A Translation of the BTS ‘09

posted by on 2nd February 2009, at 8:52pm

The year of 2008 has come and passed. Now we are lifted up to 2009 with an entire new spice of RuneScape’s updates. When I first came to reading Jagex Moderator Vince’s behind the scenes news post of what is to come of 2009, I was anxious for each and every one of these updates. However, we come to the point of analyzing the “Jagex Talk”. Yes, with a 4-year experience of Jagex’s perspective, it seems that nothing comes to hype. So what is planned for this year? An interpreter may be of assistance. If you have not done so yet, I advice you to read this article first.

•    Doing the ‘little’ jobs that make a big difference (e.g. a ‘You are here’ arrow on the world map) and basically fixing all the annoying little quirks the game has. Things that may be the least glamorous to work on and talk about, but which really add up.

Mainly what this is, is they go around the bugs section and remove any bugs in the game including some other small updates that any player could do without. For example, putting a ‘You are here’ arrow on the world map will just point to the middle when opening it. Obviously most people do not need an arrow, unless they have a disorder that disallows them to see into the center of the screen with ease.

I actually have no problem with the arrow, but let me bring something that has been released already. With the chat filter being reduced, there has been a bug that was fixed a few hours within release. This was because the filter was pretty much gone and there was a massacre of vulgar words at the Grand Exchange. I don’t have a problem with that either. What I am saying is that the ‘small updates’ are being grouped with the ‘fixing quirks’. Now the ‘small updates’ have ‘quirks that need to be fixed’.

•    Updating some of the earliest content/quests to bring it up to date, and take advantage of all the features we have added to the game engine since it was originally created. Also, reworking old clues that no longer work now the game is bigger (e.g. ‘Look west of the mountains’ was fine when there was only one mountain, but not now).

All right, so I am not exactly sure what they mean by ’update the earliest content/quests’, but I will interpret as if they were saying that they are finishing the series. Now they have finally decided to get smart and finish what has been started that seems like years. Right? Wrong. Some ending quests may be rather short and tie up loose ends and call it good. Others may be rather long, but have more story (talking to involved NPC’s) and less adventure. If I remember correctly, they made a small side quest for Regicide called “Catapult Construction”. This is an example of what may come to pass for quest endings. As for the content section, they probably mean something like skills. Let me mention the Ranged update a while ago that involved new crossbows. They came out, and only a minority of the RuneScape population uses them.
Now take mining for instance. It may be a medium/low-leveled ore that you can mine that most people really won’t bother with after the first day of trying it. So to sum this one up, I doubt people will be using the newer content being given out.

•    Making the interfaces as intuitive, flexible and user-friendly as possible.

Here we have a rather interesting subject that you may or may not have thought I could discuss. I mean, this sounds pretty reasonable, yes? Well, it does in many cases. However, things being flexible do have their limits. For example, say that the magic interface that will be coming out later this month was released now. People would not only want to organize their spells, but remove spells completely off their list into a bin for use later if need be. So basically, it will not be as flexible as you may want it to be.

•    Then, after all that, we’ll start looking into abandoned and barely used areas/features of the game, and breathing new life into them.

Lastly are the environmental perspectives. When I first read it, I somehow imagined of The Chronicles of Narnia Movie I in which Aslan blows on statues to release creatures from a spell. This time; however, it is programmer-wise. When bringing something to life, there needs to be points of interest for it to actually be worth people’s time. This could include the most used building in RuneScape: a bank.

These would be possible to put into some places, but look at Rimmington as one with a bank. Rimmington is usually most of time used in an event of holidays. If you didn’t have something, you would have to go to Falador to get it; this is very inconvenient for non-magical users. Although, this isn’t the reason it cannot be put into Rimmington. At any location of Rimmington to put a bank would be too close to a mine. There is actually two mines nearby this place. One is at the Crafting Guild just northwest of Rimmington, and the main mine is even closer north-east. Unless Jagex wants to mess with their command economy even more, I doubt this will be taken into thought.

What I am really thinking of is not a mere bank, but achievement diaries, quests, and mini-games.  Now look at each of those individually. Achievement diaries are excellent choices to get a place’s attention, but once people are finished with the diary, there is no real point to going there. (Unless they put a farming patch and teleport there.) Quests are also pleasant, but still it just dies out in a week of release. Mini-games could be something to actually keep users to keep life there depending on whether Jagex meets their interests.

That is it for this year and it probably will be a good year. However, this article maybe adviced to add into your memory banks that it could be a false hyped year. I am not saying that it will not be a good year, or that anything I have said will come true, but the points given are just mere things of what usually happen with Jagex in control of programming their ideas.

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One Comment

  • Ren Says:
    3rd February 2009, at 6:19am

    “All right, so I am not exactly sure what they mean by ’update the earliest content/quests’, but I will interpret as if they were saying that they are finishing the series.”

    If you go to http://www.mmogamer.com/09/22/2008/interview-henrique-olifiers-runescape/2 you will see in an interview with Mod Henrique that they aren’t so happy with the early quest content.

    “Those quests are definitely less appealing than the more recent stuff we’ve added into the game…. If you ask me if they’re going to find fun gameplay in the early quests that we made that are still in the game, which you usually find in the early stages in the game, because the game grew from the middle upwards, I would say it’s probably not as appealing as the other quests.”