Today I embarked on a three and a half hour adventure with my two closest RuneScape friends. No, we weren't going boss hunting. No, we weren't completing a quest. No, we weren't skilling together. No, we weren't off to play a minigame. We were having fun. Having fun is something I rarely see players do on RuneScape. What we were doing, exactly, I will come back to later on.
We see ourselves, as players, trying to amass as much experience and money as we possibly can, every single day we play. Ask yourself, "Am I having fun doing this?" Is it really fun to run between a bank and a furnace over and over? Is it really fun to run laps of the same agility course over and over? Is it really fun to chop the same few trees over and over? I would be willing to bet that the answer would be "No." In most cases, you are skilling to achieve a goal which you believe will make you happy.
I have come out of the grind many times with 92 Firemaking, 99 Woodcutting, 70 Runecrafting, and 80 Agility, for example. Each and every time I did so, I was left dissatisfied with barely any will left to play the game that I just spent days playing. I did not have fun obtaining the level I wanted, nor did I have fun looking at the pretty number left for me at the end. I thought to myself “Aren’t games supposed to be played to have fun?”
Upon completion of one of my goals, I find myself not playing the game for several days while, instead, I “recover” by playing video games or reading some book. When I do return, I come back to a slow start, very much so out of my routine. I do a little bit of one skill and then a little of another. I quickly find that I’m bored again after this. So, in turn, I decide to do something out of the ordinary.
Most recently, I was “recovering” from obtaining 92 Firemaking for my beloved Inferno Adze. After doing so, I stopped playing for a few days, only to return to do something unorthodox: my friends and I went camping on RuneScape. We went to a remote world in a private clan chat with our private chats turned to “Off” We gathered materials such as hatchets, hunter tools, and goofy costumes. We started off with a hike all the way from Port Phasmatys, to Varrock, to the lower Wilderness, to Taverly, to Death Plateau, to the Lighthouse, to the Gnome Stronghold, and finally to the Piscatoris Woodland Hunter Area.
Upon our arrival at our makeshift campgrounds, we set up our “campsite” with a marker plant and some mithril seeds. We got a fire going and began telling stories that ranged from what we’ve been up to in real life, to “scary” (turned funny) stories, and all the way to how I convinced people that my anti-poison totem was a coffee mug. After this, we did a little hunter in order to make ourselves a nice meal on our camp fire. Several arguments with the local hunters later, we sat around the fire again and had a conversation that anyone else would interpret as gibberish.
The question you may be asking now is, “But, why did you guys waste time doing this?” I believe that I can safely say that this was time well spent. Sure, we gained no substantial XP or monetary rewards in doing so, but it was the first time I had fun on RuneScape in months. We had the chance to observe the fine detail Jagex put into the game while on our hike. This fine detail more often than not is simply ignored because of conventional travelling methods such as teleportation. We then were able to bond and have a good laugh or two with each other at our camp grounds.
I believe that if more players gave creative gameplay ideas a chance, the game would become a much friendlier and fun environment to take part in. So why not try out some non conventional gameplay ideas? Ask a few of your friends to join you on a camping trip such as ours. If camping isn’t your thing, then agree on boundaries and rules to play hide and seek. If you’re not interested in that, then try something like a relaxing trip to the Jungles of Karamja, I-Spy, Fairy Ring Tag, mithril seed Charades, laundry list races, or even hold skilling races against your friends.
Upon reading this, I hope you will at least try some of these. If you don’t like them, fair enough, return to the grind. If you do enjoy them, then continue to take this path less travelled: the path of fun.