“Runescape” by Mazer

What PC gamer wouldn’t be complete without his/her MMOs? Or at least I can say that now after the advent of Everquest and World of Warcraft. There was a time when PCs had other games too, but it seems like all they have left on the exclusive side are RTSs and MMOs. So I’ve decided to do my first MMO review on a game that many have played and few have liked.

What I Expected:

It’s time to use the good ‘ol Wayback Machine and go back to mid 2002; a gentler time, a simpler time. I was surfing the net looking for something to play, mostly looking for RPGs in general, when I stumbled upon Runescape’s website. I was intrigued by this new type of game where they were a massive number of players all playing together in one world. The first thought in my mind was “heck ya!” and so I promptly signed up. I expected to go on grand adventures, to fight back against the evils of this new world, and to make friends to help me on my journey.

What We Got:

I have to say that back in 2002, Runescape was the best thing since sliced bread in its own way. Not only was it the first (and only for a loooong time) “freemium” MMO but it was also a perfect fit with its bigger brother Everquest. Both were just huge grind treadmills dressed up in different ways and nothing describes Runescape better than that. It had an insane amount of skills that each had a max level of 99 with an exponentiation experience curve that could make you weep at the very sight of it. But I loved it! Nothing beats those first few play throughs where all I did was just explore. I killed some Goblins along the way, ran into a farm with chickens and cows, and then found myself in a huge sprawling city. Now, yes, the graphics were billboard-esk and you felt like you were playing Doom 2 from a top-down perspective, but it didn’t really matter to me back then. Even now I try to base the value of a game on its game play and fun factors over its graphics. That first week of blissful play was staggering on my young mind.

Then came a new dawn to my play experience: I found several fan websites and began to actually understand the going-ons in this new world I was in. Which is where you, dear reader, come in: there are just so many things that one can do in Runescape. You can work away at mining ore and then craft some armor or weapons out of it. Or you can chop down trees, gathering wood, and use those materials to craft yourself some bows and arrows. There are 24 individual skills to pursue if you are so inclined, 15 of those you can access for free. The world is your’s to take!

Now, up until this point this has seemed more like a glorified commercial than a review but that’s only to show you my take on the game. There are really only two camps when it comes to Runescape: either you love it to death or you hate the very hard drives that house it. The game itself really does show its age as you play it: the combat is incredibly simplistic and doesn’t really get anywhere near good until mid-high levels, leveling skills in particular for the sake of leveling (in order to get to whatever you need/want to get to) is a massive grind that can only be described as mind-numbing, and the community is split between the nicest, best people you will ever meet and the most horrid, vile persons on the face of the planet. The monsters are at least varied in their appearance and a few of the mid-high ones actually do more than one thing. Really, the game only gets good around levels 60-70 which may take a while to get to. And, to be fair, an inordinate amount of time to start having fun isn’t the mark of a good game.

If you can last until that point, then you will find yourself in what seems to be an entirely new game. The worth-while monsters actually need some form of strategy in order to be defeated. The gear you can obtain is now a large spectrum instead of just one type: all of which are varied in rarity and expense. You start to actually care about the stats that your gear gives you and the items that you bring to a fight matter. In fact, once you get even higher (90+) the creatures you face will not only pose a good challenge but you may need more than just yourself in order to beat them.

Conclusion:

When looking at the game from a more recent perspective, it looks rather fun and complex, but once I view the game as a whole it becomes much less than that. It really is a game that rewards you only after sticking through its faults. On the plus side, it’s free to play (albeit a small version of the game) so there’s no harm in trying it out. And it’s a great game to play if you have time to kill: also not the best mark of a good game. There’s also a feature called “Dungeoneering” that Jagex implemented recently that provides an interesting aspect to the game. It’s a huge random dungeon generator that increases in difficultly as you progress and can be done with a group ranging from 1 to 5 players. It’s a fairly fun experience and if you do try the game out, I suggest you spend some time there as well.

Overall Rating

I’m going to give this a Rent It. Everyone can, and should, try it since there’s no waste in it except for some time. Plus, if you do enjoy the slower aspect of the game and can stand playing the lower levels, then you’re going to have a blast once you hit the higher levels. Plus Dungeoneering can be loads of fun.

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Comments
3 Responses to ““Runescape” by Mazer”
  1. Neomi says:

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  2. Zeynep says:

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