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2013: What's Coming and What's Going

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2013: What's Coming and What's Going

 

1 day ago

 

Every new year should start with a resolution. Here at Jagex' date=' our resolution for 2013 is a big one: to look back over the huge, game-spanning changes that we made last year, look at what we did right and where we could have improved, and to lay out our plan for 2013 so you guys are involved from the start.

 

Community Involvement

 

Back in 2009 when I first laid out my plans for the game and the company, I pledged that we would start talking to you guys, and keep you in the loop after a decade of secrecy. For the first time ever, we started talking about some of the projects we were working on and the type of stuff we wanted to do for the community. Looking back over the past four years, I think we can say we have made a ton of progress in our communications. Recent initiatives like the live streams have been really well received and - from your feedback - it sounds like you'd like to see more of these happen. Nevertheless, I know that we can be far clearer and more consistent in how we talk to you, and this is going to be a big focus in 2013.

 

Like the rest of the team, I read the forums, and talk to players in game (in my case, on a personal account) to really get a sense of your thoughts and feelings. While some of you were really happy and others didn't feel too strongly either way, there were others of you who felt angry, ignored, and - at times even confused by Jagexs decision making. Weve not always explained ourselves well, nor listened to you well enough, and for that Id like to apologise. Communications around topics like micro-payments were especially weak, and many of you were understandably frustrated.

 

We intend to do more dev blogs and live Q&As to clearly set out the issues facing us and then get your feedback directly. Well continue Behind the Scene videos and also announce game updates earlier, as we want you to be as excited as we are about the year to come, and to give us your thoughts and ideas as early as possible.

 

Bots & Gold Farmers

 

On average, we ban over 1,000 player accounts every day for botting, and delete tons more illegitimate trial accounts. However, our work is not done so long as botting remains a frustration for us all.

 

Our anti-bot tech improvements launched in 2012 are a massive step forward, not just for us, but for the industry as a whole. It's put us well ahead of the technology used by bot developers. However, our communications around the launch of Botany Bay didnt reflect that we needed to roll this technology out gradually, since permanently banning accounts requires systems which are absolutely fool-proof. Botany Bay has not yet made full use of our new anti-bot systems, but we are looking forward to rolling them out. Im thrilled to see the success that BotWatch has already had against bots and gold farmers.

 

We do know for a fact there are far fewer players botting now in game than there were back in 2011. However, whats enraging is that this improvement has been undermined by the sizable increase in gold farming bots. So, in 2013, we will also be adding a parallel strategy to specifically target gold farmers and related illicit RWT activities. Well be talking more about this soon.

 

Micro-payments

 

The Squeal of Fortune (and, to a lesser extent, Solomons General Store) has always been a heated topic of discussion. I wont sugar-coat this: these additions were - and are - vital for growing RuneScape. They allowed us to double the size of RuneScapes team and keep up the near-weekly game updates. Also, we've put the money we've earned from these back into RuneScape technology and infrastructure, with the focus on tackling lag, improving audio and graphical quality. You'll see these big investments really coming into play in 2013.

 

What's more, although not everyone likes micro-payments, some of you appreciate the additional choice and customisation options they offer.

 

However, we can do better. At times in 2012, it felt like the SoF and SGS releases dominated our release schedule and news feed, and that some of the content just didn't feel like RuneScape. The team is certainly moving towards a better balance as time has gone on: I hope you'll agree that our more recent micro-payment updates are more in tune with the wider game, and that we've not released a micro-payment update on a week with no other content.

 

Promotions

 

Looking back, we definitely had too many promotions and giveaways in 2012. Though we carefully balanced the Squeal of Fortune, promotions like Sizzling Summer gave away too much. I think we got the Festive Aura & Winter Weekends about right, though. In 2013 we will be more cautious: these events should feel special and bring the community together, so we'll make them less frequent, more fun and ensure that they don't undermine your hard-earned achievements.

 

Evolution of Combat

 

It was Albert Einstein who said anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new. The Evolution of Combat was new territory for all of us - a massive change to the core of the game, plus a re-balance of almost all combat gear and monsters. Keeping the game fresh for years to come means trying new things; overall Im proud of the updated combat system and truly believe it's a change for the better in the long run.

 

The EoC beta (another first for RuneScape) had well over 4 months of your feedback, with huge amounts of balancing and revision of the content. However, looking back this was clearly still not enough for such a big update. Despite the beta its clear we didnt fully appreciate the extent to which everyone would have to adapt to the new gameplay.

 

Like any key part of the game, we will continue to refine the EoC for you. We have a team of developers dedicated to listening to your feedback and making the on-going improvements required.

 

Two months in, were glad to see you mastering the combat system and enjoying its exciting improvements. However, we appreciate it hasnt been an easy transition for everyone and I apologise for that; we still have work to do, and we have learned the need to be even more careful and responsive in the future.

 

Game Updates

 

Reflecting on the game updates of 2012, were pretty happy: Daily Challenges, the Runespan, Bonfires, Social Slayer and the Big Chinchompa added fresher, more social ways to go about skilling. The Queen Black Dragon, monster & dungeon reworks, potion flasks and Player-Owned Ports added loads more to do at high levels. Quests also played a very positive part, with awesome storytelling and voice acting.

 

We are very keen on making 2013 your year. This means giving you what you want: meaningful quests, new dungeons, epic events and new skills. It also means making improvements to existing content and technical improvements to the game, making it smoother and better looking than ever before. But crucially, 2013 is about ensuring that your hard-earned legacy is respected everything you've done and worked so hard to achieve will remain as amazing and relevant as it has ever been.

 

I dont believe weve ever actually thanked our members for helping us to make RuneScape into the incredible game it is today, not to mention providing a completely free game for millions of players. So, a very big thank you to our members from myself, the RS team and the free community.

 

Lastly, I want to say thank you for playing RuneScape! Our purpose and passion is to advance this game for you! Your feedback - and your criticism - is what helps us to confidently take the game into 2013 and beyond, so please keep it coming!

 

As always, have fun!

 

Cheers,

 

Mark Gerhard[/quote']




Maxed [February 14, 2012] | Completionist [October 25, 2012] | Trimmed Completionist [in Progress]

Visit my Blog!


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I believe there was a lot of honesty and sincerity come from this post being made. I know a lot of players, people who've paid in consistently and those probably not so much, will write it off as a slight to a new year and hopeful continuation of membership. I suppose it could seem so, but I don't think as a business that Jagex should constantly humble themselves because I feel that kind of response makes it much more harder to keep an objective view on their piece of work.




Maxed [February 14, 2012] | Completionist [October 25, 2012] | Trimmed Completionist [in Progress]

Visit my Blog!


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We do know for a fact there are far fewer players botting now in game than there were back in 2011.

 

When your player base shrinks, so does the number of players botting ...

 

E: Overall it's quite a positive message and at least MMG put in the effort to tell us what we want to hear, especially the admittance to overdoing the SoF/SGS promotions as well bot handling and the EoC. They've always liked to tout 2013 as being a very positive year where we get paid back for what happened last year, but I'm going to have to reserve judgement on this until I actually see these meaningful updates trickle into the game.

 

I very much want to be as positive as possible, but after last year the most I can afford is cautious optimism.

Edited by Saradomin_Mage
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In real life MMO you don't get 99 smithing by making endless bronze daggers.

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In 2013 we will be more cautious: these events should feel special and bring the community together, so we'll make them less frequent, more fun and ensure that they don't undermine your hard-earned achievements

 

This will be a hotly contested issue I'm sure. I love extra xp for nothing, but I also felt that Winter Weekend crap was much more suitable than 'hey have 1m xp for being a member for 2 months' (although I'll take it). I almost feel that festive aura had it right...but I'll still take the BXPWs, that's for sure.

 

We are very keen on making 2013 your year. This means giving you what you want: meaningful quests, new dungeons, epic events and new skills

 

omg sailing

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[bleep] OFF HOW ARE U SO [bleep]ING LUCKY U PIECE OF [bleep]ING SHIT [bleep] [bleep] [wagon] MUNCHER

 

 

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I think that actually addressing one of the concerns laid out in this article early on in the year would be a smart move, and would show that they aren't just telling us what we want to hear.

 

Rolling out botwatch to new areas and combating goldfarming/RWT is probably the biggest issue people want dealt with in 2013.

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14-15-992-64203561 page5 post2

 

Interesting.

 

Old (so far unleaked) quote from half a year ago:

"I'm hoping that development of Stellar Dawn will resume in January (if we can get the Transformers beta out this December) using the latest Transformers Game Engine which is really what is needed for a AAA Sci-fi game." - Mark Gerhard

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They kind of alluded to the reality of the situation. The game is too old. 12 years of resource creation and content additions is taking it's toll. It might take near financial ruin for them to do it, but this game needs a massive reset.

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The EoC beta (another first for RuneScape) had well over 4 months of your feedback' date=' with huge amounts of balancing and revision of the content. However, looking back this was clearly still not enough for such a big update. Despite the beta it's clear we didn't fully appreciate the extent to which everyone would have to adapt to the new gameplay.

 

Like any key part of the game, we will continue to refine the EoC for you. We have a team of developers dedicated to listening to your feedback and making the on-going improvements required.[/quote']

They're being slightly disingenuous there. They knew EoC wasn't ready when it was released--there were key problems that were visible to just about everyone--but it was too costly to keep the beta open and still maintain the same level of content development in the live version at the same time. I don't think that was necessarily a bad decision, but they're retrospectively justifying that position.

 

They kind of alluded to the reality of the situation. The game is too old. 12 years of resource creation and content additions is taking it's toll. It might take near financial ruin for them to do it, but this game needs a massive reset.

What does this statement even mean? Vapid hysteria.

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Big fat meh to this.

 

Jagex's policy lately seems to be "Let's do the wrong thing, lie about it, then ask for forgiveness later". All of the shit they did the past year like the exp giveaways, microtransactions, releasing EOC early were all terrible ideas and the players told them so as soon as they did them. They still continued doing them anyway. Jagex explicitly said they would not release EOC until it was ready. Then they release a half baked version of it that still has problems today.

 

Jagex when first called out on the microtransaction stuff denied that it was actuallly microtransactions. Then they admitted it and said it was for the good of the game, and that they would scale it down. It hasn't been scaled down at all, rather expanded with buyable pets that have non-cosmetic bonuses.

 

Jagex removed the BXPW weekends in favour of balance and said they would reconsider them. Apparently the result of their reconsideration was that they needed to be even worse than before, giving 2x xp for the entire weekend. Constant flip-flopping.

 

Now they apologise for it. It's not sincere.

 

That's not to say this year has had no good updates. POP and numerous updates to make the game less irritating were good. But overall, this year was bad update in bad faith stacked upon bad update in bad faith.

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I'm glad they admitted they were wrong or impractical at times.

 

I agree on the balance between sizzling summer & winter weekends/aura, for example, and I'm glad they realize which way is the right way.

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(grumpy cat face)

 

I'll believe it when i see it.

To be fair, they did get better about some of that stuff in the later part of the year.

 

Much like everyone else, I'll believe it when I see it. Don't they put one of these out at the start of every year?

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I'm just happy that they acknowledged their mess-ups instead of covering them up.

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That's not to say this year has had no good updates. POP and numerous updates to make the game less irritating were good. But overall, this year was bad update in bad faith stacked upon bad update in bad faith.

 

I knew I'd read some comment about Jagex not being sincere. Yes, they could have done a lot better in terms of stuff that happened. But this felt really sincere and honest. Yeah, it been about a year before they admitted to a lot of things: The purpose of SGS and SOF, the bot problem and RWT, promotions, and the clearly not ready EOC. But not all of it is bad. The new D&D were a success imo, and the revamps of the old quest were nice. The Kalphite King was a good addition to Runescape bosses and the Weekend Winter events/Aura was indeed a better way to promote. Not to mention port port port port ports!

 

I would have liked for them to admit things sooner, but in the general world of business, Jagex saying sorry is rare. There are plenty of firms that take YEARS to admit to wrong doings even when some proof shows up. And some CEO's go to their grave carrying disbelief they've [bleeped] up. 2012 was filled with mixed emotions but for Jagex to come out with this open letter make me feel pretty optimistic.


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I would have liked for them to admit things sooner, but in the general world of business, Jagex saying sorry is rare.

 

Apologies mean nothing if you don't learn a lesson.


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"It was Albert Einstein who said 'anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.'"

 

Just revert eoc. It's clearly a failure.

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Sounds good to me, quite sincere and honest. I do hope they stick to it, if they do Runescape will become a better game and welcome the community further.

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This isn't the first time they apologize for something, only to continue making the same mistakes.

 

I remember them saying a while ago that they would tone the amount of SoF/SGS on the homepage down, and nothing changed about that.

 

The amount of RWTers is still depressing. We have bots that gamble and ones that farm the QBD.

 

It's been months since they put the EoC in the live game, and there are STILL so many balance issues, it's pretty depressing.

 

It's nice and all that they apologize for their mistakes and plan to improve, but I'm taking it all with a grain of salt.

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I'm surprised they didn't mention anything about the members loyalty programme in that...


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re: sincerity

 

Let's see if we can agree on some factual premises.

 

Premise 1: Jagex said they would not release EOC until it was ready.

 

I think this is pretty undisputable. It was repeated by multiple Jmods in multiple places (Livestream, newsposts, eoc blogs, forums) multiple times.

 

Premise 2: Jagex released EOC in November and it was not ready.

 

This is more opinion but there's mounds of evidence. Countless glitches and balance issues. Jagex even admitted it was unready today.

 

So with those two premises, only one of two conclusions can be drawn.

 

A) Jagex genuinely thought EOC was ready. In some ways this even scarier. It would mean Jagex is totally incompetent. Seeing as there were many bug reports submitted during the beta stage that weren't fixed when EOC went live I think we can all agree this is not the case.

 

B) Jagex knew EOC wasn't ready and released it anyway. Jagex may have been disappointed in the amount of players beta testing and so released it early to force everyone to beta test for them. Whatever the reasons for this, it doesn't matter because...

 

It means their apology isn't sincere. How can you apologise for releasing a shitty end product when you knew it was a shitty product to begin with? If you know you are doing the wrong thing, stop. Don't do it anyway and then ask for forgiveness later. That's why their apology and this entire post rings hollow to me.

 

 

All of that being said, I recognize that EOC is here to stay. I'm not one of those 'Runescape is dying' people. Changing, and maybe for the worse, but not dying.

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Damage control.

 

I won't be resubscribing when it runs out in a few days. All these microtransactions take the fun out of the game. And I'm a bit of a fashionista, so having every new customization costing money I don't like one bit. Whatever happened to outfits like ibis and necromancer where you actually had to work for it? I've no proof but I get the feeling that all this talk of "re-investing" into the game is just PR-talk for "we're gonna milk RS for what it's worth and use the money to make our next game". Their team has doubled, but are those new people working on RS? Nah I don't think so.


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I didn't see them mention anything about shifting the game's focus from grinding to having fun. Therefore, I'm going to continue to assume that any future "bot prevention" updates will ultimately be a waste of time and more players will continue to play less and less.


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Confidence in Jagex keeps growing.

 

But crucially, 2013 is about ensuring that your hard-earned legacy is respected – everything you've done and worked so hard to achieve will remain as amazing and relevant as it has ever been.

 

Especially that part (if you ignore the cringeworthy way of writing it) makes me happy.

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