A massive change awaits the world of Gielinor as the Evolution of Combat is set to be released in to Runescape on November 20th. Mod Mark himself has stated that this update is the biggest update to ever come to Runescape. Although it is undeniable that the Evolution of Combat will significantly affect the Runescape combat system and how players interact with the game, in the grand scheme of things, will Runescape really become so drastically different? I’d like to think not.
The current consensus among the RuneScape community is extremely divided, at least among the vocal portion. On one side you have Jagex and the players enthusiastic about the Evolution of Combat. As evident through live-streams news posts on the home page, forum posts, and tweaks to the Evolution of Combat Beta, the Jagex Mods working on the Evolution of Combat are very passionate about making it the best they can to prolong the future of Runescape. Many players are taking the beta and the Evolution of Combat in stride and spending time testing out the beta and giving feedback towards improvements. These people are eagerly waiting to embrace the new combat system and learn new strategies to take down bosses and slayer monsters alike. The other vocal portion of the Runescape community is those who are opposed to the Evolution of Combat. From what I have noticed, many people in this group want to stay the same, or even go back to how it was years ago. They also seem to oppose more updates that Jagex put out in the first place, not just the Evolution of Combat. To many who are threatening to quit on the forums and other fan sites it seems to them that the Evolution of Combat will be the final update before they quit the game. However there is a third less vocal group to the Runescape community. It is made up by those who enjoyed the game for it is has been over the years, how it currently stands, and whatever it may become. Here lies the nature of the Runescape community.
Looking back on the history of Runescape, there have been two updates that I think could compare in magnitude to the Evolution of Combat. Those two would be the transfer from Runescape Classic to Runescape 2 and the release of the Grand Exchange Combined with the removal of free trade. Leading up to and following both of these updates, there were extreme divides in the community about these updates. In both of these instances, there was a seemingly vocal majority of Runescape players opposed to the update. But when push came to shove only a small portion of those who claimed they would quit actually did, and the Runescape community as a whole moved on. If you have ventured on to the Runescape Official Forums recently, you may disagree. You may say that this update seems to have more opposition than any other update in the past. But if you have been around Runescape long enough you will know that the Runescape Official Forums have always been filled with people’s complaints about the game. This time around is no different. What makes the Evolution of Combat so different from any other update that could cause an end to the entire game? If history tells us anything, it’s that it won’t. Even during the span of the Evolution of Combat Beta I have witnessed many people changing their opinions on the new system and realizing that it is not the end of Runescape, but just another update that they see almost every week. Who’s to say that this won’t continue as the Evolution of Combat is introduced in to the live game and more players become experienced with it?
Regardless of these negative opinions, Jagex has taken legitimate feedback and come up with many new ideas to continue updating and developing Runescape for over 10 years. The game looks and players very different from what it was when it was first released, but at its core it is still very much the same old Runescape. Whether big or small, Jagex has been putting out almost weekly updates for years, and when it comes down to it, the Evolution of Combat will be no different than any other update. Once it is released, players will have to adjust their style of play just as they always have and just as they always will. Before long, the new combat system will become the norm and the panic behind it will be gone. Because in the end, the more things change, the more they stay the same.