The game I played in 2004 is hardly the RuneScape we see today. Since then, the world and all of its inhabitants have undergone massive graphical changes. A seemingly endless amount of content has been added. Basic game mechanics have been entirely overhauled. What saddens me, however, is the removal of original content.
Doric’s Quest is the latest victim in a string of original quests removed from the game. Sheep Shearer and Witch’s Potion were the first two original quests to be downgraded to miniquests and replaced by Swept Away and Myths of the White Lands. Romeo and Juliet later followed by being removed entirely and being replaced by Gunnar’s Ground. Prince Ali Rescue was removed and replaced more recently by Diamond in the Rough and Stolen Hearts. Now Doric’s Quest has been removed and replaced by What’s Mine is Yours.
I am obviously not opposed to the advancement of the game through the introduction of new and exciting content. I just don’t find it necessary to destroy traditional elements of the game. Call me old-fashioned, but I actually prefer the original content to the new stuff. Jagex tried to justify their actions for destroying traditions when removing Romeo and Juliet here:
“[Gunnar’s Ground] is a brand new quest for the free-to-play game and will be replacing the old Romeo and Juliet quest. As we have often said in the past, we’re always trying to improve our existing content, but some elements just don’t age well and are often best removed entirely from the game; we feel that’s the case with Romeo and Juliet. Don’t worry, though: nobody will lose out on Quest Points or rewards.”
Their justification is actually that “some elements don’t age well,” and they try to nonchalantly play it off as if we the players would be more upset by changes to rewards and quest points. I don’t see a reason why Jagex cannot leave some of the earliest content in the game while adding the new content that has replaced it. It seemed to work well for Sheep Shearer and Witch’s Potion, so why not do the same with the rest of them?
Does Jagex really believe that if a new player plays one of the first quests ever released that they will suddenly hate the game and not buy membership (or should I say Spins and Runecoins)? I mean, this is the core content that most veteran players experienced when they began playing. What has changed about new players between then and now that would suddenly make these original quests “bad content?” The truth is that nothing has changed. Jagex only wants to make the game appear flashier to encourage new players to spend money on the game in one form or another.
Jagex could revert to their original formula of releasing content with actual substance that encouraged players to introduce their own friends to the game because of the quality of the content, but that would actually require some creativity and hard work. Now it’s just easier to try to get as much cash as possible from the few who decide to join the game instead of a little money from a lot of people. We all know who is really responsible for these types of decisions, but for now, we should just hope that IVP doesn’t liquidate Jagex. Will someone step in to buy Jagex and restore RuneScape its former glory? One can hope.
It seems we are left with more questions than answers. Dare I ask if Jagex will ever go so far as to replace the first quest, Cook’s Assistant, with “I am Iron Chef?” I wouldn’t put it past them. They don’t seem to care RuneScape’s foundations anyway.