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History of the RuneScape forumsEdit

Early forums (2001)Edit

The first incarnation of the forums ran from early in 2001, when RuneScape was first launched, to 14 November of the same year. The earliest version of the forums had a threaded view, while it was later updated to have a linear view. The forums were available to all players. Later, Jagex added a 60 overall skill total requirement to use the forums, to discourage people from using "throwaway" accounts to cause trouble. The forums were shut down on 14 November 2001 due to abuse.

Return of forums (2003 to 2006)Edit

Jagex relaunched the RuneScape Forums as a beta on 11 November 2003, after a two year hiatus. However, this time, the forums were only available to members. These forums were a vast improvement over the previous version. Forum Moderators were introduced with this relaunch (originally called Player Moderators). After the beta had ended, free users were given the ability to view posts.

On 18 March 2004, Jagex announced that the total amount of posts had reached 1 million, and that on average 8,000 users had logged into the forums every week. This version remained in place until April 2006.

Before the Reshuffle (2006 to 2010)Edit

Posts 1

An example of Jagex & Forum Moderators, and player posts.

The current version of the forums was released in the New RuneScape Forums! update of 10 April 2006[1], and differs slightly from the previous version. The most notable features are an ability to jump between forums directly, a "Quick Find Code" system that allows other players to find threads quickly, a "Bump" button which allows a thread creator to bump his/her own topic without having to actually post on it, and an extended forum profile for viewing which threads one has posted on. In addition, threads and posts which are hidden no longer simply vanish; they are replaced with an indicator stating that the thread or post within a thread has in fact been hidden from view.

Hidden post

When a post is hidden normal users can no longer view the post. Instead, the text "The contents of this message have been hidden" is visible

Hidden thread

When a thread is hidden, it can no longer be seen. Instead, it is replaced by the text "This thread has been hidden"

Jagex staff can use HTML markup in the forum. Players used to be able to use the <b> and <i> tags in the earliest version to create bold and italic text respectively, but this ability was removed later on. However, in March 2013 Jagex enabled this ability to be used by players again.

Threads that fall beyond page 50 are automatically deleted. Some players refer to these threads as being "eaten by the page 51 monster," often known simply as "Chewy". These personifications have been used by a Jagex Moderator on at least one occasion[2].

On April 25, 2006, there was a glitch in which all players had Jagex moderator access for a brief period. Posts with gold backgrounds made by non-Jagex staff were later hidden.[3]

On 8 April 2009, F2P were granted access to the forums, provided they had 12.5M, which was later on updated to 5M, total experience. This resulted in a huge amount of players ranting in the rant forums. Some of these rants were sarcastic threads in which some members tried to provoke F2P by pretending to be them. Note that not all members did this. Some checked to see if they were really F2P or members by looking at the avatar, highscores or Adventurers log.

After the Reshuffle (2010 to Present)Edit

RuneScape Forums

The Forums in 2011

On April 19 2010, the forums were split into separate "communities" that were designed to group like-minded players and posters, grouped by skill level and membership status. The community misinterpreted Jagex's intentions, and caused a huge outrage in the rants and forum community forums.

One of the reasons for such a huge uproar is because Jagex removed some of the most popular forums including future updates and Jagex-Lite. The forum community forum was a hive of activity, as many protested against the update. Many players showed their stand against the update by changing their forum avatar to wear a red hat from Canifis. Another reason for the outrage were feelings of being restricted by the 6 hour limit between posting in different communities and of certain forums not being any less crowded than before.

Many threads were deleted in the process. Some were moved into the incorrect communities, and some were duplicated into every community version during the update. Very soon after, Jagex began addressing the various issues brought up by the players.

On 22 April 2010 the communities were renamed from "Free 1000+", "Members (0-1300)", "Members 1300-1800" and "Members 1800+" to "Everyone", "Members Only", "Members 1400+" and "Members 1800+" respectively. On the same day, Andrew explained Jagex's reasoning behind the updates as well as some common concerns, which quelled some of the opposition for the updates. The Future Updates forum and Game Feedback forums were removed because many of the threads within them were simply suggestions and rants respectively. However, between the time the decision was made and the reshuffle, these two forums no longer suffered the problems they did. Due to this, their removal was undone[4]. The future updates forum was remade, and the game feedback forum returned as the constructive criticism forum.

However, the uproar still persists though it is nowhere near as large as it was when the forum reshuffle was introduced; many players are still disappointed that the RuneScape forums are nowhere near as active as they were before the reshuffle. Changes to the forum timer were announced, and the forum communities forum will eventually be removed so that Jagex can examine the feedback[5][6].

On 29 May 2010, the six hour forum timer was removed completely[7]. Shortly after, the Members Only Community and the Members 1400+ Community were merged into simply the Members Only Community after much technical work[8]. After these changes, the amount of protesting has significantly gone down yet it still persists to a small degree.

On 14 June 2010, the free to play requirements were changed from 1000+ total skill points to just 500[9].

On 5 November 2010 the free to play requirements were changed from 500+ total skill points to 350.

Recent changesEdit

Game feedbackEdit

On 2 September 2008, the Compliments Forum and Rants Forum where merged to create the "Game Feedback" Forum. The Forum logo is half of the Compliments logo (Yellow, left) and half of the Rants Forum logo (Red, right). The merging of these two Forums was originally suggested on a well-known Forum Feedback thread in late July 2007.

Game suggestions sectionEdit

On 22 September 2008, the Suggestions Forum was deleted and along came the new category: Game Suggestions. There had been a sticky in the Forum Feedback forum for over a month asking players to offer feedback and suggestions on what Forums to add. The proposed layout was as follows:

  • Game Suggestions
    • Item Suggestions
    • Area/Achievement Diary Suggestions
    • Quest and Minigame suggestions
    • NPC/Monster Suggestions
    • Skill Suggestions
    • Other Suggestions

However, this layout was modified. Each new Suggestions Forum now has five sticky threads: "Welcome!", "Do Not Suggest - List", "High Level Content" (specific high level content for each Suggestions Forum), "Want To Be A Games Developer?", and "How To Report On The Forums".

Private forumsEdit

On 9 October 2008 Jagex announced the release of two private forums; the High Level Forum for players with a level of 99 in every skill and the Clan Leaders Forum for the leaders of established clans.

Highlevelforum1

The old version of the High Level forums as shown on the main board of the RuneScape Official Forums when logged in to a maxed account.

Updated High Level Forums

The new version of the High Level Forums as shown on the main board of the Runescape Official Forums when logged into a maxed account.

The High Level Forum (HLF) was designed to allow Jagex to "tap into the expertise of some of their most experienced players". The Clan Leaders Forum was designed to allow Jagex to offer more support for clans.[10]

In late 2010 High Level Forum was changed, becoming 4 sub-forums, rather than a single all topics forum. The sub-forums are;

  • High Level General - General RuneScape related discussion.
  • High Level Feedback - Feedback and suggestions relevant to the game.
  • High Level Off Topic - General chat, not necessarily related to RuneScape.
  • High Level Latest Update - Discussion related to the latest RuneScape Updates.

The High Level Forums are among the few private forums which do not have a post censor, meaning that players are freely able and allowed to post external links, or post about topics which would not necessarily be accepted on the public forums. The rules still stand that coarse/vulgar language will result in a forum mute, and repeated breaches of this rule can result in the permanent removal of a player's access to the High Level Forums.

On 14 October 2008 Jagex began allowing clan leaders to apply for access to the Clan Leaders Forum.[11] Currently the only way to gain access to the High Level Forum is to achieve a level of 99 in every skill.

As of 25 July 2009, a player may view another's profile. To do this, they must either enter the player's name in the Search User box at the top of the Forums or click on their name from a post they have made. Only a player who is logged into the Forums may do this. When viewing another's profile, a player can see how many posts the user has made and where they have recently posted, just as a player can on their own profile. Mod French assured players that anyone who abused this feature would have it taken away.

Skills ForumsEdit

Originally, there was one Forum for any discussion of RuneScape skills. This Forum was very overcrowded, with few threads lasting very long in the Forum. The Forum was eventually split into the following:

  • Guides - For any player written guides for any RuneScape related activities
  • Resource Skills - For the discussion of Fishing, Woodcutting, Mining, Farming and Hunter
  • Production Skills - For the discussion of Smithing, Cooking, Fletching, Firemaking, Crafting, Herblore, Runecrafting and Construction
  • Character Development - For the discussion of Agility and Thieving, as well as money making tips and 'rate me' threads.

PvP and PvM forumsEdit

On 9 October 2008, Jagex released the PvP (Player vs Player) and PvM (Player vs Monster) Forums. The PvP Forum is the replacement of the Duelling and PK-ing Forums, as neither Forum was serving much of a purpose any more. The PvM Forum was created to save space in the Events Forum, because it was full of monster team threads.

Contact JagexEdit

On 23 March 2009, the Contacting Jagex sub-forum was added. This allowed players to get their threads locked, moved or get a title change. One can also use it to tell Jagex if there is a scam website.

Free-to-play AccessEdit

Ever since the 30th of April, 2009, free players with an excess of 12.5 million overall experience could access the forums without having membership credit. This limit was lowered, on 15 March, 2010, to 5M overall experience, which was again changed on 14 June 2010 so non-members with a total level 500 could participate in the forums. This was, once again, changed on 5 November 2010 to allow free players with a total level of 350 to post. This allows high-level free players to access the forums. This was announced in the News and Announcements forum, on a thread entitled, "Free Player Forum Access Expanded". This has had mixed response from players. Some welcomed the coming of new non-members to the Forum, while others did not, mainly on the grounds that members pay for membership. A mass number of similar titled threads have since ensued in the rants forum. Many members called for refunds whilst others asked for separate forums.

Rants section changeEdit

On 15 April 2009 Jagex changed the recently-added rants forum so players put rants on stickies rather than making a thread about it. This caused some player outcry, with the most ranted thing on the forum being the new rants forum.

Now the Rants Section allows players to add threads due to low feedbacks of stickies. Date is unknown of the change.

AvatarsEdit

Blank forum avatar

On 7 October 2009, the introduction of avatars allowed players to insert an in-game picture of their character to accompany their forum posts. To add a Forum avatar, a player should visit the Photo Booth, near the Makeover Mage. They can have a photo of their head taken, which would appear as an avatar on the Forums. It can take a few hours for the photo to be uploaded and become a player's avatar. Because the Photo Booth is located behind the members gate, only members are able to have avatars. Members with avatars will lose them if they become free-to-play players, even if they then become members again - they must have a photo re-taken at the photo booth. Currently only the player's head is shown.

Forum avatar

A player with an avatar.

Many players use this feature to showcase rare headwear, such as partyhats, masks, santa hats and rarely seen items such as quest items. Other players have also glitched their forum avatars to show missing facial features.

Monkey forum avatar

A Jagex Moderator's forum avatar. Although not all Jagex Moderators have special avatars like this or an avatar at all, this is an example of certain abilities of a Jagex Moderator.

The release of the quest Elemental Workshop III caused all forum avatar pictures taken after it's introduction to feature black lips and an odd expression. This misshap was fixed later that week, but avatars can still be seen featuring these lips.

NOTE: You can NOT take a picture of yourself for a Forum Avatar wearing/wielding borrowed items! You can access your full avatar at the following:
http://services.runescape.com/m=avatar-rs/g=runescape/player/full.png
where player is your RS username.

2009 pollEdit

A poll which was started on 21 January 2009 investigated members' attitudes and behaviour regarding the forums[12]. Players voted on which new feature they would most like to be added to the forums, with the most popular response being an "option to include an image of your in-game character [an avatar] when creating threads", gaining 25 percent of the votes, while 11 percent of respondents said they didn't want any new features added to the forums. Jagex was careful to point out the poll was not a Guaranteed Content poll[12], implying that they may not have added any features from the poll, regardless of what the results were. Nevertheless, CEO Mark Gerhard confirmed that avatars would indeed be added[13], as they later on were.

The poll showed that 51 percent of respondents claimed to visit the forums only occasionally, rarely or never, including 8 to 10 percent who said they never visited (the figure varied between questions). 42 percent said they visit at least once per week, including 20 percent who visit at least once per day. 76 percent of respondents claimed to post on the forums only occasionally, rarely or never, including 25 percent who have never posted. 19 percent said they post at least once per week, including 8 percent who post at least once per day. The most popular single area of the forums was the marketplace with 11 percent, though a number of other areas scored almost as highly.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Jagex. "New RuneScape Forums!." 10 April 2006. RuneScape News.
  2. ^ Mod Timbo. "Thread of the Week!™." 18 December 2008. General Forums.
  3. ^ http://forum.tip.it/topic/39141-omg-rso-forums
  4. ^ Andrew. "Forum restructuring and tweaks." 22 April 2010. Forum Communities Forums.
  5. ^ Mod Jon H. "Changes to the Timer." 18 May 2010. Forum Communities Forums.
  6. ^ Mod Stevew. "This Forum." 14 May 2010. Forum Communities Forums.
  7. ^ Mod Kelvin. "Removal of 6 Hr Timer." 1 June 2010. Forum Communities Forums.
  8. ^ Mod Jon H. "Merging Members Only w/ 1400+." 1 June 2010. Forum Communities Forums.
  9. ^ Mod Kelvin. "Free Player Forum Access Expanded." 14 June 2010. RuneScape News.
  10. ^ High Level & Clan Leader Forum. Jagex Ltd..
  11. ^ Clan Leader Forum Access. Jagex Ltd..
  12. ^ a b Forum Focus. Poll Results. Jagex. “What forum features would you like to see added? We want to make sure that our forums have all of the features that you need. Please be aware, however, that this is not a Guaranteed Content Poll ... How often do you visit the RuneScape forums? Occasionally: 23%, Rarely: 20%, I have never visited the RuneScape forums: 8%, Once a week: 7%, Several times a week: 15%, Once a day: 7%, Several times a day: 13% ... How often do you post on the RuneScape forums? Occasionally: 21%, Rarely: 30%, I have never posted on the RuneScape forums: 25%, Once a week: 4%, Several times a week: 7%, Once a day: 2%, Several times a day: 6% ... Which of the following RuneScape forums do you visit most often? Any of the marketplace forums: 11%, I have never visited the RuneScape forums: 10% ... Which of the following features would you most like to see added to the RuneScape forums? Option to include an image of your in-game character when creating threads: 25%, I do not want anything adding to the forums, 11%”
  13. ^ Gerhard, Mark. Even more answers.... RuneScape Forums, News & Announcements pp. 1. Jagex. “Q) Djanka100 - Can avatars be introduced to the forums? A) Yes, we are working on it!”

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