Runescape was one of the first MMOs of its time, predating even World of Warcraft. It played an inherent part in the childhoods of many 00's kids, and it still has a special place in their hearts today. Over a million people played Runescape at its peak, and hundreds of thousands of people still log into Old School and Runescape 3 today. Few online games of its age can say that.
11 years ago, in the year 2007, I lied that I was at least 13, and made my Runescape account on my parent's old, chunky computer that didn't even have Windows XP. Two weeks ago, I logged into that very same account on my MacBook Air, and I've been playing non- stop ever since.
Runescape was easy to understand and wasn't guided by a paywall, like World of Warcraft. Runescape, like a great open world game, blessed you with the option to do whatever you want, without making you feel overwhelmed. This is something video games today struggle to nail.
Every quest was optional and engaging. They were fun, not like the obligatory fetch quest you need to complete so you don't fall behind in XP. The quests help you discover the story of your environment if you were interested, or they were just plain bizarre. Last year Christmas event involved bring killing Rudolph and bringing him back to life. Every NPC had unique, funny dialogue that amplified the campy nature of the game graphically-subpar game. Additionally, each quest was rewarding, it didn't just reward you a bit of XP and five apples. The quests unlock things in the game, like new training areas, armor, or skills, and are sure to level you up in at least one skill.
Though it was janky, Runescape understood things better than most modern video games do. Like any good open world game, Runescape was a constant discovery. When you when to the lunch table at school, your friends would tell you about a new thing they did, or skills they'd trained Then, you did those things together, I've been playing the game for eleven years, and I still have not been everywhere and done everything.
Before cell phones and Modern Warfare 2, the ability to play with your friends online was a gift. It didn't matter that you were leaving school, you'd just hop on Runescape and see your friends then. Runescape was a world you discovered together, and something you could compete in. It was a healthy competition in who had better armor, who had higher levels, and who had more money.
There are so many different things you can do in Runescape: skill, PvP, make money. When I was a kid, my single goal was to achieve 99 woodcutting. I spent the very last of my Runescape days when my friends slowly began to log in less and less, behind Varrock cutting Yews, and chopping Ivy. When I logged into my Runescape account two weeks ago, I was still there.
I'm at level 91 now, and I hope to make my younger self-happy and proud. Even though it's a small, modest goal, it's been years in the making, and I hate to think I would never achieve something so dear to my heart, that I poured so many hours into as a kid. Becoming a high-level player in Runescape truly feels rewarding, and it keeps players addicted.
If you played Runescape as a kid, go back and play it now. Soon, Classic is shutting down, so play while you can. You'll find a lot has changed, but it's still the game you loved (or just play Old School). You'll get sentimental real fast. Even if you never played, it has something for everyone. If you love fantasy, MMOs, grinding, PvP, or even stocks, you'll love Runescape.