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Role Playing (Games)

RuneScape Passes 1 Million Subscribers 48

An anonymous reader writes "The online Java-based fantasy MMOG Runescape has reportedly surpassed 1 Million paying subscribers. Gamasutra has a Q&A article with the Jagex co-founder and lead developer Andrew Gower about the UK-based firm's success. 'Counting roughly 4.6 million who play the free version of the game, RuneScape has more than 5.6 million players, says Constant Tedder, managing director of Jagex. As such, it represents credible competition to the big kahuna, World of Warcraft, which has topped 8 million paying subscribers. Part of the secret, Tedder said in an interview, is that the game doesn't take itself so seriously. In one recent event, players could transform themselves into penguins and infiltrate the penguin army to see what they were up to in the penguin underworld. The game has been growing largely by word of mouth.'"
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RuneScape Passes 1 Million Subscribers

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  • Penguin Underworld? That sounds like the penguin mafia of kingdom of loathing...
    • Re:Outlaw Penguins (Score:4, Interesting)

      by khedron the jester ( 888418 ) on Saturday May 05, 2007 @05:32PM (#19004791)
      All I could think of when reading this was "1M Subscribers... and 10M bots/grinders".

      Seriously, the number of Chinese people either using bots to grind or doing it manually, then selling the gold they make for real world money, is ridiculous. At times my brother (who's about the right age to play the game) has seen swarms of level 3 players chopping down wood for money. You start at level 3, so basically these people have accounts simply to chop wood, not to train up.

      The problem has got to the point where Jagex are banning 8000 people a day.

      Here's a release from Jagex, the company behind Runescape, about it: http://news.runescape.com/newsitem.ws?id=785 [runescape.com]
      • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward
        > At times my brother (who's about the right age to play the game) has seen swarms of level 3
        > players chopping down wood for money.

        You know, the "I have a friend" line is one of the surest signs of denial.

        Happy leveling. Let us know when you get that abysmal whip. ;)
    • by Olix ( 812847 )
      It reminds me of the Prinnies from Disgaea.
  • *THE* grind (Score:5, Informative)

    by Deltaspectre ( 796409 ) * on Saturday May 05, 2007 @05:21PM (#19004685)
    This game will never be competition to the World, mainly because it's very grind focused. Sure there are quests, but only 100 or so when I was still playing (and at that all but 20 or so were for members only). These quests might get you a few levels if you're lucky and low level, but the majority of leveling is from the grind unlike the World where you get some actual levels from quests and there are a ton of quests.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Hubbell ( 850646 )
      Are you trying to say World of Grindcraft isn't grind focused?
      • Not near as much and it has a lot more options to take the focus off of the fact that you are grinding.
      • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Are you trying to say World of Grindcraft isn't grind focused?

        Runescape makes World of Grindcraft looks like a single player game with cheatcodes. If World of Grindcraft was designed by life-sucking vampires, then Runescape was designed by The Man himself.

        In Runescape, there are currently 23 skills that can be levelled to a max of 99. Each skill takes so long to level that you think of each one in terms of what percentage of the remaining number of hours that you probably have left to live you will be spe
        • And what you get for playing this crap?
          Any skills besides resistance to carpal tunell syndrome?
          Do you have fun clicking mindlessly for weeks to add another digit to your level/score?
      • Lets first be clear on what grinding means and how it differs from questing. Grinding is where you kill mobs without having a quest to do it.

        Questing is where you kill the same mobs but only because you have a quest to do it. When you have reached the objective you go on to your next quest.

        Since you can level from 1-70 by questing in WoW its hard to call it grind focused.

        Games like EverQuest are grind focused, because you simply could not level without grinding.
        • by Boronx ( 228853 )
          So the difference between questing and grinding is that when you grind, you choose the quest yourself.
        • by Morth ( 322218 )

          Lets first be clear on what grinding means and how it differs from questing. Grinding is where you kill mobs without having a quest to do it.

          Questing is where you kill the same mobs but only because you have a quest to do it.

          That's in no way true. What you are describing is grinding vs. grinding quests. Of course, World of Warcraft mostly contains quests that are about grinding, so I can see how you got it wrong. There's some exceptions, but I'd say even if you look for those other quests, you have to do a

          • by Qaztal ( 700176 )

            One reason why logic based or searching based quests do not work well in a MMORPG setting compared to RPG setting is walk-throughs.

            In a RPG single player setting no one really has any problems if a person works the entire game out by themselves or by following a walk-through.

            In a MMORPG setting if the game was a simple to level as following up a walk-through some people would be max level in under a day, while others would be struggling through the first few levels. The competition (other players) is what m

      • Not until you hit high levels, I think. I'm currently lvl 48 and I have done virtually no grinding. I usually play for 1-2 hours on a day, and except for maybe some instances, I have not done the same thing on consequtive days. Literally every day there is something different for me to do.
        • by Hubbell ( 850646 )
          WoW is nothing but a grindfest. How do you get better gear? Grinding the same dungeon over and over. How do you level? Grinding through pretty much a set variety of quest dungeons, or grinding on monsters in the wilderness (which is much less effective)
          For a game that ISN'T about grinding, and is about player freedom, look at www.darkfallonline.com
          • I do quests almost exclusively. Some of them do require you to kill X mobs of a certain type, but that's about as "grindy" as it gets. I like a lot of the quest story lines. A lot are also about killing a certain iconic figure "boss", finding an item, bringing some message or item from A to B, answering a certain question, etc.
            I usually do quests when they are green, and I think I get about 75-80% of my xp from quest rewards alone. I can have 2-3 blue bubles at the start of a level, and still have a blue xp
  • I don't know if my information is correct but doesn't Knight Online have 20 million players, paying and free combined, worldwide?
  • by Amani576 ( 971730 ) on Saturday May 05, 2007 @05:31PM (#19004777) Homepage Journal
    The fact that I've recently started playing again doesn't help this...
    After a three year abscence... It's changed a lot, and the people are worse... and far more immature...
    But, if you get past the immature players, and look for the people like me, who've played for quite a long time (2001 started my first character - Which I still play - Domon Kashu [Yes, after the G-Gundam character]) the game can still be enjoyable.
    But regardless...
    I was amazed the other day when I realized that total there was over 100k people playing at the same time... when, back like... four years ago the most you'd see during prime hours was like... 13k...
    Goes to show you how time's change... and how games, no matter how cheesy, campy, or awesome (maybe in this case) stick around because people like it...
    Say what you want... Runescape is a train that probably won't ever stop (at least for a while).
    • There is a large contingent of younger players. My 10 year old son plays and so do several of his friends from school. I think one of the reasons is that pretty much any computer can play it as you don't need an expensive video card. Mom's Dell with the built in graphics will work fine. The other factor is cost - you can play free or pay $5 a month. I think it's easier to convince a parent to pay $5 a month than $15 for a game like WoW.
  • by tiedyejeremy ( 559815 ) on Saturday May 05, 2007 @06:13PM (#19005249) Homepage Journal
    I haven't logged in for over a month!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Its very easy to start playing. You can create an account and enter the game in less than a minute without leaving your browser. Games requiring a 300mb+ download or physical disk are at a disadvantage there.
    • Like so many things, Runescape is easy to start. And really hard to quit.

      I cite it as my sole reason for vowing to never touch WoW for fear of being anywhere near as badly addicted as I was to Runescape.
  • I know its free, but Guild Wars is about a billion times better looking (and strategically far deeper) -- and it costs $40 with no monthly fees whatsoever. I find it amazing that anyone could pay a monthly membership for a shockwave game that looks like its from the early 1990's. I've played RuneScape and WoW and I have to say GW is probably the best deal in MMO gaming I've seen to date.
    • It's java. And RuneScape is one of the biggest examples of gameplay beating graphics, something draws a lot of people to the game. £3.20 doesn't exactly break the bank.
    • I agree. Want to buy some Guild Wars gold with Runescape gold?
    • Runescape is Java, not shockwave, and is cross platform. Guild Wars on the other hand appears to be Windows only. Since they target different platforms, they are not really direct competitors.
  • filled with all kinds of scammers.All about money making, terrible game operation!
  • The big kahuna is WoW. Not.

    The real big kahuna is Maple Story [wikipedia.org]. It has a combined total of over 50 million players in all of its versions.

  • I like Runescape because it is free, easy, and doesn't need a lot of time. With runescape you don't need to get in some top guild to do the same grind instance a million time to get the chance of getting one item. It's a funny little game you can go in and duel people and level at your own pace. and you can be lvl 60 like me and still fight lvl 80+ creatures. WoW is a fun game, but it is too demanding to keep pace with everyone where are runescape you can forget about it and come back at it is still the sam
    • I agree with you, it is fun and can sometimes be quite addicting. I have a level 40 something guy and I still have a WoW account. I find time to play both, often when I get bored of one of them.

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