2013: What's Coming And What's Going
Posted 23 January 2013 - 12:12 PM
Back in 2009 when I first laid out my plans for the game and the company, I pledged that we would start talking to you guys, and keep you in the loop after a decade of secrecy. For the first time ever, we started talking about some of the projects we were working on and the type of stuff we wanted to do for the community. Looking back over the past four years, I think we can say we have made a ton of progress in our communications. Recent initiatives like the live streams have been really well received and - from your feedback - it sounds like you'd like to see more of these happen. Nevertheless, I know that we can be far clearer and more consistent in how we talk to you, and this is going to be a big focus in 2013.
Like the rest of the team, I read the forums, and talk to players in game (in my case, on a personal account) to really get a sense of your thoughts and feelings. While some of you were really happy and others didn't feel too strongly either way, there were others of you who felt angry, ignored, and - at times – even confused by Jagex’s decision making. We’ve not always explained ourselves well, nor listened to you well enough, and for that I’d like to apologise. Communications around topics like micro-payments were especially weak, and many of you were understandably frustrated.
We intend to do more dev blogs and live Q&As to clearly set out the issues facing us and then get your feedback directly. We’ll continue Behind the Scene videos and also announce game updates earlier, as we want you to be as excited as we are about the year to come, and to give us your thoughts and ideas as early as possible.
Bots & Gold Farmers
On average, we ban over 1,000 player accounts every day for botting, and delete tons more illegitimate trial accounts. However, our work is not done so long as botting remains a frustration for us all.
Our anti-bot tech improvements launched in 2012 are a massive step forward, not just for us, but for the industry as a whole. It's put us well ahead of the technology used by bot developers. However, our communications around the launch of Botany Bay didn’t reflect that we needed to roll this technology out gradually, since permanently banning accounts requires systems which are absolutely fool-proof. Botany Bay has not yet made full use of our new anti-bot systems, but we are looking forward to rolling them out. I’m thrilled to see the success that BotWatch has already had against bots and gold farmers.
We do know for a fact there are far fewer players botting now in game than there were back in 2011. However, what’s enraging is that this improvement has been undermined by the sizable increase in gold farming bots. So, in 2013, we will also be adding a parallel strategy to specifically target gold farmers and related illicit RWT activities. We’ll be talking more about this soon.
The Squeal of Fortune (and, to a lesser extent, Solomon’s General Store) has always been a heated topic of discussion. I won’t sugar-coat this: these additions were - and are - vital for growing RuneScape. They allowed us to double the size of RuneScape’s team and keep up the near-weekly game updates. Also, we've put the money we've earned from these back into RuneScape technology and infrastructure, with the focus on tackling lag, improving audio and graphical quality. You'll see these big investments really coming into play in 2013.
What's more, although not everyone likes micro-payments, some of you appreciate the additional choice and customisation options they offer.
However, we can do better. At times in 2012, it felt like the SoF and SGS releases dominated our release schedule and news feed, and that some of the content just didn't feel like RuneScape. The team is certainly moving towards a better balance as time has gone on: I hope you'll agree that our more recent micro-payment updates are more in tune with the wider game, and that we've not released a micro-payment update on a week with no other content.
Looking back, we definitely had too many promotions and giveaways in 2012. Though we carefully balanced the Squeal of Fortune, promotions like Sizzling Summer gave away too much. I think we got the Festive Aura & Winter Weekends about right, though. In 2013 we will be more cautious: these events should feel special and bring the community together, so we'll make them less frequent, more fun and ensure that they don't undermine your hard-earned achievements.
Evolution of Combat
It was Albert Einstein who said “anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” The Evolution of Combat was new territory for all of us - a massive change to the core of the game, plus a re-balance of almost all combat gear and monsters. Keeping the game fresh for years to come means trying new things; overall I’m proud of the updated combat system and truly believe it's a change for the better in the long run.
The EoC beta (another first for RuneScape) had well over 4 months of your feedback, with huge amounts of balancing and revision of the content. However, looking back this was clearly still not enough for such a big update. Despite the beta it’s clear we didn’t fully appreciate the extent to which everyone would have to adapt to the new gameplay.
Like any key part of the game, we will continue to refine the EoC for you. We have a team of developers dedicated to listening to your feedback and making the on-going improvements required.
Two months in, we’re glad to see you mastering the combat system and enjoying its exciting improvements. However, we appreciate it hasn’t been an easy transition for everyone and I apologise for that; we still have work to do, and we have learned the need to be even more careful and responsive in the future.
Reflecting on the game updates of 2012, we’re pretty happy: Daily Challenges, the Runespan, Bonfires, Social Slayer and the Big Chinchompa added fresher, more social ways to go about skilling. The Queen Black Dragon, monster & dungeon reworks, potion flasks and Player-Owned Ports added loads more to do at high levels. Quests also played a very positive part, with awesome storytelling and voice acting.
We are very keen on making 2013 your year. This means giving you what you want: meaningful quests, new dungeons, epic events and new skills. It also means making improvements to existing content and technical improvements to the game, making it smoother and better looking than ever before. But crucially, 2013 is about ensuring that your hard-earned legacy is respected – everything you've done and worked so hard to achieve will remain as amazing and relevant as it has ever been.
I don’t believe we’ve ever actually thanked our members for helping us to make RuneScape into the incredible game it is today, not to mention providing a completely free game for millions of players. So, a very big ‘thank you’ to our members from myself, the RS team and the free community.
Lastly, I want to say thank you for playing RuneScape! Our purpose and passion is to advance this game for you! Your feedback - and your criticism - is what helps us to confidently take the game into 2013 and beyond, so please keep it coming!
As always, have fun!
Discuss this here.
“People are continually pointing out to me the wretchedness of white people in order to console me for the wretchedness of blacks. But an itemized account of the American failure does not console me and it should not console anyone else. That hundreds of thousands of white people are living, in effect, no better than the "African Americans" is not a fact to be regarded with complacency. The social and moral bankruptcy suggested by this fact is of the bitterest, most terrifying kind.”
Posted 23 January 2013 - 12:48 PM
It sounds like they'll dial down the promotions, it was getting ridiculous last year, with over 1m XP just handed to members, and multiple bonus XP weekends, the festive aura, things like that it made some skills lose their value by a lot.
It sounds like they want to lure back the players they lost with the EoC by making it more user-friendly, as I don't do much combat I couldn't say whether I think this will be good or bad but it will have to be done carefully with a lot of balancing and not just dumped out all at the same time, but rather introduced gradually.
For the game updates part you can see the % allocation of the news feed on my topic, here. It details the % of the news feed which was taken up by various aspects of the game, and how there was at least 1 Solomon or SoF update every 2 weeks.
Posted 23 January 2013 - 01:19 PM
Edited by SashaGrey, 23 January 2013 - 01:27 PM.
Formerly SashaGrey... thanks for the forced name change Jagex!
Posted 23 January 2013 - 01:31 PM
Posted 23 January 2013 - 01:42 PM
He talks a bit about SoF and SS... Which are points I think definitely needed addressing. I personally don't love them, but I'm not opposed to them, as I know microtransactions are a huge part of many games. If that's what is needed to keep Runescape afloat, so be it. I think he emphasizes that he regrets how many update weeks were basically empty due to only releasing SS/SoF promos, which is promising for the future. The only way to fix something is by first recognizing there is a problem. I also agree that there were WAY too many promotions this past year. I'm glad he is listening to player feedback in that sense and trying to keep the game as balanced as possible.
The botting topic is pretty meh. It's the same thing they've been saying for years. Last year, they promised a system to end all systems. Two years ago, they had a "bot nuke". Nothing has really changed there in my opinion. As long as there's a reason to bot (I.E. the game still exists), there will be bots. I'm pretty sure Andrew said that back in like 2005 or 2007. They're joking themselves if they honestly think they're ahead of the botting companies... Every time a new bot update goes in effect, bots are generally back within a week. I appreciate the rhetoric and the fact he addresses the problem, but I don't believe they will be able to do anything to change the botting situation we currently have.
Posted 23 January 2013 - 01:57 PM
However, I still can't help but wonder if some of this stuff could've been avoided had they addressed it on the day of release. Don't get me wrong, I love that they're addressing these concerns, but it seems like they're addressing it WAY after the damage has been done.
Posted 23 January 2013 - 02:09 PM
Posted 23 January 2013 - 02:13 PM
Not just the daily bans, but another bot nuke.
Once that problem is out of the way I will enjoy new updates twice as much. ;)
Posted 23 January 2013 - 02:16 PM
Posted 23 January 2013 - 02:54 PM
Posted 23 January 2013 - 03:34 PM
( * Laughs evil and cynic * )
Posted 23 January 2013 - 03:45 PM
( * Laughs evil and cynic * )
Posted 23 January 2013 - 04:07 PM
In all honesty, I feel everything about making money from micro-transactions is not really being put towards new team members as well as a few other thing son their not being true.
Posted 23 January 2013 - 04:20 PM
Posted 23 January 2013 - 04:38 PM
From the topic regarding this news post QFC 14-15-992-64203561 Page 42
hope summer for first skill means both are still on track for a 2013 release
Completionist Cape Owner
Posted 23 January 2013 - 05:17 PM
Mod MMG in the news says: Also, we've put the money we've earned from these back into RuneScape technology and infrastructure, with the focus on tackling lag, improving audio and graphical quality. You'll see these big investments really coming into play in 2013.
and Q) Are you going to bring RS3 out this year?
A) Yes, but it will be a great graphical, audio and performance upgrade rather than a new game so that we don’t undermine players existing game time.
So RS3 would be the result of the money made with Sof and Solomon. Can't wait to see that.
Ot: I always tought the word "appreciate" meant to like something... Is it common to use this word in the Uk to say I agree ?
Becomes pretty weird when you read :
Page 18 of the discuss topic : Mod murray
We appreciate that sometimes a glitch has caused players to lose items, we know how frustrating this can be and when we’ve been absolutely certain it’s happened we’ve replaced the items, which in itself is a difficult process for us to perform currently.
or in the news
However, we appreciate it hasn’t been an easy transition for everyone and I apologise for that; we still have work to do, and we have learned the need to be even more careful and responsive in the future.
Posted 23 January 2013 - 05:31 PM
Mod posts from the first 50 pages:
- Jagex is focused on Runescape for 2013, though there's a separate team working on Transformer's and they are planning on doing Stellar Dawn in a year or two.
- Technology improvements are coming; RS3 should be released in 2013. This will involve graphical, audio and performance improvement. They are aiming to release a beta for HTML 5 by April.
- Jagex are trying to focus more on user generated content. They are using recommendations of 12 PMods who recently visited Jagex. USG will also be used to try and increase wilderness activity, "player generated battlefields" was mentioned, though it is not clear how soon this will be released.
- Improvements to "item loss and replacement systems" are being planned - the system should be able to tell JMods the information they need to need to know to deal with items lost due to glitches. Customer support is due to be improved with ease of contacting Jagex being increased, starting with a better ticketing system. MMG also liked the suggestion of having a sticky in RSOF Recent updates when a bug/content issue is discovered and said he would get this done.
- Jagex will be continuing to try and remove bots, including gold farming bots, using their botwatch software but they say that it will take time to fully extend it. They are also looking at bringing back trade restrictions as a potential strategy to prevent RWT & gold farming.
- Flowering/dicing appears to be a priority, with Mod Mark working on this. He says they want to implement a safe alternative.
- Runefest in the Summer.
- A new gathering skill is set to be released around Summer time.
Edited by Isobel, 23 January 2013 - 05:54 PM.
Join zchat friends chat in game!
Posted 24 January 2013 - 03:32 AM
Posted 24 January 2013 - 06:39 AM
I've always been sceptical about the bot issue because you never really saw bots actually leaving the game. Jagex continued telling us they were really solving the problem. If I have to believe him this year should be a good one in that aspect.
As for the microtransitions. I'm not against them, anymore. As long as it stays cosmetic. It's true that it was very frustrating but I understand the idea and why they are doing it. If Jagex is able to give is more or better content because of more income I really don't mind it anymore. It just has to stay cosmetic.
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