RuneScape is one of those games that every self-respecting gamer has at least heard of and many have played it at some point. A game that has outlasted many, a game that has been around for 18 years and still going strong surely has something that attracts players. Today we’re going to take a look at what are the reasons RuneScape is so popular.
Free to Play
RuneScape is free-to-play, meaning that you don’t need to make a big purchase or burden yourself with subscription in order to start enjoying it. While F2P content is limited, there’s still enough of it to experience what the game is about and such format allows to attract players who might be interested. If you like the game and get hooked, getting a membership is only the next step and not a risky venture that is not necessarily going to pay off.
One of the main strengths of RuneScape is that you don‘t need high-end hardware. In the past it was possible to play the game on any computer that had internet access and with the launch of Old School RuneScape Mobile, OSRS is now accessible even on the go. Jagex making the commute much less boring since 2018!
Many of modern MMORPG’s are only RPG’s in name. Often you feel like doing chores and completing tasks that you were told to complete, you are held by your hand most of the time and in general RPG’s became more intrusive when it comes to choice. Neither RS3, nor OSRS has any of that. Wish to be a warrior that kills only chickens in his full rune? Sure. Want to be a wise mage whose name alone causes enemies to tremble in fear? There is a whole Wilderness just on the other side of that little trench. If fighting is not your thing, you can become a respected craftsman and achieve your goals with your coin pouch, rather than sword. The point is that RuneScape does not put you in some sort of a frame – you choose your way and you dictate the pace.
Questing and Skilling
One of the greatest strengths of the gameplay is that a lot of skills and items are tied together, so you are never bored. This also ties to player agency: you don’t wish to grind Theatre of Blood in OSRS for items? You can earn gold in other ways or buy OSRS gold and then purchase the items you need on the Grand Exchange. A lot of items are tradeable, meaning that there are multiple ways to get the item you’re after.
Quests are interesting and non-monotonic. You don’t have to do streaks of “kill 10 of X” or “gather 15 of Y”. Instead, they have unique requirements and rewards, not to mention their immersive stories, which neatly tie in together after you’ve done some questing. Also, quests feel more meaningful: rescuing Prince Ali gives you access to free passage to Al Kharid, completing various diary objectives makes it more convenient to travel around the world, etc.
Skilling, while the most grindy aspect of the game is necessary for some quests and quests can provide XP rewards in various skills. This cycle of grind-quest-grind-quest provides a more interesting approach to getting XP overall and makes quests feel even more rewarding. Admit it: a game that provides everything on a silver platter quickly loses your interest.
New content is constantly added to RS3 and OSRS. In OSRS players have a lot of power when deciding what the updates will be. Polling is one of the most innovative features in OSRS. Another neat thing is that new content is not designed only for the end game. Actually, a lot of it, especially in OSRS isn’t. This means that you don’t need to have grinded all skills to 99 to enjoy the game and updates that affect low to mid-level players mean that those players are getting more alternative paths on their journey to being the best. This also does not punish high-level players, since more often than not, they can complete that same content as well, only faster.