era edition to rework death mechanics until the threat has passed. This "temporary change" to death mechanics allow players a half-hour to see and retrieve their items outside of PvP combat; in PvP, the penalties stay as is.

"Even with this change, we would strongly suggest that you do not partake in dangerous or high-risk content such as PvP or high level PvM, and as always, don't risk anything you're not prepared to lose whilst these network issues are ongoing," the devs cautioned.

RuneScape hit with denial-of-service attacks

Fantasy, News Items, RuneScape, Browser, Sandbox

Jagex has posted to its official forums the news that both modern RuneScape and its classic servers are in the midst of service disruption attacks. Moderator Tyran explained:
As you may be aware, we're currently experiencing service disruption across both game and web services, this is affecting both RuneScape and Old School RuneScape.

We are aware that RuneScape (as well as other games) are being targeted by attacks which are causing connectivity issues for our players.

We are doing everything we can to mitigate any impact on your gameplay experience - our Systems Team are currently working to improve stability across our core hosting platform to improve the situation.
The studio warns players to avoid high-risk content where items might be lost, but customer service will investigate items already compromised by the outages. A large-scale rollback is not currently planned; Moderator Ronan posted, "Unfortunately, Old School RuneScape does not have the tool required to roll back or to confirm what items were lost by players and so it will not be possible to refund any lost items."

RuneScape opens up Soul Reaping for fun and profit

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Patches, News Items, RuneScape, Free-to-Play, Browser

Have a seat, let's talk about what kind of reaping program I can get you into.
How do you feel about reaping souls? Would you consider it as a potential career choice? The latest RuneScape update really encourages players to take part. After all, Death is really backed up, and he could use your help taking down some of the game's bosses. Just stop by Death's office, let him assign you a target on a daily basis, and you're off to the races! In this case, "the races" means "kill the boss and claim its soul."

So why would you do this other than the simply joy of serving as Death's administrative assistant? Successfully reaping bosses provides reaper points, which can be cashed in for rewards like a reduction to instance creation costs, an increase to bonfire health boosts, and new crafting items. There are also cosmetic rewards if you'd rather just look really pretty. You can read all of the details on the official update page, which should encourage players to really jump in there and start clearing away bosses for a good cause.

RuneScape releases its 1,000th music track

Fantasy, Video, RuneScape, Free-to-Play, Sandbox, Music

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For those who are into MMO soundtracks, RuneScape's score is something of a legend due to its sheer size. This past week, Jagex added its 1,000th music track into the game called "The Book of a Thousand Songs."

The song, a ballad, was created and performed by the audio team and developers. Players will unlock the track when they log into the game to use in their in-game music player. You can hear the new track after the break and see how it was made!

RuneScape announced its first-ever expansion, Lost City of the Elves, earlier today.

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2001's RuneScape announces its first-ever expansion

Fantasy, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Launches, Lore, Patches, News Items, RuneScape, Free-to-Play, Browser, Sandbox

RuneScape
Who says old games never get new content? Jagex has just announced Lost City of the Elves, the first expansion pack ever for 13-year-old sandbox MMO RuneScape. The expansion, which is being rolled out gradually beginning today, will bring to conclusion the long-running Elf Quest campaign and mark the start of a new adventure, Plague's End:
"From today, high level players can begin their journey towards Prifddinas by taking part in the new and epic Plague's End quest, the largest adventure in RuneScape to date. As well as being voted by RuneScape players as part of the game's Player Power initiative, the development of the Lost City of the Elves has seen considerable collaborative efforts between Jagex and the community throughout its creation. The expansion pack is being released in three parts to enable players to experience and enjoy all areas of the new content. Today's release of Plague's End will be followed by the unlocking of one half of the elf city in September, and the second half in October."
The expansion also includes new skill training methods, wearables, minigames, a "guild social hub," and the largest city in the game to date.

[Source: Jagex press release]

RuneScape launches first batch of name cleanup

Fantasy, News Items, RuneScape, Free-to-Play, Browser

At long last, your Steveless nightmare is over!
RuneScape is freeing up a lot of names now. The developers announced a while back that old an inactive names would be getting removed from the list soon, and the first batch is due to hit very soon. That means former members who have not logged in for two years and free users who haven't logged in within six months will have their character names dropped back into the pool of available sobriquets.

The upside? Members will have access to a lot of new options for name changes. The first batch will cover names starting with A through C, and Jagex intends to post a page listing the reclaimed names; however, the page will be accurate only at the time of reclamation, with no updates to show what's been taken. So if you're hopeful to finally change your character's name to Arquebus, you'd better be ready.

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