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RuneScape is one of the most successful MMORPGs ever made. It was first created by the Gower brothers in 2001, working from their parent’s house. Over the course of twenty years it has grown tremendously and today its servers regularly host over 150,000 concurrent players. It has also seen over 200 million accounts created across all versions of the game on PC and mobile.
Today marks RuneScape’s 20th anniversary and Jagex has plans in place to celebrate this. I sat down with the hit MMORPG’s lead designer, David Osborne, to talk about his team’s plans on how they are looking to mark such a special occasion. Here’s everything you need to know about the 20th Anniversary Event.
The Lumbridge Crater returns
As per RuneScape tradition, the hub for the anniversary will once again be the Lumbridge Crater. Many of the MMO’s seasonal events have been held here in the past including the Summer Beach Party just last year. Around the crater will be several monuments acknowledging various stages of RuneScape’s history. An example of this is a beautiful wooden recreation of the legendary final boss of the Dragon Slayer quest, Elvarg.
This “Grand Party,” will feature many of the game’s well-known faces and factions. From Mahjarrat to Vampyre to the dwarves, everyone on Gielenor is invited. And if you do choose to attend, the hub will have plenty of useful assets for you to take advantage of. Perhaps most notable is the portal area which will provide players with several instant teleports to areas that otherwise could take a while to reach. And you don’t need to rush yourself in order to take advantage of all this. The Lumbridge Crater hub will remain in place for the entirety of the Anniversary Event. That’s twelve months of fun from the fourth all the way up to the end of December.
New quest – Once Upon a Time
Long-running RuneScape players will likely be familiar with Recipe for Disaster. It was the 100th quest released in RuneScape and served as a tribute to all of the other iconic quests released at the time. What makes it unique is that it’s a special difficulty quest made up of several other smaller quests. The concept was that just about any newcomer could begin it but only the highest leveled veterans could finish it.
As part of the anniversary, Jagex has once again taken this idea but made it bigger than ever. A new quest, Once Upon a Time, is in the works with the first sub-quest ready to hit live servers in January. Throughout the year Jagex will release new sub-quests that will gradually build up to complete Once Up a Time’s narrative.
Each of these sub-quests will be new interpretations of past RuneScape quests. Although Mod Osborne wouldn’t confirm exactly how many quests are in the works, he did tell me that both One Small Favor and Cook’s Assistant will be getting the remix treatment. Given that I wouldn’t be surprised to see other similarly iconic early quests such as Monkey Madness, Dragon Slayer, and Desert Treasure feature too. Although that is purely speculation on my behalf.
But that’s not the only aspect Once Upon a Time is borrowing from Recipe for Disaster. As the quest is developed it will be passed around from designer to designer to enable everyone involved to tell their own story. Finally, the overriding theme of Once Upon a Time is past, present, and future. Osborne makes a direct comparison to Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol as inspiration for this. You can expect Once Upon a Time to celebrate where RuneScape has come from, where it is now, and where Jagex hopes it is going.
Reaping the rewards
In our interview, Mod Osborne stated that some of the rewards for the anniversary event are still being worked on. So even though most of the major rewards are covered in this article, there will likely be more to earn once the anniversary hits live servers. The most obvious loot that’s up for grabs is the set of quest completion rewards. Each one of the sub-quests as well as the completion of Once Upon a Time in its entirety will unlock something new. Exact details weren’t disclosed but you can expect these to be well worth your time.
Outside of the quests, there will be a lot of cosmetic rewards for players to earn. A big focus for Jagex for this event has been making sure that players get cosmetics that matter to them. The developers over at Jagex have accomplished this by making most cosmetic unlocks fully recolorable. There are already some items in-game, such as the Max Cape, that should give you a good idea of how this will work. It’s a nice touch for sure as someone rocking a full white outfit is hardly going to be interested in a bright green robe ruining their look. After all, Fashionscape culture is deeply tied to RuneScape’s history.
Any would-be PvMers will want to keep an eye out for the anniversary cakes that will obtainable throughout the event. This is effectively the best food in RuneScape. The 15th Anniversary Cake healed 2200 health points every three minutes. But it was a reusable item that was only restricted by its cooldown, similar to the Enhanced Excaliber. The 20th Anniversary Cake will act much the same but heal even more making it a truly top-tier choice for bossing whilst it lasts. You can head over to Party Pete’s place in Falador to get your very own Anniversary Cake.
Last but certainly not least is the main gameplay benefit players can look forward to. Each week of the anniversary will see a specific aspect of RuneScape made “ridiculously powerful.” Unfortunately, Mod Osborne wouldn’t tell me exactly what he meant but he insists that players are going to love it. If I had to guess, we could see things like greatly improved experience rates, crazy drop rates, and skyrocketed currency drops for mini-games.