Runescape evolution

I see this forum is still full of rants and fighting, even over a year since the Runescape EoC beta was launched. I can’t hope to change that, but I can still try to provide a balanced perspective.

Yes, a balanced perspective. Coming from someone you believe to be a pro-EoC, that’s probably hard to believe. I am no longer pro-EoC, but neither am I anti-EoC. I am neutral on the issue – the EoC was in part a bad decision, in part a good one, in part the wrong change, in part the right one. And beyond that, I no longer actively play RuneScape – for unrelated reasons – so I have nothing invested in what becomes of the EoC.

As I said above, the EoC was both a bad decision and a good one. It was a bad decision because you can hardly hope to drive off half your playerbase and still grow by word of mouth. This was partly, but not completely, rectified recently, as I actually saw an add for RuneScape Gold online the other day. Rather shocking, but a move in the right direction.

It was also a good decision, though. RuneScape could continue with the old combat system for a while, maybe. But really, there are only three reasons why people would, after a while, continue to play: Cheapness, low computer requirements, and relaxed playstyle.

Cheapness would remain – but that playerbase alone won’t sustain RuneScape, because many would likely become F2P, and those that remained members… will a hundred thousand members sustain a large company? Not very well, certainly.

Low computer requirements… valid now, but as better computers gradually become cheaper, anything that can’t run a better game will probably be completely obsolete within a decade. Technology grows exponentially. Particularly with quantum computers around the corner…. those make a modern one look like a mechanical calculator from around WWII.

Relaxed playstyle will remain valid, but it only applies to combat, skills are an endless grind. This will drive away a lot of casual players as the community dies off (nothing keeping them here but the gameplay itself).

So eventually, without change, RuneScape will die.

This is not to say the EoC was the right change. It was simply A CHANGE. But the reason that was a good idea: The longer we stay the same way, the more we’ll hold onto it. A smaller change every year or two would be ideal. But a change enough to destabilize the game – this is perfect, we’ll likely have much less difficulty adjusting to the next big change.

I also mentioned that the EoC was both the wrong change, and the right one. This is based on combat “skill” (for RuneScape, in both combat systems, where I refer to “skill” I mean necessary reflexes. There was and is no skill in RuneScape).

The old combat system had better skill – but only at the very pinnacle. Someone around 120+ who would afford to hybrid would have a lot of skill involved. But that’s it. If we scale it down to a typical 80 who might be able to afford a set of Barrows armor, a Bandos Godsword and a Whip… well, that pretty much looked like this:
1. Godsword special
2. Whip
3. Eat when below 200 health
4. Hope the RNG goes in your favor

So pre-EoC had superior endgame PvP (why was PvP the endgame, by the way?) but inferior general PvP.

The EoC has more skill in generally accessible PvP. A 140 will need a lot more skill than someone with 70s stats previously. It’s still not a lot – while I, being self-taught, took about 4 months to gain a reasonable level of skill, I’ve taught others to do the same in about two hours, plus another few for practice – but to the extent where (AFTER they made stats matter) a 160 could easily wipe the floor with less-skilled 180s, that’s more than pre-EoC, at least at that level (a 120 could probably do the same to a 138, right?).