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Member Since 06 Jul 2010
Offline Last Active Mar 25 2013 02:33 PM

In Topic: Behind the Scenes: March 2013

03 March 2013 - 12:16 PM

The reason I have trouble seeing Dungeoneering as a skill is because it is a player-skill, not a character-skill.

With other skills (character-skills) your character becomes more proficient and learns to perform the relevant tasks better. With strength, your character becomes stronger and deals more damage. With woodcutting, your character becomes more proficient at chopping trees and can chop faster or more efficiently. With hunter, your character becomes better at laying the traps just-right. Levels in these skills represent the proficiency of your character as they learn from their experience.

By contrast, Dungeoneering is a player-skill. Your character learns very little as you gain levels; instead the levels represent the learning, experience, and proficiency of the player. The contextual meaning of the word "skill" is entirely different, because it is a different entity's skill being measured. It would be like if you listed typing speed as one of the numeric specifications of your computer.

In Topic: 18-2-2013 The RuneScape Bestiary

22 February 2013 - 04:50 AM

Whoever decided to make a game such as RuneScape in HTML5 was an idiot. Seriously, just do a game rewrite in Java and it'll be so much more compatible and probably faster too.

That's the kind of stuff I sometimes hear from people, but about Java instead of HTML5.

The selection of a programming language for a project has to depend upon your goals and requirements.

Originally, the Gowers wrote Runescape as a Java applet because they wanted the game to run inside a web browser window. They could have picked from any number of other languages otherwise. But they identified the ability to play the game without having to download anything as a major feature. This wasn't a mistake; it worked beautifully. For many years Runescape had a large audience of players who would not have even been able to try playing if a download had been required (i.e. kids in school). At the time the Gowers made this decision, Java was the only option if such a feature was required.

Over time, bits of Runescape have been migrated to C/C++ DLLs for a variety of reasons. I'm sure the developers might have liked to clean things up with a full-scale re-write, but there was no business argument to justify such an expense. But now, for the first time, there is: casual mobile users. This is a huge potential market, and it's worth the expense of a re-write to be able to target it. Nowadays there are a lot more options than Java out there. So which option should Jagex pick? Back to goals and requirements. The entire point of the re-write is to make the game accessible to casual mobile users. Which platform(s) will make that possible?

Apple has gone to great lengths to prevent Java and Flash from running on their iOS devices. This is in large part due to their financial strategy of seeking to get their 30% cut on all apps. Only by breaking or blocking other sources of apps can Apple achieve this. But now Apple has backed themselves into a corner. Their entire official justification for why it was okay to block those other platforms was that HTML5 would be able to meet all of the needs of users. So now Apple can't block HTML5.

So the only platform Jagex will be able to rely upon most of its target users having access to is HTML5. Neither in the original Java case, nor now, did they evaluate many options and pick the one with the best performance. In both cases they chose the only option available to them given the goals of the project. Any performance improvements, while welcome, will be incidental.

In Topic: Future Update Discussions

17 February 2013 - 03:50 PM

Using HTML5 means they're going to use JavaScript, which means that it'll run slower. Java, when JIT kicks in, is more efficient than JavaScript--this stems from the fact that JavaScript is a dynamically typed language, while Java is a statically-typed one. Lua, a scripting language I have familiarity with, is still slower than languages like C++ and perhaps Java because it is also dynamically typed, even when using a JIT compiler (in fact, LuaJIT is one of if not the fastest dynamic JIT compilers in existence). I do not see any benefits from the switch to HTML5, especially considering the fact that you probably can't run it on Internet Explorer (keep in mind IE10 has a better Javascript engine than both Chrome and Firefox, especially when it comes to mathematical computations, from experience).

Yeah, I really don't understand this change. WebGL doesn't really offer any benefits over what Java can do. If they really want to move to another platform, they should use C++.

I don't know how or why players somehow got the idea that the HTML5 update is being done for performance reasons. That's basically nonsense as far as I can tell. The primary reason to move to HTML5 is that Jagex wants to sell the game to iPhone, iPad, and Android users. They would (will?) be the first major MMO to make a serious attempt at capturing casual mobile users, which is a huge potential new market.

In Topic: Future Update Discussions

16 February 2013 - 06:04 PM

I also hope it puts a less drain on our computers. I have no idea if that actually is possible o.O

Html5 should put less drain on computers as it ought to be less cpu intensive, particularly good for laptops, older systems and macs where java can be big drain.

Should also allow for general upscaling of graphics eg the basic level should be nearer to current max level.

That isn't what HTML5 means. Unfortunately it doesn't mean "some new faster technology". The only clear benefit to HTML5, in and of itself, is that it should allow Runescape to run on tablets and smartphones.

The main CPU drain issue with Runescape now doesn't have much to do with Java. It's due to Jagex's efforts to counter bots. Basically they decided that the best way to make it hard to write bots was to screw around with Runescape's guts so that it would be too confusing to figure anything out. This had the side effect of making it hard even for Runescape to figure itself out.

If they change their anti-bot tech at the same time as the switch to HTML5, then speed could go up. But if you're interested in speed, the main thing to watch for is new anti-bot updates, not HTML5.

In Topic: 2007 - Old School RuneScape... You Vote! - [It's Here!]

13 February 2013 - 07:08 PM

Anyone have the time to look through the HS to check how many real players there are? Ie: not counting the 34 total level spambots on trial.
I have a feeling that 750k will be impossible.

By my estimation this is roughly where spambots end and real players begin:

Meaning there's about 787,000 accounts (ignoring obvious spam bots) that can possibly vote, so it'd be a close run thing for sure.

Knock off a few thousand more for inactives and other bots and we prob looking at like 760-780k actual possible voters; then considering want it vs do not care/do not want I'd imagine anything over 600k votes (to be generous) is unlikely, realistically I'd be quite surprised if it got past the 300k region.

Personally I'm not interested in 2007-scape. But I wonder if, for example, the guys heading up swarms of goldfarming bots will decide that it's in their interest to vote yes. New markets?