RuneScape is a fantasy massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) released in January 2001 by Andrew and Paul Gower, and developed and published by Jagex Games Studio. It is a graphical browser game implemented on the client-side in Java or HTML5, and incorporates 3D rendering. The game has had over 200 million accounts created and is recognised by the Guinness World Records as the world's largest free MMORPG and the most-updated game.
RuneScape takes place in the world of Gielinor, a medieval fantasy realm divided into different kingdoms, regions, and cities. Players can travel throughout Gielinor via a number of methods including on foot, magical spells, or charter ships. Each region offers different types of monsters, resources, and quests to challenge players. The game's fictional universe has also been explored through a tie-in video game on another of its maker's websites, FunOrb, Armies of Gielinor, and the novels Betrayal at Falador, Return to Canifis, and Legacy of Blood.
Players are represented in the game with customisable avatars. RuneScape does not follow a linear storyline; rather, players set their own goals and objectives. Players can choose to fight non-player character (NPC) monsters, complete quests, or increase their experience in the available skills. Players interact with each other through trading, chatting, or by participating in mini-games and activities, some of which are competitive or combative in nature, while others require cooperative or collaborative play.
The first public version of RuneScape was released on 4 January 2001 in beta form, and in December 2001, Jagex was formed to manage the game. As the game's popularity grew, the game engine was rewritten, and its beta was opened to paying players on 1 December 2003 under the name "RuneScape 2", and officially released on 29 March 2004. The third iteration of the game, "RuneScape 3", was released on 22 July 2013.
Players begin in a secluded area, where they are taken through a tutorial, a set path where they learn the most basic skills in RuneScape. After the tutorial, players have access to tutors and advisors located in the towns they explore, who can give players appropriate information about their respective skills.
Players set their own goals and objectives as they play the game. They can train their in-game skills, engage non-player character (NPC) monsters and other players in combat and complete quests at their discretion. Players interact with each other through trading, chatting or by participating in mini-games.
The 26 skills in RuneScape enable players to perform various activities within the game, allowing for interaction with NPCs, the environment and other players. Players gain experience points in a skill when they utilise it. For example, mining an ore trains the mining skill, and when the player accumulates enough experience points in the skill, their character will "level up". As the skill level rises, the ability to retrieve better raw materials and produce better products increases, as does the experience awarded if the player utilises new abilities. The total skill level of a player partly symbolises the player's status in the game and subscribers with a high total level can appear on the official high scores. Upon reaching the highest available level in a skill, members may buy a special cape to symbolise their achievement.
Some skills, such as woodcutting and fishing, enable the player to collect raw materials that can be processed into usable items for other skills, such as fletching and cooking respectively. The items created can be used by the player or sold to shops and other players. Other skills allow players to kill certain NPCs, build their own houses, move around the map with greater ease, steal from various NPCs, market stalls and chests located in-game, light fires, cook their own food, create their own potions, craft runestones and weapons, plant their own plants, hunt NPC animals, raid dungeons, and summon familiars to assist in combat and training skills.
RuneScape features a semi-real-time combat system. Combat is an important aspect of the game, allowing players to defeat monsters to obtain dropped items or to complete quests. A combat level is an indicator of how powerful a player or NPC is in combat. For players, it is determined by applying a mathematical formula to their combat skills. Players engage in combat by clicking on the enemy they want their character to attack and will automatically continue fighting until they kill their opponent, die, or retreat from the fight. Most of the game's weapons are medieval or fantastical in nature, and feature different strengths and weaknesses. Players may also summon a familiar to assist with combat, use special attacks called "abilities" to deal additional damage, and use potions and the Prayer skill to boost their combat prowess.
Combat is subdivided into three main categories: melee, magic and ranged. Melee attacks are close range,magic attacks focus on using runestones to cast spells, and ranged attacks use projectile weapons like arrows, darts or knives. These combat types make up a "Combat Triangle", which governs effectiveness of styles in a rock-paper-scissors fashion; melee beats ranged, ranged beats magic, magic beats melee, and each style is neutral to itself.. The advantages and disadvantages of the combat triangle apply to both NPCs and player opponents. Players are not required to choose a character class nor are they bound to a specific category of combat. They may freely change between or combine the three styles of combat by switching weapons and armour.
Combat is governed by a life points system. Every combatant has a maximum capacity of life points, and dies when their health is depleted to 0. Lost life points can be recovered by consuming certain food or drinks, or casting abilities. Players who die reappear at a respawn point of their choice with their life and skill points restored; however, they drop all but three chosen items, as well as certain common items.Actually, you go to the last "hub point"; gotta find a source for this-----> Dying spawns a gravestone that will hold all of the player's items and will last for an allotted time; however, there are situations in which all items will be lost upon death. If the player does not return in time, the grave will collapse and their items will disappear. In June 2012 players were invited to beta-test a new combat system, which included fundamental changes such as re-balancing the Combat Triangle to avoid favouring melee attacks, and replacing special weapon attacks with abilities that produce a range of effects when activated. The system was released on the live game on 20 November 2012. On 24 January 2014, Jagex announced plans to further change the combat system with changes such as improvements to abilities and the reintroduction of special attacks. A second beta-test was opened that was available to all registered accounts. In addition to the beta, various polls were added for players to vote on in game that would determine the result of future content development,some of which would dictate the development of the improved combat system. A beta for a separate combat system dubbed Legacy Mode was officially opened to players on 16 June 2014 before being introduced to the live game on 14 July
Player versus player combat
Player versus player combat (PvP) can be performed in specific controlled mini-games and in an area known as the Wilderness. The Duel Arena allows players to stake money and items, while other PvP games offer their own rewards. In the Wilderness, players can engage in combat provided that their combat levels fall within a certain range of each other, and if a player kills their opponent they will be able to claim their opponent's items as a reward.
Before December 2007, players went to the Wilderness to fight other players within a certain combat level range, hoping to kill them and gain their items. In December 2007, the Wilderness was altered to prevent players from transferring in-game items for real-world currency.PvP combat was removed from the Wilderness and temporarily restricted to new mini-games named Bounty Hunter and Clan Wars. Bounty Hunter was replaced by special Bounty Worlds on 6 May 2009 in which players were confined to the Wilderness and could be assigned specific targets to kill. "PvP Worlds" were introduced on 15 October 2008 where players could fight almost anywhere in Gielinor, but these and "Bounty Worlds" were removed when PvP combat in the Wilderness was restored on 1 February 2011.
NPCs populate the realm of Gielinor. Some NPCs, such as shopkeepers and some characters in quests, are unavailable for combat. However, most NPCs can be attacked and these are generally referred to as monsters. Monsters range from common, low-level creatures, such as chickens and goblins, to unique and often much more powerful monsters, such as the King Black Dragon, Kalphite Queen, TzTok-Jad, or the Corporeal Beast.
Most monsters have their own strengths and weaknesses, notable exceptions being certain bosses, which have no specific weaknesses. Demons, for example, have a weak defence against ranged attacks, while metal dragons have extremely high defence against ranged. The weakness of an individual monster is displayed in an interface above its model, along with its combat level and lifepoints.
Monsters may either be aggressive or non-aggressive. Non-aggressive monsters ignore players unless attacked, while aggressive monsters may attack all players or may only attack players with combat levels below a specified level, depending on the circumstances or location. This can make certain areas throughout Gielinor dangerous or inconvenient to players with lower combat levels.
Players can interact with each other through trading, chatting, or by participating in mini-games and activities, some of which are competitive or combative in nature, while others require cooperative or collaborative play. Players can trade items and gold coins with each other, either through a face-to-face trade, or by using a large automated marketplace known as the Grand Exchange.
The chat system enables players to communicate with each other. Public Chat broadcasts text to players in the local area on one server, both by text appearing above the speaker's head and in the message box. Friends Chat broadcasts text in the message box only to certain players tuned into a specific channel, who can be available on any RuneScape world. Each Friends Chat channel has an owner, who can assign different ranks to individual players; players' ranks dictate their ability to perform administrative tasks within the channel. Clan Chat allows members of a clan to communicate with each other through a separate channel.Quick Chat allows players to choose from a list of predetermined messages to send as Public Chat, Clan Chat, or Friends Chat.
RuneScape also features independent mini-games, although most are only available to paying members. Mini-games take place in certain areas and normally involve specific in-game skills, and usually require players to cooperate or to compete with each other. Examples of these mini-games include Castle Wars, which is similar to the real-life game Capture the Flag, Pest Control, a highly combat-focused mini-game, and Fist of Guthix, where one player (the hunter) tries to stop another player (the hunted) from collecting charges into a magical stone.
Quests are series of tasks with a storyline that players can choose to complete. These often have requirements including minimum levels in certain skills, combat levels, quest points and/or the completion of other quests. Players receive various rewards for completion of quests, including money, unique items, access to new areas, quest points and/or increases in skill experience. Some quests require players to work together, and many require players to engage in challenging combat. Quests are grouped into categories based on requirements and difficulty. Once a player completes all quests in the game, an achievement item known as the "Quest Point Cape" can be claimed. New quests are released periodically.
History and development
Andrew Gower developed RuneScape with the assistance of his brother Paul Gower. It was originally conceived as a text-based MUD, but graphics were incorporated early in development, adding it to the ranks of what were then known as "graphical MUDs".The first public version of the game utilised a mixture of three-dimensional and two-dimensional sprites. It was released as a beta version on 4 January 2001, and originally operated out of their parents' house in Nottingham.In December 2001, the Gower brothers, along with Constant Tedder, formed Jagex to take over the business aspects of running RuneScape. Among its early innovations Jagex developed an interpreted domain-specific scripting language called RuneScript, which is used by RuneScape's server for event handling. In February 2002, a monthly membership service was introduced, allowing access to additional features including new areas, quests, and items not available to free users.
As the game gained more users, Jagex began planning major changes. The developers rewrote the game engine, producing a new version of the game with entirely three-dimensional graphics called RuneScape 2. A beta version of RuneScape 2 was released to paying members for a testing period beginning on 1 December 2003, and ending in March 2004. Upon its official release, RuneScape 2 was renamed simply RuneScape, while the older version of the game was kept online under the name RuneScape Classic. On 12 January 2006, Jagex banned more than 5000 Classic accounts for cheating. To prevent further cheating, Classic was closed to new accounts and access was restricted to accounts who had played it at least once between 3 August 2005 and 12 January 2006 Additional reopenings have taken place in November 2009, June 2010 and September 2011.It is currently only possible to play Classic on an account that has logged in during at least one of these four periods.
To support RuneScape's free content, advertisements appear on a banner above the playing screen on the free-to-play servers. Since computer users may use advertisement blockers, which may discourage advertisers, Jagex introduced a rule that prohibits players from blocking these advertisements. On 13 July 2006, Jagex signed an exclusive marketing and distribution contract with WildTangent Games, which granted WildTangent the right to handle advertising in and around RuneScape in the United States, and to distribute RuneScape through the WildTangent Games Network,reaching over 20 million consumer PCs.
On 16 May 2006, Jagex upgraded RuneScape's game engine, improving the game's loading times and reducing its memory requirements. On 1 July 2008, Jagex released a beta of their "High Detail" mode for members, which was extended to free players two weeks later. High Detail Debut"/> Before the launch, Jagex stated that it would be officially revealed at the 2008 E3 trade show.
On 14 February 2007, a German translation of RuneScape was introduced, followed by a French translation on 11 December 2008, Brazilian Portuguese on 24 July 2009, and Latin American Spanish on 25 April 2013. In an interview in May 2008, former Jagex CEO Geoff Iddison stated that, "We do plan to go East with it [RuneScape] to the Asian market and the Eastern European market too" [...] "RuneScape is not for Japan, but it could work well in Malaysia for example. And where's India in all this? I think RuneScape is a game that would be adopted in the English-speaking Indian world and the local-speaking Indian world. We're looking at all those markets individually." RuneScape later launched in India through the gaming portal Zapak on 8 October 2009, and in France and Germany through Bigpoint Games on 27 May 2010.
On 28 February 2012, an in-game feature was introduced called the "Squeal of Fortune" that allowed players to win items on a daily basis by spinning the wheel. On 2 April 2012, it became possible for players to spend real-world currency in exchange for additional spins, introducing a form of microtransaction to the game. Jagex CEO Mark Gerhard had previously described microtransactions as "a stealth tax", and the update provoked complaints from players who believed they had been "betrayed" by the change.In July 2012, Jagex released Solomon's General Store, making it possible to spend real currency in exchange for "RuneCoins" that could be spent on cosmetic rewards in the game. On 29 August 2012, Gerhard released a response to this controversy, describing these microtranstactions as "[having] a significant role in ensuring that we can continue to support, develop and grow the game for many more years to come." He states that while these decisions are "not necessarily popular", they are made with the future of RuneScape in mind.On 4 February 2014, the Squeal of Fortune was replaced with Treasure Hunter. Rather than spinning a wheel for prizes, players are given keys which are used to open a chest of their choosing.On 26 March 2014, Gerhard reiterated his stance on microtransactions and their importance in updating RuneScape, and announced a partnership with Supersonic ads, allowing players to earn RuneCoins by watching advertisements or sampling products.Partnership with Supersonic ads was dropped for one with Peanut Labs, but no reference exists suitable for citation. Relevant post is http://http://services.runescape.com/m=news/ironman--drop-table-reworks but neither company is named-->
On 30 August 2012, Gerhard announced that an HTML5 version of RuneScape was in development that would allow the game to be played on "your favourite tablets, platforms and even smart TVs." A video released on 22 March 2013 stated that the new version would be called RuneScape 3 and would utilise WebGL, and would include a fully customisable user interface and improved audio.A closed beta of the HTML5 version went live on 17 April 2013, followed by a separate alpha version of the new interface on 24 April. RuneScape 3 was released on 22 July 2013.
As of November 2011 there were 139 English RuneScape servers located throughout the world, which are numbered and referred to as worlds by players and by Jagex. They are located in the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, the Netherlands, Australia, Sweden, Finland, Belgium, Ireland, Norway, Denmark, New Zealand, Mexico, France, Lithuania, and India.