Shattered Glasses Of NostalgiaEdit This Entity
A few weeks ago I was taking a stroll through my neighbourhood. I walked past some old playgrounds, which felt rather empty & abandonded today, the older houses and the elementary schools which were built near the quarters. Back in the old days all of those places were bursting from the seams with life, but today everything feels rather empty. Heck, I heard reports one of the elementary schools is even going to close – something which has been happening all over the city for years. I then faced my own elementary school. The building was still the same, but inside everything has probably changed. Well probably not everything, as the blinds have still been the same for the last 15 years and perhaps the bike fences which have been there for 40 – which is more than twice my current age. I stood there for a few moments (hopefully nobody noticed me!) and reminisced about some of the things which happened in that grand old building in a different lifetime. Great memories, but plenty of stuff hasn’t been as pleasant. Heck, enough changes had been made over the years which certainly displeased the majority. However in the end, as time went by, everyone got used to it, moved on and left that school. Wanting to go back to this part would be a bit silly, and having reminded myself that I moved on with my stroll.
Well, that was probably one the most uninteresting blog openings in the history of Zybez Blogs, but the story reminded me of RuneScape. No, I'm not comparing RuneScape players to elementary school kids (although you could've fooled me...), I'm trying to point out how the general reaction to change is a universal one which spans all age-groups. Coincidentally, there are a lot of similarities. Most people have probably spent equally as many years in RuneScapeas elementary school (give or take a few) and like at school there have and always will be those who look at the past through rose-tinted glasses.
You see, lately Jagex has been receiving a lot of criticism from all parts of the community. Ranging across Youtube videos to RSOF rants, most players don’t like where RuneScape is headed - and as of now I can only agree with them. It's already August and the amount of real content we've received, discounting of course the Squeal of Fortune and Solomon's General Store rubbish, is depressing to say the least. Sure, we have been promised the Evolution of Combat, but I hope that Jagex realizes that they cannot live on existing content any longer. For comparison, take a look at the months preceding the release of RS HD. The amount of content we received back then was mesmerising, and even in the same month we received RS HD, Jagex gave us 2 cool new quests and an overhaul of the Slayer Skill. Fast-forward to 2012, though, we are being deluged by almost weekly Squeal of Fortune updates and other irrelevant things. For example: Gielinor Games..? Though this was regarded as a fairly promising concept at first, ultimately we ended up with just 3 minigames and a marathon... The miseries didn't even stop there, as one of those 3 - the Cheese Wheel Rolling event - is comparable to Atari's infamous flop 'E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial' in that it's completely unplayable. And for those of you who didn't know, that particular game played a key role in the crippling North American video game crash of 1983... The persons who are responsible for the idea to implement Cheesewheel Rolling into RuneScape should seriously be ashamed of themselves. The only thing Jagex seems to be capable of today is promising and handing out experience like free candy. Staying a member for a few months in order to receive more experience looks good, but as there is no new content to enjoy it almost feels like Jagex is swinging a carrot on a stick over our heads.
It only seems logical then that people are prepared to resort to any means necessary in order to rediscover their precious 'old RS' - hence the increasing popularity of private servers, which bring that principle to life. Not only are private servers against the rules, but they themselves aren't really that stable or safe (reports have often surfaced of various ones getting hacked over the years). Nevertheless, the fact that certain players are still willing to take such risks is a clear indication that Jagex is doing something wrong.
I do think we need to look at it from different perspectives though. Perhaps RS was more fun a few years ago, but it also involved more grinding. I dare to say that those players who wants ‘’the old RS’’ back have never really trained Runecrafting up to a respectable level. Anyone who did survive the torture will probably say that it took WAY too long. And there are many more examples, what about the old way of training Firemaking and Mining? Let’s be honest, was it really that enjoyable? Claiming that the community was friendlier back then is not going to work well – Zybez's various tips on "how not to get scammed" weren't included for nothing; scamming and luring were already a common practice before PvP mechanics were removed from the Wilderness in December, 2007.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with nostalgia, but we shouldn’t wallow in it. Each generation players have their flaws and hopefully we can expect a turning point very soon. Let's just hope this turnaround happens before the community decreases in numbers even more.