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RuneScape Q&A – Andrew


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34 replies to this topic

#1
Demoli
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Demoli

    TET Hampster

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It started a few minutes ago:

RSOF link

Saburwolf4 asks:
Hi Andrew, I recently spoke with Paul about Jmods not playing RuneScape enough to know what the game needs or in some cases "Torso mistake" making game play worse than it already was.

Seeing as Jmods don't have the time to play as much as some of your customers and with that you not fully knowing the customers needs in the way of new content to keep them busy, how do you go about combating that?

Answer:
Well some of our Jmods play the game a LOT and are very high level. Some of them play a bit and are mid level, and some only play occasionally and are low level. This is very handy because we try to cater to players of all levels, and by having Jmods with different levels of experience we can make sure we get a balanced view across all levels. The difficultly is more trying to do something which pleases everyone, if we ONLY asked high level Jmods/players we would also miss a lot of vital points of view. So it's difficult balancing act trying to do a variety of updates, which appeal to different users.


Joshposh70 asks:
do you have any plans to remove merchanting clans.
as no one but the clan makers themselves get money while everyone else has
to pay like 300% more for an item only to lose 500k on it after they "dump"

Answer:
I don't like it either. The difficulty however is precisely defining what is and isn't ok. There is likely to be grey areas, and we don't want a rule we can't enforce or make it very clear what is and isn't ok. What I'm considering at the moment is possible instead of outlawing merchanting clans, instead just outlawing spam advertising clans over and over in the public chat. Which might solves most the problem, and is much more obvious what you can and can't do. What do you think? Would this help? Or would this also prohibit things you think you should be allowed, and seem overly draconian?


Frankos9 asks:
Do you still develop or help with RuneScape Content, like you used to do in the early days of RuneScape?

Answer:
My role in Jagex has changed substantially over the years. These days I work in sort of 'advisory' or 'consultant' type role across the company. Where I help various different teams with their design+technical challenges, and also help direct what new things we are going to do.

I don't do a lot of 'hands-on' creating of content anymore. There just isn't time. But I still talk to the content team regularly to discuss the latest plans, and offer my experience and opinion, so I still have quite a big role in shaping the game.

I'm currently doing this sort of 'advisory' role for about 8 different projects, so it's a pretty full time job. It generally means I'm in design or technical meetings all day every day, but it does mean my time is used a lot more efficiently as I'm better able to assist other people in creating great products. If I was doing my own I'd only be able to work on 1 projects at once, rather than 8 :)

(note: not all these projects are new games, some of them are things like billing systems, and other less exciting but still very essential things)


Torge slayer:

Where do you stand on buy able content, many of us high levels like to work for content and find it very frustrating that you can either out right buy it, or get lucky and obtain as a drop most of us would
like to see much more high-end non tradable content no more of these luck based/rich player content, Spirit shields for example, unobtainable content for even the more elite players, when the only way to obtain such items were if you were lucky enough to hoard rares back in the day

Answer:

I think buyable content has always been a part of RuneScape and to try and change it now would be radically changing the game to something different to what most people signed up for. It's a part of what makes RuneScape what is is. I don't however think ALL things should be buyable and like to make sure we ALSO introduce unique items which you can only earn yourself, and can't just buy.


Neelke asks:
(1) Is Jagex ever considering on hiring a few good players who know alot about Runescape?

Answer:
We already have.


Cycloolephin asks:
When f2p gets the new skill(which I'm really grateful for), will we see as many updates? Not that we get a whole lot in the first place, but I hope you won't leave us alone for a year because of the new skill.

Answer:
f2p will still mainly continue to get 'non content' updates. So updates like better graphics, better sound, better controls, better interfaces, features that make the game more conveniant and less annoying to play etc f2p will continue to get as they always have.

'Content' updates like new quests and skills will however still be rare, as they are one of the main members benefits. This skill will be the biggest f2p content update in ages, but it doesn't mean they will suddenly get new content every week.


Purpender26 asks:
1) What is it like to see RuneScape progress from RSC almost 10 years ago to what it is today? Is it anything like you imagined it to be?

2) Recently there has been a large emphasis on community. This month is Clan Community Month, and forums for people speaking other languages have emerged. What else is Jagex going to do to improve the overall community?

Answer:
1) It's awesome. It's a lot bigger and better than I imagined, but in terms of concept is exactly what I hoped for.

2) One thing we are interested in trying to do is help to create 'micro communities' or 'sub communities'. Because the overall jagex community is so huge, and often posts can get lost on forums because there are so many. So helping people form smaller special interest groups, or localised groups might help the feeling of community. Also still (slowly) working on improving the clan support.


Ferrovax27 asks:

1. It has become pretty obvious that macros/bots have been making their way back into Runescape, most notably autotypers, but still some skilling bots. 2-part question:

a) Is getting rid of bots and macros still as big a priority as it was before now that RTW is mostly gone?

B) And what has Jagex done lately to help rid the game of these unfair advantages?

Answer:
Well it isn't AS high a priority, because it's still nowhere near as bad as it was before. However we do still have a dedicated team who work every day to continue to ban people who think they can get away with botting. The autotypers however particularly are getting annoying, and we are currently looking at both technical and non-technical solutions to deal with this area especially.


Auroran Rage asks:

Hey Andrew, I was wondering what role do your brothers Ian and Paul play at Jagex now, or do they just take a cut of the profits? Also, what happened to Constant Tedder?

Answer:
Paul still works here full time, and works in the RuneScape content team. And has been doing a particularly tasty new quest.

Ian also still works here full time, and is working on one of our new upcoming games.

Constant is still a director on the board, but takes less of a role in the day to day running of the company.


Theakman2 asks:

1. Are there any plans to add the ability to adjust the gamma in the graphics settings? I ask because the graphics overall are a little too dark for my taste and it would be nice to have the ability to brighten it up without making the blacks turn grey - a gamma setting would be perfect for this and I can't imagine it would be too difficult to implement.

Answer:

There is brightness control in the graphics settings, however it adjusts brightness not gamma. It used to do gamma, but was changed with RuneScapeHD because of technical limitations of how hardware accelerators work.

We might be able to put in a gamma control that ONLY works when in fullscreen mode. However unfortunately gamma adjustment in windowed mode causes the entire rest of the desktop to change colour too and looks really bad!

I think most people play in windowed mode, so this wasn't a priority.


Epiic Kronix asks:
-Could you give more specific information about upcoming updates, like the new skill or new armour?

Answer:
Um no, not really sorry. Like to keep a few suprises, plus often things change during development and we don't like to set expectations unfairly.

^^Bummer^^

Epiic Kronix asks:
-What would you change if you could go back in the future of Jagex?

Answer:
I would take RuneScape as it currently is now back in time on a DVD and it give to my younger self, and save a whole load of work :)

Although there is nothing I REALLY want to improving, that we aren't already in the process of improving. But I could go back could save a lot of those early attempts, and get things write first time, and not have to worry about how to make the change with upsetting the status quo. Things are a lot easier with the benefit of hindsight.


TzTok-Gas asks:

Before RuneScape, you made a game called DeviousMUD, if that's right? :P I'm not 100% confident on the name. Have you still got it anywhere? And if so, are you planning to upload it onto the RuneScape website for Members for a little while or anything? So we can get a look at how RuneScape was created? :)

Answer:
Yes it was called DeviousMUD. Yes I still have it. I can't really upload it because it isn't finished and doesn't work properly, and has no deployment mechanism, and would probably break if more than 10 people tried to play it at once. :) It would probably need more work than I put into it originally to get it back online. A youtube video I think is about the best I could manage. It was rubbish anyway :)


TzTok-Gas asks:
3. With the new Orb of Oculus, players can see into area's beyond the wall which they couldn't before. Are you planning to change this in any way?

Answer:
Don't think so. Don't really mind. Anything we really want to keep hidden isn't uploaded yet anyway.


Elatreus asks:

Quite a few months back, you made a topic about the Grand Exchange's price floors and ceiling. I believe you said that alot of these caps would be removed eventually, is this still the plan? and if so, how is it developing?

I'm asking this as there are still quite a few items that affected by these price floors and ceilings.
One group of items are arrows from bronze-adamant which have all reached their price ceiling's a while ago, and thus are very hard to buy through the Ge.

Answer:

Well we removed a huge number of caps, but I think progress might have stalled a bit since then. I'll look into this again and see I can kickstart it some more. Thanks for reminding me! Would also be useful to know items where the caps are being particularly obstructive so those can be prioritized. I'll look at arrows.


This isn't an answer, but a note to myself of things which have been raised a few times, and people seem particularly concerned about so far, which clearly need more work, and which I need to prioritize, and think about as soon as I've finished answering questions here:

-Inflation
-Price manipulation clans and auto typers
-Incorrect GE prices (still)

I'll have a chat with the teams about these shortly.


Law Of Arma asks:

Months before the release of Summoning, you gave us the name, and in later development diaries also more details of the skill. Now, we're coming close to the release of the next skill and we still have no clue what it will be. (besides the one that it won't be sailing). Why didn't you give this information about the next skill?

Answer:

Well it is actually precisely because we felt the release of Summoning wasn't handled the best way. It was overhyped which led to disappointment, and then because there was so much anticipation it was rushed and released before it was ready. It wasn't really fixed to work properly until several months later! Don't want to make that mistake again.

^^Actually interesting^^

Qu4ck Attack asks:
Ever since the name-change update, many people have changed their names multiple times,
thus making them virtually unidentifiable to long-time friends and others.

Have you considered adding an identification-number or displaying the very first username
instead of the most recent username on the mouse-over function on people's friend-lists? Some means of "Permanent Identification" If you will.

Answer:
Well I think some people WANT to be able to permenantly get away from the first username that they didn't like. If it was still showed and they wished they had never chosen it then a lot of the point of being able to rid yourself of the name you wish you had never chosen would be lost.

Players are already restricted in how often they can change their name, so unless their friends and others play very rarely they can't just change identity overnight and hide instantly.


Qu4ck Attack asks:
Moreover, have you considered adding a hiscore table for bank-worth? And a button in the bank that totals one's bank value (saves a lot of hassle)?

Answer:
A button in the bank sounds ok, (although it would overflow a normal variable so is technically rather fiddly which is why it hasn't been done already). A hiscore table I'm a bit worried would just become a table of 'the best people to scam'.



Discuss

#2
Shelby_Polo
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Shelby_Polo

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He probably won't answer my question because it's more content based. :-(

Posted Image
Suggest a poll for Tip.it - Here!


#3
Ring_World
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Ring_World

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Id love to ask him a question... of course too bad im still permanently forum banned and was never given a chance to appeal <_<

#4
stevepole
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stevepole

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Very cool, despite not playing the game anymore it was an interesting read. The question asking about Andrew's role within Jagex was probably something I would have asked myself.
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#5
Demoli
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Demoli

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More logs:

Zarucien asks:

Do you think ultra-rich players would stop hoarding rare and discontinued items if they were allowed to keep more than 2,147,843,647 gp? Would removing this cap help the economy?

Answer:
I don't think it would help the economy, but it might cause rares to crash in price. Whether that is a good things or not I'm not so sure. We had a discussion about if it was worth the technical effort to do this only yesterday but came to the conclusion that:
a) it would be hundreds of hours of work. As thousands of places in the code would have to be updated to cope with a longer variable
B) it would give almost no benefit :)
So we decided against it.


Ferrovax27 asks:

#3. Why is it that, in a Single combat zone, this situation occurs a LOT?

Example: Three players, A, B, and C.

Player A and Player B fight. Player A fails to kill Player B, and B runs away.

B banks, withdraws full inventory of food, and heals up. B decides to fight C. C and B fight, and C kills B very quickly because C is a good Pker. Why is it

that A gets the loot from B, when C did the work to kill B?

Answer:
That shouldn't happen. If B *fully* heals with food (Which they would at a bank) then any damage done by A should be completely fogotten. That certainly used to be the case. Please could one of the Jagex QA staff who is surely reading this please verify this, and if it is true raise a bug report to fix it. The hero points system need resetting if a player completely heals.

^^Also interesting^^

Lancertje7 asks:

Q: Why do you like Cabbages so much? (Both)
A: Well I don't really like the taste. But they look cool :)

Q: Is it true that zaros may return? (Lancertje7)
A: That's a scary thought. Zaros scares me....

Q: Maybe i am wrong, correct me if i am, but are you guys working on a client that works with Directx?
A: Yes we are

Q: Is it true, Mechscape(Steller dawn) is cancelled because the highest developmer is fired? (Medabi3)
A: No it isn't true. Mechscape was cancelled because it wasn't good enough. Our new game Stellar dawn is being produced reusing only the best bits of mechscape and learning from everything we learnt, so will be a far better game as a result.

Q: Why didn't Jagex post on runescape that War of legends is released, while funorb got a big news post. (Medabi3)
A: It is still in Beta. It is just a test at the moment really. It will promoted more once we have fixed a few things, and once we are sure it can handle the deluge of players that will result. (i.e when testing is complete).


Demoliboy2 asked:

Will we see more of guthix? and will Tip.it mods ever give me the "Official priest of Guthix" stamp?

Answer:

I can't reveal anything related to future quests, but unless the mods give you that stamp this weekend i will make sure they divide by zero 8-)


Willjbriggs asks:
I seem to remember a few months ago there was a post on the runescape home page about the "The Jagex Anti Hijack System" Apprentley there was a plan to create some USB dongle shaped key rings which could be used to keep our accounts safe. Are this still under development? Or has the plan been abolished all together?

Answer:
The plan was abolished due to being way too expensive without sufficient sales, and our plans to incentivize it by bundling extra bank space (and hence sell enough dongles to make it possible) were met with such opposition that we canned the idea.


Glitched Ltd asks:
Who u think will be the Lead Developer after u quit jagex?

Answer:
Um, I'm not in the process of quitting!

P.S. Your name is fine!

^^lol'ed

Kipper Fett asks:
Will the ‘red mist’/ ‘strange power* make itself felt again before we discover its source?

Answer:
I don't know!


O_o Firefox asks:
Will [the new] skill be a money sink?

Answer:
I don't think so. Not in the way Construction is at any rate. It certainly won't be a skill 'only for rich people'

Your 2nd question is one to ask the graphics team I think :)


W3 GOT TEA asks:
How did you learn Java?

Answer:
By reading books, reading websites. And looking at other peoples Java programs where they had given the source code away, and taking them apart and changing them and trying to understand how they worked. (starting with only very simple programs). It helped that I already knew how to program in several other languages, and they are all kind of similar. I originally learnt how to program entirely from books.

Q: Do you have any plans to re-write Runescape in a completely different language in the future?

A: No, although we are currently looking at plans to make it easier to get going if you don't already have java installed.)


Mr Pleco asks:
Q: What is your target market or player for RuneScape? What are you doing to attract that player? What are you doing to keep that player?

A: The target player is a gamer, who wants a game that will last and is more concerned with good gameplay than anything else. E.g. I would say someone in late teens or early 20s is 'target'. But of course we know lots of people outside that range also play, and we don't really want to restrict to just one age anyway. We want as many people to enjoy the game as possible, and don't think you are ever too old to enjoy RuneScape. To attract that sort of player, we have been undoing some of the 'dumbing down' of the game that was rather unwisely introduced, and really focusing on good varied (intelligent) gameplay.


Imperiumm asks:
Q: ANDREW WATCH OUT THERE'S AN OCTOPUS ON YOUR HEAD

A: Arrgh!


Q: also, what is your stance on the whole 76k/merch clan thing? Is anything ever going to be done about it?

A: I don't think those are the same problem! I dont think it will be ever perfect but will look into the merch clan things in particular.


DeadyOf2010 asks:

Would Jagex be bringing back the labels of Server Locations in all RuneScape Servers i.e. the themed worlds that currently only have a "R|S" flag that do not currently have the indication of the location of the server?

Answer:

No we deliberately got rid of those labels, because we realised location isn't a very good indicator of lag. And we added the ping column instead which is better for that. The remaining 'location' indicators, are more to help the players form sub communities than as an indicator of which world is 'best'. Also we can't possibly put a themed world of every type in every location, and given the location isn't a good indicator anyway thought it was just confusing to show it, as anyway can use a particular themed world if they like, even if it isn't near them.


DeadyOf2010 asks:
Is it possible to add a "Text-to-Speech" function in-game for NPCs who speak during quests and normal interaction?

Answer:
We are considering doing a small trial of this for a small part of the game. Depending on how it goes we might roll it out further.


Mr Pleco asks:
Why do we still have TWO kinds of essence?

Answer:
The level req is to help the low level economy work better. Because you can mine essence with no level requirements AT ALL it breaks the game if low level players can earn money too fast. None pure essense is worth less which helps with this.

In terms of it being members only, only members can use pure essence anyway, and we like to avoid the situation where free users just work as servants for the members!

I admit there are other places in the game where both the above are already broken, but that's no reason to break it even more. Ideally the other places would be adjusted also.


Slna asks:
About the new skill, who had the idea for it? Was it you? Was it Mod MMG? Was it some other mod?

Answer:
I'm pretty sure it was a collaborative effort. Lots of people have contributed and it pretty much evolved out of discussion. Would be hard to attribute the idea to single person.


Nygu asks:
What HD features will become available in SD, and do you guys manage to do that? O_o

Answer:
We already made the resizable window available in SD. The next such update should make the textures, some of the better lighting, and the better shadows also available in SD. This really makes it looks VERY close to HD.

Turning all that on (in SD mode) does make it run a bit slower than it does in current SD mode. But it is optional, and if you keep the window small or have a fast computer works very well.

It is also not as much slower as you might think, because we rewrote the whole graphics layer to be faster anyway. Indeed if you instead play in SD and leave the textures off it should be faster than ever before. (when we launch it)


Kio Tori asks:
how far ahead do you tend to plan out the quest storylines? I

Answer:
Most the story lines are planned out 'very approximately' a long way in advance. Normally all the way to the end of the storyline. So we have a rough idea if what will happen in each section of the quest in terms of overall story. However exactly how that event comes to pass, and all the little details, and lot of the sub-stories, and side details, and precise characterizations are worked out much later only as the quest is being developed.


Jollyscout asks:
For what kind of gameplay was Runescape created? For sticking to one world or is world hopping part of normal gameplay? Also what type of gameplay would you want to encourage DIY or buying skills?
And if you play yourself how do you play DIY or grinding and buying or a mix of the two?

Answer:
World hopping was never an intended part of the game. Indeed originally the game only HAD one world. I prefer things to be designed to not need world hopping but we don't always get it right. (evil tree springs to mind as being far too world hoppy in my opinion). I personally play a mix of DIY and buying things I need on the GE. (before the GE I did pretty much entirely DIY). I don't do a lot of grinding and prefer to switch between activities quite often and keep it varied.


Ele Cambria asks:

Q: Good gracious, ten pages in ten seconds, lol. Andrew, I sure hope you've got your coffee/tea/caffeinated-drink-of-choice ready for the flood of questions. :)

A: I don't drink caffine :) It doesn't really agree with me. A lot of pre-prepared and copy+pasted questions there I think given how fast they appeared and how long many of them are.


Q: What are your New Year's Resolutions?

A: My main new years resolution was to spend more time walking around the office, and seeing how people are getting on, and helping the staff, and generally being more approachable. And not just always talking to the same few team leaders. I'm doing okish, but it's a BIG office, and there are a lot of staff, and I'm shy :)


Chrisscool asks:
Me and my friend were playing Barrows one day, and then the next day, we both almost died. Did Jagex make a hidden update for the brothers making them harder?

Answer:
I don't think so. We don't really do 'hidden' updates to the difficulty of things, or the drop rates of things like that. We are open about what we change and list it in our patch notes each week. Occasionally things get changed by accident, but they normally get changed back in that case.



#6
Mil
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Mil

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Posted Image Firefox asks:
Will [the new] skill be a money sink?

Answer:
I don't think so. Not in the way Construction is at any rate. It certainly won't be a skill 'only for rich people'

Your 2nd question is one to ask the graphics team I think Posted Image


Interesting...


#7
Guest_TrixStar_
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Guest_TrixStar_
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I'm glad it's not going to be a money sink. Hopefully more like agility,mining, and fishing

#8
Demoli
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Demoli

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K1ng Of Str1 asks:
I can't play RS for ever, but to me, it's like leaving a book without finishing it.
What I mean is that the story of Rs will continue after I stop playing, but I won't be able to follow it.

Any ideas of what can I do about it? :P

Answer:
Who says you can't you play it for ever? :P You could play it just a bit each week if you didn't want to spend so much time, and so still follow the story. Or I suppose you could ask a friend what has been happening in the game, and to keep you up to date with the story.


Ok I'm out of time now I'm afraid.

Thanks for all your questions. I hope some of the answers were helpful, or at the very least interesting. I'm sorry I couldn't answer them all, but of course that would be impossible!

Don't forget there will be more Q&A with other staff coming up, so lots more chances for more answers in the future.

Thanks
Andrew


So, Q&A is over, discuss and comment freely now :geek:

#9
Danqazmlp
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Danqazmlp

    To Ass!

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Demoliboy2 asked:

Will we see more of guthix? and will Tip.it mods ever give me the "Official priest of Guthix" stamp?

Answer:

I can't reveal anything related to future quests, but unless the mods give you that stamp this weekend i will make sure they divide by zero 8-)




*grabs the divide by zero umbrella*


DeadyOf2010 asks:
Is it possible to add a "Text-to-Speech" function in-game for NPCs who speak during quests and normal interaction?

Answer:
We are considering doing a small trial of this for a small part of the game. Depending on how it goes we might roll it out further.


Does this mean we may actually hear some NPC's talk?
Want to be my friend? Look under my name to the left<<< and click the 'Add as friend' button!
Posted Image
Big thanks to Stevepole for the signature!^

#10
Guthorm
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Guthorm

    Varrock Guard

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DeadyOf2010 asks:
Is it possible to add a "Text-to-Speech" function in-game for NPCs who speak during quests and normal interaction?

Answer:
We are considering doing a small trial of this for a small part of the game. Depending on how it goes we might roll it out further.


This sounds hilarious, just because I think British accents are hilarious. Do it Jagex!
Posted Image[
Guild Wars 2-In game screenshot, the MMORPG you are waiting for. Click for thread.

#11
Toad
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Toad

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I missed the session, I'll read through now for some tasty-bites of information or should I say tasty-bytes, I'll stop now
Posted Image

#12
Guthorm
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Guthorm

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Sir, god does not approve of puns.
Posted Image[
Guild Wars 2-In game screenshot, the MMORPG you are waiting for. Click for thread.

#13
Toad
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Toad

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Sir, god does not approve of puns.


Especially if they're as bad as mine, I read the Q&A shame there weren't any really great questions thrown into the mix, it seems the same ones are brought up every Q&A session! I'll jot some hopefully answerable ones down for Content team next week
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#14
glasscube
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glasscube

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DeadyOf2010 asks:
Is it possible to add a "Text-to-Speech" function in-game for NPCs who speak during quests and normal interaction?

Answer:
We are considering doing a small trial of this for a small part of the game. Depending on how it goes we might roll it out further.


This sounds hilarious, just because I think British accents are hilarious. Do it Jagex!

Im pretty sure they mean Text to Speech and not voice acting.

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#15
SanNo1
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SanNo1

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Sir, god does not approve of puns.


Especially if they're as bad as mine, I read the Q&A shame there weren't any really great questions thrown into the mix, it seems the same ones are brought up every Q&A session! I'll jot some hopefully answerable ones down for Content team next week

That's probably because most of the time it's the same people posting on the Q&A's I guess <_<

I hope the content team will give out some hints again next time too.
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#16
Guthorm
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Text to speech, you mean the words will occur over their head and appear in the textbox?
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#17
Dire_Wolf
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Andrew seems like a nice guy. Most of answers was stuff i was interested in.

#18
Saru Inc
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Saru Inc

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So this is the first QA I've ever read, is pretty sweet.


Text to speech, you mean the words will occur over their head and appear in the textbox?



No I think that like the people would talk on screen, and if you had speaker, they'd talk through the speakers as well.

Edited by Saruman44, 04 February 2010 - 07:06 PM.

I have all the 99s, and have been playing since 2001. Comped 4/30/15 

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#19
Veiva
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I woke up too late so my questions were posted in the last few minutes, and therefore, weren't answered... Perhaps next time! (The questions were about RuneScript).

Good Q&A. Glad to know the new skill won't be a money sink, or at least as much as construction is. Not everyone has money... :(

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#20
Asmodeous4
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DeadyOf2010 asks:
Is it possible to add a "Text-to-Speech" function in-game for NPCs who speak during quests and normal interaction?

Answer:
We are considering doing a small trial of this for a small part of the game. Depending on how it goes we might roll it out further.


This sounds hilarious, just because I think British accents are hilarious. Do it Jagex!

How dare you! I say our accents are extremely cultured, now...Who wants Victoria Sponge and to play croquet on the lawn?




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