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This Developer Blog is copied verbatim from the RuneScape website. It is copyrighted by Jagex.
It is written by Mod MMG and is dated 6 August 2009.
Mark Gerhard's Answers

1) Melt The Ice asks: MMG has mentioned F2P will be updated a lot more frequently, stating that F2P is NOT A DEMO.

We are working hard on a new skill, which will be available to free-to-play and members and which shows our continued commitment to the free game. We are also looking to improve some of the free quests as well as early graphics. The free-to-play game is epic - there are tens of thousands of hours of gameplay and we are working on a number of updates at the moment.


2) Soldier 1033 asks: Do you have any exciting plans for the forums that you can discuss at all? How did you feel when you became the CEO of Jagex?

Becoming CEO of Jagex was hugely exciting for me and is still a real honour. As for the forums, we are planning to make a number of improvements to the usability of the forums and make them more interactive with avatars and the ability to quote, as well as allowing more of our free players to post.


3) Dark Musica asks: Does JaGeX (as both a company and individual staff, including Andrew and Paul) care more about their game(s) (Fun Orb, RuneScape, and the upcoming MechScape) or more about their players (example: do you think of us as numbers on your paycheck, or loyal players of the game you develop?) (as individual gamers and the entirety of their community)? -AND- would JaGeX (as both a company and individual staff, including Andrew and Paul, as above) be willing to sacrifice some parts of their game(s) (same as above, Fun Orb, RuneScape, MechScape) to please their players?

We care equally about our games and our players and do not think that we have to choose one over the other. We take great care designing our games and making them appeal to our players and, naturally, will continue to do so in the future.


4) The Griffonn asks: Why do you change things in RS that no one complained about; First of all the layout of the function keys and last the animation of some weapons?

Why don’t you first make an poll of your ideas and watch what the RS players think about it before you gonna work on it, because now you make a new change than implement it in RS and allot of RS players complaining about it. So why not using a poll before or after a drastic update?

We understand that we cannot please all our players with every update. I can assure you we don’t change things because we are bored and we see usability improvements as essential to the continued success of all our games. The truth of the matter is we sometimes realise after we have built something, despite careful planning, that we got it wrong and, naturally, have to fix it or improve it to make it more efficient. As for using player polls, we do plan to continue to get player ideas and suggestions from them.


5) Taco 50 asks: In one of the previous Q&A threads, "noob-free" worlds were mentioned, for players with a certain amount of total experience. These seem to be taking a while, have they been cancelled?

Yes, this is still a project we are working on and the project has not been cancelled, we just have a load of other big projects going on at once.


6) Pur35 Ownage asks: Would there ever be a console version on RuneScape like for xbox360 + PS3, i think that they would be a great success if you could get the controls right, but they would have to speak not type which is much better.

Yes, indeed, we are looking at all the consoles at the moment and deciding which one or two are best for our community.


7) Vannakius asks: (This is paraphrased)
I know since you've started as CEO a lot of people haven't agreed with what updates have happened. I am one of those. However, have you got any great idea's for updates which could turn people on your side rather than against you? When/if you see posts about yourself (RANTS) do you feel upset by this, or do you ignore it? Are your main concerns to impress the new players, or do you also care about the older players?

When I became CEO, one of the first things I did was to reinstate the Rants forum as it is important for us to hear your constructive negative feedback. We have a specific forum team who look after the forums and pass on all your feedback. I’m primarily focused on our great playing community, but we also need to ensure that RuneScape will continue to grow for at least another decade. In order to do that, we need to make sure there is also a healthy influx of new players to balance the economy and ensure there are not just 10 million level 99s walking round. I realised a long time ago that you can’t please everyone, no matter how much you want to, and it’s never pleasant to get flamed for an update; however, I don’t mind that much, as it’s more important to do the right thing for the community and the game than it is to win a popularity contest.


8) Snrubnayrpk asks: I'm a RuneScape video maker (Average, I’m learning still) And I was wondering in the future will there ever be features to help in videos? Special Views, Green rooms, Ect.

Absolutely! Andrew and I were actually talking about this the other day. What would be really helpful is to have a list of features you think would help you to make videos, so we can assess which ones are possible.


9) Karzani1 asks: If you brought RuneScape out on CD, would you drastically change the graphics of the game? So they look like WoW? ( i hope not, The current graphics is what makes RuneScape, well RuneScape )

The biggest advantage of RuneScape is that it can be played in the browser without a big download and by everyone, and while quality graphics are important to the playing experience, we are also committed to keeping RuneScape at the optimal specification to ensure that hundreds of millions of players worldwide can access the game.


10) Mikeboi101 asks: Do you have any plans to instigate a section of RuneScape where players can submit videos or pictures so that other players can see these?

I like this idea, though I’m not sure we have the infrastructure necessary to provide this to the same quality as websites like YouTube. Our environment has really been built around providing the game in the best possible way.


11) Dark Moon X5 asks: As the gaming community grows there at Jagex, do you think you will ever make another Jagex Studio in the future, possibly not as close as the main one? Like possibly another country/Continent?

We do not have any plans to open offices in other countries at this time; however, you never know what the future will hold. The Jagex team is always growing and the studio is getting very full, so it is a possibility.


12) Evileaglesss asks: When you look at the forums and see some of the rants about a newly realised content, how do you feel?

The people whose feelings should be considered when ranting are the RuneScape content developers who work tirelessly and passionately for months on a project, with the sole aim of pleasing the players. Happily, only a small minority of players tend to actually rant about content. We always look at the forums for feedback and, when it is constructive or helpful, we look to implement that feedback into the game.


13) J 36 asks: I have seen many people ask about a film or cartoon version of RuneScape but not seen any answers, is this something that you have thought of.

Yes, indeed, we are talking to a number of people about doing a film of some of our games. I expect this would be a full feature film rather than some sort of cartoon.


14) Alien Jy asks: When you first became the CEO of Jagex, were you worried about making choices? Or did you come into Jagex with high confidence.

I have always had a high degree of confidence :), but it is a big responsibility being CEO of such an incredible studio and, thankfully, we employ some of the best people in the world, which makes my life a lot easier.


15) Ispl Unlegit asks: Does Jagex have sit-down meetings to discuss the future updates for RuneScape? If so, do you ALWAYS keep the current players in mind or do you just think about the bettering of the game for future players?

It just seems like most of the updates are to look more appealing to newer players and you generally don't worry about the current players who work really hard towards their goals every day.

We probably spend 80% of our time talking about improving the game for our current players and I do not suspect this will ever change. In fact, most of our updates are aimed at current players rather than for bringing new players to the game. We all spend a lot of time in game talking to players, so we always try to design content that we feel our players will enjoy.


16) 767 Fs Pilot asks: What exactly do you do around Jagex HQ? Do you walk around making sure all the J-Mods are doing their job, or do you usually stay in your office for the most part and sign papers and approve of changes?

Haha, I ask myself that question every day. Well, firstly I do not have an office! I sit on the same floor as most of our game developers in an open plan office. I tend to spend as much time as I can speaking with the staff and helping out where I can. I do, however, spend a lot of time signing stuff.


17) Sadiyq1 asks: Hello Mod MMG I would like to know what action is going to be done about Merchanting Clans. I am mainly posting because all thanks so merch clans they have sent the prices for items flying high and its unfair for people who make money by earning it on RuneScape, they just have to work a lot harder while other people who merch and make money for not really earning are able to afford this. Do you see how this is affecting people’s gameplay especially new members?

It would mean a lot to me if you read this post and replied.

I see merchanting clans as pyramid selling schemes, where, typically, only a handful of players actually make any money and everyone else loses money - just like real-life pyramid schemes. Because of this, we are not in favour of them in RuneScape, and try to warn players not to participate in them.


18) Find Emotion asks: You've stated before that you wish to raise the demographic for RuneScape, ultimately making it a game that appeals to a much older audience than it currently does. Is this still your intention, and if it is, how do you intend to achieve this effect?

The fact of the matter is that our current player demographics are a lot older than a lot of people think, so we don’t have to change the player base itself, just peoples’ perception of it. We have dealt with this by nuking the "kiddy" content, for examples, the Stronghold of Player Safety. I do love the fact that we have a game that is suitable for an incredibly broad, worldwide audience.


19) Starfire1979 asks: I was wondering who gets to decide what new content comes out and if it is decided democratically or if the head honcho just says "Ok we are bringing out a new skill, get on with it you lot, chop chop".

Also does anything we say in the forums have any impact on the decisions made behind the scenes BEFORE content is released, as we already know you rely on us to point out bugs and flaws after release?

Firstly, we don't rely on players to spot bugs - that's what our QA team is for - but we're grateful that players are so diligent at spotting those that slip through. We do constantly look to the forums for ideas and feedback, There is no "chop, chop" at Jagex. Our ideas for content come either from the Players or from staff across the company. We always encourage our teams to be creative, to make sure we make the best possible content for our players.


20) Roasted Duck7 asks: Mod MMG, in the RuneScape Classic Q&A session you mentioned making RuneScape Classic servers in which all players would receive the cheat codes, as to stop any cheating in the game. This sounds like an absolutely terrific idea, but so far, all I have seen for it was the Q&A. If you are still considering creating these servers, or if they are already in the works, could you give us a time you expect them to be released?

This is currently in development. It has taken a long time, since we had to get all our old code compatible with our latest code libraries and back-office systems. There is still a lot of work to do - probably a few more months - but, rest assured, we are working hard on this. I think it will be very popular when it does finally come out, as we are packing in a bit of a surprise at the same time.


21) Evil King J asks: MMG promised that Jagex would be a less secretive company, but now with the BTS gone and very little development diaries, and a general consensus over the lack of updates, it seems as if Jagex is more secretive than ever, why?

These Q&As are a part of our ongoing commitment to not be perceived as being so secretive. Hopefully, that shows our commitment to our players. Both Andrew and I regularly talk to our players in our Clan Chats, and we now have more J-Mods in game than ever before. The sad reality is that it takes months for a developer to create even just a single new quest, and while we have a very big team working on updates, we cannot guarantee a new update every week, but we do try our hardest to make them as frequent as possible without sacrificing quality or creativity. We have also done a lot of work in recent months, both in RuneScape and on the forums, and working with recognised fansites, to be more open with our players.


22) Lol A Pic asks: Are you a fan of Tehnoobshow?

Yes, indeed! I have even been in one of the videos, for "giggles"! :)


23) Pen Par asks: I just have one question, and I believe it's quite good for both Jagex, and the players. I have read 'Betrayal at Falador', and I wanted to know if Jagex does allow fans to write down a book for Jagex? Will Jagex support those players, and fans. I myself tried writing a book for Jagex, but was always afraid not being able to publish it because Jagex wouldn't like it. I'm sorry for taking your time for this question. Many thanks for making this thread!

We are always interested in player suggestions and we like to support players who are inspired by our games, but when it comes to publishing it gets very complicated, as publishing not only has a lot of legal technicalities, but also takes a lot of time and a bucket of money. If you think you have something great, though, feel free to send it to us.


24) Fuzziekiwi asks: I was just wondering if one day you guys will be working on RuneScape High Detail so it takes less CPU. TBH I think RuneScape is a CPU hogger.

Yes, we have a project underway to better utilise the CPU, so as to enhance the software mode of the game.


25) Colintje3 asks: I heard there will be a day for 13-18 year olds to come to the Jagex castle to test something, can we get a little hint (For us people that are not so close to the UK) to what is going to be shown over there?

The focus test is specifically to see what new players think of the game, so no big secret there. :)


26) Hellroses333 asks: Now that you have upgraded your bot detection systems, is there any possibility of free trade returning to RuneScape?

I'm tired of using junk to trade occasionally when buying or selling something - it seems completely idiotic to me: you're basically giving someone a rising item and some junk that won't sell in the GE, but essentially you're getting the item for midprice anyways, so the buyer always ends up with profit.

If you will not be planning to return free trade, then is there a possibility that you may try returning free trade for a minimum of one week, just to see how it goes? Obviously it would take months of testing to witness the true number of gold-farmers you would be dealing with again, but hopefully your macro-detection systems would catch them before they did any real damage to the RS economy or your company again.

Our ability to detect all botting is not really related to free trade. We are looking at improving the trade system, and we may consider relaxing our trade limits a little more in the future, but this is still under discussion at the moment.


27) Nightgon172 asks: Recently you have updated the Clan side of RuneScape, by adding Tools for Games. This has proved popular amongst the clan community, including myself .

My Question is: Do you intend to add more to the clan perspective of RuneScape? Say, by making clans more interactive?

For example having a clan bank, but having a trade limit to avoid Real World Trading issues, or being able to set up clan shops.

These are interesting ideas and we are looking at ways of providing more support to clans.


28) Infota asks: Don't you think that you should find out what players think about updates using polls before releasing them? I think this would therefore cut down on the aftershock of the RuneScape community. Thanks.

The only way to find out what players think about new content is to actually show it to them. We could do all new content as a beta first, but then you have the problem of some people loving it and others not. Then what do you do? Do you say if more than 51% like it, keep it? We find that it is typically only the players that don’t like something that respond - the rest of the community just enjoy the content and say nothing. If you look at the Rants feedback, it is typically less than 0.5% of the total players that respond to an apparently unpopular update. Does that mean the other 99.5% like it and it should stay? We would never knowingly create new content that we knew would be unpopular. Our developers want all their work to be appreciated by the community and to enhance the game for all.


29) Timmy7072 asks: I hear rumours of a "Name Changing System" can this be confirmed? If so, how would such a system work?

Yes, we are planning to release a new display name system shortly. This will essentially allow you to change your in-game display name to be different from your login name.


30) Themyth 2004 asks: My question is... RuneScape hasn't had a huge amount of advertising, as far as I am aware the growth of RuneScape has been fairly unique in that it has consisted mostly of word of mouth and then later on mini-clip, yet there is over 1 million members nowadays and a huge number of F2P players.

Advertising has picked up for MMORPGs for the last year or two... I was wondering if there is any plans to expand advertising for RuneScape, and if you could tell me what other kinds of advertising RuneScape participates in at this moment in time?

You are right, we haven’t done any marketing in the past and we still have one of the biggest communities in the gaming world as a result. We love this game and I’m confident it has a very bright future, indeed. We do plan to build an in-house marketing and PR team to spread the word like other companies do, but, ultimately, we know that nothing beats our own players telling their friends about RuneScape.


31) Bluesonic43 asks: According to "Forum Focus (21-Jan-2009)" the top choices (although less than 50,000 voted) were to include a image of your avatar, adjust formatting of posts, etc. I would like to know when I could make words italic or bold. Thank you

We have taken player feedback onboard and, as mentioned previously, we are now planning on improving the forums with avatars as well as other new features.


32) Sir Sral asks: Being a fan of the RS music, I'd love to see many of the awesome and creative tracks made into very high quality versions available for download. Do you see something similar to this as a worthwhile addition at some point in the not too distant future?

This is a great idea, I will go and speak with the audio team now!


33) M4g3r Ownage asks: Are you planning on releasing worlds that have an experience requirement to enter? By requirements I mean: in game experience, time played in game, total level, combat level, etc.

Yes, this is still something that we plan to do based on players’ total XP level.


34) Haon Nave asks: Well I was wondering if there will ever be a RuneScape app for the iPhone/iPod Touch.

Who knows what the future may bring? :) What features would you like to see on the iPhone?


35) Svew asks: Does Jagex as a whole believe the Quality Assurance team is doing their job well? If so, please explain why there has been a significant increase of major bugs that have tainted the game within the last few months.

We have been really ambitious with our updates over the last six months, which has been a challenge for everyone at Jagex. The QA team do a fantastic job and would never knowingly release updates with bugs, but, as I’m sure you will understand, that the game is so epic it is almost impossible to catch everything.


36) Bionic Cool2 asks: With so many other MMORPG's out there constantly making their graphics, game play and features better, do you feel RuneScape has had to compete with them by making updates bigger and better then they had been before?

We don’t look to our competitors for our strategies. If anything, we tend to get shamelessly copied by the industry. We have always tried to make our games and updates the best that they could possibly be, regardless of the competition. We still have one of the world’s largest, and still growing, communities, not to mention the Guinness World Record for the most popular free game, which tells me that we are doing the right things overall.


37) Robeddarknes asks: Hi I was wondering when you were planning on releasing the ability for us to look at our character's statistics such as number of x-monster killed and x-number of hours played and what date our accounts were created, as this has always interested me and I believe I read you were planning to release it.

Yes, we currently have a project underway to provide players with a lot more information about their avatar progress and status in game.


38) Gilly 2811 asks: I've heard a player-made rumour, that Jagex is considering making Wallie Cards/other available in every country, and then removing all credit card payment options in the future.

If so, this would make it possible for Jagex to re-implement the wild, take away trade limits, thus allowing old pking, and uneven trades (which isn't so bad, you can donate to friends again, and scam/be scammed, which teaches lessons.), which would settle pkers arguments. Is this somewhat true, and if so; would prices rise?

I don’t expect we will ever remove credit card payments as this is still, by far, the most popular method of payment for our players. Also, the majority of our members like the convenience of being able to automatically renew their monthly membership via credit card. We are keen to offer subscribers a wide variety of payment methods and will ensure that we continue to rollout RuneScape payment cards worldwide.


39) Bigb4199 asks: Due to the growing size of your company, more resources have become available to you. To compete with other MMO's, do you intend to use voice actors to bring NPCs to new life?

This is an interesting idea and one we are currently discussing.


40) Volcor117 asks: Would it be possible to free up some usernames, by this I mean, would it be possible to give players that are currently active a chance to use names that were already used up by people that have stopped playing, like people that haven't been active for the past 2 years. Thanks for your time.

I love the idea of preserving all player accounts, so that they can play again whenever they want too. Interestingly enough, we have recently seen a significant number of former players return to the game. We may reset the accounts for players that have been permanently banned and make those account names available again; however, we are also working on a new display names systems to allow players to change their in-game name, and there will be a subsequent update to the system that will allow players to choose longer player names, which will provide a lot more choice.


41) 2h And Spork asks: What does Jagex think of private servers that are smaller copies of RuneScape, do you believe that you should fight against such servers or just let them be? I point this out because private servers have been growing in size over the years.

We strongly oppose private servers, irrespective of their size, and always look to shut them down. We have also been very successful in taking their ringleaders to court.


42) 583saradomin asks: Why doesn't Mod MMG post everything he said in his clan (if everyone is telling the truth that he did say future updates in his clan) on the forums? It is so hard to trust word of mouth in this game.

I don’t talk about future updates or content in my Clan Chat as I wouldn’t want to spoil future updates and content isn’t really my area of expertise anyway - that’s what the RuneScape team do really well. :) I just enjoy the content as a typical player on my choob account and I just use the Clan Chat as an opportunity to talk to players about every day stuff, usually have a bit of a laugh and sometimes they give me feedback on new content or things that annoy them in game which is also helpful. So since we just chat about random and everyday stuff I don’t think it is important to get transcripts on the forums.

The reason why we have regular Q&As with the players is to officially answer questions relating to the game.


43) Feppie64 asks: Do you have any plans to look for ways to reduce the shipping costs at the Jagex store for non UK countries? For example, in my country the shipping costs of the mouse pad are twice the price of the mouse pad itself.

Absolutely! We are currently pushing our current supplier to bring their shipping costs down. If they don’t soon we will move to another supplier that can provide low worldwide shipping costs.


44) Rizwan151 asks: Is your job as CEO of Jagex purely that of leading the company financially and as a business? Or do you also take part in the development of the game? I am just concerned as to whether a person whose account is only in the level 60-80 range would be making the best decisions for what is to be done for the game in the future.

I get involved with all aspects of the studio’s operation; however, I have very little input into the development of the game - the main game decisions are actually made by the RuneScape Content team, My choob account recently went over level 90 combat. :)


45) Father Lawec asks: (This one is for Mod MMG ;P) What is the one thing that really annoys you in the game of RuneScape? And if you could, how would you change it?

I can’t think of anything that really annoys me, but I do wish I wasn’t so poor and had more cash. Then, I guess I’ve just got to earn it like everyone else. :)

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