On June 1st, Beta signup rolled out. I tried to follow the link first thing that morning, and couldn't even load the webpage. I'm sure the Runescape servers were overloaded! Anybody with a paid membership going back continuously from now for at least a year received an invitation. In your inventory if you had room, in the bank if not... and if your bank was full too, it was given to you as soon as a slot became available.
If you're not in the initial invitation roster, don't panic. 50,000 additional players will be invited based on activity and play style. You may be invited as one of the 50k. Even if not, the Beta world (worlds?) will be open to everybody during the weekends.
After all the hype, I'm very excited to see the future of fighting in Runescape... and worried. While there's a lot to be desired, I'm used to it. Been pretty much the same for the 8 years Monique and I have played. I'm already combat challenged enough. Learning Jad took me 2 months. Still haven't beaten the Fight Kiln. Been trying to beat the Queen Black Dragon that came out this week, and she's kicking me from one end of the cavern to the other. But I still like the game.
Will this mean the end of AFK training? Will it be the end of 'grinding' for those combat levels? Will combat be fun, or frustrating? From the behind the scenes, it sounds like this could be the end of 'pures'. I've never pk'd, so never experimented with creating a pure. But a lot of work, time and effort goes into the making of a pure. I get the feeling many people will quit over that alone.
I may not be a pure, but I'm still worried. Runescape has been my game for a long time. There are years of play invested in my character. Combat-challenged or not, all his combat skills are maxed. How is this going to affect actual game-play? The in-game graphics look cool, yes. But will it change the game so much that it won't be fun any more? Jagex says a lot of reassuring things to keep players from panic. They always make the claim of necessity when major changes happen. Okay, let's say I believe them. They DO want to stay in business, so any huge changes must be carefully weighed out.
There will always be ragers. I'm not worried about the small percent who react without using their brains. No big loss there, even if they do quit. What bothers me is the quantitative feel of the game. I'm all about fun. If Runescape stops being fun, I'm not going to rant, rail, and demand a return to the old days. But I will quietly roll up my gear, pack up my weapons, and search for a game that meets my needs.
I've been faithful to Jagex for years. Through updates I've loved, hated, or just didn't care either way. This will probably go the same way. Whether I love it or hate it, it seems likely Runescape will still 'feel' like Runescape. At least, enough to keep me playing.
I guess on June 26th, the Beta test will begin, and we'll finally get some real answers. Until then, we don't have much to go on. Jagex released an update video the shows a lot of the combat graphics being tested on a 'dummy npc' with immense hit points. I have to admit, it looks very cool. All this worry could be going for nothing. Won't know for nearly a month, though. For now, the only real clue available is their video. Assuming many people still haven't seen it, or don't read Runescape's updates, here it is. At the top of the page. Skip past the Fish Flingers update, and you'll get a glimpse of our future. For better or worse, this it it.
Have any inside info? Thoughts on the update? Share them with me... I'd love to exchange speculation and ideas. Here's hoping for the best!