Back to the Future… Well Sort Of…

posted by on 24th June 2014, at 3:06am | Discuss Article

That’s right McFly, we’re going back to the future only this time no flux capacitors or DeLoreans required. The Legacy Beta was launched on Monday, June 16. This is probably the most anticipated update of the year perhaps next to Elf City. There is a lot riding on this update and as you will see it’s not going great. There are a lot of reasons why the beta, in my opinion, is failing thus far and I’m not sure Jagex is to blame for this one but we’ll go into that later. One thing is for sure, Legacy is not ready for prime time and I strongly encourage everyone to vote no this week when the poll comes out that asks us if Legacy should go live right away. There are many reasons to vote no, but let’s start with taking a look at what Legacy is, why it was developed, and what the goals of Legacy are.

What is Legacy mode?

It appears from looking at the RuneScape forums many players either didn’t understand or didn’t read what they were voting for when voting for Legacy mode. First off Legacy mode is meant to bring the look and feel of the old combat system. Notice it’s supposed to bring the look and feel back of the old system not the old system itself. Legacy mode provides a relaxed combat experience along with the older type of interface. I’ve played the beta and it does look and feel like the old system. It looks old, antiquated, slow and boring so yeah they’ve definitely brought back the older style combat. It’s important to remember that it is not the old game mechanics necessarily. They have to work within the existing combat system which is why it is only supposed to give the player the look and feel of the old system – this is an important distinction. That being said there is a lot of work to do it is definitely not ready for prime time.

The Issues

Of course like all betas, the main issues are balancing. For example the Armadyl God Sword and the Granite Maul are very overpowered. Chaotic weapons are underpowered and there are just a host of other weapons and armour that need to be balanced better. Another problem with Legacy at the moment is the graphics don’t feel quite right. It’s hard to put your finger on it, and there is plenty of contradictory feedback on the forums, but it mostly pertains to the chat box and the colour scheme. It just looks to cartoony. Of course the other big issue, and one that I don’t believe can be resolved, is dual wielding. Dual wielding just feels weird and is unbalanced, however this is something we are just going to have to put up with because it is not possible to take dual wielding out. I know people don’t want to hear that but it is the case. Some of the more broader issues were clearly predictable and it is no surprise that they are happening now. For one, PVM is just not good in Legacy mode. Granted I can’t for the life of me figure out why anyone would want to PVM in Legacy mode but the fact remains that it is pretty terrible. Now we knew this would be the case and especially with bosses that came out after EOC, they were specifically designed with EOC in mind. The other issue I have found so far is that Legacy mode should really be called PVP mode. I think that is who it was developed for and who will be using it. I’m glad to see that community revived and I hope that Legacy will be acceptable to them, however, I just can’t see the average RuneScape player using this mode very much. When you enter the beta for the first time you really realize just how far this game has come and how awesome it is now and I just can’t see anyone but PKer’s utilizing Legacy.

Testing the Beta

This is a biggie. Right now it is the players that are letting the community down not Jagex. This beta is looking very similar to how the EOC beta went. When I go to Edgeville I should see lots and lots of players gearing up to go into the Wildy and do PKing. Instead what I see is people buying and selling equipment. Seriously?  For real guys, buying and selling worthless beta equipment, you’ve got to be kidding me. There is no reason to buy or sell anything, everything is free and nothing counts towards the live game so I can’t understand why this is happening. One thing I do know is when you are standing around buying and selling you are not testing and you are not helping to make the system better. The other major problem I see is that people are using gear that they will never use in the wild or flat out can’t afford. I will never see someone in the wild with dual Drygores and a set of full Torva. So why am I seeing it now?  I don’t know and it doesn’t make any sense. It’s good to have all of the weapons and armour available but if it is not something you’re going to use in the live game then you shouldn’t be using it in the beta. I should be seeing people in PVP gear, Rune, Dragonhide, etc. Please test this beta as if you were in the live game. There is no way that Legacy will be a success if these things continue. Remember the awful launch of EOC and how it was not ready at the time it went live. That was because people were doing the very same thing they are doing now. If you really do care about Legacy then you need to test it properly. Now let’s look at the other big reason you should vote no on launching Legacy into the live game.

Player Feedback

The feedback on the Legacy thread is frankly terrible. It’s incoherent, uninformed, and full of rants and ragers. Once again this is not helpful. I remember the feedback on EOC was very similar. Now there are some constructive comments that are helpful to the Jagex team, but for every one comment that is making a constructive point there are 10 people that are just complaining. In comparison if you were to look at the feedback on the Elf City you will find a very different situation. Elf City feedback is very constructive and has led to changes being made that is making it a better product in the end. If you want Legacy to be a success then use the Elf City feedback as a guide. Just be polite and constructive in your criticism and provide possible solutions if you can. It’s okay to be critical, that is the point, they need to know what is wrong and what is not working but when it comes across as mere complaining it’s probably not going to be taken seriously. We can do better on both of these fronts. We can test better and we can provide better feedback.

I know it sounds like I’ve been hard on people in this article and there is truth in that. I just don’t want to see us make the same mistake twice. We are older and wiser and we know better, we can make Legacy a success. Although I will not be using Legacy mode because I am an EOC player I want it to succeed. I want the PVP community to come back and revitalize the Wildy. I want people to have the choice which mode they like better. I want the game to be healthy and be around for years to come. Legacy has the potential to do all of these things but you have to vote no. I know it’s exciting, I know we want it to be ready but the truth is that it’s not. There are too many bugs and balancing problems, not to mention all of the problems that we have yet to find out because people aren’t testing it correctly. If we can hold back, if we can have patience, we can do this right if not then we are looking at EOC part two and I don’t think anybody wants to go through that again. See you guys next month, until then happy RuneScaping.