For many years now Jagex has taken a step back from the major world expansions on the surface world of RuneScape, shaping further content in shard worlds. But recently after the release of batch one for Prifddinas, they may be changing their minds.
For the most part the release of Prifddinas has been extremely well liked. Anyone that has access to it would probably have it in the top 10 updates for 2014. Personally I love it as it brings in the end game content that veteran players have quite literally been waiting for many years. This isn’t going to be an article about Prifddinas, but as it was the most recent map expansion, it will be used as examples throughout my article.
When was the last major world expansion? Well, following my definition one could argue that the release of the vampire city of Darkmeyer was a major expansion. I would have to disagree though. This city was relatively small and used for the main purpose of a breeding ground to expand the vampire quest line. I don’t disagree with this idea, and I do enjoy the fact that this city exists. I will return to this point shortly.
Prifddinas was also a result of a quest line. Prifddinas is a hub, it finishes a quest line yes, but its uses are completely different. This city is meant to be used as a city that players regularly go to, just like Varrock, Falador, and even Lumbridge.
What has spurred me to believe that Jagex plans to keep rolling with map expansions is the recent statement from Jagex about opening another city that has been closed off and hidden since the release of many of the desert quests. The city of Menaphos. On the opposite side of the world the closed off city has remained un-visited for the fear of spreading a plague. Could we see a quest to open up this city before 2016? I personally find it very likely. Jagex is running off of high popularity from the elf city update, with batch two still on the way. People are still talking about this update and probably will for a few months after batch two which is less than a month away now.
I almost wonder what else Jagex would plan to do, perhaps open up Arposandra an underground city of gnomes. The list goes on with possibilities. Southern Sophanem, The Underwater City (Home Land of the Penguins), Acheron (Home land of the Fremennik), and not to mention the documented to be the second continent that no one in game has gotten a glimpse of yet. It this did not make your mouths water for adventure that perhaps you should stick to chopping trees and mining rocks. This sounds amazing and is a perfect opportunity for Jagex to open up story and development into new and existing skills.
An expansion update has proven time and time again to be some of the most loved updates to this game. An entire summer was devoted to the Desert when it was released along with all its quests and updates. I wish I could have been playing legitimately enough to understand the ramifications these updates had back then.
At RuneFest 2014, Mod Mark asked the player base about the idea of not putting out the Inventor skill as a skill but to rather use it to bolster other skills in the game. He said that it would take, “significantly less time to develop.” If the option was to add to the existing skills the content that Inventor would provide, that is what I would vote for. I think it’s very clear that Mod Mark wants to take time to develop something different, to free up space and developers to work on something else big. A large map expansions would fit the bill just right.
With the announcement that a new client is being released soon instead of the HTML5 client as it was not meeting their expectations, a reason to develop more new areas has emerged. Think of the draw that this new client with all its graphical beauty would have if it had some new shiny new areas to go explore? It sounds like more than a good idea, it sounds like a good business decision. Take the positive reaction of the map expansion resulting from Prifddinas, spin it into a different city and add the new client. This is the way to top the current map expansion and I hope that Jagex agrees.