See also: Update:Your RuneScape Questions Answered - Updated.
Many of you will have read my newspost last week, in which I outlined our vision for the future of RuneScape, and also invited your questions. Well, the response has been absolutely awesome; in fact we’ve actually been a little taken aback! There have been nearly ten thousand questions posted or emailed by you, our players, and it’s become pretty obvious that we’re going to need to answer a lot more than we originally planned.
A lot of the questions concern areas in which I’m not the best person to reply, to be quite honest. So what we’ve done is split them up, with me answering a selection of appropriate questions today, and my esteemed colleagues answering further questions over the next few weeks.
A big thank you to everyone that took the time to post a question on the forum or email it in - your feedback and interest in RuneScape are much appreciated, and we hope you will all continue to enjoy playing the game for a long time to come. So without further ado, here are the first batch of answers from yours truly :)
Tommy Z9 - How long have you been working for Jagex?
I joined Jagex as their Chief Technical Officer (CTO) on 1st February 2008.
Kurinin742 - Did you know anything about work at Jagex before you started working at it?
No, not at the time, apart from the fact that they had a successful game called RuneScape, which I had never played before. I created an account and decided to check it out before I went for the interview. As a technologist I was very impressed that they had managed to achieve the seemingly impossible in a browser. I also realized after playing it for a short time that RuneScape was not only awesome, but also probably one of the best-kept secrets in the gaming space.
Earth Nomad1 - You say that you are an active player of RuneScape, so my question is this, how many quest points do you have and how many of those quests have you asked for help on? (be honest)
I have 90 quest points and 892 levels to date, so I hope that means I have graduated from noob status (although I’m sure some would debate that!). The honest answer is I have asked for help on loads of the quests, and in so doing also discovered a number of our valued fan sites. We have a few projects on the go that are designed to give simpler, easier access to information in game, including a better method to show which quests you are eligible to undertake.
Lbiboy - How did you rise so quickly through the ranks of JaGeX? you Joined up with them only a year ago, this month. From beginner to CEO in 12 months?
I think I have just been rather blessed, and I have a great team supporting me. Jagex is a great place to work if you enjoy working hard and are prepared to keep stretching yourself. The company has a tradition of promoting from within, and it is true to say some of our top executives, managers, technologists, creatives and support staff have come through the ranks over the years.
Awf Suir1 - What is your favorite skill in the game, and why? And what is your least favorite skill?
I generally like combat skills such as Melee, Magic and Ranged, and I’m really enjoying Slayer at the moment. Oddly enough I find Woodcutting and Firemaking to be my highest skills; there is something hypnotic about lighting fires all over Gielinor – I should probably speak to somebody about that!
Cute Kero 7 - Being such a busy fellow and all, do you find time to play RuneScape?
I tend to get a few hours in on the weekend, or late at night.
Benjo350 - Do you ever present any other ideas for content yourself, or is it solely developer only thing?
I’m a big believer in letting the experts do what they do best. I enjoy their content, and I wouldn’t presume to be able to present creative ideas to them.
Nighteyes604 - Will you be one of the JMods dropping in an in-game event?
Vimescarrot - Did you get the job first, or play the game first? If the game, what made you decide to get a job at Jagex?
I heard about the vacancy for a CTO at Jagex but I was also looking at other roles around that time. I tried the game to better understand what Jagex did, and was really impressed with the technology and the game – the more I found out about Jagex (like the platform, proprietary in-house tools, languages, and systems) the more I was intrigued. I had an interview with Andrew that ended up being a being an in-depth IT security debate, and I was blown away to learn that Jagex’s approach to IT security was more rigorous than some of the banks I had consulted for, or even the lottery systems I had architected. I instantly realized this was an incredible company, with many high-caliber staff at the very cutting edge of so many technology fronts - I just simply had to work for Jagex.
Burned Bones - What's your combat level on your Rs Character?
My combat level is only 67, but I am deadly when it comes to chopping down trees :)
Valvar Exart - Are you leading all of your Jagex or Just RuneScape?
I’m responsible for leading Jagex as a whole with the support of a great team, including Andrew.
Sword908070 - In your opinion what age group would RuneScape be targeted to? middle school, high school, college?
I believe that everyone can find RuneScape enjoyable. I would suggest that it’s aimed at college students and older, but there is something for everyone, whether you're 18 or 80!
Kinby - Will there be a new free-to-play (FTP) quest or a members’ quest made FTP?
We are looking to invest into all areas of the game - watch this space for further developments :)
Fishaddock - Do you play FunOrb games like Arcanists?
Ha ha, yes I find it highly addictive! There was a time I was company champion, but I have probably been displaced now by some more deserving staff member.
Darth Stefan - What will be the next language update?
There is enormous internal debate as to the next language; we have recently upgraded our systems to allow us to support any language – the problem now is we are spoilt for choice :)
Boomer12342 - Does this mean that you are taking over Andrew's position?? Just curious, if so, why did Andrew decide to step down, or if that’s not the case (of him stepping down), what happened?
I guess you could say that I took over the CTO role from Andrew in 2008. I believe Andrew felt that he was best placed to serve both in a technical and creative capacity across the entire business and leave most of the management of the various technical teams to me. I don’t think it’s a case of Andrew stepping down, more a case of him doing what he enjoys most, which is being actively involved in continuing to develop the technical capabilities of our games as well as the games themselves. I know Andrew is very passionate about RuneScape, and he continues to take a very active part in the business.
Racheya - With the current economic conditions, are you going to be increasing subscription prices any time in the near or distant future to help compensate for rising costs? And even if not, how is Jagex going to deal with the current economic situation?
No, we have no plans to increase the current membership prices for RuneScape. Jagex is a strong company, and contrary to much of the rest of the industry, we continue to grow financially. We believe our competitive price point, and unparalleled game value and depth, mean we are in a uniquely strong position.
Vaskor - Could you please clarify Jagex's position toward fan sites? Will the "openness" somehow apply to fan sites and communities established there?
Yes absolutely - we plan to work closely with responsible fan sites to support them in every way we can.
Issa5 - Does Jagex plan to use any of the ideas in the suggestions threads?
Yes indeed - we consider all the feedback we receive. Naturally it will never be possible to implement all feedback, but we are already looking at a number of strong suggestions.