World Review: RuneScape
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World Status: Operational
RuneScape?s interface is unique. Quite literally, it is just point and click. Point the mouse at a tree, it turns red, click to chop down that tree. Point at a rock, click. You mine stone. Point at a creature, click. If it?s an NPC, you engage in dialogue, if its not, you attack.
Attack a player, point and click. Trade with a player, point and click. Walk and run, point and click. The interface is very intuitive, and just to make sure it is, the world walks you through a tutorial island when you first start a character, to learn at your own pace.
That said, the point and click system does have one immediate disadvantage ? really limited interactivity. Only one action is possible with most objects. And objects without any defined response simply do nothing at all. You can chop a tree into kindling, and then light that kindling on fire, but you?ll never torch a tree.
Likewise, the buildings are permanent fixtures. You will never harm one, or leave your mark on one. Characters come and go, maybe touching a few people here and there, but leaving no lasting mark.
The world is sharded heavily, and each shard duplicates the world perfectly, each identical to the next. After a while it felt stale, and uninteresting, and that may explain the audience.
Runescape is predominately a teenager world. You will find very few older people amongst the many thousands there, rushing past, all eagerly levelling their skills, which are, after all, very well done, and you do have an awful lot of them to work with. Dozens in fact, along with hundreds of spells to learn, and combinations to master. This world, is a power-leveller?s dream.
Unfortunately, its not a role-players dream. The view is stuck in third person - you can rotate your view all around your character, can zoom in, until they're as crystal clear as a character from the Sims, or zoom out to a bird's eye view, any point in between. Yet, one thing is missing, you can never become them, never look through their eyes. Thus the character will never be more than a playing piece, an object, not a person to interact through, but something to move around.
For some, its the thrill of discovery, the freedom to strike out, to pioneer. Whether its mapping new lands, or exploring unknown fields of endeavour, to be first, to boldly go, this is what explorers live for.
Runescape?s world is massive, and the design is crafted very carefully, to force players to explore a lot to get anywhere. Key features such as forges, anvils, quarries and forests are kept far apart, and have to be hunted down. There are many towns, and a massive city, several kingdoms, a wide variety of landscape, and creatures to hunt, or be hunted down by. The more you explore, the more you see, and the more you see, the less you feel you?ve seen.
The social life is the life for you. To chat, to roam, to gossip all day, and chatter all night. You are the heart of the party, and you are the soul. The drive to chatter, the need to gossip, stretching out, making connections, mind against mind, heart against heart. It keeps you going, it keeps you sane.
Very little community feel is present. This is an achieving world, not a chat one, and the chat interface is balky at best. Both main chat, and the instant message system allow for messages of near infinite length, but the text display will only show the first fifty or sixty, and delete the rest.
Work, work work. Everybody... You have this burning desire to succeed, to achieve renown, to be the best in whatever field you set your sights to. No matter what, you must be the best... What will you be? A powerful warlord? The leader of a town? You're ambitious, and crave power? This section is for you.
These people are the ones RuneScape was made for. There are over three dozen skills, all with bonuses every few levels, over a hundred spells, and dozen after dozen of quests to complete, updated regularly.
You get your fun through fighting, killing, pillaging and pilfering. From despicable thieves, through sneaky assassins, great military generals, and noble knights, you love to kill, you live to kill.
There is a whole area of Runescape devoted to PVP, and its not possible outside of this area. That said, the area is vast, and levelled like the players - at the lowest levels, at the edge of the 'wilderness' as its called, players of similar level can attack each other freely. As you progress further and further in, higher levels may attack lower freely, until any level can attack any other. PvP fights are one of the great draws of this world, and many who go to it, go for this.
The free servers are supported by advertising, although there are some that you pay for more areas on, and of course no adverts.
The advertising itself says a good deal about RuneScape?s target demographic. They?re almost exclusively dating adverts ? for boys seeking girls.
Tread carefully in this one. It offers an action blast, but is unlikely to provide real staying power if you?re after more than just an ego trip.
Rating 54.5 / 100
Client OS:Win 2K, Win 98, Win 2K, Win 2K