Old School RuneScape

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Old School RuneScape
Old School Runescape Logo.png
Developer(s)Jagex
Publisher(s)Jagex
Composer(s)Ian Taylor, Nick D. Oofus
Platform(s)
Release
  • Windows, OS X
  • 22 February 2013
  • Android, iOS
  • 30 October 2018
Genre(s)Massively multiplayer online role-playing
Mode(s)Multiplayer

Old School RuneScape is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) developed and published by Jagex. The game was released on 22 February 2013. When Old School RuneScape launched, it was originally an August 2007 build of RuneScape. However, it has since received engine improvements, new content, and quality of life updates largely decided by in-game polls. Despite having a smaller development team and a slower relative update schedule, Old School RuneScape has a larger player-base than RuneScape. A mobile version for Android and iOS was released in October 2018.

Gameplay[edit]

In-game screenshot, showing a player in combat with a goblin

The input mechanics are mainly point-and-click. The player controls a single character and can interact with NPCs, objects, and entities in the game world by left-clicking, or selecting an option from the object's right-click menu, since many objects can offer more than one interaction option. Old School RuneScape, like RuneScape, makes profit through a membership subscription that gives free-to-play members access to the full "pay-to-play" content of the game.

Ironman Mode[edit]

Old School RuneScape offers an "Ironman" game mode wherein players are completely barred from economic interaction with other players, and they must be completely self-sufficient. Ironman mode players cannot take items that other players have dropped, sold to stores, or left on the ground from kills.

First introduced in October 2014[1], this is often considered one of the most difficult ways to play the game, as many late-game items only come from high level bosses and have a small chance of being obtained. Although these accounts can still use all of the game's chat features, the game mode is often touted as a "single-player" experience due to the necessity of solo exploration of the game world for progression.

The game features several variations of the normal Ironman mode, including an "Ultimate Ironman Mode" that cannot use the in-game banks and a "Hardcore Ironman Mode" that turns into a normal Ironman account after dying for the first time.

Deadman Mode[edit]

Deadman Mode is a separate incarnation of Old School RuneScape released on 29 October 2015[2], which features open-world player versus player combat and accelerated experience rates. If one player kills another, the victor receives a key to a chest letting them loot items from their victim's account. Players who engage other players in combat will be marked with a skull icon – "skulled" players come under attack from NPCs if they try to enter safe cities, and the number of keys they are holding will be visible to other players making them an obvious target. Players who die in Deadman Mode will lose a significant portion of their experience points in all but five skills of the player's choice.[3]

Additionally, Jagex hosts separate, recurring "Deadman Tournaments" where players can qualify for a final elimination round, incentivised by monetary prizes. The Autumn Finals of September 2018 boasted a US$20,000 grand prize.[4]

Leagues[edit]

At RuneFest 2019, Jagex announced a special new high-speed gamemode with similarities to Deadman Mode called "Old School Runescape Leagues". Leagues contrast with the original servers in that they, much like Deadman Mode, will exist as a separate game instance and only exist for a short amount of time.

A League is intended to run for two months. Players in this gamemode compete with others to progress faster and farther before the two month deadline is over. Players that join select game servers will start anew, have vastly increased experience rates, and have the ability to unlock special permanent perks that add further multipliers to rewards and experience.[5]

The first iteration of Leagues was entitled the "Twisted League" and ran from November 14, 2019 until January 16, 2020. In this League, players were restricted to the regions of the Kebos Lowlands and Great Kourend.[6]

Release[edit]

Concurrent players of Old School RuneScape (blue) compared to RuneScape 3 (yellow) from 2013 to 2020. The spike in late 2018 coincides with the release of the mobile version.[7]

In response to the declining player base and negative update reception of the original and then-current version of RuneScape,[8][9] Jagex CEO Mark Gerhard officially announced a poll for the creation of Old School RuneScape in a news article in February 2013.[10] The article explained that an August 2007 backup of RuneScape was located in the company's backup archives. The company admitted that the game had changed a lot and that the backup could be used to create a separate version of the game if the players desired.[11] In the article, Jagex explained the goals of the poll, and what each number bracket would unlock for the player community. In two weeks, it received enough votes for the game to be released.[12] The ending total vote count was 449,351, which fell short of the 500,000 mass reward tier. Jagex did however incorporate three of the five incentives of the highest tier by approving vote based polls on all content, upgraded bot protection, and no additional fees for this game mode. [13]

Old School RuneScape was released for Microsoft Windows, macOS, and Linux on 22 February 2013. Upon release, the game was only playable for accounts that had a membership subscription. The option for non-members to play in the limited free-to-play areas was granted in February 2015.[14] In contrast to the original game, Old School RuneScape does not offer micro-transactions, and has a playerbase that heavily opposes them.[15][16]

Although Old School RuneScape has a small team of developers relative to that of the live version of RuneScape, it receives regular patches and new content of that of a flagship product. Most updates and changes are polled, and can be voted on in-game. The proposed updates are voted on by players, and are only implemented if 75 percent of paying players accept them.[17] Poll results used to be visible to everyone before casting their votes, but after April 2019, poll results became hidden until the conclusion of the polls.[18]

A mobile client of the game for Android and iOS devices was released on 30 October 2018.[19] In under two weeks, it became the most downloaded mobile game in eight different countries, surpassing a million downloads.[20]

Controversies[edit]

2017 Pride Event[edit]

In June 2017, the addition of an LGBT-themed holiday event, in which players were tasked with finding the pieces to create a rainbow scarf, caused controversy among players for being seen as political and out of place.[21]

Gold farming[edit]

The Rules of RuneScape prohibit players from engaging in the real-world sale or purchase of items, GP or services.[22] Despite the repercussions for gold farming, including the banning of suspected accounts, players continue to amass Old School RuneScape gold with the intention of selling it for real-life currency on third party websites.

Awards[edit]

The game was nominated for the "Heritage" and "Best Role-Playing Game" awards at The Independent Game Developers' Association Awards 2018 and 2019,[23][24][25] and won the award for "EE Mobile Game of the Year" at the 15th British Academy Games Awards.[26][27] In addition, it won the award for "Best Mobile Game" at the Develop:Star Awards, whereas its other nomination was for "Best Innovation".[28][29] It was also nominated for "Game of the Year" and "Best Live Ops" at the Pocket Gamer Mobile Games Awards.[30]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ironman Mode and Hardcore Ironman Mode - Relationships and Differences". www.runescapeah.com. Retrieved 2019-10-03.
  2. ^ @oldschoolrs (12 October 2015). "On the 29th October - you can be a Deadman" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  3. ^ "Deadman Mode".
  4. ^ "Deadman Autumn Finals Full Info".
  5. ^ https://www.pcgamesn.com/runescape/runefest-2019-archaeology
  6. ^ Jagex. "Old School RuneScape Twisted League". Oldschool RuneScape. Retrieved 2020-01-10.
  7. ^ "Runescape Population Avg by Month". www.misplaceditems.com.
  8. ^ Corriea, Alexa Ray (19 February 2013). "RuneScape bringing 'Old School' 2007 servers back online". Polygon. Vox Media. Archived from the original on 19 December 2018. Retrieved 6 September 2018.
  9. ^ Peel, Jeremy (22 February 2013). "Old School Runescape sees the browser MMO dialled back to 2007". PCGamesN. Network N. Archived from the original on 6 September 2018. Retrieved 6 September 2018.
  10. ^ "2007 - Old School RuneScape... You Vote!".
  11. ^ Klepek, Patrick (2016-12-14). "'RuneScape' Has Survived For 15 Years By Never Forgetting its Past". Waypoint. Retrieved 2019-05-02.
  12. ^ "Old School RuneScape: Poll Results In!".
  13. ^ "Old School Servers Now Open". Runescape. Jagex. Retrieved 10 February 2020.
  14. ^ Brown, Fraser (20 February 2015). "Old School Runescape starts its third year with free-to-play content". PCGamesN. Network N. Archived from the original on 6 September 2018. Retrieved 6 September 2018.
  15. ^ Jones, Ali (5 July 2019). "Old School Runescape ends partnership polls early after community backlash". PCGamesN.
  16. ^ "Old School RuneScape Ends Partnership Polls Early Due To Microtransaction Backlash". TheGamer. 2019-07-06. Retrieved 2019-08-01.
  17. ^ "Welcome to Old School Runescape Polls".
  18. ^ Jagex. "Hiding Poll Results". Oldschool RuneScape. Retrieved 2019-05-09.
  19. ^ "Old School RuneScape mobile debuts with over one million installs". GamesIndustry.biz. Retrieved 2019-05-02.
  20. ^ Ghost (8 November 2018). "Old School Runescape tops charts with a million iOS downloads". AltChar. Archived from the original on 19 December 2018. Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  21. ^ Johnson, Leif (2017-06-07). "'Runescape' Is Having a Pride Event, and Players Plan on Rioting". Vice. Retrieved 2019-10-23.
  22. ^ Jagex. "Rules of RuneScape". RuneScape. Retrieved 2020-04-04.
  23. ^ Stephenson, Suzi (19 September 2018). "TIGA Announces Games Industry Awards 2018 Finalists". The Independent Game Developers' Association. Retrieved 22 September 2018.
  24. ^ "2018 Winners". The Independent Game Developers' Association. 1 November 2018. Archived from the original on 19 December 2018. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  25. ^ Stephenson, Suzi (19 September 2019). "TIGA Announces Games Industry Awards 2019 Finalists". The Independent Game Developers' Association. Retrieved 25 September 2019.
  26. ^ Fogel, Stefanie (14 March 2019). "'God of War,' 'Red Dead 2' Lead BAFTA Game Awards Nominations". Variety. Retrieved 15 March 2019.
  27. ^ Fox, Chris; Kleinman, Zoe (4 April 2019). "God of War wins best game at Bafta Awards". BBC. Retrieved 4 April 2019.
  28. ^ Blake, Vikki (16 May 2019). "Shortlist for Develop:Star Awards 2019 revealed". MCV. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
  29. ^ Blake, Vikki (11 July 2019). "Here are this year's Develop:Star Awards winners". MCV. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
  30. ^ "The winners of 2020". Pocket Gamer. Retrieved 30 January 2020.