How Runescape Holidays Have Changed

posted by on 8th December 2008, at 11:27pm

Holidays have always been a big part of Runescape life over the years. There have been the 3 major Runescape holiday events: Halloween, Easter, and the favorite, Christmas. These events started as drops of an item, but have changed many times over the years. In addition, some future events could include even more holidays.

The first of these holiday events are going to be called the classic events. That’s because they occurred in the days of Runescape Classic. These events include: Christmas Crackers,Pumpkins, Easter Eggs, Halloween Masks, and Santa Hats.

The Party Hats, from Christmas 2001, were obtained from Christmas Crackers. Two players would pull the cracker, and one would receive a party hat, and the other random items from a select group. Back then these festive hats were traded frequently, players unaware of how valuable these hats would become.
Scattered throughout the Classical Era was the edible drops. They offered some of the most expensive food Runescape has to offer. The Easter Egg and pumpkin are examples of these. They were picked up on the ground as a drop as well. They heal a hefty amount of Hitpoints, 12 & 14, but not worth the cost of going out to use as suitable food.

The Halloween Masks were from Halloween 2002. They came in colors: Red, Blue, and Green. These were dropped at random throughout Runescape as well. These colorful masks somewhat rival the Party Hat in visual appeal. The Santa Hat, dropped in Christmas 2002, was the last Holiday Drop. This symbol of the spirit of Christmas, the last of the holiday items that can be traded, has become a staple of Runescape wealth, with only the big movers and shakers owning one.

The next era, one of the hands down favorites was the “Gear and Gadgets” Era. This era involved a lot of funny hats, scarves, weapons, and funny clothes. These range from wintry hats to rubber chickens. From scythes to yo-yos. This is by far the largest era in Runescape Holiday Events, spanning from 2003 all the way to parts of 2008.

Now, a commonality in almost all of these events was somewhat of a story. You do some favors, maybe a jig or two, and you claim your items. They were delicate, short, and to the point. Now of course all of these items are not trade-able. These items mostly consisted of weapons and clothing, however some lucky few included a shiny, new emote to show off to all of your friends. These included Halloween 2005, and Easter 2006. The event that gave the most rewards would have to be the Christmas of 2005. This one gave hats and scarves and fun puppets to play with during the season. I spoke with a player, Pfkninenines, about this event. He said, “My favorite holiday event would be the Christmas of 2005 (I think). [I] Logged in to see the wonderful Christmas Tree in Varrock, and my job was to fill it with ornaments.  The event was straight forward, and it brought everyone together.  Most people were willing to help anyone, especially that time of year.” In that event, you got baubles and decorated them with vibrant colors. Then, the player went to decorate the Christmas tree set up in Varrock, much cheer was found in this area, with the players. Some singing Christmas carols, others giving gifts to old friends. The magic could be felt in the air. Pfkninenines also went on to say “That was a good year.”

The normality of these Holiday Events continued, but a trend was growing. These events started to take longer and longer. Each with a more intricate story line, diving deeper and deeper into the heart and soul of these holiday events. The Easter of 2008 is an example of this, where the event took so long, some spent nearly hours at the computer trying to complete it. The reward being mediocre, some felt cheated at this event.

This is where a new era began in Runescape Holiday Events. I will call this era the “Quest Event”. These started with the recent Halloween 2008, where a quest would appear for all players to do, and then disappear for the Free Players after an allotted time. Mod Mark from Runescape’s design team, confirmed future quest events by stating, “Much like this year’s Hallowe’en, we’ve decided to release a quest at the same time as our Christmas event, which means that the free game will have access to that quest over the Christmas period.” It can be derived from this that more events are coming in the future tied to quests, so that writers and designers can go as deep into stories as they want, without the fear of boredom from the players. The players, consumed by the thrill of the event and the storyline will gladly click away for hours on end, hoping for a great reward.

This year saw a dramatic change in Holiday Events, with the introduction of a Thanksgiving event into Runescape. Now, this is strange, because Runescape comes from British origins, which do not celebrate an American holiday. Much like this with the 4th of July. No words are spoken, but American players took it upon themselves to wish each other a “Happy Thanksgiving”, or “Happy Turkey Day”. The lack of an event was a staple that Jagex still retained control over their game; no matter how much the player pleaded for an event during that holiday. However this Thanksgiving 2008 Event showed that they are starting to succumb to the needs of the player, trying to become more global oriented. Maybe it’s because a significant amount of the Runescape population is indeed American. Either way, this is a landmark event for Jagex, who is stepping out from its British ways into a more global outlook. Another player, Davo338, expressed his surprise by saying, “I was a little suprised that they were actually going to have an event for Thanksgiving. It struck me funny because it’s almost like if they were to have an event on July 4th for Independence Day.”

To wrap up my article, I turn to probably Jagex’s most favorite holiday, April Fool’s Day. You thought I forgot, well consider it an early April Fools joke about April Fools. Anyway, many funny items have come out as a result of this “holiday”. Some things like “horses”, which turned out to be toy horses. Or even the “Dragon Plate”, which was a plate you spun around on your finger for a short period. However nothing is quite as hilarious as the articles the put out at the April Fools time, which cannot be viewed on the website. One that comes to memory is that of April Fools 2007, where Jagex said that everything would be converted into Cabbage. There would be introduction of Cabbage Runes, a quest called Cabbage Ritual, and even Cabbage armor. These are removed so that players do not think that they are serious, but everyone still have a good laugh over it all.

The holidays are etched into days in history, but how people celebrate them will remain a mystery. Will there be more quest-based events, or possibly another drop of some fashion. Few know, none speak of it. Only one thing is for certain, the holidays, no matter which one fill people with a sense of cheer and togetherness. It is the time when people can band together, no matter what separates them, and go for a common goal of a good time and good cheer. Who knows, maybe even a laugh or two. That is why some of the favorite times of the Runescape players are the Holidays.

Happy Holidays!

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  • Hellfire94 Says:
    9th December 2008, at 1:33am

    Kewl! Nice rticle. I wish I was here during the party hat and Santa hat drops =P

  • 00chief00 Says:
    11th December 2008, at 9:25am

    Technically the scythes were the last holiday drop. They were dropped in halloween in 2003 I think.
    It was because of the outrage from players at the time that couldnt get on halloween day that they ended up dropping them again for about a week total, and at that point the drops ended and the events began becuase Jagex was fed up with the complaints. Also the scythes were the first non-tradable hoiliday item also.

  • 00chief00 Says:
    11th December 2008, at 9:28am

    Ill correct myself on one issue. The bunny ears also were dropped in easter of 2003, and were not tradable either. So they were the first non-tradable holiday item. My bad.

  • Erik Says:
    13th December 2008, at 1:35pm

    Anytime you create an item with a limited supply, you are asking for trouble. Party Hats and Santa Hats prices were ridiculous, and they were based solely on the fact that no more would ever be made, while all along the RS population was growing.
    When scamming becomes the only way to get something, then scamming is what will happen. I think Jagex simply got tired of it, and decided not to have any more.

  • Hope slayer8 Says:
    29th December 2008, at 4:40pm


  • Steve Says:
    1st January 2009, at 9:39am

    Runescape was the worldwide most played multiplayer game . It was very fun that Runescape have so many event and quest for all players during all the american and british festive season.there are few event and quest during the festive season such as halloween ,thanksgiving,easter day, and christmas… Maybe and probably Runescape will have more quest and event for more festive season.and by the way my acc name is steve lum7. Lvl 70 and higher. Add me…

  • wunderbar Says:
    25th March 2009, at 8:16am

    Have u forgotten a pumpkin:p?

  • BB Says:
    14th August 2009, at 7:33pm

    =o nice i want this years halloween event to be either pumpkin gloves, pumpkin boots, or pompkin costume. (top and bottom) then when worn completely/ operated you would turn into a pumpkin. mabey a different color as well. XD any1 like the idea?

  • daniel Says:
    5th November 2009, at 11:07pm

    i agree with the guy you interviewed, christmas 05 was my first runescape holiday but its still my favourite by far. i think it was a glorious time for runescape, there still werent many people, you only had to reach level 30 to get in the high scores of almost anything, and santa hats werent astronomically expensive as they are today, it was beautiful. i think people then still hoped that the holiday items would be tradeable again some day, but obviously it will never be. plus in christmas that year the reward was great, i still wear my christmas hats and scarves from 05 i think they are one of the best looking holiday items ever. the use of a scarf in the amulet slot was very clever of jagex as well. also the easter egg was a great reward too, rlly had a lot of fun with that and still do when im bored. i think the new holidays have fallen off a bit but halloween this year was fun and it looks like theyre on the rise again

  • CODY Says:
    6th November 2009, at 5:30pm

    Wow, christmas is really just around the bend! Thanks for the reminder and have Happy Holiday! Awesome Post BTW!

  • candytouch Says:
    2nd December 2009, at 8:26am

    do u think the scarves and hats dropped in the Xmas 2005 will become tradable?
    i wish they were…
    it was the best year for xmas holiday on runescape 🙂
    i had fun plus they are the best looking hats in the game
    well so i think 😛

  • Free RuneScape Account Says:
    1st March 2010, at 1:41pm

    cant wait to see the next post on this topic

  • pogo Says:
    28th July 2010, at 5:16am

    Awesome post.

  • taimoor Says:
    20th October 2010, at 10:26am

    all of you should know that i have been playing rs for more then 9 years. 1 started playing in the very 1st week it was published. i have got like 200 santahats, halloween masks, crhistmas crackers, rings of fortunes and more then 2990m gp.
    i dont want to sell them but every time i trade somebody a santa hat or haloween masks or christmas crackers it would say that it is un-treadable. most of you would think i am joking but i am not. i started collecting everything as much as i could.i can give you thes itmes ( well like 50 santa hats, haloween masks or christmas crackers if you can send your username and password to ps this is no scam as i do not like doing scams because it is not honourable. ps i could make zezima your friend if you do because him and me are really good friends. because of him i am this rich since he told me the secret of how to make billions and billions of gp every day. if i sell everything in my bank account i can get 50 billion gp.if peter zezima sells all his stuff it will make 150 billion my attack level is 155, cooking level 105, crafting level 105, fishing level 104, dungeoneering level 145, ranged level 122, magic level 121, mining level 99, smithing level 100, woodcutting level 1005,runecrafting level 103, firemaking levl 154, strenght 131 and prayer level 122. i also have fire cape and the skillcapes for = attack, strenght, woodcutting, cooking, crafting, fishing, dungeoneering (120), ranged, magic, mining, smithing, runecrafting, firemaking and i also have 3 monhs membership left.and for people who want notjing but gold i have 1000000 sappihers, emeralds, rubies, diamonds, bracelets, necklaces, rings, amules, onyxes and dragonstones.

  • taimoor Says:
    20th October 2010, at 10:29am

    sorry my woodcutting level is 105 not 1005. i made it wrong.