RuneScape, sometimes referred to as RuneScape 3, is a fantasymassively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) developed and published by Jagex, first released in January 2001. RuneScape was originally a browser game built with the Java programming language, but was largely replaced by a standalone C++-coded client in 2016. The game has had over 200 million accounts created and is recognised by the Guinness World Records as the world’s largest and most-updated free MMORPG.
RuneScape takes place in the world of Gielinor, a medieval fantasy realm divided into different kingdoms, regions, and cities. Players can travel throughout Gielinor via a number of methods including on foot, magical spells, or charter ships. Each region offers different types of monsters, resources, and quests to challenge players. The game’s fictional universe has also been explored through a tie-in video game on another of its maker’s websites, FunOrb, Armies of Gielinor, and the novels Betrayal at Falador,Return to Canifis, and Legacy of Blood.
Players are represented in the game with customisable avatars. RuneScape does not follow a linear storyline; rather, players set their own goals and objectives. Players can choose to fight non-player character (NPC) monsters, complete quests, or increase their experience in the available skills. Players interact with each other through trading, chatting, or by participating in mini-games and activities, some of which are competitive or combative in nature, while others require cooperative or collaborative play.
The first public version of RuneScape was released in January 2001 in beta form, with Jagex as its copyright holder being formed later that year. As the game’s popularity grew, the game engine was rewritten and released as RuneScape 2, with the original version of the game being renamed RuneScape Classic. The third iteration of the game, known as RuneScape 3, was released in July 2013.Old School RuneScape, a separate, older version of the game dating from August 2007 was released in February 2013, and is maintained alongside the original client. It was announced that mobile ports of both versions of RuneScape would be released for Android and iOS devices in 2018.RuneScape was released on Steam on 14 October 2020.
Players begin in a secluded area, where they are taken through a tutorial, a set path where they learn the most basic skills in RuneScape. After the tutorial, players have access to tutors and advisors located in the towns they explore, who can give players appropriate information about their respective skills.
Players set their own goals and objectives as they play the game. They can train their in-game skills, engage non-player character (NPC) monsters and other players in combat and complete quests at their discretion. Players interact with each other through trading, chatting or by participating in mini-games.
There are 28 skills in RuneScape, 17 skills available to free-to-play players and an additional 11 for members, which enable players to perform various activities allowing for interaction with NPCs, the environment and other players. Players gain experience points in a skill when they use it. For example, mining an ore trains the mining skill, and when the player accumulates enough experience points in the skill, their character will “level up”. As a skill level rises, the ability to retrieve better raw materials and produce better products increases, as does the experience awarded if the player uses new abilities. The total skill level of a player partly symbolises the player’s status in the game and subscribers with a high total level can appear on the high scores. Upon reaching the highest available level in a skill, members may buy a special cape to symbolise their achievement.
Some skills, such as woodcutting and fishing, enable the player to collect raw materials that can be processed into usable items for other skills, such as fletching and cooking respectively. The items created can be used by the player or sold to shops and other players. Other skills allow players to kill certain NPCs, build their own houses, move around the map with greater ease, steal from various NPCs, market stalls and chests located in-game, light fires, cook their own food, create their own potions, craft runestones and weapons, plant their own plants, hunt NPC animals, raiddungeons, and summonfamiliars to assist in combat and training skills.