Runescape may now be over 20 years old, but its community remains as involved as ever. Nowhere is this seen more clearly than in the folks working on the 117Scape plugin, which, as NME highlighted, was recently targeted by developers Jagex for cancellation action. With the developers forced into a step down over their attempt to have the project cancelled, the power of the Runescape community and the unique influence it has had on development has once again been highlighted. For Runescape players new and old, the community has provided a rock on which to succeed.
As Yahoo notes, Runescape went to the masses back in June when it expanded to Steam and Android, potentially creating thousands of new players. The reason the game can afford to do this despite some 20 years of history is due to the fantastic resources created by its player community. Player guides and tools are easily accessed within the Runescape community and this creates a great springboard for players to find a bit of success before heading on for their full Runescape experience.
Being such a unique title, Runescape has brought together a diverse community over its years. This has been recently subjected to new levels of support by Jagex, who have, according to Bleeding Cool, put in new clan support. This will allow networks of like-minded players to band together and have stronger bonds, through new chat services, social media tools, and other ways to help promote community bonding and the communication of players with one another above simple measures.
Runescape has elevated itself beyond a simple game, or pastime, and into a real force for social good. As NPR highlights, gold farmers in Venezuela have used sales of their products on Runescape to help climb out of abject poverty and, in some cases, to leave the country. The game, and it’s welcoming community, has managed to provide a real foundation for social change and the improvement of lives – something not many games can claim to have done.
Runescape is a phenomenon, really. It’s got the longevity to take the stage with some of the greatest titles of history, but it’s more than just a game despite that. New players will find a thriving community ready to welcome them with open arms.