Can RuneScape 3 Compete with the Best MMOs? An In-Depth Look at the Update to the World's Biggest Browser MMO

| 5 May 2013 19:00
runescape 3 burthorpe

I'm not going to sugar coat it; there's also a few drawbacks, for no game is perfect. Even though the world is now in 3D, you still have to click to move anywhere and the camera controls are currently mapped to the inconveniently placed arrow keys. I asked whether they were going to implement full directional movement with the WASD keys, and Jim Sweatman said they had it in there in one alpha build but eventually chose to remove it. "Click-to-move is really fundamental to the way you interact with the game," he said. "The directional movement just didn't fit with the way the game's set up." While that's all well and good, it will take more than a bit of getting used to when dealing with a fully moveable camera, and clicking all over the place to merely walk to the next area. More than once, I had trouble clicking where I wanted because a tree was in the way, and just trying to get to another level by clicking the correct ladder or staircase can be difficult.

While the combat was recently modified to be more tactical, and to balance out the three main combat types of ranged, melee, and magic, fighting monsters is still a janky affair. The models appear out of nowhere and the animations are not really smooth or lifelike in any way. It's probably because I was playing an artificially leveled up character, but I found the combat system a mess to experiment with. I could tell there was a lot of depth to it, I just found it hard to penetrate.

RuneScape 3
categories: 3d, browser, fantasy

RuneScape 3 is an instantly accessible F2P MMORPG set in a welcoming world of medieval fantasy. It is an empowering game full of opportunities for advancement and meaningful choices, where players are at liberty to build their wealth, master skills, rally friends and seek adventure as they please. In 2013 RuneScape is "made by you" more than ever before, with player choices driving an on-going story and shaping very fabric of the Gielinor

But that's OK, a big reason why RuneScape is successful is because it offers gameplay for all kinds of different players. "The roster of gameplay we currently have is more than enough to challenge 3 or 4 of our competitors combined," Ogilvie said. "There's a huge variety of playstyles that players can approach the game with. Much of RuneScape can be likened to more traditional forms of gaming such as boardgames, tabletop roleplaying games, playground games or classic adventure games." There are players that love to min-max the PVP game of Castle Wars, while some players only use RuneScape as a social network. There are players who do nothing but collect stuff, or participate solely in quests and interacting with the lore. And while that's not really very different than most MMOs, the long 12 year history of RuneScape means there's a massive amount of content available for each one of these endeavors. Based on what I played of RuneScape 3, and the conversations I had with the ebullient staff at Jagex, they aren't just excited to serve their current fans with a new way of playing the game. Jagex believes the improvements in RuneScape 3 will push it to compete with the biggest names in MMOs, even if it is "just" a browser game. I'm interested to see if such an outcome is possible, but after playing it for myself, I'm not so quick to dismiss such a statement as I once was. RuneScape 3 has a lot to offer.

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Sinisterair, please don't pretend to speak for the whole fan-base. Not only is the claim that most people are playing Classic or '07 'Scape ridiculous, 70K to 80K players on at a time is still an impressive number, especially when you consider that Jagex is competing well against commercial MMO's with their chosen niche of remaining a browser based game. True, bots have always been an issue, but the rapid bot-busting updates released by Jagex are to be applauded. Not only are they leading the industry in anti-bot recognition, they've successfully sued and shut down a major bot developer company in court; this is unheard of.

Also impressive was a major update to the game released late in 2012 that redid the *entire combat engine from the ground up.* I can't stress how wonderful it's been to experience the new depths of strategy, and what a monumental undertaking it was to re-code everything and still have it work with the established environment. Bravo again, Jagex.

Also, the micro-transactions Sinisterair mentions are nearly completely cosmetic. The only controversial form of them have been to buy extra tickets for a sort of daily lottery, which all players are given free tickets to anyway. Paying $50, players can buy enough "spins" on this lottery wheel to maybe earn as much exp as could be earned manually in under an hour of play, with the "jackpot" prizes still being cosmetic and underpowered gear. There's absolutely no pressure to participate, and it would be beyond silly for anybody to actually fear it as a replacement for legitimate training. These micro-transactions are the primary reason that the development team has been able to explode to the size it has to bring us new content weekly, and I'm a proud contributor.

I've been an off and on again player since late 2004, and haven't let my membership lapse for these 9 wonderful years. I promise to those of you who's interests are peaked by this article: This is a very exciting time for this Cinderalla of a wonderful MMO, and definately worth a look when Runescape 3 releases this summer!

Wait... there's a Runescape 2?

Wow, I like the new looks and I can see myself losing some serious time to this if they keep the awesome old crpg style of quests, but less grindy adn with better combat.

There was a Runescape 2?!?

Color me interested.
Runescape WAS my childhood, and at this rate it'll be my childs childhood.

I'm Sorry but I actually still play this game, And what impresses you does not impress the fan-base. Most of us if not more than half of us have moved onto classic RS Because of the constant Micro Tranactions being shoved down our throats. The 200M Accts? Mostly Macros that ruin the economy. No more than 100k play at a time and even then you can find atleast 20-30% are bots. And With promises of bot breaking updates that dont seem to work past 3-4 months. The game updates that do occur are usually ones that make the game more and more like a standard MMO Pretty much ruining any charm the game had left going for it.

I seem to remember some old wisdom of "You can't polish a turd"

Well in this case, maybe you can! I mean, RS3 is way shinier than most poop I've seen.

Seriously, I was just as skeptical as you, but RuneScape has a lot going for it.

I seem to remember some old wisdom of "You can't polish a turd"

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