Is RuneScape about to enter another golden era in it's lifespan? The question seems ridiculous when considering what the game once was back in 2007. That version was so popular it became the base for a whole new equally or more so successful game that Jagex has made that is not their own core platform. I am not an old school RS player and I have been beginning to ask myself why I didn't give that version of RS a longer try. Here is the method to my madness by making such an outrageous statement.
Currently at low traffic time periods there are still 70 thousand accounts online on RS3 alone, with old school boasting 45 thousand online. There is a sight that has been holding onto numbers like this here. It's really a fantastic tool that shows that the game has been on a relative uptrend for the last three years with this quarter being it's highest for online user average since January 2013. That is reassuring to hear as an MMO is only as strong as it's player base. Recently I have noticed that the two versions of the game have created a sort of divide between players and I am beginning to think there is no harm in that. Each community is very strong and passionate about the version they play. I notice this a lot with my friends playing old school RuneScape and it reminds me of times when all I wanted to do was talk about the game and felt accomplished at every 99 I received.
RuneScape 3 has this as well, however it seems that the game is in a transition to 120 that will be long and pretty controversial for players but genuinely well received. RS3 now seems more of a get loner thing to do on the side that is enjoyable. A game where getting together with friends is not as important. It's a game where the story has become a big deal and that is what old school lacks.
Outside of RuneScape and it's forums, the community seems to be thriving. I speak mostly for Old School RuneScape for this as Twitch has been an integral part of it's success. There are so many people live streaming this game and it's rather high on the list for streamed games on Twitch. I don't have much more to say on this one as streaming is not really my thing, but it still points towards another gold rush for Jagex.
Jagex is starting to correct and remove mistakes and dead content. Even going as far as to remove the Java client entirely. Either updating quests or being willing to remove a whole portion of the map i.e. "Camelot". Jagex has shown that they are tweaking their game and removing what is not cared about, updating what is broken, and starting to make reasons to return to areas of the game that had long since been forgotten. This is a healthy move and trimming some excess fat from the game can only mean better quality releases down the road.
The update style has returned! Each month I have been growing more and more worried that Jagex will say to much about what they plan to do. I have yet to be disappointed. The update style harks back to days of old where we got surprise updates for some really cool things that were not massive in scope but really played a role in the game. The most famous update like this in the past I remember were the extreme potions and the surge spells for magic. But now we are getting these again. The most recent one that I have been really happy with was the Lumbridge crater reskin. There was not really much point to this but it makes a world of a difference. It shows that players like these kind of updates when it ranked so high in anticipated releases.
So when it comes down to it, this is what Jagex has started doing since the end of 2016, and it has proven to be working really well. Old School RS is holding a steady pace and RS 3 is finally getting some color in it's face again. The updates are being done right. Every year should be a year of surprises. The massive updates that loom should be advertised as expansions to the game. And Jagex should stake the reigns from the players a little more like they have and do what they do best. RuneScape as a whole is a quirky game and the more that Jagex embraces this fact and helps it by giving the game it's good old updates that it used to have the better. Thanks everyone and happy gaming.