My first foray into the world of Runescape was a less than successful one. I was a wee bit lost, chopping wood and not really knowing what to do with it, when I asked a friendly looking chap for a bit of advice. He promptly made a disparaging remark about my mother, killed me, and stole my wood.
Every now and then I'd go back, check it out for a couple of weeks, and then something else would grab my attention and I'd forget all about it. Still, it's a compelling game to many, and its systems and lore have gripped countless people for more than a few years.
This is 2013, though, and we're living in the future. We've got hoverboards, flying cars, and people are living on Mars -- so it's time for Runescape to get a facelift. It's actually more than a facelift, really, it's a sequel, of sorts. Runscape 3 will be launching this summer with a slew of upgrades, while employing HTML 5 and Web GL.
Current players won't need to worry about losing their avatars, nor will they need to make new accounts, which strikes me delightfully handy. Runescape may be moving into the future, but nobody is getting left behind.
With HTML 5 and Web GL it will apparently run faster, use PC hardware more effectively, and the gameworld itself will see some big improvements in terms of textures and draw distance. The developers assure players that if they've been playing Runescape on an older PC, they can continue to use the Java client.
Players will be given greater control over how they play the game, specifically in regards to the interface. Runescape 3's interface is fully customizable, and parts of different interfaces can be pulled and attached to other ones, allowing players to use the features that are most important to them at any given time.
The story of Runescape is also moving forward, with the world moving into the Sixth Age. Mark Ogilvie, head content designer for the game, describes the world as "being on the precipice," with massive changes coming which the players will be right at the center of. "It's not about experiencing the same storyline with everyone else," Ogilvie continues. "It's about the choices you've made in your game."
Over the next few weeks Jagex will be revealing more information about Runescape 3, starting next week with an explanation of how HTML 5 will affect players.