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Runescape 3 Review

RS3_generic_rotator

Runescape holds an interesting place in my heart. I know the game is pretty terrible and that it is not fun, but I can’t help but go back to it occasionally. They have upgraded the game in significant ways before; the two most important being the Grand Exchange and adding both active and passive skills. The latter actually added some depth to the game and made it a little more than just a point and click combat system. Ironically enough, one of the best skills seems to be a passive one that increases all damage as long as you don’t activate any skills, bringing the game back to square one.

Runescape updated again recently. The beast that is Runescape 3 has been let wild. For those not aware, Runescape 2 was the game most of us played, and Runescape Classic being the original. They are all the same game, but simply better and better implementations. The primary upgrades Runescape 3 brings are changing the game from Java to HTML 5 and some graphical updates

This summer I decided to go back to Runescape for a little while, both before and after this update came out. Runescape 3 has some good and bad points about it.

The Good:

  • The update increases the draw distance, so it lets you see farther.
  • There is actually a sky to look at. Always nice.
  • The ability to have custom hotkeys has been added, so that I can set B to open my bag now, or F12 if I am so inclined.
  • The GUI is customizable and overall just looks better.
  • The sounds have been upgraded a fair amount.
  • The camera was updated. Though I haven’t noticed anything different myself.

Runescape 3 Comparison

The Bad:

  • The client is still java-based, so the faster, more stable way to play Runescape is missing out on the graphical update. You are forced to play on a browser to see them.
  • Even though they went to the trouble of upgrading the game to have a sky, they made the background of the Battle of Lumbridge, the event created to kickoff the release of Runescape 3, just boring old grayness. That is backwards thinking.
  • The HTML5 open beta has horrible lag if many players are near you, but the load-times have been improved from the first few days it was out.
  • I played the game for an hour on my browser and it crashed five times while I was doing the Battle of Lumbridge. The client never crashed.
  • The client still shows ads at the top.

The Ugly:

  • The hotkeys and GUI ideas have existed in other games for years.
  • Both of the good visual points listed are things have have been implemented for near 20 years now in other titles.
  • The player base is just as immature as ever. I still see the n-word thrown around at times, and other curse words were countless in number. The players still womanize. Most communication is in the form of insults or telling others to “GTFO”, but not always in such nice terms.
  • I saw said profanity when I had my profanity filter on. This issue is fixed if you turn the filter off then on again.

As I mentioned there is an event to kick off Runescape 3 called the Battle of Lumbridge. Both Saradomin, the god of order wisdom and light, and Zamorok, the god of chaos and destruction, have come to Lumbridge to fight. You actually get to see them having a Harry Potter style magic battle. The tears of Guthix, the dead god of balance, are seeping into the ground, and it is your job to gather up the divine tears and give it to one of the gods to earn the favor of and strengthen your chosen god.

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Can you tell which god is which?

Now that I’ve gone and made this event sound cool, time to bring you out of the cave. They somehow made it boring as hell. The event boils down to woodcutting, mining and fishing for hours and hours. You just click on a resource, wait for it to deplete, then move to the next one. Repeat for hours. And hours. It is boring and tedious, just like Runescape has always been.

Overall the update improves the graphics to late PlayStation 1 graphical standards, and earlier updates brought the gameplay up to the standards of decade-old games. The Runescape 3 update offers little to no reason to play the game and I suggest avoiding it unless you have a nostalgia kick.

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[Written by Contributor Alexander Gunness]

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