I can tell you right now that dark scape isn't what RuneScape needs

Dark-scape… A virtual clone of the standard RuneScape experience, with a few tweaks that allow for PVP everywhere and anywhere. what inspired this new venture for Jagex, I cannot possibly surmise, but what I do know is that they seriously hope to gain something out of it or they would have never even entertained the notion of creating dark scape. However, as a RuneScape player since RuneScape 2 launched, I can tell you right now that dark scape isn't what RuneScape needs. In fact, it is possibly the farthest thing from what RuneScape needs.

As it currently stands, the player base of RuneScape is dwindling. There were rumors of a new MMO, Mechscape, as far back as 2008 (if I recall correctly), yet here we are in 2015, no Mechscape, sitting on a fragmented player base that continues to dwindle further with each passing month. The reason for this fragmented player base is due to the fact that there are essentially two (now three) different iterations, shards, mega servers, whatever you would like to call them—of Runescape. The first is the standard RuneScape that we all know and love. It is the old dog that has walked by our side since we were young, and doesn't really run and play fetch as much as it used to. Then there is the Oldschool RS iteration, which allows a large number of players to play old school RuneScape, scaled back to previous years, without a number of modern-day normal RuneScape implications. Now, there is also Dark*cape, a third bent and twisted version of RuneScape revolving around the slathering of blood of fallen enemies. This fragments the player base significantly, when you divide up the numbers playing on each of the three iterations. Add in the number of servers on each iteration, and you have them fragmented even more. This is why the main RuneScape game now feels like an abandoned ghost land that is more depressing than it is exciting and inspiring.

 

A ghost town with really cool buildings and awesome fast sports car is parked outside is still a ghost town, no matter how impressive and fun it looks. Sure, at times, it will be fun to walk around and enjoy the scenery and the solitude, whilst having that feeling that it's all yours because there's no one else around to steal the enjoyment of it from you. But then you start to remember a time when there were people to enjoy it with you. You begin recalling the times when you walk around in the city just like this, with friends that would walk by your side and accompany you on your journey. Then you start to have that biting feeling of nostalgia when it suddenly hit you that your current situation is nothing like the nostalgic memories that you've grown fond of.

 

As a veteran player, this is the feeling RuneScape gives off. It's that feeling that you want to resubscribe, that you want to go back and experience through scape the same way you had before, and that you would somehow feel the same enjoyment you did when recalling those nostalgic memories. However, your mind is not easily fooled. After a few moments, reality starts to set in, and you realize just how things of changed, and just how much you don't want to wander around aimlessly, all alone, playing a game that want to posted massive numbers of players.

 

So my first question now is why dark skate? In a constantly dwindling MMO, why create a third iteration that will only serve to fragment the player base even further? Naturally, I toyed with the idea that it might bring players back to the game, but that line of thinking is actually a farce, because it's essentially a new iteration of the original game, so it wouldn't bring players back to the original, now would it?

 

It would be instead draw players to the new iteration, drawing them away from the old game even further? So as a veteran player, who seeks to enjoy RuneScape the way it was back then, how does implementing a new iteration help me in any way? Simply put, it doesn't. I can't even begin to guess what Jagex had hoped to achieve in creating this third, new iteration of RuneScape, but I can tell you this—it most certainly will not result in a stronger, more effulgent regrowth of the game (runescape). Part of that statement lies solely on the fact that it's not even a part of the main game—it's a separate iteration entirely.

 

Now I hate to be 'that guy' to say what RuneScape really needs, but since no one else well, I guess I'll step right up to the plate. People constantly jump at "new," because it is bright and shiny, and you've never held it in your hands before. I'm a marketing major, and also somewhat of a visionary, so this is easy for me to visualize. When a brand new MMO comes out, members of other older MMO's that I like to call 'hangers' (which is not a derogatory term, just definitive) Will instantly flock to that new game in droves. The reason I call them hangers is because they have been hanging onto the old game until something else better came along, and the moment that it did, they didn't even hesitate before getting up and leaving. The reason that I, as a RuneScape fanatic, finally left was because I was hyped up about the idea of Mechscape. Me, and perhaps a large amount of others, were probably misled into thinking that it would be this bright and shiny game with the culture and feel of RuneScape—the game we had all come to know and love.

 

However, Mechscape never released. In fact, it was left in the shadows permanently, as if it just disappeared without a trace. So here we are, the veteran players of the game who have been loyal to the developers all along, waiting for this shiny new game to come along, and not only did it never show up, there was never again any mention of it. Eventually though, RuneScape 3 was released... But it took until July of 2013. I supposed this was some form of consolation prize to get our minds off of this ruse about Mechscape, but remain hopeful for. The difference between RuneScape and RuneScape 2 was incredible. In fact, it was a brand-new game entirely. It wasn't just an iteration, it wasn't just a graphical rehaul, it was the launching of a brand-new game. so we all waited around, and RuneScape 3 came around, and we began to wonder what the heck the 3 was even for, because it certainly wasn't a new game. Consider the difference in a different game. Was there a difference between Warcraft 2 and Warcraft 3? Well yes, the difference was an entirely new storyline, and an entirely new graphical user interface, an entirely new approach to the gameplay, and lastly, it was an entirely new game. However, Runescape 3 merely touched on each of these aspects. At the dawn of RuneScape 3, we saw the Battle of Lumbridge, a ten-week world event where we were given a chance to participate in a battle between the two gods of Runescape, Saradomin and Zamorak. As exciting as this was, this was hardly a new game. It was more like a pretentious claim that you were getting something brand new, but instead, you got a ten week world event, and after it ended, everything basically went back to normal. Unlike the transition from RS1 to RS2, there was no entirely new game. In fact, much of the new content was extremely meager, especially the battle of Lumbridge.

 

I am almost certain that many new players that came after the world event was over were just as disappointed as those who stayed behind and played through the world event. To base an entire 'new' release of RuneScape on a finite world event was just the nail in the coffin. That was really the only thing that Runescape 3 had to boast about, and it wasn't even permanent. The brand-new shiny feeling quickly wore off, and there we were, back at square one, in a game we had played for over 10 years, and still had nothing new to be excited about.

 

So here we are today, September 2015, two years after the launch of RuneScape 3, which was supposedly a new game we were supposed to be excited for, and they have now released Darkscape. RuneScape 2 lasted from March 2004 until July 2013, when RS3 was released. That's nine whole years. RS3 was launched in July of 2013, and boasted almost no new content, definitely not any sort of new game that we had been expecting all along, nor any new storyline whatsoever, and it lasted roughly two years (July 2013-September 2015). So as loyal veteran players, or even as new players that have coming to the game, how does this new iteration of the game help us enjoy the original game that we love in any way? Perhaps an even more interesting question to be asked in a bitter tone is 'why have we waited so long, and still not seen a new game?' Now when I say a new game, I'm not talking about a ten week world event that isn't even permanent. I'm talking about a brand-new game, just like RS2 was brand new, with an entirely new storyline, and an entirely redeveloped world that you'd actually want to spend time in. Where is this game that we have been waiting so long for? Sadly, it is not Dark*cape. I for one am done waiting for either a brand new RS title or a new title by Jagex that has the look and feel of RS as Mechscape was supposed to, and I have a strong feeling that others were too.

 

Finally, unlike most other ranting players that claim the game is dying, I at least have a logical way to describe why/how, much of it contained within this article. But I can also explain it in an economics sense quite easily. Much like the law of conservation of energy (which states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed, but transforms from one form to another), consumers aren't created or destroyed, but simply move around in the market. When they don't get the brand-new shiny game they have expected and hoped for all along, these consumers don't just get destroyed. They move from one game to another. Myself, and assuredly many others, are those consumers that leave Runescape and move to other new games that have released (Elder Scrolls Online, Star Wars TOR) and are able to offer new content that we haven't yet experienced. Darkscape is the nail in the coffin. It fragments the player base that is still left behind for some God forsaken reason, and it is just another iteration of Runescape with a few tweaked rules to make it seem fun and exciting. However, no one in their right mind is going to want to start over from scratch and do the exact same thing again, just with a few tweaks or rules. That would be madness. Dark*cape truly is just as dark as RuneScape's future.

 

For those of you that want a Darkscape is the last thing we need... Just another reskin/modification of the original RuneScape, rather than the new game we've been waiting for all along. Ahem, MechScape.

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