I remember when I first started playing RuneScape. I once made an account to check the game out, and I remembered the password, so I logged in to find a level 7 character with nothing more then some Iron armor that a generous person gave me. Before that, I played another online game. I came from there to Runescape, as I knew some people from that old game had their own clan in RuneScape.
That clan was a P2P community, and with 7 members, not much to speak of, but we did have fun with one another, and some of them were quite the high level. I know that at the time the best possible armor was Dragon Medium Helm, Chainbody, Plate-Skirt and -Legs. Iron and Steel Dragons were always overcrowded to get the illusive dragon drop, and make a few million. You have to understand that the King Black Dragon and the Kalphite Queen and the Steel Dragon were the most powerful creatures out there, and especially her majesty was near impossible to beat with the weapons and armor available, especially on your own.
As I progressed and completed all F2P quests, I chose to get members and stepped through Taverly gate. By that time, the Barrows had been released, and Slayer was the latest new skill. Mor'ton was the furthest east I could go, and Nature Runes were crafted by selling Rune Essence (not pure) to the General Store and buying it back to un-note it.
Through my time so far, I have been able to keep up with the updates, doing the quests as they come out, trying out new mini-games, unlocking new spells, and have enough time to level to combat the increasingly harder to beat monsters. I've walked from the Deyalt Ore mines to Port Tyras, just to see if I could do it, I'm a few quests shy of a Quest cape, and have completed both the Varrock and Karamja Diaries and will do any new Quests and Diaries as soon as I can. And every time a new update happens I am able to "do" it with a healthy amount of time I spend on RuneScape.
Now I started thinking. To get to this point I have been a member for about 2 years straight now, and spent considerable time on F2P as well. I can safely say that I too have shown the signs of an addict on occasion, and quite a bit of that time was spent on creating and managing my own clan rather then training and questing.
If I was still that Iron wielding hatchling right now, aiming to do it all eventually, I would be facing an insurmountable task. With the trade restrictions on, there is also no help from others to rush me through the obstacles. And that is when I know what to do to get there (for which I largely have to thank the Tip.it Fansite). Imagine how difficult a time I'd have if I knew nothing at all about the game. It would take me at least a year to get to the point where I am right now when starting from scratch, and by then a whole year of updates will have happened already, and who knows how difficult those tasks will be.
I'm not sure how the newest of new players feel about RuneScape, I so rarely meet them. But obviously, the creators are going great lengths to ensure that the new players feel welcome, and convince them that while there is a whole host of things to do, there will always be a favorite in it for you. The latest graphical updates makes RuneScape right up to par with what can be expected of games these days, and it certainly isn't for the lack of content, or price you have to pay for it.
This only begs the question if there is ever an end to it all. Maybe not for RuneScape, but certainly every individual has once asked himself whether or not he has enjoyed RuneScape long enough. Personally I'd like to stick around with the friends and clan-mates I've made over the years, and when it comes down to it for me, that is still the only thing that still keeps me going. I think this comes from the viewpoint that, in an ever increasingly larger world, those friends are the single remaining constant that you can always rely on, no matter how they update RuneScape next, or how far they expand it.
Did You Know...
...that giving doses of Serum 208 (not Serum 207) to Afflicted humans in Mort'ton can be a great way to get grimy tarromins, olive oil, bronze keys, and building supplies for the Shades of Mort'ton minigame? (Thanks Foodfight13!)
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