It may surprise some of you to learn that Runescape is still alive and kicking. Given the game is over 15 years old, many have assumed the game died along with many other MMOs created in the 2000s becoming a simple childhood memory for those who played.
While the game has certainly seen a dip in its playerbase its still very much alive with, a thriving community dedicated to it, and Old School Runescape, an older version of the game from 2007 released by Runescape’s developers Jagex in 2013 after a community vote.
Recently however, the Runescape community has been in an uproar after the announcement of the games latest event called RunePass: Ocean’s Bounty.
As outlined in a developer blogpost, the event is very similar to Fortnite’s Battlepass, with players completing activities to gain progress and unlock different rewards along the way. There are free and premium tiers, with those who pay unlocking better prizes and receiving a legendary pet.
“Runepass comes with a variety of challenges and tasks in order for you to progress through its levels, whilst also awarding you with progress for simply earning XP in any part of the game. A player of any calibre will be able to take part and earn levels, although if you want access to those top-level rewards, you’ll want to make sure you’re completing the challenges the RunePass throws your way!”
Currently the event is set to have a two week duration, as is acting a trial to see if similar events will be run in the future.
At first glance from those unacquainted with the Runescape community, this at worst may seem like an unwanted but temporary microtransaction (MTX). However this is only the latest problem the community has had with MTX in the game; a problem that started with Squeal of Fortune.
Squeal of Fortune (replaced by Treasure Hunter in 2014) is a form of MTX that allows players to use keys to roll for different items, including gold, cosmetics and experience. While players can receive free keys from completing quests and logging in daily, the keys can also be bought, which strays deep into P2W territory for many players.
This is made worse by the many Treasure hunter events that see experience given out in massive quantities to those who buy keys.
For example, there was a Treasure Hunter event last month called Mysteria, which had various experience lamps made available on Treasure Hunter, with each lamp type swapping with another every four hours.
One type of lamp included in the event were Lava Lanturns, which provide players with varying amounts of experience and bonus experience depending on the size of the lamp and the players level in the skills.
Over recent years, the frequency of theses has increased, leading to growing frustration among players, with the outrage reaching boiling point late last year with the Prize Pool promotion, which many players compared to gambling.
The outrage was so bad, Jagex released a statement promising to never again run the promotion, and to rework Treasure Hunter, including looking into the frequency and duration of events.
Since then, many players have felt that Jagex has failed to live up to their promise, with this newest piece of MTX being a slap to the face.
Some have even taken to the official Runescape subreddit to voice their displeasure, with the front page of the subreddit full of posts regarding the upcoming event.
Currently, there are no official comments by Jagex regarding the Runepass. Mod Osbourne X has made a comment on a Reddit regarding the issue which you can read here.