@[email protected] Hey hey!
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.
What lives on:
Zybez's clan: ZybezNet
OSRS Zybez: 2007RsHelp.com
I just want to thank you all for being a part of this 17 year journey.
It was beautiful.
Due to lots of people contacting me and asking for an alternative forum website after Zybez closes, I've responded with putting a fresh forum online here:
RuneScape Community : https://runescapecommunity.com
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.