Tuesday, October 9, 2007

RuneScape Exposed Part 2: Jagex Fiddles While RuneScape Burns

This is the second part of the Runescape Exposed article. I am warning you upfront it is extremely anti-Jagex. I do believe though it is worth reading for several reasons:
1. There are indeed some flaws in the game and the way it is handled. No point in closing eyes on it.
2. It is interesting and encouraging how Jagex really made steps to eliminate many of the issues pointed out in this article. A reader has to admit a lot was done in last 4-5 month.
Actually, I wouldn't be surprised if Jagex saw this particular article and used its content to improve the game.


Jax said...

Here's my easy solution: Jack up the price to $20 a month. Jagex could hire tons of mods to police our every move. And a lot of the kids wouldn't be able to play.

Or maybe he should just deal with the fact that parents should pay attention to what their kids are doing. All these kidfriendly/anti scam updates are taking developer time away from making more quests/skills/areas. I'd rather be responsible for myself and have more playability.

Steve said...

Im sorry but that post was so funny, was it released on April the 1st.

It spent 3 pages saying that Jagex make the game for players over 13 and that the age limit was introduced to late to stop many under aged players, well my son is 9 he plays and he is not breaking the rules.

I understand the idea of blaming other people for their own shortcomings but it spoils all the fun of having children and taking responsibility for them.

This post was mainly written out of ignorance and not appreciating the complexities in designing, policing and maintaining the game.

And the wilderness bit, LOL LOL sorry i don't need to say any more on that.

** And btw I died at the kbd the other day, jagex you B*****ds you should have warned me that I would have died killing a giant 3 headed fire breathing dragon with no armour weapon or anti fire shield. **

And for the writers of the article benefit the above sentence between the ** ** was a sarcastic comment.

Knifestorm said...

The article you link to is biased, inaccurate, and out of date. That being said, I still have a few comments relating to the theme of these articles.

One of the things the Runescape (and all the computer RPGs I have played) is missing is a since of consequence. For example, a person can spend hours killing guards in the Varrock courtyard and then head into the castle and have a nice friendly chat with the king. I would think the king would lock his door and pull his sword if you tried anything like this an a more realistic world. After you kill a few town guards you should be banished from the city for some time (measured in weeks). If you kill the monks at the monastery they shouldn't be so willing to heal you. Kill a bunch of dwarves and they won't want to sell you one of their cannons, and so on. Consequences.

This doesn't have to be a drag. This could be fun. If you get caught stealing from a stall you could find yourself in a prison - the game becomes an "escape from prison" quest. Or you can be forced to do some sort of community service - an "open new trade routs" quest.

Some sort of reputation system could be cool. Ask a bartender about a specific player and he could tell you if a person kills white knights and town guard and is a suspected scammer, or if he helps the poor and is known as an honest trader.

If actions have consequences, then players will consider the long term effects of their actions. This will lead to more real-world type of decisions and behaviors. Hopefully that would mean better behavior.

Runescape is not built for this sort of thing and probably never will be. If anyone knows of a MMRPG that does, let me know, I'd like to try playing in that type of world.

Knifestorm said...

Look here: http://www.theesa.com/facts/top_10_facts.php

From research done by the ENtertainment Software Association.

"The average game player is 33 years old"

"Eighty-six percent of game players under the age of 18 report that they get their parents’ permission when renting or buying games, and 91 percent say their parents are present when they buy games."

"Thirty-six percent of American parents say they play computer and video games. Further, 80 percent of gamer parents say they play video games with their kids. Sixty-six percent feel that playing games has brought their families closer together."

"Thirty-eight percent of all game players are women. In fact, women over the age of 18 represent a significantly greater portion of the game-playing population (31%) than boys age 17 or younger (20%)."

Vaskor said...

Well, average Runescape player is still a teenager not an adult.

But anyway I don't want to defend these two articles - I actually disagree with most of the conclusions there. But, as I stated before, I do believe it to be beneficial to look at the issue from different angles and perspectives.

Knifestorm said...

Take a look over here:

This is a site that tries to figure out who is visiting various websites (Runescape.com in our case). The bar charts are a little confusing because they are comparisons to the internet average user (listed as "100" in the charts).

The average RS player is one and a half time more likely to be in the 35 - 44 age group as the average internet user is. Jagex probably has a good idea of who plays their game but they are not making the data public.

Another interesting point: the average RS player is almost twice as likely to be Asian as the average internet user is. The only Asian players I have noticed in RS are the gold farmers - seems there are more of them than I thought.

And one last statistic: the average RS player is three times more likely to have visited playboy.com as the average internet user is -- where is the parental overwatch there?

Vaskor said...

Interesting statistics. But notice that there is no age group for users under 18. The data they gather is based on a household owner which is a parent. So the bulk between 35 and 55 most probably represents kids of 35-55 years old parents. Kind of makes sense.

Regarding Asian players. I have a lot of friends from Asia in Runescape. Even at Runewise Singapore and Malaysia are very high in the list of countries the users are from.

Playboy... Teenagers... And, yeah, "very strict parental overwatch"...

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