I was lucky enough to be an active player of Runescape

This document is intended for those who have a vetted interest in the health of the RSOF. I will not be held responsible for people who feel that reading objective opinion is wasting their time.


Hello. If you are reading this, you are probably curious as to what I'm talking about when I speak of forum stagnancy. In simple terms, the RSOF, once an active and diverse community, has dwindled down to historically low numbers. There are various factors that come into play as to why this occurred, which I have divided into three categories that will be listed below from most impacting to least.


Natural Attrition


As in-game Runescape has suffered from natural attrition rates, so has the Runescape forums. There is no particular party to hold the blame for this naturally-occurring phenomenon, however coupled with a lack of recruitment (described later) there is too much loss and not enough gain. The forums as of right now are mostly populated by forum veterans with a lack of new forumers being brought in to compensate for those who quit.


In basic terms, people are going to come and go as time goes on and people change their hobbies - that's just a fact of life. In regards to the RSOF, there has been too much people leaving and very much not enough people stepping in to replace them, resulting in a forum that is a shadow of its former self. Which brings me to my next category...


Lack of Recruitment


If one looks carefully at Runescape as a whole, there is little to no motivational factors to join the RSOF for any reason other than clan recruitment and maintenance, as well as item trade. Occasionally in the past Rants and Recent Game Update experienced temporary bumps during horrific game update, but those are statistical outliers.


In a game that hosts at any given time tens of thousands of active players, the forums struggle to host more than sixty or seventy at a time. My belief is that this is not a result of apathy towards the forums in general, but a lack of knowledge that such a place even exists. I never rely on Jagex for anything productive, and certainly will not on this occasion, however I believe Jagex is selling themselves short by not investing more to their own official forums.


The simple math is, as stated before, too much leaving and not enough coming in. Very few people even realize that the forums are a place they can spend more than a couple of minutes on, simply because they have never been told to look. I'm a firm believer that with some sacrifice and attention to detail, that fact can be changed.


I was lucky enough to be an active player of Runescape when the forums were released and the novelty of it all brought a lot of players in. New players now don't have the luxury of a novelty factor, and don't really have any reason to visit the forums other than the specific instances mentioned above. 


I believe that this is the most crucial factor in the weak health of the RSOF, however not to be ignored is the third category...


Change in Mindset


This category, unfortunately, is one that can't be tackled in any effective way. When I speak about a change in mindset, I speak about the current Runescape culture of gains over experience (pun intended). This is to say that many of today's avid Runescape players enter grind sessions in which the only fun attained from the session is the movie or tv series they are watching off to the side while they enter XP/H mode. Everyone is entitled to enjoy Runescape in whatever way they choose to, however such a disconnect is negatively correlated to community mindset.


The combination of these three factors leads to the most basic and primitive aspect of the internet - activity. When all of these factors are combined, the result for the RSOF is inactivity, and I will highlight this point because it is crucial.


Inactivity breeds more inactivity - Activity breeds Activity.


It's very straightforward. The combination of these three factors acted as the subtle force that created the space for inactivity to grow. Slowly but surely what was once a healthy and active forum became less and less utilized as people grew more and more tired of the general stagnancy. Luckily, there is a floor to the RSOF's slide towards complete death, and that is the core of people who continue to use the forums regardless.


Just as inactivity brought the forum down, activity will bring the forum up. I have hypothesized about ways in which the RSOF can grow again, and have come up with a five-phase plan to bring the forum back to previous prominence. While optimistic, I am not naive enough to do it alone, and hope that as I release more details I gain support in this endeavor.


If you made it this far, congratulations. You either care about this forum's health, or you're generally a curious person, both are welcome. I now introduce to you the first part of my plan.


Phase One - Aggressive Recruitment Strategies


This phase is the most straightforward, but may also prove very challenging. What is needed for these forums right now is to raise awareness of its existence while at the same time swaying general opinion towards actually utilizing the forums. There are many ways in which this can be accomplished, and any help with this phase is vital.


My contribution to this phase is to sell all items I have gained over my extensive Runescape career in order to obtain enough funds to hold giveaways, events, and games in order to promote forum usage. How I will do this is still in progress however I will both indirectly and directly blend Runescape and its forums to create a naturally-occurring recruitment by usage. I am not and will not be asking for anyone else's money during this phase, however I highly encourage other forumers to host their own events and giveaways to better the chances of success.


This is all in for me, as when my funds are gone - they're gone. 


Other recruitment strategies are being thought up as well, and any thoughts on ways to make this successful are greatly appreciated within this thread. The other four phases of the strategy are completely reliant on phase one actually working, and will be released if applicable. 


My private chat is always public, however I am not always on. If you see me online and want to talk shop, don't hesitate to contact me. Thank you for taking the time to look over my theory of the RSOF, and I hope if it inspired you that you will contact me either on the forums or in-game (both for bonus points).

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