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2013: What's Coming And What's Going


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#1 Murdoc

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 12:12 PM

Every new year should start with a resolution. Here at Jagex, our resolution for 2013 is a big one: to look back over the huge, game-spanning changes that we made last year, look at what we did right and where we could have improved, and to lay out our plan for 2013 so you guys are involved from the start.

Community Involvement

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.

Micro-payments

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.

Promotions

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.

Game Updates

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!

Cheers,

Mark Gerhard

Discuss this here.

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#2 spoonheb

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 12:48 PM

Not bad, I would rather have gold-farmers banned then your average player who decided to get a quick 99 by botting because the gold-farmers are much more harmful to the game. Of course, in a perfect world there would be no bots.

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.

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#3 Sasha Black

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    The Frayed Ends Of Sanity

Posted 23 January 2013 - 01:19 PM

Still no hints at the new skill.  Guess we have to wait a little longer.  I like his comments about too many promotions and giveaways in 2012.

Edited by SashaGrey, 23 January 2013 - 01:27 PM.

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#4 Jaddy

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 01:31 PM

View PostSashaGrey, on 23 January 2013 - 01:19 PM, said:

Still no hints at the new skill.  Guess we have to wait a little longer.  I like his comments about too many promotions and giveaways in 2012.
I surely hope theyre not delated too much. I crave for new skills to train

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#5 BrotherVoid1

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 01:42 PM

I'm a bit surprised by this post... Jagex actually admitting they've made a few mistakes in the past year?  And then providing the reasoning behind why they continued to do what they were doing?  Although I still don't necessarily agree with the EoC, I'm glad to hear they're actually LISTENING.  They admit they screwed up with not testing enough, and made the new system (if anything) a bit TOO radical.  I completely agree.  They took away a lot of what many players loved about the game.  I'm overjoyed they actually realize that fact.

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.

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#6 The Major

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 01:57 PM

Well, I never really paid attention to the game updates, since I came back in July, and I was more pre-occupied with getting back up to speed with the game, rather than how many items were added to SoF/Solomon. But I'm actually quite surprised that Jagex is stepping up to the plate and addressing these issues.

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.

#7 I Pee Cola

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 02:09 PM

I can remember hearing things like this before. It's good that they have come out and admitted their mistakes over the past year but admitting it is only the first step. They need to act upon it if they want to revive the trust of their player base.

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#8 ruts etnies

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 02:13 PM

I hope they will focus more on punishing botters instead of new content.
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. ;)

#9 Milktea4me

Milktea4me

    I aim to please!

Posted 23 January 2013 - 02:16 PM

I'm glad to see that Jagex is admitting to their mistakes, but the fanbase doesn't seem very forgiving when it comes to these kinds of actions. The wounds are too deep to patch up as of now.

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#10 Big Bad Tank

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 02:54 PM

The fact he said this and the fact he said that SoF are controversial instead of the statistics that 90% of players use the Sof really seems promising to me, with the introducing of PoP, Kk, EoC, Gwd revamp, new task set and alot more in the last of 2012 im looking forward to 2013 with great expectations.
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#11 Voaz

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 03:34 PM

I forgive you JaGeX, for everything you've did to the game what dissapointed us.

( * Laughs evil and cynic * )
Don't you ever wonder, how we survive?

#12 Lieutenant Dan

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    Zybez's Unofficial Brony Representative

Posted 23 January 2013 - 03:45 PM

View PostVoaz, on 23 January 2013 - 03:34 PM, said:

I forgive you JaGeX, for everything you've did to the game what dissapointed us.

( * Laughs evil and cynic * )
The true face of the RuneScape player base, ladies and gentlemen. Rather than see this as an actual apology from MMG and a promise to do better, you take it as them trying to justify everything, writing them off before they can even get out of the starting gate. This is a step in the right direction, not a giant leap. Give the wound time to heal before saying that it's broken beyond repair.

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#13 wolfmon

wolfmon

    No Guts No Glory

Posted 23 January 2013 - 04:07 PM

Doubling the size of their team? I doubt it. I've been waiting 2 weeks for a reply from billing support...

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.

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#14 Xtrm

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 04:20 PM

It's good to see they're admitting their faults. I just hope they learn from the mistakes they made last year. But the harm is already done to apologize, it's time to turn around and show that they still care.

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#15 ~ Darky ~

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 04:38 PM

View PostJaddy, on 23 January 2013 - 01:31 PM, said:

View PostSashaGrey, on 23 January 2013 - 01:19 PM, said:

Still no hints at the new skill.  Guess we have to wait a little longer.  I like his comments about too many promotions and giveaways in 2012.
I surely hope theyre not delated too much. I crave for new skills to train

From the topic regarding this news post QFC 14-15-992-64203561 Page 42
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hope summer for first skill means both are still on track for a 2013 release

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#16 katar asakur

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 05:17 PM

^I hope too


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.

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#17 Isobel

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 05:31 PM

The forum thread gives more information from the newspost, alot of people are voicing their concerns and there's a couple mods addressing some of their issues.

Mod posts from the first 50 pages:

Spoiler

Summary:

- 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.

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#18 JessyU

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 03:32 AM

Does not entice me to return to the game after 4-5 months. Maybe once I hear some results to back these ever so often posts but not likely.

Nobody told the sheep, that they outnumber the wolves.


#19 Velits

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 06:39 AM

I think Jagex has made a good step by admitting they have been wrong in some aspects. Especially in the way of communicating with the player base. One apology won't heal the wounds but they surely have opened up. Maybe with some more explanation some decisions will become more clear and I truly hope they will keep communicating more, and better, with us the player base.
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.

#20 Isobel

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 07:28 AM

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I was not planning on posting more of these but this looked really exciting :-D

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