The beta is back and this time it has a whole new bag of tricks. 2H combat abilities are getting a bit of a buff and later this month we’ll see the new death system introduced to the beta as well. The main feature of the beta thus far is the legacy and EOC mash-up. The Jagex team is back with yet another toggle for you to customize your game. That’s right, you get a toggle, and you over there gets a toggle, everybody gets a toggle! Of course there are two sides of every story so I’ll try to reserve my personal feelings about it till the end.
Its always nice to be able to customize the game to best suit your needs. If you like legacy combat but really wish you had the customizable interface, well now you can have both. On the other hand, if you like the minimalist feel of the old interface but do like to use your abilities you can do that too. It really lets you play however you want. It takes the things that people really like from each game mode and lets you decide what is right for you. The possibilities are endless. One thing is for sure, RS is not a one size fits all kind of game anymore.
With all that being said, the question remains – was all this necessary? Every update is a choice to devote time, money, and resources to one thing over another. Customization is nice but could those resources have been spent on something else? We are only in March, however already this year the updates are starting to feel like small potatoes. We have a legacy mode, further modification really wasn’t needed. I remember seeing comments in the forums during the legacy beta asking for this kind of mash up and thinking “really whats next, 2011 RuneScape mode?” Now it seems my sarcasm could be a reality someday if the current trend continues. I can’t help but to wonder what projects were pushed to the back burner so that a tiny slice of the community could get something they may have wanted but didn’t need.
Jagex has another chance to get the beta right this time. They have had problems in the past with poorly implemented betas. I think getting the new toggles right should be easy enough however balancing the 2h abilities may prove to be more difficult. One thing they have learned from prior betas is now they are not giving away free items that people use instead of their own equipment. This time you import your character and that should be especially helpful when we get to test the new death system. The other lessen that Jagex needs to learn from previous betas is to not rush it. EOC, and Legacy betas were both rushed and in the case of EOC, it was still being fixed as late as last year. Of course this is the part where I implore the players to test the beta properly. If you want these updates to go well you have to test the beta. Provide your feedback to Jagex and we can help make a better update. They need to know what works and what doesn’t and hey if you break it you may even get a super rare title bestowed upon you from Jagex.
I know the year has just begun but its hard not to wonder with updates like these where the vision is. What is the vision for RS in 2015? So far I can’t tell where Jagex wants to go. It feels like for the first time since I’ve been playing RS the game is adrift. Its time for Jagex to get visionary. Not just with story or around the edges, but truly visionary. Maybe this is just a natural feeling after having such a big year last year. Still, I wonder what the next iteration of RS will look like. Will it be just the same but with a new number, RS4 perhaps? Or could Jagex take the next 4-5 years and develop a completely new RS. One that has everything we love but isn’t chained to a tick rate and could have free movement using your keyboard. What would the quest and bosses look like then? How much fun could RS be if time and money we spent overhauling it and bringing it into the modern age of gaming? Most importantly how much would you be willing to spend? I know these are pipe dreams and will never happen but sometimes we have to ask ourselves what if since no one else seems to be doing it.
Personally I don’t have a problem with this update but I do see both sides have a point. It is nice to customize your game-play however I do have to wonder what could those resources have been put to instead of this? In the long run its probably not a big deal, although we don’t need a toggle for everything. You can’t fix everything with a toggle. I’m surprised Old school isn’t just a toggle. Well that’s it a short article this month hopefully next month there will be something we can really sink our teeth into, but until then, happy RuneScaping.