--My response is to Hamtaro's article only--
My take on the removal of "old" quests apparently is much the same as the author of the article... though I do see the Jagex reasoning as being legitimate, if they were being honest with their original explanation - though that can be debated since honesty coming from Jagex has been in question for quite some time! Anyway, I remember when they announced that they pulled Romeo & Juliet and that news hit when they updated the game early one morning. If I recall, I was actually playing at the time - though I'll admit my memory could be failing me, not that it matters one way or the other. Overall, I would have to say they were right... the quest didn't really fit into the game so I can not only see it, I can buy it. However, since they've ALWAYS had a habit of "stealing" content from popular culture while giving it a tweak, I'm somewhat puzzled by two things:
01 Why they didn't originally tweak R & J by renaming the characters into something that fit into the realm of Runescape when the quest was first installed?
02 If necessary, why didn't they originally tweak the basic storyline to also fit more into the game? You know... do the same thing they've been doing forever... which is to take something from the real world and tweak it before installing it into the game?
For both of these questions, I have this to say. They could easily have made "Juliet" into one of King Roald's daughters while re-naming her and made "the sop in love" Romeo into the son of someone else while re-naming him too... perhaps someone from Falador in the White Knight's castle? Oh, the possibilities... gone wasted. It could even have been something scandalous - an affair of Juliet with some NPC from... drum roll please... the Black Knight's Fortress! Not that I'd like the drama to go too far mind you... but it could have been vastly improved. I think everyone gets my point. Now, let's get back to that whole content inspiration thing, shall we?
As I previously stated, Jagex has incorporated (read that as liberally swiped & installed) a TON of things from popular culture into Runescape in one fashion or another... be it in humorous dialog, the basic storyline in a quest... or in a grouping of NPC characters somewhere on the Runescape map... or... in whatever. Example? Anyone remember anything from Star Wars in the mix of a quest somewhere in members play...? I AM YOUR FATHER and I sure do! While you cry out "NO! NoooOOoooOOoooOO!!!", I'm thinking about real world content in-game and I'm not sure how long it would take to compile a listing of all the things in the game that have a blatant or striking similarity to real world stuff... but there's a load and a half of it, no doubt about it. Heck... they've even gone so far as to create an entire mini-game based on a concept swiped from a popular animated series in my not so humble opinion. Anyone know what I'm referring to...? Anyone care to take a stab at it? You, dear reader, might be thinking of a few things... but I'll help you out. I'm talking PENGUIN HUNTING! Yes, one of my favorite weekly things to do while on members play was taken, though they may very well deny it, from Nick Park's Wallace & Gromit series. Specifically, the penguin end of it came from the animated film called "The Wrong Trousers". As you might guess, the "villain"... was... a.... PENGUIN. A sneaky, underhanded, spy-like penguin... not to put too fine a point on it. And yeah... Wallace & Gromit had to figure out what shenanigans were taking place before hunting him down. I'll leave it up to you all to see the film before deciding if I'm spot on the money or off my rocker (you can find it online for free if you look). However, I've already made up my mind. I say SOMEONE inside Jagex HQ was/is a serious Nick Park fan and that is precisely why they paid homage to Nick Park's penguin character or to the film when the whole Runescape penguin characters were dreamed up in the first place... and spawned quests, NPC characters and the mini-game itself. The bottom line is simply this: the programmers could have easily tweaked the original R & J quest to fit into the fantasy land of Runescape just like they can/could anything else... or simply made over the quest to fit once it became an issue with whoever it was that decided they didn't like it. AND IT TOOK HOW MANY YEARS FOR THAT TO HAPPEN? They all of a sudden decided they didn't like R & J after how many years?!? Don't get me started on that issue. Re-working of content has been something that has been going on for the whole of Runescape since the game first started, and other quests haven't been off limits. Why not re-work R & J too? I'll even argue that Runescape itself was re-worked... from what we now know as Classic to RS2. Going further, I can argue it has ALWAYS been re-worked... and is, in fact,,, a re-work in progress? Need I say more about an update for a couple of quests?
Here's another idea... why not leave the content in the game... but take away any requirements or quest points? In other words... just leave the content in place and allow it to be entirely optional. Hmmm... I wonder if anyone thought of that...? The modifications to take any quest off the quest list, etc would most likely have been minimal... even if if they didn't wish to re-work the quests to better fit into Runescape. My vote is a total re-working.. and bring them back when completed. Perhaps even with a little dash of scandal tossed in just to throw a loop into it to keep it fresh. After all, what kingdom is without a bit of scandal?
Perhaps there's another reason that the content was removed? Are they running out of memory? Was it hogging up resources? Thinking of it logically, I don't see those things as being an issue. Jagex has long had the cash to buy the power to run just about any code they'd like at more than enough speed to keep everyone happy - as long as they were willing to spend the money on it! Yes... lag has been a serious issue on and off for years. This too has been somewhat perplexing because memory and computing power should be a non-issue due to the available funds. What am I talking about? Spent cash = real world computing power and all the memory you'll ever need. Since that's an entirely different subject though... I'll leave it for another day other than to say once again that I don't believe removing content is necessary from a standpoint of speed and space. If they're having that much of a problem with it, we'll soon see quest after quest disappear to make room for new content - that I don't buy for a second.
As for why what is being done in regard to quest removal.... is being done... I'd say that the author was also right on that too. Whoever owns the controlling interest in Jagex (or at least in Runescape as a game) are the ones calling the shots and yes, it's obvious they're determined to squeeze cash out of Runescape and all the old rules have gone out the window. If they deem old content needs to go in order to attract new players, then that's exactly what they'll do. Just like we've seen the introduction of micro-transactions and content only available through a download (the Chrome O/S for the goggles) or by wasting cash on membership cards to gain fancy looking but otherwise worthless items... they're bound to do anything if they think they'll gain more cash. That might mean dumping beloved characters or quests or even entire sections of the current game map. There is no limit... because what they say goes. They own the game and there is no way around it. The trend for the future seems to be to expect the unexpected... and that we all should count on even more change. Some may be for the better, some may be for the worse. All we can do is hope for the better and if we feel up for it? Protest on the official Runescape forums. That's just about the only way to vocalize displeasure... other than to write editorials or a response to one on a fan site
Comments, constructive criticism or suggestions to my response are welcome, as usual.
-Spanked (back from the dead!)
You can take the woman out of the South...
but you cannot take the South out of the woman!