It's once again that time of year when the Jagex office gets eerily quiet, the Christmas holiday event winds down (penguin onesie!) and we return home for presents, good cheer and full bellies. It all makes for the perfect time for the Christmas Speech!
From all of us at Jagex (most of whom are driving home for Christmas) we wish you a very merry Christmas! Your enthusiasm has kept RuneScape going strong for yet another year, and we are very, very lucky to have players as dedicated and passionate as you.
You have let us know when things are great (Dimension of Disaster, Boss Pets, Lord of Vampyrium) and when things haven't been quite as great (Darklight and a couple of others we won't linger on). We are wiser and more determined to do right by you in the New Year. Let’s make every update worthwhile and keep the game in increasingly good shape. Thank you all!
As for 2016, it's hard to underestimate just how excited we are about it. I know we say that every year, but this one feels a little different. There are two big reasons for that.
The first is that RuneScape is, crazily, almost 15 years old. 15 years! We pass that big milestone on the 4th of January. It has given us perspective on what this little game, born in the Gowers' basement, means to so many. RuneScape has defied all odds to be around and relevant for so long, and it's given us all a renewed enthusiasm to keep going strong for another 15.
You can be sure that we will be celebrating big in 2016, and the 4th of January is only the start. You can expect goodies aplenty on the big day. Over the year we will reopen RuneScape Classic, release a feature-length documentary covering the whole of RuneScape’s 15-year history, and bring you update after update, each making us misty-eyed for the days of RuneScape-past. God Wars Dungeon 2 is both nostalgic and new (we’re going hell-for-leather to make sure that update’s awesome), while a Mining and Smithing rework will bring the love to two of our oldest skills. Not to mention the Gower Quest which has given us the opportunity to work with Andrew and Paul (the original creators of RuneScape) once again!
The other big reason we're excited is that we have found a new focus: to bring you what you want, and what the game needs. It sounds obvious, but this has really motivated us and allowed us to make big changes, the biggest of which has been the move to one huge update every month. We are no longer panicking about bringing you something every week. Instead, we have a bombastic, impressive update each month, supported by smaller updates, sharing the same theme as the bigger update, to give you bang for your buck along the way. By moving to big releases, we can give you the game-changing updates you've been yearning for.
Below you’ll find every big update of 2016 minus those smaller, related updates. We love this list, and we hope you do too:
- God Wars Dungeon 2
- Mining and Smithing Rework
- Gower Quest
- Invention skill
- Player Power Area – your chance to pitch a completely new city, island or area of the RuneScape world! Head over to RuneLabs to record your concept.
- Nomad's Elegy
- Fate of the Gods 2
- Ballad of the Barrows Brothers
- Sliske's Endgame
- Raids 2
- A new, solo boss challenge
That should give you a little Christmas cheer - it certainly gets the hairs standing up on our necks! We have every confidence that we can deliver each of those in 2016, and we'll aim to make sure that none disappoint.
Other things that really must be mentioned in this manifesto are Old School RuneScape and Chronicle.
Old School will be entering its 3rd year in grand style with the upcoming new continent Zeah. What better way to revel in the spirit of RuneScape than by exploring a new land? Old School players can also look forward to seasonal Deadman Mode servers with $10,000 winner-takes-all tournaments, scaleable boss raids with up to 100 players at a time, going ape with Monkey Madness 2 (the legendary quest from 10 years ago returns) and so much more! The Old School team look forward to talking and streaming with you throughout the coming year.
Chronicle: RuneScape Legends is also powering through its beta phase. We are really enjoying watching you play and send us feedback. It’s clear that Chronicle is also building a tremendous community in the ever-growing RuneScape universe. If you’ve not already seen it, the gameplay trailer is well worth a look!
To round off this increasingly rambly speech (so that you can get back to your wrapping or unwrapping) we wanted to note some things that are important to us in the New Year. While they may not be updates, you'll see these themes returned to over and over again as we look to buff the game to a bright sheen.
First of all, we want to simply declutter and refresh RuneScape for new and old players alike. We also want to bring more interesting and varied gameplay into the latter levels of the game. Invention is going to help, but we don't want to stop there: how can we make non-combat skills worthwhile? How can we give you strong, desirable goals? Finally, there are clear things we can do to modernise the game and make sure it doesn't get left behind. NXT is just the start, and we want our updates to push the new client to its limits.
As you can imagine, we have a lot of work to do. But we can't wait to get going in 2016 and really wow you with it. The reaction we get from you is our biggest motivator, bar none.
So, before we get too sappy, it is time to sign off and wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We hope you are as excited about 2016 as we are!
The RuneScape Team