Welcome to my profile. I'm the founder and former-owner of Zybez.
These forums (Runescape Community aka "Zybez Forums") have been online since 2001, serving as the official forums for Zybez's (now defunct, as of September 2016) "RuneScape Help" fansite. Now these forums stand alone as the only face of Zybez. As the popularity of RuneScape forums and fansites dropped, Zybez became less interesting and more difficult to do something with. Eventually in early 2017, I was removed from my role by the owners (Curse). It marked 16 years of my role as the Community Manager, or "King" as I had preferred to be called. Now, I have no say, stake, or role here on Zybez.
I wish Jagex hadn't messed up so bad: RuneScape was the #1 online game at one point. I wish Zybez could have adapted faster to a wiki model before Wikia rendered fansites redundant. I wish Zybez's new owners could have taken advantage of the huge potential rather than screwing it up. I wish Zybez was successful enough to allow me to realize a lot of my ideas for cool features. -- But we can't keep wishing things were different in the past. It was a good run. I enjoyed myself. It was a life-changing experience and I met some amazing people over these past 16 years. If I could go back, I'd change a hundred things, but I'm not bitter about how it turned out. I don't cry because it's over, I smile because it happened.
Yes, I do still play RuneScape occasionally, still on my main W13, although I'm too lazy to grind/train. Real life is more beautiful and more busy now compared to before so I can't be spending 6 hours a day scapin' like I used to. Also the game lost some of its magic for me when I got hacked and lost everything and then immediately got banned for no reason for 3 years. I felt like I got left behind and it's never fun to play catch-up from 3 years behind. It was also way more fun to play when I maintained Zybez: it felt gratifying knowing that I was helping people. Don't get me wrong though. I don't hate RuneScape. I've been a massive supporter of and believer in RuneScape since the beginning in 2001. Despite all the setbacks, I still hope that RuneScape stays relevant and online indefinitely.
My real life, if you're wondering: I'm a medical doctor. Fairly nice guy who loves to make everybody on the table laugh. Zybez helped me pay for med school, so I'll be thanking RuneScape players who once clicked on ads on a website called Zybez for as long as I live. People often reminisce about the town or neighborhood they grew up in. Well, I grew up between Lumbridge and Varrock and my home address was Zybez.net.
Yeah, one of my biggest regrets re RS is still that I never joined a proper PvP clan when the scene was at its peak. But as you and others have already mentioned - the prevalence of DDoS'ing, (RL) leaks, and etc put me off by the time I was high-levelled and rich enough to potentially get involved. Whatever, though. I had great fun regardless just lurking in CD reading through all of the historic topics, as well as following the latest hot ones, which wouldn't have felt the quite same had I the slightest clue what I was looking at.
I always felt that I wasn't high leveled enough to join a serious clan. The drama always looked fun.
With my new job which requires some travelling during working hours, I've been cycling rather than using a car or the bus. Lost about 1 stone and a quarter since June... and am feeling more energetic for it.
Stone? Did you just casually use some archaic, endemic unit of mass, assuming the rest of the world also speaks Stonehenge?
Liar, you called it 'Runescape Help'. You have no idea how many times I've had to stand up for you over the years against people who made fun of your spelling on other websites.
Hahahaha made me lol IRL. I insisted on sticking with "Runescape" because that's what Jagex used originally. And then they switched to "RuneScape" at some point. Oh well, I'm too used to "RuneScape" now.
(Even this board is using "Runescape" but the parent category is using "RuneScape").
One of my fondest and earliest memories is organizing huge server-crashing drop parties way back in the early days (2001~2003). I was pretty rich in RuneScape and used drop parties for promoting Zybez. Jagex weren't too happy to see thousands of people shouting, "zybez zybez zybez" but for us taking part in the cluster-fux, it was thrilling. I remember even in those days, we'd get around 200 new members registering on our forums within a few hours thanks to such parties. Effective and fun.
What did Zybez or the community mean to you?
For me, Zybez (and RuneScape) was the perfect escape. My life has had lots of ups and downs (... actually, more downs than ups), and Zybez was there throughout.
I remember there was a dark time in my life when I was hurt/bleeding (crazy gf stabbed me), tears in eyes, exhausted, poor and in debt, totally alone in life (crazy gf had cut me off from everybody), losing my job (where I worked 12+ hrs a day for half min wage), stressed out with court dates/probation/community service, driving license suspended for 3 years, and was being evicted from the basement jail-cell-like apartment -- all this was happening at ONE point in time, all at once -- and what did I do? Logged into Rs and celebrated my birthday in style (... coincidentally it was my birthday) and then got on Zybez to share the screenshots. A storm could be raging in my life, but the moment I logged on, I was a different person in a different world. I really credit Zybez and RuneScape for keeping me sane and helping me get through all those tough times.
I played RuneScape so much that I often had dreams that entirely took place in RuneScape. So, Zybez and RSC (this community) was my social circle (... I didn't have many IRL friends) and it was a place where I could feel important, admired, and purposeful. Zybez, RSC, and RuneScape meant a lot more to me than even I'd like to admit. You can even say it has been the most important part of my life.
What did you enjoy most?
The day is finally here when we must close this forum and say goodbye.
Back in 2001, when the Internet was the wild-wild-west where anybody could do anything and didn't have to conform to a template, belong to a conglomerate, or be profit-driven, RuneScape took its first steps as a unique web-based game. It was not the first web-based game but it was obvious from the first moment I played it that it was... a game changer. It had depth and scale never before seen, massively multiplayer and persistent - like a parallel universe, run fast and looked great, and even back then, between Lumbridge and Varrock, you could spend countless hours skilling, chatting, and doing quests. I checked the RuneScape.com website: There were no tutorials or guides. I emailed the owner (Andrew Gower) demanding he improve his website with some guides. He replied saying he was too busy to do that, and instead, he asked me to write some stuff that he'd then put on the RuneScape.com website. I had kept a Notepad file open while playing RuneScape - just to assist myself (e.g. "2 iron + 1 coal = 1 steel bar"). I expanded it, cleaned it up, and sent it back to Andrew. He changed his mind and decided he'd write the tutorials himself. Instead of throwing my RuneScape help document out, I put it online as a sub-section on my website. I called it "RuneScape Help" and had no expectations other than that it may come in handy to a handful of players like myself. The internet forum concept wasn't new and was quite well established on the Internet. I attached a forum to the "RuneScape Help" website a few months later and that was the birth of this very community. It exploded in numbers and for many years after that it felt like the growth was unstoppable.
Now, 17 years later, we find ourselves in a changed world. The Internet is not "the Internet" anymore. It is just an app on our phones now. People idle on social networks and various gamer-specific social apps. RuneScape itself has either conformed to or inspired industry-wide standards, making it easier to understand, and incorporated enough newbie-assistance into the game that the requirement for "help" sites or forums has decreased substantially. Large, resourceful Wiki sites and Reddits are like the Walmarts that have totally eclipsed mom-&-pop sites like Zybez. RuneScape's wave of popularity and technological edge has also passed. It is no longer the superpower it used to be in the games arena. With plummeting player numbers, the crumbs of traffic falling off the RuneScape table that Zybez relied on has also dwindled to almost nothing. (Insert picture of starving dog here).
It has been a great run. I was a 14-year-old kid when I made the RuneScape Help website. I spent the most significant and defining years of my life right here. RuneScape was my drug, my religion, my teacher, my social life, my escape, and my purpose. I met the most remarkable people playing RuneScape and learned so much by interacting with them here on this community. An immigrant kid from Calgary, Canada (me!) had a chance to login and transform into an international celebrity ("omg, are you the real W13?") every evening thanks to this community.
I may have put it online, owned it, and maintained the server, but I hesitate to take even a 1% claim at what made this community great. Many people have passed through here and left their marks, not just in the form of posts, but also on all of us. It isn't easy saying goodbye, but it has been a long time coming. None of us are surprised. If anything, we should be surprised that it lasted this long. So, thank you for making this forum a community, and thank you for taking part in this journey. I hope you enjoyed it, benefited from it, and made some new friends along the way.
I cannot thank and admire the moderators enough - the people who I always refer to as the "staff" here. I have never seen this much dedication and responsibility anywhere else (people care less about their own children sometimes) - not just the current active staff but all the staff who have worked tirelessly to maintain the delicate balance of keeping this community civil and clean while keeping it fun, free, and prosperous over all these years.
Now, it makes no sense for the current owners of this forum to keep it online. Leaving it online or starting a second forum is futile because it is clearly headed towards zero activity - and forums aren't fun with low activity. So, it has been decided to close Zybez. It won't disappear immediately: it will be set to read-only mode starting September 17th. And eventually, it will disappear silently into the void, with no disk of returning.
Again, this is no attempt at "saving" Zybez forums. And it's no attempt at pretending the forum model isn't long dead. But if you feel like you prefer classic forums (to things like Discord and Reddit), then here's an option.
Friends: "No. Oh wait... that geeky, online game from like ten years ago?"
Me: "Yes. RuneScape is like that except more lame."
From what I can remember, it was embarrassing to talk about RuneScape when I was 14 and it is still embarrassing now at 30. One of the geekiest, most pimply-faced, palest guys in my school (just imagine the squeaky-voiced teen character from The Simpsons) watched over my shoulder once as I was logging into the library's computer onto these forums and he was like, "Holy crap, are you that W13 guy? I know you!" - and he kept coming up to me and asking me for advice on getting rich, while I would cringe and die from anxiety when my friends saw this and asked, "wtf does he want with you? what's he talking about?"