Most of us will remember RuneScape
from its first incarnation: a tiny and blocky world with simplistic gameplay
, no sound, and only a handful of quests. The product of two brothers operating out of their parents' house in Nottingham, the original version launched in 2001 and slowly carved out its niche as a game for kids that could be played in a web-browser. RuneScape
has a special significance for me as the first MMO I ever played, and it's responsible for starting my life-long love affair with online gaming. A whole generation of gamers grew up with that primitive, blocky world and eventually left for more polished games. But RuneScape
has grown up too -- and boy did it have a growth spurt!
bears little resemblance to the classic version many of us played as kids. The graphics are now considerably better, the world map is about five times the size, and it has features most people dream of getting in their favourite MMOs. RuneScape
now has player housing, guild halls on huge floating islands, a full player-designed battleground system, procedurally generated dungeons, regular content updates, and 186 quests packed full of British humour. People sometimes say that RuneScape
isn't a proper MMO like World of Warcraft
, but I'd argue that it's actually more worthy of its "massively multiplayer" title than most of the MMOs released in the past decade.
In this editorial, I look at just how far RuneScape
has come and argue that RuneScape
may be more worthy of being called a proper MMO than some triple-A releases.