Runescape 3 is the next installment in the popular Runescape, browser-based, isometric MMORPG series. It has a focus on crafting and PVE, with PVP elements and two primary factions for players to ally with: the stoic Saradomin, and the fiery Zamorak. The game is content-rich, with excellent graphics for its class, and a large community of long-time players devoted to the franchise.
EXP Rate: Slow
PvP: Open in certain zones and servers
Pros: +Huge population. +Charming voice acted dialogue +Sense of Humor +Extensive cash shop aesthetics+Classic combat with diverse character building
Cons: -Most features require subscription. -New players may experience lack of direction/purpose. -Old-school interface/menus
In Runescape 3, players are prompted to select one of three classes in the tutorial by choosing a weapon. The warrior initially uses a two-handed melee weapon (sword, mace, etc.), the ranger uses a bow, and the mage uses a staff. These three classes are designed to exist on a balanced triangle in the classic “rock, paper, scissors” approach to effectiveness. Eventually, each class can branch out into sub-classes and different weapon types.
Warrior – This is the only class that primarily uses melee weapons. It’s strong against rangers, but weak against mages. Warriors generally wear heavy armor that protects them from melee and ranged physical attacks, but it dampens their ability to use ranged attacks and magic, and makes their running energy decrease faster.
The sub-classes for the warrior are the berserker, tank, and tactician. The berserker focuses on straight-up DPS and power to overwhelm foes. Tacticians maintain a balance between their stats. Tanks focus on defense, obviously.
Ranger – Also called the archer, the ranger uses the ranged combat style and is strong against mages, but weak against warriors. They wear medium armor, and can eventually use a shield with a crossbow, making them surprisingly sturdy for a ranged class. They can also choose between longbow and shortbow, but there are even throwing weapons, such as throwing knives, darts, axes, and javelins.
The sub-classes of the ranger depend entirely on weapon choice, with the three most common being longbow, shortbow, and crossbow, which are each focused on high attack power, balance, and defense, respectively.
Mage – Sometimes called a sorcerer, mages use magic as their combat style, and are strong against warriors, but weak against rangers. Mages generally wear robes for armor and wield staves as weapons. Their weapon choice is not as relevant as other classes, given that their potency comes from having a large variety of spells to choose from. Mages use runes to cast spells.
There are two sub-classes for the mage: the Ancient mage, and the Wizard. Lunar mages also exist, but are more oriented toward non-combat activities. Ancient mages use ancient spells, which focus on crowd-control and hampering an enemy’s ability to flee or move. Wizards use spells from the modern spellbook, which are generally used to reduce an opponent’s effectiveness in combat through the use of potent debuffs.
Premium features include:
- Full screen mode
- 9 additional skills to train
- No in-game ads
- Access to 29 minigames
- Access to over 100 more quests
- Player owned housing.
- Access to the entire game world (only 1/3 available otherwise)
RuneScape Featured Video
RuneScape 3 – First Look: Then & Now!
RuneScape Full Review
RuneScape 3 Updated Review:
By W.B. Wemyss (Tagspeech)
Anyone who hasn’t been living under a meatspace rock knows that Runescape is arguably the most popular browser-based MMORPG series in existence. Personally, I never played Runescape or its sequel, so I was curious to see how the third iteration of the series presented itself. Long-time fans of the series have reported a bit of dissatisfaction with the re-imagining of a few story elements and factions, but overall it seems that the reception has been largely positive.
The basic gist of the game’s storyline (that I could glean from my time with it), was that we have two large factions warring. One of these factions is in favor of order (Saradomin), the other in favor of chaos (Zamorak). These factions are apparently named for the living gods that lead them, and given how unapologetic the game is about being a Fantasy Epic™ we shouldn’t be surprised that Team Order is blue, and Team Chaos is red. You might think this all sounds terribly stereotypical: it is. But somehow, it doesn’t bother me. Read on, and I’ll tell you why.
I wonder if he leads the evil faction or not…
Classic for the Sake of Classic
This is a game that’s very self-aware. The player is plopped down into the middle of a medieval fort being stormed by one of the classic fantasy-bad race: trolls. The first thing you’ll notice is that the game’s graphics are superb for a browser-based title, and that the voice-acting in this introduction is superb. The tone of the attack has a delightful, cartoonish quality that I found instantly endearing. This was only made more effective by the use of excellent facial expressions and animations, something that remains consistent throughout the game.
A man of discerning tastes
The end result of this presentation is a game that is, yes, yet another Arthurian fantasy-epic swordfest. But it never takes itself too seriously. It has a wonderful sense of humor, and the tutorial quests are hilarious. There was one in which I was asked to put together a disgusting pie and feed it to a fat, greedy merchant to force him to puke himself into the infirmary. I remember him asking if it was the “redberry and distressed quail pie” he’d ordered, in the most ludicrously snooty voice I’ve ever heard. Not often I get a laugh out of an MMORPG,so well done.
Old School for the Sake of Old School
The UI is one of the first obstacles any new player is going to run into. After selecting your initial class in the tutorial, most of the instructions are based around showing you how to navigate and fully-utilize the 2002-esque series of menus and pop-up context windows. It is decidedly old school, and yet somehow, it feels like a breath of fresh air. Yes, it’s a bit arcane, and yes, the game likes to draw a lot of attention to peripheral content like pickpocketing and crafting and gathering, but that’s just it; that sort of thing isn’t peripheral in Runescape. Combat isn’t everything. This game loves to encourage socializing and non-combat activities.
Yo dawg I heard you like menus…
If you’re coming into Runescape 3 expecting some kind of new era in the saga of competitive, combat-focused browser games, you might be disappointed. The combat system is basic, bare-bones, and not terribly exciting. It’s the same kind of action-bar, build-up-points affair that we’ve seen done over and over for the past fifteen years. But that’s just fine, because Runescape 3 is a game with plenty more to offer than monster-farming.
Community at Large!
At the time of my playing and the writing of this review, Runescape 3 is still newly minted and hot off the development presses. The areas I visited were teeming with players; not just noobs, but those proud few that had already rocketed ahead and secured some sweet gear for themselves. General chat was fairly active and friendly. But the real magic of Runescape’s community is how old it is; plenty of players are old guard from the first two games. Their loyalty to the series speaks to how much effort the developers put into maintaining quality and communication with their game’s players.
One thing I liked in particular was how many cosmetic options I had, for a game of this scope. In the premium store I could choose from dozens of different animations, many for the same kinds of actions. I personally adore being able to replace my animations to further customize my character, and some of them were absolutely hilarious (and very well-made). The alternate gathering animations were some of the best, with players being able to take apart trees with a boring old axe, or rip into the trunk with their bare hands like some tweaked-out ogre – or even dismantle it in an orderly fashion with the power of magic. This is all on top of a huge wardrobe selection! Cue girlish squealing.
There are some issues with the game’s technical side, mostly involving their system of email verification and the differences between subscribers (VIPS) and the lowly, unsubscribed peasant masses. While it’s generally great policy to make your VIPs feel like VIPs, the game goes a bit too far, in my opinion. It will consistently award you with swanky quest items, only to reveal immediately that while it’s taking up space in your inventory, you can’t use it, because you aren’t a subscriber. Do you want to dual-wield swords? Too bad! Subscribe. Want to go to many different areas of the world? Subscribe, or you’re not allowed.
It’s almost as if Runescape 3 is trying to strong-arm me into subscribing by dangling prizes in front of my nose – that’s fine, plenty of games do that. But Runescape goes the extra mile by taking some of those prizes and slapping me across the face with them. It’s a little irritating.
There’s also the fact that you can only play for seven days without verifying your email. I think that’s a little weird, but it shouldn’t prove to be an obstacle to most players. I suppose it’s just one more barrier between spammers/farmers and the game.
Final Verdict: Excellent
Well, what were you expecting, really? Aside from plain-vanilla combat and some minor technical issues, Runescape 3 is a premiere browser-based MMORPG experience. The game clearly has the backing of both a development team and a community that love it dearly, and the sheer number of non-combat paths and options a player can take make it truly unique among the sea of hack n’ slash, linear action MMORPGs. For the social, community-minded player, Runescape is the place to be. You can even RP there, if you want! Don’t worry. I won’t tell anyone.
“Tagspeech also goes by the name W.B.Wemyss, but only when she writes outrageous fiction novels like Children of Athena.
By Erhan Altay
After a long beta period, RuneScape was released back in 2004 and at that time it was one of the only browser based MMORPGs with a graphic user interface and a truly persistent world. Since then, the world of Gielinor has attracted millions of players from across the globe. What makes RuneScape such an enduring game and how has it continued to attract new players even in today’s environment where there are literally hundreds of graphically superior free to play games available? Read on to find the answers to these questions and more.
All From Your Browser!
Since RuneScape is a browser game, character creation, the login process and the actual game client are all accessed through the neatly organized home page. Account creation is a breeze and character creation is a simple process where players chose between several hair styles, clothes and colors. I gave my character a sagely old man look with the hope of becoming a powerful wizard someday. It is important to note that RuneScape can be played in either the old SD (standard) mode or the new HD (high quality) mode. Regardless of which graphic setting you select, you’ll be in the same game world though the user interfaces are different. I’ve heard veterans complain about the new style but for new players my suggestion is to stick with HD unless you’re on an extremely weak computer or have a poor internet connection. Even on HD, the graphics appear pixilated. Graphics have never been one of RuneScape’s strengths.
Boy Scout Beginnings
New players start their journey in a special tutorial zone where they will be introduced to such important activities as fishing, cooking, mining, smithing, woodcutting, and firemaking. Each of these activities has its own related skill which can either be raised or ignored depending on your personal tastes. Personally, I found an addictive quality to seeing my woodcutting and firemaking skills go up so I spent a great deal of time filling up my inventory with logs than burning them one by one. After the brief lesson in craftsmanship, the tutorial moves on to more important skills such as melee and ranged combat (both with bows & spells.) The six combat related skills include Strength, Defense, Hitpoints, Attack, Ranged, and Magic. The skill ‘hitpoints’ determines a player’s base HP (1-99) and the supportive skill ‘prayer’ determines base MP along with granting access to supportive spells such as buffs. Combat, at least during the early stages, is generally not very exciting in RuneScape. You trade blows with your opponent and since your skills start out at rank 1, you’ll either be missing or dealing minimal damage.
Welcome to Lumbridge
After the slightly tedious tutorial, players find themselves in the city of Lumbridge. It is here that players will encounter their first NPCs with quests to offer. Sadly, only around 20 quests are available for non-premium (non paying) but the few that are available often have multiple parts and send you on long adventures. These aren’t just your typical MMORPG kill quests. Besides quests, there is a list of achievements to complete broken into three difficulties: beginner, easy, and medium. Only the achievements of the first area titled ‘Lumbridge/Draynor can be completed by free players but the list is rather extensive and should keep those who are so included busy for many hours. If the obsessive compulsive nature of achievement hunting doesn’t interest you, RuneScape offers little else in the way of direction. Like other older fantasy MMORPGs (Tibia, for example), RuneScape is an open-ended game where players are left alone to create their own excitement with the tools available.
Show me your Skills
RuneScape’s skill based progression method means any player can be a master mage, warrior, and craftsman at the same time though this would take quite a bit of training on all three fronts. The beauty of this system is that it leaves you free to try a little bit of each style and see which you enjoy most. There is no need for multiple characters and players are free to hop between servers almost instantly with the same character & items attached. Of course every system has its downsides. Since experience points in each skill are rewarded per use, people find the most efficient methods of raising skills even if they are silly and repetitive. After seeing a group of players slaughtering groups of respawning cows I inquired as to what was going on. The response was that this was the best way to work up attack skills for the first two dozen or so ranks. This form of progression almost forces people to use automated botting programs which are a huge recurring problem for the developers.
A New World to Conquer – By Sword or Trade
At first many of the crafting and resource gathering skills didn’t interest me but I whenever I grew tired of hunting, I found myself pull out the old pick axe and go mining. Eventually I discovered just how in-depth RuneScape’s player run economy was. The RuneScape Wiki even has a constantly updated ‘Common Trade Index’ which represents the price of a pool of common resources such as coal, gold bar, steel and so on. There also exists a large market for difficult to obtain items and I’ve met people who log onto the game only to trade and collect these items. The byproduct of this much interest in the game economy is a ton of gold sellers and other undesirables trying to pawn money making or cheating guides both online and in game. Of course RuneScape has plenty of content for those seeking to make their fortune through adventure rather than astute business transactions. There are dungeons to clear, haunted mansions to explore and a huge wilderness to tame but most of this content is locked away, only about a third of the world can be explored for free with the rest requiring a subscription ($5/month) to access.
Kid Through Adult
RuneScape has the inaccurate label of being a kids game but this misconception is shattered the first time you fall in combat. Upon death, players respawn in a safe location but all the equipment and items they were carrying drop where they died. This fact, along with the existence of open pvp zones and servers, makes RuneScape far more ‘hardcore’ than many recent MMORPGs including the mega hit World of Warcraft. Besides the limited free to play features, the only other problem I had with RuneScape was the absurdly limited backpack space. All players have 28 item slots and only some items are stackable such as arrows, gold, and runes (spell reagents.) If you plan on leaving town adequately armed, you’ll need a few tools, some food (for healing purposes), runes and other items which severely restricts the slots left for loot. If I could ask for one improvement to the game, it would be more free features but considering the success the game continues to enjoy, that doesn’t seem likely so my next request would be for more bag space.
Final Verdict: Excellent
RuneScape has withstood the test of time and continues to offer some of the best browser based gaming experiences available. Constant updates, a huge community, open PvP, a player run economy and a unique progression system all add up to make RuneScape the great casual browser-based success that it is.
RuneScape 3 – First Look: Then & Now!
RuneScape – First Look (Original)
RuneScape Gameplay Footage
RuneScape Combat Video
RuneScape Haunted Mansion
RuneScape HD Graphics Update
RuneScape Official Trailer
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