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RuneScape

RuneFest 2014 dated for October 11

Fantasy, Real-Life, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, RuneScape, Free-to-Play

RuneFest
Jagex has announced the date and a few key details on this year's RuneScape-flavored real-life event, RuneFest.

On Saturday, October 11, Jagex will be returning to London's Tobacco Dock for the largest RuneScape event of the year. This year will feature panels and parties that promise to be bigger and better than ever before. While more details are still forthcoming, we do know that the cost will be £99 for a full One-Day Pass. You can keep an eye on any further RuneFest news by watching the event's Facebook and Twitter pages.

RuneScape players vote overwhelmingly in favor of traditional combat option

Fantasy, Patches, RuneScape, Free-to-Play

runescape
RuneScape has never shied away from interesting ideas and democratic experiments, a fact that is well illustrated by today's announcement that the game will be implementing a "legacy mode" option on Monday, July 14th.

Over 80% of players polled voted to add in the mode, which modifies the current game to work with the traditional rather than the new combat system. Legacy mode uses the traditional combat system, pre-RuneScape 3 interfaces, the old mini-map icons, the old animations, and a life point cap of 990. When it goes live in the game, players can switch it on and off as desired.

Jagex is also pushing through a few global changes to combat across the board, including an equal balance between melee, ranged, and magic attacks.

RuneScape naming system opens up to more frequent changes

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

RuneScape
RuneScape is tweaking the way character names work, and players will now have the opportunity to change names more often. There's also a revised system for inactive character names to expire.

Through the use of a bond, characters can now change their names as many times as they'd like without waiting a month as was required previously. Character names will also expire for inactive accounts that haven't logged in for two years or more as well as those accounts that have never become a member and haven't logged in for six months. These expired names are up for grabs, but their original owners will be notified via email before losing the name. If you haven't played in a while, simply log in within the next seven days to keep your name.

The Daily Grind: Are you a RuneScape vet?

Fantasy, MMO Industry, Opinion, RuneScape, Free-to-Play, The Daily Grind

The other day Justin asked how many of you were playing TERA, based on the fact that it doesn't get a lot of press or MMO blog coverage. Today I'd like to pose a similar question about RuneScape. The game has been out forever, but in my MMO travels, I've talked to very few people who have played it.

Obviously someone's playing it, though, and probably a lot of someones judging by Jagex's consistent update pace and its fan conventions. So how about it, Massively readers? Are you a RuneScape vet?

Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!

RuneScape's legacy mode goes into testing next Monday

Fantasy, Previews, RuneScape, Free-to-Play

runescape
If you yearn for the way that RuneScape used to play before its shiny makeover, Jagex both hears and feels you. That's why the studio has prepared a new option called "legacy mode" that will begin testing on June 16th.

Legacy mode allows players to access traditional combat, the pre-RuneScape 3 interface, the old minimap icons, and a 990 hard cap on life points. This mode can be freely toggled on and off at will. Jagex will see how legacy mode tests and will poll players as to whether or not they want it brought into the live game.

The team's also preparing a patch to improve combat and better balance characters' stats, penalties, and bonuses.

RuneScape shows you the making of an epic quest

Fantasy, Video, PvE, RuneScape, Free-to-Play, Browser, Dev Diaries

runescape
RuneScape puts more thought than most MMOs do into the creation and execution of its quests, so when the devs want to share how they make one of these, it might behoove you to show some respect. No, you don't need to kneel. Maybe give it a solemn nod or something.

In a new video -- one that you, yes you, can watch after the break -- Jagex takes its playerbase on a tour of the making of "The Mighty Fall" quest. Get a feel for where this quest fits into the greater storyline as well as see how an entire team works together to fashion such a mission. We don't think you'll be disappointed.

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Old School RuneScape begins two-week free trial

Fantasy, Business Models, RuneScape, Free-to-Play, Browser, Subscription

RuneScape
Old School RuneScape, also known as RuneScape 2007, has begun to offer a two-week free trial for those interested in going back in time to a simpler version of the game.

Players can access the free-to-play server by making a brand-new RuneScape account or by using a subscribed account. Jagex said that if the trial is successful, it may become a permanent addition to the game. The one big restriction for the F2P server is that yew trees will not be harvestable in order to combat gold farmers.

Old School RuneScape is a 2007-era version of the game that Jagex resurrected following an enthusiastic player vote. Even though it required a subscription to access, it grew to over a million players by October 2013.

Perfect Ten: Great MMO time travel adventures

World of Warcraft, City of Heroes, EverQuest II, Final Fantasy XI, Guild Wars, Lord of the Rings Online, Opinion, Star Trek Online, RuneScape, The Secret World, RIFT, Perfect Ten, Miscellaneous

BTTF
Writers and geeks alike can't seem to get enough of time travel, although the ratio of horribly crafted time travel tales to fun and smart ones is pretty lopsided. I've come to realize that MMOs are positively littered with ways that players are invited to jump around the internal timeline of the game, and I wanted to share a few of them in this week's countdown.

When you think about it, the proliferation of time travel quests makes a lot of sense from a developer viewpoint. There is a ton of lore that goes into each one of these virtual worlds, but for the most part the players are affixed to a very specific (and unmoving) point in time. Hopping about in time is a great way to experience other eras and actually see history instead of just reading it in a quest box. Plus, if done right, these quests can be quite memorable.

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Perfect Ten: My favorite MMO April Fools' pranks of all time

World of Warcraft, Dungeons and Dragons Online, EverQuest II, Guild Wars, Lord of the Rings Online, Events (Real-World), Events (In-Game), Opinion, Star Wars Galaxies, RuneScape, Guild Wars 2, Humor, Perfect Ten, Miscellaneous, Neverwinter

WoW
There are two types of people on April 1st: those who are annoyed and indifferent to the tomfoolery going on all around them, and those who gleefully embrace the zany antics and baldfaced lies. For the record, I am of the latter crowd. I love April Fools' Day and the humor and creativity that it inspires. While this day is by no means contained to our neck of the woods, MMOs have a long-running streak of trying to pull the wool over our eyes.

I think a good goof has to have several qualities to make it truly memorable. It needs to be original. It needs to be actually amusing, whether or not you "fell for it." And it needs to tweak our expectations and understanding of how MMOs work. Sometimes there are even important ideas that emerge from these jokes that could, indeed, make these titles better.

So let's go through my favorite MMO April Fools pranks of all time, as catalogued by yours truly!

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RuneScape's got a new 'one of a kind' grandmaster quest

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Lore, MMO Industry, Patches, News Items, PvE, RuneScape, Free-to-Play, Browser

RuneScape dragon rider
Jagex has announced RuneScape's new 'One of a Kind' grandmaster epic quest, which it says is both the first major update of its "lore-packed March" as well as part of an initiative to take the fantasy game's questing "back to its roots."

"You'll travel the world, uncover the lost library of Robert the Strong, and the fate of a dying people will rest in your hands," according to the announcement on the RuneScape website. As you might imagine, there are plenty of spiffy rewards, but the quest does boast some significant entry requirements.

MMO Mechanics: Procedural generation is the future

City of Heroes, EVE Online, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Opinion, RuneScape, Love, EverQuest Next, Sandbox, Star Citizen, Elite: Dangerous, Trove, MMO Mechanics

MMO Mechanics title image
MMOs are infamous for the exorbitant amount of both time and money that is required to make a fantastic end product. Much of this effort and expenditure goes into producing very specific content such as leveling zones, quest chains, and dungeons. The classic themepark MMO in which all the rides are carefully engineered and maintained is compelling for a time, but the content therein tends to take longer to create than it does to exhaust. This invariably leads to redundant content that ends up on the scrapheap once it has been enjoyed for a time.

Procedural generation corrects much of this redundancy by providing essentially limitless variations of content, adding replayability and variety to the usual MMO repertoire. It also opens up some unique mechanics, like Elite: Dangerous' planned procedurally generated galaxy that is a full-scale replica of the Milky Way.

In this week's MMO Mechanics, I will look at how the genre is evolving because of how accessible procedural generation techniques have become to developers. I'll also explore how this might affect the future of MMOs by examining the mechanics that upcoming titles will incorporate.

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Jukebox Heroes: Top 40 MMO themes, #40-31

Asheron's Call, Dark Age of Camelot, Opinion, RuneScape, Miscellaneous, Neverwinter, City of Steam, Jukebox Heroes, Music

RuneScape
MMO main themes hold the potential to be some of the most powerful and magical pieces of music, partly because we associate them with particular games more than anything else. A great theme will dredge up intense memories or euphoria by the third note, and I see composers putting in their all with many of these themes.

A long time ago I did an MMO theme countdown of 20 tracks, but since then I've heard a lot more and have wanted to do the list all over again. So this week in Jukebox Heroes, we're kicking off a countdown of the top 40 MMO themes -- in my opinion, of course. I listened to over 150 themes and spent hours ranking them to create this list.

Because these choices are bound to be a little controversial and stir up debate (which is encouraged!), I set down a few rules that I wanted to share here. I limited myself to just one theme from a particular title, even if there were multiple themes in a game. Entries had to be a main theme or the closest equivalent of that; they had to be from MMOs, not from MOBAs; and I had to divorce my weighting of the track itself from the popularity of and my experience with that game. So no points added or subtracted based on the love of the game; I'm counting down the best music, period. Let's see what numbers 40 through 31 have in store for us!

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The Daily Grind: What's your favorite MMO minigame?

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Opinion, RuneScape, Free-to-Play, The Daily Grind

RuneScape heistTuesday's announcement by Jagex that it had implemented a bank heist minigame into RuneScape struck a personal chord. I love MMO minigames, and here's one I haven't really seen before!

I'm not sure how it will stack up to EverQuest II's aether races, Vanguard's diplomacy, or Lord of the Rings Online's music system in terms of my personal favorites, but it sounds pretty slick.

What about you, Massively readers? Do you dig minigames in your MMOs? Which one is your favorite?

Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!

RuneScape gets a bank-robbing minigame

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

RuneScape
Jagex has added a new bank-robbing minigame called Heist to its long-running RuneScape MMO. "Players form two teams and are pitted against each other in a contest of espionage, deception, and grand larceny," the firm explains.

While the setup is pretty simple, Jagex says that the Heist minigame requires skill to master. "The best robbers will be able to mimic the island's citizens to fool the guards," the company says, "while the most successful guards will be the ones who can spot suspicious behaviour a mile off.

Start your adventures in bankrobbing by climbing the airship ladder north Falador, and hit up the RuneScape home page for further details.

RuneScape behind-the-scenes video reveals boss character development

Fantasy, Video, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, RuneScape, Free-to-Play

When you face a massive foe in your favorite game, do you wonder what went into making it? RuneScape has overhauled one if its earliest bosses and brought fans along for a look at the creative process in a new behind-the-scenes video.

The revamp of the Giant Mole Boss shows off the steps from conceptualization to animation to audio to release. The finished product of the team's efforts is a nastier looking Giant Mole with modern boss mechanics, two difficulty modes, and an instanced lair for both solo and group runs. And what boss overhaul would be complete without new loot? Once players defeat this boss, they have the chance to acquire new rewards -- a mole that improves anti-dragon shields and numbing roots that remove DoTs -- on top of the original items. Follow along with the revamp in the clip below.

[Source: Jagex press release]

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