I felt like writing about this about a month back but never got around to doing so. Given that I’ll be retiring from Runescape for the likely future, it seemed appropriate to write a bit about it. Few people would be interested, of course, in the retirement post of someone who admittedly didn’t experience much of the game’s content. However, this is not meant to be a summary of the game as it is, but rather my experiences within the game as a wandering ‘scaper who roamed the lands of Gielinor from 2006 to 2016.
Runescape was perhaps one of the first few RPGs to become popular as the Internet took off. Against competition such as BattleOn and Neopets, the freedom of being able to wander around as an adventurer and interact with other players in real time caught on among those that yearned for an upgraded Dungeons and Dragons experience. After all, Runescape did begin as a graphical Multi-User Dungeon (MUD).
For me, Runescape was not the first online game which I had been introduced to (that would have been Neopets in 2003), but it was the first game which I stuck around for a decent amount of time. My history in the game can be summarized into four stages, which will be elaborated below.
Early Beginnings (Late ’06 to mid ’07)
I was introduced to Runescape shortly before my PSLE (a type of exam) by a classmate of mine. Although we weren’t friends, we were decent acquaintances such that he introduced the game to me during a computer lesson.
I refrained from playing the game until after my exams were over, and began in late ’06 as a result. There was a sense of wonder in the game as one expects from their first RPG, a novelty of walking around, levelling up skills and being generally engrossed in the fantasy world which Runescape had created.
There was a definite sense of danger as one walked into the Wilderness, and I wasn’t the best pker (player killer) around. I worked hard mining coal to buy myself a Rune set, but lost it when I wandered too far into the Wilderness and got ganked by a group of pkers.
Somewhat devastated, I decided to try other games, such as MapleSEA, which my new class was playing at that moment. Being the few (or lone) Runescaper seemed foolish, so I left Runescape and wandered around in the worlds of MapleSEA and Flyff for a bit. Shown below are some pictures from that era, apparently I left Runescape as a Level 68 player, which wasn’t too bad if I do say so myself.
The Return of Him Who Was Hacked (Early ’08 to mid ’10)
Returning to Runescape, I was hacked once when I was stupid enough to type out my password believing it would be censored. I tested it in somewhere which I thought was sufficiently deserted, but apparently someone picked it up.
After a few days of shock, I began working to recover my former riches. Runescape had recently released a new location for free players to begin training in, and the monsters there dropped decent loot without being too difficult to kill. I created a log to keep track of my kills and slowly earned enough to buy my first set of God armour, which was a fancy upgrade from my previous ‘buckethead’ armour set.
With plenty of free time during the school holidays and not much else to do, I continued plowing more time into Runescape, grinding at the mobs I had been at on a regular basis. A free day would involve waking up and breakfast at 8am, gaming till 2am before sleeping and repeating the cycle.
It’s most tedious looking back now, but the massive time investment is the only way I managed to earn a substantial sum (for a free player) in a relatively short amount of time through combat. Free to play combat back then wasn’t the most profitable money-making method, but I liked it because it also levelled up my combat stats. So I kept at it, eventually finishing at 100 combat.
I hadn’t, in my wildest dreams, thought that I would hit 100 as a pure free to play player. It seemed impossible, except that I had achieved it after spending countless hours in-game clicking buttons.
Feeling rather confident and proud of finally joining the ranks of 100+ combat players, I also participated more actively in the fledgling Clan Wars community, joining a national clan and taking part in Clan Wars myself. Making a video of a battle which I joined as an observer was probably the epitome of those days when Clan Wars was actively populated and many (semi)-official clans found fun warring random groups which somehow spontaneously formed among the idea of just giving it a whirl. At the very least, even if my desire to continue levelling had dimmed (after hitting my goal of 100+ combat), the clan community and Clan Wars itself proved to be sufficiently attractive for me to log on semi-regularly.
As the game progressed in removing the Wilderness and the Clan Wars population declined, drama consumed the clan I was in. Seeing that the end seemed nigh, I decided to retire on a high note, culminating in a series of retirement screenshots shown below:
I stopped playing sometime around late 2010 as I began exploring the world of other games, doing regular maintenance of my account to check that things were as they should be but not logging on to level.
The Second Return of Him Who Was Hacked (Mid ’11 to late ’11)
Little did I know that I would become the victim of a second hack, one which ended the ‘pure f2p’ banner that I had been proudly wearing as a free to play player. The hacker cleaned out my account but bought a month’s worth of membership for me. Feeling rather fortunate that I had recovered my account in time to take advantage of the full membership, I spent my first month of (free) membership doing all the member stuff which seemed fun. Agility, Pest Control, fighting various Champions and trying to get the Dragon Defender…those were all fun times.
Eventually though, I chanced upon a clue scroll which gave me something rather rare, and sold it for a surprising amount in the Grand Exchange. The subsequent windfall of somewhere to the tune of 10m not only gave me back the money that had been removed by the hacker, but also allowed me to return to a life of retirement rather comfortably. I had hit 105 combat throughout the short time I played after membership ended. Laden with gold and feeling quite pleased, I returned to hibernation as real life took over.
A Chance Encounter, and the Final Surge (Early ’16 to mid ’16)
In a conversation with a friend of mine, he saw an advertisement for Runescape 3 and the updated graphics. Intrigued, I logged into my account as well, which had been dormant for several years at this point. After spending some time playing around, I decided that I would satisfy myself by retiring from the game once more after I had met the objectives I created.
Following a 14 day membership purchase and lots of fletching on my side accounts, I had finally sufficient money to enter membership once more. My plan was simple: To achieve level 120 and a couple of 99’s before retiring from the game for good. And to do the above within 14 days, but with the minimum effort.
Some research yielded afking at hellhounds as a somewhat decent source of experience, and I did precisely that for about 12 hours a week, playing Counterstrike on one computer as I afked wearing Guthans and a prayer necklace on another computer. It worked out fairly well, with me hitting my goal that I had set and having a nice pile of left over cash from my budget before I became a member.
And finally, having completed what I had set out to do, I retired in peace, leaving the world of Gielinor for others to explore as I tackled real life concerns.
Runescape was a game that I grew up with, having been involved with it for 10 years and seeing it through its many stages…the introduction of the Grand Exchange, removal of the Wilderness and the Evolution of Combat. As I approached retirement, some asked why I chose this path, pointing out that I had not yet experienced many things as a new member, and that there was still much more fun in the game to be had.
But for me, the community (both that of the old clan and free to play Clan Wars in general) which I came back for was long gone and only remains in my memories, while one whom is older and (hopefully) wiser realizes the importance of time and how short life can be. I can no longer stand repetitive clicking of something for hours on end just for a virtual reward, nor can I justify it to myself why that is worth my time.
In the end, Runescape was a good game for younger me to spend time in. And I’m able to look back on the game with fond memories, for younger me had great fun exploring the fictional world created. If nothing else, it is enough to take from the game precisely that. But as I journey forward in life, it comes to a point where one eventually puts down their bronze dagger (or rune scimitar), and begins a new stage of life.
And now, I put down my sword.