For those of you who can think way back to the times of RuneScape Classic, level 99’s have always been a constant. That is until April 10th 2010 when the dungeons of Deamonheim arrived to Gielinor. This update for the first time broke the chain of what we knew as mastering a skill. It separated Dungeoneering from all the other skills being the only one to go to 120. And so this was left unchanged until recently with the addition of 120 cosmetic capes. And finally the question: should Jagex raise the level cap to 120?
I can understand how many people would be opposed this. “It removes the sense of accomplishment for level 99!” But, hasn’t Jagex slowly been doing that already with many exp handouts?
Raising level caps is a very common thing to do with many MMO’s, Star Wars, the Old Republic, World of Warcraft, Lord of the Rings Online, just to name a few raise the level cap with expansions. It’s very common for older MMO’s to do this as the older players continue to get access to new content, while the lower level players can work their way up to this position at their own pace. How good would this be for the aging RuneScape player? To the new players that continue on into the high level areas of the game. Think of all the new content ideas, the new resources and areas to discover. There is so much that could be done with the 21 extra levels for each skill.
With an increase however would come ramifications that would need to be taken care of in a open beta, for example, creatures difficulty. Usability of weapons, especially in a PVP environment. All of these small areas would need to be taken care of so that the high level players become far overpowered. And a possible solution has already been implemented and tested. Level scaling.
Let’s say someone goes out on a slayer assignment to kill black demons, their level in magic is 110, The monster would scale past 99 to the attacker while slowly unlocking more items on the drop table that are useful for high level players. Perhaps a higher level ash than infernal would be a common drop and can only be used by players that have passed 99. That was an idea of the top of my head about how scaling combat to 120 leveling systems could work.
120 capes are a true sense of accomplishment and really show that someone has put time and effort into their favorite parts of the game. They should be rewarded for their efforts and still receive new content as well. The game doesn’t have to end at a 99, or a max cape.
Dungeons and Dragons was a game I played a couple years ago with some friends on a weekly basis and it had the idea of Paragon paths and Epic Tier. Once a certain level was hit, you could choose where you wanted to go with the class you chose. The same could be done at 99 in RuneScape allow the player to choose what they really want to do and enjoy doing. The entire idea of Paragon paths in to diversify the experience. In an already vast game, would it not be cool to see a battle mage that deals a lot of damage and then a Strategist mage that manipulates the battle to help their friends in combat, buff them and heal them? That screams diversity to me.
The 120 levels are itching with possibilities and the release of these capes shows that Jagex wants to do something about it. They are showing a lot of interest in the end game. Take their prestige system idea from earlier this year. Allowing players to work to 99 again but with twice the experience needed each time. To me, this sounds like a very simplified way of making an endless end game. One that many games already have and truthfully, I don’t find it very rewarding. New content that is only available and the 99 + level sounds awesome, it sounds like new epic adventures and bosses waiting to be discovered, it sounds like new life in the game and a reason to press on to the high stages of the game.
The 120 capes were very well received by most people in the community, and I myself at first was skeptical, but I realized how much more there could be to this game, and how fun and epic it truly could be to go past mastering a skill. RuneScape needs a stronger reason to play on, and the 120 cosmetic capes are a doorway to endless possibilities.