RuneScape is a game with a mind-boggling amount of content. A whole Tip.It Thread focuses solely on the lofty goal of attaining 200 million experience in every skill, a feat which seems near impossible to attain (yet one player in particular, S U O M I, is extremely close to achieving that milestone!). If that does not suit your fancy, try out all the content in the game and fulfill all the requirements necessary for a Trimmed Completionist Cape (an achievement which will take years due to the 5,000 Castle War games requirement alone). If you are a competitive player, play to get into the high scores of various minigames. If you enjoy the adrenaline rush, then grab your best gear and hunt down those bosses.
Besides those aspects of the game, there is one more part of the game that you can literally explore. If you like role playing, sightseeing, or just hanging out with some friends, you can walk across the breadth of Gielinor with all its glorious regions. It is no secret that the RuneScape world map is absolutely huge. I mean, just look at it! Nowadays, I do not think many RuneScapers appreciate the sheer size of the map due to a rapid increase in alternative means of transportation (mainly teleportation). While it is true that the RuneScape world would be overly arduous to traverse if not for the existence of convenient teleports, exploring the world by foot has its merits too.
In an earlier article of mine (titled Gameplay Immersion), I contended that immersing yourself into the wide world of RuneScape can lead to a more enjoyable experience. Walking through the world is a great way to achieve this if you allow yourself to ignore how much time you are wasting. What better time to explore the world than now, with HD graphics and updated areas like the new Al-Kharid? There is even an option to zoom in even further than what was possible before (the Camera Zoom option), another way to see the world through the eyes of your RuneScape character.
With such a rich, vast world, what saddens me is that the world has been largely stagnant. Even such a world as RuneScape can become dull and boring once it has been explored enough. In order to keep that excitement of venturing into the unknown, constant updates and forays into the wilderness are necessary. In other words, the world needs to expand just as fast as we can explore it in order to stay interesting and alive.
Of course, there are some problems with this approach. First of all, there is the problem of manpower and practicality. Expanding the world needs to be done correctly, not sloppily, and cranking out updates to the world on a near-weekly basis will surely lead to an overworked task force, sloppy updates, or a combination both. The fact is, adding areas to the world takes much time and effort, and we would not expect anything less than a complete, dedicated effort. Not only do the areas have to live up to certain expectations, the new areas also must contain an air of originality. Exploring a new city is cool, but exploring a renamed Varrock ten times is going to get old. Places like the TzHaar City and Zanaris are kept unique and thus interesting, but fresh concepts do not grow on trees.
Still, I feel that the recent approach has been lacking. I am not complaining about the quantity and quality of the recent updates, but I would like to see some new areas on the main map. Sure, there have been reworks to old cities, redesigns (such as TzHaar City), and small new areas (such as the Big Chinchompa D&D, but who even remembers that update?). We have seen new places (Botany Bay), dungeons, and quest areas, certainly. However, when was the last time that a truly significant addition was made to the main world itself? The last one I can think of was Daemonheim, and the majority of that is simply a barren peninsula. Where are the new cities, the new kingdoms, the new realms?
I had my hopes up for the Eastern Lands, but it turns out that Player Owned Ports are what we got. I have not personally tried out Player Owned Ports (my levels are inadequate), but I approve of the update. I just wish that I could explore the Eastern Lands instead of my ships doing it for me.
I know that I am asking for a lot, but it seems to me that it has been far too long since I have experienced the atmosphere of exploration.