There’s no wrong way to play RuneScape. Many players will claim that there is a right way to play RuneScape and of course their way is the right way. In reality, there are many different play styles and motivations for each. Some players love to earn achievements (max cape, completionist cape, etc). They are the achievement hunters, those players who are always trying to reach their next goal or desperately trying to get an old achievement back. There are players who thrive on being the absolute most efficient players they can be. Gaining XP for them is like a science and an art all rolled up in one. The PVM/boss hunter loves combat and pretty much only do non-combat related content if it will at some point enhance their combat skills, eg: overloads. Lastly, we can’t forget the casual RuneScape player. They play what they want when they want. They’re not out for glory, just out for fun. This month RSBANDB’s monthly bit will center around the different kinds of RuneScape players and why they like to play the way they do. As a prelude to this, I thought it would be fun to explore my own play-style and why I enjoy playing this way.
Now that we all know the types of play styles let’s acknowledge the obvious, most players are a mix of these different styles. Not only that but people change over time and so does their play style and motivations for playing. Many RuneScape players have been playing since high school and college. There are very few games with staying power like that and it’s natural that players change a lot over that amount of time. The other factor players have to contend with is time. A casual player may want to do more achievement hunting but simply not have the time. There is also the problem of subjectivity when trying to categorize yourself and others. What seems casual to one player may be anything but to another. I’m a good example of this. I consider myself a casual RuneScape player, but because of my goals and time spent playing, I can look from the outside like a real achievement hunter.
My play style is something I like to call casual with a cause. I know, I know, how can someone that writes RuneScape articles every month and co-hosts a RuneScape podcast be a casual player you ask? Its simple really, by most metrics I’m pretty average for a player. I do spend considerable time on gaming-related endeavors in general only a portion of that is playing RuneScape. That being said when I play I am very goal oriented. Having something to aim for has always been important to me in gaming. Believe it or not, before there were games as services, games had stories and plots and you could, in essence, beat a game. That was it, that was the goal. Take Mario around and stomp on turtles and mushrooms until you reach the next level, rinse and repeat until you come to the end and beat the game. This is the era I grew up in and it shapes a person’s perspective on how to play games.
That mindset definitely carried over when I started playing RuneScape. At first, the game was overwhelming with choices on what to do. On top of that, there wasn’t a right or wrong answer on what you should be doing. My first instinct was to begin questing and learning the story and lore of RuneScape. Unfortunately back then there really wasn’t an ongoing storyline and most of the quests just felt like one-offs with little in the way of consequential gameplay. That’s when I began to see RuneScape as a test of will. I realized experience was the real goal that was how to really beat the game. I started to pursue my first level 99 and get one of those coveted skill capes. Of course soon as I did I realized I needed to get 27 more to really be satisfied. That’s how maxing became my goal and honestly, I’ve always seen it as the primary goal in RuneScape but things do change and so did I.
At that time I could hardly be called a casual player. I was in college and since I had to listen to my textbooks, I played RuneScape to help me stay awake and alert. The singular goal was the max cape and that definitely made me an achievement hunter. It was a long and arduous process but eventually, I maxed. The max grind is one of the hardest in game. It can make you hate logging in but somehow still motivate you to do just that. The moment I put that cape on though I felt accomplished and in my mind, I had just beat the game. Then someone asked me if I was going for completionist and I thought oh no, I haven’t beaten the game I still have to get a completionist cape.
That’s when things really began to change for me. I had recently jumped into the wider world of PC gaming and loved it. I was also a father that spent most of my day taking care of my daughter. The evenings were the only time my wife and I had to spend together and even then babies don’t seem to understand they can’t have your undivided attention all the time. Time became tighter and I slowly started to work towards completionist. This is the point I can say I was a true casual player. That is until I made a go at streaming RuneScape.
Streaming is just fun and I enjoy doing it today. However, when I started I was pretty engaged and dedicated to it. I loved entertaining and playing RuneScape. My favorite part was showing people how to do things they didn’t know before. That revitalized my completionist journey and I incorporated that into my streaming. As much as I enjoyed streaming it was starting to become clear I probably wasn’t going to rise above the affiliate level on Twitch. Once again it was time for a change and that brings me to where I am today.
I still have goals when I play Runescape. The completionist cape still eludes me though. I’ve also deterred away from it and worked on some level 120’s from time to time. What I’ve learned works for me is to keep the mindset of a casual gamer but have some goals. That’s what works for me. I also enjoy engaging the game in other ways as well. I love writing articles for Informer each month and I still enjoy streaming now and again. I’ve been co-hosting RSBANDB update with Shane since January and I love doing that as well. I can probably never call myself a casual gamer in general. I am definitely a casual RuneScape player with a few goals on the side. Everyone grows and changes over time and so do their play styles. Become a Patreon and you can hear even more on this topic on the monthly bit for September. Until next month, keep playing your way and never let anyone tell you otherwise, Happy RuneScaping.