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Was it really EoC that ruined RuneScape?


@Dan3HitU
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I prefer to think it was the coming out of elite/high level gear (Overloads, Turmoil, Chaotics, Dclaws, Nex) EoC, Squel of Fortune combined.

 

One of the biggest offenders contributers elitist Runescape was the release of Dungeoneering(When I quited). Wrecked whip prices and promoted team play which eventually means exclusion for solo scapers. If you choose to solo dung you were limited to terrible xp  and tokens rates.

Instead of boss teams calling for

 

90 range/decent gear (karils) for Arma to 99 everything/arma/chaotic cbow.

 

AGS/bandos/99 str/att for Bandos to 99 everything, dclaws, overloads stuff and stuff.

 

If you I can recall the golden age of Runescape was when Godswords and whips were at the top of the food chain. Dragon claws from WGS was the beginning of the end.

 

Elitist RS was the coffin. EoC was the nails. Micro Transactions was the fancy grave plot. Bonus: Efficiency-scape is the wall outside the graveyard preventing new players from entering the game.

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If you're going to go that far, you could probably bring up GWD as one of the bigger pieces of exclusionary content (and the beginning of the end for skilling)... Or the Fire Cape, for giving official support to the 'hardcore' players at the expense of more casual ones. Or any number of other updates, really. Much as I agree with what the issue is, this is probably in full effect for when it started.

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Why not skillcapes then? I think that wad the first step to "elite"

Because skill capes don't really lock anyone out; yes they drove more people to get 99s but even if you are are awful at the game there is nothing to stop you getting a 99 - even the expensive or slow ones are perfectly doable by anyone given time.

 

When it comes to exclusionary type content it relates to things like GWD and Firecape because they take away a big part of the emphasis on skilling by suppling complete top end gear skill free, but aren't accessible to all as you have to be somewhat skilful with combat to get there. Plus it marked a tipping point where skilling stopped being worthwhile for money, as the new hard to get drop items were common enough to be a sustainable income, but rare enough to out strip the value of any skilling.

Firecape on the other hand marks the point at which people began being rewarded to be 'elite' players - only the best hardcore players could manage to get it (at the time) and for the first time in runescape history it, despite being the best cape in-game rather than just a cosmetic reward, was not open to more casual players as they just did not have the skills to beat the caves.

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...

 

It's been "dying" for a goddamn long time - and some of us are just sick of hearing the wild theories behind why. Here's the truth starting from 2005:

 

Nearly all MMO's have taken a hit. The next generation of players simply aren't patient enough for MMO's and play immediate gratification games like Meatboy or Angry Birds where levels are a few minutes long - not a few days of grinding.

 

There is more competition in "fast action" games like Battlefield or Call of Duty as well that give a "better thrill" than Runescape PvP. This isn't 2003~2006 where consoles still kinda sucked to play online with (PS2 was mostly racing games, Xbox live was shoddy)

 

The PS3 was released in late 2006. Xbox 360 was released in late 2005. The funny thing about RS's largest "downhill trend" was the new competition from the 360 and PS3 in 2006-2007 as the consoles started gaining a larger consumer base. Whenever a new major title is released for a console - Runescape takes a small hit in players for a week or two while everyone is playing those games.

 

There is simply a lot more competition resulting in less growth of a new playerbase. 

 

...

 

This. In a nutshell. The computer gaming world is a lot different now -- and all the MMORPG's have taken hits and lost a lot of of their player base. 

 

It's far more appealing for people to play fast-action player ready PVP console games than to go on the computer and play Runescape.  :P

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It's far more appealing for people to play fast-action player ready PVP console games than to go on the computer and play Runescape.  :P

 

I thought that too, until I started playing Marvel Heroes this past week :D

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...

 

It's been "dying" for a goddamn long time - and some of us are just sick of hearing the wild theories behind why. Here's the truth starting from 2005:

 

Nearly all MMO's have taken a hit. The next generation of players simply aren't patient enough for MMO's and play immediate gratification games like Meatboy or Angry Birds where levels are a few minutes long - not a few days of grinding.

 

There is more competition in "fast action" games like Battlefield or Call of Duty as well that give a "better thrill" than Runescape PvP. This isn't 2003~2006 where consoles still kinda sucked to play online with (PS2 was mostly racing games, Xbox live was shoddy)

 

The PS3 was released in late 2006. Xbox 360 was released in late 2005. The funny thing about RS's largest "downhill trend" was the new competition from the 360 and PS3 in 2006-2007 as the consoles started gaining a larger consumer base. Whenever a new major title is released for a console - Runescape takes a small hit in players for a week or two while everyone is playing those games.

 

There is simply a lot more competition resulting in less growth of a new playerbase. 

 

...

 

This. In a nutshell. The computer gaming world is a lot different now -- and all the MMORPG's have taken hits and lost a lot of of their player base. 

 

It's far more appealing for people to play fast-action player ready PVP console games than to go on the computer and play Runescape.  :P

 

 

That's part of the picture, for sure, but not the only part. Runescape has certainly taken a far bigger hit than say WoW; and another part of the picture is the lackluster management of the game and things like that. They have definitely driven away players and made the game less friendly for new players.

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It's far more appealing for people to play fast-action player ready PVP console games than to go on the computer and play Runescape.  :P

 

I thought that too, until I started playing Marvel Heroes this past week :D

 

MOBA? I get the feeling that those are pretty much responsible for killing MMORPGs as a genre by virtue of having all of the MMO medium's strengths while being a game instead of a job

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I'd say no to the topic. Runescape was already slipping before EOC came out, but we see that more and ore players quit when it came out, and more did when RS3 came out. Legacy mode is a nice addition, but won't be enough to bring back the number of players there once was.

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I quit around the time of EoC but I was already fed up with several aspects of the game.

EoC was just what tipped me to 100% done.

I still pop in every few months to see what's new. I've seen talk of tier weapons and armors, I'm out of the loop so I don't understand what anybody is saying. But really all it sounds like is an uphill grind, more work. And to that I say: Nope, I'll pass.

 

In the past, even on a hiatus I would log in to grab special holiday rewards, it was pretty much the only remaining link I kept with the game. But then they started making major holiday rewards members-only, and I was 100% done with that too. If they think I'll sub just to get a holiday reward, more like I'll never come back again, ever.

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I think it was the combination of EoC and the ridiculous way they went about introducing MTX. One or the other would have been OK, but if you're going to destroy both the gameplay and any sense of achievement from playing, what's left really?

 

 

 

MOBA? I get the feeling that those are pretty much responsible for killing MMORPGs as a genre by virtue of having all of the MMO medium's strengths while being a game instead of a job

 

MOBAs have very little to do with MMOs and are more similar to an RTS-lite genre.

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It's true that EoC (while, in my view, improving combat in certain ways) drove away a lot of the older player base, and also the MTX were unfavorable amongst the older player base. But this doesn't really explain why Runescape has failed to grow, attracted new players or why F2P has lingered. After all, to newer players, EoC wouldn't be as bad as it was to the older players (since the new players don't really know what combat was like before EoC), and also, the pseudo-complexity of EoC is more similar to modern games on the market that these newer players might have encountered. So it's not exactly fair to blame EoC. As for MTX, again the older generation hates it, but they are quite prevalent in today's MMO market, and I doubt newer players would be as averse to them as older players, since they have probably seen it elsewhere.

 

I think the real explanation for the dwindling growth in new RS players has to do with the fact that the game has moved into a more hardcore direction (120/200Ms/Comp/Trims as opposed to 80's, 90's, or 99's). The game is extreme in the amount of time that it requires to get to 'respectable' milestones/achievements (120/200Ms) - and it is more or less akin to a part-time job now. This doesn't bother older players (myself included to a degree), because we are used to it, but I don't doubt that this is completely overwhelming to newer players: the notion that they'd have to be mega-billionaires or put in hundreds of hours to achieve even something mildly respectable (like a 120).

 

Basically the game is becoming more entrenched and more focused towards appealing to the tastes of hardcore players and veterans, and that has come at the cost of appealing to new players. Most of the 'fun' activities are dead and deserted, a sense of community has also eroded, there is little meaningful competition (unless you count the extreme manifestations that occur between the top highscore players, which more or less boil down to who has more money, spins, hours to no-life), and much of the game is focused towards an endless mind-numbing grind, the exp gainz, and even non-skill activities are designed to be grindy. A certain amount of instant gratification is necessary and even good. I can understand quite easily why this generation of gamers isn't drawn to MMORPGs.

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MOBAs have very little to do with MMOs and are more similar to an RTS-lite genre.

It's mostly because League seems to be in the same position WoW was in eight years ago, as the stupidly popular game that brought a ton of attention to an otherwise niche genre (and unless I'm mistaken, spawned legions of imitators).

 

They seem more accessible without sacrificing that edge that appeals to hardcore players, at any rate.

 

I think the real explanation for the dwindling growth in new RS players has to do with the fact that the game has moved into a more hardcore direction (120/200Ms/Comp/Trims as opposed to 80's, 90's, or 99's). The game is extreme in the amount of time that it requires to get to 'respectable' milestones/achievements (120/200Ms) - and it is more or less akin to a part-time job now. This doesn't bother older players (myself included to a degree), because we are used to it, but I don't doubt that this is completely overwhelming to newer players: the notion that they'd have to be mega-billionaires or put in hundreds of hours to achieve even something mildly respectable (like a 120).
This might have more to do with us older players having a substantial headstart than us being 'used' to it, except now we're the only groups that ever get content. Divination might well be the best example of this sort of thing: the skill itself is awful in just about every way, but they pitched it as an 'old school' skill and put a lot of focus on the high score race during the prerelease period... A race that basically came down to whoever could put in the most uninterrupted time in a two week period at the beginning of the school/university semester. I don't know about any of you, but I basically lost my chance to participate within the first hour.
 
The part that gets me is that we can still get away with calling newer players lazy if they don't go along with it, or sort of smugly imply that we're better than the instant-gratification-crazed mainstream because we play this instead of CoD... but if I'm a new player, why would I want to spend all of my gaming time playing catch-up and probably still never be able to participate in the part of the game that 'matters'?
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I don't blame new players for not wanting to 'work' towards these goals in this metagame. I think their aversion to this is perfectly rational and appropriate. They aren't being lazy, they are simply recognizing that the task put forth in front of them is ridiculous.

 

At least when the game was still about 80's, 90's, 99's, it was possible to play catch-up reasonably well. That's not quite the case anymore.

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There's literally no reason to want to get 120 capes/200M skills other than the feeling of achievement.

I highly doubt somebody would start playing RS and be like "Oh man, I'm gonna have to get 104M or 200M exp in every skill, this would take forever! *quits*"

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Last year I made a new account to see what things were like in EoC as a "new" player. I wrote about it here (don't bump). While I'm sure my post is now a bit dated (and I personally hope it is), it was sad how "difficult" the game is to figure out now as a new player. I remember how simple and intuitive the game was when I started playing in 2004.

 

When I did that experiment, the biggest obstacles as a new player were:

1. You had to have the optimal gear for your level to survive in combat against monsters close to your combat level. Training against such monsters isn't really even an option. You basically have to stick with goblins and cows forever instead of fighting monsters your level.

2. Nobody on the GE even sold the low level equipment you needed.

3. There were no guides anywhere on where/how to train.

 

Hopefully nowadays there's more information on low level training methods in addition to more low level equipment being traded on the GE. However, it wouldn't really surprise me if nothing's changed. After all, along with EoC came the extinction of pures. And without experienced players making new accounts, there's nobody to write guides on the best ways to train combat at low levels.

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Last year I made a new account to see what things were like in EoC as a "new" player. I wrote about it here (don't bump). While I'm sure my post is now a bit dated (and I personally hope it is), it was sad how "difficult" the game is to figure out now as a new player. I remember how simple and intuitive the game was when I started playing in 2004.

 

When I did that experiment, the biggest obstacles as a new player were:

1. You had to have the optimal gear for your level to survive in combat against monsters close to your combat level. Training against such monsters isn't really even an option. You basically have to stick with goblins and cows forever instead of fighting monsters your level.

2. Nobody on the GE even sold the low level equipment you needed.

3. There were no guides anywhere on where/how to train.

 

Hopefully nowadays there's more information on low level training methods in addition to more low level equipment being traded on the GE. However, it wouldn't really surprise me if nothing's changed. After all, along with EoC came the extinction of pures. And without experienced players making new accounts, there's nobody to write guides on the best ways to train combat at low levels.

Basically what I did on a noob acc was kill goblins repeatedly until 40~50 in melee stats.
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New players don't really jump into RS and gun for 120s/200Ms straight away though.

 

I agree, but at some point after joining, either through talking to people, interaction with the metagame/culture, perhaps the various announcements, twitch/youtube or whatever, they begin to wonder what the point of the game is, and they will get pushed into that direction.

 

Even back in the day, when real life people I knew contemplated about RS or were wondering what it was about, it was always an awkward conversation. "So what do you do in there? Chop logs or something?", they'd ask. To which someone would reply, "yeah, you get levels up, and then you get a cape.."

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New players don't really jump into RS and gun for 120s/200Ms straight away though.

 

I agree, but at some point after joining, either through talking to people, interaction with the metagame/culture, perhaps the various announcements, twitch/youtube or whatever, they begin to wonder what the point of the game is, and they will get pushed into that direction.

 

Even back in the day, when real life people I knew contemplated about RS or were wondering what it was about, it was always an awkward conversation. "So what do you do in there? Chop logs or something?", they'd ask. To which someone would reply, "yeah, you get levels up, and then you get a cape.."

 

Or you can take part in over 190 quests, fight boss monsters, or generally do whatever you want? :P

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

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Just wanted to point out that complaints about Pay-To-Win and Freemium have gotten to a point where it's made it into The New York Times today. The article's focus is on microtransactions, but the final quote - which is from the CEO of Nexon, the maker of MapleStory, makes him sound a bit like he's pushing more than games: 

 

"The No. 1 job is not to monetize," Mr. Mahoney said. "It's to keep the user coming back for years or months on end."

 

I should add though that the article is pretty nuanced in how it frames the debate, which is mostly about conflict in the industry over various freemium models and their risks to gaming culture, like in this paragraph:

 

Defenders of the freemium model say criticism is driven by game developers and players who have an overly rigid view of how games should be made available. Even with all the opportunities to spend money inside free games, they say, a majority of players pay nothing.

 

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I find it interesting how micro transactions have certainly hit a new stage in evolution in gaming.

 

For a good few years it was a case of monetising and getting people to spend or lose out essentially, but now across the board players seem to be against that so there's suddenly this new culture where the game for pay stuff is non-essential or there is a way to get it without spending.

 

I think jagex is still a little behind on this trend because the ad-thing for keys/coins is just dumb and scammy and very early 00s and there isn't really a solid in-game 0 real world money involve way to earn many keys or coins. I mean yes if you don't do quests you can horde keys in quickly, but its not like theres anything yet specifically built for only supplying keys and coins in exchange for player effort.

 

The random spatterings of keys are certainly on the road to this more modern model, but I feel like to truly compete jagex needs to give us a game or training area that specifically gives out keys and coins to allow us to turn our grind into the 'premium' currency in place of xp and in-game stuff. And they need to throw in a few random ways to get runecoins too.

 

That way in place of pay 2 win we can get the more popular modern model of pay 2 shortcut.

I'd also think a part of this would be calming down with the th promos as well - every single weekend with the stuff only on there for 4 days is a bit much in terms of allowing us a fair crack at them without spending money (even if you made it so we could grind keys in-game) especially with how rare they make parts of it. The stuff, in general, ought to be more common or the promos more infrequent and longer. Especially when half these promo things are giving in-game benefit now.

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Maybe they could make the MTX team start working on seeing how all the TH/SOF promotional items could be released in-game. Like, how would they go about releasing XP-boosting sets (Farmer set in Livid/Vinesweeper), or unique promo cosmetics (Queen's Guard gear as a QBD drop)?

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

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