My, How Far We’ve Come

posted by on 22nd December 2008, at 11:47pm

In the year of 1998, a British programmer created a game called DeviousMUD. It looked like this.

A picture of DeviousMUD, from Wikipedia

A picture of DeviousMUD, from Wikipedia

What does this have to do with RuneScape, you may ask? As you may have noticed, DeviousMUD was created by Andrew Gower. He decided to rewrite the game with his brother, Paul. Andrew and Paul named this rewritten game “RuneScape”. They released a beta version of it in 2001. By the end of their time with RuneScape, it looked like this.

Soon, the Gower brothers formed a company with Constant Tedder. They eventually named it Jagex Limited. Within a year of RuneScape being created, it had over a million players. Jagex planned some changes to their already successful game. RuneScape had inferior graphics to many games at the time. A major update to the game would involve a graphical overhaul, including 3 dimensional character models and improved animations. Code was rewritten, as Andrew Gower had originally done with DeviousMUD. Eventually, after hints given to the over 64,000 paying members and many more free players, Jagex released a beta version of RuneScape 2 to subscribed members on the December 1st, 2003.

The full version of RuneScape 2 was given to all players on March 17th, 2004. When RuneScape 2 was finally in full swing, Jagex renamed it to simply “RuneScape”, and the original 2 dimensional game was dubbed “RuneScape Classic”. While anyone could play either game at the time, naturally most players gravitated toward the most updated version. RuneScape Classic slowly began to fade into oblivion, with graphics like the screenshot above eventually replaced with this.

On January 12th, 2006, Jagex banned thousands of RuneScape Classic cheaters. Classic version was then restricted. Only members that had accessed RuneScape Classic in the 6 months previous to the crackdown could log on to Classic. This was a shove to the already stumbling Classic, that simply was rarely played any more.

In times of Crysis and other visually beautiful games, RuneScape was frequently bashed for having poor graphics. It had always been behind games like Guild Wars and even World of Warcraft. Many players were ranting and trying to get a fresh coat of paint for RuneScape. On the eighth of May, Jagex released an “Image of the Future”. It gave players a look into what Jagex was doing about the subpar graphics. The Hypemobile revved its engine, and until July 1st, 2008, players were anxiously waiting for the overhaul.

When the graphical update was released as a beta on the first of July, members basked in the glory of the textures and lovely talking animations.

Two weeks later, all players got to experience the graphics members had been raving about. This was a second wind for RuneScape. Not only did it keep veteran players on the verge of quitting around to see what the hype was about, it attracted many newbies as well. Now, while RuneScape doesn’t match the highest end of graphical beauty, it’s risen from the bottom. It is no longer a game with extremely tedious skills (When I logged into Classic to take a screenshot for this article, I first tried to take a picture with my character by a fire. After seeing my character “slip” and miss the tree at least ten times, I decided that butterfingers couldn’t ruin a picture with two players standing around and a cow.) and no real reward for enduring the grind. Jagex has grown from two brothers working from their mother’s house, to a multimillion dollar company with over 400 employees. Over a million members are subscribed to RuneScape, and millions more free accounts roam the plains of Gielinor. RuneScape is an evolving game, and I am curious to see how many new changes it will build off of.

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  • LOL lesley Says:
    8th January 2009, at 3:50pm

    o rly?

  • Lance Says:
    11th January 2009, at 4:34pm

    Ah RS classic…I remember those days. It is kind of amazing how far they came.

  • that one guy over there ----> Says:
    16th January 2009, at 3:48pm

    ya runescape classic was pretty awesome, i jus wish it was open to everyone… =( well the two-fathers of runescape sure have came a long way from deviousCRAP i mean deviousMUD. jus kiddin. Congratulations with the developing of runescape, and i hope to have more and more fun with the game as every update sweeps its wat in.

    Thanks, That one guy over there —->

  • Nate19993 Says:
    13th June 2009, at 9:13pm

    Wow i had no idea RuneScape went so far back!

  • Jacob Says:
    20th July 2009, at 8:58am

    Danng runescape classic was the best even tho the graphics weren’t that good who cares obviously no1 did during the time it came out in like 1998 i think?? idk but this was the best i never played it like this but if i did i know i’d like it cuz every game that i play.. i don’t care about the graphics n plus it’s cool to think about what peeps played this along time back and if they still play haha! i hope runescape makes this virsion again to atleast members so we can play it because i know aton of peeps would play this virsion rather than play the new one with hq and all that crap!!

  • bob Says:
    29th July 2009, at 7:53am

    they banned over 5000 runescape classic accounts on my birthday what a gift!

  • bob the builder Says:
    15th August 2009, at 9:45am

    runescape classic was ftw

  • doey Says:
    25th May 2010, at 12:39pm

    they banned the rsc accounts on my bday too i said the same

  • catherby_9 Says:
    15th June 2010, at 6:10am

    RuneScape 1 never died. It was just abandoned by those with graphics as their only priority. For those of us whom remain faithful to the ways of old when 99s actually mean a damn and before all these quick chatting and anti-social nooblets began overrunning out game. We actually enjoyed the graphics the way they were and our game being the most DIFFICULT game in existence!

    For those whom remember the ways of old. Our world is Classic 3. Looking forward to seeing you all at Wilderness. The way this game was meant to be played. No trade limits and no random drops. What you see is what you get from a Player Kill.

  • Gabs Says:
    29th July 2010, at 12:42am

    Ah yes RSC, I quite enjoyed the original. I vividly remember the original, I also remember firing up the old Dial-Up Modem to get my RuneScape fix. Back in late 90’s dial up was still somewhat common where i lived. Can you still get dial up connection?

  • Leto Says:
    7th October 2010, at 1:37pm

    Lol, yes. Ofcourse you can get a dial up connection. I have dial up, though I live in a somewhat rural area.

    Oh, and I still play RSC; quite a bit more often than RS2 lately. Hope to see some of you wandering around the RSC worlds sometime, the RSC community is always welcoming new players. Feel free to add me if any of you decide to get into RSC ‘Letoy’. 😛 Though you need to be a member and have logged into RSC at least once before in able to play now.

  • 45m Says:
    24th March 2011, at 11:48pm

    anyone here remembers back in like 96 97 98 and 99 a character called 45m? that was my guy.. dam 99 str and such a shame they banned me. wtf? now its gayer…

  • Reidy Says:
    12th April 2011, at 7:45am

    Wow, to think that we were so greedy and selfish that the runescape world that began it all has now dissapeared…

  • tree mister Says:
    15th May 2011, at 9:52pm

    I would actually probably prefer rs classic. I’ve never played it but I have learned some stuff from the rs wiki. Were there botters/macroers then? Everyone who adds tree mister (me) and talks to me gets free yew logs!!! No caps, one space. tree mister.