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This Developer Blog is copied verbatim from the RuneScape website. It is copyrighted by Jagex.
It is written by Paul Gower and is dated 13 January 2011.
The Next Six Years

Barrows - 17th May 2005

One of the highest impact updates of 2005 was the Barrows. This update added a whole new top tier of equipment with cool special powers.

Farming - 11th July 2005

A new skill was released in July 2005, one that required a style of play not previously seen in RuneScape. It involved doing some setup by planting crops, and then leaving and returning later to gain your rewards. It took a while for some players to get their heads around this concept. They could be seen standing still at farming patches for over half an hour complaining their potato still hadn't grown yet.

Recipe for Disaster - 15th March 2006

For RuneScape' hundredth quest, we decided we would pull out all the stops and go for something a bit special. This was an absolutely mammoth quest, with different parts of it being worked on by different developers. In fact, we’d never had so many developers working on one project at once, which meant there was quite a lot of potential for things to go wrong. We were a bit worried that the title 'Recipe for Disaster' would become suitable for the quest in another way... Fortunately, things actually went smoothly, and our hundredth quest proved popular with a wide range of players.

Construction and player-owned houses - 31st May 2006

Player-owned houses had been planned for a long time. In fact, I had once told players that we were hoping to release them in the summer of 2001, which technically makes it our most delayed update ever! A lot of the problem is that we’d originally planned to allow players to buy houses on the main world map. It quickly became apparent that we had so many players that, if we stuck to this plan, the world of RuneScape would consist more of player-owned houses than everything else put together! Houses had to be put on hold until Andrew gave us the ability to create instanced areas in RuneScape. Because houses had been so hotly anticipated and for so long, we saw a significant increase in members on the week that they were released.

Karamja Achievement Diary - 8th May 2007

We released our very first Achievement Diary (now named Tasks) on this date, and it was to be the first of many. From a developer’s point of view, I like these updates, as it gives players incentive to try out all sorts of different bits of content and maybe find something new that they enjoy.

Clan Chat - 6th August 2007

This useful tool has done a lot to help create communities in RuneScape. It is used by plenty of traditional clans, but I’ve been impressed with the myriad number of other ways in which it has been used. Many of the chats are common tools for finding people who are playing the same piece of content as you. For example, there are now clan chats for various distractions & diversions, doing new quests, or for training various skills.

God Wars Dungeon - 28th August 2007

This update contained not one, but four new boss monsters into the game, plus exciting new equipment including the awesomely powerful godswords.

Wilderness and free trade removal - 10th December 2007

Probably our most controversial decision to date, so much so that we’re now running a poll asking if we should reverse it! It was never something we wanted to have to do, but we felt backed into a corner by the huge number of rule breakers who were proving to be a threat to the very existence of the game. There were some positives that came out of it, though, as it caused us to release a slew of useful updates to replace what was taken away. The most significant of these was the Grand Exchange, which revolutionised trading methods. It became far easier to find the items that you wished to buy than previously. Clan Wars was also very significant. For the first time, people could set up large group fights with a structured set of rules as defined by clan leaders. Also, both the Assist System and item lending function are very useful additions to that game that we otherwise might not have developed.

Summoning - 15th January 2008

This was our first new combat skill released since the launch of the game. This skill had been hinted at for a long time and was highly anticipated by players. It had a long development time and evolved a lot as to what it would do. During development it had been called Animal Lore, hence why pets are associated with the skill.

RuneScape HD - 14th July 2008

This was our biggest engine update since the release of RuneScape 2. Players running the new graphics mode gained a significantly improved visual experience. This update was a huge amount of work for our Graphics and QA teams, as many of the game’s graphics needed to be updated for the new mode. RuneScape HD also bought with it the popular option to play RuneScape in a resizable window.

Summer’s End - 15th September 2008

This quest brought with it the strongest ever boss monster to be released into RuneScape (up to that point): the Corporeal Beast (level 785). It has only just now been trumped this week with the release of the fifth God Wars Dungeon boss, Nex (level 1001)!

While Guthix Sleeps - 26th November 2008

While Guthix Sleeps introduced a new level in questing, it being the first quest in the Grandmaster category - and we wanted to do something epic. This quest took many months for us to develop (and many hours for players to complete). It dealt with some key elements of the world’s plotline that we had been planning to reveal for a long time.

A new CEO - February 2009

Mark Gerhard becomes the new CEO of Jagex.

Dungeoneering - 12th April 2010

A new skill is released. This is an update we had been hoping to do since the launch of RS2. With huge numbers of monsters, puzzles and equipment in the dungeon, it took many staff to complete this update. It has had far more development work put into it than any other skill to date.

RuneFest - 28th August 2010

Our first real-world event! This was as much of an experience for staff as it was for players. Having never done anything like this before, we learnt a lot about how to organise things as we went along and we were never entirely sure how it was going to work out. As it happens, it was a good event and practically everyone who attended was very positive about the day. From our point of view, it was great to meet so many players face to face and really get to see how passionate people are about the game. Well, that brings me to the end of this blog. It feels strange to think that RuneScape is 10 years old already. Many of the events that happened years ago still feel like yesterday. We’ve gone from being a small bedroom run project to one of the most popular MMOs out there; I feel immense pride in how far we’ve come. We’ve retained the most popularity out of all the MMOs that released in that era. Most of the others that were around when we launched have tailed off since then and we’ve overtaken them all. By continuing to update the game and keep things fresh and exciting, RuneScape has thrived, and our plan is to continue to do so for years to come. Here’s to the next ten years!
To discuss this blog on the forums, visit this forum thread.

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